It's a cold day. The rain is icy. There's snow on the hills. It might get to us. It has before.
There are some things in life that are game changers, things that you cannot come back from.
That thought isn't going to carry on here ...
Last night/yesterday I missed a really great conversation on Twitter. I wasn't paying attention and that's a shame because I saw the convo this morning and it made me smile. Seems that Kurt is popular.
I should explain for those of you who don't know who Kurt is (really you should!) ...Supervisory Special Agent Kurt Henderson (aka Doc) is Ellie's offsider. He joined Delta A in Exacerbyte, and yes, he is a medical doctor.
By the way ... we're talking Byte novels here. (Just in case someone isn't up to speed.)
Maybe I should throw some flashbyte excerpts in here, so you get a good image of Kurt?
Flashbyte: Chapter 24. Excerpt.
With a swift kick my cup flew from the table and smashed against the wall by the television.
Lee leaped to his feet.
“What the hell was that for?” Kurt asked, gawping at the cold coffee running down the wall.
“Why can’t I remember?” I snarled and struggled to my feet. “Why can’t I?”
Lee took a dish towel and started to wipe the wall.
Kurt sighed. “Come on, let’s see if we can figure this out,” he said to me. My feet didn’t walk, even though I told them to. “Ellie?”
Waves of anger rolled through me.
“What the fuck is wrong with me?”
His tone changed. He turned special agent on me. “Conway, sit back down.”
Swarming crazy thoughts of never filling in the gaps flooded over everything. Kurt took my hand. I slapped it away. My wrist twisted behind my back, in two strides the side of my face was pressed against a wall. I kicked backwards hoping to connect with his shins. Kurt’s grip tightened, he bent my wrist further. His objective was instant submission and he achieved it.
“Hit me once, shame on you … hit me twice, shame on me,” Kurt whispered in my ear.
“Everything okay over there?” Lee asked.
I couldn’t see him, but I knew one word from me and Kurt would be on his ass. How could I know that and not remember my kid? She was just a name. I needed more than a name.
“We’re good,” Kurt replied. “Aren’t we, Conway?”
“Yeah, fuc’n awesome.”
Kurt released his grip a little. I pushed back, twisted, and pulled my arm free. I couldn’t even feel my ribs anymore. Blind rage flowed in my veins. My right fist connected with the side of Kurt’s face. My left hit him under the jaw. I connected with his face again with my right fist and the next thing I knew I was on the ground with Kurt straddling me. He had my arms pinned to the ground above my head. I bucked, getting my feet flat on the ground. His face was three inches above mine. “Stop!”
“Get off me.”
“Calm the fuck down.”
Energy sparked. His eyes grew dark. His tongue flicked over his lips. Things stirred within me. “Doc, I …”
“Yeah, Conway,” his voice matched mine. Quiet. Husky. Unsteady.
He rolled off me and lay on the floor. Lee looked down at me.
“You two kids had enough now?” he asked, reaching out for my hand to help me up.
I hurt. Maybe there was something I could say but I didn’t know what, so I said nothing. Phones were still ringing. I took myself into the bedroom and crawled across the bed, burying my face in a pillow and stretching out. The best I could hope for was suffocation. All I could see was Kurt’s face above mine. His darkening eyes. Heat from his body burning.
I tightened my grip on the pillow, pulling it harder over my head.
Flashbyte: Chapter 25. Excerpt
I smelled coffee. When I opened my eyes Kurt was there holding a cup. He sported a decent bruise on his right cheek. It matched his left side, color-wise, but the bruising was more compacted and defined on the right. Purple and blue spread out along his jawline on the left, almost making it to his cheek bone.
“You look like shit,” I said as a smile broke free.
“You hit like a girl,” he replied, grimacing as he tried to smile.
The knuckles of both my hands ached. I glanced at the backs of my hands. Red grazes and patchy bruising across my knuckles. Looked like I’d been in a bar fight.
“Where’s Lee?” I shuffled up until I was sitting. My ribs complained loudly causing me to wince. That was when I noticed a blanket over me. One of them must’ve come in while I was smothering myself.
At first they were tears from too much laughing but they became gut-wrenching sobs. I was all over the place and nothing made much sense.
Kurt held me. I knew it was him. I wanted it to be him. My life flashed before my eyes. How did I miss this? Kurt spoke but it wasn’t to me. Lee must’ve come to see what was going on. Kurt’s shoulder was saturated with tears.
Time stood still.
Strangled sobs replaced all-out bawling and I started to feel better.
“Hey, okay?” Kurt whispered, holding me close.
“Yeah.” Everything paused while those dreaded words formed. “I’m sorry.”
“For this ... for the bruises on your face ... for being a major pain in the ass ... for your wet shirt.”
I took a breath. Damn it hurt.
“I’m sorry for everything I’ve put you through.”
“Ellie,” his breath felt hot in my ear, “I could’ve walked away anytime. My choice was to stay.” He pulled tissues from a box and crammed them into my hand. I wiped my dripping nose. So attractive.
“Why didn’t you?” As I said it I realized it was one of those questions you should never ask unless you were ready for the answer. I wasn’t ready for anything, except a straitjacket.
“This is where I belong.”
“Some kind of evil penance for being bad in a former life?” Maybe he was into self-flagellation. He’d swapped the whip for life near me.
“You’re welcome.” He held me at arm’s length and smiled at me. “You want to have that shower?”
I nodded. My head hurt, my ribs ached, but on the plus side my heart felt lighter. I needed help in the shower, or at least with my clothes.
“I don’t think I can …”
“It’s okay. I’m here.”
And that made it all right. God, my life was a mess. Pear-shaped didn’t quite cover it now.
A quote popped into my head.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. H. P. Lovecraft (1890 - 1937), The Call of Cthulhu.
All I needed now was a song. What would top this off perfectly? Matchbox Twenty exploded from within. ‘Unwell’. I couldn’t guarantee the sentiment was true. I may very well be crazy.
Okay, I don’t make friends with the shadows on the wall, but a ghost in the mirror, or a ghost in a Messenger window, and I’m all over it.
And that's all you get ...
If you want any more than this you'll have to buy the book! :)
Bex wrote a memory sentence at Writers Plot on Saturday and that last paragraph reminded me of it. That's the song she associates with living at home with me. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not? But for me there are more happy memories associated with that song than not.
Edited to add:
Thanks Graeme ;-)
Thanks Graeme ;-)