Story Orgy – Creature Feature – Chapter Eight

Hi friends and happy Monday!

Terror By Moonlight_cvrThe first book of this series, Terror by Moonlight, is available at Wilde City Press and is now up for preorder at Amazon. Check out the case that started it all for Demmy and Cody!

Are you ready for another chapter of my Story Orgy Creature Feature story with Demetrius and Cody?

So far this story is untitled, but we’ll see what comes up as I write it, shall we?

Today’s prompt is: “I would like to make an exchange, please.”

Now, grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and settle in. Enjoy!

Story Orgy Creature Feature

Chapter Eight

Hank Edwards

(c) 2015

A ball of sweat ran down Demetrius’s side and buried itself under the waistband of his underwear. He picked up the margarita glass—also sweating—and took a sip, then coughed and blinked back tears. It was mostly tequila, and Demetrius needed it after the long day he’d had. He had talked with nurses and doctors and more nurses and different doctors, trying to understand everything and retain it. Then he’d talked with his parents while fielding text messages from Cody and Amelia. Even Oliver Berridge, the man he had dated for several months until things just sort of faded out, had texted just to check in and hoped things were well. Apparently word was spreading around Parson’s Hollow about his mother’s condition, and Demetrius wondered ruefully if Oliver was going to write a short article about it, maybe title it something like, Here’s What’s Up With…

“How’s that ‘rita treating you?”

Demetrius took another sip and, as the tequila burned its way down his throat and brought fresh tears to his eyes, he nodded and smiled. “Just what I needed.”

Eunice Potts stood on the lanai of the condo she shared with her husband, Hubert, the slightly prickly man who had picked Demetrius up at the airport earlier that day. Had he only been in Florida less than one day? Demetrius took another sip of the margarita that tasted like a chemical fire in his throat and felt the warmth of the liquor seep through him as he blinked away more tears and smiled at Eunice. Her shoulder length platinum blonde hair perfectly framed her tanned, youthful face, and her tan shorts and pink polo hugged her trim body. If Demetrius had to guess, he’d say Eunice was at most sixty-five years old to Hubert’s most likely seventy-eight, and she was in a hell of a lot better shape than her husband.

“Spending the day inside a hospital is a real suck ass way to pass the time in Florida,” Eunice said with a firm single nod, tiny hands fisted on her hips. “Your parents are real lucky to have a son like you who flew all the way down here to help out during all this.”

“Well, they’ve done so much for me,” Demetrius said, shocked to hear himself already slightly slurring his “S” sounds. “It’s the least I can do for them.”

Hubert stuck his head out the sliding door, his silver pompadour sweeping back from his forehead which was now wrinkled with concern. “Those storms are getting stronger out in the Atlantic.”

Eunice smiled over her shoulder at her husband. “We’re not planning to do any sailing on the ocean, dear. We get more tropical storms than we can count down here, you know that. No need to raise the alarm yet.”

He made a noncommittal grunting sound, followed up with, “I’ll be back in a few minutes. I need to walk the Fosters’ dogs.”

“Okay. I’ll keep Demetrius and Marshall company,” Eunice replied and smiled at Demetrius, then frowned and looked toward the house. “Where is your father?”

“I’m here, I’m here.” Marshall stepped through the sliding glass door. He wore white shorts with leg openings that seemed to float around his skinny thighs, a bright red short sleeved button down shirt, and dark socks with sandals. He held a margarita glass of his own and took a sip from it as he crossed to sit beside Demetrius at the glass topped table.

“How’s your ‘rita, Marshall?” Eunice asked.

Story_Orgy_logo“Well, let me check and see.” Marshall reached out to pick up the drink that sat in front of Demetrius and took a sip. His eyes widened and he blinked a few times as he stared at Demetrius. He slowly returned the drink to its place in front of Demetrius, then held his own glass out toward Eunice. “I would like to make an exchange, please.”

Eunice folded her arms and gave him a steady look. “Oh, you would, would you?”

“Yes. I would like one with just as much tequila as my son’s.” Marshall shook the glass, making the ice cubes rattle.

“You should not have so much alcohol while you’re taking blood pressure medicine,” Eunice said.

“If it’s not the alcohol it will be something else, Eunice,” Marshall replied, and shook his glass a little harder. “I’d like to enjoy what time I have left.”

Demetrius was about to swap drinks with his father just to end the stand off between two when Eunice let out a heavy, persecuted sigh and stomped up to the table. She snatched the glass out of Marshall’s hand and strode into the house, sliding the patio door shut hard behind her.

Demetrius looked at his father for a moment, both of them wide-eyed, then they each lost control at the same time and burst into laughter. It lasted just a minute or two, but it felt good to have that bonding moment with his father, whom Demetrius had never felt very close to as he’d been growing up.

“She’s the worrier of our group.” Marshall gestured toward the patio door. “She’s kind of like an exuberant Girl Scout who wants to make sure everyone else is safe and sound before seeing to herself.”

“She’s nice,” Demetrius said. “Both Eunice and Hubert are nice.”

“Hubert’s a bit of a prickly pear at times, but he’s a dependable friend.” Marshall nodded and his eyes took on a faraway, sad quality. “They’ve helped me so much with your mother’s health problems.”

“Health problems?” Demetrius asked after another swallow of his margarita. “Has she had problems before this?”

“Oh, a few,” Marshall replied, seeming flustered now, as if he’d slipped up and said something he shouldn’t. “We didn’t want to worry you about those things, though.”

“But I do worry about you guys,” Demetrius said. “Just like you worry about me. I feel now like I should call you more often to check in.”

“No no no.” Marshall waved Demetrius’s statement away. “We are very proud of you, and happy that you’ve started this new business venture. We both just hope you find someone special to bring into your life soon. And we don’t care about the fact that you’re gay, we just want you to be with someone who loves and appreciates you for who you are.”

Tears filled Demetrius’s eyes, and he grabbed his glass for a hearty swallow. “Dad—”

Eunice opened the patio door and stepped out, balancing a small tray supporting two margaritas with one hand as she used her free hand to close the door behind her. As she approached the table, Demetrius’s phone buzzed in his pocket and he pulled it out to check the display.

“This is Cody,” Demetrius said. “It might be work related.”

Marshall nodded and sipped the fresh drink Eunice handed him. As Demetrius accepted the call and got out of his chair, he heard his father say, “Now that’s a margarita!”

“Hi there, how are you?” Demetrius said, the air conditioning making him shiver as he stepped into the condo.

“Hey, hi,” Cody said, sounding surprised. “I didn’t expect you to answer. I was prepared to leave a message.”

“Dad and I are at a condo down the street from my parents’ place, having drinks,” Demetrius explained.

“Drinks to celebrate Mom being okay?” Cody ventured.

“Well, drinks to relax us,” Demetrius said. “And, boy, am I relaxed now.”

“What’s going on, Demmy?” Cody asked, his voice soft.

“It’s a lot to deal with, that’s all,” Demetrius replied. “I mean, I just got here this morning and I’m already exhausted. I don’t know how people deal with health care for an aging parent on a day to day basis. It’s pretty overwhelming.”

“I’m sorry,” Cody said. “What can I do?”

Cody sounded so earnest and thoughtful and open to whatever Demetrius needed from him, that it sent a wave of emotion through him he was powerless to hold at bay. The tequila had loosened him up, and now Cody’s sincerity and understanding had knocked aside the small barriers Demetrius had erected during his day at the hospital. He tried to say that Cody was doing what needed to be done by staying at home and managing the business, but what came out was an audible gulping sound followed by a hitching breath and then a choked sob as tears spilled down his cheeks.

“Demmy? Jesus, are you crying?” Cody’s tone was alarmed and Demetrius could just picture him pacing the open space in their office, or perhaps the length of the living room of his apartment. “Demmy, talk to me. Tell me what you need me to do. Do you want me to come down there? I’ll be there tomorrow morning. Fuck, I’ll pack a bag and start driving there right now.”

Demetrius took some deep breaths in an effort to get himself under control. He palmed the tears from his eyes and wished he’d brought his drink inside with him. When he felt like he could talk again, he said, “Sorry about that.”

“Hey,” Cody said, that gentle tone back in his voice that seemed to reach right inside Demetrius’s chest and wrap around his heart. “You had me worried there. I thought things were, like, really super bad down there.”

“No, just kind of lonely.”

“Want me to come down?”

“We can’t afford to have both of us away from the business,” Demetrius said.

“Hell, we can afford to be closed for a few days.”

“We haven’t made enough to pay the rent on the place yet this month,” Demetrius told him. “And besides, I’m fine. I’ve just had a very strong margarita, and you know what tequila does to me.”

“Makes you horny, if I remember correctly,” Cody said, and Demetrius could hear the smile in his voice. “You say nice things and get pretty handsy.”

“You’re an ass,” Demetrius muttered.

“Yep, got a fine one at that,” Cody shot back, then turned serious again. “I could be down there in no time, Demmy. Just give me the word. You know that.”

Demetrius smiled as he thought about Cody coming down to Florida. Cody would charm all the senior women in the retirement complex and befriend all the men within an hour. And his parents loved Cody, they’d probably fed him half the dinners he’d eaten all the years they’d been friends in school, so they would enjoy seeing him, too. But the money was a concern for Demetrius. He’d always been very budget conscious, his parents instilling in him from an early age the importance of budgeting his money and not overspending. But with this business they’d started, it felt most times like he’d overextended his monetary reach, and it left him feeling unsettled and edgy.

“I know, Cody,” he finally said. “But I’m okay down here, really. I’m tired from the flight down, and the first day was just a little overwhelming with all the doctors and medical decisions. She’s going in for a bypass in a couple of days.”

“A bypass? Shit, Demmy, that’s pretty serious. Shouldn’t Amelia be down there with you guys at least? I mean, she is your Mom’s sister.”

“No, I don’t think she needs to be here,” Demetrius replied, trying to explain his parents’ wishes while he didn’t believe them himself.

“That’s your folks talking,” Cody said, calling him out immediately. “They’ve always been like that, the whole,” here he tipped his voice into a falsetto range as he said, “‘No, we don’t want to put you through any bother, but Olivia is having open heart surgery, but everything is fine!'”

Demetrius could not help laughing. “My parents do not sound like that.”

“Maybe not to you, but that’s because you grew up with them,” Cody said. “To the rest of us, they sound just like that.”

“You’re crazy.”

“You’re crazier for being my friend.”

“This is a good point.”

A comfortable silence stretched out between them, and within it Demetrius thought he could hear the whispers of so many things he should be saying but couldn’t. Not only was Cody straight, but he was his best friend, and also completely out of Demetrius’s league. Even if Cody were gay, there was no way he’d be interested in Demetrius as more than a friend. They were just too different. And Cody was way too good looking for Demetrius to even hope to land him. And, as he’d had to remind himself many times over the years, Cody was straight. End of story.

Sometimes, opposites didn’t attract.

“Okay, I should get back out on the patio,” Demetrius said, “before my father gets himself plastered on margaritas.”

“Keep us posted, okay?” Cody said. “I mean it.”

“I will, I promise. Jobs going okay?”

“Yeah, sure,” Cody said breezily. “I go to a place, I get dirty, I get paid, I come back to the office. The usual.”

“No crazy monsters to chase?”

“Not yet,” Cody replied. “But the week is still young.”

“Yeah, true. Well, take care.”

“You, too,” Cody said. “Talk to you soon.”

“Bye.” Demetrius disconnected the call and stood for a moment in Eunice and Hubert’s maritime themed living room, smiling at the salt water fish tank. It had been good to talk with Cody, even if it was for just a few minutes. He did miss the big lug, he had to admit that.

Demetrius took a breath, let it out, then headed back out on the lanai where his father and Eunice were arguing over which grocery store that had the best price for turnips.

*     *     *

Cody stood in the middle of his apartment living room holding his phone. The sound of Demmy crying had flipped a protective switch inside him that he couldn’t seem to deactivate once it had been thrown. No matter what Demmy had said after he’d pulled himself together, Cody knew he and Amelia should be down there.

He scrolled through the contacts list in his phone and touched Amelia’s number, listening as it rang on her end.

Amelia answered sounding slightly out of breath. “Hi Cody, have you heard anything?”

“I just talked to Demmy and he’s trying to tell me we don’t need to be down there, but…”

“I want to go,” Amelia said immediately. “Do you think we can get flights this late?”

“Not sure, but that’s pretty pricey anyway,” Cody said. “Tell me, how many miles do you have on your car?”

~ * ~

I hope you enjoyed this latest chapter of my Story Orgy Creature Feature. Leave a comment if you’d like (it’s always fun to get mail!), and then hop on over to the blogs of the other Story Orgy writers. Some of us may take a week or two off, but we’ll be around for the most part. Like our Story Orgy Facebook Page for details about all of our writing. Feel free to like my pages as well if you’re interested in becoming a true Hankie: Hank Edwards Facebook Page or the Venom Valley Series Page, or follow me on Twitter. Go ahead and give the other participating Story Orgy writers a read: Lee Brazil and Havan Fellows as well as Em Woods, who might drop in for a prompt or two. Have a very good week and I’ll see you next Monday!

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