Killing Time OST – 20c – Dinner

<< 20b – Dinner

I wished we could have chosen a shorter meal. When Vexx and I discussed the evening earlier this week, he convinced me to go with my usual seven courses birthday dinner as it gave us more time to get everything we needed. I would have opted for that minus, six courses, and only have cake this year.
Things went swimmingly – quite a surprise, I must say – up until the third course.
“So, which of you girls will fight for my bouquet?”
Emma and I looked at each other. It was bad enough that my birthday dinner turned out to be all about Naomi’s upcoming wedding without the slippery conversation topics. Emma blushed with unspoken desires which only decoupled my tension. Whether her interest for my dad was genuine or proportional to the size of his wallet had yet to be confirmed. I knew she was hiding something behind that too perfect and timely blush, but one thing was for certain: Emma didn’t deserve to step into my mess of a family.
“We’re in no hurry,” my dad said as he wrapped an arm around his date’s shoulders. I relaxed a bit. It might be silly on my part but I’d rather leave Emma with memories of wishes unfulfilled then making her a widow. I couldn’t deal with the ‘bonding with you step-mom over a funeral’ that would ensue.
“You two, on the other hand…”
“Dad!” I scolded while Vexx coughed out a piece of fish. He drank some water to soothe his sore throat. I absentmindedly rubbed his back. I should have warned him about my dad. But then, he should have expected something like this after the giant bed.
My father, unabashed by the stir his comment sparked, chewed on a bite of salad until Naomi’s laugh receded.
“I’m not getting younger and I need someone else to spoil.”
Vexx nearly drowned in his glass.
Why would my father ask such questions if he knew I had nanobots in my head preventing me from loving anyone?
“You won’t get any if you kill my boyfriend, you know!”
“Well,” Naomi handed a napkin to Vexx, “if he can’t survive your dad, he won’t father strong children.”
“Vincent isn’t a sperm donor!” I snapped. Naomi’s crooked smile turned to surprise and I knew I had made a mistake.
I acted out of character. Very out. Old me would have teased Vexx too, not instinctively defend him; fake care created a lag.
And as soon as that thought crossed my face, my cover was blown.
My dad looked worried and I felt twice as worse. This was why he had asked about my love life for all those years. He had been looking for this slip.
I wanted to cry, to strangle him, to tear out of the skin that bore his mark, to fight like a broken toddler, to yell like a Viking on the war path.
We stared at each other, knowing very well the other knew.
“Of course he isn’t,” Naomi laughed, shaking Vexx gently. I had dragged her into this. Because I wanted her to help my lies. What a mistake! Or was she in on it?
Vexx squeezed my thigh; he knew too. My father reached for his watch.
Not his usual one.
“Down!” I pulled Vexx with me and covered both our heads. A dimmed flash seeped through the protection of my lids and arms. I heard Naomi stumble backward and Derek grunted. They hadn’t been fast enough.
I reached under my chair and pulled the Desert Eagle out of its hiding place. A plasma bullet zinged an inch from my head. Vexx yelped. I shot back by reflex, hitting Emma straight between the eyes. Naomi yelled.
“Not after the wallet, then.”
“Lor! What’s happening?” Naomi cried. She fumbled around, blinded by the mini flash grenade. She eventually found Derek’s hand and he wrapped her in his arms.
“Stay down!”
I vaulted over the table. The front door was wide open. I ran only to see my dad enter his car. It started rolling before the door even closed. I aligned the tires but my instinct told me to duck. The bed, half dissembled to get it in the house, exploded. Nothing overwhelming, just enough to kill whoever would have been sleeping on it.
He had suspected a problem with my nanobots. Not enough to compromise the asset I was before first hand confirmation, but he had planted the contingency plans.
“Lor?” Vexx yelled from the door.
“I’m alright.”
I rolled myself off the driveway and joined him. The plasma bullet had burned a part of his hair, melting a section of his artificial face in the process. I angled his head in the light despite his protests; he seemed otherwise unharmed.
“We can’t stay here,” he whispered.
“I know,” I sidestepped him to return in the house. I grabbed my direct line to the FBI in the lobby’s dresser. “Join me at safe house four,” I said as soon as Gabriel picked up. “I’ll explain.” I hung up before he started asking what happened and how I knew about the safe house.
“You sure we can trust him?” Vexx asked.
“I’m sure we have no choice.”
I selected an old blouse I kept in the entrance closet and ripped off the sleeves. Naomi and Derek could be moles. They could also be innocent. I’d let the FBI figure it out. Vexx grabbed my arm before I returned to the kitchen where Naomi sobbed.
“I programmed a hack for the FBI database.” I stopped and turned around. “I can have the mainframe uploaded to their server. Don’t know how much use it’ll be now that we’re out, though.”
Bye bye leverage, hello increased chances of my father paying for what he had done. “Do it.”
Vexx ran to the basement while I explained what I could to Naomi and Derek. Or rather, while I told them I couldn’t explain anything right now and that if they wanted to be safe, they had to let me blindfold them. They were too traumatized to resist.
By the time I guided them to the basement, Vexx had packed a few things. He handed me my ‘Alice’ face which I gladly put on. I sealed the door to the house, leaving only the sewer access: if Dad didn’t already know about this room, we might be able to keep it under his radars.
After a silent walk in the sewer – that beat arguing with Vexx while half-naked and tied to a table on the awkwardness scale -, Naomi and Derek cuddled on the backseat ofAlice’s car. Vexx dropped our luggage in the trunk. I took a couple of deep breaths by the driver’s door.
No doubts. No fear. No return policy. No refund.
Shopping for trouble sucked.

21a – Nerves >>

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

6 responses to “Killing Time OST – 20c – Dinner

  • Jenn

    Aheila!!! That was a mean & nasty way to end for the week lol. I’m sure you’re doing a happy dance with that comment lol. That so wasn’t what I was expecting from the dinner 🙂

    • Aheïla

      *laughs and does a happy dance*
      Trust me, it wasn’t what I was expecting either. I have to revise my outline now. I’m happy with this scene, though. It wraps up a bunch of hints I didn’t realize I had been sprinkling around.

  • mish

    So we were right about the bed … mmm … and dear old dad IS the bogeyman , after all …
    Dinner turned out to be quite a messy affair !
    I’m thinking that maybe it was best that Lor slipped up at dinner , since it pushed the story ahead quite nicely … though from your above comment , I gather that you weren’t 100% sure about the outcome of the dinner party … the story probably took on a life of its own at this point and you simply went along with it – right ?

    • Aheïla

      Yes. Before I wrote this yesterday night, dinner was supposed to be a lot mellower. This got completely out of hand. *laughs* I wouldn’t have it any other way though. It strengthens my original plan.

  • ralfast

    No plan survives contact with the enemy.

    I suspected Naomi was in league with Dear Old Dad, but Emma fit the bill perfectly.

    #dontmesswithlorelei

    😉

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