Thursday, April 17, 2014

Forty-two



“Before we go inside, let’s both understand: the clothes are going on my tab. This is my gift to you, part of tonight’s celebration. Are you good with that?”

In typical Dane fashion, he turns to me in full-on twinkle mode. “Master, are you sure this isn’t about me parading around in a bunch of new clothes for your viewing pleasure?”

I wrap an arm around his back and draw him in against my body, sledge hammer be damned. “Hell yes, it’s about that, Dane. I expect some serious parading. Now, give me a kiss and get your sweet ass inside the store.”

Flushed and short of breath, we push through the wooden doorway of 33 Broome into a world of clothing that makes me feel like one of the dinosaurs we met earlier today. There isn’t one ounce of warmth in the architecture— suspended steel rods laden with rows of metal hangers, stark gunmetal gray walls, an amorphous concrete floor, topped off with an exposed erector-set ceiling. This place would make a better dungeon than a clothing store, but what do I know about contemporary fashion?

I search the aisles for my accomplices, but all I see are yards of clothes hanging, folded, and draped over stick-figure models. Apparently, Riley is either not familiar with my aversion to tardiness or doesn’t fear the consequences.

“How can I help?” An eager beaver salesperson has his hooks in Dane before the door even closes behind us. To his credit, Dane looks to me for the answer.

“We’re just looking right now.”

“Well, my name’s Kyle. Let me know if you need a size.”

Just then, a couple tumbles out of the fitting room in a fit of laughter.

“Ri, no. Just no.”

“Aw, c’mon, Shawnee, they looked great on you.”

“I swear, if you even tell anyone I tried those on, I will—”

“Marcus! Dane! You’re here.” Riley checks his watch. “Sorry, we got here a little early. We were just having some fun, weren’t we, Sean?”

“Oh yes, so much fun. Dane, how are you? Great to see you!”

Dane looks at me again, brow furrowed in confusion but a big smile on his face. “You arranged this?”

I put my arm on Dane’s back and guide him over to the other boys. “Yes, I’m a little out of touch with what your generation is wearing. I wanted you to have the best possible advice.”

Dane shakes his head and laughs. “Wow. That was pretty . . . I don’t know . . . considerate?”

Riley and Sean embrace Dane together, and I step back and let it happen. The boy needs friends. He needs to be hugged. This is good.

The two of them gush about how fantastic Dane looks—a point on which I absolutely concur—but I can tell they mean more than the way he’s dressed. They’re seeing the change in him that I’ve watched on a daily basis for the two and a half weeks we’ve been together.

“Looks like Marcus is treating you pretty well,” Riley comments, his eyes darting over Dane’s shoulder to convey his approval, or possibly gratitude.

“Um, yeah, he’s pretty good to me.”

“Mmhmm,” Sean responds with a smirk. “We can tell.”

Dane gets a bit quiet, and they’re wise enough to back off.

“Marcus tells me you need some going-out-to-dinner clothes. How about you and I see what we can scrounge up?” Riley offers.

In response to Dane’s unspoken question, I pull off his coat and give him a little squeeze at the back of his neck. “Go and do some serious damage, boys.” Dane nods and follows Riley into the clothing jungle while Sean walks over to me and takes my extended hand.

“Thank you both for coming. I really appreciate it.”

“Anything for Dane,” Sean answers.

“I’m glad you feel that way, Sean. Shall we go sit in the . . . man chairs?” Though my ass isn’t particularly excited about meeting the slice of curved metal masquerading as seating, we have a quiet, out-of-the-way spot to ourselves.

As Sean and I take off our coats and settle in, Kyle makes his move on Riley and Dane. I watch long enough to be sure Riley has the situation under control. He’s under strict orders not to allow anyone else in that dressing room with Dane. Riley’s in the very small circle of trust along with the man seated next to me. That’s not just a Master being a selfish bastard; that’s a Master looking out for a skittish sub.

“Marcus, is something wrong?”

“No, not at all. In fact, things are going really well.”

“Okay, good.” Sean attempts to relax into the asymmetrical back of the funky chair.  “What can I do to help?”

“Dane trusts you,” I tell Sean.

“And Riley,” he hastens to add.

“Yes, Riley, too, but this is about you, Sean. There’s something about you that Dane can access, and I believe it goes beyond your training.” Telling the guy he screams “submissive” wouldn’t exactly be polite.

Sean glances at his fiancé and chuckles. “Look, I know Riley can be a bit . . .” Sean looks back at me and continues gingerly, “domineering with me, but he’s a pussycat with Dane.”

I give Sean a long, hard stare before nodding. “I trust your judgment, Sean. You know Riley, and you know Dane’s story.”

Sean bends forward, folding his hands between his knees. He tips his head in my direction and says what we both already know. “He told you.”

The all-too-familiar fury flares up, and I push it away with a forceful exhale. “It seems like every damn day I learn something new, but yes, Dane’s shared.”

Sean nods. “I’m glad. That shows how much he trusts you.”

“He trusts too easily.” Okay, maybe a trace of the fury stuck around.

My eyes are drawn to Dane. He follows along mutely as Riley strolls up and down the aisles, tossing hangers at Kyle with both hands.

“Something tells me you’re worthy of it,” Sean replies, surprising me with his directness.

I surprise him right back with my hesitation. “I like to believe so.”

The three of them have made their way to the fitting room, and after some negotiation with Riley, Kyle leaves them to it. I don’t drop my gaze until the grey curtain slides along the industrial-strength grommets, blocking Dane from my view.

“He looks good, Marcus. Really good.”

“He’ll be playing the role of Chad starting this Friday!” After the words gush out, I have to laugh at myself for playing the proud papa bear. “And now I’m a cliché, apparently.”

Sean laughs too, but there’s no mockery in it. “I honestly could not be any happier for both of you. Riley and I will have to make a point of seeing his show. Disaster, right?

“Yes, and I’m sure Dane would love that.” My eyes wander back to the fitting room. “I’d like him to have someone closer to his own age he can call if he needs a friend, maybe grab a coffee with once in a while.”

“I’d be honored to be that person,” Sean answers, and I realize how much I appreciate that he didn’t diminish the age issue. “But you know Dane, Marcus. He’s not exactly going to be calling to chat me up.”

I shake my head and chuckle. “No, that’s why I’m asking you to make the first move. And maybe the second and third move as well. As long as it takes for him to get comfortable.”

“Do you think he’s open to it? I don’t want to force him into anything.”

“I’m going to make sure Dane understands that this is important to his well-being and something I heartily approve of.”

Sean chuckles. “You’re not going to command him to have a friend?”

“Of course not. I’d never do that. Dane’s pretty wise when it comes to taking good advice though.”

Sean nods. “I’ve noticed that, too.”

The fitting room curtain flutters, and my mind conjures all kinds of visuals on the other side: Dane in his bikini briefs, tucking that firm little rear into a pair of well-fitting slacks. Riley fixing Dane’s collar, maybe even fluffing his hair. Dane checking himself out in the mirror, anticipating my glee.

 I could not be more pleased with how this discussion is going, but I’m jonesing for my boy. “So, Sean, we’re on the same page?”

“Sure. I’ve always been there for Dane.”

“Great. His schedule is pretty demanding for the foreseeable future, but maybe the two of you could at least work in a couple phone calls.” More curtain rustling and a pair of rising voices pull me to my feet. “I know you can’t betray his confidence on a professional level, but as a friend, you’ll let me know if you have any concerns?”

“Marcus, I’ll do what I can. The lines are getting a little blurry here.”

“I understand, Sean.” He rises with me, and I shake his hand again, adding a grateful pat on his shoulder. “Thanks again.”

“You don’t have to thank me, Marcus.” He catches me peeking over his shoulder at the sound of the curtain sliding open. “Riley’s pretty good at what he does, huh?” Sean goads.

“Not bad,” I reply, my voice weak with desire as I turn my body to soak in the view.

There stands Dane looking like a fucking runway model, a pair of black wool trousers slung low on his hips, more or less molded to the poetic contours of his legs, nice and snug across the front—enough to tease at what lies beneath the fabric—topped off with a royal blue, long-sleeved button-down, the exact color of the blindfold and my fantasy Speedo.

What are the effin’ chances?

Riley is busy feeding a black leather belt through the loops while Dane fusses with the cuffs of his sleeves—until he feels my stare. Our eyes lock, and Dane is pinned in place by the intensity of my hunger. He tightens up his pose, dropping his hands to his sides, squaring off his shoulders and lifting his chin. Riley’s fingers travel around Dane’s hips, nimbly working the metal prong through the hole in the leather and threading the excess back through the loops. Riley whispers something into Dane’s ear before stepping away.

I crook my finger and beckon him, praying I won’t tackle him to the ground when he reaches me.

Damn, I love a parade.

“What did Riley just whisper to you?”

Dane cranes his neck toward where Riley and Sean are observing us from across the room, but I capture his chin in my hand. “Did you forget who your Master is for a second there?”

“No, of course not, Master.” Poor Dane. If I weren’t already so worked up, I’d probably think up a punishment for that little infraction.

“Mmhmm. He set you up, Dane. He knew I’d ask, and he knew you’d have to tell me. Let’s have it.”

Dane frowns and blushes and finally sputters out, “He said, ‘You better go easy on your Master. He looks like he’s about to have a stroke.’” He blinks at me a few times, waiting for the repercussions.

I lean in and kiss him, probably not what he was expecting. His eyebrows are still lost behind the upper reaches of his shaggy bangs when I release his chin and smile. “Riley’s statement was accurate, but I’m a little better now, thank you.”

“Sorry, Master,” he says.

“Why? For being hazardously hot?”

He shrugs. The boy needs another kiss, and I, his caring Master, step in and oblige, adding a healthy dose of tongue as a precautionary measure. “I wouldn’t have it any other way, my boy. You look fantastic. You are definitely wearing that to dinner tonight. Go tell Riley to pick out two or three more outfits at most. My patience is suddenly drying up, and I don’t think I’m in the mood for that parade right now.”

“We could just leave now if you’d like.”

“Nice try, Dane.”

He grins good-naturedly before turning to head back to the fitting room. Fuck me, the rear view! “Oh, Dane . . .”

“Yes?”

“Hell of a coincidence Riley picked that particular color for your shirt, don’t you think?”

He passes my test with flying colors, and if he had even a fleeting thought of lying, his blush would’ve given him away. “I may have mentioned you like this color on me.”

“You are a very, very smart boy.”

Bless his heart, Dane takes a skip to get started and jogs to the fitting room where Riley is already waiting with the next shirt in his hand.  Grasping the curtain, Riley gives me a cheeky wave, and I flip him the bird just before the fabric wall closes.

There’s a low groan behind me, and I turn around to see Sean shaking his head. “You and Riley should not be allowed to be in the same room together.”

“Don’t worry, Sean. We are all going to survive this.”

But the next fifteen minutes are a torturous affair for everyone—correction, not everyone. The edgier I get, the cheerier Riley seems to be. I can see why he and Edward get along so well; two peas in the same obnoxious pod.

“What do you want him to wear out?” Riley calls from behind the curtain.

“Put him back in his jeans, and give me the three outfits. We need to get going.” Before I implode.

I catch a glimpse of Dane’s briefs disappearing into his jeans as Riley “accidentally” jostles the curtain to hand me the stack of clothes.

“Ass!”

“Yes,” Riley agrees, “he does have a rather nice ass, doesn’t he?”

Kyle looks too shell-shocked to speak, but he manages to take my Amex and complete the sale. All packed up and stuffed into my overcoat, I give Riley’s hand a firmer-than-necessary shake as I say goodbye, and he laughs and throws his other arm around me. “Oh, Marcus, we really have to do this again soon. It was super entertaining.”

Sean breaks apart our hug, giving me a sympathetic eye roll. “Nice to see you both,” he says. “Dane, congrats on your new role. Riley and I are gonna come see you one of these nights.”

Dane’s face lights up. “That would be great, Sean. Let me know when. I can probably get you tickets.”

“Okay, man,” Sean says, pulling Dane into a tight hug. “It’s really, really great to see you doing so well.”

Riley slaps his arm around Dane from behind, sandwiching Dane in the middle and reminding me of their lewd dance at Edward’s wedding. Despite my agitation, there’s something so comforting in the way Dane melds with them. It’s like watching puppies at play—rough and tumble but all bark and no bite. And then I chuckle to myself when I remember Sean’s comment about Riley being a pussycat with Dane.

Too many barnyard metaphors for an old, horny goat.

We have an hour until dinner, and I know exactly how I want to spend it. I just don’t know where.  Going back to the hotel would break the mood and kill too much time. No, it has to be somewhere we can be safe and have some privacy, but not lose the tension between us.

Rough and dirty could work in a pinch; I suppose there’s always a men’s room stall in any semi-classy restaurant. Certainly not Del Frisco’s, not anywhere we’d be known—

That’s it! Of course! Why didn’t I think of it sooner?

Because you haven’t set foot in one of these clubs in almost ten years.

No time like the present. I hail the first cab, tucking Dane and all our packages into the back seat. “The Toolshed,” I tell the driver through the opening in the Plexiglas.

“Sorry, sir? Say again?”

“Never mind . . . twelfth and second.”

“Gotcha.”

Judging by the look on Dane’s face, he’s heard of the place, and he’s not entirely keen on going there.

“You know the Toolshed.”

“Yes, Master.”He’s holding it together, but I almost wish he wouldn’t.

“Did someone there hurt you?”

“Not physically. It was just kind of a rough scene. I was the only sub, and Master was in one of his sharing moods.”

I slide along the seat, immediately closing the space between us. “Dane, here’s a newsflash: I don’t share. That goes for other people’s commands as well as their various body parts. You’re mine—at least until our thirty days are up—and then we’ll see what’s what from there. I’m not bringing you there to humiliate you or even show you off. I know your limits, and I fully respect them—and you. We’re going to the club because it’s private and warm, and if I don’t get the two of us out of our pants in the next three minutes, I’m going to lose what’s left of my mind.”

Dane cracks a smile, and so do I.

“As long as you don’t have a stroke,” he teases.

I throw my head back against the seat. “Not making any promises.”


I think I might have a stroke. These two, I'm telling ya.

So, how did we like clothes shopping with Riley and Sean? I have been SO excited to share this one with you. Seriously, Riley and Sean could have their own story (or TV show?)...if anyone else wants to write that for me, have at it! And oh, dear lordy be, what's gonna happen next?

Now, for a serious public service announcement:
Two friends, Ana Fluttersby and Mina Rivera, are experiencing personally the effects of the earthquakes hitting Nicaragua and Chile, along with the aftershocks and fires that have put so many people out of their homes. We've partnered with Ysar (mistress of blogging) to create The Fandom Gives, a collaborative effort to raise money for the victims. Authors -any fandom pairing OR Original Fiction, banner makers, betas, and anyone with something to donate to a raffle (ebook, paper book, knit scarf, etc) can contribute; any donor can give $10 or more to one of the international aid organizations designated in the guidelines. In addition to helping a worthy cause, your donation makes you eligible to enter a raffle of your choosing (once we have those raffle prizes to choose from!) so stay tuned on that. Please sign up on the blog to contribute something to this amazing effort. AND if you have a plot bunny for me- Twific or anything original- won't you please share? My head is kind of squoze with these two boys right now, and I'd like to write something different for broader consumption. Check out the The Fandom Gives blog and like our Facebook page. Please give till it helps.

XXX

24 comments:

  1. Fun times clothes shopping, managed to make one of the activities I loathe the most very alluring. I love shoe shopping or buying anything for the house, but clothes and electronics get me in a bad mood. I hate trying on clothes, I'm well known for throwing a fit if I have to spend more than a few minutes in a dressing room, but you made it hot. My husband is the only thing that pulls me through it and I'm sure Dane certainly appreciated Marcus being there for him. Marcus is so caring and loving, everything he did in this chapter as usual went toward making Dane happy and healing him. I loved the way he talked to Sean, putting his cards on the table and I specially loved his interaction with Riley. Riley is so charming and obviously very used to interact with Edward as to not be intimidated by Marcus, which is good since Marcus could also benefit by befriending someone like him. How naughty of him to rile Marcus up and push his buttons just enough, so that Dane can reap the benefits. Dane was so relaxed and playful, it's good to see him interact with others, it was obvious how much he has improved in just a few weeks under Marcus's care. I think Dane is in for a nice surprise in the club, maybe Marcus will once again manage to replace a bad memory with a good one. So sweet how Dane thinks of Marcus all the time and it is starting to come up more and more in every chapter, like how he didn't want to offend Marcus with Riley's comment or how he chose the shirt in that particular color.
    I'm looking forward to the next chapter and I hope they don't bump into someone that might upset Dane.
    As always thank you so much for sharing you writing, time, thought and replies with us.
    Gigi

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    1. LOL on naughty Riley. He is a total button pusher. Did the same to Edward every time. I loved reflecting back in KEA on how Riley and Edward would've been as young buddies (total troublemakers) together. And here, Riley is just going to love teasing the hell out of Marcus!!

      You totally nailed Dane's perspective there- not a single thought that doesn't involve his Master's happiness. Just how it should be...and you may have noticed Marcus is the mirror image. :) (I know you did)
      Love your predictions/anxieties for the next one. Can't wait to share it!
      xo

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  2. It's fun seeing Riley and Sean again here! The comment about Edward didn't slip by me, I caught it! An adorable chapter, my dear, just lovely! I hope all goes well at the Toolshed....what a name for a club!

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    1. I think that's an actual club name, Judy! Happy you enjoyed it!
      xo

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  3. A lovely chapter, Riley and Sean are just great and perfect foils for Marcus and Dane. Glad that Sean pointed out about the blurred lines, it will be interesting to see if you have future plans for that scenario. Riley is such a tease, perhaps the six of them (with Edward and Bella) could have dinner, that would be fun.

    I wish I had a Riley to take me shopping ;)

    Looking forward to The Toolshed, I think!! And like Gina above I wonder if there maybe someone there who knows Dane, maybe one of the sharers ergh I don't want to think about Dane's rough time there but I hope he gathers his strength from Marcus and I know M will protect him.

    Thank you Born, I will check out that blog.

    Jarvis
    xx

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    1. Those big dinner scenes are so challenging to write! What an odd group all together, huh? I think Marcus would feel really old. But then, it is pretty cool to think about the whole scene going down and how everyone would respond to things.
      You're so right about M protecting Dane. Don't you worry!
      ;)
      xxx

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  4. Another winning chapter!

    Love: "He needs to be hugged." such a simple, tender thought from the big, bad Dom lol. Marcus knows just want Dane needs (and deserves) and he's going to make sure he gets it.

    Marcus and Sean's talk was very nice. I really liked seeing how much Riley and Sean have come to care for Dane. They can see that he is in a good place now.

    Love love love M and D's intense moment after Marcus "beckoned him." So hot with the "Did you forget who your Master is for a second there?" I love it when that switch gets unexpectedly turned on! I wonder what M might have thought up as punishment for "that little infraction." lol

    I really really enjoyed Sean's line about M and R should not be allowed to be in the same room together! seems like Sean was getting a little worked up watching his man in his element and then seeing M's commanding presence too just took him over the edge! I also love that Riley is not intimidated by Marcus- he can tease just like he would with Edward lol.

    Loved the callback to the boys dancing at the wedding. *sigh* lol. and the image of them as "puppies at play." so cute!

    Can't wait to see the Toolshed!

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    1. Ahhh YES! the dom switch. *ACTIVATE* LOL I'm sure your imagination can do a nice job of that...but if not, just wait 'til tomorrow! *wink wink*

      Heehee, so happy you picked out that line Sean kind of mutters about Riley and Marcus. Add Edward into the mix and KAPOW! Yeah, what's Marcus gonna do to Riley? Maybe growl a bit. Thanks for sharing your reflections here. I really had a fun time writing this one. So happy you enjoyed it.
      xx

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  5. Sorry to double post, but I just went to the Fandom Gives Blog and added this prize: 1 eBook of up $15 US Dollars to be delivered only through international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet. I hope it helps and good luck raising funds. Just last week before we started our Spring Holidays we raised funds in school for the Red Cross, and we asked the kids to help as much as they could since every Peso counts.

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    1. THANK YOU, Gigi! That was really generous of you! MUCH appreciated. Wonderful to be teaching kids the value of righteous giving!
      xo

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  6. Clothes shopping was marvelous! I do believe Riley was trying to tease Marcus. LOL Sounds as is if Dane has made a couple of good friends, and hopefully Dane will accept the outings with Sean. Please no strokes, but lots of fun next chapter.

    flutterfli

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    1. No strokes? Wazzuh? Yeah, Dane already knew the two of them before the wedding, but Marcus would like to encourage that friendship. And since we know the prologue (dot dot dot)...
      x

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  7. Does anybody or anything intimidate Riley? I really like how the Master of control cannot even sit still for his parade. He wants that boy all to himself. Also thought it was very sweet when he asked Sean to make the first couple of moves to make it more comfortable for Dane to make friends. Peers to help him on his journey. Great chapter m'dear, lots of fun. xoxo Vicki

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    1. Great point about Ri being unintimidatable. Not a word according to blogger. :P

      So happy you enjoyed this one!
      xx

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  8. I told you this shopping trip wld be fun" lol R really is a natural teaser and he didn't fear the big bad wolf lol lol And how nice of him to finally found his own happiness with S? Awww ... love is all around!
    So many sweet remarkable moments and sweet banters exchanged; it really is fascinating watching the feelings grow b/w M & D *sappy Ro*
    Thx MotW!

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    1. Yeah, I do love a whole bunch of happy endings. And this one promised it from the beginning, right? Kinky but happy! So happy you're enjoying the sap!
      xo

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  9. I'm having a stroke! I looooooove them! I looove them all! Riley and Sean are just fabulous! Riley had me rolling!
    Dane and Marcus! I die with love for them! They are sooo good for each other!
    All the smiles here!
    xoxo
    <3

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    1. BAHAHA! You have a stroke and die for me.
      What a fabulous reader!
      MWAH!
      xx

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  10. Haphazardly hot? No doubt.

    Loved this:

    The edgier I get, the cheerier Riley seems to be. I can see why he and Edward get along so well; two peas in the same obnoxious pod.

    I am SO enjoying reading about the boys shopping trip. I just KNEW it was going to be awesome.

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    1. Thanks so much. These characters are like dynamite and a match. So much fun to picture them in my head. Happy it came out as enjoyable to read too!
      xo

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  11. Hazardously hot. My new favorite alliteration.

    Sean and Riley ... oh my. Riley is hysterical. He has such joy. He is like one of those little boys with all sorts of things in his pockets he wants to share.

    The conversation with Sean was so interesting. You write them like they are are secret agents. Fewer words, more meaning, slightly awkward and lots of eye movement.

    Andrews. Marcus Andrews.

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    1. Funny you should invoke Bond... ;)
      I see Sean as a man of careful words, especially where anything considering confidentiality is concerned. Plus, Marcus has to be kind of a scary figure for him. And LOL on Riley. Don't know if you remember from KEA but he and Edward were childhood buds who got themselves into all kinds of mischief! I had so much fun googling pranks to write that bit! So yeah, you've got him pegged. He reminds me of my son's friend who one day told me he'd let loose his crickets in my back seat while I was driving. I happen to know he has frogs that are fed live crickets so I nearly had a heart attack! He was KIDDING! (This was PRESCHOOL!)
      LOL good times.
      I really do love your insights so much.
      xx

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  12. Okay. Now I'm POSITIVE that this is a new chaptet. Well at least the 2nd half. I remember the start of shopping but I left off before the blue shirt. Horny old goat,

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    1. You probably fell asleep halfway thru the chapter!
      xo

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