Story Orgy – Creature Feature – Chapter Ten

Hi friends and happy first Monday of October!

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: It was the smallest of regrets.

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

Story Orgy Creature Feature

Chapter Ten

Hank Edwards

(c) 2015

Thoughts collided inside Cody’s mind as Demetrius drove them back to his parents’ condo. Each collision caused the thoughts to explode into other, smaller thoughts that branched off into a wide variety of directions his brain tried to follow. Demetrius was talking about his Mom’s condition and the strong drinks he’d had the night before, but Cody was only half listening. He was still pretty amped up on the energy drinks, and whenever he turned his head it felt like his brain took a couple seconds longer to catch up.

And then there was the whole needing to talk to Demmy thing. There was a speech running on a constant loop in the back of Cody’s mind, sort of like a film clip in a museum that just repeats itself every few minutes. In his internal film clip, however, he could see himself from Demmy’s point of view, and he looked beat up and wicked bad. How long had it been since he’d had a decent night’s sleep? Shit, those missed hours seemed to be stacking up harder against him now as the years piled on him. Anyway, in the film clip, he would be able to see and hear himself stumble through an admission of sorts, that went something like, “Demmy, we’ve been friends for most of our lives, and now we’re spending even more time together running a business. As you know, I’ve been pretty restless in my dating life, only staying with the same girl for a few weeks at most. Well, I’ve done a lot of soul searching about it, and I think I’ve figured out what’s been missing.” Here he paused for dramatic effect and looked Demmy right in the eye. “You.”

“Goddamn it, take the senior shuttle and save all our lives,” Demetrius practically shouted. His exclamation pulled Cody out of his thoughts and back to the present where Demmy was trying to avoid rear ending a senior driver who had come to a sudden and complete stop directly in front of them. The elderly driver sat half outside of the center left turn lane, and now that all forward motion had halted, decided to switch on the left turn signal.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Demmy grumbled and waited for a break in traffic to their right before speeding around the elderly man who could barely see over the steering wheel.

“You okay over there?” Cody asked.

“I’m fine,” Demmy muttered. “Sorry about that.”

“Perfectly understandable,” Cody said. “It’s like a whole state filled with Widow Monroes.”

Story_Orgy_logoDemmy laughed, which was what Cody was going for. JoAnn Monroe, known around Parson’s Hollow as the Widow Monroe, was the widow of the town’s late fire chief who passed away forty years ago. She held a special place in the heart of the townspeople, for even as the hospital burned and collapsed before her, her husband trapped inside, JoAnn Monroe kept her emotions in check and continued to tend to the injured lying on the south lawn.

Now that the Widow Monroe was in her nineties, 96 at least, she refused to quit driving. For the safety not just of the Widow Monroe but everyone in town, the sheriff had installed a revolving yellow light on top of her car. It was a beacon to all others, motorists and pedestrians alike, and allowed people to keep track of where the widow was and adjust their own speeds and trajectories accordingly. Though she was annoying and, everyone quietly admitted, a menace to public safety in general, Cody had to concede the point that the Widow Monroe had inadvertently saved their lives a few months ago by running down a rage and steroid fueled monster pursuing them who had once been Reed Wilkes, a local farmer. All hail the Widow Monroe.

Cody looked over at Demmy’s profile, taking note of the strong line of Demmy’s nose, his rounded chin with its perfectly centered dimple, and a day’s worth of beard. He wanted to say something reassuring about Olivia’s condition, and then follow it up with a hint at the confusion of feelings that teemed within him… but the words, so clear in the film clip looping over and over in his brain, seemed muddled and in the wrong order when he considered saying them aloud.

Demetrius turned the car into a retirement village, which looked like every other one they’d passed, and Cody let the moment pass. If he tried to say something now, after being in the car for more than 16 hours and buzzed on energy drinks, he’d most assuredly fuck it up even more than he would if he were completely prepared. No, better to wait and get it at least half right than rush into it and get it all wrong.

Besides, Cody wasn’t really, truly sure he was ready for this big of a change. He knew he wasn’t satisfied with his personal relationships, but he wasn’t completely convinced he was prepared to switch teams and go gay, or at least bi. And he was definitely not sure he wanted to risk the most important relationship outside of his family on that kind of experiment. No, he needed to think about this for a bit longer, and get it right.

“Here we are,” Demmy said as he pulled into a driveway.

Cody stepped out of the car and groaned at the damp heat. He looked up and down the street at the condos that lined each side and then looked at Demmy. “How the hell do any of them get back to the right house?”

Demmy laughed and shrugged. “Your guess is as good as mine. Some of them have seasonal flags to stand out, but the association has really strict rules about making changes to the condo’s appearance. Maybe it’s how the association employees get their kicks?”

“Weird,” Cody said, then grabbed his duffle out of the backseat. “Okay, let me drop off my bag, drain the dragon, and wash up a bit, then we can see what this old guy needs us to do.”

“Drain the dragon?” Demmy repeated as he preceded Cody to the front door.

“Well, it’s much bigger than a lizard, so, you know, I’m not gonna short change myself,” Cody said.

“I see.”

“Do you?”

Demmy unlocked the door and stepped into the condo and Cody followed, sighing gratefully at the cool air conditioning. He followed Demmy down the hall to what he assumed was the guest bedroom and they stood side by side just inside the door as they looked at the two single beds, one neatly made and the other with sheets in a tangle, apparently the one Demmy had slept in the night before. A small nightstand separated them, with barely enough room on its top to support a tall lamp and a wind up alarm clock.

“Which one of us is Laverne and which is Shirley?” Cody asked.

“Well, given your dating history, I’d say you should be the one with the big L on your chest,” Demmy replied.

Cody nodded in acceptance. “I see your point.”

He dropped his bag on the neatly made bed and unzipped it. After pulling out his flip flops, a few pairs of underwear and shorts, Cody finally found his toiletries bag. Demmy still lingered in the doorway and Cody held up his kit.
“Bathroom?”

Demmy stepped out into the hall, and pointed toward the far end. “Bathroom is two doors down on the left.”

Cody head for the bathroom, but stopped and turned back when Demmy called his name.

“I really am glad you drove down,” Demmy said, and shrugged. “Sorry I lashed out at you. I know you did it for me, to support me and my parents, and I appreciate it.”

Cody smiled and felt something within him loosen a bit at Demmy’s apology which sounded more sincere than it had back at the hospital when Cody’s anger and frustration had been so close beneath the surface of his skin.

“You’re welcome, Demmy. I’m glad to be here.”

After peeing for what felt like half an hour, Cody brushed his teeth, gargled with mouthwash, washed his face, and applied fresh deodorant. He felt a little better when he stepped out of the bathroom, closer to human at least.

Demmy was not in the bedroom when Cody walked in to return his shaving kit, and he took the opportunity to survey the narrow gap between their single beds. As best friends, they’d slept in the same room numerous times over the years, but with Cody’s recent contemplations about their relationship, this time the room sharing might be a little more awkward.

“You ready?”

Cody looked up and found Demmy standing in the doorway, keys in hand and that familiar expression that was a mix of slightly impatient touched with a bit of anxiety on his face. Cody stuffed his shaving kit back into the duffel he had haphazardly packed before Amelia had driven over to pick him up, and nodded.

“I’m ready. Let’s hit it.”

He followed Demmy down the hall and out the door, both of them griping about the heat the minute they stepped outside. Cody walked to the passenger door of the car and was surprised to see Demmy walk past the car and down into the street.

“We’re not driving?” Cody called out.

“No, Hubert lives just down the street.”

Cody felt his shirt already sticking to his back. “Oh? How far? Should we maybe drive down there in case we need to get the car like real quick?”

Demmy looked back at him, hands on hips. “I know the heat is a lot to get used to, but everyone sweats down here, Cody. You’ll get used to it, too.”

“Ridiculous state,” Cody muttered as he tromped down the driveway after Demmy. “No wonder it’s full of old people, their blood’s a lot thinner.”

It felt to Cody as if the sun were focused on them through a giant magnifying glass, probably pay back for all the ants he’d burned in such a manner when he was young. He regretted doing it now, but it was the smallest of regrets. Right now the heat was making him so crabby he’d set a whole colony of ants on fire if it would help ease his tension.

A few condos down from the Singleton residence a large boat anchor rested in a flowerbed, surrounded by some kind of wonder flower that didn’t seem to mind the blazing sun and heat. Demmy turned up the driveway and knocked at the door, and Cody noticed a long line of sweat sticking the back of Demmy’s T-shirt to his spine. He wondered whether he would be inclined to run his tongue through beads of sweat on Demmy’s skin if they did ever have sex, and the confused turmoil in Cody’s mind, sudden hardening of his cock, and oppressive heat nearly made him pass out. Thankfully, the door opened and an attractive woman in her mid-sixties stood there, looking cool and fresh. She smiled at Demmy, then set her eyes on Cody.

Over the years, he’d become pretty good at detecting the predatory lust in the gazes of women he met, and this woman took that lust to a whole new level. She practically dropped to all fours and let out a cougar growl. In a moment, however, she recovered herself and, running a hand through her platinum hair cut in a shoulder length bob, she stepped aside and allowed them to enter the deliciously cool interior.

“Thank you for coming over, Demetrius,” the woman said, then stood in front of Cody with her hand held out. “And who might this be?”

“This is my friend and business partner, Cody Bower,” Demetrius said. “Cody, this is Eunice Potts, Hubert’s wife.”

Cody heard the undercurrent of warning in Demmy’s tone, but Eunice either didn’t hear it or didn’t care about it, as her smile broadened and she took another step closer. Cody reacted on instinct and leaned down to kiss the back of Eunice’s hand.

“A pleasure to meet such a fresh daisy of a woman among all this humidity and heat.”

“Oh, my,” Eunice said, then stepped back when her husband entered the room.

“Took you long enough,” Hubert groused, and then glared at Cody. “Who’s this one?”

Cody stepped forward, hand extended. “Cody Bower, sir. I’m Demmy’s business partner and good friend.”

“Business partner?” Hubert nodded, ignoring Cody’s hand as he looked between him and Demmy. “Good. It’ll probably take the two of you. You’re animal control back up north, right?”

Hubert headed for the front door, and Cody sagged a bit when he realized they were headed back out into the heat and scorching sunlight. With a tight smile and a nod toward Eunice, Cody followed Demmy who followed Hubert out into the swampy heat.

“Yes,” Demmy was replying to Hubert as they headed across the street. The condos on this side of the street butted right up against a chain link fence behind which stood thick trees hung with moss. “We run a business called Critter Catchers.”

“Good name,” Hubert said over his shoulder. “Cute and catchy.”

Cody was surprised to hear such a description from the gruff and seemingly just this side of miserable man. Before he or Demmy could reply, however, Hubert pulled a key ring with a number of house keys from his pocket. He sorted through the keys and selected one which he fitted into the lock of a door at a condo which sported a Georgia Bulldogs flag. Two small Pomeranian dogs barked and pawed at the windows to either side of the door and Hubert groused at the animals as he pushed the door open.

“I know, I know,” Hubert told the dogs. “I’ve got help now. You can go out into the backyard soon.”

The air in the condo was cool, and Cody wondered if his skull might crack at such a drastic temperature change. The Pomeranians trotted around all of their feet, barking and pausing now and then to paw at their legs. Cody resisted the urge to reach down and pet them—he didn’t trust small dogs—so instead he nodded down to the keyring in Hubert’s hand.

“That’s a lot of keys,” Cody said.

“Yeah, I’m the pet sitter of a good part of the village,” Hubert said, and gave a small shrug. “I like the animals. This condo belongs to the Underwoods. They’re away visiting their grandkids in Arizona. But that’s beside the point. This is the problem I need help with.”

He led them to a sliding door and they stood side by side peering out at the backyard. The Pomeranians barked non-stop and pawed at the glass door, and Cody winced at the sound as he wished Hubert would just open the door and let the little rats out already. Something had to be amiss, though, so he looked around the backyard. An inground pool took up the majority of the backyard, save for a small patio right outside the sliding door and a strip of lawn the dogs probably wished was four times as wide. An awning extended from the back of the condo out over the patio, casting cool shade over a couple of tables and a number of chairs. An inflatable raft in the shape of an alligator floated low in the water.

“Notice anything unusual?” Hubert asked.

“Nice pool,” Cody said, then looked at Demmy. “Do your folks have a pool?”

“No,” Demmy replied with a sigh, then he frowned and squinted, leaning in closer to the patio door. “Did I just see what I think I saw?”

Cody looked out the door again. He frowned as he looked the backyard over, trying to find something unusual. “What did you see?”

“Is that a live alligator?” Demmy asked.

“What?” Cody stared at the pool float and jumped when the eye facing him blinked. “Holy shit. That’s a gator!”

“You’re both pretty quick,” Hubert said dryly. “Yeah, it’s a live gator.”

“Uh,” Cody said, but Demmy picked up his train of thought and interrupted him.

“Hubert, we’re not licensed to work here in Florida,” Demmy said. “And especially not with alligators!”

“I’ll pay you five hundred dollars,” Hubert said.

Cody lifted his eyebrows and looked back out at the gator. It was about ten feet long, but that didn’t seem that big when he considered the five hundred bucks.

Demmy cleared his throat. “That’s a generous offer, but surely there’s a team or a group associated with the village here that would handle this?”

“There’s been a lot of gators in peoples’ pools lately,” Hubert replied. “So they’re a little tied up. Until next week, actually.”

“That many gators?” Cody asked.

“That many gators,” Hubert said.

“Is that a typical number of gators in pools?” Cody wondered.

“No, it’s a lot higher than normal,” Hubert said, then shrugged. “Seems to be going up just like the number of missing people lately.”

“Think the gators are getting the people?” Cody asked.

“Doesn’t seem to be the case. Lot of the people are away from home when they go missing. You probably saw the notices at the hospital.”

Cody shook his head, but Demmy nodded and said, “I did see a number of flyers. My Dad said they were posted at the hospital in case the seniors had memory problems and ended up there.”

“Not that many Alzheimer’s patients around here,” Hubert said. “They’re in more controlled places.” He lifted his chin toward the pool beyond the door as the dogs continued to bark like mad. “What do you think? I’ll give you eight hundred, and that’s as high as I’ll go.”

Demmy blew out a breath and looked up at Cody. “What do you think?”

“Eight hundred bucks could help a lot,” Cody said. “It’s just an animal, right? And, to be honest, we’ve dealt with worse.”

Demmy smiled and nodded. “True. Okay, let’s give it a try.”

~ * ~

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 Ten

  1. Lee says:

    Why do I detect something ominous in that? “Just a gator” comment? oh yeah! Cuz with Hank and these guys it’s NEVER JUST anything! Can’t wait for next week!