I slept in the dungeon with Ben and my boys that night and woke up surrounded by naked men. I started laughing, that’s what woke up the others.
“Why’s she laughing?” Mark asked Miles.
I was in tears from laughing so hard. Ben just looked at me like I was insane.
I hiccupped my way through an explanation: “Bad porn movie.”
That set the rest of them off. We sat there for what must have been twenty minutes just laughing.
“Come on, the lot of you. Get up. I don’t want Ben’s mother coming down here and finding you all naked. Not good for first meetings.” I said as I stood up and reached over to the stack over towels that we kept down there for full moon nights. I passed them out and watched Miles and Mark leave.
“Oh, Marlowe?” Miles said.
He threw the vest and bow tie at me. “You ever pull that crap again I’ll shred you. You should know pink isn’t my color.”
I watched him sail out of the room as only a miffed gay man could. I dissolved in to laughter again and Ben followed me.
“You didn’t really put that on him, did you?”
I nodded. “Yes and your mother helped.” I started laughing again.
Ben gaped at me. “Oh that’s brilliant.”
“I know.” I said as I calmed down and wiped the tears from my eyes.
Ben grabbed my hand and pulled me close. I stood up on my tiptoes and kissed him. “Shower?” I murmured.
“Shower. Then greetings to my mother. I need you first though.” He said as he secured the towel around his waist and hauled me up.
“You have this need to carry me, don’t you?” I asked him as we made our way out of the door and up the stairs.
“You’re not getting away from me, Oberly. I carry you so you can’t run.”
I kissed him again. “I’m not going anywhere.”
We were up the stairs without seeing anyone and back downstairs for breakfast in less than 90 minutes. The scene in the kitchen when his mother walked in was priceless. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man that large, cry that hard. It was something I’ll never forget. I might have started crying and been hugged by Miles when he walked in and saw what was going on. There might have been enough tears in the room to make Alice jealous.
I couldn’t sit there and cry any longer, so I got up and started making breakfast while they were catching up. I had beef sausage frying when Ben finally pulled himself away from his mother. He came over and kissed my neck. I laughed and pushed him off.
He laughed and his mother joined him.
“You are so my child.”
Ben grinned at her and stole another piece of sausage patty when I wasn’t looking.
“You’re going to be dead if you steal another one.” I slapped his hand when he tried again and he looked offended.
Miles and his mom just laughed at him.
“She warned you.” Miles said as he sipped his coffee.
I took a good look at his outfit today and laughed. “I thought you said pink wasn’t your color, Miles.”
Jude caught on and started laughing. His shirt was pink and he was wearing a light blue tie. Miles just winked at us both. Mark walked in and Jude went over to hug him. What ever was said, I couldn’t hear, but Mark smiled and kissed her cheek.
I slid Ben’s plate in front of him when the eggs were done and murmured in to his ear that we needed to talk later. Ben nodded and tucked in to his breakfast. Soon the whole kitchen was in want for a lack of noise as it was filled with the goings on of a reunited family breakfast. We got the whole story of the time Ben went spying on their Jewish neighbor because he was convinced she was a witch who could talk to animals. She couldn’t, but Ben could. So when he tripped over a brick and landed face first in her garden, it was an interesting when he was able to tell her dog not to kill him. That lead to a lot of teasing at the table and a red face for Ben. It was adorable.
Ben had taken the day off so he was in charge of dishes while I went upstairs to change for work. I had a 1968 Impala coming in to the garage that I was itching to get my hands on. I was out the door in less than an hour and at the shop to open for the day. When I got there though, the Sheriff was waiting for me with Steve’s father. That pissed me off. He was supposed to be staying away from me and my place of business. I was finally getting the chance to reopen since his idiot son’s plan to kill me. I pulled the car in to the lot and parked it, got out and walked over to the Sheriff, completely ignoring the pompous ass.
“Good morning, Sheriff. Any news on my shop?”
Sheriff Stiers smiled at me. “As a matter of fact, I do.” He tossed the keys to me. “You’re all set to open up this morning and I need my cruiser’s break pads changed. They’re starting to squeal.”
“Happy to help the BPD, Sheriff.” I smiled as I tucked the keys into my pocket.
I could see the Mayor out of the corner of my eye getting even more pissed off the longer I talked to just the Sheriff. Good. I was still supremely pissed and I wanted him to suffer. However, the Sheriff changed things when he spoke to the Mayor.
“You had a few words to say to the victim, Mayor.”
“Hello, Mayor Miller. I trust you’re well?” I said as politely as I could. I couldn’t help the tone of ‘fuck you, old man’ that managed to sneak in to my tone.
“Very well, thank you. I’m sorry to hear about your shop and the troubles you experienced here last week.”
“Thank you for your kind thoughts, Mayor. I’m sure my attacker will get justice done to him.” I immensely enjoyed the bright shade of purple that came over the man’s face.
“I’m sure it will be fair.”
“Oh, I hardly think it will be fair in this town. That’s why I had my lawyer issue papers last Friday to move the arraignment and trial down to Goose Creek.” I said.
When the Mayor’s mouth started moving like a guppy and no words came out, I enjoyed the fight that took place on his face. Whether to respond to me as the Mayor, or as the father of my assailant. The Mayor side won, which was a pity because I would have enjoyed the shouting match that would have happened.
“I’m sure you’ll get fair and swift justice, then.” He said. “I must be going. I hope you have a good day.”
“and to you as well, Mayor Miller.” I replied.
I watched the man get in to his car and drive off. Then I lost it and the Sheriff joined in with me.
“Oh, I don’t ever think I’ve seen that man, that pissed off.”
“I have and the show that’s going to happen down at the court house is going to be something I’m sorry I’m going to miss.”
“It’s a good thing I didn’t file the papers there, but in the federal court down in Goose Neck.” I said as I tried to regain my composure.
“You did what? I thought you were joking.”
“I’m not. I’m going to put that man in his place. It’s long past time someone did and I’ve had enough of him. He may be a damn good Mayor, but he’s shit with everything else.”
“Be careful, Marlowe. He’s not know to be forgiving.”
“Neither am I, Eric. That man is going down.” I pulled the keys back out of my pocket and jingled them. “Now, about your cruiser,”
“All right, all right. It’s all yours.” He said.
Three hours later the Sheriff was on his way with a full set of brake pads, new spark plugs, new oil filter, oil change and his tires changed over from summer to winter radials. I was just starting to think about the Impala that would be coming in when the Mayor charged back in to the yard. I immediately picked up the phone and told the Sheriff, then stepped out to greet the Mayor. I was thankful I had the common sense to have a video surveillance system installed after the incident with Steve. I knew this wasn’t going to be pretty.
“You bitch!” He shouted as soon as he stepped out of the car.
I stayed where I knew the cameras would pick up everything. I’m not stupid and he knew it, which is why he surprised me when he slapped me.
“You filed them in FEDERAL COURT?” Mayor Miller shouted. “Are you insane?”
“Not insane, Mayor. Pissed off. Your son assaulted me. I wasn’t going to make it easy on you to get him pleaded out to a lesser charge. Your son committed a feral crime.” I said back, biting off my words because I was trying my hardest not to hit him back.
When the Sheriff pulled back into the yard, I stepped back from him and behind the door to my shop. I locked the door before he could follow me inside and busied myself with the tape of what just happened. I watched the Sheriff through the glass door as he argued with the Mayor. I wiggled the DVD case at him when he looked at me. He nodded and motioned for me to wait. I waited until the Mayor was done shouting at him and then pulled the recording of the last hour, burning it to a DVD. I let the Sheriff take photos of my face, which was still red from where he slapped me.
“That’s going to bruise, Marlowe.”
“I hope it does. More evidence.”
“You’re falling in to their trouble.”
“All I did was move here, Eric. They started it, I’m just going to finish it.” I said firmly.
The Sheriff stepped close and dropped his voice. “Do us all a favor and don’t get killed in the process. You’re not the only one in this town that has power.”
I dropped mine and let my eyes go silver as I stared at him. “No one knows just how much power I have, Eric. Not even you or Ben.”
I forced my eyes to go back to normal as he stared.
“You,” He paused. “are trouble.”
I laughed. “Possibly.”
He stepped back with DVD case I handed him.
“I’ll be down after work to sign the papers, Sheriff.”
The Sheriff nodded at me as he strode off and put the Mayor in his car. Front seat, of course. I shook my head and went back to work. Today had given me a headache and it wasn’t over yet. I waved at Miles as he drove by, his eyes were huge. Well that takes care of one problem, I thought.
I worked straight through the day, went and signed the papers and made my way home. Ben met me at the door and got a look at my face.
“Miles called. He was driving by when it happened. Why didn’t you call me?!”
“I called the Sheriff. He wasn’t that far away and was there in five minutes. I signed the papers, he’s got an assault charge on him now.” I pushed my way in to Ben’s arms and sighed.
Ben kissed my hair and held me close. “I was worried.”
“I know. I saw Miles drive by and knew he’d tell you. That’s why I didn’t bother to call, Miles is a one man gossip network.”
Ben kissed my hair again. “He is, but you still should have called me.”
I didn’t want to fight about something this dumb. I knew where he was coming from. “All right, so long as your promise that the next time George sends your for stitches, you’re calling me and not James to come get you.”
I felt Ben flinch at that one and I smiled. “Two can play the ‘you need to call me’ card, Ben.”
I pulled back and looked up. He smiled and bent to kiss me.
“All right. No more calling anyone else. We call each other first.”
“Deal.” I said and I kissed him again. “I made breakfast, who’d got dinner? I’m starving.”
“My mother cooked.”
“Oh did she now? I said as I shed my coat. It was cold as hell outside. “Lets go eat. I can’t wait to try what she’s made.”
I hooked my arm in his and we walked in to the kitchen.