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

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Theater

So this post was going to be about the day I moved to Blueville. It was going to have Miles falling down the steps of my front stoop. It was going to be about when I met Ben, my neighbor. However, when I went out to the movies on my day off, I was involved in a car accident.

I’m fine. I promise. The cast comes off in six weeks. I chose the red one, because I was angry. When I calmed down, I broke out the paints and painted it, with Miles’s help, to look like one of Iron Man’s repulsor gauntlets. I’m not going to lie, I stole the idea from Tumblr.

Yeah, I’m that awesome though.

What happened? Oh, like any night I figured I’d catch the latest blockbuster down at the Cinematic Climatic. I got in to my car and drove downtown to walk around for a bit before seeing the movie. It was a nice night so I had all the windows down. I was a little disappointed that Ben was working late at the clinic, but all of those animals couldn’t help themselves.

Well, the ones that did not have hands at least. The satyrs annoyed me. They always got hands-y with Ben.

Anyway, I was going down Gold Avenue and about to make the turn on to Rose Lane to make the parking garage entrance when I was hit by Steve Miller in that stupid truck of his.

Seriously, who has a black pick up jacked up that high and doesn’t go off-roading? Useless people with more money than sense, that’s who.

There’s a reason why I won’t do customizations like that at my shop.

So I sit in the car, stunned. My head is ringing, my arms feel both weak and strong at the same time, I’m shaking and I’m having trouble finding the door handle. My head feels floppy, yes that’s a word and the feeling is not pleasant, but I have just enough of my brain working that registers pain. My left wrist is painful. Cradling it, I finally managed to locate the door handle and push it open with my feet because it’s stuck.

Meanwhile, Steve has gotten out of that idiot truck of his and is complaining loudly that women shouldn’t be allowed to drive if they can’t pay attention. That’s when my hero arrived on the scene in a cloud of lilac perfume and a scolding so terse, I cried later. It was beautiful.

My hero was Miss Maggie from Indulgence Bakery. I’ll never forget the stream of expletives she called Steve, raging loudly that his mother was a hamster. That’s right. Miss Maggie quoted Monty Python.

I love that woman.

When the police arrived, Miss Maggie had Steve by the ear and was chewing him out for driving that truck through a red light. Sheriff Stiers walked right past where Miss Maggie was chewing out Steve and sat on the bench I’d been moved to by the EMTs.

“Damn shame about that car, Marlowe. I loved seeing that roadster through town.”

“I’ll have it fixed up soon enough. I just need Junior to get it back to my garage after you’re done with it.”

“I can see to it that Steve over there pays Junior for the tow. Boy always did have more money than sense because of his daddy.”

That’s when I remembered that Steve was the Mayor’s son. I thought I was screwed. The Sheriff just laughed and patted my shoulder.

“It’s fine, Marlowe. Miss Maggie will go to bat for you. I’m pretty sure that you’re more popular around here than Steve and that truck. I’ve lost track of the tickets I’ve written for him in the last month.”

“Can’t you do anything about him? He’s a danger. Look at my Nash!” I wailed. I was getting to the tears point of my shock. James, the EMT working on my wrist, wisely kept his mouth shut. I could see his lips crook a smile though. I must have been proceeding along to the recovery portion of the accident on schedule.

“Now that he’s hit you? Yep. I’ll get Judge May to pull his license.”

I smiled at that. I liked Judge May. He drove an older hearse from the 1960’s and gave ghost tours on his weekends off. He was also a half giant. At over seven feet tall, that hearse was practically the only thing that he could drive.

“I like him even more than when he comes into my shop with that hearse of his.”

“That hearse is now less of a nuisance now that you’re in town to work on it; the Mackey twins refuse to work on older cars.”

“The Mackey twins are morons who couldn’t handle the restoration on a 2013 pickup, much less a 1960’s hearse.”

I made James and the Sheriff laugh at that statement. They know it’s true. Sheriff patted my shoulder again and got up to go rescue Steve from where he was still being dressed down by Miss Maggie. He let Hank, the other EMT, look over Steve before putting the cuffs on him and putting him in the back of his SUV.

I will not deny that I gloated a little over the look of disbelief on his face.

Miss Maggie went with me to the hospital where I was poked and prodded for nearly fourteen hours before the let me go when Ben got there. Miss Maggie stayed with me the whole time. I do love that woman and her pastries. Her blueberry pie is the best I’ve ever tasted.

Ben arrived just after they finished wrapping my arm in a bright red cast. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that brown face of his more terrified. I will not lie and say that it did not feel nice to have someone who is that worried about me. I definitely will not lie and say that I enjoyed the fact that he refused to leave me alone that night. I will say that car accidents are probably harder on the ones who love us.

As I write this, nearly one-handed, I have my current keeper laying across my legs. His face is fuzzy, his hair golden and his brown eyes keep looking at me. He’s willing me to get out of this bed to go outside so he can play.

Winston is a stray that Ben has been pestering me  to adopt for a week now. I think he may be right that we’re suited for each other. I’ve never had a golden retriever before, so I wasn’t too sure.

Since I’ve had my nap – the pain killers are hell on my system – I think I’ll give in to the pleading brown eyes and go throw the ball from my chair on the back porch. Maybe next post I’ll write about my moving day. For now, the fairies are starting to sing as the sun goes down, Winston needs to run and I’m hoping that Ben brings dinner with him when he comes to check on us later. Winston and I would love to have dinner from The Great Wall.

-Marlowe