Another snippet of Grace Awakening Destiny (book 4 in the series), the project that I’m working on for NaNoWriMo. Ben is narrating.
Ryan and Paul were lounging on the couch setting up for a Star Wars marathon.
“Do we go old school and watch chronologically by creation, or by watch them in story order?” Ryan asked, fanning the DVDs.
Paul shrugged. “I vote for story order. Do you care, Ben?”
I turned off the popcorn maker and stirred in the butter, “No, that’s fine.” I just wanted them distracted. Paul had been watching me suspiciously since he’d found me stepping out of glowing light into a U of C toilet.
The movie started and they sat mesmerized, even though they had probably watched the story a hundred times already.
I checked the pizza, but it wasn’t quite ready yet.
Ryan was reciting lines along with the actors.
It was a comforting familiarity. Everything was fine in their world. It was kind of soothing. Ryan didn’t have anything to worry about beyond picking up cute girls and Paul’s greatest worry was… Well, I guess I was probably Paul’s greatest concern at the moment. How was I going to distract him from that? I reached into the oven to pull out the pizza.
The door bell rang. Ryan glanced over, saw that I was busy, and said, “I’ll get it.”
There was a murmur of voices.
“Come on in, then.” I heard him say, “We’re watching a movie marathon.”
I walked into the room with a pizza in each hand.
I stared, eyes glued to his until the heat from the pizza pan started burning through the oven mitts. I hastily set the pizzas on the table while Paul and Ryan looked curiously between the newcomer and me.
Ryan said hesitantly, “He said you know him?”
I grunted, “Oh, yeah. I know him.” I stared, eyes narrowed.
“Come on, Ben. Don’t be such an ass.” He strolled over to the couch and sat down in my place. He nodded to Paul, “Hi. I’m Alex.”
Ryan glanced over to me. I spun on my heels and went back into the kitchen. I’d try to hit him if I stayed in the room. That would not be a good thing.
I heard Ryan ask, “So how do you know Ben?”
“We go way back.” Alex laughed in a way that caused the sensation of insects running marathons up and down my spine.
“So are you family? old friends?”
Alex chortled, “Something like that. Pass the pizza. Old Ben was always fond of the Italian food.”
I breathed deeply, fighting to get my temper under control. He had to be here just to drive me crazy. If so, he was probably thoroughly enjoying my reaction. I needed to get a grip on myself. I was just too sensitive where Mars and Alexandros were concerned.
I took four cans of Coke out of the fridge and dropped the cans on the coffee table. Alex leaned forward first, snapping the ring with his thumb. He poured half a can down his throat, belched, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and asked, “So, where are your ladies tonight?”
Ryan and Paul looked at each other and then over to me.
I looked at Alex, ignoring them.
Ryan said, “Paul’s girlfriend, Georgia, is babysitting. I’m between girls at the moment. Ben’s girlfriend is…”
“Stop it, Alex.” I interrupted. “You know damn well where Grace is. What the hell is going on? Why are you here?”
“What? I can’t drop in on an old friend? Shoot the breeze? Enjoy some of Lucasfilm’s great artistry?” He smirked, enjoying the success of his bait.
“No one says ‘shoot the breeze’ these days. Get your vernacular correct.”
Paul snapped his eyes over to us.
Alex laughed. “Whatever. I’m not trying to blend in with the locals.”
“Oh? What are my friends?”
Alex raised an eyebrow and looked over to Ryan and Paul. “Oh! I just presumed…” He looked back at me and whispered, “They don’t know?”
“But we want to.” Paul said.
“Want to what?” asked Ryan, looking completely confused. “What are you talking about?”
“No, Paul. He’s not telling you anything.”
I scowled. “You are not. Do you hear me? My friends. My rules. They are not going to be endangered.”
“They won’t be.” His grin was devious. “Not really. You know that you need all the help you can get.”
“We’d love to help,” said Paul.
“Help do what?” asked Ryan, without taking his eyes off the screen.
“I don’t need help.”
Alex laughed. “Actually, you do. They sent me to warn you.”
Paul studied him. “Who sent you?”
Alex returned Paul’s curious look and then turned to me. “I like this one. He’s eager.”
“The eager ones are always the first ones to die,” I muttered.
Paul got a funny look on his face.
Alex nodded. “Well, that’s true enough, but they do it with such enthusiasm.”
Ryan glanced over at me and then back to the screen. “Who’s going to die?”
“Me, apparently.” Paul said. “How exactly am I going to die?” he asked Alex, conversationally.
Alex shrugged. “It could go any number of ways, really. Torn apart by monsters. Impaled by a spear. Sliced open by a sword. Exploded. Drowned. There’s no predicting, I’m afraid.”
Paul looked at me. “What is he talking about?”
I shook my head.
“He’s crazy, right?”
“I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised.” I said.
NanoWriMo Day 9 total: 1519 (November Total 12,799)