Rating: NC17 overall.
Disclaimer: The Bee owns nothing. Certainly not the characters or products
mentioned in this story and unfortunately, the Bee makes no profit from it.
Summary: This story is a light hearted comedy/mystery.
It is based slightly (very slightly) on the plot of the old movie
"House Of Long Shadows". It is an HUA that tells the story of a very successful
mystery writer, Alexander Harris, who is suffering from a severe case of writer's
block. Against his better judgement, he accepts a $10,000.00 bet with his
publisher after claiming he can crank out a full manuscript in a 24 hour period. This
short story is his struggle to do that and the bizarre obstacles that pop up.
Warnings: Sexual dialogue and M/M slashy acts.
As always, special thanks to the amazing Petxnd for her wonderful banners.
Xander sat at the small round table and he sipped his latte. It was a glorious,
warm sunny morning and the outside cafe was packed with the elite and
casual rich that strolled along the street, shopping, relaxing and spending their
days unfamiliar with the concerns of the working class.
Xander scowled at their arrogance. Rich women walking fluffy poodles. Dogs
trimmed and clipped in much the same way his college boyfriend had done to
the hair around his dick back in college. In Xander's opinion, the dick wore
the do better.
Then there were the young girls and spoiled rich boys that would never earn
a blister or sore muscle from hard work in their lives. They all sported golden
tans, white teeth and perfect hair. Xander snorted at the shame of it all.
But the worst part, the part that he had the most trouble accepting was the
fact that this was his neighbor hood. He lived here, worked here and, amazingly
enough, looked like he belonged. It was true, his last three books had been
wildly popular and sold more than he had ever imagined, making both him
and his publishing company very wealthy but it didn't change the man he was,
Xander jumped. He had all but forgotten about the chubby man sitting at the
table with him and the stern voice brought him abruptly back to the here and
"Huh, wha? Oh, sorry, Ethan. I guess my mind was wandering. What were you
Ethan Rayne sat his cup down roughly causing it to clatter as a display of his
annoyance. His was crazy about Xander, loved him like a son, but the fact
was, the boy needed discipline. If left to his own, he would never turn out
the steady stream of novels that kept them both in the lifestyle to which they
had become accustomed.
"I said, you haven't even started on your next book and your readers are
Xander slipped his sun glasses on and flopped back in his chair.
"So what? My last one, 'Mystery of The Bumble Bee's Hive' is still on the best
seller's list. What does it hurt to take some time off?"
Ethan's mouth dropped open. He was aghast at such a naive concept. Did
the boy really have no understanding of the business of the book world.
"What? Are you fucking crazy? Do you know who reads your fucking books?
Bored housewives who need to escape their lives and sink into a fantasy world,
homely teens who can't get a date so they spend their weekends reading,
and gay men who know they can't fuck you so they get as close as they can to
you by reading and jerking off to your picture on the back cover. These people
count on you, Xander and if you don't give them what they want, they will jump
ship and spank the monkey to Steven King or Peter Cook."
Xander sat upright in his chic little cafe chair and he took off his glasses as he
absently waved off the Pamela Anderson look-a-like waitress that was attempting
to refill his cup.
"And that is exactly my point, isn't it? My books are not deep, intense literary works
that are fighting for shelf space in the Library of Congress now are they?"
Ethan rolled his eyes and sighed.
"You know that is not what I meant, Xander. Your books are terrific. They are a
commercial success. As soon as a new one comes out, it shoots straight to the top
of the book list. People love your books. People NEED your books. You should,
as we speak, be writing."
Xander sighed and flopped back.
"Yeah, yeah. You are just worried about your 20%. Well, fret not, my friend. Those
books nearly write themselves. Shit, if I wanted to, I could knock one out in 24 hours."
Ethan's eyes sparkled and his pudgy body perked at the perceived challenge.
"Seriously? You really think you could or are you just a bull shitter full of.....bullshit?"
Xander's boredom began to slide to the side as he smelled a double dog dare.
Immediately, his brain sifted the facts and, before he took this to the next step, he
tried to determine if he could actually accomplish what he had proposed. He was
reasonably certain he could, after all, the stories were fairly standard, following
a successfully set pattern. Of course, there would have to be conditions set, but,
yeah, Xander's interest was peaked.
"24 hours. One day. No more. You up to it?"
Xander had nothing. No plot, no characters and no setting.
"What's the bet?"
Ethan grinned and leaned close.
"$!0,000.00. You turn in a completed manuscript at the end of the time and I hand you
ten thousand dollars. You come up short and I collect 50% of the profits on your
Xander whistled. 50% was a huge cut, but the fact was, he already had more
money than one man could ever spend and if he did win, the ten thousand would
simply go into his bank account and further aggravate his accountant. No, it was
the test itself that intrigued him, but he wasn't ready to agree just yet.
"I need to go somewhere there will be no interruptions. No cell phone, no television
and you are forbidden from contacting me in any way."
Ethan nodded so quickly the small rug sitting atop his head slid to an odd angle
causing Xander to have a hard time not staring and giggling. This whole thing was
a win win situation for Ethan. Nearly too good to be true.
"No problem. No calls. I'll forget you exist."
Xander rolled his eyes.
"Now, there are no quality controls on this. I mean, you can't expect it to hit the
best sellers list. It is simply an original manuscript."
Ethan slapped his palms to his chest and tried to look hurt.
"You wound me, my boy. Besides, I'm sure anything you write will be stunning,
however, my 50% will not be on this one. Just so we understand."
"Fine. Agreed. Now, before we shake on it, I need to find somewhere I can go to
hide out in total silence."
Ethan pulled out his wallet and dropped two tens on the table to pay the check.
He then scribbled on a piece of note paper and ripped it off, handing it to the
young author along with a set of keys he pulled from his pocket.
"I have just the place. It is an old mansion about an hours drive from here. It used
to belong to a relative that died years ago and it has sat empty ever since. Here is
the address. Take some food and your lap top. There is an outside generator that
will run for lights."
Xander frowned and stared at the paper with the written directions.
"Um, yeah, o.k. I'll take my cell phone and call you when I get there. If everything
is sufficient, we can start the time. If not, the bet is off. Oh, and after I call, I will
shut off my phone and you are not allowed to try and contact me in any way. Agreed?"
Ethan rose to his feet and held out his hand.