The Adventures of Damien and Drew – Part II

This will be the last chapter for a while. Watch for the continuing adventures later this summer.

Chapter three

Drew followed Damien out of the house. He looked around the small area since he hadn’t gotten a good look around last night because of the dark.

The two-story, A-frame log cabin nestled in the middle of a grove of evergreens. Their branches shadowed the roof letting only a bare sliver of sunlight reach the ground. It would be nearly impossible to see the cabin from above. Only a small foot trail led into the small area around the cabin. There was no way for a vehicle to get close.

The motorcycle stood next to the steps of the porch.

The air was heavy with the scent of pine.

A squirrel chattered from a low-hanging branch.

Damien handed him the helmet along with a small case. “Here, put your cell phone in this. I know it wasn’t damaged last night, but let’s not take any chances. This will protect it from my magic.” He mounted the bike.

Drew donned the helmet, climbed on behind him, and placed his arms around Damien’s waist. “Are you sure I won’t fall off?”

“See the strap around my chest? Just hold on to that and don’t worry. You’re safe.”

Damien’s muscles hardened, wings spread out from his body, and Drew found himself again lying on the back of a dragon.

He held on to the strap, tightened his legs, and raised his head. The ground seemed to fall away below them, and the cabin disappeared, completely hidden by the trees. The wind threatened to pull him off, and he grabbed the strap tighter.

Are you okay?

“I think so.”

Don’t try to talk; I won’t hear you. Just think what you want to say.

Are you sure I’m not going to fall?

Like I said last night, I’ll drop the bike before I let you fall.

Drew snickered. I can just see someone walking along and a motorcycle falls out of the sky.

* * *

Damien landed the motorcycle in an ally a few blocks from the restaurant. “Where do you want to go?”

“I need to get my car from the restaurant parking lot and then go home.”

As Drew dismounted from the bike, Damien asked, “Do you want me to come with you?”

Drew inhaled deeply. “I’d probably better do this myself. Mom isn’t going to be happy. When will I see you again?”

“I’ll pick you up after work. Are you going to give your boss notice?”

“Yeah. I don’t know if he’ll want me to work a few days until he can replace me. Probably he’ll just give some of the other waiters my hours.”

“Okay.” Damien leaned in and kissed him. “See you later.”

Drew drove home.

As he pulled into the driveway, his mother came running out. “Are you okay?”

“Mom, I told you I’m fine. I’m not a baby anymore.”

She grabbed him in a tight hold. “I don’t care how old you are, I still worry.”

Drew kissed her cheek. “I’m okay.”

As they walked toward the house, his mother asked, “What happened last night. I know you said that man is a government agent of some kind. But what do you know about him? You just took off with a stranger? Did he threaten you or something?”

“No, Mom. He didn’t threaten me.” Drew opened the door and stood back for his mother to enter. “There was something about him that attracted me.”

“I know you’re an adult gay male, and I’ve heard stories. Did you sleep with him?”

“Mom, I don’t want to discuss my sex life with my mother.” Drew walked into the kitchen, pulled a can of soda from the fridge, popped the top, and took a long drink.

“I’m sorry. I just want to be sure you’re safe.”

“Don’t worry about me. I need to get ready for work.”

“Are you going to see him again?”

“Yes, Mother. In fact, I’m going back to his place tonight after work. Whether I come back tomorrow depends on what Mr. Snider says when I give my notice.”

“Where does this man live? Can I visit you there?”

“We’ll have to talk about that later. I’m not really sure how to get there. Like I said, he’s with a government agency. There’s a lot of secrecy involved. I had to be blindfolded to go there.” He figured that was better than telling her he flew there on the back of a dragon. “You’ll just have to trust me on this.” He turned and walked toward the stairs to his apartment.

“Will you stay in touch?”

“I’ll have my phone with me.”

“Call me.”

“We’ll talk every day, I promise.”

* * *

Drew walked into the restaurant and was met by Larry.

“That was some excitement last night. Where did you disappear to?”

“I went home with Damien.” Drew looked at the seating chart on the host desk and located his section for the night.

“Is that his name? According to gossip, he’s some kind of government agent.”

“Yes, he’s kind of like an FBI agent. Is Snider in his office?”

“Yeah, I think so. Why?”

“I’m turning in my notice. This may be my last night.”

* * *

Drew walked out the back door of the restaurant and found Damien waiting. He climbed on behind him on the bike and they roared out of the parking lot.

 

I have to apologize

I’m sorry there is no new chapter of Damien and Drew. I have been too sick to write.

Here’s a funny little true story from my childhood.

Grandma and the Snakes

Now, I am not afraid of snakes as long as I know they are not poisonous, but my Grandma Bennett was terrified of even a garter snake.

One fall when I was in junior high school, three of my classmates and I decided we wanted to ‘camp out’ at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm. Grandpa agreed we could camp down in the woods past the pond. Then Grandma got in on things. “Now you girls can’t sleep on the ground. A snake will come and crawl in bed with you.” So she told Grandpa to take the hay wagon down for us to sleep on. “But, don’t park it under a tree. A snake will climb the tree and jump down on them.” So Grandpa took the hay wagon down and parked it out in the open field for us to sleep on. I don’t think he realized he parked it in a pile of dry leaves.

Anyone who knows anything about teenaged girls knows a sleep over is never about sleeping. We were having a good time when, about 2 in the morning, one of the tires on the hay wagon sprung a leak. The air leaking from the tire caused the dry leave to rattle. If you can imagine four teenaged girls screaming at the top of their lungs because we were sure we were parked right in a nest of rattle snakes.

I’m surprised Grandpa and the closest neighbor (1/4 mile away) didn’t come out with shotguns thinking we were all being murdered.

The Adventures of Damien and Drew – Part II

Chapter two

Drew sat beside the window. His heels were drawn up to the edge of the chair seat in front of his butt, his arms were wrapped around his legs, and his chin rested on his knees. A blanket covered his bare back, and he held the corners of it in his hands.

Thoughts buzzed in his brain like bees gathering nectar from a field of clover:

Where was he?

How did he get here?

Who or what was the man sleeping in the bed in front of him?

What happened last night? Men don’t turn into wolves, and there’s no such thing as dragons.

Damien stretched and opened his eyes.

Drew was again pulled into those bright green, swirling eyes.

“What are you thinking?”

“My thoughts are all jumbled right now. I have a million questions.”

“Start with one.”

“Who are you? What are you? Where am I? How did I get here?”

“Whoa. One at a time.” Damien sat up in the bed. “First question, who am I? My name is Damien Talon. What am I? I’m an enforcer for the Council of Shifters. If you mean what kind of creature am I, I’m a dragon shifter. Where are you? In my home. I can’t tell you where that is at this time. Maybe if you stick around, I’ll tell you someday. How did you get here? On my back.

Drew shook his head as if in a daze. “So are you dragon or human?”

“Both.” Damien grinned. “I know it’s hard for a human to comprehend that shifters exist, but we do. My job is to help the shifter community keep a low profile. Humans would freak out if they knew how many shifters live among them. Both of my parents are dragon shifters. They were in human form when I was conceived, and my mother was human when I was born.” He paused. “It’s hard for me to say which form is more natural, but most of the time I stay in human form. Mainly because it’s easier to traverse the human world. Next question.”

“Can I go home, or am I a prisoner?”

Damien chuckled. “Did you feel like a prisoner last night?”

Drew ducked his head and his cheeks warmed as he remembered the nearly sleepless night in Damien’s arms.

“You can go home. You can stay. You can go back and forth. However, for now you can only travel between here and there if I take you. If you want to go, I won’t hold you.”

“What happens if I stay, or if I go and come back?”

“Who knows? We get to know each other better, and maybe become full partners. It’s up to you.”

Drew stood, walked to the bed, and crawled in beside Damien. “I think I’ll stay for now, but I would like to go home and get some clean clothes. I don’t like wearing my work clothes all the time. Plus, I owe it to my boss to give notice and my parents will be worried about me.”

“You live with your parents?”

“Kind of. I have an apartment in their basement.”

“That can all be taken care of later.” Damien lifted the covers and patted the mattress beside him. “Aren’t you cold? Come back to bed and let me warm you.”

Drew stood and walked to the bed.

* * *

Drew struggled to wake up. The ringtone on his cell phone told him the caller was his mother. It stopped before he could get to it. He sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed his eyes.

Damien stroked his back. “Was that your phone? You’re lucky my shifting with you on my back didn’t fry it. Magic can sometimes do that.”

“Yeah. It was my mom’s ringtone. She’s probably worried about me.”

“Cracklin’ Rosie by Neil Diamond?”

“She’s a big fan, and her name is Rose.” He walked to where his pants lay on the floor, picked them up, and pulled the phone from his pocket. The flashing icon indicated a voice mail. He pushed the play button, and put it on speaker.

His mother’s voice asked, “Where are you? Why don’t you answer? Are you okay? The news said you rode off with some stranger on a motorcycle. Are you alive? Please call me.”

“Sounds to me like you’d better call her.” Damien’s eyes sparkled with silent laughter. “I know if it were my mother, that tone would mean I’m in big trouble.”

Drew dialed his parents’ home number and waited. He left his phone on speaker.

“Hello.”

“Hi, Mom.”

“Where are you? I’ve been worried sick since last night after what happened at the restaurant.”

“I’m at a friend’s house. I told you when I moved into Grandma’s old apartment in the basement there might be nights I don’t come home.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Remember, I’m a twenty-five-year-old gay man, not a teenager. And what do you mean about what happened at the restaurant?”

“The news said that some man chased another man and tackled him, and then two men landed in a helicopter and took him away.”

Drew turned and looked at Damien who shrugged.

“Yeah that’s pretty much what happened,” Drew admitted.

“And you rode off with the guy who tackled the other one.”

“That’s right. He’s an agent for a government agency. Kind of like the FBI. The man he tackled is a murderer. The two men in the helicopter were his superiors and took the man to jail.”

“Are you okay? Where are you? When will you be home?”

“I’m fine. I’m at Damien’s house. I have to work tonight, so I’ll be home this afternoon.”

“Just be careful, Drew. I love you.”

“Don’t worry, Mom. I’m fine. See you this afternoon. Love you too.” He ended the call and sat on the bed beside Damien. “Was that what you meant about erasing my memory? That didn’t sound like what I saw last night.”

“Can you imagine the panic if people started talking about men who turn into wolves and dragons? Like I said, it’s up to me and those like me to keep a low profile.” Damien lifted the covers. “Now come on back to bed.”

“Is that all you think about?”

“Can you think of something better?”

“Well, right now I’m getting a bit hungry. It’s been a long time since dinner, and I’ve burned a lot of calories since then.”

“Okay. Breakfast it is.” Damien threw off the covers and stepped toward Drew.

Drew almost wavered at the sight of Damien’s nearly perfect body and shimmering eyes. He blinked and the eyes returned to normal.

 

The Adventures of Damien and Drew – Part II

Part II

Drew Meets a Dragon

Chapter one

Drew Jackson turned toward the kitchen with the order he’d just taken. His stomach clenched. A strange feeling of déjà vu engulfed him, and his attention was drawn to the door.

A tall blond man followed the host to the back of the dining room, and was seated at table 29 which wasn’t in Drew’s section.

He stopped Larry Davis who was coming back from the kitchen. “Tip’s yours if you’ll let me take 29. You can finish up table 10 and get both tips.”

Larry turned and looked. “Okay. He’s more your type than mine,” he quipped.

Drew hooked his order on the wheel.

One of the cooks looked like he’d seen a ghost.

“You okay, Bush? You look upset.”

“Just felt like someone walked over my grave as they say.”

Drew approached table 29. “Good evening, sir. My name is Drew, and I’ll be taking care of you this evening. Can I start you with a glass of wine or a cocktail?”

The man ordered a cola and a blooming onion, and then looked up.

Drew looked into eyes the color of new grass in the spring. Instead of usual eyeballs, there was no white around the iris which looked like a many-faceted emerald. As Drew stared, the eyes seemed to spin like a whirlpool. His heart skipped a beat, and a distant memory stirred deep inside. He blinked. When he looked again, the eyes looked normal. He turned from the table, walked to the kitchen, placed the order for the onion, leaned over with his hands on his knees, and took several deep breaths.

Larry placed his hand on Drew’s back. “Are you okay?”

Drew took a deep breath. “Have you ever seen someone for the first time and felt like you knew them in a previous life?”

“Can’t say as I have. Don’t believe in that reincarnation stuff.” Larry placed his order on the wheel. “Do you need me to take over?”

Drew straightened up. “I’ll be okay.”

Larry winked. “He is good looking.”

“Yeah.” Drew turned, walked back to the dining room, and took the man’s cola to the table. “Have you decided on dinner?” He blinked once more as the man’s green eyes again appeared to spin.

The man ordered the largest sirloin. “Make it as rare as the law will let you serve it.”

When Drew brought the onion, the man requested another cola.

Back in the kitchen, Drew picked up the plate with the steak. It wasn’t even browned; blood seeped from under it. How could anyone eat meat that close to raw. He carried it to the table and set it in front of the man. “Let me know if you need anything else.”

The man’s green eyes twinkled with silent laughter. “Your phone number?”

“Sorry. That isn’t on the menu.”

He waited on a couple other tables all the while keeping an eye on the blond man. He took the man’s credit card and noticed the name. “Damien? Wasn’t that the demon in The Omen?” Drew rang up the sale, and wrote, I get off at 10:30, on the back of the customer’s copy.

* * *

Drew walked out the back door with Larry and Bush. He saw Damien sitting under a street light on a big silver Harley and started toward him.

Suddenly Bush started running.

Damien said, “Sorry, Drew. You need to wait a few minutes. I’ll be right back.” He jumped off of the cycle and ran after Bush.

Then impossible things started happening. Bush turned into a wolf. Damien became a dragon, flew after him, and tackled him to the ground. Bush and Damien again became men.

Two more dragons appeared out of nowhere, and turned into men.

One of them tied a rope around Bush.

They both shifted back into dragons, and flew off carrying Bush.

Damien walked to the motorcycle, took a helmet off the handlebars, and held it out to Drew.

Drew stared at him for a couple of seconds. “What the Hell just happened?”

Damien smiled. “You can come with me, and I’ll explain later. That way, you’ll remember everything that you just saw. Or, you can stay here and not remember anything. Ready?”

Drew looked at Damien’s eyes that were again whirling. “For what?”

“An adventure.”

His heart beat faster, and the feeling of déjà vu seeped into his brain. “Why not?” He took the helmet, placed it on his head, and straddled the bike behind Damien.

As the bike started moving, Drew felt the body in front of him grow larger. He found himself lying down with his arms around what felt like the dragon’s neck. Looking down, he saw the lights of the town far below. He shivered and closed his eyes in fear.

He heard Damien’s voice in his head. Don’t be afraid. I’ll drop the cycle before I let you fall.

It seemed an eternity before he felt Damien start to descend. The body under him shrank, and he was again on the back of the motorcycle with his arms around Damien’s waist.

They landed in front of a large log house in the middle of a pine forest.

Drew’s heart beat faster, and his groin tightened as Damien took his hand and led him into the house.

The Adventures of Damien and Drew – Chapter three

Chapter three

Damien sat on his Harley in the alley behind the steak house and waited for Drew.

The neon signs and inside lights went off, and Drew came out with two other men.

Damien could see the slight glow from one of them that only another shifter could see. This was Bush. No time to lose.

Drew walked toward Damien.

“Sorry, Drew. You need to wait a few minutes. I’ll be right back.” He sent a silent call to Captain Willis as he dismounted from the bike. I have him. Come and get him.

Bush started running. He got to the street and shifted into wolf form.

Damien morphed into dragon form and flew after the wolf.

Bush dodged and ran between two cars.

Damien followed. As Bush emerged into the open, Damien swooped down.

Bush ducked under a high-wheeled pickup and lay there panting heavily.

Damien landed beside the truck. He ducked his head and a stream of fire spread under the truck.

Bush scurried out the other side and took off again.

Damien took flight. About half a block down the street, Damien swooped down and caught the wolf in his claws.

Bush twisted and tried to grab Damien’s leg in his mouth.

“Oh, no, you don’t.” Damien clamped harder with his claws sending two of them deep into the wolf’s spine.

Bush howled in pain and went limp.

Damien dropped the wolf and landed beside it morphing as he landed.

Police cars roared down the street with their sirens screaming, and came to a stop with their lights shining on the body of the wolf.

The wolf shifted into human.

Damien grabbed him and pulled his arms behind him. “Shifting isn’t going to help you. You may heal, but I have you.”

Chief Keller came up to Damien. “What’s going on?”

“I just caught my bad guy.”

“I think I’m dreaming. Was that a wolf? And what happened to the dragon?”

“He’s a wolf shifter. He killed his mate and her litter of pups because the pups weren’t his.” Damien took a stronger hold on Bush. “As to the dragon, maybe you need your eyes checked.”

Keller looked from Damien to Bush and back. “What am I supposed to do with him?”

“Nothing. I’ll take care of him. He’ll face the Council of Shifters.”

Two dragons appeared overhead. One red and the other black. The red one landed beside Damien and morphed into an older man.

“Good work, Damien. We’ll take him from here.” Captain Willis pulled a shining rope out of his jacket and wound it around Bush. “He won’t get out of this.”

Bush screamed. “Not silver. Please no silver.”

“Don’t worry. It won’t touch your skin unless you fight it. He morphed back into dragon form, took the rope in his claws, and the two dragons flew off.

“Okay. I don’t know what’s going on here, and I’m not sure I want to,” Chief Keller said.

“Just think, you don’t need to fill out any paperwork.” Damien turned and walked back to where Drew stood beside the Harley. He opened a saddle bag, took out a bottle of water, and poured it over his hands rinsing the wolf’s blood from his fingers. Straddling the bike, he took a helmet off the handlebars and handed it to Drew.

Drew stared at him for a couple of seconds. “What the Hell just happened?”

Damien smiled. “You can come with me, and I’ll explain later. That way, you’ll remember everything that you just saw. Or, you can stay here and not remember anything.”

“How would I forget?”

“The same way the Chief and everyone else who’s here will. My boss has already altered their memories.”

“How?”

“That’s something else I’ll explain later. Ready?”

“Ready for what.”

“An adventure.”

Drew looked around at the others. “Why not?” He took the helmet, placed it on his head, and straddled the bike behind Damien.

“Hold on tight.”

Damien morphed into dragon form and pulled the motorcycle close to his stomach.

Don’t be afraid; you’re perfectly safe. I’ll drop the bike before I let you fall.

“How can I hear you?”

I can’t talk in this form, but I can transmit my thoughts.

The flight lasted about an hour.

Damien became human again as he landed in front of a large log house in the middle of a bunch of pine trees.

Drew looked around and grinned. “You promised an adventure. I wasn’t expecting this.”

Damien put his hands on Drew’s waist and pulled him closer. “What did you expect?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Maybe this?” Damien leaned in and claimed Drew’s lips in a kiss.

“Mmmm.” Drew melted into the kiss.

Damien released his mouth, took his hand, and led him into the house.

The Adventures of Damien and Drew – Chapter two

Chapter two

Damien woke about 4:30 and decided he should find somewhere to get food. After a shower, he dressed in black leather pants and a black t-shirt. He sat on the bed and opened the local phone book he found in a drawer. Looking through the restaurant listings in the yellow pages, he saw there was steak house close by. Maybe some good red meat would help him think.

As he stepped in the door of the restaurant, the feeling hit him. Wolf. Was his quarry here? He looked around the dimly lit room. Nothing stood out.

A young man approached. “One for dinner, sir?”

“Yeah. Can I have a booth facing the door?”

“I’ll see what I have.” He looked at his chart. “Follow me.” He led the way to a booth toward the back of the room.

A feeling of evil followed Damien, and his back shivered with the chill.

“Will this do, sir?”

“Perfect.” Damien slid into the booth where he could see the front door.

The boy handed him a menu. “Your waiter will be right with you.”

“Thank you.”

Damien looked over the menu, and flexed his shoulders. The chill wouldn’t go away.

A good-looking, dark-haired man approached the table. “Good evening. My name is Drew, and I’ll be taking care of you this evening. Can I start you with a glass of wine or a cocktail?” His jeans fit like a second skin, and the vee opening of his shirt revealed a patch of dark hair that matched the shoulder-length hair on his head.

“I’ll just have a cola to drink.” Damien looked at the menu. “And bring me one of your fried onions.” He looked at Drew and smiled. He wouldn’t mind tasting the attractive young man.

Drew blinked a couple of times before smiling back. “I’ll be right back with your drink.”

Damien noted the sparkle of interest in Drew’s eyes as he turned and walked away. Maybe he could have some fun while he was here. He’d never considered taking a human as a partner, but there was something about Drew that pulled at him, and it wasn’t just sex. His father told him that when he met his intended partner, he’d know deep inside. He’d had that feeling with James. Could that be what he was feeling? Was it possible to find a second love? Somehow he’d never considered his fated mate could be human. He knew he was destined to be with another male, maybe not another dragon, but at least he figured it would be another shifter of some kind.

Drew brought the drink. “Have you decided on dinner?”

Damien smiled. “I want your largest sirloin. Cooked rare. I know you can’t serve it raw, but make it very rare, just as rare as they can make it. Add a baked potato with butter and sour cream.”

Drew blinked again. “Tossed or Caesar salad, sir?”

Damien frowned. Was something wrong with the young man’s eyes that caused him to blink so much? “What dressing options do you have?’

Drew pointed to a list on the menu.

Damien studied the choices. “I guess I’ll have the tossed salad with ranch dressing, please.” Ranch wasn’t his favorite, but few places served French dressing anymore. He handed the menu to Drew.

“Very good. I’ll be right back with your onion.” Drew turned and left.

Damien again followed his retreat. He took a sip of his soda and looked around still trying to find the source of the evil. The man must not be visible. Maybe he was in the kitchen.

Drew brought the fried onion. “The white sauce is ranch, and the yellow is spicier. Has some horseradish in it. Another cola?”

“Thanks, please.”

Damien picked off a piece of the onion and dipped it in the spicier sauce. He didn’t find it too spicy. After all, his dragon was used to the feel of fire.

Drew placed the plate with the steak in front of Damien. “Hope it’s the way you like it, sir.”

“Looks perfect.” Damien cut into the steak and blood ran out of it.

Drew wrinkled his nose in distaste. “Is that even warm?”

“Not really, but any warmer would be too cooked.” He looked at Drew with a slow sexy smile. “Haven’t they told you to not question a customer’s taste?”

Drew’s face registered confusion. “Yeah. But sometimes I forget. Let me know if you need anything else.”

“Your phone number?” He didn’t usually pick men up like this, but there was that feeling inside again that this man was special.

Drew shook his head. “I’m sorry, but that isn’t on the menu.” His blue eyes with a dark rim around the iris reflected his smile.

Damien read the interest in the smile. Something about Drew reminded Damien of James. Maybe it was the hidden laughter in his eyes. He shrugged. “Can’t say I didn’t try.”

Drew left and Damien bit into his steak. It was a little on the done side for him, but not bad.

When his plate was empty, Drew came back to the table. “Dessert?”

“Not tonight. Just bring the check.”

Drew brought his bill and Damien handed him a credit card.

Drew looked at the name on the card. “Damien? Wasn’t that the name of the demon in The Omen?

Damien smiled and winked. “I can assure you I’m no demon even though I’ve been called a devil once in a while.”

When Drew brought the receipt back, Damien noticed a note on the back of his copy. I get off at 10:30. He looked at Drew, winked, and nodded.

My Name is Ayla

This is a story that is both uplifting and heartbreaking. It could have been ripped from the headlines of nearly any civilized country in the world. When families won’t let go of centuries of conditioning in the name of religion, whether Islam or Christian, atrocities happen.

Ayla has been living as a woman for four years while she was away at school. When she comes home and her family sees her for the first time as a woman, they cannot accept her and her uncle and cousins nearly kill her.

Peter is the cop who investigates the incident. For a short time, they have an idyllic life of love and happiness. As a pansexual, Peter is completely accepting of what Ayla is.

However, her family won’t let go.

It’s a shame that the ones who should love us unconditionally are so wrapped up in ‘tradition’ they can’t accept who we are. So many young LGBT children are thrown away by their parents.

The author has done a wonderful job of capturing the angst and heartbreak of a young person who just wants to live her life honestly.

I wish I could give this story more than 5 stars.