Dave leaned his head back against the wall.
Why does Caten have to be so hateful?
Not hateful. It’s something worse than that.
Hm. Something bigger than mean, but something more heartless than hateful. What would that word be?
His phone rang.
Dave raised his mask and answered it. “Hank?”
“Hey, babe. You okay? It’s after midnight and you aren’t here.”
“Oh, Hank! It’s so good to hear your voice.”
Hank laughed and the sound traveled from Dave’s ear all the way down to his ankles.
Dave almost threw down his weapon to go running to him.
“I’m here, babe. Not in Pinkerlee. I’m here.”
“But you aren’t with me. And…” He bowed his head. “I’m not with you.”
“So, where are you?”
“Still guarding Caten. The next shift guards haven’t shown up yet and he dragged me over to Preyuna’s room and…and…”
“…fag like you…”
“…your boy toy…”
“What’s wrong, babe?”
“This is going to sound weird, but do you think of me just as some ‘boy toy’?”
“I don’t think of you that way. I never have. I love you, Dave. Your smile. Your laugh. Your insane enthusiasm. And all of those harder to define things that make you you. I love you. I can’t wait till we can finally be alone.”
Dave’s heart fluttered. “There you go again. Saving your most romantic lines for when we are on the phone. Not fair, Hank. Not fair at all.”
Hank laughed again.
Dave’s knees quaked. “Oh, if only you knew just what you do to me.”
“Should I tell you how you affect me?” His voice was nothing but heat and steam inside Dave’s head.
Dave squeaked. “Yes!”
“Well. You’ll have to wait. You are still working. Besides, some things are better shown than told.”
“eee! I love you so much!”
Hank laughed. “I love you too, babe.”
“How’s Doll Face doing?”
“Still out of it. But he hasn’t had any more seizures. So that’s good, at least.” He paused. “You are right about him. He is very pretty. But I like my pretty boys with brown eyes.”
“Love you.” Hank airkissed into the phone. “I’m gonna let you go. I need to figure out who was supposed to be working after us so I can harass them into doing their job. I’ll see you later, babe.”
“See you.” Dave ended the call.
He’ll get them moving.
And I’ll be with him again.
“And that is where matters stand at this moment.”
The bartender propped his chin on his open palm. “You were right. That was a very long story.”
Raven slowly sipped down his fifteenth cup of raspberry-lime tea.
“Not a bad story. Just a very long one.”
“So, I don’t know where your Mr. Harris ran off to.” The bartender pulled a folded scrap of paper out of his pocket with such a flourish it was like he was pulling it out of thin air. “But this is the phone number you’re looking for.”
Raven took it. “How do you wish me to repay you?”
The bartender smiled. “Just tell me how it all turns out in the end. If boy gets boy and lives happily ever after.”
Raven smiled. “I will most certainly do that. Thank you, sir.”
“Not a problem.”