Just a Kiss (2 of 2)


Jules didn’t show up to the convention the next day. Eli thought he might just be sick…hopefully. It was just a kiss, right? He checked Jules’ room before lunch, but no one answered. He tried calling him, and the phone rang, but no one picked up. Eli felt guilty, but he wasn’t quite sure what to do. Call the cops? Go back to the bar? Maybe…maybe he could just give it one more day. He’d show up, surely.

He went out to dinner with some clients, hoping to nail a few more sales, but he was off his game, because as much as he liked to think of himself as aloof and immune to consequence, he was scared to death that Eli was dead in some alley, or being raped in some basement, and–if you looked at what had happened in a certain light, you might be led to conclude that the whole mess had been Eli’s fault.

He’d had quite a bit to drink at the restaurant, but before collapsing into bed, he decided to head back to Jules’ room one last time, to see if he’d made it back, or was just pulling his leg. He got to the room, and was relieved when he saw it was propped open–he hurried down the hallway and turned the corner, ready to tell Jules he was sorry, and that he was glad he was ok, but there in the hotel room were two of the bruisers from the night before, jacking up all of his things for him as quick as they could. Eli just stared at them, unable to believe what he was seeing, when one of them saw him in the doorway, alerted the other, and Eli split down the hall, the two men hot on his tail. They caught him when he stumbled, one man climbing on him, holding his head still, while he kissed Eli, forcing a lungful of smoke into his mouth…and after that, it was hard to remember what happened exactly.

He helped the men pack of Jules’ things, and then they went to his room and packed up his stuff, and Eli checked them both out of the hotel. He…didn’t really want to do any of these things, but everytime he started to fight, one of them men would give him another breath of smoke, and he’d…be hanging on their every word again. They made Eli get in their truck with them, and they drove to a…substantially poorer neighborhood, got out and went into a large house. The two guys took Jules’ and Eli’s things to the fireplace and started burning them, while the Boss escorted Eli down into the basement, where he found Jules. He…looked every different, with his huge beard and cigar, his tattooed arm shoved deep in some bear’s moaning hole, but it was him–he knew it.

“Hey, you fucker–I was gonna get you in a couple of days, but it’s good to see you again!” Jules said, hauling out his greasy arm and walking over, “Now how about that kiss, you piece of shit? Then we’ll get you a cigar, get you in that sling, and we can get the real fun started.”

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