Okay. A couple friends of mine and I are doing weekly writing prompts to encourage us to write, to think outside of our boxes, and to just have some damn fun. I am choosing to share my terrible, rushed, unedited attempts with the internet because I hate myself or something. Again this week I grabbed inspiration from my beloved oc’s, and while I think the idea was alright, the execution was not there at all.
Week 7: A Taxi. An old enemy. Valentines Day.
Money was always a problem for Nathanial but not in the normal way; no he didn’t struggle for money, he never lacked a thing, he simply had way too much of the stuff. Too much coming from places he didn’t exactly want the federal government or his banks to know about. The solution had come with the new arrivals on the scene; the young men and woman working the system laundering funds to and from dummy corporations. Blood money goes in one end, comes out clean the other side, and the IRS is none the wiser.
Five years ago Nathaniel Hale bought a café. Then a bookstore. Then a daycare of all things. That last one he was really proud of, his men had a safe place to leave their kids during their shifts, or for time off, and the IRS couldn’t tell that the cash that paid their fees was actually coming from Nathaniel, and the clean checks he signed to his employees actually went right back to the parents. Its was beautiful and the most secure building he owned. The office was a safe, in and of itself, and a great place to do work when he wasn’t being interrupted.
“Nate, love?” Beth, the over night supervisor, poked her head around the open door. “It’s 6, I’m heading out as soon as Keisha gets in. You should get home too I’m sure your family want you home today.”
Nathaniel looked up from his paperwork, payroll the legal way, and raised an eyebrow at the woman. “It’s only 6, I’ve been later than this before.”
Beth put her hands on her hips and pressed her lips flat. “You’re married right?”
“Then you should remember Valentines Day you idiot.”
“Oh fuck.” Nathaniel began stuffing papers in the file cabinet, they would have to wait. He locked it, grabbed his coat, and slid past the laughing woman placing a quick kiss on her cheek as he passed.
“I owe you.”
“I want a new car.” she said after him as he hurried up the hall.
“Put it on the company account!” he called over his shoulder before going through the door. She was still laughing.
Changing from Nathaniel to Colin was time consuming but it was Colin whose husband would be expecting a gift so after a short decoy ride and a change of appearance Colin and two of his bodyguards were heading towards the city. He didn’t want to shop too close to home, too many people to see him and poke fun about him forgetting Valentines Day.
“Just get flowers and chocolate like a normal man, boss.” one of his men, Roy, laughed.
He was single. Perpetually. Colin waved off his advice. Landen would roll his eyes at chocolates and flowers would be in the bin before the end of the night. He needed something nice, expensive, and special. For Landens birthday he’d gotten him a chess board with pearl and onyx squares with glass pieces to match. Christmas he’d taken him out and bought a him new wardrobe. Last Valentines Day he’d done dinner out on the lake after getting matching tattoos with each others initials. The bar was set entirely too high.
“We’re going to Junos.” he said steering the car through the busy city streets.
Junos was a high end boutique for men and women where Colin bought cuff links and Landen shopped for ties. If he was lucky, and Colin did believe he was, then he could find a beautiful tie clip and maybe a ring; Landen loved subtle displays of wealth. The garage was packed even this early, as last minute shoppers, and the assistants of last minute shoppers battled over parking. After one turn around the complex Colin stopped the car and got out.
“Kevin, find a spot.” he said exasperated. “I don’t have time for this. If I don’t get back to the little gentleman soon I’m going to catch hell”
The man drove off as Colin made his way into the store. The place was not big, and it shared the garage with several other businesses. Even so Colin was a little turned around, unsure if what he was looking for was enough.
“May I help you sir?” a sale associate appeared out if nowhere, her strained customer service smile faltering only a little at the thought if having to help him. Colin wasn’t about to refuse help though.
“I forgot Valentines Day. . . ” he said doing his best to look ashamed.
He was ashamed really. Work had never been so stressful he forgot to pamper Landen and he was mentally kicking himself wondering what else he’d been neglecting recently. The sale associate nodded.
“Well we have this wonderful new perfume that’s been popular, its called First Kiss and you get a discount on women’s lingerie when you buy it.” she said in a way that suggested it was a well practiced pitch. Colin chuckled and shrugged.
“While I’m sure it smells great, my husband would probably look silly in a silk teddie.” he admitted.
The associate frowned. “Oh.” she said. “Well I don’t know if I’ll be able to help you find anything.”
Colin blinked at her. Her name badge said Heather, and she couldn’t have been a day past 30. His first thought was to punch her; his second thought was to demand she be fired; his third thought made him smile at her.
“Fair enough, Heather.” he said to her with an easy smile. “You have fun at work today. I’m going to go home and fuck my
He turned and walked away from her. Junos was a nice place, had been great to both him and Landen, even when they were shopping together, holding hands and bickering like the old married couple they were quickly becoming. He wouldn’t hold it against Junos at all. In fact the next sales associate he found was incredibly helpful and found him a diamond tie pin in the shape of a small rook and a silver bracelet that was at once elegant and masculine. Colin even tipped the man enough so he could take his girl out to a nice restaurant that evening and buy her the First Kiss perfume besides.
Packages in hand Colin made his way to the exit both his bodyguards falling into step beside him along the way.
“The sales girl Heather,” he said to them as they walked. “I want everything in her bank accounts donated to the LGBT club at the high school. All of it.”
One of his men nodded and fell back going off in a different direction to do his job. Colin and the other guard, Kevin, continued into the garage and towards where Kevin had found a parking space. It was a hike to the roof of the complex and by the time they got there Colin was looking at his watch frowning.
“Its already almost 10” he said.
He was never home this late and Landen was going to be pissed. The two men hurried to the car, Kevin leading the way to check for murderers or bombs. Colin almost collided with the bodyguard as he stopped short.
“Shit boss.” he said before adding “Safe” to let Colin know he didn’t have to run.
Colin peeked around the big man and scoffed. Why today? Who still did things like this?
“Why are people so concerned about who I put my dick in today!” he said turning away from the car and pulling out his cell phone. Across the rear window someone had written the word “Faggot” in black marker.
“Probably some teenagers. I notice a group that must have been up here skateboarding or something.” Kevin was saying but Colin wasn’t paying attention.
“Hello? Yes I need a cab to 1703 Lexington Street, the parking garage?” he said into the phone. “I’m heading up to Lucky Palms. Yes. Okay. Goodbye.”
He hung up and sighed.
“Hey I can get this cleaned up it’s-” Kevin was saying.
Kevin was his bodyguard and one of his best friends. One of very few people who knew both Colin Dean and Nathaniel Hale, Colin loved and respected the man but at this moment he did not want to hear his voice.
“It’s okay Kev’,” he cut him off. “Get it cleaned up, drive it to my house later. I really have to get home and get yelled at and then remind us both that he’s the best thing that ever fucking happened to me.” Kevin rested a hand on Colins shoulder as they made their way down to the street to meet the cab that would take him home.
Eh. It’s trash but the idea was there? Maybe? Look I wrote it at work today and it is what it is. I really wanted to use the idea that the old enemy wasn’t a person but a situation, a feeling, a particular sort of aggression (like homophobia). The character, Colin, dealt with this a lot when he was younger and in love and not ready to deal with what that would mean in terms of how people would treat him. He grew up and obviously ended up marrying the guy, and they moved towns where they were less of an anomaly.
In any case it is not a subtle as i would have liked it to be but ya win some ya lose some.
If you would like to play along our next prompt is:”I miss moments like this more than anything.“