Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.
May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others
and a love within recall that alters you.
When Harris got back to work there was an envelope propped against his monitor. Inside were invites to the FACE Foundation red carpet fundraiser gala for Mirror Mind 3 that night. Tickets for himself and a friend. A full press kit that included the soundtrack cd. Along with a note from Marshall.
“Harris. Dad! – it was great to connect with you. That curse business took over from father son bonding. You can come out to BC for a visit. I can show you around the set. Hope to see you at the gala.
Hope you dug the pic Blake took. I should have warned you that he might do that but we wanted you to look natural. Makes it seem more paparazzi than posed.
“Harris, didn’t know you knew movie stars.” Dusan stood at the entrance to his cubical. “He’s a good looking lad.” he grabbed the press kit and flipped through the various photos. “His Dad must be mighty chuffed.”
“I’d say he was.” Harris had to restrain himself from telling Dusan that he was Marshall’s Dad. It was weird to be talking about his son.
“I suppose you’ll go to the gala tonight.”
“If I can get out of here before 6. It starts at 7:30. I hope it isn’t formal.” He checked the tickets. “Doesn’t say black tie.”
“This one is. The Prime Minister will be there. Besides a red carpet gala is always formal.”
Shit. Harris couldn’t recall the last time he’d worn a shirt and tie let alone a suit. He didn’t have as much as a sport coat in his closet unless his black denim jacket counted as one. His Dad would have … yeah as if his Dad had anything that would fit him.
“Red carpet for the stars, not for us nobody types.” Harris brushed the shoulders of his Casper tee-shirt
“Suppose so, but you’re going to need clothes a lot sharper than distressed jeans and a Ghostbusters tee-shirt.” Dusan plucked at the tee shirt Harris was wearing.
“That is Casper, the Friendly Ghost.” Harris swivelled his chair back to his monitor. “Back to the grind.”
He texted Tavi that he was leaving early. He’d put in enough overtime to get off a few hours early.
In the mall he walked in and out of men’s stores hoping to be inspired out of tee-shirts and jeans.
It was Becky.
“I waited the other night for you.”
“I said I probably couldn’t make it.” Harris shrugged his shoulder.
“If you didn’t want to see me, you could just come out and said no and not maybe. When you say maybe or probably it leads a girl on, you know.”
“Sorry. Say … I can make it up to you. What are you doing tonight? I have tickets to the Mirror Mind gala.”
“Wow. I love love love Mirror Mind. I’ve read them all, you know, and can’t wait for the next volume. The movies are okay but …”
“Help me pick an outfit to wear.” he interrupted her. “And you can tell me all about it later?”
“Really.” he showed her the tickets.
“Sweet. How did you get these?”
“Business perk.” He guessed she hadn’t seen the newspaper pictures. How hot would she get when she found out that the movie’s star was his … cousin. Not as hot as knowing Marshall was his son.
“I’m just on a bathroom break so I don’t have that much time.”
She took him directly to Hampton’s, which was like going into the haunted house at the CNE. Random selection of clothes were under spot lights. Becky knew her way around and quickly led him to a comfortable shirt with off side detail work along one shoulder and sleeve and black denim pants to go with it. He reassured her that he plenty of shoes at home and there would be a perfect pair to go with these pants.
Once they were done they agreed to meet at the King station and walk over to the gala from there. She insisted on getting his cell number. There was no way she was going to let him stand her up again.
He had a date! When was the last time he’d had an actual date? Did meeting Alex for coffee the other day count as a date? Nah, it was a date forced on them by the curse. This was a real date. He could imagine the look on his folks face when he turned up with Becky on his arm. He hadn’t even taken a girl to his prom.
The gala left Harris breathless. It was flashy and glittery with no time to contemplate. He liked not having to think for a couple of hours. Becky was thrilled to find out that Marshall Caldwell was related to Harris and then stunned to be singled out by Marshall Travers and Dayvd Norman, the two male leads of Mirror Mind, to have her picture taken with them on the red carpet.
That was all she could talk about in the taxi all the way to Harris’s condo. She kept running her hand along his thigh. Harris couldn’t recall what the movie was about.
“This has to be the best night of my life. The best. Harris why didn’t you tell me you knew Marsh C? I thought your little friend was hot enough but Marsh sizzles.”
“You know.” she snuggled closer, her hand almost touching his crotch.
They kissed in the elevator. Her hands pulled at his shirt waist while his caressed her ass. He’d been eyeing the hem of her shiny gold shift to catch a glimpse of what it barely covered.
“Where is he.” she squealed as he let her into his place.
“He?” Harris followed her in and watched with amazed pleasure as she pulled her shift off over her head.
“Your little friend. Oh there he is.” Toss her dress to the couch she scampered over to Andy in his corner behind the door. “I’ve such wild dreams about him since that first time. Wild. I couldn’t wait to get back to see if he existed or if he something I dreamed about.”
She pulled Andy out of corner. “How did you turn him on?” She ran her hands over the doll’s body. Stopping to fondle the cock. “I can’t wait to see him get hard.”
Harris was disappointed. Instead of the curse bringing in the babes now it was Andy. Something else that wasn’t the real him after all.
“Becky. I’m totally tired. It’s been a long day.”
“Yeah yeah. You can rest while your little friend does all the starter work. I’m cool with that. Really.”
“But I’m not.” he handed her her dress.
“Cool with that. Give me your address and I’ll get my little friend shipped to your place. That way you won’t have to pretend to be interested in me at all. How does that sound.”
“That sounds like an asshole. Is that all you were interested in? Did you fancy you’d impress me with your movie star friends and that I’d drop my pants for you?”
“Certainly looks like that was your plan.”
She pulled her shift back on. “You turned out to more of a loser than I thought you were. At least this made you interesting. Kinky in a safe way.”
“Whatever.” he opened the apartment door. “I’ll see you out.”
“I can make my own way out.”
She stood as far away from him as possible in the elevator texting as fast as her fingers could go. Someone was getting an earful of what had happened between them.
“Do want security to get you a cab?” He asked her they got to the main door.
“Don’t fucking bother.”
On the way back up he caught his reflection in the elevator’s one mirrored wall. Too bad she turned out to be such a bitch but she did have good taste in clothes.
After an eye-ball busting day at dE.tail Harris was pleased to find Trevor waiting for him as he stepped off the elevator.
“Dog. Auntie Nilasha says she needs to see you asap.”
“What?” Harris’s brain was still shaking off the catalogue work he’d been doing all afternoon. Yet another Christmas rush job, this time for Toys for Big Tots. It was a subsidiary of Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe. No sex apparatus but baby clothes for adults. Nothing explicit, but it mildly unsettled him making adult men and women have more come-hither like baby faces. Changing an twenty-four year old male or female’s dirty diaper wasn’t his idea of sex.
“I gotta car. Come on.”
Harris followed him around the block to a parking garage. The radio blared loud hip-hop.
“Did she say anything at all?” Harris munched a SportSpot Quknrg bar from a shipment of samples that had come in that morning. A meal in a bar. It was soft to bite but chewy as he got to the centre that had mild berry after taste.
“Just that we’ve been wasting time.”
Trevor, who Harris knew hated to drive, cursed as he stopped and started in the evening traffic. Harris had a second Quknrg bar, this one vaguely tomato. The wrapper flavour was Vegtastic.
Trevor pulled up to the corner of the street where Nilasha’s apartment block was.
“I’m gotta to drop you here. Gotta get Ma’s car back. She only let me drive it because Nilasha told her it was urgent. Must be important to get Ma let anyone drive her baby.”
“Thanks. I guess.”
Nilasha was waiting outside her door at the end of the hall when he got to her floor. Her hair was pulled into a tight bun that made her pinched face float on top of a thin neck.
“Come in.” They sat on the couch. “I hope I did not alarm you too much Harris but what I discovered is potential very dangerous I had to speak to you right away.”
On the coffee table were the photocopies Harris had left with her. One had notes and writing, with small diagrams on the backs of others. The writing was in squiggles he didn’t recognize.
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