Chapter Twenty: Ashe
In the Moonlight
His mind was a tumult of the events of the last two weeks--the shock of finding his father beaten on the floor of their trailer, his subsequent death, and the knowledge that his mother had been involved in something that seemed bigger and more sinister by the day.
And now Rolly, his new acquaintance, had been injured in their ill-conceived foray into the late Doctor Bach’s house.
In his mind, he kept hearing the gun go off.
It could have killed Rolly. Or Jaxx.
He closed his eyes and tried to sleep, but his worries kept pestering him. What were they doing here? They should be turning all of this evidence they were collecting over to the authorities. Whatever this was seemed far too big for the likes of Ashe and his little band of misfit friends.
The gunshot went off in his head again.
His eyes flew open. It was cool in the room, but he was sweating. He reached over for Jaxx, but the Satyr wasn’t in bed next to him.
Ashe sat up, looking around the moonlit guest room. The bed was covered by a hand-woven white quilt. The furniture was a collection of antiques, eclectic in combination but each one quite beautiful.
The walls were painted in soothing blue-gray tones, and the window was lined with heavy velvet drapes. It was a lovely home, perhaps the nicest Ashe had ever stayed in.
He stepped off the bed onto the cool hardwood floors, and pulled his underwear off the nightstand lamp. He slipped them on, and shrugged into a night shirt, in case he met either of the house’s other two tenants. Then he went in search of Jaxx.
He found the satyr in the kitchen, hunched over the wood-block table. “Hey there.”
Jaxx flashed him a smile. “What are you doing up?”
“Couldn’t sleep.” He put his arms around Jaxx from behind.
“Me neither. Crazy week, huh?”
Ashe nodded. “I was worried about what happened tonight. That it could have been worse. That it could have been you.” He kissed Jax on the neck, and glanced down at the table. It was covered with papers. “Are those…?”
“Yup. I thought I’d take a look at them, see if i could figure anything out.”
“Not yet. I just started.”
Ashe sat down next to Jaxx. “You did good today, you know. Saved my ass. And the way you were with Rolly… so kind and professional.”
Jaxx laughed softly. “It’s what I do.”
“I didn’t know you had a first aid kit with you.”
“Always be prepared.”
Ashe sat back, looking at his lover in a new light. “No fucking way. You weren’t.” Ashe had never guessed. But Jaxx was a little on the straight arrow side.
“Oooh, a man in uniform.” Ashe stood, holding out his hand. “I know a way we can both relax a little, and maybe even get a little sleep after.”
“But the papers—”
“They’ll keep.” He pulled Jaxx up from the chair and back to their bedroom, closing the door quietly.
His shirt and shorts were off before they reached the bed.
* * * * *
When Ashe woke again, it was full daylight outside, sunlight streaming in directly onto his face. He glared at the window, wishing the sun away, but it stubbornly refused to move.
The sex had been glorious. He’d forgotten how much he’d missed Jaxx, his warm body, his beautiful face and calm spirit. They just fit together, emotionally and physically.
He sat up, and saw he was alone in bed, again. Maybe the relaxation of the night before hadn’t been enough to make Jaxx relax.
Ashe sat up and put his feet on the floor—it was cold on his bare feet. He got up and pulled on his old clothes and socks. He would shower later.
Ashe stared out the window for a moment. It was a glorious, clear day in Zurich. He couldn’t see the lake from here, but the streets below were filled with activity—cars and bikes zipping by and people talking and laughing.
Maybe they’d be better off dropping this whole thing before someone got really hurt. They could go back to their lives like the people below, heedless of whatever strange forces were moving around them.
The idea had a certain appeal.
He opened the door, and was hit by the twin aromas of eggs and coffee. His stomach grumbled, and he followed the smells to the kitchen.
“Morning sleepyhead,” Rolly called, scrambling some eggs over the stove. His arm was red and angry around the stitches, but he didn’t seem to be bothered by it. “Thought you’d never wake up.”
“Probably has a bump or two on his head from the headboard, after that bang-up performance last night,” Tibo said with a scowl, but the goblin winked at him.
Ashe blushed. “It was… I didn’t realize—”
“Don’t let the little tosser get to you. We did our own boot knocking last night.” Rolly flipped the eggs onto four plates, next to buttered slices of toast.
Jaxx was at the kitchen table, looking through Dr. Bach’s papers again.
“Gonna need you to clear all that off,” Rolly said, pouring four cups of coffee.
Jaxx was shaking his head. “Guys, you gotta come take a look at this.”