Picking Me Up

I took a long shower, and dressed in what Alex thought I should wear. There was something freeing about not having to stress out over it. I did my make up – the eyeliner, a little bit of strawberry lip balm just in case there was a kiss, there was a slight color to it so my lips were a little brighter and fuller looking – more kissable.

But I had an hour to wait before seven. I went in search of that crow bar. Armande had to have one. The entrance to my apartment was below street level and not in the main building proper like Abby’s was. I liked it that way. I didn’t trip over kids on my routine. Not that I minded kids, just that they seemed to say things I didn’t quite understand but only made me worry I was going out of my mind.

Carlos was in the hall when I was going into the storage room. He grinned up at me on his push along car he always rode. “Hey Nox. You look good.” He sniffed at the air and then smiled toothily at me, “Smell good too.”

You’d think I’d be used to the comment by now. Everyone in the building told me I smelled good. Even when I wore nothing but the soap scent from a shower. Abby had laughed when I told her about it. But she agreed with them, but she didn’t elaborate.

I wore no cologne, it gave me a headache more often than not. Most sharp smells did. Someone somewhere in the building was baking and apple pie and I almost drifted in that direction. Though I found that I didn’t actually like the taste of it, just the smell. It felt right.

The storage room was where Armande kept a bunch of cleaning supplies and other things. There were a few locked coolers that I’d never bothered to ask what was in there, but I didn’t need food so I didn’t much care either way. Every once and a while I’d run out of cleaning supplies and would take a bottle that he had squirreled away. There were mops and brooms and large buckets to use. But I didn’t see a crow bar anywhere.

Carlos sat in the doorway where the lights were since I hadn’t flipped on the light. The little boy sniffed at the air, “Smells like something’s gone bad in there.”

I sniffed at the air and shrugged. But I checked the cooler. One was running, but the other was not. I checked to see if it was unlocked and found it was. But the cord was un plugged. “Hey Carlos, go see if your mom has any paper and a pen?”

He looked at me with a smile. “Okay. That’s a good idea. Armande will want to know.”

I nodded and off he scooted on his little car down the hall to his apartment. He lived with his mom, who was a taxidermist. Her house was full of stuffed animals. And not the cute cuddly type, the real world animals stuffed and stored in her apartment. It reeked down the hall when she got busy doing things, but no one here seemed to mind the smell. I did though on particularly large jobs – like bears. But she’d only been doing small animals as of late. I wondered what kind of people were bringing dead animals home to stuff all the time. It was such a speciality trade, but then again I never really saw any customers.

I shrugged. I waited for Carlos to return with a pen and paper and I jotted a quick note. 

I was unplugged. What’s in side me smells bad according to Carlos. Please don’t eat me. ~ Your’s Truly, The Cooler

I showed the note to Carlos and he giggled. I hoped at the silliness of the note. “You have pretty hand writing. I wish I could write like that.”

I shrugged, “It just takes practice.”

Carlos giggled, “You draw so pretty too. Mommy hung the picture of her on the wall in a frame. It never even went on the fridge where mine goes.”

He seemed proud of that fact, “But the fridge is where all the best pieces go.” I said.

Carlos beamed. 

“I’ll see you around, I didn’t find what I was looking for.” I waved at the boy, shutting the door behind me. The door out opened and a pair of blue eyes wearing a very similar outfit except his was all black, the only color – other than his skin was the color of his eyes. They popped, or maybe that was all I ever noticed about Rider’s sorta brother.

Carlos waved, “Hey Mr. Alex. Did you bring Drake to come play?”

He shook his head, “No, sorry kiddo. I came to check on Abby and Will before I picked up my date.”

“You have a date?” Carlos asked, “Mommy will be so proud. She’ll stop trying to find you the right girl.”

I laughed, “Maybe she should have been trying to find the right guy?” I looked back at Carlos who was grinning widely at Alex.

“A boy, why would Alex want a boy, he needs to make babies for Cassy and Hunter and Drake to play with.”

I rolled my eyes, “He can adopt them ya know. That’s what I’d do.”

Alex smiled, “Drake is adopted, technically so are Hunter and Cass they aren’t mine either. I only have one kid actually.”

I looked at Alex and smiled, “That’s something I didn’t know.”

He smiled back, “I’m going to go check on Abby and Will before I come get you, alright?”

“I could walk with you?”

He laughed, “You could, but maybe I wanted to ask some advice about our date before I went on it.”

I rolled my eyes, “Fine, you know where to find me.”

I walked past Alex with a grin and he turned around to watch me. I got to the door and pushed it open looking back, “I’m a little surprised you let me walk back to my place alone.” I slipped out the door as he laughed, and I wondered why I’d said that. Maybe it was the vibes I was getting from him – he seemed like the traditionalist which seemed odd since he liked men. But I guess a man could be chivalrous towards another man just as easy. But only if the other man let him. And I’d let him. Not having to think about things made me feel better. I knew Alex would be by soon to get me. All I had to do was sit and wait.




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