Family Goes, Trouble Stays: Part 4

I woke up the next morning with a dragonet breathing in my face and a foot shoved in to my side. Raising my head, I looked down at where the foot was coming from. I saw the dogs crammed into one side of the bed. I looked over and saw that Logan had taken over the majority of the bed with his wings and tail. Eyeing him, I realized that he’d grown again.

I pushed myself up and sighed. He was getting too big to sleep in the same bed as the two of us. Ben would have to talk with him when he was well enough. I wiggled out of the bed and made my way to the bathroom. Thirty minutes later I was getting dressed and pulling my boots on to head back to the hospital. I was about to pull my coat on and head out the door when Logan chirruped from behind me and landed on my back.

“Logan!” I shouted as he wrapped his tail around my waist and his wings folded down around my shoulders.

His front and back legs were hooked in before I could stop him and he chirruped again. I looked back and found him looking at me, eyes wide and innocent looking.

“Oh, no. You are not going to the hospital with me.” I said.

I got a growl in response.

“Not going to happen.”

Another growl. I sighed.

“Fine. Just keep your head down and don’t let anyone know you’re under my coat.”

A happy chirrup and he settled down, drawing himself tighter around me. I decided then to trade my coat for a cloak. Flinging it over my shoulders I hauled the both of us out the backdoor and to the car. We drove together in silence to the hospital.

Walking in to the front doors, I quickly signed in and made my way up to Ben’s room. In the elevator though, Logan was getting antsy and chirruped from under my cloak.

“Hush. We’re almost there.” I said to him, silently thanking the gods that we were alone.

The doors opened and I met the Sheriff.

“Uh, Hi!” I said. It sounded a little too bright and I cursed under my breath.

“Hi.” Eric replied. He eyed my cloak and newly acquired hump. “Brought Logan with you?”

“Damn it, how did you know?”

“He is sticking his nose out.” Eric said with a chuckle.

“Logan, you’ve got to listen to Mommy and stay under the cloak.” I whispered. The nose disappeared.

“Don’t let the Nurses see him.” Eric said as he got on the elevator. “Ben’s fine, slept through the night. No trouble.”

“Thanks, Eric.” I said.

“You’re welcome.” He said and the doors slid closed.

I turned and made my way to Ben’s room, closing the door behind me.

“There’s trouble.” He said and I turned around with a gasp.

“Don’t scare me like that!”

Ben laughed. Hearing Ben’s voice made Logan chirrup and stick his nose out again.

“Is that who I think it is?”

“He wouldn’t let me leave the house without him.” I replied and took off the cloak.

Logan gave another happy chirrup and spread his wings out. Ben laughed.

“He’s so pleased with himself.” Ben said.

“I’m glad he’s pleased, tell me why he’s pretending to give me wings?” I said as I made my way over to the bed.

“He says you need your own.”

“Tell him I have my own. I have yours.”

“He says that doesn’t count. You need your own.”

“Stubborn.” I replied and Ben chuckled.

“He’s Max’s kid, you expected different?”

I sighed. The thought of Max still made me sad that he would never see Logan grow up. Logan felt my change in mood and started rubbing his nose against my cheek.

“He doesn’t want you to be sad.” Ben said he reached out for my hand and I slid mine in to his. “I don’t either.”

Logan slid off of my back and on to the bed between Ben and I. He crammed his head under my chin and chirruped.

“He’s sorry.”

I sighed and scratched his chin. “It’s okay. I miss my friend and your dad. I’m sad he won’t get to see you.”

Ben looked at both of us and sighed. “I try not to think about it. Max would think it was hilarious. Especially the part where he thinks your his Mom.”

I smiled. “He would have made all kinds of jokes by now about how we were supposed to wait for the wedding before having kids.”

Ben laughed. “I would have probably been honor bound to beat the hell out of him for making some kind of joke about how you and he had some great big affair.”

I started laughing. “That would be him. He would have done that.”

My eyes filled with tears suddenly and I looked up at Ben.

“Oh, habibi. I miss him too.”

I crawled on to the bed and tucked myself in to Ben’s arms. “He needed to be here for this.”

Logan crooned and wiggled until he was wedged between us, his head resting on Ben’s chest.

“He’s sad that he made us sad.”

“You did tell him this wasn’t his fault, right?”

“Yes. He doesn’t believe me though.”

“It’s not your fault, Logan.” I said to him. I got nuzzled in return.

We were still laying that way when the doctor came in to the room. Logan chirruped and stuck his head over my shoulder before I could stop him.

“I’m not even going to bother asking.” The Doctor said.

“My son.” I said.

“I don’t want to know. I’m not interested in knowing. I don’t see him here. Understand?”

“Perfectly.” I turned to Logan and said. “You’re not here, be invisible.”

I waited for him to catch on and sat up, turning my back to him. Logan latched on the way he did before and tucked his head down. I watched the doctor shake his head.

“Families.”

“Now Greg.” Ben said.

“That’s Doctor to you right now, you’re still my patient, not my colleague.” The Doctor said. He moved to Ben’s chart and I hopped off the bed and tossed the cloak over Logan and myself in case any nurses showed up. “Now, your tests came back fine. You slept through the day and night, but that was expected.”

“When can I go home?” Ben asked.

“In a few hours. We want to observe you a little while longer, to make sure there are no side effects we’re missing. If you do well at lunch and keep that down, I’ll send you home.” The Doctor said. “With light work. I know the kind of work load you keep.”

“I’m the only vet in town that deals with the Other, you know that.” Ben said.

“I know and you might want to think about taking on a partner this Spring. You’re going to be ass deep and satyrs.”

“Everyone keeps saying that, but I haven’t been able to get in to the archives to look at what’s going to happen.”

“You still don’t have a key? Even I have a key.”

“but you deal with the Other in their human form.” I said from where I was sitting with Logan on a chair. “That’s more important apparently.”

“Fair enough. Vets aren’t usually taken seriously.”

Ben grumbled under his breath. I missed what he said, but Greg the doctor laughed.

“Yeah, it is harder than Yale.” Greg said.

I smiled and looked over at Ben. I mouthed ‘I love you’ to him. He mouthed it back. Greg rolled his eyes.

“You two are hopeless. Congratulations, by the way.” He said.

“Thanks.” I said with a smile.

“I’ll leave  you now, check in on you later. Keep Logan out of sight if you can. I don’t want the whole floor in an uproar because there’s a pocket dragon on the floor.” Greg said as he mad his way to the door. He stopped and turned around. “Wait. I got a better idea. Let me get a wheelchair.”

Greg stepped out of the room and Ben chuckled.

“What?” I asked.

“He’s going to take us down to the children’s wing.”

I started laughing. “Oh, that’s the best place for us to hide.”

“The kids will get a kick out of Logan.”

“If he goes through the Change on the full moon, which Eric thinks he will, He’ll be one of them soon.” I said. Logan chirruped from under the cloak and made us laugh.

“That’s right, you are special.” Ben said.

Greg came back in then and helped Ben into the chair. Ben grumbled about how he wasn’t an invalid.

“You are in my hospital. Stay in the chair or I’m not releasing you.” Greg said.

Ben went quiet and Logan chirruped from under my cloak. I snickered and got a glare from Ben. I choked back a laugh and tried to look innocent as Greg wheeled Ben out, laughing. He nodded to the nurse before continuing our way down to the children’s ward. When we stepped out of the elevator, Greg told me to remove the cloak.

“It’s okay, down here. People are coming in and out with their Other out all day long. It helps the kids feel more normal, like they’re not odd.” Greg said.

I pulled off the cloak and Logan chirruped and flipped his wings out. It startled a nurse as she came out of a room.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake. Greg you could warn a body when you’re bringing someone with wings that big down here.” She scolded Greg.

I started laughing and Logan poked his head out from behind me and started making his happy noises. She yelped and dropped her clipboard.

“Oh my gods. Is that?” She looked over at Greg, who nodded. “I’ve never seen one that young before. How long has it been out of shell?”

“About a week, I think.”

“That’s about right.” Ben said.

“So big, so fast.” She said and stepped over the clipboard to look at Logan.

I smiled and turned around so she could see him better. Logan was preening and chirruping in my ear. I smiled and scratched his chin.

“Are you the birth Mom?” She asked me.

“No, his adoptive Mom.” I replied.

That got me a sharp chirp from Logan. Ben laughed.

“He says you’re Mom. Nothing else.”

I smiled. “Okay, baby.”

Logan chirped and nuzzled my cheek.

“Well, I’ll say. That’s good news for us here.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“We deal with the Other down here, honey. Especially the dragon kin that are just hatched and turned. I’m glad to see he’s doing okay.” the Nurse said. She turned to Ben. “you’d be the vet then. The one that can talk to animals.”

“I am.”

“Good I have use for you. Bring him this way.” She motioned to Greg.

I followed them, folding my cloak and tucking my arms around it. She led us around the nurses station. Ever occupant stared at me and Logan, who happily did his own form of talking at me and to anyone who would pay him attention. I smiled at him and he nuzzled my cheek again while fanning his wings. We were led to a room at the opposite end of the ward and she motioned for us to stop.

“James Keegan changed this morning. We can’t get him to change back. He’s frantic and scared.” she said while looking at Ben. “He’s a gryphon. The only one in town and we don’t know why he changed, but I need you to calm him down.”

“I can try, but I can already tell he’s frantic. He doesn’t understand why he’s here or why he’s in his ‘Moon form’ already.” Ben said.

“He’s here because of a broken wrist he got from that blasted Jim Baker.” the Nurse said.

Greg’s face drew tight. “Again? I warned him if he hurt another kid he’d be sent here to us for safe keeping.”

“You can’t expect a Minotaur child to understand why he can’t play normally with other kids. They’re not as smart as some of the other species.” she scolded.

“I can’t allow a danger outside of the hospital. He’ll have to come here until he can understand why he can’t do things the way other kids can.” Greg flushed.

Ben sighed. “You needed to come to me sooner. I’d have helped.”

“Well you’re here now. Talk to James.” The nurse said. She looked up at me and Logan. “You come with me and I’ll take that. You’ll be too busy in a minute.”

I handed my cloak over to the nurse and smiled. “What’s you’re name?”

“Elsie Gibbons. Come with me. I have some kids who need to see Logan.” She said as she led the way down the hall to a play area.

“I’m Marlowe.” I said to her.

“Well Marlowe, I hope you like loud noises.”

We stepped in to the loud room and the whole place went silent. I smiled.

“Hello.” I said.

“Lady, do you know you have wings?” one of the kids asked.

I laughed. “I don’t just have wings, I have a whole dragon.”

Logan popped his head back over my shoulder, where he had retreated from the noise. He chirped. The kids gasped.

“No way! He’s awesome.” said a little boy with a cat tail.

“He certainly is. We’re just waiting for him to turn in to one of you so he can be even more awesome.” I said.

“Why?”

“Well, I’d like to be able to talk to him without having to use his Papa to translate.”

“His Papa can talk to him while he’s like that?” a little girl with wings asked.

“He certainly can.” I replied.

“What can you do?” Another boy, this time with a couple extra tentacles, asked.

I smiled and pulled out my car keys from my pocket. I made them levitate and another gasp went through the room.

“That is so cool.” the boy with the tail whispered.

I laughed. “I think so too.”

The nurse left me there with the kids and I spent the day answering questions. When Logan slid off my back and bounded towards a little boy in the corner who wasn’t talking or interacting at all. I watched carefully as Logan sprang up and put his paws on his legs. He started talking in his own way and pushed at the little boy’s legs. I waited. I knew he wasn’t going to hurt the little boy, but I still wanted to be sure.

I smiled when the little boy reached out and scratched Logan’s eye ridges. I watched them interact for a few minutes longer before going back to answering the kids questions. The asked everything from my job, to why I had Logan. They quizzed me on my ability and laughed when I made a metal spaceship fly around the room.

When Greg finally came in to the room with Ben, the kids had lost interest in me and where playing nicely with Logan. He was having the time of his life and had managed to pull the little boy in the corner out to play. I smiled and reached over for Ben’s hand, tangling my fingers with his. I looked over at him.

“How’s James?”

“Much calmer. He’s sleeping now.”

“I knew you could do it.” I said. “Now, can you tell me why Logan has taken a shine to that little boy?”

“Sure. He’s a dragon too.” Ben said.

“He hatched a month before Logan. We don’t know where the egg came from. I found him on my way to work on the morning after the full moon. He was filthy, naked and wandering the road way out by Blue Arrow.” Greg said.

“Well.. Sh-uh, crap.” I said, mindful of where I was.

“Crap indeed. He’s got no family.” Greg said, looking at me.

“Oh no. Really?” I said looking at the both of them.

“Now, Marlowe.” Ben said.

I pointed a finger at him. “This is not like bringing home a dog, Ben. It’s a little boy.”

“Who has no one.” Ben said.

I narrowed my eyes at him, then looked over at the boy playing with Logan. He looked up at me and his lavender eyes stared in to mine. I couldn’t help it, my heart melted a little.

“Crap.”

Greg laughed. “You gave in faster than I thought you would. Ben went on and on about how stubborn you were.”

“Does he have a name?”

“Alphonse.” Ben said.

I sighed. “Who saddled the kid with that name?”

“He did. He likes it.” Ben said.

“I’m assuming you are already listening to him?” I said.

“Yes. Marlowe I know it’s not like a dog, but he needs a home. Family. You said yourself the other night that we were building one. What do you say about starting with Alphie?”

I looked from Ben to Greg to Alphonse and sighed. “Okay. I give in. We’ll take him home with us.”

“I’ll get his discharge papers and yours, Ben. There’s nothing wrong with him, I just didn’t want to release him. He has nowhere to go but an orphanage and I didn’t want him leaving Blueville.” Greg said before he stepped out.

I looked over at Ben. “You do realize that this means the Castle is going to bud new rooms, the dogs are going to go nuts and Miles and Mark  are going to tell us we’re nuts, right?”

“Yep.”

“Ben?”

“Yes?”

“You bring another animal home from your practice and I’ll bury you in the backyard. Alive.”

“Now, habibi.”

“No, Ben. We’ve got too much on our plate now. No more animals. We’ve got two kids, two dogs, two roommates, and a fire-breathing bearded dragon.”

Ben went silent. “Okay. No more pets for a while.”

“A long while.” I said and called over to Logan.

He ran over with his tail wrapped around Alphonse’s wrist.

“Honey you’ve got to let Alphonse go. He can’t run as fast as you can on all fours.” I said to Logan.

Logan chirruped at me and looked up at Ben, who nodded. Logan let go of Alphonse and climbed into Ben’s lap. Ben looked at Alphonse and suddenly, my lap was full of crying child. I held Alphonse as he cried, rocking him back and forth and rubbing his back.

“I take it he’s happy?” I said to Ben.

Ben nodded. I sighed and cuddled Alphonse. When Greg came back in with the papers, I signed my name without thinking twice.

“Two kids.” I said to Ben as we walked out of the hospital. “I come for my Dragon with one in tow and walk out with two.”

“I like big families.” Ben said to me.

“You also like silence, which you’re not going to get anymore.” I warned.

“We’ll make it work.” Ben said as he kissed me.

We got to the car and I managed to convince Alphonse to sit in the back with Logan, who was talking happily to his new brother.

“Can they understand each other?”

“Yes.” Ben said as he went around to the other side and got in.

“Interesting.” I said.

“I’m getting to you. Pretty soon you’ll be helping me in the field.”

I shook my head and got into the car. I started the car and headed for home with my newly expanded family in tow.

“Miles is going to freak out.” I said.

“I know, isn’t it great?”

I laughed.

-Marlowe

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Family Goes, Trouble Stays

We all do things for love that we don’t intend to do. Which is why on a Wednesday morning I was on my way home from seeing that Ben’s mum made it to the airport safely. I returned her car and was waiting to be picked up by Ben. He was late. I checked my phone again for the seventh time in twenty minutes and found no call or text from Ben, I was certain that there something wrong. So I called the Sheriff.

“Ben was supposed to pick me up but hasn’t called. I’m worried. Have you heard from him?”

“No, but I can tell you where he is.” The Sheriff said with a sigh.

“Eric, please. I’m terrified.”

“He was forced in to the change again. He’s currently out of his mind and chained to a rock in the middle of Strauss National Forest.”

My heart dropped and I froze. “No,” I whispered.

“Yes. He was caught outside. Thank the stars that Miles was with him. They were shopping for your ring in  Serene Harbor.”

“You know, I never understood why they named that town the way that they did. There’s no harbor anywhere near there.”

“Focus, Marlowe. You’re panicking and it’s making your attention drift.” Eric said with a sharp tone to his voice.

Now that I’d focused back on him, I could feel the panic creep up in to my chest.

“I need to be with him. He’ll calm down for me.”

“We’ve already sent a car. You’re still at the rental place?”

“Yes. I don’t plan on moving.”

“Smart. They’ll be there in ten to pick you up, I sent them over forty minutes ago.”

“Oh good. I’ll be waiting.” I paused for a second. “Oh and Sheriff?”

“Yes?”

“The son of a bitch that keeps doing this to us? I’m going to kill him.”

“Her. We now know the person who’s doing this is female and at this point, I just might let you.”

“See you soon.” I said and hung up.

I waited in the lobby of the car rental place until the sheriffs car showed up. Inside was Pete, who I had met at Thanksgiving.

“Hey Pete.” I said as I popped inside the car and settled in. “Miles already knows I’m on my way, so does the Sheriff. Floor it.”

“Nice to see you too, Marlowe.”

I flinched at his dry tone. “Sorry. I’m worried about Ben.”

“He’s okay. Last I saw him he was trying to roast the Mayor, who was shouting that the ‘dangerous creature’ needed to be put down.”

I seethed. “Dangerous creature? He knows very well that’s Ben inside that skin.” I growled out. The force of my anger made the car shimmy on an already slick road.

“Marlowe! Calm down! You’ll make me crash the car!” Pete shouted.

I immediately checked my power and gave Pete a sheepish smile. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay, just watch it. I’m starting to see why they Mayor says the things he says about you, though.”

“Oh? What does the little weasel say?”

“That you can’t control yourself. That you and Ben together are dangerous and that the safety of the community isn’t as sturdy as everyone thinks.” Pete said.

“I can control it, Pete. The Mayor just wants me out-of-town on a rail because he thinks it’ll get his son off the hook.”

“That’s part of it, I think. Seeing what you did now, I’m sure that he’s legitimately concerned that you’re going to kill us all.”

I huffed out a breath. I could see where Pete was coming from, but there was no way I was giving up Ben. Not after everything I’d been through to find a place where I felt at home.

“I’m not leaving, Pete. He can do as he likes, but I’m not leaving.”

Pete sighed. “I really wish you hadn’t said that.”

I was about to ask what he meant by that when suddenly the car veered off the road and sailed off the side of the hill we were currently traveling up. I screamed and immediately reached out with my power to hold up the car. I was not dying because some lackey decided I needed to go. I was going to live, damn it.

Beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. I’d never lifted anything that heavy for that long before. As I maneuvered the car back on to the road, I saw the faces of some of the people passing by. They were in shock to see a flying police car. I would have laughed, because it was kind of funny, but I was too busy trying keep myself alive.

As I set the car down, I heard a click from Pete’s service gun.

“Don’t even think about it.” I said as I reached out with my gift and plucked it from his hands. “You’ve caused more than enough trouble already.”

“P-p-please don’t kill me. I’m only following orders.”

“I’m not going to kill you, but you are going to get in the back seat.” I waited with the gun hovering in midair until Pete had moved himself from the front seat and around to the back. I got out and used my gift to pull the rest of the metal off his person. I dumped everything in the trunk and got into the driver’s side.

“Don’t take me back, She’ll kill me.”

“Then that’s on her, but I’m taking you to the station.” I said.

Pete started crying and I tuned him out. I was pissed and tired and wasn’t sure that I was going to make it back to the station in one piece. I got out my cell phone and called the Sheriff. Pete’s crying from the backseat got louder as I explained what happened.

“I’ll have a deputy that I trust meet you at the station. I’m sorry, Marlowe. I thought he was on our side.”

“You’ll have to explain to me what the hell is going on. I’ve only been gone for three hours, Eric.”

“Yeah and as soon as you crossed the border, shit hit the fan.”

I could hear how tired he was. “What else happened?”

“Every single shifter has changed. Every one. Magic is going haywire and I’m not sure that anything can be done to fix it.”

I thought about it for a second. “I’m coming home. I’ll call you when I get to the station. Take care of my Fiance, Eric. I want him back in one piece.”

“Will do. See you soon.”

I dropped the phone in to my back and started us back to Blueville. I stopped paying attention to Pete’s babbling and crying somewhere around the thirty minute mark. I knew I still had twenty minutes left in this damn car and I was annoyed. I wanted to be there.

I kept my cool though and finished the drive in to town. I didn’t dare go any further than that, because I didn’t know where Ben was. I was shaking with exhaustion by the time the Sheriff met me at the station. Jack and Harry watched over me. I knew I could trust them. They had siblings who were apart of the special side of the community.

“Marlowe! Thank stars.” Eric said when he saw me.

“Thank stars is right. Pete’s in a cell. He forgot to turn off the dash cam. It was all caught on audio.” I said.

Jack and Harry nodded to confirm what I said. The Sheriff looked up at the two hovering over me.

“Go see to it that none of it is erased, then I want to two of you to do a mind by mind search of the whole department. Anyone who’s had anything to do with our mystery woman and the Mayor goes in a cell. I’m done playing his game.”

The two cops nodded and left without a word. I’m pretty sure that the only reason why the orders were issued out loud was because I was here.

“Made your decision, then?”

“I’m on board with taking him down. No one tampers with my department or my town.”

I nodded. “Lets go get Ben. I need him to be steady again.”

The Sheriff helped me up from the chair just as the Mayor stormed in to the station.

“Higgins!” The Sheriff shouted.

“Sir?” Higgins answered.

“See to it that the Mayor has a guard on him at all times while he’s in my station. He’s to go no where alone. Pull in reserves if you have to.”

“Yes, Sir!” Higgins said with a salute and he went to help the Mayor, who was clearly determined to get to the Sheriff. He drew back and his mouth flopped open when he saw that I was still alive. Apparently, no one had told him.

I flashed a smile at the Mayor as Eric escorted me out.

“One of these days, the amount of sass you possess is going to get someone hurt.”

“When that day comes, I’ll sass Death to keep him at bay.”

“That doesn’t even make any sense.”

“I know. Now let’s go get Ben.”

The Sheriff stared at me as I climbed in to his four by four and then shook his head and climbed in after me. He took me out to Ben and I was not prepared for what I saw. My proud dragon was chained to the side of a mountain, shivering and curled up against the cold. I waiting until the Sheriff pulled to a stop and I shoved my way out of the truck and ran for Ben, shouting his name.

His head picked up and he roared, breathing fire at anyone who tried to stop me from reaching him. As soon as I got close he picked me up and tucked me in to my usual spot. He was ice-cold to the touch and I shouted for more blankets as I rubbed his nose. Ben paid no attention to anyone who came close now. He was too busy rumbling at me. While I rubbed his nose and kept him calm, I checked out the shackles that were around his neck and limbs. There were no holes where a key would go.

“Sheriff!” I shouted. I waited till her came closer and then told him. “These are not normal. They’re magical. There’s no lock holes.”

“We figured that when they appeared out of no where and chained him to that rock.” He said. “Is there anything that you can do?”

I reached out and touched them with my fingers and got a nasty shock. I yelped and rubbed my hand.

“No. They’re warded.”

The Sheriff swore. “I’ll get someone out here to help.”

“You have to hurry, he’s not going to make it out of here if he’s chained here much longer.” I said.

The entire dragon shuddered and Ben keened lowly.

“More blankets. He needs more blankets and try building a fire.” I shouted.

It was going to be a long night.

-Marlowe.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

So the first of December rolled around and the house decided to go all out. I was woken up by Ben shaking me. He was laughing.

“HabibI, you have  to come see this. It’s hilarious. My mother is freaking out.”

I yawned, lifted my head out from under a pillow and shoved my hair aside to look at him.

“What?”

“Come see!” He said. “I got up to go pee and the house decorated itself!”

I groaned and wiggled my way to the edge of the bed. I stuck one foot out and touched the floor. With a yelp I pulled my foot back inside and burrowed in to the covers.

“Nope, too cold. Go back to bed, heathen.” I pulled the covers over my head as I heard Ben laugh.

Something landed on my hand as I debated braving the floor again to jump him. I peeked out at it and found a pair of my fluffy socks.

“Damn it. You know my weakness.”

“Get up. I have coffee. We’re not going anywhere anyway. We’ve got another foot and a half out there and it’s looking to keep falling all day.” Ben said as he walked out of the room.

I got up with a sigh and put on the socks as my feet dangled over the side of the bed. I was looking out the window when it dawned on me that four-thirty in the morning should not be that bright outside. Getting all the way out of the bed, I grabbed my robe as I passed the chair and put it on. When I glanced outside, I saw the house was lit up completely and there was a new row of white pine trees that had lights on them lining the drive way.

I sighed. “House? Can you get rid of the pine trees, please, and give us tall Oaks? They’d look nicer all year round. You can even put the lights on them if you like.”

The house rumbled in response and I got the general feeling to look away from the window.

“I’m going downstairs for coffee. Thank you, House.”

I tied the robe as I trudged downstairs. Ben met me in the hall way with a steaming mug.

“What was that?”

“I asked the house for a change in it’s decorating plans. I think it likes my idea.”

“What’d you ask for?”

“If the house does as I asked, you’ll see soon. Just don’t look outside yet.”

I sipped from my mug and slowly woke up. That’s when I noticed the inside of the house was just as decorated. There were garlands and wreaths everywhere. I poked my head in to the great hall and found a fourteen foot tall pine tree, fully decorated. I sighed.

“Let me guess, the house has trees everywhere?”

“Yup. Every single room, except for ours. I fully expect by the time we go back upstairs, to have one where the settee is.” Ben said, sipping his coffee.

“Where’s your mother?”

“Lying down. The house shocked the hell out of her when the tree in her room.”

I snorted a laugh. “I know something of what that’s like.”

“You house wanted you to have fun on the fourth. The fireworks were awesome, by the way.”

I leaned against Ben and took in the sight of our tree. At least we didn’t have to go get it and then get have to work out how to get it in to the castle. I was still pondering the tree when I heard a muffled yell from upstairs. I looked up at Ben who smiled at me.

“Miles.” We said together and then started laughing when Mark joined him.

“You know, this house is rarely quiet for long.”

“Would you have it any other way?”

I thought about it for a minute, then shook my head. “No.”

“I thought so. Whose turn is it for breakfast?”

“Mine. I need pants if I’m going to make breakfast though.” I said as I made my way to the stairs with my mug.

Ben followed behind me with his own. “I’ll help.”

“Liar. You just want the shower before all the hot water is gone.”

He laughed as we ducked in to our room. “Maybe.”

An hour later I was downstairs, beating the batter for pancakes when Jude came in. I smiled at her.

“How was your first house decorating?”

She snorted. “This town is bat-shit crazy.”

“Welcome to Blueville. The little town in the mountains where everyone’s definition of ‘bat-shit crazy’ changes on a daily basis until it’s not only normal, but acceptable.” I said with a laugh as I dipped out batter to fry up a stack of cakes for her.

Jude laughed and poured herself coffee. I put the stack of pancakes in front of her a few minutes later while she was sipping from the mug.

“Tell me about how you met.”

“Your son helped me move in when Miles bailed on me for Denver. Apparently, they had really fantastic sex and he passed out.”

Jude choked on a bite of pancake. I slapped her back to help her dislodge the piece.

“Excuse me? He helped you move in?”

“Yeah. He was home that day, the reason escapes me now, but he was quite cross with Miles because no one was helping me.”

“Well, I did raise him to mind his neighbors.”

I grinned and wiggled my eyebrows at her. She inhaled coffee down the wrong pipe as she laughed. Ben walked in at that point and thumped her back for me.

“Are you trying to kill my mother?”

“Nope, just make her laugh.” I said as I dipped out more pancakes for Ben.

Pretty soon the whole house was up and I was making another batch while discussing what we were going to do that day. That’s when Jude announced she was leaving on Monday. The room went quiet. Kind of. I burned my hand so there was a round of expletives and laughter at my carelessness. The Twins thought it was particularly funny until the Sheriff, who was still here because he’d taken the weekend off, glared at them and motioned for them to be quiet.

“But you can’t leave! We like you here!” I said.

“I can and I will. I have a dig to catch up on. Two weeks. I’ll be back in time for Christmas and New Year’s.”

I looked up at Ben. I could tell he was hurting too, but he’d respect the decision. At least he had his mother back in his life.

“Okay, so I think the first thing we should do today is head to town if we can and pick up groceries. That storm might get worse, I want to make sure there’s enough food in the house.” I said, changing the subject.

“I have the roads to check on. Can I leave the twins here?” The Sheriff asked.

“Absolutely. We’ll take them for the day.” Ben said before I could.

“I’ll stay home with them.” Mark spoke up. “I have nothing to go out for. I can do my work from home.”

“It’s settled then. They’re staying. Go do police work.” I said to the Sheriff.

He laughed and got up. “Yes, Ma’am.”

I sat to eat and Ben got out the list we’d been writing for the week. We went over it together, cutting the sugar out to the protest of the Twins and Miles. Thirty minutes later, Ben and I were piled in to my truck and headed in to town with the list. Miles, Mark and Jude were in the living room, playing on the Wii.

I just hoped the TV was in one piece when we got home.

-Marlowe

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.

A Denver Monday, part 2

So I guess I shouldn’t have left off last night where I did, but I was tired.

You didn’t really think I was going to die, were you? That’d be boring.

The bomb went off as soon as I entered the door, but it was a puff of smoke, a loud bang and then fizzled out. I was jerked back by the Sheriff and hauled down to the stairs. That’s when my head caught up and I started running on my own, right out the door. We made it to the squad car and the Sheriff pushed me inside. He got in on the other side and backed the car out of my lot and in to the road with his lights on. He blocked off the road with his car while calling in the bomb.

That’s when I started laughing.

I guess it must have been the shock that made me laugh. I just couldn’t believe that Steve could be that stupid.

“Why’s the bitch laughing? Didn’t she discover my gift?”

That only made me laugh harder.

“You’re going away, Steve. That’s attempted murder, what you put in my shop.”

Steve made choking noises and I shook my head. I felt sorry for him before. Now that he had tried and failed to take my life, I wanted his head. I got out of the car and walked around to the back of the unit and sat on the trunk. I figured it was the best place to be, because I couldn’t stand to be in that car with Steve for another minute. Pulling my cell phone out of my back pocket, I called Ben.

“I was just thinking about you.” He answered.

“I hope I was naked and enjoying it.” I could feel him blush on the other end of the line.

“As a matter of fact, you were. Want to try it tonight?”

“Yes. After a cheap bottle of wine and take out from The Fish Place.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Steve came in to the shop.”

I heard Ben swear in Arabic and smiled. “I love you too, but there’s more.”

“Tell me.”

“He tried to assault me with a monkey wrench.”

More swearing. I do love that man.

“Then he tried to blow me up.”

There was silence on the phone, then “I’m on my way,” and the line went dead. He was well and truly pissed. I feared a little for what he might do to Steve when he got here. I brooded over the thoughts when the Sheriff interrupted my thoughts.

“We need to get you out of here.”

“Ben’s coming. Do you mind if he takes me to the station?” I looked back at him.

“No, that will save up my guys for crowd control. I called in the State Police. They’ll fix your place up, Marlowe.”

“If the bomb doesn’t go off first, you mean.”

“You’re taking this a lot better than I thought you would.”

“Oh, I fully intend to have his father’s balls by the time my lawyer is done with him.” I saw the Sheriff flinch and smiled.

“That was a little uncalled for, Marlowe.”

“But no less than honest, Eric. I’m tired of his son being the town asshole and everyone just puts up with him because his daddy owns half the town. He knew his son was supposed to stay away from me and did he do anything about getting him help? No. I bet it was a stern ‘don’t do it again’ and a pat on the fucking head.”

The Sheriff stayed silent while I ranted. “Be careful, Marlowe. His daddy has friends in high places and you just got here.”

“His daddy doesn’t know who I’m related to, Eric, but I’ll take your warning. I’ll be careful. All my contact will be through my lawyer. I promise.”

I saw Ben’s care pull up and I smiled. “Here’s my ride. Would you mind getting my bag when this is over? I’d really like to have my things back right away.”

“I’ll even had someone lock up for you when it’s all done.”

I kissed his cheek. “Thanks, Eric. We’ll go get something to eat and go to the station, is that all right?”

“You might as well, there won’t be anyone to take your statement until later.”

I nodded and ran for Ben. After everything that happened today, I just wanted him in my arms. We collided together about half way. Ben started babbling in Arabic again and I smiled.

“Whoa, slower. I’m still learning.”

“I said ‘my heart. my love.'” Ben said as he pulled me close and pressed kisses in to my hair. “Don’t you ever do anything like that again.”

“I wasn’t planning on doing it the first time, but okay.” I dug my fingers in to his dress shirt and hung on. “I love you.”

“I love you too. Can we go? I don’t want to look at him.”

“Yeah, we can go. Let’s go to Grandma. I’m hungry and she’ll want to know what’s going on.”

Ben didn’t say anything, just led me away while keeping me anchored to his side. Getting in to the car after he opened my door, I pulled out my cell phone and called Miles and Mark. I told them both what happened and where we’d be.

After I’d made my calls and put down my phone, I found my hands shaking. Seeing them, Ben plucked up my left hand and kissed it before entwining my fingers with his.

“Try to hold it in until we get to Grandma’s.” He said.

I nodded but I could feel the tears slipping already. The shaking got worse by the time we got to The Fish Place. When I saw Grandma Murphy come out of the backdoor and heading for the car, I burst in to tears. Ben and Grandma Murphy helped me get out of the car after parking and up the back steps where her apartment was located. I was a sobbing mess by the time they got me to the sofa in her living room. They let me cry until my head ached and then made me lie down in Grandma Murphy’s guest bedroom.

I woke when it was dark out to find my head buried into Ben’s chest while he slept next to me. His shoes were off and he was snoring. Smiling, I snuggled closer to him and just lay there with him. I must have fallen back asleep again because he was shaking me awake.

“Habibi, you need to wake up.”

I smiled and pulled him down for a kiss. “Ahebbouka.”

Ben laughed. “So you were paying attention when I told you how to say it.”

“Of course I was.” I said as I rolled out of bed and stretched. “How long was I out?”

“A little over four hours. The Sheriff called. He’s ready for you to come in to give your statement on what happened.” Ben said as he hugged me. “Enta Habib Alby W Hayaty Ya Habibi.”

I smiled. That one was my favorite. I kissed him softly. “Let’s go. I don’t want to be there all night.”

It took us an hour to make it to the station so I could give my statement because Grandma Murphy insisted on feeding us first. We were home by midnight and in bed together, freshly clean, by one-thirty in the morning after assuring Miles and Mark that I was okay.

I was told by the Sheriff that I couldn’t go in to my shop for a couple of days, so I decided to take the rest of the week off. There was the full moon to prepare for and Ben’s parents impending visit.

As I was drifting off, I vowed to say in bed until at least noon because I deserved it.

-Marlowe

A Denver Monday

So I woke up Monday morning to the sounds of Denver and Miles screaming at each other in the great hall. It was so loud I heard it up two flights of stairs and through a solid oak door. When I checked the clock, it was 5 am. Plenty pissed off because of the time; I got out of bed, stormed down the stairs and promptly threw the nearest pair of shoes at both of them.

“If you two screaming cats don’t stop screaming I’m going to lock the two of you in the nearest bedroom until you either kill each other or have sex. The noise you’re making is enough to offend the dead.” I shouted at the both of them.

I got glares in return, so I glared back.

“I don’t give two flying shits whether the two of you think I should not have gotten involved, but I got sick of the moping.” I pointed a finger at Denver. “You, I’m goddamn sick of with your superior attitude towards my cousin. For some reason he seems to think the world of you and I’m not fucking convinced. Especially after this little temper-tantrum you’ve disguised as hurt over an imagined affair. If you’d been more honest with how you were feeling, this wouldn’t have happened.”

I sucked in a breath and jabbed a finger at Miles. “Where do I begin with you? You didn’t tell Denver the truth about what you were doing with your time. You told him nothing. This left everything you were doing open to interpretation. I may not have the best track record for relationships in this house, but fuck the two of you if you think you’re going to get away with this idiotic display of two people who are in love with each other and determined to hurt each other over an imagined wrong.”

I glared the both of them down and watched both sets of eyes drop down to the floor. “Silly geese. You’re in love with each other. Now act like it or so help me, I’ll knock the two of your stupid heads together until you’ve figured out why it is I’m so pissed at you.” 

With that I stormed back up the stairs to get ready for the day. Ben was wise enough to stay out of my way when I was that angry. He stayed even further out of my way when he brought coffee in to the bathroom and I bent the spoon in to a knot without looking at it. Even the shower stall doors were trembling. 

I do not get that angry often. The last time I totally lost my temper I trashed an entire cemetery’s iron fence while I was inside because my cousin started trashing my parents at their funeral. Losing my temper is not something I normally do.

So when I marched down the stairs I heard the whispering in the Great Hall go silent. I was still so angry with the two of them that I made the fireplace tools and the mesh screen rattle. Oh yeah, I’m scary.

I took myself in to my shop and spent the morning venting out my anger by pulling the Nash back in to its proper form and spot welding where I couldn’t get it to bed back without breaking the frame. By noon I’d spent my anger and the Nash frame was back to where it was before the accident. I was cleaning up that side of the shop and putting my tools back so I could start on other cars when Steve Miller walked in, drunk as two skunks. 

“Well, this day is just getting better. Go away, Steve. I don’t have time to play with you today.” I said as I avoided him.

“You stupid, Bitch. I’m not here to play. I’m here to make you pay for ruining my life!” He shouted at me.

I was really getting tired of people shouting today.

“You almost ended mine, Steve. I consider the fact that you’ll never get your license back small comfort for the pain I had to endure because of your idiotic driving.”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I regretted poking at him. I don’t make smart decisions when I’m angry or have been angry. So when Steve shouted at me and picked up a monkey wrench, I knew I was in trouble. I launched in to survival mode and used my gift to yank the tool out of his grasp. There was a roll of heavy gauge wire hanging on the wall, so I controlled it to wrap around Steve before he could get to me. I anchored it to the metal guard rail that was on the steps leading down to the shop from the office. He glared at me as I  called the Sheriff and told him what was going on. 

“Bitch. Stupid Bitch.” He growled when I got off the phone. 

“Oh no. I’m not stupid. That’s why I called the Sheriff. I’ve made it a point to stay away from you, Steve. Do you know why?”

“Because you’re afraid of me.” He sneered.

“No, because everyone in this town knows I have an intense dislike for you and your father hates me because I’m the one who finally made his little boy pay for his bratty ways.”

There was more cursing when I called him a brat. I parked myself on a stool across the shop and waited. I wanted to make sure that I was nowhere near the man when the Sheriff walked in. I didn’t have to wait long, because he was there with his lights on about five minutes later. When he walked through the main garage doors and saw Steve, he laughed. 

“Oh, Marlowe. I do like your way of saying ‘The situation’s been handled.’ I do believe that’s the best thing I’ve seen all day.” Sheriff Stiers said. 

There was more cursing from Steve and him calling me all manner of names that I won’t repeat here. He stopped when the Sheriff cuffed him on the head. 

“You’ve just ruined your chance at staying outside jail, boy. You were ordered to stay away from her by the Judge and you disobeyed an order.” The Sheriff said as he motioned me to undo the wire. 

I controlled it so that it was up and off while the Sheriff was handcuffing Steve. As I floated the roll of wire back to the shelf it normally say on, the Sheriff was frisking Steve and hauling him back to his car. 

“I’ll never get used to the freaky shit you do with metal.” He said as he came up behind me while I was using my gift to straighten out a bent axle. 

I laughed. “Eric it’s no different from your powers. It’s just a part of me. I just chose not to use it to become the world’s greatest criminal.”

“God help the world if you do that.” He said with a laugh.

“Agreed. God help the world.” I snickered. I sobered up a little and looked at the car. “What’s going to happen to him now?”

“Oh, for him? Jail. He tried to attack you. That’s attempted assault with a deadly weapon.” 

“Poor man. With a father like his, I’m not surprised he turned out the way he did. Do you think if I asked the court for it they’d force him into counseling?”

The Sheriff blinked and then looked at his car. “They might. Do you really want that?”

“Yes. He needs jail, a good spanking and counseling to see why his way is the wrong way.”

“Do you always have so much hope for everyone?”

I laughed. “I try. It doesn’t always work.”

“If I was in your place I’d be pissed off.”

“I was pissed off this morning. Now I’m just sad. I think I’ll go steal my boyfriend and take him to dinner. After my trip to the station, of course.” 

“You should call Ben. He could drive you. You shouldn’t be driving yourself after this.” 

“I promise I’ll call Ben as soon as I get all the doors locked.” 

“I’ll stay outside until I see the doors go down.”

“Thanks, Sheriff.” I kissed his forehead and went to go lock the front door. 

I never got the chance to tell him about the bomb. It went off as soon as I walked in to the office.

Halloween, Part 4

I kept my cool when I made it to Our Lady of Hope. I kept it still when I got to the desk. I lost it when they told me I wasn’t allowed to go back to see him. I lost it to the point where I unintentionally bent the metal laundry cart from my anger. When his doctor came out to see if there was any family and found me, I unloaded on him. I feel bad about it now, but I was desperate to see if he was okay. The Deputy I was with finally came in and ushered me back to see Ben after speaking with the administration staff.

As furious as I was, I was grateful I’d only mangled a laundry cart. My anger can make my talent go nuts sometimes. I once completely rearranged a car to look like an elephant because I was not in control. The Deputy, I still haven’t learned his name, led me to the little room where Ben was placed. I rushed in to the room and checked him over myself. I couldn’t see anything wrong with him, but he was still unconscious. I pressed a kiss for his forehead and his smell of brimstone and leather drifted into my nose. It almost caused me to start sniffling.

His doctor came in then and shuffled his feet a bit, before saying hello. I had a feeling I’d scared him and most of the hospital staff with my little trick and all the  yelling. I wasn’t sorry. I’m still not sorry. I was scared.

As I look at him now in our bed, I’m still scared.

He could have been taken away from me because of whomever left that nasty hex bag. I clinched my fists and looked down at him, listening to what the doctor had to say.

“So we’re just waiting for him to wake up.” The Doctor finished.

“I’m staying. I’m his and he’s mine. I’m staying. He’ll ask for me when he wakes.”

The Doctor didn’t bother trying to get me out of the room. He just nodded and left. It was nearly three hours before he woke up. I was curled in to a chair the nurses had brought for me. My hand was on his so that if he moved, I’d feel it. I didn’t feel a thing though, he was talking with the nurse when I finally came back to consciousness. They broke off when I murmured his name sleepily and looked up at him.

“Hey, Lowe.”

I didn’t say anything, I was just so happy he was awake I crawled in to the bed and hugged him tight. Then I burst in to tears. He was cuddling me when the Doctor came back. He took one look at me and shoved a box of tissues at Ben, then slowly backed out of the room. After everything I’d been through that day, it was funny to me to see a fully grown man that afraid of my emotions.

So I started giggling. They were watery giggles, but Ben realized why I was laughing and snickered.

“He’s afraid of you.”

“He should be, I trashed a metal laundry cart because they wouldn’t let me come back and see you. I was terrified of losing you and angry they were in my way.” I said looking up at him.

Ben blinked and said slowly, “you trashed a laundry cart?”

He stared at me when I nodded. He was still absorbing that information when the Doctor came back in. I slid off the bed so that he could look at Ben and stood off to the side, where I could see him. I wasn’t letting him out of my sight and Ben must have felt the same way, because He kept his eyes on mine. He nodded at the Doctor when he gave him instructions on not getting out of bed for the next couple of days. The Doctor noticed that Ben hadn’t looked at him through out the conversation and sighed.

“You two will be the death of me, I can tell. I’ll get you the instructions I have for you, but I mean it when I say no heavy exertions over the next few days.”

We both said “Yes, Doctor.” at the same time and missed when he rolled his eyes. He walked out of the room and I passed Ben the bag of clothing that Miles had put together while I was showering. I watched over him as he got dressed, made sure he didn’t fall over. When the Doctor came back in, he was surprised that Ben was dressed.

“I hope you got dressed by yourself.” He said as he eyed Ben.

“He did; I just watched.” I said and winked at Ben, which made him laugh.

“She didn’t help, Doc. If she had, I’m pretty sure she would have insisted I say over night.”

“Damn right I would have.”

The Doctor nodded at me and then went over all the instructions that he had for Ben over the next few days. Someone must have tipped him off as to what happened because he also left instructions on a good herbal tea that could be made in gallons, as well as cups.

“That’s everything. The Nurse will see you outside to your car.”

“We didn’t arrive in one. I arrived with the Deputy, but I’ll call Miles. He’ll come get us.” I said as I pulled out my cell phone and hit number two on my speed dial.

Twenty minutes later, Miles showed in the Thunderbird and helped me get Ben in to the back seat. He didn’t say a word until we’d gotten on the highway leading to our subdivision.

“So? What’s the word, little bird?”

“No heavy work for the next few days, he’s to rest as much as possible.”

“I assume you’ll put off opening the shop back up then.”

“Nope. If I’m at home I’ll fret and worry and we’ll just make each other mad because I’ll fuss. So I’ll open the shop back up and go to work. There’s more than enough business I haven’t gotten to in the last few weeks to keep me busy.”

“I approve of this plan.” Ben said from the back seat.

I looked back at him in the back seat and smiled. “Mark is still on bereavement. He’ll watch you and make sure you don’t sneak out of the house. I’ll give orders to the house not to let you out too. You’re stuck”

“I take it back. I do not like this plan. At all.”

“Too bad. You’re going to follow the doctors instructions.”

Ben sighed.

“Face it, Ben. She’s right. No one knows how tired you’re going to be because you changed out of cycle.”

“Speaking of changes, I need to call the Sheriff in the morning. See if he knows anything new.”

“He called Ben’s phone before I left. He was checking in. There’s nothing new.”

I swore. Ben lips twitched because I used one of his favorites.

“First Max, now Ben. Who’s next? You?” I said to Miles.

He shrugged. “I don’t know, but it could be anyone in the town.”

“When they turn you in to the bobcat you are, I’m taking video of you chasing a laser pointer.”

Ben started laughing in the backseat and Miles stuck his tongue out at me as he pulled in to the driveway.

It was good to be home.

-Marlowe