Lazarus Kiss Finale

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.

kiss

Lazarus Kiss.63

He went to his cubical and there was the latest Mac.0Z lap top with a note – “We heard that yours got fried and there’s no way we’ll let you leave home without one.”

Next stop was Plaza Place.

“Mr. Stevens welcome home.” The concierge at Plaza Place went up in the elevator with him. “We’ve had maintenance working twenty-four hours a day to get your place cleaned up. I’m sure it will be to your satisfaction.” He followed Harris into the condo.

This time it smelt of fresh paint.

“Looks like we matched your color pretty well.”

“Not too well I hope. It was time to repaint I think.” He looked around. “It’s fine. Thanks.”

“And this arrived while you were gone.” The concierge left.

It was a large crate from Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe.. He pulled off the envelope stuck to it.

“Harris – you are my hero – hope this replaces Andy – sorry it’s still male – we’re still working out the difficulties with the female lady parts. Daria”

He wanted the old Andy.

He called Grandest Tours to confirm that his reservations were still valid. They were not. The extension was only good for twenty-four hours and there was nothing they could do a such short notice.

Fuming he called the airline. There was nothing they could do either except make sure he wasn’t charged for the flight he missed, if he sent them supporting police documentation. He bit the bullet and booked the first available flight the next afternoon. Carlos at Casa Della was most happy to shift the dates of his stay. News of his amazing rescue by the sex toy was all the talk of the island and would he consider bringing it with him. Harris promised to only if Casa Della would pay shipping costs.

*60*

He next called Alex to meet him at Mug Thuggs cafe.

“Harris, you look okay for a guy who was nearly tossed of his balcony.”

“Thanks, I guess.” He had hoped that shedding the curse would dispel the ambivalent feelings he had about Alex. “You know in a way you helped save me.”

“What?”

Harris explained about sampling his voice to use it for Andy. “You should have seen his face when you, via Andy said ‘Is that the best you can do. I can take it a lot harder than that.’”

They both laughed. Alex was handsome. There was no denying that but Harris didn’t feel any sexual attraction for him.

“I’m getting out of town, out of the country to recuperate. Aruba.”

“I …. I’ve been considerin’ what went on between us, ya know. That time when we … I … you … we made out at m’ place and I …. ”

“Spooged all over me?”

“Yeah.”

They both laughed.

“I kinda enjoyed that. Ya didn’ though.”

“I was never into it as much as you were.”

“But how can ya be sure, ya know, if we’re both under this spell.”

“Alex, I don’t know. I don’t want to know.”

“Yeah but I never ever thought of being with a guy. At least not outside of the ring.”

“Look we’re been through this before. The only abs I ever coveted were the Cyclops’s.” Harris said.

“Cyclops?”
“He’s a comic book character. It’s not that I dislike you or anything like that Alex, but there’s nothing between us.”
“Right. That’s what I reckon. It came t’ me the other day. I guess while ya were fightin off that guy. That curse thing of yours is what put us t’gether, right?”

“Exactly. It wasn’t as if we were consciously physically attracted to each other. The curse is broken.”

“Somethin’ has changed. I can look at you, be with you and not feel that crazy itch for you that was driving me the other times.” Alex nodded.

“Right. That sense I had of ‘I don’t want but I have to’ is gone.” Harris resisted reaching over to give Alex’s hand a sympathetic pat. “We’re free of it and each other.”

“So you’re off to Aruba?”
“Oh yeah. Can’t wait. Sun. Fresh air. All that will heal more of me than my skin.”

“Sounds like a relaxing time.”

“One of my thoughts while I was being tasered was that I hope I don’t have to cancel my trip because of this asshole.” He laughed. “But I sure missed that flight. Spent a hour on the phone before I called you to get another one. At three times the cost. It better be worth it.”

“Tomorrow?”
“Oh yeah. First flight with a seat was mid-afternoon. At least I don’t have to hustle out in the morning. Casa Della here I come.”

Harris sensed this was the movie moment for a kiss but stuck out his hand. They shook and Alex got on his bike. He watched Alex peddle off. He felt a sadness to see Alex go, to have this part of his life over. It was unresolved but Harris saw no way to resolve it. With the curse broken there was no need to resolve it.

*61*

Trevor picked him at Plaza Place the next morning.

“Ma needed her car but Nalisha was happy to let us use hers.’
Harris tossed his bag into the back seat and got in.

“Thanks Nalisha.”

“It is not often I get to help a spiritual warrior.”

“Me?”

“I know the battle you waged. When I came to your house with Trevor your mother told me you had been talking about Lazarus in your delirium. You’re familiar with the story of Lazarus?” Nalisha asked.

“Jesus raised him from dead?” Trevor answered.

“Yes. Jesus had a great love for Lazarus and pleaded with God to let Lazarus live. Lazarus could not die.  At least not in the way humans died. In his wanderings it occurred to him that if he could give his blessing away he might die. He wrote various blessings, sealed them with his blood and gave them to his children to share with people who needed to blessed, as he had needed to be blessed by Christ.

“To a poor man he give the blessing of abundance, to an ugly man he gave the blessing of love and so on. As he gave each blessing he weakened. He had written seven of these but by the time the fourth had been bestowed was dead.”

“What were the seven blessing?” Harris asked.

“No one knows. We only have records of those two in particular. The blessings have more layers than an onion. It goes through many levels of a person’s life, and of human history.

“Like Rowell, who gave the blessing to your family tree. It freed him of the blessing but as a result he had to pay a price for giving it away. His price was his life. To be fully free it was not enough to give it away. One had to give it back to …. Lazarus.”

“That’s what Rowell meant when he said ‘I have gifted the wrong man’ when he was burning at the stake.”

“You see Harris! You are a spiritual warrior. Only such a warrior could make that connection.”

“Yeah, whatever.” He laughed as he got out of the car at the airport. “Just don’t say it’s a blessing to make that sort of connection. I’ll send you a post card.”

The airport had new security checks so was glad he’d kept his luggage very light. The ticket agents were cool and efficient. No problems with his flights. No one with that gleam in their eye as they glanced at him.

He got a coffee and a toasted caraway rye bagel with a lite cream cheese and sat in the waiting area. He relaxed as he blended into a mass of strangers. None of whom would make any demands on him. No one was tailing him, protecting him. He hadn’t been by himself, alone, like this for ages. He could indulge in sweet, simple thoughts about white sand, look at a couple of time-shares. Was this was the time to make that down payment?

The flight boarded on time. The seat next to him was empty after the plane took off. The only ripple was a crying baby.

The stewardess stopped to tell each passenger that infants often reacted to the change in air pressure but once they got used it the child would quiet down.

He declined the planes headphones. He didn’t want to watch movies or keep up with the news. He wanted to start his vacation by leaving all that behind.

As soon as the plane had taken off Harris put in his ear buds, reclined his seat and drifted off to the Song of Venus on Tomita’s Bermuda Triangle. He was woken from his sleep by the stewardess.

“I’m sorry to disturb you sir. But would you mind it if one of the passengers took this empty seat. He’s stuck in the seat by the cranky child.”

“Sure.” He put his earbuds back in and was drawn quickly back into the music.

He kept his eyes closed as he made room for the passenger to get past him. The man smelled strongly of peppermint.

“Thanks.” the man said.

Harris could barely hear him though his earbuds. “No problem” he replied.

“M’ first time to Aruba.” the man spoke a little louder. The voice was familiar.

Harris opened his eyes. Alex was sitting next to him.

“Holy fuck!” he pulled his ear buds out.

“Didn’t reckon ya could get rid of me that easily? Did you?”

……………….

Yes! The end of this serialization. But it’s not the end of Lazarus Kiss. I will be doing another, more final draft before publishing the PDF & then hunting down someone to create the mobi version. The next draft will expand the Lazarus mythos itself . What are the other Lazarus Kisses? Will our heroes become Kiss Hunters to rid mankind of these ‘blessings’? Will Harris realize he misses his Kiss & want to get it back? Will he Alex ever go beyond rubbing each other the right way?

Can’t wait to read the whole thing? pre-order the PDF for $5.00 – paypal.me/TOpoet – say you want Kiss

lazcover02

http://nanowrimo.org/

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

This work is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Lazarus Kiss.62

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.

kiss*59*

Harris peeled off his tee-shirt while he looked around his apartment. The acrid smell of his scorched flesh mingled with the burned plastic of Andy’s face tinged the air. There were scorch marks on the wall around the socket where Andy’s charge pad was plugged. That space was empty without Andy to greet him. He unplugged the charge pad.

He opened the balcony door to let in fresh air and went to his bedroom to pack his bag for Aruba. The cool air felt good on his burns. The sun on Andicuri Beach would do be good for them. Two shirtless weeks would heal them up quickly.

All he needed were a few tee-shirts and shorts anyway. Casa Della was nearly nudist. It was the one place outside his apartment where he felt fine going shirtless and exposing his big fat belly to the world.

He tossed his passport into his carry on. The police had his lap top. Andy had recorded most of the assault onto it so they kept it for evidence. Tavi better not mind that he couldn’t do work while he was away.

Tooth brush, tooth paste. His bag was packed.

He got the boarding pass, printed out at his Dad’s office before coming here to pack, out of the side pocket to double check his departure times. He checked on his cell to make sure the times hadn’t change. They had. He wrote the new times on the pass.

He went to the kitchen to unplug the microwave, the coffee maker. Anything with timers that might accidentally go on while he was away. In the kitchen he could smell cinnamon. He checked the cupboard to see if something had gotten spilled. Nothing.

In the living he was stunned to see Becky. Naked. He was sure he had shut his apartment door behind him when he came in.

“What the fuck?”
“Harris I was worried. How are you?”

She put her hands on his shoulders. His burns began to ache.

“A girl can worry can’t she.” she cocked her head with an amused smile. “Hurts does it? Being burned like that must have hurt a lot.”

She ran her hands along his arms and where she touched began to throb.

“Imagine being burned at the stake.” She breathed into his ear. “Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.”

“You know about that?” he stepped back.

“Mais oui. Puissiez-vous être embrassé par un amour au-delà de rappel qui modifie d’autres et un amour au sein de rappeler que vous avez modifie.”

She pushed him on to the couch on to his back and crawled on top of him. Her kisses burned on his face.

“Who, or better yet, what the fuck are you?”
“Did you imagine it would that uncomplicated – to just give me away.”

“You’re the curse?”
“I am no curse.” she whispered. “A gift. A blessing. Jesus brought life to Lazarus that was His blessing. What became of Lazarus? What did he do with His blessing? I am a Lazarus blessing Harris. Mei wewe kuwa kuvutiwa na upendo zaidi ya kukumbuka kuwa alters wengine na upendo ndani ya kukumbuka kuwa alters wewe.”

“Why do you think you recovered so quickly? Why John’s device didn’t kill you. The gift was protection too.”

“Immortality?”

Harris pushed her away. Her flesh burned his hands.

“You read too many comic books Harris. Don’t fight me Harris. Yes, you have divested your family of the blessing. I congratulate you. Not many have managed that. Not many have tried to. But there is consequence. As a child of Lazarus it my duty to keep the blessing alive. Remember what happened to Rowell after he had divested his family of the blessing.”

“He was burned at the stake.”

“Yes. Now that you have freed yourself you will have to pay as well.” Her lips burned his nipples.

“Not as sweet as Alex doing that, is it. Too bad that was about as far as you got with him.”

She grappled with his belt buckle. He heaved his hips and knocked her to the floor. He scrambled up as fast as he could.

“Harris you can’t escape.” She was between him and the door. “You don’t want to die. Rowell died because he didn’t have time to leave his seed. Your seed will spawn a child to carry it on.”

Smoke came from the electrical outlets.

“My. My. There’s been a short circuit in the faulty wiring in your condo. How tragic this will be.”

He turned to the the balcony. She shoved his shoulders the same way the stalker had.

“Familiar?” she snickered in his ear.

“You made him ….”

“No. But when momentum builds I add more propulsion. The price of giving me away includes giving away your life.”

He turned quickly to shove her. Her nails cut his face. Her burning hands couldn’t be pushed away. She kept kissing him on the lips, shoulders and nipples. Each kiss smouldered and blistered.

“When you became aware it was a signal that it was time to move. To continue the blood line.”

“What about Sheila? Is she …. one of you ….?”

“Oh yes. There are four Lazarus blessings. Sheila brings abundance, I bring love. One brings intelligence, another articulation. Many of us carry them into the world.”

She pushed him to the couch, pulled his pants off and straddled him.

“You are aroused by this Harris. You cannot resist.”

He grabbed his boarding pass and pen. As his cock entered her Harris muttered the words of the curse. He scribbled them jaggedly on his boarding pass. “Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.”

Becky grabbed his pen and crushed it to ash. “You gave this away already.”

He pushed his cock into her. She shuddered with pleasure. Her mouth dropped open. He crumpled the pass, wiped blood on it from her scratch on his cheek and shoved into her open mouth. The cinnamon smell overwhelmed him as dense smoke filled the room.

“How did you you … know.”

“Return to sender.” He muttered. It took both his hands to keep her mouth closed.

Her face oozed away from his fingers. “You cannot free yourself from what you keep hidden in yourself.”

Becky shook, shrank and disintegrated at the same time. Flakes of red swirled in the air, out the balcony door and into the sky.

The smoke thickened and he lost consciousness.

He was on on the ocean side patio of Casa Della. The sun was glaring in his eyes. His mother was feeding him his favorite sweet potato butternut squash soup.

He put his sunglasses on and dozed off in the sun. Each time he woke the sun was in his eyes and as he was fed slow spoonfuls of food. At times it was his father feeding his chunky chicken noodle,  other times it was Nalisha feeding him a savoury curried rice. One time he woke with Alex lifting his legs and folding them in and out like a folding chair. Another time Alex holding him up while rubbing lotion on his back.

He woke with a start. Opened his eyes. He was back in his room at home. The Green Lantern clock by his bed read 7:15. He couldn’t tell if was morning or evening. He pushed himself up from the bed and put his feet gingerly on the floor.

Yes. He was in his old bedroom and he wasn’t dreaming.

He could hear talking downstairs. There was a pair of his old gym shorts still in the same drawer he kept them.

He went downstairs. His parents were at the kitchen table.

“Look who has arisen.” His mother got up and hugged him. He winced. “Sorry I forgot about those burns.”

“What day is it?”

“Wednesday.” His father pushed a plate of French toast to invite him to sit down. “Try solid food.”

“Hell. Last thing I remember was Monday night.” Harris sat. “I was supposed to go to …”

“Don’t worry. I’m a lawyer. I got them to hold your reservations.”

“Thanks. What … how did I get here and not the hospital.”

“You signed yourself out and we brought you here. Don’t you remember?”

“Not at all.”

“The smoke in your place set off the fire alarm.”

“As it should.” his mother added.

“There was short circuit where your …. toy … had been plugged in. The fire department said there had been a power surge when it was tasered. It wasn’t till you unplugged the charge pad that the short circuit set off. You passed out in the smoke.”

Between bites of French toast and sausages Harris told his parents about the fight with Becky and the Lazarus blessing.

“So that’s why you kept talking about Lazarus in your sleep.” his mother said. “When I woke you to feed you …. You remember that don’t you …”

“In a way … I thought I was in Aruba enjoying the beach when you were tending to me.”

“How did you figure that out?”

“What?”

“That giving the blessing back to her would have any affect all.”

Harris spread marmalade on an English muffin “Slap Shott just came to me. Really. Return to sender.”

The blank expression on his parents faces made him want to laugh.

“The comic book. I didn’t know if it would do anything at that moment but it seemed worth a try. Maybe Nalisha will know more. Nalisha was here?”

“Yes. The only visitors we let you have were Trevor and his Aunt.” His father said.

“She’s a very interesting woman.” his mother nodded.

“If you ever want to settle down your mother and I think Nalisha would be a great catch.”

“I suppose. I don’t feel ready for … love.”

“If the spell is finally broken you better get ready.” his mother laughed.

After lunch he dropped into dE.tail where he had to show off his bruises and burns. Tavi texted him to come to her office.

The door swung open before he could knock and shut behind him when he went in. This time there was chair for him to sit but no one in the chair on the other side of the desk. He sat.

“Harris we’re all so happy your survived.”

“Me too.” He wasn’t sure which way to look when he spoke. Talking to an empty chair didn’t seem right.

“You’ve certainly earned that vacation.”

“Let’s hope I get to take it.” he laughed.

“If you haven’t heard Daria from Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe is thrilled with the attention all this has brought. They will be creating an entire line of security monitor equipment now.”

“With functional … parts.”

“Only if the purchaser wishes. This has broken them into a whole new market. Her sales have gone through the roof. She mentioned stealing you away from us.”

“Interesting.”

“dE.tail doesn’t want that to happen. We’ll match any offer.”

“Really?”

“Oh yes and you’ll have that in writing too.”

“Cool.”

“When are you leaving for Aruba?”

“That’s next on the agenda. My Dad made them hold my reservations. I hope he got that in writing.”

“One last thing before you go. Check your cubical.”

Want to read the whole thing? pre-order the PDF for $5.00 – paypal.me/TOpoet – say you want Kiss

lazcover02

http://nanowrimo.org/

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

This work is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Lazarus Kiss.61

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.

Lazarus Kiss.61

*57* Sunday

John McNeil’s first statement to the press was in the paper the next day.

“Mr Harris Stevens lured me into his apartment. Once I was in there he accosted me with a sex apparatus. To defend myself I used the taser. I would not have used it if I had not been forced to when forced into this sexually compromising situation. I am not, nor have I ever been, The Stalker.”

The article went on.

“The sex apparatus Mr. McNeil is referring to is a prototype for “Santa-faction” sexbot distributed by Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe, an online retailer for a large variety of sexual devices. The “Santa-faction” sexbot is a life-like sex doll with movable, usable and functional body parts. It appears that Mr. Stevens had this in his home as part of his job designing  Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe’s online retail services.”

“How functional?” His mother teased.

“Very. Best part is that has a built in video unit that recorded the entire assault. There is no way anyone seeing it will believe he was lured into my condo.”

“Sounds like they’re preparing for a mentally unfit plea to me.” His Dad said.

The next day he felt recovered enough to go the police station where gave his statement and signed it.

“You should have my signature on a rubber stamp.” he laughed.

“Let’s hope this is the last time you’ll have to be here.” Detective Alverez replied. “Repeat offenders are one thing but you are something else. It’s as if you became magnet for trouble.”

“Right, I’m pretty sure my Magneto days are done with now.”

“If McNeil keeps making these wild accusations he’ll only see his kids through bars from now on. Sad. For the kids I mean.” Detective Chiba said.

“What’s the latest? That is, if you can tell me?” Harris asked.

“You mean beside you trying to push him of the balcony? There’s you meeting him accidentally on the street and offering him money to come to your condo for a fake rape scene. Plus there’s the invasion of his privacy by allowing your sex apparatus to record him without telling him he was being recorded. Then there …”

“Enough.” Harris held up his hand.

“The legal aide people want to put a muzzle on him. But he keeps releasing new statements to the press.” Detective Alverez smirked.

“The Crown Attorney assures me there is no way they’ll disallow the recorded evidence. Our tech people are very impressed with how that equipment works.” Chiba gave a little laugh. “Then again, porn has always been cutting edge. If it weren’t for porn the Internet would never have taken off so fast.”

“So I’ve been told.” Harris agreed. “Same goes for places like paypal. Porn wants your money and you want them to get it safely. Thanks to Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe people can shop for certain special things in the privacy of their own homes.”

“How’s your back?” Chiba asked. “We dropped the ball letting McNeil slip by like that. If it weren’t for your device we might never have gotten there in time.”

“Can we please stop calling it a device. Even the papers are calling it a sexbot.” Detective Alverez said.

“Who cares. Andy saved my life.”

“Oh yeah, one of McNeil’s statement is that when you told the dev … I mean, Andy the sexbot to fuck him in the ass he was in a blind rage and he had no other option but to act in selfdefence.”

“And throw me off the balcony!”

They all laughed.

“I guess my work here is done.”

*58*

Harris pressed the doorbell to Alex’s apartment for the second time. He couldn’t hear if it had rang at all. Now that he had passed the curse on, he had to make sure they were both rid of it. This was the last piece of unfinished business he figured he had to deal with. Subway Stalker was behind bars, for now.

When Alex showed up when he was leaving the hospital Harris was surprised at Alex’s concern. But that concern wasn’t genuine it was something forced on him, on them both, by the conditions of the curse.

“Harris, you should have called?” Alex opened the door to let Harris. “I would have washed up first. Or at least dressed better.” He gave a little laugh as he pulled his t-shirt on. “These is my sleepers.” He pulled at the waist of his sweat shorts.

“No problem.” Harris stepped past him and went up the narrow stairs. “I just left the police and thought I might as well drop by while I feeling up to it.”

“Glad you did.”

Harris sat on the couch and watched Alex as he went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. He felt nothing. He didn’t get the sexual flash he had all other times with Alex.  When Alex sat next to him he reached over and touched Alex on the forearm. Nothing came to him. None of the images of Alex sucking him off. Nothing.

“We’re free of it.” He sipped his coffee.

“Free?” Alex said.

“The curse. When I touched you what did you feel.”

“Your hand on me.”

“Nothing more. You didn’t feel turned on at all, did you?”

“No!”

“Great. Now we can get back to our normal lives. Not that meeting you wasn’t … well … it wasn’t something I had ever planned.”

“Same here. You make it sound like something you wish hadn’t happened.”

“You’re right there. I wish it hadn’t. All the time I was with you I was wishing it hadn’t happened. The idea of sex with a man was so far from what I wanted but I couldn’t stop it. It’s over now.”

“You say that as if you think I liked it!” Alex got up. “Men were never on my list either you know. There was times when I wanted to beat the crap out of you, out of myself to see that would get rid of this itch. It wasn’t my fault, you know.”

“If you are expecting some sort of apology from me, it’s not going to happen. You think I’d picked you to get drawn to me by this curse. I’m sure you’re thinking ‘Why not. It’s not such a big thing for guys to mess around with each other.’ Maybe it isn’t to them but sure isn’t to me.”

“Look I didn’t sign up for this either ya know. Ya think I’m thrilled to have this … need to touch ya. To have this feeling for a guy. Well, I don’. Ya know that. It doesn’t help when all ya do is act as if it’s some sort of fuck up and that this shit is my fault.”

“I get that Alex. When I refused you, you know what happened. That pain here.” He tapped his chest. “I thought I was having a heart attack.”

“Yeah, so did I.”

“But I didn’t. You see what I mean? I said yes to stop the pain not because I wanted to have anything to do with you.”

“That’s why you said we could meet?”

“Right. I came to your place to clean your monitor only to see if that would satisfy the curse.”

“You kissed me easy enough. You wanted something then. I could tell.”

“I’ll say it again, it’s not going to happen. Not ever. Not the way this curse wants it to happen. We got naked that once that’s it.” He took two steps back from Alex. There was no pain caused by his refusal. “Try it. Take a step away. Say it’s not going to happen.”

“No! I’m not going back down like that. I …”

“Look, get it through your thick skull I didn’t pick you. I don’t pick any of the women. The curse puts people in my path. If I had a choic,e it certainly would never be another guy especially one …” Harris stopped before he could say ‘a guy as dumb as a bag of hammers’ …. “One who could beat the crap out of me.”

“Then why you try to have it both ways. Ya can just say fuck off ya know.”

“I … we tried that, remember. I just told you I thought I was having a heart attack.”

“Right, so did I. Then what are gonna do?”

“I know what we aren’t going to do – we’re going to keep our pants on for starters. Got that.”

“Yeah. I never get this feeling for any other guy. I see lots of good-looking ones all around but only you make me feel this way.”

“It’s not me. It’s sure not my looks. It’s not you. It’s this curse I tell you. I’m only talking to you now because of it. You think I’d, say, strike up a conversation with you at Story. What would we talk about?”

“I dunno. I thought you were starting to like me, a little. Must be something we have in common.”

“Nothing beyond ‘what can I get you.’ ”

“That all you see me as.”

“Alex if it weren’t for this curse I wouldn’t be seeing you as anything at all. You’d be like part of the decor.”

“Fuck you. I’m not … not … wallpaper. Just because I don’t know about fucking comic book idiots you think I’m stupid. right?”

“Now that you mention it. Yeah. Just like you think I should be flattered because buff bozo like you would want to touch a fat slob like me. Right.”

“Sure.” Alex pulled off his shirt. “What’s not to like?”

“I’m not turned on. Not one little bit. Can’t you get that much through your little skull.”

“What are you afraid of? Liking it or not liking it?”

“Look I don’t owe you any explanation. Because I didn’t ask for this to happen between us, doesn’t mean I have to go along with it or even like that its happened. Get it.”

Alex grabbed Harris by the head and shoved him to his knees. Held him there while he dropped his sweat pants. He pushed his cock at Harris’s mouth.

“Suck it! That’s the only way we’ll know it’s really over.”

Harris struggled and feel to his back. Sprawled out, he undid his pants and tugged them so his cock was free, “No! Big boy. Why don’t you chow down of this instead? That’s what’ll break this curse.” He shook his cock and balls. “Appetizing? Afraid you might like it?”

Alex yanked his sweat pants up.

“That’s not going to happen, is it.” Harris got to his feet and did his pants up. “Not so keen after all. Now you know how I feel.”

“Yeah. You said all you came to say?”

“Yes. You don’t seem too happy about it though?”

“I’m not sure how I feel about any of this.”

He went down the stairs with Harris.

“Take care.” Harris reached out to shake Alex’s hand.

“Fuck you.” Alex let the screen door slam shut.

Harris breathed a sigh of relief and headed for the subway. Thank God that is all over and behind him now.

 

kiss

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Lazarus Kiss.59

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.

Lazarus Kiss.59

“I apologize for disturbing you.” The woman’s voice became a whisper as she collapsed into his apartment.

“My God. Are you alright?” He’d never seen anyone faint before. He shut the door. “I’ll … get you a glass of water.” He started towards the kitchen. “Or should I call for help. Security will know what to do.” He reached for his phone.

“Don’t bother asshole.”

A sharp blow to his shoulder sent Harris tumbling over his couch. One of his arms whacked his coffee table as he landed.

“What the fuck?” He looked up at the cloaked figure standing over him.

The figure lifted the hem and placed one booted foot under Harris’s chin, not quite on his throat. The woman quickly pulled off the veiled hood of the chador.

“Listen you fat fuck I’m not here to play games with you.” The face was covered by a tight black ski mask the mouth bulged out awkwardly. Only the eyes showed and they were outlined in a mottled black and green.

The voice was female.

“Becky?” Harris couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to do this.

“Shut the fuck up.” The woman pulled off the rest of the chador. She wore a dark blue jumpsuit. From a pocket she pulled a length of thin rope.

“Sit up.” She took her foot off his chest.

He reached to rub where she had been grinding into his collar bone.

“Don’t bother. You aren’t pretty enough to worry.” she gabbed his hands and began to tie them behind his back. “Your pictures in the paper make you look a lot handsomer than you are.”

“Miss …”

“Oh don’t you Miss me.”

The face leaned into his. “I’m sorry to disappoint you.” As she spoke the voice changed, deepened before it became distorted. “I’m all man. You got that fat ass Harris.” He looped the rope around Harris left wrist and pulled that arm behind Harris’s back.

Harris lurched forward, stood up and knocked the guy off balance. The man was not much bigger than Andy. Before he could move he felt a searing shock on his right thigh. He fell back to the couch dazed.

“Hurts doesn’t it.” The man reached under his mask and extracted the speaker of the voice distorter. “Amazing what science can do.”

The man waved a cellphone in Harris face. “Looks like a cellphone but hurts like hell.” He touched Harris lightly on the shoulder.

The jolt wasn’t as strong as the first one.

“Don’t worry this is non-lethal unless you have a pacemaker but packs enough to punch to keep you pacified. People drop like flies. I sneak up behind them. A little touch and down they go.”

“You’re the Stalker?”

“Clever man.” he grabbed Harris by the chin and give his head a sharp twist. “Now what did the bitch Detective tell you about me?”

“Nothing.”

“Lets dial this up just a bit.” he tapped a key and shocked Harris again.

This time the shock singed his tee-shirt.

“Nothing.” He rubbed his shoulder where had been shocked. “She played that recording of you. That’s all and told me to be careful.”

“Ooo to be afraid of little me. Let’s get this out of the way.” He yanked Harris’s tee shirt off, pulled the rope from under him and this time tied his hands behind his back.

“Ow.”

“Did she tell you anything about the case. About me.”

“No. Just that the guy I … who I stopped at the park … wasn’t you.”

“True. He didn’t have one of these, did he?”

He took a battery pack out of his back pocket.

“On its own it just jolts.” He plugged the battery pack into the taser. “With a power boost it will do more. Even kill. You have been the nearest connection to me the police have.”

“Connection?” He pulled at the ropes. “You took the risk to get those pictures of me. Great way to stay out of the way of the police.”

“Pictures of you and your famous movie star friends. You a Nobody, getting noticed.”

“Right, I am a nobody. I didn’t ask to ….”

“I know. No one asks. Like those poor assholes on their way home from work, from school. So innocent and bam I get them. They’ll never forget me. Even if they never know I am.”

“Play time.” Harris called to Andy.

“This’ll be fun.” Andy replied.

“What the fuck!” the man was stunned. “Who is that?” He looked around the apartment and noticed Andy for the first time. “Get over here.”

Andy remained silent.

Harris racked his brain for what order to give next. If only Andy could walk? If only Andy could make phone calls he could get a message to Rick.

“I said get over here. You little friend seems scared or something. You want me to hurt you?”

“Yeah I’d like that?” Andy giggled.

The man walked over to Andy and smacked him.

“Is that the best you can do. I can take it a lot harder than that.”

“What the fuck.” he punched Andy in the stomach.

“You like to play rough do you.”

Those had to be the pre-programmed phrases for s and m play he’d seen listed in the manual.

“Fuck it’s a goddamn doll.” The man gave Andy a dismissive shove.

The shove unbalanced Andy and the elf topped forward knocking the man over and landing on top of him

Harris stood while tugging at the rope around his wrists.

The man struggled under Andy. Turning over but not able to get Andy off him.

“Harder Andy.” Andy’s face was at the man’s chin. His hands began to open and close to pinch the man under him.

“You like that don’t you.” Andy said.

“Time to bite.” Harris’s wrists were getting looser. “Squeeze me.”

The doll’s mouth opened and closed on the man’s chin. The man twisted his head away. His mask was pulled off. ‘Squeeze me’ brought Andy’s arms closer together. The man’s face was covered with camouflage make up.

“Let’s jack.” This command jerked Andy’s forearms up and down rapidly about an inch.

“Optimus Prime.” Harris said. Those were the words he’d programmed for Andy to get an erection.

“Fuck me.” The man struggled trying to push the doll off him. Andy’s hips began to thrust.

With a grunt the man heaved Andy off him, and rammed the doll against the wall. He held the doll with one hand and tasered it it repeated with the other till Andy’s arms stopped moving. His fingers continued to twitch.

While he was occupied Harris dashed to the door. He had it partially opened before the guy grabbed him. Harris hit at his face with his elbow. Connected with a punch to the face. The man’s head was slippery with the camouflage paint.

The guy swung him back into the room and on to his stomach, shocking him on the back each time he tried to get up. Harris could smell his flesh burning.

He grabbed Harris by the hair.

“You like to play it rough. Well, I’m no wind up doll.”

Out of breath Harris sagged to the floor.

“That’s more like it. Get up.”

He pulled Harris to his feet.

“Let’s get out a breath of fresh air.” He pushed him the balcony. “That’s a fair drop I’d say.”

Harris nodded. If he appeared dazed by the taser he might lull the guy into a careless move.

The guy kicked the lounge to the balcony wall.

“Up you go.”

Harris stood on the chaise. He glanced over the edge.

His apartment door flew open. It was Detective Alverez and Agent Devros followed by apartment security.

“Hold it right there.” The man barked. “Or he’ll go over.”

“That’s what you think.” Harris leaned against the retaining wall and the chaise slid, knocking the man over. Harris clambered over him and into the living room.

“You’ll never get me.” The man shouted.

Harris turned around and the man was balanced on the balcony railing. Harris lurched forward and caught him by the calf as the man launched himself into the air.

They fell back. Harris hit his head. He lay still while his heart slowed and he caught his breath. An officer helped him to lie on the couch.

“Where is he?” He shook his head to clear it.

“Sir, it’s all under control. Please keep still.” A medic shone a light into his eyes. “You’ll be fine. Let me help you sit up. You’ve got bad electrical burns on your back.”

The police had his attacker handcuffed nearby. He was glaring at Harris as they started to take him to the door.

“Can you get me paper to write on and pen.” Harris asked Detective Alverez.

She took a pad out of her purse, tore off a page and handed it to Harris with her pen.

Harris wrote down the words of the curse as best as he could remember them. He trusted that intent was more important than accuracy. He rubbed blood from his head wound on it when.

“Can I talk to him?” He called to the policemen with his assailant.

They brought the man closer to him.

“Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.” Harris said as he tucked the curse into the man’s pocket. As he spoke he began to tremble. Pain shot across his chest. A strong cinnamon scent made him gasp for air.

“What the fuck.” The guy looked around. “The faggot is giving me his phone number.” His face paled and he grabbed his stomach. “I think I’m going to throw up.”

“I hope the number does you good where you’re going.” Harris’s trembling increased. The pain in his chest was worse as he gasped for breath.

“He’s going into shock.” One of the medic shouted. He fit an oxygen mask over Harris face. “Relax. Take deep breaths. That’s better. Now rest on your side while we tend these burns.”

Harris nodded yes. He let himself be laid on his side. His body relaxed as he breathed in the oxygen.

The police took his assailant out. He felt safe.

“You’re a lucky man Mr. Stevens.” Detective Alverez stood where he could see her. “How did you get that signal into the building’s security system?”

“Signal?” Harris took the oxygen mask away.

“I was keeping my eye on the feed from your floor Mr. Stevens.” The building security explained. “I noticed that Muslim lady get on the elevator. She was alone. I thought that was mighty odd to begin with. They’re always in two or threes. She didn’t get off her at floor either but yours. When you asked her in I thought that’s odd but …. anyway a little while later the system burped and all the monitors were showing this fight scene. I thought maybe cable system had broken into our feed because the images was a lot clearer than ours. Anyway I recognized you and called the police.”

 

kiss

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Lazarus Kiss.58

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.

kiss

*54* Friday

Harris was both amused and discomforted by the two dark blue chador clad women who cowered in the elevator. Their musky jasmin perfume took up more space than they did. The grille in their head pieces meant he couldn’t tell if they were looking at him or if their eyes were modestly cast down to look at the floor. When they got the main floor he stepped aside to let them scurry away ahead of him. They barely nodded to the concierge as they exited the building.

Harris still wondered who might be keeping an eye on him. Was it the pan handler. No this was the guy he’d seen on and off since he moved into the neighborhood. Was there an agent in a parked car watching him through shaded windows? That guy reading the Metro?

The day at dE.tail was typical. More seasonal promotional materials to work on. Send flowers anywhere in the world with an app tap of your cell phone. The same rose in different colors. All that changed from rose to rose were dew drops that had to catch the prescise precious glint of light.

This was another day where he worked right though lunch. A few of Jodis’s Oatex cereal bars kept him going. They tasted a lot better than the SportSpot Quknrg bars and had a nicer mouth feel. More crunch and less sticky smoothness. Even without a dark chocolate coating they unusually satisfying for a snack that was also supposedly healthy.

At first he didn’t feel compelled to stop at any of his favorite fast-food joints either. When was the last time he’d had a mango peanut buster smoothie and a pulled pork sandwich from Bazoon’s Deli. He’d skipped lunch and this would be the perfect reward. One that would save him having to cook anything when he got home.

Rather than take it home he sat at the window counter of Bazoon’s to people watched while he ate. The pulled pork was as spicy but larger than he remembered it. He got a plastic fork and picked at the meat to keep from eating all the bun. The spice made his feet sweat.

“Looks good.” A woman sat on the stool beside him. She wore a dark pink skirt and matching tailored jacket.

“Excellent.” he slurred while chewing.

“It’s hard to find good pulled pork.” She bit into her sandwich without smearing her lipstick.

Their eyes met. Harris recognized the glint. It was the curse. Could he control how far it went now that he was this aware?

She turned to face him. Her knees touching his outer thigh. He became aroused. He focused on the pulled pork. “You should try the one of the smoothies too.”

“You’re the type of smoothie I’d like to try.” she shifted slightly, her skirt hitched up a bit higher.

Did she expect he’d do her right here in the window of Bazoon’s? A good promo for the sandwiches. Meat so good you gotta have more. Get all your pork pulling needs meet at Bazoon’s. Every sandwich a happy ending. He put his hand on her leg and let in move up under her skirt. Who cares if passers-by saw them.

She put her purse over his hand to block it from view. As he pushed a finger under her panties the purse fell.

“Sorry.” he pulled his hand out. “I’ll get that for you.”

He got off his stool to pick up the purse. He wanted to put back on her lap, to continue what they had started. He handed it to her hoping that’s what she would do. She did. She spread her legs wider. Was there a way to slip that his face would end up between them. Face first jammed into her box. How would pulled pork pussy taste. Get pulled pork pussy on the menu and business would boom.

This wasn’t him. This wasn’t her.  He wanted to step away but couldn’t. His head throbbed. There was a sharp pain across his collar bone. He took a deep breath. He’d felt this pang when he’d resisted Alex. It wouldn’t kill him.

It took all his will power to sit back at the counter with a stool between them. He pulled his sandwich closer to him

“Not much seating room here is there?” He pushed  a fork full of pork into his mouth.

“No.” The woman had another bite of her sandwich.

The confused look in her face tempted Harris to explain, to apologized but he knew he had to resist. He had to resist knowingly if he was to live with the curse. His breathing became easier. The pain in his chest subsided. The lust rush was over for him. He glanced at her.

As she chewed she was staring at her sandwich. Her chewing slowed, stopped. She put the sandwich down. She looked at him.

“What the … What came over me.” She got off the stool looking around Bazoon’s. “Did you … see me eat that. Was I eating that?”

Alarmed she pointed at her sandwich.

Harris nodded yes. He felt sorry for her and at the same time wanted to laugh at her. It was only a sandwich. She might have ended up eating a lot more than that if he had himself go.

“I’ve been a vegan for the last ten years. Meat is murder. What would possess me to come in here.”

She hurried out. Harris knew she wouldn’t remember this after ten minutes. Then let her figure out how she got the taste of pulled pork in her mouth.

He wiped his mouth off and headed home.

There was a different concierge sitting behind the entrance desk.

“Rick how you keeping.”

“Very good Mr Harris. ” Rick was one of the original security staff. “We’ve all been briefed by the Agent Darvos. I never would have taken you for a man to lead such a life.”

“Us superheros have two identites.”

“I’ll do everything to keep both of them safe from harm.”

As always Harris was happy to be back in the safety of his apartment. He dropped his shoulder bag on the floor in front of the bureau.

“I’m home honey.”

“Hard day at the pixel mine Harris.” Andy said.

“You can say that again.”

“Hard day at the pixel mine Harris.”

Harris shook his head in amusement. Andy was such a literalist. But the new welcome home greeting kept him in a good mood. Resisting the curse had taken more out of him than he expected but he was encourged that he could resist it. May be he could deal with Alex more firmly too.

He undressed in his room for a change. Slipped into clean boxers and a Superman tee. The ‘s’ logo had lost most of the red but he preferred this old school logo to the newer one.

Harris’s phone rang. “Hello Agent Davros. Come right up.”

Moments later there was knock on his door and he let the policeman in. There was a woman with him. Sort of plain, wearing a nondescript pale pink skirt with matching blazer.

“Harris you shouldn’t give our officers the slip.”
“The slip? I don’t follow you.”

“Agent Carson here had you under surveillance till you went to a deli.”
“Bazoon’s?”

“That’s the place.” Carson said. “I had taken over from agent Williams. He had pointed you, I mean Mr Stevens, out to me as he left his office, to make sure I knew who I was to keep an eye on. I followed Mr. Stevens for approximately three blocks till he went into Bazoon’s. He ordered food and sat in the window. Which made surveillance much easier. Then you were gone.”

“I ate my sandwich and came home.”

“The concierge let us know you had returned. Agent Carson did not observe you leaving Bazoon’s.”

“When I saw you weren’t where I had seen you I went to investigate. There The only other exit was through the prep area in back. The prep cook said no one had gone through there.”

“Possibly you missed me when I left. I don’t recall seeing you.” Harris said to Agent Carson.

“You weren’t supposed to see me.”

“That is for your protection.”

“Honestly, I did not try to evade surveillance. By that time I had forgotten all about it, just like you said I would. I didn’t speak to anyone till I got home. I said hello to Rick downstairs and Andy when I got in.”

“Andy.”

“I’m home, Honey.” Harris said in Andy’s direction.

“I sure missed you.” Andy replied.

The two agents looked in amazement at Andy.

“A gift from a very grateful friend.” Harris explained. Yes, it was time get Andy dressed in something besides that ill fitting Robin tee-shirt.

*55*

Harris unpacked the wireless computer to TV kit he had bought during his lunch break. He’d always found it wise to limit the time he had in any electronics store or he’d leave with much more than he had intended to buy. There was a bin in his basement storage unit to testify to the appeal of electronic crap he used once or twice and was too bored to want play air guitar or dance along to music he couldn’t stand hear more than those one or two times.

He opened the balcony door for fresh air. He laid out each of the kit’s parts on his coffee table. Read through the quick start guide, saddened that the full manual was available on line for further questions. The set up took less than five minutes. He first tested his lap top and the picture image and sound were good.

“Play time.” He called to Andy.

“This’ll be fun.” Andy replied in Alex’s voice.

Harris clicked through the menu on his TV screen and there was the back of his head as seen by Andy.

Cool.

Not that he wanted to watch the back of his head but it was cool that this worked exactly as he had expected it to. The wireless transmitter’s splitter could pick signals from both his lap top and the software that was Andy’s brain.

He tuned off the TV. He felt quite accomplished, satisfied with another productive day. His meeting with Tavi to book vacation time, electronics that worked as easily as promised. He’d spent the day without once relfecting on the curse, or on Alex either.

There was a gentle knock at his door. The peek screen revealed a chador clad woman. He knew there were a couple of Muslim families on the floor above his.

“Can I help you?” he opened the door a few inches. Had the curse hit one of them in the foyer when they passed.

#Toronto #amwriting #Wordpress #dating #lgbtq #nanowrimo #novel #Ontario

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Coming April 03 – 2018

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Lazarus Kiss.57

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.

kiss

Lazarus Kiss.57

Harris walked the few blocks south to his office. Was there an undercover cop tailing him. He glanced in store fronts to see what he could in their reflection. Was the stalker taking more pictures of him. Was a stranger going to brush up and fall in lust with him? Would Davros tackle them and not understand why neither of them remembered meeting. Should he get out of town. That held definate promise. Aruba here I come.

*53*

Walking up the steps of his exit from the subway Harris glanced around. Who was guarding him? Was the stalker near at hand. He had racked his brain trying to piece together the face of the guy who taken his and Marshall’s picture the other day. A male form was the best he could do. Holding a camera in front of his face. He did think it odd at the time that the guy walked away holding that camera in front of his face. Harris supposed now it was deliberate to keep his face covered.

Fire engines, sirens screaming, roared by. Several of them meant it had to be a big fire. Then police cars. There was band playing the park adding to the noise level. On the elevator up were two teenage guys with earbuds so loud he wondered if they were trying to drown out one another’s sad taste in music.

His apartment was cool and quiet. He stood with his back against the door to breathe in the cool quite of his apartment as he slipped off his runners.

“Just you and me tonight Andy.”

If he was going to keep the elf he really should get it clothes to wear besides his over sized tee-shirts.

His voice echoed in the silent apartment. His ears  gradually lost the echo of keyboards in the office, subway rumbles, crowd hurry and sirens.

He could hear his fly as he pulled the zipper down, hear his belt buckle as he undid it to let his pants drop to the floor. He tossed them with a flick of his foot to the back of his couch. His shirt landed with a soft rustle where he threw it to land beside his pants. Socks and undies quickly followed.

Peace and quiet. The cool of the kitchen floor was a welcome relief to his bare feet. He opened the freezer to see what he had to nuke for supper.

He heard a noise in the living room. He shut the fridge and listened intently.  Did he lock his door when he came in? He would have heard his apartment door open wouldn’t he. Was there someone in there when arrived? His flesh goose pimpled as he stood stark-naked, stock still in the kitchen. A shadow darted through the reflection of light from his balcony windows.

Another sound from the living-room. This time a little louder. His fucking cell was in his shoulder bag. The shoulder bag was on the bureau by the door. Fuck fuck fuck why didn’t have a phone in his kitchen. He looked to see what he could use to defend himself if he had to. There were knives in the cutlery drawer. He leaned forward to pull the drawer open. He inched it out as quietly as he could.

As he reached inthe drawer he felt a cool breath on his back. He fumbled for a knife in the drawer. Something cool and hard thumped him gently on the back. The goddamn fridge door had swung open. That was the cold breath.

He grabbed a pizza cutter and peeked into the living room. He saw nothing. Heard nothing. From the corner of his eye he saw a shadow dart though the light. Pigeons flew from his balcony rail.

Fuck! It was nothing. He tip-toed past the couch and to his shoulder bag. His pants and shirt had fallen to floor. That was what he had heard. Christ Alvereze’s warning had turned him into a bundle of nerves. He longed for a more inviting homecoming than Andy. Someone who would want to protect him. Someone who could handle themselves in a fight like Alex. Yeah as if that was going to happen.

He picked up his clothes. Emptied his pant pockets and dropped them into his laundry hamper. Shower first. But he’d never hear anything over the sound of the shower.

Not if he turned on Andy. He had changed all Andy’s defaults from auto start to manual start. He twisted the nipple and the elf’s eyes opened.

“Thank you Harris for turning me on.”

“Record.”

“With pleasure. I am ready for upgrades anytime you are.”

This meant that Santa had made new changes in the basic programming but he’d have to go fully on line to get the upgrades.

“Later little buddy.”

He positioned Andy in the hall by the bathroom door where motion would trigger his cameras. If the motion was close enough it would also trigger a vocal response.

Harris walked by to test it.

“Looking good tonight.” Andy said. The voice was loud enough for Harris to hear it in the shower.

What he didn’t hear while he was in the shower was his cell phone. There was a message from Alex. “Harris. Haven’t heard from ya in a few days. I’d real like to meet up with ya just t’talk. If we’re forced together we might as well figure it out t’gether, ya know, two heads better’un one. Give me a call.” he ended with his number.

“We’ll call him later.” Harris said to Andy.

He turned on his lap top. Went to his personal Sex Toy Shoppe, Andy Humphun page. The message about the up grades said. “The Andy Humphun’s preprogrammed vocabulary was limited to twelve thousand words. With this new upgrade you can teach Andy to say anything that isn’t now in his vocabulary.

“The feature allows customizing of his voice. Previously owners could only use the voices we had installed with limited pitch and speed various. With this new upgrade you can input any voice and program Andy to speak in it. You can use any voice source for this. At least three minutes of the voice is needed for it to be digitized properly.

Harris agreed to the conditions and downloaded the upgrades. Andy’s fingers twitched to show that his hard drive was accepting the upgrades.

“That was fun.” Andy said.

What voice to use?Harris wished had his dvd collection of the 60’s Spiderman cartoon show. It would be ultra-cool to have J Jonah Jameson’s voice say “Thank you for turning me on.”

He wasted twenty minutes searching for clips on line but the sound quality of what he saw wasn’t good enough or long enough either. Why not Alex’s voice.

He was able to transfer the recent voice message into the voice program. Andy’s fingers twitched.

‘Voice program’ completed flashed on his computer screen. He walked past Andy.

“Looking good tonight.”

The voice sounded like Alex was in the room. Crazy. He programmed Andy to respond with various phrases by saying things such as “Let’s have fun tonight.” “You like that don’t you.”

The last thing he did was set Andy to a variety of start up phrases to have not hear “Thank you for turning me on Harris” again.

“You having fun.” Harris said tickling Andy’s balls.

“Let me rub your belly, baby.” Andy replied.

Harris laughed until he began to cry. He saw how a toy like this had amazing sales potential beyond its sex play function. Better than a parrot for keeping you company.

He looked at the time. Three hours had passed and he hadn’t eaten, hadn’t thought of the stalker. The old saw was right about time flying when you’re having a fun.

Harris saw this as change in his usual stress response. No reaching for food to numb his fears.

“Change is good.” he said to Andy as he took him back to his spot in the corner by the door.

Andy said nothing.

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Lazarus Kiss.56

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.

kiss

Lazarus Kiss.56

If she had been on her own would he have refused. Bazz was a good looking guy, better put together than Harris. No, that wasn’t it. But what was it?

At the end of the night Alex was taking a leak in the second floor men’s room. It was usually the tidier of the two after a busy night. The urinal was plugged, he used the toilet. As he zipped he noticed a graffiti. It said “To read this you have to be on your knees sucking a dick – he who sucks is the real queer.”

He’d seen it when he started working and thought it was funny. Made sense though. He muttered ‘he who sucks’ under his breath as he left he washroom. Dezum was entering as he exited.

“What’s that.” Dezum said.

“Laughing ‘bout that graffiti. ‘He who sucks is the real queer.’”

“Mighty true.” Dezum grimaced at the plugged up urinal.

“Ya ever, ya know …”

“Let a guy suck me off. Yeah.”

“What!” Dezum towered above Alex at 6’4” with a footballer’s hard compact body to back up his height.

“Oh yeah.” Dezum said from the toilet stall. “Sometimes you gotta sell what you got to get by in this world, you know.”

They started to wipe down and stack the tables on the second floor’s back patio.

“Must been about eighteen. Folks far away. Me here in this city. Didn’t know anyone except Hassler. Some guy offered me a couple of hundred and some blow to make a movie. Ha Ha. Blow for me for blow me. Rich.”

“You did queer porn?”

“It was whack alright. Some dingy apartment.  The guy who was doing me was in the same boat as I was. But he was the one gettin’ on his knees not me. Wouldn’t let them shoot my face either. I couldn’t get it up. The other kid sucked on my long shlong to no effect. The producer …” He made air quotes as he said producer. “ … gave me some hard on drug, put raunchy straight porn on the TV for me to watch and boing I was hard. Everyone happy.  Got my cash, my two blows and that was that.”

“Ya were stoned to let it happen.”

“Not that time. The next yes. Rent had to be paid. Praise Jesus I got a legit job when I did.”

“You enjoyed it? I mean having a guy ….”

“Enjoyed? No, not at all. It was only them two times. Second time was worse when I couldn’t get it up. He said he liked his dicks big and hard, not just big. Rich dude too I could have been set for life, or until he wanted a new eighteen year old.”

Riding his bike home Alex tried to figure out where queer began. Was it queer when neither wanted to but did. Like Dezum doing that movie with another guy, both trying to make a buck.

*51* Thursday

Detective Alverez showed Harris the series of photos. In the first two he was going into his office building, in the next two he and Marshall were going into Mamma S’s. The last two were of him and Marshall in their booth. The pictures had been charred along the bottoms.

“You remember having these taken?” Detective Alverez asked.

“Not the first ones but a couple of Marshall’s fans did spot us in the back.”

“Do you recall them at all?”

“Let’s see.” Harris closed his eyes. “The first was a man. Dark hair. Not tall. Not heavy. Didn’t say much. Appeared at the table and took his pictures. Then a couple of Asian girls. Big fans. He had to sign a take out menu to get rid them.”

“Not tall. Not heavy. Not much use to us. You didn’t get a good look at this first guy’s face?”

“No. We were getting caught up on long lost family stuff.”

“These came in this morning along with this message from the Stalker.”

She played the message on her lap top. It was the same distorted voice as the previous message.

“Feeling the heat. Tell that fat ass he’s going to burn. When he does it’ll come as shock to everyone. Oh yeah burn baby burn.” she stopped the playback.

“That’s it?”

“Yeah. Still too distorted to get to the actual voice. Has to be filtered through more than one voice coder to get that degree of distortion.”

“So he’s following me?” The fact that the stalker had been this close to him, to Marshall and with neither of knowing the danger they were in made Harris queasy.

“Looks that way. Our profiler concludes that when you rescued Donna Garvis he focused on you. He was bored with the random attacks. After getting away with those he needed a greater challenge.”

“Why me? I’m a nobody.”

“Now a nobody with a famous relative. The profiler feels that gives him more justification.”

“Justification?”
“You’re stealing his spotlight. Without trying.”

“What’s with this burn baby burn? He didn’t set fire to his victims. Did he?” Harris ran his finger along the charred edge of the photos.

“No but he tasered them. We haven’t released that detail to the press. The surviving victims have been told not to talk about it either.”

“A taser that can kill?”

“Not usual. Darrell Jones had a pace-maker. The taser jolt is what killed him. We’re pretty sure the stalker didn’t expect that to happen.”

“The other two.”

“I’ve told you all I can. On going investigations and all that. But they were tasered too.”

Harris longed for a couple of double glazed old fashioned donuts to take his mid off this for the few seconds it would take to eat them. As if the awareness of the curse wasn’t enough to deal with he now had this to cope with on top of it.

“Send in Agent Davros.”

Agent Davros was about Harris’s height. Short black hair. Stocky. He wore a dark blue sports coat, grey pants and a pale blue shirt.

“Agent Davros this is Harris Stevens. I’m assigning Davros to you.”

“Pleased to meet you.” They shook hands.

“For my protection?”

“Exactly. Now we don’t anticipate the stalker to do anything obvious though.”

“You mean as obvious as walking up to me and taking my picture in a pizzeria.”

“There was no risk of discovery to him was there?” Davros said.

“We could put you in a safe house if you want.” Detective Alverez suggested. “But we are hoping you might lure him out. Make him careless.”

“I’m to be your bait!” Harris stood. He wanted to leave the room. “I’m just another fat ass nobody like he says. What’ll I do if he … What I don’t want to do this? Be bait.”

“My team will keep a discreet eye on you. You probably won’t even notice us. You haven’t yet have you?” Davros said.
“Yet?”

“We started when you left your condo this morning.” Davros smiled.

“People are following me?” Harris sighed. Trapped by the unseeable but unavoidable curse and now boxed in by the invisable yet visabale police

“The profiler warns that the stalker will act again soon. There’s been two murders since you rescued Donna Garvis.”

“You’re sure that wasn’t him, right. That attacked her.”

“No. She was not tasered.”

“Right.” Harris exhaled deeply. “Lets hope I can act natural.”

“You’ll be fine. A tad nervous perhaps but you’ll forget we’re even around.” Davros reassured him.

“Easy for you say. No drives to work or body guards at my side?”

“Right. Stick to your normal routine.” Detective Alverez walked him to the station door. “Don’t worry.”
Harris walked the few blocks south to his office. Was there an undercover cop tailing him. He glanced in store fronts to see what he could in their reflection. Was the stalker taking more pictures of him. Was a stranger going to brush up and fall in lust with him? Would Davros tackle them and not understand why neither of them remembered meeting. Should he get out of town. That held definate promise. Aruba here I come.

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Lazarus Kiss.55

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.

kiss

Lazarus Kiss.55

She was sitting up, lighting a cigarette. Her breasts brown in the sun. Cupcake size. The size Alex liked. No make up to conceal her freckled face. Brown hair tied in two small tufted pigtails.

“Could you hand me that?” she pointed to a book on the back stoop.

He brought it to her.

“Nice abs too.” She ran her hand over his stomach. “Smooth skin. A smooth bell and hairy legs. I can dig that.” she caressed his calf. “Sturdy legs. Sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. Janet O’Connors. Mrs O’Connors is my aunt.”

The O’Connors lived on the first floor.

“I’m visiting for a week to help her now that’s she’s back from the hospital. Hip replacement.”

“I didn’t know.” he felt himself becoming aroused.

“What do we have here.” she laughed. Her hand went under his shorts and her fingers nails lightly scratched his balls. “If I only known there was such a hottie living upstairs I wouldn’t have wasted my time out here. You are Alex aren’t you?”

“ ‘At’s me.” he stepped back to disengage her hand.

“Mrs O threatened to ask you down to supper. Seems you recently broke up and she claims you’d be a great rebound catch.”

“Ya know all the ‘portant stuff.”

He hadn’t had sex since belly fucking Harris. Hadn’t even jacked off. Hadn’t wanted to.

Janet flicked her cigarette over the back fence and into the alley way.

“My aunt isn’t home. Let’s go inside. Or if you rather we can do it out here. I don’t mind.” she pushed her bikini bottom off. “If anyone doesn’t like what they see we’ll have to put on a full show. You’ve done it outside before.”

“Yeah. But … I have laundry ..” he swallowed hard. “If ya don’t keep ya eye on it … it overflows. You know.”

“Like you’re about to overflow.” she picked up a clothes peg and pinched his straining erection with it.

“Ow.” he stepped back. The clothes peg held for a second before it fell to the grass.

She picked it up and pinned his nipple with it. It hurt but not too much.

“Like that, I hope.” she grabbed more clothes pegs and used them to pinch his other nipple, then along his pectorals. Each peg had a bite as it held his puckered skin.

“Here.” she handed him a handful. “Try me.”

He pegged her hard nipples, ear lobes.

“Nice.” she whispered. “You learn fast. These wooden ones don’t have the power of plastic but they’ll do in a pinch.” she laughed. She squeezed the pegs on his nipples so they bit harder. He did the same to hers.

“Fuck yeah Alex that’s how it works.” She put one leg up on the chaise, pressed his shoulders with her hand to push him to his knees. Tongue out he leaned into to her pussy.

“No. These.” She pulled the clothes pegs off her ears. On my lips there.” She spred her vulva. It was wet and slick. “Perfect. Perfect. Now my clit, baby. Get them on my clit. Hold them there.” She shuddered, her thighs trembled as she slid back onto the chaise. She lay there silent.

Alex took the clothes pegs off his body. There were small red marks where they had been.

“Oh no. not yet. You’re next baby. But these won’t do for you will they.” She pulled her purse out from under the chaise. “Have I got a treat for you.” she took out a bag of small silver clips.

“You carry those around all the time?”

“Left overs from the Strana fetish ball the other night.”

The first clamp bit hard at his nipple and he teared up.

“Feels real good doesn’t it.” She dropped to her knees. Put clips on his scrotum. Each clip bite made him harder. “Yeah baby likes that. Crap none left. Can you take it?”

“Uh huh.” the stinging wasn’t unpleasant.

“This’ll have to do.”

She pulled one of clothes pegs off her labia lips and pinched it to the skin right under the head of his cock. “That’ll hold.” She give it an extra squeeze.

The peg was slick from her pussy. He could smell her sex. As he ejaculated she yanked on the clips on his nipples. He arched back as his come splashed her between the breasts.

“Good one.” She laughed. She dabbed the tip of her finger nail in his come and licked it. “Tastes better than sun tan lotion.” She grabbed his discarded shorts and wiped herself. “I’ll be here till Monday.”

“Then there’ll be time for ya to help m’ with the rest of m’ laundry.”

They took the clothes pegs and clips off each other.

“Turn around.” she ordered.

He did.

“I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss one. Don’t want you wandering the streets with clothes pegs sticking out, do we?”

He pulled his come smeared shorts on and went back to the laundry room to get the other load. When he brought it up she was gone.

He hung his undies and socks. The sex was good, different but not different in the same way it was with Harris. The head of his cock didn’t tingle in the same way.  He’d enjoy more play with Janet but if that didn’t happen he wouldn’t be disappointed.

Alex locked his bike in the basement of Story. He’d had one stolen so far and even though the replacement was crap he didn’t want to lose another one.

Alex changed gingerly into his Story uniform shirt. His left nipple was scabbing over from where the clamp had been yanked off. He hadn’t had a nipple injury like that since he stopped doing matches where it was routine to have mat burns on his shoulders, knees and nipples.

The trainers had taught the fighters how to quickly treat minor abrasions with an antiseptic gel that would numb the wound enough for them to continue fighting. Though no opponent had almost bit off his nipple like this. Both of them were bleeding slightly after the match with Janet.

Alex knew he was a bit of a sex pig but the kinkiest thing he’d experienced was a three way years a go with a pair of ultimate fighter groupies. That is unless he counted this thing for Harris as a kink.

He changed into his Story shirt and apron. He was glad to see that Cally wasn’t working that night. He loved his sister but couldn’t tell if she was hard to please because of who he was or because she was a sister.

“Hey bro,” Hassler called to him “We had a wild time with those babes the other night. Thanks for the hook up.”

“Any time.”

“Too bad you weren’t into them. I’ve see the gals that go for you here and they were right up your alley.”

“Yeah I get tired of doin’em in the alley.”

It was a slow night. He had time to clear tables without having to take orders at the same time.

He was checking his tips when Janet walked in.

She wore a tight black dress with a dark red lace frill around the hem and high neck. Shiny black spike heels. Her hair was pulled back, slicked down with a high sheen. Freckles gone, eyes smouldering and a touch of bronze glitter on her cheek bones. Bronze glitter on her shoulders completed the look.

A few steps behind her was a tall man. Bald. Black leather vest with nothing under it, black jeans, black boots. Around his neck was a dog collar. The leash was a length of the same red lace frill as on Janet’s dress. His arms tattooed with Celtic knots and chains.

The room hushed briefly. The jaws of the barmen dropped.

“Alex.” She smiled widely. “So happy to see you again.”

She sat at the table he had just cleared, crossed her legs daintily. “Bloody Aztec, with Cazadores.”

He went to the bar with her order. The man with her remained standing.

“Alex, you never cease to amaze me,” Hassler made the cocktail. “No wonder you weren’t so eager the other night.”

He took the drink to her table. She smelled it, took a tiny sip and turned to smile at Hassler. Alex thought Hassler was going to jump over the counter to kiss her hand.

“Bazz and I were on our way to Strana and I thought we might drop in for a drink on the way.”

Strana was an adult sex club that had opened at the start of the summer.

“I told Bazz about our clothes hanging adventure this morning. He wanted to meet you. Right Bazz.” She gave his leash a tug.

“Yes mistress.”

“I hope your clothes dried properly.”

“Yes. Can I get your … friend something?”

“No.” She finished the cocktail. “But you can get me another of these.”

Hassler had already mixed another one.

“I like the service here.” she turned again to Hassler and  toasted him. “Obedience deserves to be acknowledged.”

“We were wondering if you would care to join us.” She wiped the corner of her mouth.

“Tonight?”

“Tell him what you can do for him Bazz.”

The big guy leaned to Alex’s ear. “I will lick your asshole tender while mistress enjoys you squirming for more.”

His vest opened as he leaned to give Alex a view of a sunburst tattoo around his navel. Both his nipples had small barbell piercings with red gems on both ends.

“Why will you do that my pet?” she yanked his leash.

“Because it will bring my mistress pleasure to see me humiliated by licking a handsome man’s asshole.”

“He is so well trained.” She patted Bazz on the ass. “Does that appeal to you Alex.”

Four guys came into the room, took one look at Janet and sat quietly at a

table.

“He’ll be with you in a moment.” she turned to them. “You don’t mind waiting, do you, boys?” she uncrossed and crossed her legs.

The guys all shook their heads in agreement.

“Well Alex, is it a date?”
“No.”

“I see.” she used Bazz’s arm to stand. “Bazz will be disappointed.”

Alex wiped her table. “I don’ swing that way. I’m not obedient.”

“Tell that to the guys over there as you take their orders..”

“Whatever.” Alex folded his table rag.

“Pity.” she took her cell out of her clutch and handed it to Bazz as they walked out. “Taxi.”

“Yes mistress.”

Alex waited on the four guys.

If she had been on her own would he have refused. Bazz was a good looking guy, better put together than Harris. No, that wasn’t it. But what was it?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 

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Lazarus Kiss.54

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.

kiss

Lazarus Kiss.54

Two blushing Asian girls came to the table. They asked about the new movie. One took pictures with her cell phone. The other asked if he a picture to sign for her.

She darted off and came back with one of the take menus for him to sign and insisted her friend take a picture of that to prove it was him who signed it. They left happy.

“I never felt Stan was my Dad. I mean my biological father. I was about thirteen when Mom told me part of the truth. She felt I was old enough to understand.”

“Plus she didn’t want the press digging up if you because a famous actor, right.”

“Yeah I suppose that too. But she said my real dad was dead. That he died before they could get married. It was strange that she didn’t have anything to remember him by. Now I know why. She didn’t remember. That is if this is how the curse works. Right. Neither party remembers after the fact.”

“Pretty much. Though when they both remember it is something else.”

“You mean you do … there’s someone who … not that girl you were with.”

“Oh no trust me. I remember her but there’s nothing there. She only went to the gala with me because she’s a fan of yours. Suits me fine too. But there is a guy …”

“A guy! Fuck! Now I have a gay dad, too.” Marshall slumped back in the booth.

“No! It’s like we’re both caught in this dance played by the curse. We didn’t ask for it and now we have to deal with it. Which is what guess happens with everyone who gets pulled in.”

“What? Is he femme for you or something like that?”

“No. He did ultimate fighting at the pro level at one time.”

“Not too shabby. Why not?”
“Why not what?”

“Go for it. Afraid you might like it?”

“Marshall that’s not the issue. The issue is choice.”

“You mean if you met without the curse and were attracted you might consider it? This is way fucked. I’m having a father son talk with my Dad about my Dad’s sexuality.”

“Yeah, well pitch that to your agent.”

“This isn’t such a big thing, you know.”

“Would you?”

“Why not?” His phone rang. “Looks like Mom has tracked me down. Look whose here.”

Harris leaned to look to the window of Mamma S’s and Blake was coming in the door.

Blake was thick set, over six foot, so tanned it was hard for Harris to get an idea of his age but certainly no teen-ager. He walked stiffly as if the weight of his biceps and shoulders slowed him down.

“Your mother is furious.” Blake’s voice was deep, gravely; his lemon after-shave over powered the garlic smell of the pizzaria. “She didn’t know where you had gone.”

“I know, like that time in Paris.” Marshall give a little laugh.

“Rio. Tokyo.” Blake counted them off on his fingers. “Gdansk.”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s why I have this.” He showed Harris a thin yellow bracelet on his left arm. “I told you – a GPS tracker.”

“That and the phone. Texting your agent is always a give-a-way.” Blake snorted. “Car’s around the corner. We have to be at the airport in an hour.”

“Okay.” Marshall slid out of the booth. “It was cool hanging out with you Harris.”

Harris started to get up but Blake held him in place. “Finish your pizza.” He turned to Marshall. “Get a move on. I have a message to deliver here from your mother.”

Marshall shrugged his shoulders and waved bye to Harris. “Mother knows best. I’ll stay in touch.” He left.

Blake sat where Marshall had been sitting. “Look I don’t know why Clara is always antsy about you folks but the fact that she is good enough for me. Stay away from the boy.”

“That boy ….” Harris almost said ‘is my son.’ “ … is going on 20.”

Blake was pulling the pizza crusts to shreds. “We don’t want anything to hurt his image. That’s all. You understand?”

“I’m not the one who took a picture and sent it to the press.”

“That’s pr not an opening for his long lost family to move in on him.”

“Listen Blake.” Harris stood up. “The fact that he’s my cousin is no big deal to me. I have a life. Had one before this weekend.”

“We don’t want interviews showing up.”

“About what? Him being my cousin. Or about events that went on between sisters twenty years ago.”

“What the fuck are you talking about.”

“I could ask you the same thing. Look if Marshall wants to stay in touch I’m not going to stop him. Nor can you.”

Blake started to get up. Harris put his hand on his shoulder to stop him. “You can deliver a message to his mother from me.”

“Yeah. What?”

Harris wasn’t sure if he had a message for his aunt but he wasn’t going to let Blake bully him either.

“I’ll break the mirror when I know how.”

“What the fuck does that mean?” Blake pushed him aside. “Whatever. Keep your distance. You hear.”

Back in his cubical Harris was comforted by the tapping and clicking of keyboards around him. Especially the mating call of the horned white crested finch, the latest of Jodis’s endangered species cell alerts.

*49*

When he got to his building Becky waited impatiently in the outside foyer.

“That jerk wouldn’t even let me wait inside.”

“What do you want?”  Her candy smell was overwhelming.

“Look I’m so sooo sorry for how I acted last night. I guess I was post menses or something like that. When I told my friend Barb what had happened she said i had totally over reacted.” She toyed with the string on his hoodie.

“Whatever.” He wanted to get to his apartment and take his shoes off.

“Say you’ll give me another chance.”

Harris didn’t know what to do. Thanks to the curse he’d never had a relationship that lasted long enough for him to learn how to actually have a relationship. It was find’em forget’em. Because of the forget’em he didn’t know he’d actually met’em, or fucked’em for that matter.

“Look. Okay.”

“Then we ….”

“We can head over to Mug Thuggs.”

“Where we first met. It’ll be like our favorite cafe.”

He went inside to get away from the cloud of Becky’s perfume and asked to the concierge if he’d any mail. He looked at Becky though the glass doors. She was texting.

Marshall was right. She was young. But she was pretty. Short dark hair in a bed-head bob.  Loose blue top and denim shorts. He recognized her sandals with the jewel trim on the straps for the Shoeville’s Sultry Summer line. Was that the color her hair was last night?

“That’s done. Mug Thuggs fine by you?”

“I just told you it was. Men have such short attention spans sometimes. I was just texting Barb that you’re not holding a grudge. I don’t know what gets into me sometimes. I guess it was all that gala glamor and I sortta lost my better self. You know how that happens don’t you.”

“Yeah. There are times ….”

“I’m real happy you’re cool with this.” she took his hand. “Great night for a walk.”

“I’m glad it’s …”

“I don’t have a boyfriend. You know I told you I was breaking up with some I guy. Its just something I use to protect myself.”

“You don’t have …”

“I’ll make it up to you.”

“Whatever.” He wasn’t taking her back to his place regardless. “I need to decompress from work first.”

“Gosh I know how that feels.” she laughed.

They were at the cafe.

“Oh my God! There’s Sheila.” She waved to a woman on the patio who stood to let them know they could sit with her.

Fuck another set up. What did this broad want anyway?

“I know she’ll dig you. I told her all about your little friend too.”

“What! All this is a set up for a weird threesome.”

“Foursome.” Becky giggled. “Understand if I didn’t dig you this wouldn’t happen. That doll thing isn’t enough. Really.”

Harris wasn’t sure how to get out this. Walking away didn’t seem the right solution.

“I have to go to the washroom. I’ll join you in a minute.” He had to get away from her to come up with an escape plan. In the washroom he splashed water on his face. He caught his reflection in the mirror.

Yes it was him.

Harris but with a new hair cut. Not that same man from a few weeks ago. He was now someone kinky, someone who had a guy hot for him, a father with a son.  How did he go from being ordinary to this and yet still look the same.

Yeah the curse paid a part in this but these were real people now. Real and interested in him.

He called Alex.

“Hey Alex …. yeah I did enjoy myself. Not as much as you but I guess I could learn too … look when do you have to be at Story …. that soon …. would you like to meet me at Mug Thuggs … it would be good to see you for a few minutes … great … see you in five …”

Let’s see how Becky handles this. He hoped his having a boyfriend would prove to be too kinky for her. As long it didn’t turn out that Sheila was a friend and not a girlfriend. Was this what ordinary people did? Not playing into the curse meant he had a lot more to learn than he expected. What the fuck was he setting himself up for?

Can’t wait to read the whole thing? order the PDF for $5.00 – paypal.me/TOpoet – say you want Kiss

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Lazarus Kiss.53

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.

kiss

Lazarus Kiss.53

He checked his bank account and the healthy balanced was now healthier thanks to the overtime bonus he’d got from Santa.

“Thank Santa for me.” He turned to Andy.

The seat sale prices kept going up between booking and paying. He tried several times and was tempted to call the toll free number to get the price he expected but the endless wait for a customer service representative wasn’t worth it. Instead he called Casa Della directly.

“Ah Mr Harris good to hear from you. You are going to be visiting us soon I hope.” Carlos Brando was the owner of Casa Della.

“If I can get a good flight Carlos. I was wondering if you could …”

“It would be my distinct pleasure to be of assistance Mr Harris. What dates did you have in mind.”

“Anything before the end of the September.”

“I am writing that down. I will make sure you have your usual room?”

“Great.”

“Danki. You will be alone again though?”

“Sadly, yes.”
“Not that sadly for you. You were never alone for long when you were here.” Carlos chuckled knowingly.

“I hope I’m a changed man Carlos. This year I want to remember the view from my bedroom not the … things I view in my bedroom”

“Quite right sir. I will get on this right away and will let you know shortly.”

“Thanks again Carlos.”

He closed his phone. His stomach grumbled. He went to his fridge and his appetite had returned. He pushed the tubs of extra creamy maple walnut ice cream aside and pulled out a lasagna. One double cheese delicious lasagna would be enough.

Barely thirty minutes has passed before Harris heard back from Carlos.

“That was fast Carlos.” He could hear music in the background.

“One must act fast at time to catch the moment. You called at a most fortuitous moment. We have staying with us representatives for the Grandest Tour Group.”

“I’ve heard of them.” Grandest were a ultra deluxe tour packaging company. One few could afford.

“I can offer you an amazing opportunity.” He quoted prices to Harris.

“What! That’s like more than half the best price I could find.”

“Call their direct line, ask for the Corpo agent and give them this code Casax129q. You have that.”

Harris wrote the details on the back cover of Andy’s user manual.

“Thanks Carlos.”

“We will happy to see you soon.”

Harris called the Grandest number and when he gave his code to the agent he discovered that it wasn’t simple after all. The one catch was that this price was only good if he could leave within five days. He couldn’t let this opportunity slip away so he booked his departure for the following Tuesday. He’d need that time to to make arrangements with dE.tail to get the time off.

*48* Wednesday

He went directly to Tavi’s office when he got to work in the morning. He knocked on the door. There was metallic click and the door opened.

Her desk was empty.

“Come in Harris.”

He stepped in but didn’t see her. The door closed behind him. The only chair was the one behind her desk.

“Please step closer to within camera range. Yes that’s fine.”

He coughed.

“You had something to tell me Harris?”

“Ah … yes … I’m like to take two weeks off starting Tuesday.”

The screen of the monitor that was facing away from him flickered.

“I’m just checking to see what is coming in next week. Back to Aruba?”

“Yes.”

“I envy you getting away.”

I envy you not even being here and still running things. How often had they thought she was in her office when she was elsewhere running things by texting.

“You did a great job with the Big Tots. The images look great on their app. You have a remarkable eye for the selling detail.”

“Thank you.”

“There. It’s all set. But please promise me you’ll take a lap top with you. We can’t afford to have your brilliant eyes gone that long.”

“Thanks Tavi.”

“Remember if we contact you you get a juicy bonus.”

“Thanks again.”

Harris’s concentration on the toe cleavage issue in Shoeville’s sultry evening sandals for summer collection final sale was broken by a sharp scream from one of the other cubicles.

“What is it” Dusan’s head appeared as he apparent stood on a piece of sports apparatus to take a look around the other cubicles.

Harris left his cubical. “That sounded like Jodis.”

Before Dusan could join him Jodis strode out. Her one fist clenched and punching empty, air the other firmly clutching her cellphone.

“He has killed a child.”

“Who?” Dusan looked to Harris and then to Jodis.

“The Stalker. It is on twitter.”

“You sure?” Harris went to his cubical and checked one of the online news pages.

“It won’t be there yet.” Jodis said. “They found the body this past hour. The police.”

“That makes three The Stalker has killed.” Dusan frowned. “That is three they’ve told us about.”

“He believes he can get away with anything. Anything.” Jodis paced impatiently.

Harris wasn’t sure what to say.

“Did that detective tell you anything when she was here yesterday.”

“Only that the guy I interrupted wasn’t the one.” He wasn’t going to tell them about the message with its veiled threat.

Harris was seeing spots every time he looked from his screen. The red spots of the Lady Fancy This fall lingerie collection were white spots dancing around his cubical when he turned to rest his eyes. At least there was nothing crotchless to worry about.

His cell rang.

“Hi Pops. Let’s lunch.”

“You have the wrong number.”

“It’s Marshall. Calling you Harris or Dad are too formal, I hoped ‘Pops’ might work.  I’m leaving today but ducked out early from that MTV morning show interview to lunch with you. How about it?”

“Sure. Where are you?”

“Getting off the elevator and walking into your office.”

Harris stepped out his cubical and there was Marshall putting his phone away.

“I gave Mom the slip too. But she has GPS in her blood so she could show up at any minute.” He laughed loudly.

Jodis and Dusan came out of their cubicles.

“I’d like you to meet Marshall Caldwell my … cousin.”

Dusan printed out pictures of Marshall from the Mirror Mind web site and got him to sign them before they could get away.

“Sorry about that.”

“I’m used to it. At lest they didn’t expect me to have a backpack of glossies to sign for them. Left those with Blake. I take it there are lots of decent places to eat around here.” He patted Harris on the belly. “You know, I could get my trainer to set up a program for you. Wouldn’t take too long to firm you up.”

“Funnily you aren’t the only person who made that offer this week. How’s pizza?”

“Fine by me. The offer wasn’t from that child you took to the gala last night was it?”

“Child? Becky.” Harris didn’t know how old Becky was.

“I didn’t think you would liked ‘em that young.”

“I don’t. I never thought of how old she was.”

“Oh, she’s legal but barely I’d say. Mom has trained me to very careful.”

They ordered at the counter of the Mamma S’s by Harris office and took a booth in the back were it was less likely Marshall would be spotted. Harris had to sit facing the window to make it harder to spot Marshall.

“Harris you gotta know how weird this is. Having two fathers I mean. I pitched it though.”

“Pitched it?”

“Yeah to Mike D, my agent. You gotta always be working on the thing after the next thing, generating it whenever possible. I suggested what if a guy learns his real dad is someone who could pass for his older brother. He didn’t think that had enough impact.”

A man came to their table. He held a camera at his eye which told them what he wanted. He stepped back, crouched to eye level with them and took a couple pictures. He walked away when their pizza arrived.

“Next I tried the curse. Guys attracts then forgets as does what he attracts. He says that idea has legs for sure as long as we have a great way to break the curse. Some nasty confrontation between me and the person who puts the curse on me.”

“On you?” Harris pulled a gooey piece of pizza and bite into it.

“Yeah I only pitch ideas for me. We figured the best twist would be if a granddaughter of the witch who cursed our family fell in love with me because of the curse.”

“Ironic.”

“There’d be a CGI scary ghost witch fight scene where my wire-work stunt skills and pure love would dispel the curse.”

“And when the witch was dispatched the granddaughter wouldn’t remember you?”

“Whoa good ideating.” he took out his phone. “I’m gonna text that to Mike right now. Didn’t see that coming. Audiences love it when they don’t see it coming.”

“Resist having her remember her love but you’re at the airport boarding a plane to … Aruba … and she races to the airport to join you. She misses it but you see her as the plane lifts off to any song by Death Cab For Cutie.”

“That’s good.” He kept texting. “We should put you on the payroll.”

“No. I just want credit for the idea. Something like ‘based on a true story taken from the life of ….”

“No! No! shaken not taken from the Steven’s family tree.”

“What if one of the conquests cursed a serial killer who follows you and kills off anyone else you ever sleep with till you finally face with them in the basement of a deserted mental hospital.”

Marshall started in on a piece of pizza. “Too dark.” He wiped his mouth.

Two blushing Asian girls came to the table. They asked about the new movie. One took pictures with her cell phone. The other asked if he had a picture to sign for her.

“What did I tell you.” He joked to Harris.

 

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