If you're under 18, then go on and git.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Metamorphoses Ch. 3

Copyright 2017
Bailey Bradford

Chapter Three

 Raider Ennis straightened his tie, then pinned it neatly with the knock-off Bvulgari clip he hoped no one would realize was a fake. Unlike the other guests at Jordan LeHorne’s viewing party, Raider was hovering on dirt-poor. His suit and shoes were rentals, and he’d winced as he’d paid for a decent haircut.
But, he’d done what he’d had to. God knew someone had to get the goods on LeHorne.
Raider gave himself one more glance in the mirror. He looked okay, which was the best he could hope for. The man in the reflection was just weird. Raider wrinkled his nose at himself. He was certain everyone at LeHorne’s would spot him for a fraud right off the bat.
Thanks to social media, Raider had managed to find what he hoped was a real photo of an invitation to LeHorne’s, and he’d made a perfect copy of it.
Jared LeHorne’s youngest son, Mogul LeHorne, had invited his friends, which meant most of his fraternity, to the viewing.
Mogul. Raider laughed, as he always did when he thought of that name, because who named their kids such weird shit? Rich people, apparently. Mogul’s brothers were Emperor and Tycoon, and his sisters were Sovereign, Majesty and of course, Queen.
Raider was just named after his dad’s favorite football team. And when shortened, after bug spray. He winced.
Tonight, he wasn’t Raider Ennis. Tonight, he was Sascha Tolvec. He just hoped he remembered that.
“Are you going to come to your senses and give up on this crazy plan?”
Raider glared at his roommate and best friend, Chellie. “No, and it’s not a crazy plan.” It was, but he’d die before admitting it.
Chellie rolled her eyes so hard it was a miracle they didn’t slip back behind her brain. “Right,” she drawled, idly scratching at her ribs. “Because sneaking into a party at some reclusive, nutty billionaire’s mansion isn’t insane enough, add in the fact that a shit-ton of guys from the snooty fraternity will be there. The chances of you going unrecognized—“ Chellie stopped and looked him up and down, then she shrugged. “Eh. The haircut helps, and ditching the facial fungus did too.”
“Hey,” Raider protested, touching his chin. “It took me years to grow that beard out!”
“Hipster,” Chellie muttered. “And if it took you years to grow that scraggly thing out, then you ought to give up on ever having a real beard.”
“Ouch.” Raider gave her his best innocent look. “Maybe I can just borrow your mustache?”
“Fuck off,” Chellie said as she tossed a couch pillow at him. “You’re just jealous.”
“Probably,” Raider agreed. “Do you really think I look likelike me?”
Chellie walked over to him and cupped his cheek. She turned his head to one side, then the other. “Maybe just because I know you,” she admitted. “With your hair short and your face shaved, you look about twelve. You have the ID I made you?”
Raider nodded. “Yes, I do. Are you ever going to tell me how you learned to do that?”
“Not hardly.” Chellie snickered and moved away from him. “Just like I won’t tell you how I hacked into the LeHorne’s invites to get you on the list. Or to get Sascha on there.”
“You had to pick Sascha,” Raider muttered. He didn’t really mind, but Chellie got a kick out of teasing him.
Chellie was smiling fit to be tied. “Damn right. That’s what best friends do.”
“Call each other Sascha?” Raider asked, tucking his hands into his slacks’ pockets. “Because we’ve bene friends a long time and never done that until just recently.”
“We’ve been best friends since second grade,” Chellie corrected, pointing at him. “When you were about to get your ass kicked by Sheila by the swings.”
Raider shivered. “Sheila was scary as hell.”
“And twice your size.” Chellie lowered her hand. “Still is. I saw her at McDonald’s last night. She must be seven feet tall.”
Whereas Raider barely hit five-seven.
“She had this chick with her and they were holding hands,” Chellie said. “Guess she moved past her homophobia.”
“We were little kids,” Raider felt compelled to say. “I don’t think it’d be fair to hold her to what she said back then any more than it would be to hold me to calling her a pregnant cow, or you calling her—“
“Yeah, the word I regret saying. Ugh. I was such a dumb kid.” Chellie flopped onto the couch. “We do tend to repeat what our parents say. The r-word was mom’s favorite, quickly followed by all racial slurs.” She closed her eyes and leaned her head back. “I know some people regret being disowned, but I thank God for it every day. Fortunately I have a fabulous aunt.”
Not everyone else was so lucky, but Raider didn’t need to mention that. Chellie knew it. She volunteered at the LGBTQ Youth Shelter three days a week.
“Misha is a fabulous aunt,” Raider agreed. “And I have to go. I want to get there before the place gets too crowded.”
“Don’t get busted,” Chellie advised. “I don’t have the money to bail you out of jail.”
Raider sincerely hoped he didn’t wind up in jail. All he was doing was some recon—and Chellie had laughed her ass off at him for calling it such.
“Got it. No getting arrested.” Raider made sure he had everything he needed, including the tiny spy camera he had tucked into his pocket.
“Yup. Just get your proof that Jared LeHorne is collecting endangered bugs, and good luck getting him prosecuted.” Chellie snorted and Raider gritted his teeth.
He knew she was right, that it’d be difficult, if not impossible, to make Jared LeHorne be held accountable for trafficking endangered species of butterflies and other insects and animals.
All of Raider’s calls and emails to the organizations and agencies dealing with such issues had been ignored. Granted, he didn’t have proof—he only had the bits of conversation he’d overheard when Mogul had been bragging to one of his friends.
It had been enough to make Raider’s stomach turn, though.
And if it took proof to get some justice, then he’d get that proof. Hopefully.
“Stay outta jail!” Chellie hollered after him as Raider left their small apartment.
Raider flinched when Mrs. Jennings opened her door and shook a finger at him.
“You better stop doing those drugs!” she warned.
Raider flung his hands up. “I don’t do drugs! I’ve told you that before, Mrs. Jennings!”
Mrs. Jennings cocked her head to the left. “Wait. Who the hell are you? I thought you were that bug-spray boy, but he has long, greasy hair and fuzz on his face that he thinks is a beard.”
“Greasy—“ Raider sputtered as Mrs. Jennings threatened to call the police on him.

The night was not looking promising so far. Raider didn’t waste more time dealing with his neighbor. He turned on his heel and rushed out of the building. Mrs. Jennings was likely to follow through on her threat, and Raider wasn’t going to be anywhere around when the cops arrived.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Installment tomorrow! Babble--

Let's see-- the Hubs went to the urgent care over the weekend, Sierra went today (and it took forever), I'm still on antibiotics-- it's strep time, peoples! Woo. Hoo.

Sierra also got good news today-- she's been accepted into the college of her choice...in Nova Scotia, with a start date of Sept 2017. So, it looks like Mom and I will be taking a year or so to live in NS, make sure Sierra is settled in and adapted to adult life. She's pretty sheltered. And okay, letting go is hard, but she also wants us with her, so there's that.

I'll have an installment up tomorrow night. Started on it earlier, then there was the dr appt and so on. Tomorrow is Mike's birthday-- Cake. That means cake :D

I hope y'all have a fabulous evening! <3

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Metamorphoses Ch. 2

Copyright 2017
Bailey Bradford

Chapter Two

“I think we ought to let him sit there and freak out for a little longer.”
Kurt Baldwin turned to snap at his oldest son Murphy, but Gladys got to him first.
“Don’t you have an ounce of sympathy for Clyde?” Gladys said in that calm, quiet voice that all intelligent people knew meant impending doom. Kurt loved his wife. She was fierce and ornery when she needed to be.
Like now, as she whapped Murphy upside the head.
“Ow! Mommm!” Murphy sounded more like a five year old kid than a thirty-one year old man. He rubbed his head and shrank back when Gladys pointed at him.
“We raised you better than that, Murphy Edwin Baldwin,” Gladys said.
“Ohhhh, Murphy got full-named!” The twins, Emma and Ellie, high-fived each other. They were out of Gladys’ reach, but the look she gave them promised that Karma wasn’t on their side.
“Twins—one brain, two bodies, they always come up short.” Ned Baldwin cackled as the twins made indignant rebuttals.
Gladys shook her head.
“Hey, at least Kinsey, Faith and I are being good,” pointed out Cedric, their second-oldest child. “Four out of seven isn’t too bad—not counting Clyde since he’s not here.”
Faith slanted Cedric an irritable look. “Um, that’s less than half, so it is bad.”
Gladys moved close to Kurt and whispered, “I’m blaming their obnoxious behavior on your side of the family. Your mother always did have something snarky to say or a joke to make at my expense.”
Kurt winced, though he knew it was true. “Well, no one was ever going to be good enough to marry her only son. Little did she know.” He slipped his hands around Gladys’ narrow waist, then pulled her around and smiled. Gladys’ dark green eyes were sparkling, and Kurt saw love, so much love, every time he looked at her. Almost forty years together, and he loved her more each day.
“Whatever you’re thinking is giving me warm tinglies,” she murmured, which was as close to saying she was turned on as she’d get around their children.
“Just thinking about how much I love you, and how I’m the one not good enough to marry you,” he told her.
Gladys’ ran her hands up from his wrists to his shoulders. “I disagree.” She kissed him, and it took less than half a second for their kids to start whooping and making entirely too much noise.
Kurt sighed as Gladys ended the kiss. She was smiling, her cheeks flushed. Kurt knew she was entertained by their rambunctious spawn.
Not that he could blame her. Their eight kids were the best. Even Clyde, though he did tend to find trouble more than the others.
And man, it was going to break Kurt and Gladys’ hearts when any—and all—of their kids found someone special. Right now, the house was packed to the brim with family, but some day it wouldn’t be.
Kurt snorted at his depressing thoughts, and shook his head. “Can’t believe we’ll ever miss these noisy kids.”
“You know you love us,” Murphy said. “We’re all the excitement you have now.”
“Uh, I wouldn’t say all,” Ned countered.
“Yeah, I heard the bed springs—“ Emmie began.
Gladys hissed and Kurt fought against shriveling up right there.
“I forgot,” he offered. “You were there, and you’re you, and I couldn’t think, I just—“
“TMI!” shouted most of the kids.
Murphy was waving his hands in front of himself, as if he could ward off Kurt’s words.
“No,” Murphy said. “Nope. Our parents most certainly do not do the bump-bump thing. If you heard bed springs, it was probably Dad turning over—“
“Rhythmically,” Emma interrupted. “Steady then increasing in speed.”
“And squeakiness,” Ellie added. “Then there was the moans—“
Gladys swerved around Kurt and marched right over to Ellie. Every step Gladys took left a heel-dent in the dirt and sent little puffs of debris flying. “And what were you two doing listening?” Gladys demanded. “I would think you’d go away and leave us to our privacy. And weren’t you two supposed to be sitting in your college classes?”
Ellie and Emma exchanged one of their secretive twin looks, the kind where they seemed to speak telepathically to each other, though they claimed that was impossible.
Finally, as usual, Ellie cracked. She pointed at Emma. “She said it was okay to skip a day and go shopping instead! We didn’t know when we snuck in that you two would be doing the thing.”
“Sex,” Gladys said sharply. “It’s called sex, making love, being intimate with my soul mate, and if you can’t even say the word sex, I hope you aren’t having sex with your boyfriends or girlfriends, whichever it may be.”
“It’s not sex when it comes to your parents,” Ned argued. “It’s not! Because we all know parents don’t do that, so the twins probably just misheard.”
Gladys canted her head to the left. “No, they heard right.”
“Augh!” Ned slapped a hand over his eyes. “I can’t even look at you two!”
“Are you all done acting like dumbasses?” Kurt asked. “We have a son and brother to rescue.”
“Yeah, yeah, Clyde done got himself in trouble again,” Murphy grumped. “Last time it was a kid with a jar. You’d think Clyde would have learned to be careful.”
“And you’d think you’d learn when to zip it,” Emma retorted.
“Like you and Ellie did about the “ Murphy gulped. “Sex. Thing.”
Kurt had had enough. “That’s it. No more talking. You just do as your told. Cedric, stop laughing at Murphy. Murphy, do not punch your brother again. Now let’s go.”
There was still grumbling from the kids, but Kurt and Gladys ignored it as they lead the way to the mansion on the hillside where their youngest son was being detained. Thankfully, Gladys and Kurt were friends with everyone, and well-liked in the shifter and human communities. A rat shifter named Eunice had told Gladys she’d seen Clyde being carted off to the mansion.
And from there, several bird and insect shifters had confirmed Clyde’s imprisonment.
Kurt walked faster. He couldn’t imagine what Clyde was going through, having dead larvae setting out for him to see. It sounded like a house—mansion—of horrors, though Kurt knew that probably wasn’t the case. There was an –ist or –ologist for every species, and they’d collect what interested them.
Unfortunately for the dragon-headed caterpillar shifters, internet fame had put their lives on the line. Everyone wanted a caterpillar, but no one wanted the butterfly.
He gritted his teeth and broke into a jog. Gladys kept up with him, and the sound of footsteps behind them reassured Kurt that everyone was following along.
He had no plan for how to get to Clyde, but what he did have—what he and Gladys had—were those friends who loved them.
And if anyone stepped out of the mansion and saw all the creepy-crawlies that would be gathered there soon, along with the birds and who knew what other shifters, he had no idea what would happen.

He’d just hope for the best. Kurt glanced at Gladys. And he’d do whatever he had to in order to keep his family safe.

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