Story Orgy – Creature Feature – Chapter Eleven

Hi friends and happy Monday! I’m currently in San Diego a few days early, getting ready for the start of GRL, also known as Gay Rom Lit, the funtastic gathering of authors, readers, and reviewers of all things gay Terror By Moonlight_cvrromance. Even though I’m on the other side of the country from my faithful writing desk, I couldn’t leave you hanging with no post! So get ready to read on for more Creature Feature with Demmy and Cody.

The first book of this series, Terror by Moonlight, is available at Wilde City Press , Amazon , and All Romance eBooks! Check out the case that started it all for Demmy 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: Death changes everything.

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

Story Orgy Creature Feature

Chapter Eleven

Hank Edwards

(c) 2015

While Hubert corralled the barking Pomeranian dogs into a back bedroom, Demetrius stood beside Cody and stared out the patio door at the alligator floating in the pool.

“Think we could lure it out of there?” Demetrius asked.

“You going to cut your palm to do it?” Cody wondered.

“Um, no,” Demetrius replied.

“Me neither.” Cody looked around the living room of the condo. “Think these people left a chicken in the freezer?”

“Interesting thought,” Demetrius said, and headed for the kitchen.

There was nothing in the freezer except vegetarian microwave meals and some ice cream. The refrigerator held only condiments and some suspicious looking cheese slices.

“Great, the only seniors in the whole complex who eat out every day,” Cody mumbled.

Hubert stepped into the kitchen and gave them a frown when he found them looking in the refrigerator. “What are you doing?”

“We were going to try and lure the alligator with a frozen chicken or something,” Cody said.

“The  Underwoods are vegetarians,” Hubert said, his tone making it more than obvious that he thought the idea and, most likely the two of them, idiotic. “Come on, we’re wasting time. The dogs need to wee wee and I’m not walking them on a leash in this heat.”

Hubert stomped out of the kitchen and Demetrius looked at Cody. He found him looking right back at him, trying to hold in a laugh. Demetrius held a finger up in Cody’s face, but felt himself grinning as he whispered, “Don’t you dare laugh.”

“He said ‘wee wee,'” Cody whispered in a voice choked by laughter. “Hubert the grump said ‘wee wee.'”

“You keep that laughter in, Cody,” Demetrius said. “Don’t you dare laugh.”

“You two cooking me dinner in there or what?” Hubert called from the other room.

“Coming,” Demetrius replied, then lowered his voice. “Pull it together!”

“Why didn’t you tell him we were taking a wee wee?” Cody asked.

Demetrius broke into a snuffling, snorting laugh and saw that Cody had tears running down his face as he tried to laugh as silently as possible. Demetrius leaned his head onto Cody’s shoulder and laughed along with his best friend, letting go of all the worries about his Mom and money and life in general and simply enjoying the moment. Cody put his arms around Demetrius and held him close, and for once, Demetrius allowed himself to be supported by Cody’s strength. It felt good to give up not just his concerns about everything in his life, but also the physical strength of just standing on his own feet, even if it was just for a moment.

Their laughter faded, but Cody kept him close for a little longer, and Demetrius was surprised that he wanted to linger there in Cody’s strong, warm, still slightly damp with sweat but not a gross way embrace.

“You two make out on jobs back home all the time?” Hubert asked from the kitchen doorway.

Demetrius pushed back from Cody and felt himself blush as he stammered over his words that seemed to tumble out of his mouth in a rush. “What? No! We weren’t making out. We were just…” He stopped, unable to find the words to explain what had been happening between him and Cody.

“I wasn’t… We weren’t…” Cody said at the same time Demetrius was speaking.

Hubert looked between them, then shook his head and gestured over his shoulder with his thumb. “Well, whatever it was, you’re burning daylight. Let’s get a move on. That gator’s not going to vacate himself.”

Hubert walked away and Demetrius looked at Cody.

“Sorry,” Demetrius said.

Cody shook his head, but couldn’t seem to look Demetrius in the eye. “What? No! Not your fault. I shouldn’t have… It was just something silly that…” He blew out a breath and stepped aside, waving for Demetrius to precede him out of the kitchen. “After you.”

Demetrius nodded and walked past him. Hubert waited until they were both at the door, then slid it open and all three stepped out onto the patio. Even though they were under the shade of the awning, Demetrius instantly started to sweat, but he wasn’t sure if it was mainly because of the heat, or his proximity to the alligator.

“How do you want to do this?” Demetrius asked.

“Carefully,” Cody replied, his eyes on the gator.

“That would make for a nice change,” Demetrius said.

Cody spared him a glare. “Cute.”

Demetrius gave him a tight grin. “I thought so.”

Cody looked around the pool area. “There’s one of those cleaner things over there by the shed. We could try to lure it to one of the pool corners and get some rope around the snout.”

Demetrius nodded, then asked, “Where are we getting the rope?”

“I don’t know,” Cody muttered. “I’m making this up.”

“Let’s check out the pool equipment they have,” Demetrius suggested.

They walked around to the other side of the pool, giving the edge a wide berth. The alligator moved its tail back and forth, spinning itself to watch them.

“That’s bigger than ten feet,” Demetrius said.

“Never took you for a size queen,” Cody said, surprising a laugh out of Demetrius.

“Inappropriate,” Demetrius replied, “for many reasons.”

The leaf rake leaned against the shed, and a life ring hung on the outer shed wall. A length of rope was attached to the life ring, and Demetrius watched as Cody tested its strength. A splash from the pool behind him made Demetrius yelp and jump forward to the fence and turn to look back. The gator had turned to float back into the deep end of the pool, keeping one eye on them as it slowly swished its tail back and forth in the water. Demetrius let out his breath and tried to step away from the fence, but his shorts caught on something. He looked down to see a gap where the wire fencing had pulled away from the steel pole, obviously where the alligator had gotten into the yard. A long, slimy looking strand of moss or seaweed had snagged on the top of the cyclone fence, and Demetrius leaned in to peer at it more closely.

“Okay, I have a plan,” Cody said.

“Huh?” Demetrius looked over at where Cody stood with the leaf rake in one hand, and the life ring rope coiled in the other. “Oh, yeah. Okay.”

“You distract it with the leaf rake, and I’ll lasso its snout.”

“Yeah?” Demetrius asked. “Have you ever rally lassoed anything before?”

“Have you?” Cody asked in reply.

Demetrius sighed. “Fine.”

He took the leaf rake and warily approached the deep end of the pool. The alligator turned to keep him in sight. Cody circled around the other side of the pool, the rope held loosely in one hand. Hubert stood back in the shade under the awning.

“Hey buddy,” Demetrius said as he dipped the end of the leaf rake in the water and made some splashing sounds.

“Let’s get you out of there, okay? You’ve got to hate the chlorine, don’t you? I bet it’s messing up your eyes, isn’t it?”

The alligator floated closer to the edge of the pool. Demetrius took a couple of steps back, extending his reach to keep the leaf rake in the water.

“Careful Demmy,” Cody said in a calm, gentle voice.

“Yep, absolutely,” Demetrius replied.

He knew alligators could move fast, but when the thing lunged at the leaf rake, as prepared as he thought he was, he was still unprepared for it. The gator grabbed the leaf rake in its strong jaws and twisted as it dove beneath the water. Demetrius reacted without thinking and tightened his grip instead of releasing the rake. As the gator pulled the leaf rake under, it pulled Demetrius into the pool and under the water as well.

Fear flared inside him like a supernova. He finally released the leaf rake and struggled up to the surface. This section of the pool was ten feet deep, so he couldn’t touch the bottom, and every moment he expected to feel the alligator’s jaws clamp down on his foot, or his leg and drag him underwater for good. Demetrius swam toward the edge of the pool that now seemed miles away instead of just a few feet. Cody was shouting something, but Demetrius couldn’t make it out over the sound of his own panting breath and splashing water.

Story_Orgy_logoSomething hit him in the back of the head and Demetrius screamed, thinking it was the alligator. But then he realized it was the life ring, and that Cody had thrown it to him. He grabbed the ring to hold himself up and looked across the length of the pool as he reached out for the concrete edge. The alligator swam right for him, its snout creating a furrow through the water. Demetrius’s heart pounded and his breath came in short pants. He was never going to see how his mother’s surgery went. He was never going to see his parents again. He was going to die with a whole list of things he had yet to do.

Cody was shouting his name over and over again, but Demetrius could not understand what he was saying. All he heard was the blood rushing in his ears and the sound of his own breathing. The alligator lifted its nose up out of the water and started to open its jaws. It was only a few feet from him now, and coming fast like a speed boat.

Demetrius pushed off from the wall, dragging the life ring along without thinking about it, just wanting something to hold onto, something other than water to touch to keep him anchored in life. The alligator hit the edge of the pool, sending a tidal wave of water out onto the deck and thrashing its tail in anger. Demetrius did the side stroke, heading for the shallow end of the pool as he kept the gator in sight, his left arm hooked through the life ring.

The alligator dove under the water and a sense of panic enveloped and consumed the fear inside him, building on it, quadrupling then octupling it lived within him like some kind of invasive spirit, making it difficult for him to breathe. Demetrius swam faster, kicking with his feet, stretching with his right arm as he watched behind him for any sign of the alligator. It was coming up from beneath him, he knew it, but there was nothing he could do about it.

Something tugged on the life ring, pulling him off his course and toward the side of the pool closest to the house. At that moment he felt the swell of displaced water behind him and it pushed him even further toward the house side of the pool. The alligator had surfaced right where he had been swimming, and if he hadn’t been pulled out of the gator’s path, Demetrius would have been dragged beneath the water and drowned.

Cody crouched on the side of the pool, Hubert right behind him, both of them pulling on the rope tied to the life ring, dragging Demetrius through the water toward them. Both men were shouting, but Demetrius still couldn’t understand what they were saying as his heart pounded, his breath rasped in his throat, and the water sloshed around him. He touched the side of the pool and then reached up, feet kicking, stretching for the bottom but still unable to find it. How fucking deep was this pool, anyway? Then Cody had  hold of his hands and lifted him out of the water and into his arms.

“I’ve got you,” Cody said, holding him tight against him. “I’ve got you. You’re safe.”

Demetrius’s heart pounded, and he could feel Cody’s heart beating in time. They both had been frightened by his fall into the pool.

“Someone’s upset he missed dinner,” Hubert said from behind Cody.

“Look out!” Cody said and pulled Demetrius back from the edge of the pool.

The alligator hauled itself half out of the pool, jaws opening and closing as its claws scrabbled for purchase on the slick concrete. Demetrius found himself staring down into the gator’s gullet, and when it closed its jaws briefly, reacted on instinct. He crammed the life ring onto the animal’s snout and pushed as hard as he could. The ring stuck tight around the alligator’s jaws and it dropped back beneath the surface of the water, the rope trailing after it.

Cody let out a whoop of joy and pulled Demetrius up against him, back to front, for a strong hug. Demetrius clung to Cody’s strong forearms as he leaned back against his strong frame, shivering even in the humid heat of the day as the adrenaline left his body.

“I thought I was dead,” Demetrius said.

“I thought so, too,” Cody said, and hugged him a little tighter. “I need to talk to you.”

“About what?” Demetrius asked. Hubert was tracking the alligator from the far end of the pool, pointing to it and laughing as the gator tried in vain to dislodge the life ring from around its jaws.

“Everything,” Cody replied. “Near death changes everything.”

“Let’s get rid of this gator first,” Demetrius said. “Then we can talk, okay?”

“Yeah.” Cody released him, but kept his big hands on Demetrius’s shoulders for a moment before finally letting go.

“Okay,” Cody called to Hubert. “We’ve got it kind of contained. How do we transport it back to the swamp?”

“The Underwoods have got a cart they bought from an airport auction,” Hubert replied, pointing to a roll up door for the garage. “It should manage the weight of the thing. We just need to wrangle it into the cart.”

Cody looked at Demetrius and rolled his eyes. “Oh, is that all?”

“Yeah, right,” Demetrius said, then looked away, wondering what it was Cody needed to talk about.

“It’s doing it for us!” Hubert shouted, pointing at the pool.

The alligator had been spinning beneath the water, doing barrel rolls as it tried to free its jaws. The rope attached to the life ring had wound around its body, pinning its front legs against its belly and further securing the gator.

“Holy shit,” Cody whispered. “We’re gator wranglers.”

“We are not adding this to our business cards,” Demetrius said.

“I am with you on that one,” Cody agreed. “Okay, let’s get this guy out of here.”

It took less time than Demetrius had expected. With the gator’s jaws secured, they used their end of the rope to pull it into the shallow end. Demetrius and Cody then got into the waist deep water and secured the alligator’s legs with the rest of the rope and made sure the life ring would keep the jaws shut. With much grunting and swearing, they lifted it out of the water and onto the hard backed transport stretcher they found on the far side of the shed and belted it in place.

“Good thing the Underwoods believe in being prepared for anything,” Cody said as he hefted his end of the stretcher.

“This thing weighs a fucking ton!” Demetrius said, muscles straining as they hurried the gator to where Hubert had backed the cart out on to the deck of the pool.

They had to rest one end on the cart—they chose the end with the gator’s jaws—and Demetrius and Cody help up the tail end of the stretcher as Hubert slowly pulled the cart through the garage and out onto the driveway. As Demetrius and Cody shifted the gator to ride across the back compartment, Hubert closed up the garage and let the Pomeranians out to ‘wee wee’ on the small strip of grass.

“I could use a wee wee myself,” Cody muttered.

“I don’t, I went in the pool,” Demetrius said, and they both laughed. “What did you want to talk with me about?”

Cody looked at him, really looked at him, and gave a mysterious half smile. “We’ll talk later.”

“Okay.”

Hubert returned and set off at a slow pace down the road, and Demetrius wondered what it was Cody wanted to talk about as he sat on the cramped back jump seat facing Cody, both of them with an arm around the gator to hold it in place. People stopped to stare and drivers swerved to give them plenty of room as Hubert cruised slowly down the street. Soon, they came to a cul-de-sac and Hubert pulled into a narrow driveway that led to a chain link gate secured with a padlock. A sign posted on the gate stated EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK – OFFICIAL ADMITTANCE ONLY.

“You’ve got a key to the Everglades?” Cody asked as Hubert got out of the cart.

“Let’s just say I found one,” Hubert replied with a wink.

He unlocked the gate and pushed it open, then climbed back into the cart and drove through the gate and onto a long, bumpy dirt trail. Trees grew close to either side of the trail, moss and lichen hanging from the branches down into the dark, still waters of the swamp. The air was close and even more humid inside the trees, and bugs swarmed them almost immediately.

“Great place your folks moved to,” Cody griped as he swatted several bugs in a row. “Does our health care cover malaria treatment?”

“I don’t think I checked that box when I signed us up,” Demetrius replied.

“Did they mean to move in behind the nation’s biggest swamp?” Cody asked.

“It’s not a swamp,” Hubert said over his shoulder, “it’s swamp-ish.”

“Swamp-ish?” Cody and Demetrius said together.

“Yeah,” Hubert replied with a wave of his hand as he kept his eyes on the trail. “Not really a true swamp, but it is a wetland. It’s swampish, but not a swamp.”

“Thanks, that clears it up perfectly,” Demetrius said and exchanged a wide-eyed look with Cody.

The alligator struggled within the rope and belts keeping it in place on the stretcher and they both tightened their grips on the board.

“I think we’re far enough from the condos now,” Cody said between swats.

The bugs didn’t appear to be bothering Hubert, and Demetrius wondered if there was some secret lotion he and Cody weren’t told about.

“Still too close,” Hubert said over his shoulder. “This gator needs to not find his way back again.”

They rode for another fifteen minutes, the alligator becoming more and more agitated the deeper they traveled into the Everglades. Birds called all around them and they drove through several swarms of biting bugs that left Demetrius and Cody covered in welts.

“Enough!” Cody shouted and reached forward to grab Hubert’s shoulder. “We’re getting eaten alive back here, man! Come on!”

“Okay, okay!” Hubert shouted back with a wave of his hand.

He brought the cart to a stop and they all clambered out. Demetrius and Cody did quick dances to shoo away the bugs swarming around them, and then approached the gator. Demetrius was at the head and watched the alligator’s eyes roll back and forth, scanning the area as they lifted the stretcher off the cart and carried it a few feet off the trail toward the dark, swampy water.  The ground was soft and their feet sank up to their ankles in muck.

“Oh, gross,” Cody exclaimed. “It’s in my shoes and my socks!”

“I know!” Demetrius said. “Me too!” He looked over his shoulder to where Hubert stood back on the trail. “This is so very much a swamp!”

“It’s not!” Hubert called back. “it’s–“

“Yeah, yeah, we know!” Cody shouted as he struggled in the muck. “It’s swampish!” He struggled to pull his foot free and finally said, “Here. Just set the fucking thing down here!”

Demetrius was glad Cody called it, because his left foot was stuck up to his shin in muck. He was afraid he was going to lose his shoe trying to pull his foot out. They set the stretcher down with the gator’s snout pointed toward the water about five feet away. Cody eased kept the stretcher belts fastened and slowly unwound the rope. He waved his hand at bugs and swatted a few, but kept focused his task as he had to pull the rope out from under the gator’s belly and then untangle it from around its legs. When he had the rope completely unraveled from around the alligator, he eased the life ring off the snout. The gator opened its jaws as it tried to get off the stretcher, but it was still belted down tight.

“On three,” Cody said as the gator thrashed back and forth. “One, two, three!”

Demetrius released the seatbelt style clasp on the belt near the tail at the same time Cody released the clasp on the belt near the gator’s head. They leaned back as the gator clawed its way off the stretcher… and turned away from the water and back toward the trail. It rushed past Cody who stood stuck in the muck, shouting in terror and waving his arms overhead. Demetrius was similarly stuck, his feet buried in mud, and they could only stand and watch the alligator run fast up to the trail and then head back toward the gate.

Cody looked at Demetrius, his expression of incredulousness mirroring just how Demetrius felt.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Cody shouted.

“Oh my God!” Demetrius shouted back.

“It’s going right back to the condos!” Cody looked over to the trail. “Hey, Hubert! That gator doesn’t like your swampish national park any more than we do. I guess he’s taken a liking to the taste of chlorine!”

Demetrius was focused on pulling his foot free without losing his shoe, so he didn’t think anything of it when he heard Cody calling Hubert’s name over and over again. He finally managed to work both feet free of the muck with his shoes still on, and he made his way carefully back to the trail, dragging the stretcher behind him. He stood beside Cody at the back of the cart and they looked up and down the trail.

“Where’s Hubert?” Demetrius asked.

“That’s what I’d like to know,” Cody replied.

~ * ~

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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