Story Orgy – Creature Feature – Chapter Nine

Hi friends and happy last Monday of September. We are officially in autumn now!

Terror By Moonlight_cvrThe 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!

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: Once…

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

Story Orgy Creature Feature

Chapter Nine

Hank Edwards

(c) 2015

Demetrius yawned as he stood in line in the Coastal Waters Memorial Hospital cafeteria, holding two large cups of coffee. Both he and his father had had a tough time getting up and moving that morning. Apparently, Eunice’s super duper rockin’ and rollin’ margaritas packed more of a punch than either one of them had realized. Now, while his father visited with his mother in ICU, Demetrius had volunteered to make a coffee run to the cafeteria.

He remembered talking with Cody early in the evening, but couldn’t remember what had been said. As he shuffled up to the register, a bleary memory surfaced of him crying while talking with Cody, and he must have flinched because the woman behind the register asked, “Everything all right, dear?”

Demetrius flashed a quick smile and said, “Yeah, thanks,” as he handed over the twenty his father had given him, trying not to feel guilty about the fact that he was almost thirty years old and still taking money from his father for coffee.

The quiet sounds of the hospital pinged and scuffed and squeaked and gurgled around him as he made his way through hallways to the elevator, then up to his mother’s floor. She was sleeping when he walked in the room, her face turned away from the door and toward the corner where his father had dozed off in the one comfortable chair. Demetrius took a long moment to study them both, feeling as if a bubble of warmth and peace surrounded them all right this very moment, shutting out the ICU and the nurses and the reality of his mother’s condition. Right now it was just the three of them here together, just like it had been while he’d been growing up.

His birth had surprised them just when they had been planning out their retirements, but all of his life, they’d given him everything he needed and most of what he wanted. They had never once made him feel guilty for his late arrival, they’d only made him feel loved and cared for. When he’d realized he was gay, Demetrius had suffered with years of crushing guilt over being unable—unwilling?—to provide them with the standard daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Sure, he could adopt, or find a woman willing to be a surrogate, but Demetrius knew it wouldn’t be the same.

When he’d finally come out to them, they’d been quiet, but supportive. They’d told him it wasn’t the life they’d hoped he would lead, but that they loved him and supported him and wanted him to be happy. And then they’d each hugged him and told him it was okay to be gay, that they knew some very nice gay men who owned a florist shop in town and they seemed happy, and so they were sure he would be happy, too.

Now, as he leaned in the doorway of his mother’s hospital room, tears filled Demetrius’s eyes and he set down both coffees to grab a tissue from the box near his mother’s bed. He used the abrasive tissue to wipe his eyes and wondered why the hell hospitals couldn’t spring for a softer tissue with all the money they raked in. He decided to let his parents both rest, and set his father’s coffee on a small table beside him then left the room. He stopped at the nurse’s station down the hall and asked how his mother had slept, then when the doctor would be making rounds.

“Not until three o’clock,” the nurse replied, “sorry.”

“Ugh, long day,” Demetrius said. “Any word on a time for my mother’s surgery?”

“Oh, yeah, they have her set for 7:00 AM tomorrow,” the nurse said, then frowned. “No one told you? I’m sure we discussed it with your father.”

Demetrius sighed. “He probably thought I was there with him and heard it as well. Okay, thanks for letting me know.”

With the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon stretching before him, Demetrius decided to go down to the lobby. He needed some time to think and the cafeteria would soon get crowded and loud as more people arrived and lunch approached. He left a note for his parents telling them to send a text when they awoke, then he took the elevator down to the first floor. After getting turned around a few times, he finally figured out the color coded signs and lines on the floor of the hallways and stepped out into the glass and steel lobby where he paused to look around. Half of the lobby had been built as a large interior garden, with a number of paths and spaces set aside with benches near water features and colorful beds of flowers. Demetrius wandered through the paths for a bit, then settled on a bench set off in a corner that also allowed him a view of the hallway to the main elevators so he could keep an eye out for his father.

His brain was still sluggish from the tequila the night before, and Demetrius let his thoughts wander. He thought about growing up in Parson’s Hollow with older parents and how alienated and different from the other kids he had felt until he had met Cody. They had just enough in common to be able to stand just how different they were from Story_Orgy_logoeach other. Cody had always been exuberant and just this side of wild, having grown up as the middle child of five boys who were being raised by parents most considered just this side of hippy status. Demetrius, on the other hand, liked to read, spend time on his own in the woods around Parson’s Hollow exploring nature and birdwatching, and was the only child of parents who had already applied for the AARP cards. Once… well, more than once, Cody had claimed Demetrius was the oldest kid he had ever met. Memories of his time spent growing up with Cody made Demetrius smile, and he checked the time on his phone. It was just after eleven in the morning, and hopefully Cody was out on a job and earning them some money. Even though Marshall had promised to pay for Demetrius’s flight, there was still the matter of all the utility bills, both at the office and their apartments.

Demetrius decided he was too tired at that time to call Cody and check in on things, so he put his head back and closed his eyes. He needed to put aside all of his worries, the finances would take care of themselves, or they would close up shop and find new jobs. Either way it worked out, Demetrius knew he and Cody would still be friends, although if he had his preference, he’d rather keep working with Cody than meeting up for drinks with him after whatever soul-crushing desk jobs released them for the day. The past few months had provided more excitement, more danger and death, and more craziness than Demetrius had ever anticipated he’d experience in his lifetime. But the fact that Cody had been beside him the entire time had made Demetrius feel safe and protected.

Though right this moment he felt calm and relaxed, Demetrius knew tomorrow would be difficult. The doctors had said her bypass surgery could take six or more hours. And then there was recovery time in the hospital, and then recovery time back home which would take weeks. He’d have to arrange for someone to assist his parents at home for a while before he could even think about heading back to Parson’s Hollow. Again, too many thoughts tried to crowd into the front of his brain, and he made himself take a breath and push them all aside.

He listened to the quiet sounds of the water features and soft bird songs piped in from hidden speakers and let his mind drift. A bit of meditation instruction from a cassette he’d used during high school to help him prep for final exams came back to him and he latched onto it. He was a boat on a calm lake. Around him is nothing but silence and water. On the lake there is no vanity, no ego, no arguments. Here there is only himself and the space he is taking up. His problems and concerns have been left back on the shore and only rest and tranquility have accompanied him.

“Demmy?”

Demetrius started and opened his eyes, blinking up, way up, at the man standing before him. He had dozed off during his meditation and was a little confused, frowning as he stared up at this new arrival. Where was he? Was he back home and had been dreaming this whole time that his mother was going to have heart surgery?

“Demmy, it’s Cody.” He hunkered down in front of the bench and looked him in the eye, concern clear in his expression. “Everything okay? You all right?”

“Hi,” Demetrius said, and pushed himself upright on the bench as he looked around in confusion. He was still in the lobby of the Coastal Waters Memorial Hospital, he sat in the garden and could hear the bubbling of the water and the electronic bird sounds. But if he was here, how was Cody crouching in front of him? “What? How?”

Cody smiled and the warm and wonderful sight of it made Demetrius smile in return.

“After you and I talked last night I called up Amelia and we drove down,” Cody explained. “She drove the first five hours while I slept, and then I drove the rest of the way.” He widened his eyes, the dark chocolate brown so familiar and comforting. “I’m kind of tired, but I’ll sleep when I’m dead, right?”

“But, who’s running the office?” Demetrius asked.

Cody rose to his full six foot five inches with a grunt and sat on the bench next to him. “Well, remember I told you about Jugs helping me out?”

Demetrius nodded. “Yeah. But he’s not trained.”

Cody shrugged. “I trained him.”

“In a day?”

“It was a crash course,” Cody said, then put an arm around Demetrius and pulled him in close. “Sorry if I smell funky, but I just spent sixteen hours in a car driving like hell.” He chuckled. “Aunt Amelia could be the next Danica Patrick.”

Demetrius pushed away from Cody and glared at him. “Dammit, Cody, I told you things were fine down here. And now you’ve hired someone we barely know to run our business while we’re both away? Come on, I trusted you to be responsible and take care of things back home and a day later you show up down here in Florida. How is this helping us grow our business? How is this bringing in money for us to be able to live on?”

Cody’s open and earnest expression shut down as Demetrius spoke, and he pressed his lips tight together. When Demetrius had finished, Cody looked at him and when he spoke his voice was chilled by anger. “I appreciate what you’re saying, but I feel like you’ve stepped over a line, Demmy, and it hurts. Just so you know, I came down here to support you during a really difficult time, so I’m sorry if my concern for you and my friendship has become a bother to you, because like it or not, I think of you as my best friend first and my business partner second. And, second, your Aunt Amelia wanted to come down and I suggested she and I drive down in her car to save all of us the money of a last minute flight, which I would hope you could appreciate since you jumped on one to come down here yesterday. I would have appreciated hearing a thank you instead of getting bitched out for leaving someone behind to field calls and manage our business, yes for a cut of the money coming in, but also as maybe a future employee we could use to, I don’t know, go on vacation ourselves.”

He got to his feet and stood looking down at him, his expression and stance so closed off and defensive a tidal wave of shame and guilt swamped Demetrius.

“Cody…”

“I get that you’re stressed, okay,” Cody interrupted him. “But it doesn’t give you the right to be an asshole when someone does something nice for you. You could be a decent human being about how much Amelia and I put ourselves out to be down here to support you and provide what help we can.”

He turned and started to walk off, but Demetrius was fully awake now and got to his feet quick, grabbing Cody’s arm and pulling him back. Cody resisted, but just slightly, and that gave Demetrius hope that he hadn’t done any permanent damage with his rant. He tugged on Cody’s arm, feeling the muscle tighten beneath his fingers and wondering how it would feel to be as strong and tall as Cody even as he pulled his friend around to face him again.

“I’m sorry,” Demetrius said, looking Cody in the eye as he continued to hold onto his upper arm. “Please forgive me. You surprised me and I had just been worrying about money before you showed up.”

Cody grunted and looked away a moment, then back at him. “You’re always worried about money.”

Demetrius nodded and grinned. “I’d have to agree with you about that.” He gave Cody’s arm a gentle shake.

“Forgive me?”

After letting out a heavy breath, Cody nodded and pulled Demetrius in for a tight hug. “How could I stay mad at my best friend?”

Demetrius closed his eyes and lost himself in the damp heat of Cody’s body and the vague funk of his travel sweat. It was good to have Cody here now, despite his concerns about what was happening back home with their business. Now with Cody alongside him, Demetrius felt he could handle anything that might happen.

“Cody?” someone said from behind them, and they turned to see Marshall standing there with Amelia beside him, both of them smiling.

“Hi Mr. Singleton,” Cody said, and reached out to shake Marshall’s hand.

“Oh, stop that handshake foolishness and come here,” Marshall said and pulled him in for a strong hug, looking ridiculously short and elderly compared to Cody. That didn’t stop Marshall from thumping Cody on the back a few times before releasing him and stepping back. “And I think it’s time you started to call me Marshall. You’re more like family than anyone else in Demetrius’s life.”

“Marshall it is,” Cody said, and glanced at Demetrius, his grin igniting a warm feeling of home inside Demetrius’s chest. Then Cody looked back at Marshall and asked, “Can we see Mrs. Singleton… sorry, Olivia?”

Marshall frowned. “I’m sorry, son, it’s family only. They’re very strict about that sort of thing here.”

“You take Amelia upstairs, Dad,” Demetrius said. “Cody and I will head to the cafeteria.”

“You sure?” Amelia asked as she moved around Cody and Marshall to give Demetrius a hug.

Demetrius hugged her back, grateful she had arrived to help take some of the pressure off of him. “Oh yeah, I’m sure. I’m getting hungry anyway.”

Marshall and Amelia turned away, then Marshall turned back and pulled his phone from the pocket of his shorts.

“Oh, I forgot, Hubert sent me a text asking if you could help him with something back at the condos.”

“Oh?” Demetrius asked, curious what Hubert would need him for since the condo association had a maintenance crew. “Do you know what it is?”

Marshall shook his head. “No idea. I’ll forward you the text and his number. Here, you can take our car since Amelia has her car here now.”

Demetrius accepted the keys and pocketed them, then looked up at Cody as Marshall and Amelia turned the corner and disappeared from sight.

“Well, we can go back to my parents’ condo and you can get a shower and sleep a bit if you want,” Demetrius said.

Cody nodded, his expression thoughtful as he met Demetrius’s gaze. “Yeah, why don’t we head back there. I’m not that tired right now though, I had a few energy drinks the last leg of the drink so I’m pretty perky.”

“Oh boy,” Demetrius said with a groan and led the way toward the parking garage and his parents’s car. “Try not to over perk yourself, eh?”

“I love it when you talk dirty,” Cody said.

“I know you do,” Demetrius replied, and punched the button for the elevator, then grinned up at Cody. “I’m glad you’re here.”

Cody furrowed his brow. “Really?”

Demetrius nodded. “Really. I just hope Jugs doesn’t burn someone’s house down.”

Cody shrugged. “We’re probably due for that ourselves, the luck we have.”

“Good point.”

The elevator arrived and they stepped into the car. As the doors slid shut, Demetrius’s phone buzzed and he looked at the text from his father with Hubert’s phone number and the brief message the man had sent. No clue in the message as to what Hubert wanted Demetrius’s help with, and he wondered what he might be in for. Well, if Cody was going along with him, Eunice would probably fall all over herself to get Cody to drink one or two of her super duper rockin’ and rollin’ margaritas, and that would open the doors to anything happening. Oh boy.

~ * ~

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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One Response to Story Orgy – Creature Feature – Chapter Nine

  1. Lee says:

    Oooohhhh . Give him a margarita! Give him two! *sits back to see what happens*