I'm changing things up a little. On Wednesdays, tune in for flash fiction--bite size short stories.
I call this one. . . .
For the first weekend in months, Ryan didn’t have to kill anyone. Last couple years, the weeks leading up to elections had been busy. But with a depression in full swing, people jobless and families on the street, buying votes was easy work. That’s what he’d heard. No one told him much; not until someone had to die.
Hiking up to Fate, his cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains, with the setting sun at his back, and cold rock under his spiked boots was about the next thing to Heaven. Up here, nobody thought anything about a man who was muscled, over six feet tall, and whose hard black eyes gave away nothing. City folk got out of his way; mountain folk invited him in for coffee.
He had his first bad moment when he rounded the last curve of the path up to Fate and saw the black truck--Lexus SUV. Justin had added red flames running down the hood.
Ryan stopped dead and thought about going back the way he’d come. But even he couldn’t make it down the mountain in the coming dark. He took a steadying breath, braced himself like a man walking into a gale force wind, and strode up to his cabin. Through the window he saw the fireplace going, bare feet hanging over the edge of the low couch, and a grey cell phone on top of his gun rack.
One last breath, and Ryan pushed open the door. “Hi honey.” He lowered his pack to the floor. “I’m home.”
“Crap.” Justin was on his feet in a second, blonde hair falling across his face, over his blue eyes. “What are you doing here?”
“Set up’s the same as when I lived with you.” Ryan was down on one knee, unlacing his boots. “I pay the mortgage.”
Brushing hair from his face, settling his soft lips into a smile, Justin said, “Don’t sell yourself short. You did some other things pretty good, too.”
Getting to his feet, Ryan looked down at his ex-lover. His dark blue flannel shirt matched his eyes. His pink lips came to a nearly perfect pout. Justin was still beautiful. “Really?” Ryan said. “You liked how I mowed the lawn?”
“He threw me out.” Justin turned his back on Ryan and headed for the kitchen, but not fast enough to hide the glint of tears. “I didn’t have anywhere else to go. You know how mom gets.”
Ryan jumped over the couch and settled onto the deep cushions. Fate felt good. Usually after the hike up, he had to get the fire going and air out the rooms to make it livable. “Your mom liked me,” he said.
“Strong silent types turn her on.” Justin came up behind the couch and handed Ryan a drink.
He took a sip from the can of Cherry Mountain Dew. It was cold and good, and it wouldn’t have been there if Justin hadn’t brought it with him.
When Justin curled up on the far end of the couch, Ryan slid over and stroked his hair. Justin rested his head against Ryan’s chest.
Running his long deadly fingers through Justin’s silky hair, Ryan gazed into the flames. It was nice being with someone he didn’t feel like killing.