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 stood smugly by the huge plate glass window that over looked
the city sky line. The bright early afternoon sun glistened and gleamed as
it bounced and reflected off the mirrored windows of the other high rise
buildings around them.
He had rushed frantically, breaking all the traffic laws he dared in an effort to
make it back here before the 2 PM cut off time. He had just squeaked in with
a cool 10 minutes to spare and now he waited silently and patiently as Ethan Rayne
chewed the butt of an unlit cigar and read through the rough manuscript.
It was good. Really good. Maybe one of his best and Xander knew it. Due to
his haste in writing, it would take considerable rewrites and editing, but the basic
story was what counted and Xander was well aware that this was one of the best
he had ever done. It was a sure number one on the best sellers list.
Finally, the publisher sat back in his chair and, with a huff and a snort, he tossed
the stack of papers on his desk.
"Well, it looks like you did it."
"Yeah, no thanks to you, you old bastard. I never would have suspected
you of doing something so underhanded and sneaky. Hiring that bunch of
hack actors to go in there and distract me. They didn't fool me for a second.
Shame on you. I don't know why Carlos puts up with you."
Ethan couldn't hide the sparkle in his eye. It was clear there was no animosity
in his young friends voice.
"Yeah, well apparently it didn't work. You wrote a hell of a story, Xander.
I think it is going to be great. Besides, those actors were not hacks. At least
they better not have been. Not for what they charged me."
Xander walked over and sat down across from his friend's desk.
"And Spike wasn't one of them?"
Ethan's brow wrinkled in concern.
"No. I don't know who he was. That's why when I got your e-mail, I was really
worried and called to have the troupe send one more actor out pretending to be
a police detective. He was supposed to check on you and if there was a
problem, he would call the real authorities. I guess this Spike person was just a
squatter. Some homeless guy who had broken in and was staying there. When
he thought Giles was really a detective, he took off to avoid a B&E charge."
In his mind, it made sense. In his heart, not so much. Xander agreed that it was
the most likely answer, still, he wished he knew where to find him. Just to thank
him of course. When there didn't seem to be anything left to say, Xander
pushed himself up and out of the chair and he stretched. He had been awake
for close to 30 hours and he was bone deep exhausted.
"Well, that's it for me. I think I will collect my hard earned check and go
home. I feel like I could sleep for a fucking week."
Ethan made a show of grumbling as he withdrew the checkbook from his
top desk drawer although, truth was, both men knew this was one of the best
investments he could have made. He had seen the signs of writers block before
and understood that his young friend was suffering. Ethan's idea to send him
to the mansion seemed the perfect solution.
If it broke through the block, Xander would write again and Ethan would earn the
small fortune his commission of each of Xander's books brought in. If it didn't
then Xander would lose the bet and it wouldn't it would not cost the publisher
ten thousand. It was win/win.
With great flourish, Ethan tore the check from the book and he waved it in Xander's
direction. When Xander reached, Ethan pulled it back.
"I'm proud of you, my boy. I knew you could do it."
Xander laughed and snatched the piece of paper from the publisher's fat fingers.
"Yeah, right. Your confidence warms the cockles of my heart."
"Smart ass. Hey, why don't you let me get one of the junior editors to
drive you home. You look like hell."
Xander yawned and scratched his head. He folded the check and tucked
it in his jeans pocket.
"Huh? Oh, yeah, that might be a good idea. I would hate to die in a flaming
car wreck before I get the chance to cash this little bank note you so generously
Ethan flipped him the finger and immediately called down to the lower offices.
Within minutes, Faith Lahane, an eager, flirtatious secretary appeared at the
doorway. When the call came and Xander Harris's name was mentioned, she
fought tooth and nail to get up there before any of the others found out.
A lowly secretary to an underling paid very little. Mistress, or better yet,
wife of a highly successful mystery writer would have her setting pretty
for the rest of her life.
So, after hiking her skirt up and unbuttoning her top two buttons, she sauntered
in on 5" heels and she extended a soft white hand. Faith Lahane was barking up
the wrong tree.
"Alexander Harris? I am so thrilled to meet you. I have read all your books
and you are just amazing! I'm delighted to drive you home. Maybe later
after you get some sleep we could go out for some dinner. My treat, of course."
"Nice to meet you Faith. I'm gay."
"Exactly, shall we go?"
"Yeah, why the hell not."
Xander turned and with a smile and a wink to his publisher, he followed the
slumped shoulders of Miss Lahane out the door. They proceeded directly
to the garage and, with no conversation, climbed into a small Toyota.
Grateful for the lack of chit chat, Xander dozed and within what seemed like just
minutes, they arrived. When they stopped, Faith hurried around and opened the
passenger's side door.
"No problem Mr. Harris. Glad to do it."
Xander stood on the curb and watched her drive off. As she disappeared,
he turned and walked up his steps. When he reached the front door, he was
startled to see it standing just slightly ajar.
He had an intruder.
Xander slowly eased the front door open and he peeked inside, half
expecting to see furniture overturned, drawers tossed about and his precious
big, flat screen missing from the wall. Surprisingly, everything, on first
glance, appeared normal.
Still, he made no move to relax. The new surge in his adrenalin caused his
exhaustion to temporarily retreat and he was again hyperalert. Stepping
just inside, he tried to scan every inch of visual space for any sign of
disturbance, but again noted nothing out of place.
His brain, foggy from lack of sleep struggled to concentrate and he
wondered if it was possible that he had been in such a hurry to leave
yesterday that he, himself had left it unsecured. Xander rubbed his hands
over his scratchy, dry eyes. After some thought, he came to the decision
that he would take a fast look around and if nothing seemed wrong,
get some sleep and worry about it later.
Then, as he turned to close the door behind him, he heard a noise. A thump.
An intruder. Xander froze on the spot and his ears strained to locate the area
of the apartment that was violated. It didn't take long. The kitchen!
Immediately, he eased toward the coat closet where he retrieved his trusty
baseball bat from the corner. He gripped it firmly, taking a couple practice
swings, then he held it close to his body, grateful that it had more weight and
size than a statue of a cat.
Quickly and silently he tip toed through the living room to the swinging doorway
at the far right of the room. Standing there with his ear against the door, he listened
to assure himself that the intruder was indeed engaging in criminal kitchen violation.
His eyes bugged wide. He knew that sound! The bastard was using his 'As Seen
On TV Wonder World Cheese Grater'! The nerve! Wasting no more time,
Xander clutched the neck of the bat and he exploded through the swinging door.
Bee note. Only 1 more chapter till the end. I now have 2 different stories finished
but this time I will post according to readers choice. Please leave a comment at
the end of Writer's Block and vote. Choice #1. Therapy. A short, 17 chapter
psychological story that challenges the reader to unravel the mystery of the plot.
Or Choice #2. Hope House A long, 46 chapter tale of drama, vampires,
monsters and prostitution. Cast your vote.
Lurkers are encouraged to vote!