Chapter LXI – Birk at the Courthouse

Coal Dusters: Book 1 is now available as as PDF – this covers the first 35 chapters – 65540 words – send $1.99 to

Coal Dusters – Chapter LXI


at the


“What are they accusing us of?” Birk asked though the bars between their cells.

Before Clancy could answer one of the officers came and and took Clancy out of his cell. 

“Chief Constable does wan’t you two fancy boys too close to each other.” The constable sniggered as he took Clancy away. “We’re putting you in the infirmary lock up. No one there for you to bother.”

Birk paced his cell. He was as alone as he had ever been. The holding cells stank of urine. There was a bucket with a board over it in one corner for doing that sort of business. The bed was the only thing to sit on in the room. It was barely wide enough for him to lay on, with a hard thin straw mattress that didn’t soften the boards on the bed. No pillow and a thin grey sheet. At least sheet smelled clean.

He took his shoes off and lay on the bed. The wall was covered with various scratching and writing. Dates and names. 

“Willie Campbell – lost a hand for his country now jailed in reward.” One of them said.

The ceiling overhead was mottled with mold and cobwebs in the corners. Some of plaster had cracked and fallen in one corner.

The one narrow window was high on the wall and let some light through. This is what he had come to.

The respect he had gotten the days after he crawled up out of the mine wasn’t going to keep him warm tonight. He wondered how it was he’d been so happy one day and now was here in a cell and not even understand why.

Buggery? He’d heard the men say that often enough in the pits. Calling someone an “old fart” “useless bugger” when you wanted to say something worse. But no one ever explained what bugger meant. He’d always thought it had to do with the rats as they were most often called “useless buggers.” When you said that about someone else you were calling them rat.

But the way that priest, Father Patrick, had said it it had to mean more than saying he and Clancy were mine rats. Then the copper calling them “fancy boys” because they weren’t as well dressed as he was. The only way he’d ever heard that before was to make fun of a miner getting too dressed up or not bothering to get dressed up for something. He was never one to put on airs, though Clancy did get a bit too cleaned up at times.

All that washing up at the tubs at Mrs. Franklin’s always seemed to him he was trying to be someone he wasn’t. They certainly weren’t acting like someone they weren’t now. Even at Blue Lake they were doing what they usual did. Horsing around. Expect for that moment when they touched each other’s privates. The moment when Lillian spied them.

Was that what she was going on about? Was that the pleasuring that got her so distraught. Not as if it was the sort of thing any man would think to let a lady do, to touch his little guy. Having her see it was bad enough, but to touch it. That wasn’t right. There had to be something in the scriptures about that. Yet she did see them naked. That she had caused him shame. That was an affront, he knew that even though he hadn’t done it to offend anyone. If he had known she was near he wouldn’t have let that happen. 

He signed deeply accepting this was a consequence for his being so thoughtless. He drifted off wondering if he knew Willie Campbell.


In the morning a guard brought him a tray with a mug of tea and some toast and an apple.

“Here.” he pushed the tray though an opening at the bottom of the cell door.

“Thanks. More’n I usually get in the morning.” He sat with the tray on the bed. “What’s going to happen to me next?”
“You and your mate’ll be taken to Sydney, where Magistrate Doucet will see you this afternoon. Usually they don’t take cases that fast but that Miss McTavish got some pull I guess. She sure wants to see you and your mate get what for.”

“I wish I knew what got her so wound up.” Birk ate his toast.

“If’n you ask me she got too much time on her hands and not enough children to keep her occupied. That’s the trouble with some people not enough business of their own so they gets into the business of peoples that they have no business bothering with in the first place. Children is woman’s business.”

“Could be.” Birk finished his breakfast and slid the tray back.

“How’re your hands?” The officer asked as he picked the tray up.

Birk flexed his fingers and look at them.

“Getting better.”

“How you damage them so much.”

“Climbing up out of the mine that time.”

“Oh! That was you! I was going to offer to piss on em fer ya.” The officer laughed as he left the holding cells.

He returned some time later and unlocked the cell door.

“Time to transport you to Sydney.” He took Birk firmly by the arm and out to a truck in back of the police station. Clancy was already in the back of the enclosed back cab. There was wooden bench across each side of the cab.

“You here!” The officer pushed Birk sitting opposite Clancy.

“Feed you well?” Clancy asked.

“Good enough. You.”

“Yeah. Tea a bit weak but the milk sure was sweet.”

“At’s enough out of you two.” a couple of officers clamber in the back with them.

Birk and Clancy sat in silence as the truck drove to Sydney. The two officers talked non-stop about their families and about how the station had been swamped with out-of-work miners looking for work.

The truck bumped up and down on the road. The road underneath gradually smoothed.

“Comin’ into Sydney lads.” One of the officers said. “The streets may not be paved with gold but they sure are smooth.”

The truck came to a stop and the back door opened. They were lead directly into the back of a large building and up a flight of stairs to the second floor.

The officer opened a door with a frosted glass transom. “Clancy Sinclair, you’ll wait in here” Clancy went into the room. The officer locked it.

“You Birk Nelson, you’ll wait here.” He indicated a bench further along the wall.


Birk sat and had to plant his feet firmly to keep from sliding off the slippery bench. He lost track of time till a near by church rang for noon.

The door opened and Clancy stepped out and was taken away by an officer before Birk could make eye contact with him.

“Birk Nelson, You can go in now.” The other officer nodded to Birk.

There was no one in the room. There was desk with a chair, then a window behind it. The barred window overlooked the area behind the building. The only chair in the room was behind the desk.

There were some book shelves along one wall and pictures of Queen Victoria and another of George V. A door between the bookshelf and the window opened into another room. Birk wasn’t sure where to sit.

“Sorry to keep you waiting.” Magistrate Doucet came in from the side door. “You are young Mr. Nelson. Mac’s son?”
“Yes.” Birk stood holding his hands behind his back.

“I know your father. He worked with my uncle for many years. Jean Doucet.”

“T’Jean?” Birk smiled. “Yes. He’d play fiddle whenever we needed one.”

“Yes, that’s him. I understand you are the young man who did the dangerous climb out of the pits.”

“Yes.” Birk blushed. “I only did what anyone would have if he had to.”

“Modesty. A nice trait in a man.”

“Modesty?” Birk asked.

“Not one to brag.”

“I see. I suppose that’s me alright.”

“But we were none too modest yesterday. Letting your naked self in the air for all to see.”

Birk was trying to make the connection between not bragging and being seen naked.

“You don’t deny that do you?”
“No. No. We had been fishing at Blue Lake.”

“Yes. Yes. I have the story pretty clear in my head Birk. You strike me as being a good lad.”

“Thank you sir. I try.” 

“How much schoolin’ have you had.”

“Some. I left at twelve to work the mines. So not much since then. Though Miss Lillian did help us some.”

“Miss Lillian? Then you knew here before the trouble at Blue Lake?”
“Yes sir. She had come to the Mudside to help teach those that had no school to go to. She’d visited my sister and I’d sit in too to make my writing and reading better.”

“Interesting. I didn’t know this. Did you have affections for her?”

“She was pleasant enough, Sir.”

“You weren’t interested in her? As a wife perhaps”

“Never. Not a bit of it. She was a proper Catholic gal with a priest uncle. My mother would never allow that sort of thing. No, I wasn’t keen on it. Never was.”

“Was she interested in you? Beyond teaching you?”
“Can’t say as I know. She did ask what hopes I had of getting married some day but I don’t see any sense it it.”

“Birk in my business I hav etc be a good judge of character and strike me as being a good sort of young man.” The magistrate leaned back in his chair.

“Thank you, sir.” He shifted from foot to foot.

“One way to do that is to keep your pants on when you’re out and about.” The magistrate laughed. “You never know when some gal with get the wrong idea about you.”

“Yes, sir.”

“You can go.” The magistrate stood and went to open the door to the hall.

“Sir, can I ask you a question?”


“Father Patrick said something about buggery? I heard that used around in the mines, but what does it mean?”

“Birk, my boy,” The magistrate patted Birk on the shoulder. “That is something you don’t need to know. I’ll say that it is a vile degrading business that no decent folks, let alone a man of the cloth, should know anything about. Don’t concern yourself with it. I have met those that have indulged in that sordid filth and you aren’t of their ilk. Not a bit.”

He walked Birk down to the street.

“You can get yourself home I trust?” The magistrate shook Birk’s hand.

“This the end of it?” Birk asked.

“Oh, yes.” The Magistrate said. “The young lady clearly is a touch hysterical after the death of her husband.”

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Good Sex With Andrew Gurza


(Trigger warning: explicit man on man sex)

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza  describes in explicit & visceral detail good M2M sex he has had. Refreshing & bold he takes us into a bedroom, holding nothing back (except the name of his sex partner). There is nothing ‘show off’ about his descriptions just a sense of his pleasure & joy in sex. He talks about rimming without shame – actually names it. It is neither pornographic nor clinical – matter of fact & honest. 

Like me he prefers more than just the dropping of pants that reduces sex to body parts. Good sex for me starts with texting – one guy I see will send a text asking what my weekend plans are – I know that means ‘let’s play.’ If I’m free, which I usually am, he follows up with a least one selfie of his stunning smile then another of his equally fine cock. I do the same.

Good sex involves dinner here. One guy sometimes sends a day before pic showing his eagerness. Day of dinner texts are confirmation of time, a mention of the food menu. Sometimes there is an exchange of shower/bath pics too. I always like to know when a guy is on his way from the subway or parking his car so I can wait on my front steps for him & can watch as he comes up the walk. 

This walk is so sweet because this is the only time we really see each other from a distance. Weather & time permitting we chat a bit outside about the weather, the week & go inside to sup. There is often chat over supper with my partner (who doesn’t play). Table cleared. 

Up to my study after supper. Quick wash up, brushing teeth (one of my guys has his own toothbrush here). Then on to the play portion of the evening – alway starts with hugging kissing rubbing of clothed junk, hands into pants for fondling until pants are ready to explode off. The first touch of naked belly to belly can give me chills – maybe we will rotate around each other for belly to back, erections caressing between ass cheeks. 

Onto the bed for lots more kissing, hugging, cock sucking, tit teasing, ball sucking, ass eating, penetration, ejaculating (too clinical? fucking & coming). More snuggles, chit-chat, washing up, sometimes more sucking & fucking. Occasionally down to watch some TV. Sad parting as I watch them walk to the subway or find their car. Occasionally a text five minutes later to say ‘great time.’

I Still Dream of Wee Willie

Wee Willie stomped the ground 

in his pen

agitated bellowing

I dashed to see what was going on


my mother reached to hold me back

I eluded her easily

Wee Willie reared on his hind legs

that was all the glimpse I got

before my mother’s shawl 

covered my head

but in that gimpse 

I saw all she was afraid I’d see


the rose pattern shawl 

was the one she used

to cover her crystal ball

the future was to be veiled at all times

so she told her customers

only the hand of spirit 

and $10 could move it


what it hid from me was not my future

but Wee Willie pawing the air

with lumbering legs

as he teetered toward Daisy Blue


I pulled the shawl away

I had to see if they were fighting

then I saw for the first time

Wee Willie erect

his elephant cock in gory glory

it was huge enormous

bigger even than that of Herculo

the muscle man


Wee Willie clambered 

onto the back of Daisy Blue

she was docile 

her big ears flickered 

as she moved her head side to side

his humungous cock got bigger harder

his weight upon her back


I fainted

I came to in our trailer

my shoulders ached 

under the weight of my dreams

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Coal Dusters Chapter II

Chapter II

Birk Nelson Gets A New Rake Man

The sun was rising over the steaming mounds of slag coal. The mound never got any smaller no matter how much was carted away to the wash plant. Coal was already being loaded into a rail car to be transported to the dock.

They went into the change room and lowered their work clothes from the overhead hangers. 

“Birk Nelson!” Red Mac, the shift foreman, called to him.

“Yeah.” Birk grabbed for his brass counter. 

“Birk,” the foreman nodded for him to come over to the small office. “This is Clancy Sinclair. He’ll be your rake man.”

“Manny was doing okay.” Birk squinted at Clancy.

Clancy looked to be a head taller than him, a lot wider in the shoulders with blond almost brown hair. 

“Not my say so,” Red Mac shrugged. “Orders from above. Manny’s moving on to the scuttle yard.”

“Fuk,” Birk spat. He had hoped to get that position. Scuttle yard was where the coal was loaded into the rail cars. It was as hard work as being under in the mines but it was above ground. All the miners longed to work above ground.
“I know you wanted it but yer too good. Yer a lucky chap Clancy. Birk Nelson is one the best we got.”

“Yeah sure. Sticking me with this skinny rat. He must disappear down there.”

“Whose yer father?” Birk asked.

“Scott Sinclair.”

“The Bras D’Or Sinclair’s?” Birk said.

“Nah, Stellarton.”

“Main lander?” Birk said.

“What of it?” Clancy replied.

Birk grabbed Clancy’s left hand. Clancy pulled it away.

“What you up to?”

“Checking to see how tough your hands is. Skin’s too soft this job.”

“Least we’ll know when my hair ‘s clean. You black as coal already.” he sniffed the air. “You sure you washed ‘for you came here?”

“Mac, you stick me with puddin’ boy here and I won’t make enough to pay for a pint let alone our tic at the pluck me.”

“Soft! Least I’m full size.” Clancy stood as tall as he could. “Not some half-sized hairy mine monkey.”

“Who you callin’ a monkey, you soft arse.” Birk launched himself at Clancy and landed two solid punches in quick succession. One to the side of Clancy’s head and the other to his stomach.

Clancy staggered back and was ready to punch back when Red Mac pushed stepped between them.

“Nuf of this. You want beat the dust out of each other do it out of my yard.”

“Then stick this soft arse with someone else ‘cause only one of us is coming back up and you know it’s me.”

“Both of you will come back. Listen and listen good Birk Nelson. You have sisters who need what you put on the table. Next time to want to take a swing at someone keep that in mind, ‘cause the next time you take a swing at me you’re out of here. You understand that.”

Birk snatched his lunch pail and rammed it under his arm.

“And you Clancy. You’re new here. You gotta learn to mind your tongue. This isn’ a place to run off at the mouth with guys you don’t know. Some here wouldn’t be as gentle wid ya as Birk here was.”

“No one calls me soft.”

“Who is to say.” Red Mac pulled himself up to his full height – a head taller than Clancy, two heads taller than Birk. “Only a soft arse would let himself get riled up this easy. And that goes for the two of you. Birk you take him down to the face with you. I’ll be down soon enough to make sure you’re acting the way men should and not school kids. Understand.”

“Yes sir.” Birk glared at Clancy. “Follow me.”

“I’m not taking orders from him. You’re not paying enough for that.”

“You want to work or not. I git plenty looking for work here me son. Plenty. You can go back to …”

“Christ! I’ll give it a try.” Clancy cut Red Mac off.

“Come along then,” Birk grunted and added under his breath, “soft arse.”

“What you say?” Clancy snapped back.

“I said come along we got a long way to go. Level Ten.”

They got into the cage with a dozen other miners. Adjusted their head lamps as it rattled down the shaft. The shift car pushed the men back and forth. Each time Clancy was forced up against Birk, Birk roughly shoved him away. 

The smell of earth got stronger as the cage descended. Earth and coal. The dampness increased. As the cage passed some levels Birk could hear water dripping, or blasts as new seams were opened. The levels spread out from the elevator shaft. Some for a few hundred yards, others went for miles. Some, such as the one on Level 10 went under the ocean. Birk still expected his pick would punch right through to the sea bed above.

Total blackness quickly enveloped the men but not all of them turned on their lamps. It was better to let the eyes adapt to the dark as quickly as possible. Birk could find his way to the face he was working on without light. 

“Stick close now or yer arse is going get hard fastern than you want it.” Birk said when they got off the cage. He took a deep breath. “Better take a breath while you can. That’s the last of the fresh air you’ll get till we’re ready to head up.”
“Get moving.” Clancy give Birk a slight shove.

Knowing his way Birk moved quickly over the uneven surface to the crease where he was working. He could hear Clancy stumbling behind him. That’d teach the big mouth who was the big man.

“Watch yer head here.” He muttered as they came to the final turn. He ducked down and then up avoiding the staving joist that was holding the ceiling.


“Y’d think y’d never been in the dark before.” Birk chuckled as he heard Clancy bump the rafter.

“Never down this deep.” Clancy was trying to catch his breath.

“Better get used to it quick, as yer going t’be spending most yer awake time in the dark, same as in your sleep time. Day light’ll not be your pal again.” He stored his lunch can behind the upright paling that helped to support the weight of the ceiling.

“Thanks.” Clancy gasped.

Birk stopped and Clancy stumbled into him.

“Watch it.” Birk pushed him back. “Tight nuf in here ya know. Here’s yer rake. You know how to handle one.”
“Christ yeh. I rake, pile and when pile is big nuf we shovel it in into the cart, when the cart is full we get it to the line to dump it into the shuttle.”

“Trick is to keep up wid me boy.”

Birk tied his face rag around his mouth and nose, tuned his headlamp on and starting hammering with his pick axe at his crease. As the shards and chunks of coal loosened he pushed them behind him for Clancy to rake away. 

After a few minutes his shoulder muscles loosened and his mind stopped thinking about anything except what he was doing, how fast he was doing it. Steadily he deepened the vein as he followed it along. He could feel the change in vibration in his pick as hit different types of rock, sulphur, granite, different strata of the vein, even different hardnesses of the coal itself. He had no sense of time but of quantity. Once he had dislodged enough coal to fill the hopper he wriggled out to help Clancy push the cart to the main line. Before they dumped into the shuttle he relived himself on the coal.

Clancy was about to do the same. Birk took Clancy’s free hand and peered at in the light of his headlamp. The skin on the hand was rubbed raw, bleeding along the thumb.

“Just as I thought soft. Piss on it.”
“What?” Clancy tired to pull away.

“Yeh it’ll help toughen the skin faster. Took me a week before m’hands could take it.” He watched as Clancy rubbed his hands in his own urine.

“Christ feels okay.”

“Don’ think I forget what ye called me up there but don’t want you to slow me down any either. You un’stand.”


“Do ya think ya can keep up wid me by?” Birk muttered.

“Nothing to it.” Clancy wheezed.

“You gotta learn to breath down here.” Birk said. “You breathin’ too deep.”

All they could make out of each other in the dim light of their head lamps was their eyes. Their face coverings were coated with black dust.

“I’ve been keepin’ a bit slow. Two more of these and we take a wee break for eatin.” He began to shove the cart back to where they were working. 

“Oof.” Clancy bump hard into the low rafter.

“Listen an learn. Not goin to warn you every time m’boy.”

“I’m not yer b’y.” Clancy snarled. “Keep goin’ ya damned monkey.”

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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.”


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?”


“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.



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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?”


“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.


“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.”



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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.


*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.”

“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.”


“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.


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.


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.

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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.


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.”

“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.

“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.


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.


“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


“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?”

“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?

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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.


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.


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?

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Lazarus Kiss.51

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.51

When Harris got back to work there was an envelope propped against his monitor. Inside were invites to the FACE Foundation red carpet fundraiser gala for Mirror Mind 3 that night. Tickets for himself and a friend. A full press kit that included the soundtrack cd. Along with a note from Marshall.

“Harris. Dad! – it was great to connect with you. That curse business took over from father son bonding. You can come out to BC for a visit. I can show you around the set. Hope to see you at the gala.

Hope you dug the pic Blake took. I should have warned you that he might do that but we wanted you to look natural. Makes it seem more paparazzi than posed.


“Harris, didn’t know you knew movie stars.” Dusan stood at the entrance to his cubical. “He’s a good looking lad.” he grabbed the press kit and flipped through the various photos. “His Dad must be mighty chuffed.”

“I’d say he was.” Harris had to restrain himself from telling Dusan that he was Marshall’s Dad. It was weird to be talking about his son.

“I suppose you’ll go to the gala tonight.”

“If I can get out of here before 6. It starts at 7:30. I hope it isn’t formal.” He checked the tickets. “Doesn’t say black tie.”

“This one is. The Prime Minister will be there. Besides a red carpet gala is always formal.”

Shit. Harris couldn’t recall the last time he’d worn a shirt and tie let alone a suit. He didn’t have as much as a sport coat in his closet unless his black denim jacket counted as one. His Dad would have … yeah as if his Dad had anything that would fit him.

“Red carpet for the stars, not for us nobody types.” Harris brushed the shoulders of his Casper tee-shirt

“Suppose so, but you’re going to need clothes a lot sharper than distressed jeans and a Ghostbusters tee-shirt.” Dusan plucked at the tee shirt Harris was wearing.

“That is Casper, the Friendly Ghost.” Harris swivelled his chair back to his monitor. “Back to the grind.”

He texted Tavi that he was leaving early. He’d put in enough overtime to get off a few hours early.

In the mall he walked in and out of men’s stores hoping to be inspired out of tee-shirts and jeans.


It was Becky.

“I waited the other night for you.”

“I said I probably couldn’t make it.” Harris shrugged his shoulder.

“If you didn’t want to see me, you could just come out and said no and not maybe. When you say maybe or probably it leads a girl on, you know.”

“Sorry. Say … I can make it up to you. What are you doing tonight? I have tickets to the Mirror Mind gala.”

“Wow. I love love love Mirror Mind. I’ve read them all, you know, and can’t wait for the next volume. The movies are okay but …”

“Help me pick an outfit to wear.” he interrupted her. “And you can tell me all about it later?”

“Really.” he showed her the tickets.

“Sweet. How did you get these?”

“Business perk.” He guessed she hadn’t seen the newspaper pictures. How hot would she get when she found out that the movie’s star was his … cousin. Not as hot as knowing Marshall was his son.

“I’m just on a bathroom break so I don’t have that much time.”

She took him directly to Hampton’s, which was like going into the haunted house at the CNE. Random selection of clothes were under spot lights. Becky knew her way around and quickly led him to a comfortable shirt with off side detail work along one shoulder and sleeve and black denim pants to go with it. He reassured her that he plenty of shoes at home and there would be a perfect pair to go with these pants.

Once they were done they agreed to meet at the King station and walk over to the gala from there. She insisted on getting his cell number. There was no way she was going to let him stand her up again.

He had a date!  When was the last time he’d had an actual date? Did meeting Alex for coffee the other day count as a date? Nah, it was a date forced on them by the curse. This was a real date. He could imagine the look on his folks face when he turned up with Becky on his arm. He hadn’t even taken a girl to his prom.


The gala left Harris breathless. It was flashy and glittery with no time to contemplate. He liked not having to think for a couple of hours.  Becky was thrilled to find out that Marshall Caldwell was related to Harris and then stunned to be singled out by Marshall Travers and Dayvd Norman, the two male leads of Mirror Mind, to have her picture taken with them on the red carpet.

That was all she could talk about in the taxi all the way to Harris’s condo. She kept running her hand along his thigh. Harris couldn’t recall what the movie was about.

“This has to be the best night of my life. The best. Harris why didn’t you tell me you knew Marsh C? I thought your little friend was hot enough but Marsh sizzles.”

“Little friend?”

“You know.” she snuggled closer, her hand almost touching his crotch.

They kissed in the elevator. Her hands pulled at his shirt waist while his caressed her ass. He’d been eyeing the hem of her shiny gold shift to catch a glimpse of what it barely covered.

“Where is he.” she squealed as he let her into his place.

“He?” Harris followed her in and watched with amazed pleasure as she pulled her shift off over her head.

“Your little friend. Oh there he is.” Toss her dress to the couch she scampered over to Andy in his corner behind the door. “I’ve such wild dreams about him since that first time. Wild. I couldn’t wait to get back to see if he existed or if he something I dreamed about.”

She pulled Andy out of corner. “How did you turn him on?” She ran her hands over the doll’s body. Stopping to fondle the cock. “I can’t wait to see him get hard.”

Harris was disappointed. Instead of the curse bringing in the babes now it was Andy. Something else that wasn’t the real him after all.

“Becky. I’m totally tired. It’s been a long day.”

“Yeah yeah. You can rest while your little friend does all the starter work. I’m cool with that. Really.”

“But I’m not.” he handed her her dress.

“Not what?”

“Cool with that. Give me your address and I’ll get my little friend shipped to your place. That way you won’t have to pretend to be interested in me at all. How does that sound.”

“That sounds like an asshole. Is that all you were interested in? Did you fancy you’d impress me with your movie star friends and that I’d drop my pants for you?”

“Certainly looks like that was your plan.”

She pulled her shift back on. “You turned out to more of a loser than I thought you were. At least this made you interesting. Kinky in a safe way.”

“Whatever.” he opened the apartment door. “I’ll see you out.”

“I can make my own way out.”

She stood as far away from him as possible in the elevator texting as fast as her fingers could go. Someone was getting an earful of what had happened between them.

“Do want security to get you a cab?” He asked her they got to the main door.

“Don’t fucking bother.”

On the way back up he caught his reflection in the elevator’s one mirrored wall. Too bad she turned out to be such a bitch but she did have good taste in clothes.

*46 Tuesday*

After an eye-ball busting day at dE.tail Harris was pleased to find Trevor waiting for him as he stepped off the elevator.

“Dog. Auntie Nilasha says she needs to see you asap.”

“What?” Harris’s brain was still shaking off the catalogue work he’d been doing all afternoon. Yet another Christmas rush job, this time for Toys for Big Tots. It was a subsidiary of Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe. No sex apparatus but baby clothes for adults. Nothing explicit, but it mildly unsettled him making adult men and women have more come-hither like baby faces. Changing an twenty-four year old male or female’s dirty diaper wasn’t his idea of sex.

“I gotta car. Come on.”

Harris followed him around the block to a parking garage. The radio blared loud hip-hop.

“Did she say anything at all?” Harris munched a SportSpot Quknrg bar from a shipment of samples that had come in that morning. A meal in a bar. It was soft to bite but chewy as he got to the centre that had mild berry after taste.

“Just that we’ve been wasting time.”

Trevor, who Harris knew hated to drive, cursed as he stopped and started in the evening traffic. Harris had a second Quknrg bar, this one vaguely tomato. The wrapper flavour was Vegtastic.

Trevor pulled up to the corner of the street where Nilasha’s apartment block was.

“I’m gotta to drop you here. Gotta get Ma’s car back. She only let me drive it because Nilasha told her it was urgent. Must be important to get Ma let anyone drive her baby.”

“Thanks. I guess.”

Nilasha was waiting outside her door at the end of the hall when he got to her floor. Her hair was pulled into a tight bun that made her pinched face float on top of a thin neck.

“Come in.” They sat on the couch. “I hope I did not alarm you too much Harris but what I discovered is potential very dangerous I had to speak to you right away.”

On the coffee table were the photocopies Harris had left with her. One had notes and writing, with small diagrams on the backs of others. The writing was in squiggles he didn’t recognize.

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