End of the First Week With the Parents, Part 3

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.

“Yes, Miles?”

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.

“Sausage thief.”

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.

-Marlowe.

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Halloween, Part 3

I spent most of the day with Ben after Mark dropped off the blanket and things. He wouldn’t let me get up for longer than a few minutes it would take to go to the bathroom and come back. Even then, he was usually pacing the floor or twitching his tail nervously. It was late in the afternoon when the Sheriff arrived to check on us and by that time, I pretty much had it worked out that I was going to be stuck in the great hall for the night. Ben was showing no signs of changing back.

“Marlowe, I hate to ask you this..”

I took my attention away from my book and looked up at him standing at the gate. I sighed when I spotted the small army of officers behind him.

“Let me guess, you want to place him under 24 hour guard?”

He looked a little startled. “Um, no. You’ve already gotten him calmed down enough. He’ll be okay for the evening. What I want is permission to search the house.”

Ben growled and I placed a hand on his muzzle. He quieted down. “Why do you want to search the house?”

“The other dragon’s homes had hex bags. That’s what was causing them to change out of cycle.”

“So you think there’s one here?” I looked up at Ben, who nodded. “Okay. Be my guest. You just can’t come in here.”

The Sheriff nodded. “I understand. We’ll search the rest of the house first. If we don’t find it there, it’ll have to be that room.”

“Then I’ll have to search for it because he won’t let you come in here. He wouldn’t even let Mark bring me lunch. He’s scared, Eric.”

The Sheriff sighed. “Okay. Search the room. If you find it, burn it right away.”

I nodded and got up out of the nest I’d made in between Ben’s front legs. He rumbled in his chest, so I patted his muzzle.

“Now Ben, I need to find it so you’ll turn back. You can’t stay like this forever. I was kind of hoping we could finish what we started this morning.”

He huffed out a breath that smelled of sulfur and nuzzled my midsection gently. I smiled and scratched his chin.

“Help me search? Will you pick up the heavy furniture?”

Ben nodded and picked up the couch so I could examine underneath. No hex bag. It was the same for every place that I looked in the hall. Even with Ben’s help and lifting me to the high places to look, there was no hex bag to be found anywhere.

“No bag, Eric. Anywhere. Ben and I looked” I said when I saw the Sheriff come back to the gate.

“Well that’s okay. It’s a big castle, we’ll find it.” He said, then he looked up at Ben. “Where was he when he first started to change?”

“The Master suite. Bedroom and bathroom.” I said, blushing a little.

The Sheriff didn’t say anything, just gestured for the deputies with him to go upstairs. Miles followed to show them the way.

“You two aren’t planning on children anytime soon, yes?”

The question for me came out of no where. I was confused at first, but then I realized why he was asking.

“No, we haven’t discussed it yet. Or marriage. The houses moved us in together this morning.” I said as Ben nuzzled my back. His other self knew I was worried.

The Sheriff sighed. “I’m glad you’re not miffed at me. You know why we keep the dragons under careful watch.”

“I know. If they’re not at home after the change where they can calm down, they end up like George.” When the Sheriff looked puzzled I gestured to Ben. “He explained what happened shortly after the scarecrow incident.”

Sheriff Stiers nodded. “Well, at least he told you what’s going on.” There was a smile on his face suddenly. “So when are you two getting married? There’s a pool going around that says it’ll be next year. I’m down for New Years Eve.”

I let out a startled laugh. “How much?”

“How much what?”

“How much is in the pot?”

The Sheriff scratched his chin. “Well, I’d say there’s around five grand in the pot right now. I’m in for a hundred.”

I smiled and made my way over to the chair where my bag ended up. Plucking the wallet from inside, I pulled out a fifty and handed it to the Sheriff, who looked at me funny.

“I know Ben. I’ve got fifty says he proposes on Thanksgiving.”

Sheriff Stiers looked from me to the fifty and grinned. “You’re going to say yes, aren’t you?”

“I dunno, I guess I’ll make that decision when he asks.”

“Not very helpful, are you?”

“You’ve already made your bet, moving the date based on insider information wouldn’t be professional, would it?” I said with a grin.

Before he could answer back, a shout came from upstairs. I tossed my wallet into my bag and trotted over to the gate. Ben made a keening noise so I didn’t step outside, but rather pulled the gate closed. Just in case. I watched Miles come running down the stairs wearing a pair of gloves and holding a bag.

“Where was it found?”

“Bathroom, just behind the towels.”

“How could someone have gotten it in there? with out us knowing?”

“Well, we’ll ask Ben if he’s had any unusual visitors lately after you burn this.” The Sheriff said as he passed me a pair of gloves. “Make sure Ben doesn’t set fire to it himself.”

I pulled on the latex gloves and took the bag from him, running over to the fireplace, I started a fire and threw the bag in to it as soon as the flames got high enough. I heard Ben growl from behind me, then start lashing his tail. For the first time since that morning, I was scared.

“Come here, Marlowe.” Miles called and I jogged over to the gates again.

Ben made another keening noise and I stopped just shy of the gates. Turning back to him, I watched Ben move very slowly and very deliberately in my direction. He looked like a wounded animal in need of help. I couldn’t leave him. I met him halfway and knelt down to put my face even with his as he laid down in the middle of the room. I scratched his chin and heard Miles and the Sheriff curse at me for staying.

“I’m not leaving, Eric. I’m staying here with him.”

“He’ll eat you.”

“No he won’t. He’s in too much pain.”

I watched Ben keep from the transformation and slowly his wings retracted in to his body. His eyes were glazed over. Now I understood why he always changed after falling asleep. No one would want to be awake for this torture. I rubbed my hands over his muzzle and head, singing his lullaby softly as he changed. Looking up at the clock that was still on the mantle over the fire-place, I marked time.

“Marlowe? How’s he doing?” The Sheriff asked me after a half hour had passed.

“Pain, that’s all he feels right now, but I can see his toes and fingers turning back now.” I rubbed Ben’s muzzle more, leaning my head down on to his.

I could see his chest collapsing inward so that it was more human shaped and flinched when he moaned deeply. Wiggling my fingers at the blanket I was wrapped in earlier, with my talent I forced it to come to me. The edges were stitched with gold thread and I wasn’t sure that it would work, but I was happy that it did. I can control most metals. They also talk to me, tell me stories and the lives of the people who’ve touched them. Right then I was profoundly grateful for my weird ass talent.

“Marlowe? I didn’t know that worked on blankets.”

“Gold thread on the edges.” I replied as I wrapped Ben’s lower half in the blanket.

“Oh, but aren’t those precious metals?”

“Still metal, Miles.” I didn’t bother saying anything else, Ben’s head and shoulders were beginning to turn back to their original form.

I had to close my eyes. Hearing it was bad enough, I didn’t need to see the bones in Ben’s face reshape themselves. After nearly two hours of changing, Ben was finally back to himself again. His head was in my lap and I rubbed my hands over his back and shoulders. He sighed and passed completely out.

“He’s out, Eric. You can come in now.” I heard the gate open behind me and the shuffling of feet.

“I need you to step back, Marlowe.”

I shook my head and stayed right where I was. I wasn’t leaving him. I heard the Sheriff sigh and motioned for the two EMTs that arrived while Ben was changing, to check him over.

“Sheep?” Miles said as he knelt next to me.

“Yeah, Wool?”

“I think you should let them take him to the hospital. You don’t know what damage could have been done to him because he changed outside the cycle.” Miles said as he put a hand on my shoulder.

I almost shrugged it off, but I could hear real concern in Mile’s voice. Before I could answer, Mark knelt next to me too and echoed Miles’s concern. I gave in. Anything to make sure Ben wasn’t harmed.

“Eric?” I said as I watched the EMTs take Ben out the door.

“Yeah, Marlowe?”

“I want you to find the bastard that did this to Ben. I want them to pay for hurting him. If you don’t, I will.”

Sheriff Stiers just nodded. There wasn’t much he could say that would calm me down. I was angrier than I’d been in my life. Not even when Timothy would hurt me was I this angry. I turned on my heel and stormed up the steps to shower and change before going to the hospital. I had to give myself enough time to calm down or other wise I’d freak out over seeing him on a hospital gurney. That wouldn’t do anyone any good.

I made my way back downstairs thirty minutes later to discover that the Sheriff had left a Deputy behind to take me to the hospital. I was grateful, because I was still too angry to drive.

-Marlowe