Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 125: Family Dinner.
I set an alarm for 4pm before Scott and I laid down for a nap. It was still a surprise when it went off. It was a bigger surprise when I looked at my phone and saw I had a half dozen missed calls and a bunch of texts and emails.
I decided they could wait until I’d gotten ready for the day, and—amazed as always by Scott’s ability to roll over and keep sleeping—I made my way to the bathroom.
Half an hour later I emerged, cleaned, brushed, moisturized, hair wrestled with, and giving the appearance of well-rested. I stood in front of the closet trying to choose what to wear in just my boxer briefs.
“That’s quite a view to wake up to,” Scott said from the bed.
“Good, you’re awake. I’m done in the bathroom. I just don’t know what to wear.”
Scott swung his legs over the side of the bed. “You always look powerful in red.”
I turned around. “I do?”
He winked at me and shut the bathroom door.
Red it was. I chose a red button-down shirt and a pair of jeans, with red argyle socks and my Chucks.
I wandered down the hall and poked my head in to Wade’s room. He wasn’t there.
I found him in the living room with the TV on. Wade looked cute in jeans and a blue polo shirt. He swung his legs off the couch and sat up. “Chris, it’s all over the news. The big channels out of the city picked it up.”
I had a sinking feeling in my stomach about the messages on my phone. “Did they mention you or me?”
“No, but they make Richard sound like a serial killer! I never thought about it, but I guess he was?”
I sat on the edge of the couch. “Richard didn’t usually set out to kill people. He just was careless. Which is about the same, I guess. You ok in here for a bit? I need to go check my messages.”
Wade nodded and swung his legs back up on the couch.
In the den I fired up my computer and tackled the email first. There was nothing pressing there. Then I took out my phone and scanned the texts. Mike and Andrew had texted. The others were unrelated to the events of the past twenty-four hours. I sent each of them the same message that said we were all fine and not to worry, then looked at my voicemail. Mike and Andrew were there, too. There was also a message from a police detective and one from a local reporter.
“This is Tom Marko. Your name came up as the new owner of the club known as Leatherman’s where there was a shooting last night. I’d like to talk to you for a story I’m doing. Please call me back...” He left his number.
I frowned. That didn’t take long. But he only knew I was the owner of the club, not a participant in the story. I’d have to discuss it with Scott before I returned the call.
Wade wandered into the room. “It’s after 5. I’m guessing we’re going out?”
I gave him my best innocent expression. “You pick. What type of food to you want?”
An hour later Austin had met us at Café Mexico and we were seated in a booth. Austin had cleaned up nicely in black jeans and a very fitted black button-down shirt. I would never mention that I had noticed how flushed Wade’s face got when he saw him.
Scott was the one I was having a hard time keeping my eyes—and hands—off. He had turned up wearing khakis and a brown polo shirt that was exactly the color of his eyes. The shirt was cut just right to make his chest and biceps look enormous.
Scott and I each ordered a margarita and the boys ordered sodas and as soon as they arrived we munched on chips and salsa and waited for our food.
I had attempted to reach the police detective by phone in the car on the way to the restaurant but got his voicemail and left a message. Scott had strongly suggested I ignore the reporter.
Each of us seemed quieter than usual and lost in our own thoughts. I raised my margarita in the air. “To us,” I said. “We’ve overcome a lot and hopefully it’s made us all stronger.”
Wade and Scott and Austin raised their glasses and we clinked and drank.
Scott patted my right thigh with his left hand under the table.
“This is nice,” I said. “We should do this more often.”
“But does this mean it’s over?” Austin asked, shoveling salsa onto a broken chip.
“I don’t think so,” I said.
Wade looked at me, his eyebrows pulling together in concern.
“I mean, I think Richard being in our lives is over. But we still have a lot to deal with. That website, for one.”
Austin started. “I thought maybe that was part of all this, too.”
I shrugged. “There’s no reason to believe that. Certainly nothing I’ve seen or read shows any connection between Richard and Masteredslave.com.”
Scott shook his head.
“So, the way I see it, we still have to figure out who is behind the website and shut it down—AFTER we help the guys who are in its control.”
“You mean to tell me there’s another evil hypnotist out there?” Wade asked.
“That sounds a little melodramatic, but, I think so, yes.”
The waitress appeared with a tray and began setting our plates in front of us.
“That’s us,” Scott said dryly. “Just having a normal family dinner.”
To be continued in Part 126...
Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 126: Debriefing; The Good Kind.
After we’d said goodbye to Wade and Austin in the parking lot—where, I’ll admit I asked Wade to be careful a few times more than was necessary—Scott and I piled into his car for the trip home. It wasn’t much past seven and it wasn’t lost on me that this time the night before I had been on my way to order Chinese food. Before the evening completely derailed. It was fresh in my mind, but it already seemed like a lifetime ago.
I turned the radio on and punched the button for Top 40. I always enjoyed riding with Scott. Not just because I didn’t love to drive and he did, but because he always rested his right hand on my leg when he was driving on the highway.
“Did you really need to bring up at dinner that there’s still a threat out there?” Scott asked, not turning from watching the road.
“I just didn’t want anybody to think this is all over.”
“Chris, if I’ve learned anything since I fell in love with you, it’s that there’s never a dull moment in your life.”
I grinned and patted his hand. “I love you, too. But on that note, what time can we go visit Craig tomorrow?”
“I’ll call in the morning and see how he’s doing.”
“Thank you,” I said. “While you’re on the phone, can you check if it’s ok to go to the club, too? I want to get the place back up and running after giving it a Silkwood scrub down.”
“I’ll see what I can find out.”
“That’s great. Can you do me one more favor?”
Scott let out a little sigh. “What’s that?”
“Can you get us home so I can tear your clothes off with my teeth and have my way with you for about five or six hours?”
Scott turned his head to look at me.
Scott floored the gas pedal.
The phone was ringing when I unlocked the door. Scott grabbed me and spun me around.
“Let the machine get it,” he said, then covered my mouth with his.
There was a beep and a man’s voice said, “Hi, this is Tom Marko. I left a message earlier. I’d really like to speak to you for a comment before I go to press. Especially in light of new information that you and the accused are old friends.”
I pulled out of Scott’s arms and ran to my desk.
“Please give me a call—”
I snatched up the receiver. “Hello?”
Scott strode over. I tilted the handset so he could hear.
“Mr. Boldt, my name is Tom Marko. I’ve been researching the Richard King case and some interesting information has come to light about your relationship with him. Would you care to comment?”
I took a deep breath. “I don’t have any relationship with Richard King.”
“But you apparently did. I would love to sit down with you and discuss this and maybe interview you for a story I’m working on.”
Scott was shaking his head no.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said into the phone. “I have no interest in being a part of the story.”
“But you are! I believe you’re the reason he killed all of these men.”
“What?” I yelped. I wasn’t surprised by his claim. I WAS surprised he had figured it out.
“Can we meet tonight? I won’t take much of your time.”
“Tonight is out of the question. Tomorrow I am planning to go to the club to assess the situation over there.” I picked up a pen from the desk. “Give me your number and I’ll call you while I’m there.”
He dictated the number and I made a note of it.
“This is a big story, Mr. Boldt, and it would be better if you participated, but I have enough to write it without you.”
“Are you threatening me?” I asked.
“No! No. I’m sorry if it sounded like that. But I am going to file my story.”
“I’ll call you tomorrow. Goodnight.” I disconnected the call.
Scott sighed and leaned against the edge of the desk. “This could be trouble.”
“Which is why I’m going to have to meet with him tomorrow and find out how much he knows.”
“I’m going with you.”
“Really, Chris, I think it’s necessary and I want to be there just in... Wait. Did you say ok?”
I grinned. “Sure.”
Scott lowered his eyebrows. “What are you up to?”
I stepped between Scott’s legs and kissed him deeply. While I was kissing him, I unfastened his belt.
“Can we table this discussion for now?”
“I think that’s an excellent idea.”
I unbuttoned his khakis and ran my hands down and up his muscular thighs. I dipped my fingertip under the waistband of his briefs.
As I reached for his zipper, Scott wrapped his arms around me, and explored my mouth with his tongue, lifting my feet right off the ground. “Why don’t we take this upstairs?” he said between kisses.
I took his hand and we ran up the stairs. Inside the bedroom I started unbuttoning my shirt.
Scott took my hands in his. “Let me.” His eyes had the look in them that always told me he wanted to make this last.
I smiled as he slowly unbuttoned my red shirt and then let it drop to the floor. He tugged my T-shirt up over my head but used it to pin my wrists together up in the air with his right hand while his left hand snaked down and teased my right nipple.
“I want to tie you to the bed,” he said, staring into my eyes.
“What?” he asked with a smile.
“I was just thinking of a T-shirt I once saw. It said ‘Practice safe sex. Tie your partner to the bed so he won’t fall off’.”
Scott chuckled. “I may have to get you that T-shirt.” He led me toward the big bed and helped me up into the center of it. He opened a drawer and pulled out two leather cuffs and some rope.
Within minutes my wrists were fastened inside the cuffs and the cuffs were fastened to the corners of the headboard. I tested them and they held firm. I was propped up on a couple of pillows and I wasn’t going to be going anywhere until Scott decided to let me loose.
Scott walked around the foot of the bed and smiled at me, then untied my Chuck Taylors and pulled them off my feet. He smiled at me. “I like the argyles.”
“I wore them for you.”
He tickled my left sole briefly and I yanked my foot away.
He laughed. “I forgot. You can’t be tickled until you’re completely tied down.”
Scott climbed up on the bed and straddled my legs on his knees. He bent and kissed my lips, then worked his way down my throat.
He began unfastening my jeans and then he tugged them down off my legs. I was lying on the bed in just my boxer briefs and socks.
Scott removed his polo shirt, kicked off his shoes, and stepped out of his khakis.
I admired his body in the dim light. “You’re so beautiful,” I said.
I was sure I could see him blush.
He climbed on the bed in his underwear and tugged my boxer briefs down off my legs.
“What I am is lucky,” Scott said. He caressed my face with his fingertips. “Every time I think of how much you risked to save me...” His voice trailed off and I could see his eyes were shining with tears.
“If something had happened to you, I don’t know what I’d do. I love you, Chris. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
I smiled. “I love you, too, Scott.”
And then Scott’s mouth was on mine, and his hands were on my body and it was a very good night.