Blizzard — Chapter 21 by Redsliver* * *
The look of recognition disappeared from Gretchen the waitress’s face. I kept myself from swearing. I caught her attention. “Is it supposed to snow today?”
She looked out the restaurant’s front window. It was so early and so dark out. I missed summer. “There were flurries all afternoon, but on my last break it looked like the cloud cover was going away.”
“OK, thanks,” I said with a false smile. She smiled back. Alex rubbed my arm.
“You alright?” she asked.
“Frustrated,” I said. “The boots and all of this. I want answers.”
“And a random waitress is your guru?” she said, and shoved a forkful of waffle and whipped cream into my mouth, extending her own window for talking. “Look, I know this is all weird with how we feel about you. But we do feel it, and we want to. Besides, Max and Sam were on Team Gene all day! Progress!”
“A little bit.” I swallowed and put my coffee mug down. I bumped Alex’s shoulder. “I have all of the food. You eat yours.”
“OK.” She happily pulled the fork out of her smile. I had to kiss her. I smirked and sank back and took a bite of my first sandwich. The first one was going to be the best decision of my life. By three my stomach would be begging for death.
“There you go, buddy,” I said rubbing my belly. “Now you know what my dick feels like.”
“What does it feel like?” Alex asked. I laughed. She squinted. The redhead waitress rushed over.
“Oh my god! I am so sorry! Look, the boots will keep your girls on point. You just got to—” She blinked. “Hey, um. I’ll get you another cup of coffee.”
“... huh.” Alex frowned and ran her lower lip through her teeth before asking: “I have her to thank for you?”
“I suppose.” I scratched my head.
“Then we’ll leave a big tip and be done with her. She’s pretty, maybe a little flaky...” Alex said. She leaned in and whispered. “Don’t stick your dick in crazy.”
“Oh, and what parts of you are crazy?” I flirted.
“Nowhere your dick’ll go,” she said with a bright mischievous smile. The sex talk was making her bump up and down in her seat.
“What about here?” I tapped her lips. “You sure there’s no crazy coming out here?”
“Not if it’s full.” She quickly shoved another forkful of waffle in, then air-kissed at me with waffle-swollen cheeks, and rinsed down the too-large piece she had shoved in.
“I know about the boots,” I told Gretchen on her return.
“But the—” She shook her head. “Enjoy the coffee.”
“Yeah,” I sighed. “Thanks.”
She never made it back again. Alex watched me as I devoured my three sandwiches. I stuffed the last bite in and let myself sink in the satisfaction. I was sure it was going to be too much. Alex rubbed my arm again.
“So what do we do next?” she asked.
“I’m taking you back to the apartment,” I said. “We sort out Max and Sam. Today might not be the only day they turn on you.”
“Look, the way I see it,” she said, wiping her mouth and neatly piling her silverware and refuse on the plate, “the magic stops the love. We get rid of the magic, and this all sorts out.”
“I’m going to keep you for your brain.” I squeezed her. I needed to hold and feel her. She squeezed me back.
“I’m keeping you for the penis. Though… We do have those strapons now, don’t we?” She steepled her fingers and looked deep into my eyes. “Can you dance?”
“Sure we can go dancing.” From the sour twist of Alex’s lips, I got the feeling I missed a joke somewhere. “Um, do you know where? I only go to places that serve food and beer. I think all the clubs I went to in college have closed.”
“Oh, well, um, yes. I know every place,” Alex said. “Max never wants to go, and until you, I didn’t hang out with Sam without Max. And the girls in theatre can get really, really passive-aggressive.”
“How?” I asked. I immediately changed it to, “Why?”
“I guess I’ve been kind of a killjoy? They’d always want to get picked up, and I’d want to get out of there when the boys got interested.” She sighed, then raised her shoulders and smiled brightly at me. “But now I don’t have to worry about that!”
“Alex? I need to let you in on a very, very important secret. You might not have realized this.” I leaned in, scanned the room back and forth, and stage-whispered behind my hand. “I’m interested.”
“Yeah, and you’re a man.” She rubbed my leg. “Not a boy. I can’t wait to see Max.” She frowned. “I shouldn’t milk too many apologies out of her, right?”
“One. Maybe two if you can get chocolate out of it,” I told her. “Otherwise you’ll be too crazy and I’ll have to stick my dick somewhere else. Oh, hey, can I get the bill?”
“Of course.” Gretchen didn’t miss a beat with what she had overheard. I grinned. I took Alex’s hand, left the cash on the table, and headed home. It was gorgeous out. I’d never hated nice weather like that before.
I was carrying Alex piggyback by the time we got to my place. The holding hands, forced cuddling she had been intent upon was driving us into traffic. It was a successful compromise. I squeezed her thighs, and slid on the deck before my apartment. The new snow most everywhere else had melted on asphalt. I dropped Alex.
“I’ll be right up, better clear the step.”
“I’ll miss you.” She swooned with a hand over her brow. I caught her by the waist. She laughed, smiled, kissed me, and went in the door.
Three short passes with the shovel and the deck was clear. Every pass, I stared at the door to One. Winter’s door. She didn’t look out; I didn’t risk looking in. I headed inside.
“Why bother, though!” Sam shouted as I shut the door. “Two of us sharing him’s more than enough.”
“Sam!” Alex sounded hurt.
“But Gene asked you to! C’mon. Just put them on,” Max pleaded.
“I’ve got it for Gene. I do. That bottom’s not going to be kicked out again. We sat around here for an hour while she monopolized him. Why put up with that?”
“She’s my best friend!” Max attacked. Crap. I didn’t bother to kick off my boots or properly close the door before rushing up the stairs.
“Gene!” Alex was sitting on my bed. She hadn’t taken off her coat. Her shoulders were down and forward. It was cute, looking at her through her bangs. Her eyes were puffy, but they had been that whole time at Tara’s. Max shielded Alex and faced Sam. Sam was wearing a dress and tight green leggings, and had her hair done. She looked amazing. She was also a couple inches taller than Max because of her shoes. Sam’s butt popped right out. That’s why girls wear heels!
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“Oh, baby!” Sam clicked across the apartment and grabbed me. “We—that is, Max and I—were talking about taking you out tonight.” I put my arms around her.
“What about Alex?” I said. The cold was curling up from the open door. Sam shivered in her thin clothes. I held her tighter.
“I know, she’s pretty and easy, but—”
“I’m not easy!” Alex huffed. “Why do you have to be mean?”
A short gust banged my door against the wall.
“Max, can you close the door for me?” I asked. She nodded, and rushed down the stairs. Sam meant to push off and meet my gaze. Her soft grey eyes would cut right through me, and maybe she’d have a good point or three. I bearhugged her even tighter.
“What?” Sam struggled a little but melted in my arms.
“No shoes in the house,” I said.
“Oh, sorry.” She kicked off her heels and I lifted feet from the ground. I kept her aloft. She had to bend her toes down now to touch the floor. I grinned evilly.
“Only boots,” I whispered. Sam frowned.
Max came up and touched my shoulder. “Done.”
“Thank you, beautiful.” I kissed her and smiled. “I’ve got her pinned. You and Alex put the boots on her.”
“Really!” Alex hopped up.
“Wait! Stop! Gene! I want to be with you!” Sam worried. “None of the other girls I know have to make room for their guys’ other—Hey, don’t touch me!”
Sam was a squirmer and she tried to kick Max away. I bent back, raising Sam higher.
“Max, we’ll do one leg at a time!” Alex said.
“You’re the boss,” Max nodded, and wrangled Sam’s leg.
Sam barked out frustrated pleas.“No! Stop! I’m sorry! I’ll be good!”
“You’re mine,” I told her.
“I am!” she agreed desperately as Alex zipped up boot number one.
“Alex is mine.” I frowned at Sam.
“Are you going to deny us what’s ours?” I asked.
“No! I’ll be yours!” She shook her head. Max flinched as Sam’s knee bumped her belly.
“Sam...” Max said, and her lips blossomed into a gentle smile. “Sweetheart. Let me do this. For us.”
Sam looked at Max and then to me. She kicked. She squirmed. She wasn’t fighting. She let Max fit the second boot on her foot. I used my index finger to drag Sam’s nose back to me, and looked her deep in the eyes. “If anyone gets between you, me, or them, they’ll have to deal with me.”
“I know.” She smiled and rested her forehead on mine. Max slid the zipper up. Sam’s face shivered and her warm smile from my protection melted. She looked miserable. “Oh shit! Alex! Alex!”
“Yeah Sam?” Alex slid her grinning face up next to mine and Sam’s. Sam’s throat shook for a second but she steeled herself.
“Your face is a wreck. You’ve been crying too much today.” Sam dodged the apology. Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed. I lowered Sam to the ground and got a kiss on my big laughing mouth. Alex scrambled for a pocket mirror to look at her face. She punched me in the arm.
“Why wouldn’t you tell me that I looked so gross!” she pouted.
I obviously looked her straight in the tits. “You’ve always looked so beautiful.”
“God! Look me in the ass when you say that!” Alex threw her hair, looked down her nose, and harrumphed and shook her hips to the washroom. Sam let her hair fall in front of her face as she caught my attention.
“I’m sorry. I won’t make you get rid of your stuff like that again,” she frowned.
“Alex isn’t ‘your stuff’, she’s ‘Hot Stuff’.” Max oversold the pun as she airquoted. I chuckled and walked by them.
“Huh, wow,” I said. There was a short squat shelf that I hadn’t owned yesterday standing next to my bookshelf. The three rows held on display all of the toys and sex machines that had been delivered. “I guess it’s good all my visitors seem to be you girls.”
“You like it?” Max hopped over. “It was in my dorm room but I wasn’t using it. Sam and I brought it over and set it up.”
“Yeah, I think so,” I said. It was not how I would have chosen to decorate, but now all my toys were on the shelf next to all my games.
“All the penis-looking ones are on the top shelf. The second shelf was for the little batteries and the ground was just for the bigger box stuff,” Max explained.
“Oh, did you write up an inventory too?” I was teasing but I was a bit overwhelmed. Max’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped in shame.
“I didn’t! One sec!” She was rushing to the backpack she had stashed in my closet. Sam grabbed her arm.
“He’s joking,” she explained. Max didn’t laugh with us as hard. I reassured her that she didn’t need to have a catalog and a checklist. Alex came out of my bathroom with a big smile.
“Oh! He saw the shelf?” She rushed over and grabbed my side. “Now my dad can’t come up with more groceries.”
“Yeah, that’s one consequence,” I laughed.
“Hey, Alex. Since I went all nonboot on you, I think I want you to pick what we’re going to do tonight.” Sam was contrite and quiet. She evaded another chance to apologize.
“Really?” Alex lit up. She dashed for my game shelf.
“Dammit, I was kinda hoping she would only think about sex.” Sam sighed. She stood up straight, brushed her hair out of her face and projected confidence.
“Then beat me and I’ll eat your pussy.” Alex swaggered over. I grinned. She burst out laughing and set Realm of Shadows on the table. I kept grinning as Alex fell back and claimed the armchair. This wasn’t my favorite set but it was fun in ways the others weren’t. A blowout in an early set might be 30 points, with Realm; one time, I beat my brother by 1200. The shot-in-the-dark huge victory was definitely luck-related, but if you didn’t play decent to get there, you wouldn’t get there.
“OK,” Sam said, “I’m on team Gene.”
“Cool, when they win, I’ll be sucking Gene’s cock?” Max beamed. She rolled over the computer chair while Sam and I got the floor at the long ends of the coffee table. She licked her lips. “What’s the quickest way to lose?”
There are two types of board games: fun-to-win or fun-to-play. Ascension is fun-to-win, the set of games that favored Alex and me. Sam and Max preferred fun-to-play—games that were more about the comedy and loosening everyone up, than resource management and good decisions. I’d have to borrow some Sam and Max games from my brother sometime soon.
“This girl’s pretty. That’s an ugly-looking wolf. I don’t like the blue ones. I think I’m only going to buy green cards.” Max’s commentary grated on Alex pretty hard. I couldn’t help but smile. Sam struggled. She furrowed her brow, counted by tapping her fingers into the table, and read the cards three or four times each.
“Just tell me what to buy!” Sam would frustratedly growl. Then she’d catch Alex smirking, and tell me to shut up and that she could do this herself. Playing a win game, with two people not suited for win games, proved amazingly fun. “I’ll kill this guy, then.”
For a beginner, Sam was investing enough brain power to make really good decisions. Max’s turns were the shortest because her deck didn’t do anything. She counted to four more turns than not. Alex was learning but she was overestimating drawing cards over doing cards. Playing thirty cards is good when normally you only get five, but if those thirty don’t do any more than five cards did, are you any better off?
We were about two turns each away from the end. I bought a big old Mechana tower. The brown cards, the Mechana, the robot-themed stuff, is worth the most towards winning. You get as much to win as you spend. That burned off the last of my runes, and the big monster showed up. Killing the big monster is great in every set, but in Realm that’s the guy that could give you the reach to score in the six, seven, even twelve hundreds as opposed to the high one hundred thirties.
Alex managed him, seven to kill, five to buy. She smacked the guy, put the card in her deck and bought some little dudes.
Sam who had gone first, triggered the end condition: every other player would get one more turn. She did OK.
“There’s nothing green to buy.” Max’s hand was good for the first time ever. Nine to buy. There was a four-cost robot construct and a five dude for three points. Seven points in a turn is a good turn. She took three basic cards. Three points. We all heard Alex’s angry disbelief. I reached over and squeezed her knee in consolation.
I manage eleven points for my turn. I didn’t keep a running tally in my head, it was pointless. I figured Max had played bad. Alex and I had played great. Sam had played better than most. It was in the bag so long as Alex didn’t draw her big guy early.
“So he’s all colors?” He was the first card she laid down. “Wow, this is going to be a lot of counting.”
Yeah, understatement. There are five colors of cards that go in a deck. Starters, pink, blue, brown, and green. The big guy said draw a card for every blue, get money for every brown, get violence for every pink, and get winning points for every green.
“I’m going to pour us some drinks,” Max volunteered.
“I’ll get snacks.” Sam fled the table as well.
If you know the cards, you know the game. Ascension generally runs less than twenty minutes. Sam had to learn. Max refused to learn. Alex was hesitant. We had probably been playing for minutes over an hour. Alex’s final turn would take forty minutes. Then we had to count. Alcohol and cheetos helped.
“Sam 98, me 134, total 232. Max 41, Alex 677.” I finished my second rum and coke. “I guess we can see who’s won.
“That’s right!” Alex undid her jeans and slipped out of them, then pulled off her panties and spread her legs wide. “He-ee-ere Sammy Sammy Sammy.”
“What?” Sam raised an eyebrow.
“I won, we had a bet,” Alex singsonged.
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” Sam got to her feet in her pretty dress and skin-tight leggings. Her hair looked gorgeous, her makeup was definitely more than her usual but looked like less. I grinned as she complained. “If I won, you’d eat me.”
“That’s what we agreed on,” Alex smirked. I think she was a little bit snippy that Sam hadn’t apologized yet.
“Yeah, but… but the odds, girl! Obviously me winning was less likely. You’d eat me out, I’d… uh… make out with you or something. Even that seems too much. A peck on the cheek? The main thing is that you have to get less. That’s just how it is.” Sam folded her arms defensively. “Back me up, Gene.”
“Sam, if you—” and she cut me off before I could say ‘don’t want to, you don’t have to’.
“No! I mean, no. This is my bet, my responsibility. I should do it. I would do it, but we know it’s not fair. Yeah, it should be fair! We would’ve played something else if we were going to be fair. And my—uh… Look at me! I’m all made up! It’ll be messy. That’s so much work just gone… And… I’ve never done it before. I don’t know what I’m doing...” Her face tightened. “You won’t enjoy it!” she snapped. “I’ll fuck up!”
Max sat up straight and watched with a furrowed brow. ”I’ve never done it before,” she pointed out.
“Me either,” said Alex, and took off her top and bra. “I promise to give you twenty or thirty tries to get it right.”
Sam trembled. Her cheeks went red. Her eyes narrowed. “Alex, I love you. Gene, I love you. Max, I...” Sam closed her eyes. “I love you too. I’m sorry.” She lifted her entire torso with her deep breath. “I want to do this.” She gulped down another lungful of oxygen. “I’m going to do this.” She sputtered, almost choking. “I have to do this.”
Alex looked taken aback. “OK, wow. Calm down. Shhh…” she said. She lifted Sam’s chin to look the brunette in the eyes, then kissed her. “You ‘have to’? I think I want better than your ‘have to’, Sam. I’m letting you off until you’re ready.”
“Thank you,” Sam rasped.
“But, um, how is this all that different from when we got you into butt stuff?”
“It just is.”
“Okay,” Max said. She had stood up, and was rubbing Sam’s shoulders soothingly. Sam visibly relaxed, and closed her eyes. “But we still came over for more than games. I bet you want Gene’s cock. I do. In my pussy, in your pussy. C’mon, sit down on his lap and he can even make sure your makeup doesn’t get ruined. If you’re a really good girl, maybe Alex and me can help out. Hmm?”
Max’s hands drifted down to squeeze Sam’s tits. Sam smiled and nodded vigorously until Max started to nibble at her ear.
“Good,” Max said, and kissed her way over the shell of Sam’s ear. Sam moaned. Max’s fingers tightened over Sam’s chest, pinching perky nipples. We were all looking at Sam. Max bit a little too hard; Sam rose out of her fog.
“What? Oh, uh, sure! Would you like that, Gene?” Sam reached for her zipper.
“Hey Alex, where do you think Sam wanted to go dressed up like that?” I asked, squeezing Alex’s hips. Her palm was rolling around the head of my cock. She was pinching her nipple with her other hand.
“I thought she was looking nice for you.” Alex tilted her head. Her hands stopped and her voice shrank. “Or that she wanted to make sure you guys ditched me before we got those boots on her feet.”
“Ugh.” Yeah, that was probably right.
“This place is small and I wanted to do something big,” Sam answered. Max had to retreat to let Sam’s dress fall away from her body. Her strapless bra thrust out her amazing breasts.I expected she’d have gone commando under the skirt if it hadn’t been so cold as to require tights.
“Wait!” Alex blanched. “You didn’t dress up like that for nothing! You had plans for real? Oh god!”
She zipped over and grabbed Sam’s dress from the floor. “C’mon—”
“But we’re getting the sex started,” Sam said.
“No, let’s think it over,” Alex said, and shook her head. Sam smiled and took a long breath. Max pouted and sighed.
“Gene, grab a nice shirt. I’m going to get Sam ready again in the bathroom,” Alex said.
“I think I can do that,” I agreed. I got up and brushed off my pants. Max climbed to her feet, skipped over by the kitchenette, and started rummaging through my closet. I beamed. “I’ll trust you to pick the best one.”
“OK, I’ll—” She turned to look at me as I flopped down into my armchair. Her face twisted as the apartment rocked with a blast of wind.
“Motherfucker.” I hopped up. I squeezed Max’s arm as I went by her. “I’ve got to talk to a mean old witch. I’ll be back up in a second.”
She nodded and looked confused, then smiled and went back to foraging for presentable clothing. Better food, better job, better goals… Better clothes, better home. Three out of five. I stuffed my feet into sneakers because they were heavily used and battered. I hadn’t untied or tied them since last year; they were basically loafers now.
I stomped out, regretting the lack of toque and jacket immediately. The wind was loud and quick, ruffling the fur of the neighbor cat napping above the mailboxes. I banged the hell out of Winter’s door.
“Hey neighbor.” She opened the door in a nightgown and slippers. The cold didn’t seem to bother her. “How’s the domestic life?”
“Turn this shit down. We have to talk.”
“Turn what down?” she asked, and pouted into a smile. “The weather? That’d be quite a feat. What do you think I am?”
“An enemy,” I said, and her levity melted.