Chapter One – Part Two
Neither was the stereo system that had recently become possessed. The volume turned itself up and down. That was the original reason it had gone to the shop. They had talked me into a new muffler, a complete service, and new tires. The stereo was currently blaring Das Letzte Streichholz by Oomph! Lucas attempted to turn it down and it stayed that way until I pulled out of the parking lot, at which point, the stereo turned itself all the way back up.
“I thought you were getting this fixed?” Lucas shouted over the music.
“I did,” I shouted back.
“Can’t tell,” Lucas shouted as the volume turned itself all the way down.
“See, fixed.” I shrugged.
“Yes, I was missing the sound of the muffler for a moment,” Lucas rolled his eyes. “You realize you got hosed, right?”
“Big time.” I turned another corner. The radio stayed blissfully quiet.
I put on my best happy face, which looked a lot like a frown and steeled myself. Caleb Green was going to be there. I really liked Caleb. He was a nice guy who controlled Malachi exceptionally well. Unfortunately, I was beginning to suspect that Caleb had an interest in me. That was going to make our relationship complicated. Most men didn’t understand what asexual meant.
Wendy Davidson was a tall brunette with big blue eyes, long legs, perfect teeth, and breasts the size of watermelons. She was smart enough to keep up with the conversation, which was better than most of Xavier’s girlfriends. However, it was obvious that Xavier had no interest in her brainpower.
It was also obvious that Wendy wasn’t all that interested in Xavier’s brain power, his personality, or his looks. This left two things. She was interested in getting in with a cop, we had groupies just like serial killers, or she was interested in the short life span and nice fat benefit package.
My mother sat between Malachi and Caleb Green. She liked both men and it kept her from looking at my plate. I had to admit, nobody in the group ate their steaks as rare as I did. I wanted it hot all the way through, but red, not pink. It was enough that I had to put all my other food on a different plate because I didn’t like the blood mixing with things like salad and rolls.
Fiona sat closest to me. I had to admit I was wrong. When I had first met the sage burning pagan, I had pegged her as a vegetarian, possibly a vegan. She was the only one that ordered her steak medium rare. It didn’t moo like mine, but it was close. Also, she had requested a porterhouse, not a steak for the gentle hearted female vegetarian. I had scolded myself for buying into stupid stereotypes when she had ordered a cheeseburger the first time I ate with her.
She still wasn’t my favorite person, but she was growing on me, like mold. Fiona was a hell of a lot better than Wendy, who had ordered her steak burned to a crisp and wiggled when she spoke. I kept wanting to show her where the bathroom was.
My mother carefully prodded Malachi. For a moment, a look crossed his face, and then it was gone. He took his elbows off the table. Green followed suit and suddenly, we were all very aware of our elbows, napkins, and silverware.
Overall, the food was good, the barbecue went over well and I managed to avoid Wendy. I now sat in a bag chair. My mother sat next to me, with a Pina colada in her hands. She kept commenting about how she couldn’t taste the rum. This was due to Trevor’s skills at whipping up drinks. My mother was going to stagger home if she drank too many of his Pina coladas. Even I had an alcoholic beverage; something called a mojito. It tasted of cherries and mint.
Gabriel and Malachi both pulled chairs up to my mother and me. I had an ashtray on a small table between the two of us. It was this that the guys coveted more than our company.
“Groupie or gold-digger?” My mom asked Malachi quietly. I had learned long ago that my mother was a woman who spoke her mind. She had to be to deal with my father’s family.
“Gold-digger,” Malachi answered, sipping a margarita. The smell of the tequila was strong. I wondered how much extra Malachi had requested.
“Totally,” Gabriel agreed.
“Maybe if you all blow smoke at her, she’ll instantly die from suffocation,” Fiona offered.
“I think we would need a few more smokers,” I told Fiona.
“I’m willing to light up for the cause,” Fiona smiled at me. I couldn’t help but smile back.