see part 1 for warnings, disclaimer
of Obsession + Chapter 16
Just When You Thought It Was Safe...
"I thought that would
get your attention."
Oh man, this was bad. Relena was just too important to die right now,
she had stuff to do--speeches to make, peace conferences to attend,
pink things to buy in bulk . . . As much as I hated to admit it, the world
freaking needed her.
"David, let her go," I said cautiously, stepping from behind Zechs despite
his best attempts to keep me hack. I approached him slowly with my hands
in plain sight. "She doesn't have anything to do with this."
But he wasn't looking at me. His eyes . . . oops again, his eye was bearing
down on Zechs like nobody's business, seriously, and in his arms, Relena
began squirming, her eyes wide with fear.
"David, please. Let her go." I took a deep breath, prepared myself to
use my best puppy dog voice, and added, "Please, for me?"
The sucker just had to fall for this, he had to.
After what seemed like an eternity, he roughly pushed Relena to the side,
the blade, inadvertently or not, digging into her skin and cutting it.
She screamed and fell to the floor, clutching at her neck and gasping
for air as red liquid streamed from between her fingers. Zechs lurched
at Rankin, and the two wrestled their way into the kitchen, leaving me
to rush to Relena's side. I tried to pry her stubborn hands away from
the wound, but she just would not let go for anything.
"Let me see . . . let me see, damn it!" When I got a clear view, I let
out a sigh of relief and tore away part of my shirt, pressing it to her
neck. "Listen to me! It's not that bad. It's not deep at all. Take the
keys and get into the SUV. Drive to the hospital and call the police,
She was shaking slightly, but doing her best, I could see, to maintain
some sense of composure. "But--but my brother--!"
"Just go! I'll take care of him." I hauled her to her feet and practically
shoved her out of the door.
Once she was safely out of harms way, I rushed back to the kitchen just
in time to see Rankin slamming Zech's head against the counter top. Both
of them looked pretty messed up, but Zechs wasn't doing too well--his
head was bleeding pretty badly, and he looked a little disoriented. If
anything happened to him, I knew that I wouldn't ever forgive myself.
But what could I do? What should I do?
And then I remembered something that Quatre always kept hidden in the
living room under a loose floor board. I ran to it, yanked up the piece
of wood and took out the pistol. In a flash I was back in the kitchen,
and the sound of the safety being clicked off made Rankin freeze, just
as he was about to plunge the knife into Zechs' stomach as the man leaned
helplessly against the counter.
"Stop right there, Rankin," I said in a deadly tone. "Drop the knife and
back away from him or I swear to everything that is holy that I will shoot
A heated, angry look crossed Rankin's face. "You would shoot me? And not
I took a step closer, the gun remaining steady and level. "Tell me why
the hell I would shoot him."
"Because he raped you! And I saw it all!"
Wha?! Okay, I hadn't been expecting that one. But he was looking so crazy
(crazier than usual, anyway) that I decided to go with it. "How . . .
how did you know?"
"I had someone place a camera in your room when those men came in the
replace the door," Rankin said, obviously pleased with himself. "I slipped
one of them fifty credits and they put it in." Oh great. Yeah, reeeealy
nice. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Zechs shifting slightly,
reaching for something. I had to keep him distracted.
"O-oh? You've been watching me this entire time?"
"Yes. I saw the way that he forced you to be in his arms, and the way
that he forced you to kiss him, and I wanted to go after him then, but
. . ." Rankin gave Zechs an evil glare. "You asked me not to hurt anyone
else because of you. Do you remember?"
Er . . . "Vaguely, yes."
"I tried. I really did, and I thought that I could put up with it because
I would have you in the end, when it mattered and not him, but he went
too far! He raped you!"
Oh, jeeze, that again? "David, please! Just put down the knife or I'll
"You wouldn't. You want to be with me, remember? You're not going to shoot
The man raised the knife above his head and I pulled the trigger. Rankin
let out a roar of pain and grabbed his hand as the knife flew from it,
and then sank to the floor and moaned.
Zechs was on the other side of the kitchen island, reaching for the cordless
phone and dialing 911. "Where did you get him?"
"In the hand." Despite all that he'd done, I couldn't . . . I was through
killing people. I'd let the cops lock him up for the rest of his pathetic
Rankin slowly rolled his head up to look at me, his eye wide with disbelief.
"You . . . you shot me . . ."
Well, duh. "I said that I would."
"I . . . I . . ." Rankin, glanced at Zechs. A look of realization crossed
his face. "You love him."
" . . .Yes."
"Then I have no chance with you whatsoever."
Man, he was on a roll today. "No, I'm sorry."
He hung his head momentarily in what I'd assumed was defeat, and then
his eye met mine. A strange sense of apprehension welled up in my throat.
I didn't like that grave _expression on his face, nor that really weird,
shiny look in his eye. What was going on in his head? What was his next
I didn't have to wait long to see what it would be--his head turned
so that he was looking at Zechs. Rankin's face turned dark and dangerous.
His uninjured hand moved--he was reaching for something behind
his back and my mind began whirling. Did he have a gun or something? Was
he going to hurt Zechs?
The next thing I knew, the sound of a gun firing one, twice, three times
exploded in my ears, and then everything was silent.
I stood there, stunned and unable to move until the smoking gun was gently
and carefully removed from my hand by Zechs, who placed it on the counter.
"Is he dead?" I asked softly.
Zechs crossed the kitchen and bent down to feel the man's pulse, even
though that probably wasn't necessary, given the hole in the middle of
the man's head. Zechs nodded gravely and gave me a concerned look over
My mouth was dry. Why was Zechs looking at me like that? I hadn't done
anything wrong! Right? "He-he was reaching for something, I swear," I
rushed out taking a small step forward. "Check him! It was probably a
gun or a knife or--"
"Duo." Zechs' voice was firm but soothing as his hand's checked Rankin's
body. "There isn't anything."
" . . . what?" I blinked rapidly. "What the hell do you mean, there isn't
Zechs sighed and stepped away from the body, icy eyes glaring down at
it. "There's no gun, no knife, not a damn thing. More than likely he did
that on purpose. He knew that you would fire that gun again if you thought
that he was coming after me."
Selfish bastard. I'd broken my vow of never taking another life because
of him . . . A mix of rage, sorrow and disgust welled up in my stomach
and threatened to come up through my throat, but luckily, I was able to
force it down.
"It's not your fault," Zechs said softly, coming to my side. "You had
no other choice. You were just defending me."
Those words should have comforted me, but they didn't. Well, not much
anyway, but the supportive hand he placed on my back was better.
Numb, I turned to him. "Are-are you okay?"
"Minor injuries. I'll be fine." He took me into his arms and didn't let
me go until the cops were beating at the front door.
Zechs was immediately taken to the hospital, and the paramedics at the
scene gave me the okay, but with some skillful persuasion I managed get
them to let me ride in the back of the ambulance with him, on the pretence
of needing to give Alex, who was also there, my statement. I was separated
with him, though, as they took him away to be examined. I sat in the waiting
room, staring at the floor until Alex came up to me.
"How are you doing?" He asked softly.
"Fine, I guess. I . . . I didn't think that he would die," I said honestly.
"I didn't think that he do something as stupid as basically killing himself
because I didn't love him."
Alex gave me a rueful smile. "Don't underestimate yourself, kiddo. Is
there anything that I can do for you?"
I was just about to shake my head when I got an idea. "Yes, actually there
is . . ."
"Damn . . . Duo, are you sure that you want to do this?" asked Alex warily.
I couldn't help but shiver, but not only from the cold, but also because
of where we were. Jeeze, I must've been out of my flipping mind, but there
I was, standing in the city morgue staring at the giant window with its
blinds down that separated me from . . . urg. Screw it, I'd come this
far, so I might as well.
"Yeah. I want to see. I need to see."
Alex sighed and rapped on the window, and the blinds went up with a whoosh.
A medical examiner was standing next to a metal table, and on that table
laid the body of David Rankin. I stared for a while. "He's really dead
this time? I mean, really?"
The examiner called out, "Dead as can be."
I nodded and turned away. "Thanks, Alex. Can you take me back to the hospital
As I stepped quietly into the hospital room, I couldn't help but think
that despite the fact that he was covered in enough bandages to wrap up
a mummy and as white as the hospital bed sheets, Zechs was still one handsome
man. I grinned at him as he turned his head so that he was facing me,
and his eyes lit up.
"Duo . . ." he moaned, trying to sit up.
I was at his side in a second. "No, no, stay down silly."
Zechs stared up at me with drowsy icy blue eyes. "Are you . . . okay?"
"Yeah, Daddy, just fine. I don't have a scratch on me."
Zechs frowned. "I wasn't talking about physically."
" . . . I'll get over it. Not the first time, you know?"
That seemed to bother him, but he didn't comment. "And . . . Relena? How
. . .?"
I shrugged and squeezed his hand. "I don't know . . . But I can try to
find out if you want me to."
"I . . . thank you."
Alright, Duo Maxwell was on a mission! Where to start, where to start?
I left Zechs with a kiss on the lips and went out into the hallway. Her
location would most likely be confidential for security reasons, but there
had to be some way . . .
As I wondered down the hall and past the nurses' station, I heard some
women giggling softly amongst themselves. And then the name Relena came
out of one of the women's mouth. I slinked back and leaned against a nearby
wall, trying to look all cool and suave and nonchalant.
"You mean she's here?" one of them whispered urgently.
A tall blond nodded, looking all smug and stuff. "I took her vitals just
a few minutes ago. Something was wrong with her neck."
"And you got to meet her? Oh, I am so jealous of you!" A red head crowed.
"What room is she in?"
The blond looked around to see if anyone important was around, and then
went over to her desk where she pulled out a clipboard and showed it to
her friends. I had to see that. I just had to.
I pushed away from the wall and approached the group of women. The blond
tossed the clipboard back onto her desk quickly. "Hey ladies, just thought
you'd like to know that I think some kid puked down the hall over there."
I pointed for them.
The blond stuck her nose up in the air. "That is not our job. Go find
"Say, what was that you were looking at?" I asked innocently, gesturing
towards the clipboard. "Confidential information or . . .?"
The woman turned pink and stomped off. I turned to the rest of the women
and said, "It was pretty big. You all should go and help out." I gave
one last significant look to the clipboard, and that was enough to get
them hustling off.
Yes! I swooped down on it and began scanning. What room . . . what room
. . .? There! On this floor, room 759, which should be on the other end
of the hall--
"Hey! You! What are you doing?!"
I jumped back and looked up to see a security guard frowning at me. "I,
ah . . ."
"Come here, kid!"
Who the hell were they calling a kid?
I turned away and began walking quickly down the hallway towards room
759, and as I heard the guard shouting for me to stop, I took off running.
I was pretty damn fast, so when I made it to Relena's room, the guard
was just a speck down the long hall. I threw the door open and burst inside
Just as I came through the door, Relena was been getting out of bed, and
you know those damn hospital gowns with no back . . .
Her bare naked ass stared me right in the face!!
"Oh shit, oh shit, I did not just see that," I moaned, covering my eyes
and slumping against the door as Relena whirled around and screamed, clasping
the back of the gown.
The horrors! My poor, poor, poor eyes! I would never get such a frightful
scene out of my mind. Her brother's smooth, round and fine ass was one
thing, but hers . . . the absolute and utter horror!
"What on earth are you doing here?!" she demanded, her face bright pink.
"To check up on you for Zechs! He was--"
I heard the footsteps of several angry individuals approaching the door,
which I locked in just the knick of time. A man began banging on the door.
"Ms. Peacecraft! Ms. Peacecraft! Are you alright?!"
She stared at me, trying to decide whether or not to turn me in to the
cops. "My brother, you said?" she asked quietly. I nodded. "Yes, I'm fine!"
Relena shouted back.
"Are you sure?! Open the door--"
"I said go AWAY!" Relena yelled furiously. And what do you know--they
actually complied. "What is this about Zechs?"
"I'm here to see if you're okay," I said and then added quickly, "for
Zechs, I mean. I, ah, was just thanking him for his good work, and he
asked about you, and I figured that the least that I could do is come
and see you for him. So, you're okay, I guess I'll be going--"
I began slipping out of the door, and then she said--
"Wait! I think . . . I think that I should apologize."
Hold up, stop the presses. This was major.
"I had not . . . realized how serious that the stalker issue was, and
I had not believed that Zechs' . . . services were needed that desperately."
She looked down at the floor. "And thank you for being so kind to my brother.
He really needs a good friend."
I stared at her, mouth wide open. The thing is this--she sounded
totally sincere. I guess staring a mad man in the eyes while he had a
knife at your throat was enough to get her to change her opinion of me.
Well, hopefully, because I wasn't planning on leaving her brother any
time soon. "Well, uh, thanks. I like being your brother's . . . ah, friend."
Relena nodded with a small, tight smile. "Now, if you would excuse me,
I would like to get dressed."
"Oh, sure. And . . . we'll just keep the fact that you mooned me between
the two of us, alright?"
"Mooned? What does that mean?"
I snickered. "Never mind."
Quickly I returned to Zechs' room where I found him sitting up in the
bed, trying to get to his feet. "And just where do you think you're going?"
I asked him. I plopped down on the bed next to him.
"I was just coming to find you. You took to long."
"Don't be silly. Get back in bed." I forced him down, much to his chagrin,
and began tucking the covers around his body. "Hey, how the hell did you
get pajama pants? Why do I always get the backless gown and you get pants?"
Zechs smirked. "I'm good."
"Oh, yes you are." I made sure that he was comfortable before I settled
down in the armchair next to the bed. "How long do you have to stay here?"
"Overnight, they told me."
"Observational purposes only."
Zechs reached over to squeeze my hand. "I'm fine. I promise."
I just nodded. "If you say so." I reached for the remote and flipped on
the TV, immediately passing over the news, which was sure to be featuring
a story about me, and turned it to the comedy channel. We sat together
in silence, and I guess I was more physically and emotionally drained
than I though, because eventually I drifted off without even knowing it.
When I woke up, the first thing I realized was that my neck felt like
total and utter shit from being in a weird position the entire night,
and the second was that Zechs was already dressed in a pair of kakis and
a white sweater, sitting on the bed with his laptop and cell phone up
to his ear. I was about to ask him where the hell he got that stuff, but
then I remembered--he was good.
"Wah . . . what are you doing?" I mumbled, massaging the kink out of my
He glanced over at me. "Shopping."
Ooohhh, shopping. "For what?"
"A place to live."
A place to live? So he really was staying. My heart began slamming in
my chest. "That's great!"
"Umm. I think I've found the perfect place. Would you like to come and
check it out with me?"
"Of course. Now?"
Zechs nodded. "Come on, get your lazy ass up before someone takes this
The place . . . was . . . oh man, rich people!
I'm sure that my chin was down at my feet as I looked around. This flat
"Very nice, yes?" the real estate agent asked with an uber-perky voice.
"Lovely open floor plan and everything is new! Look at these shiny hardwood
floors, and the beautiful cabinets in the kitchen. Granite counter tops,
stainless steel appliances, fireplace in the living room--"
"Zechs," I interrupted, going over to a wall covered by curtains. I pulled
them back and gasped at the view of the skyline that the wall of windows
provided. "How much does this place cost?"
"Don't worry about it," he said from the kitchen as he opened the cabinets
and examined the cabinets. "Do you like it?"
I wanted to turn around and ask him if this was a request to move in with
him, but with that damn real estate guy there, I couldn't. "Er, it's nice
for you. A little too expensive for my taste, but you should fit right
"Hmm . . ." Zechs came over to me and looked out of the window. "I like
it." He turned to the agent and said, "Would you give me a moment?"
"Ah . . . sure." He gave us weird looks and quickly left the flat.
"So . . ." I looked up at him. "This place is really nice."
Did he not get my hint? He just stood there, staring down at me. Oh jeeze,
did I have to be any blunter? Apparently so--okay, Duo, just go
for it. "You . . . do you want . . . are you asking me to move in with
you? Because that's what it sounds like."
Zechs sighed and pulled me close so that he could rest his chin on the
top of my head. "I would like for you to, yes."
My heart soared . . . only to crash and burn seconds later.
"Woah!" I pulled back, giving him a look through narrowed eyes. "But what?"
"I would like for you to move in, but I have to think of how that would
affect my sister."
Oh god. And I was just beginning to make piece with the girl, and now
it appeared as if she would still be in the way! "Zechs, come on. Relena's
a big girl--she can handle it."
"Her job is too important and you know that."
I took several deep breaths. I didn't want to lost this man, and if keeping
him meant dealing with an annoying sister, then so be it. "Okay. Fine.
If that's what you want."
He seemed to sense my annoyance at the situation--he was at my
side in a second, caressing my hair. "Please don't be upset with me. She's
vital to the peace that exists right now, and anything that I do will
reflect heavily on her."
"I know. And I'm not upset with you," I said honestly. Well, I wasn't.
How could I be upset with him for caring about his sister and about peace?
"You're staying here, in town. You're staying here with me. That's all
I can ask for."
Zechs nodded, relieved at my reply. He looked around the flat briefly,
and then back at me. "I'm thinking about buying it. What do you think?"
"It's great. I'd get it if I could afford it."
I saw a little something flash in his eyes (anger? frustration? annoyance?),
but as soon as it had appeared, it was gone. He didn't say anything else
to me, and went and got the real estate guy. The papers were signed, the
place was now officially Zech's, and when the two of us left, I was sure
that we were going to a furniture store, unless he was going sleep and
eat on the floor while staring at the wall all day, but when we got into
his car, he turned to me and said, "Where is the apartment complex you
stayed in before you moved in with Quatre?"
"Why?" I asked suspiciously.
"You'll be moving back there, right? I'm just curious."
I directed him to it. When we arrived, I could tell that he was less than
thrilled with what he saw. The place wasn't that bad, but it wasn't the
best. Growing up on L2, I was accustomed to a hell of a lot worse, so
this place was like the Ritz to me. Just good enough for Duo Maxwell.
"There's at least one burglary every week in this neighborhood," Zechs
commented lightly after we'd sat there (quite stupidly, if you asked me)
in his car, which was parked outside the rental office, for about five
minutes. "And a murder around here every year."
Okay, so this wasn't exactly Q's neighborhood, but there were worse places
around here. "How the hell do you know that?"
"I did some research."
I looked around, amazed. "What, is your brain running Internet Explorer
He smirked. "No. I did it before."
I wasn't going to ask him what exactly `before' meant. "So you already
knew where this was."
"Yes. I asked Quatre."
" . . ." I blinked at him. "Okay, what are you trying to get at here?
If I can't move in with you, where the hell am I supposed to go? Continue
to mooch off of my best friend? Or do you want me to move in with my ex?"
"No. Let me show you something." We pulled out of the parking lot and
back onto the expressway, and soon we were pretty much right back at Zechs'
fancy apartment building. After a fifteen minute drive from there, we
arrived at a group of really nice apartments, where Zechs parked and got
I already knew as soon as I got into the rental office that there was
no way that I would be able to afford one of these places. The buildings
were newly constructed with a nice brick facade, and from the office I
could see three men outside dragging a tarp over a gigantic swimming pool.
It reeked money. Er, money that I did not have.
I was yanking on Zech's sleeve when a very pretty young lady approached
us. "Welcome to The Hillside. I'm Amy, how may I help you today?" I noted
that she said this to Zechs as she gave him her best sexy smile--I
was practically ignored.
"I was wondering if you had a unit that you could show us." Zechs said.
"One bedroom preferably, and the best that you have."
"Oh of course! Let me get a key . . ." As she shook her hips over to a
cabinet, I tugged harder.
"Right this way, gentlemen. Follow me please." Amy took us over to one
of the buildings and all the way up to the top floor. The door was bright
red and had one of those fancy electronic locks where you didn't need
to turn the key or whatever--that was a sure fire sign that my
Preventers budget didn't have any room for this.
Zechs dragged me inside anyway, and I almost groaned out loud at the sight
of the place. New-apartment smell hit me smack dab in the face, and before
the lady could begin yakking, I excused us and pulled Zechs down the hallway
and into the bathroom, where I shut the door and turned to him, giving
him the Evil Eye.
Much to my annoyance, he just looked around appreciatively. "This is very
nice. Is that a jet tub?"
"Zechs! I can't afford this," I hissed at him.
"Yes you can."
"Ah, no I cannot. I know my finances, and this place does not fit."
"You've got me."
" . . . what are you suggesting?" When he didn't reply, I stepped closer
to him. "Zechs . . ."
"I don't want you staying in that other building. It's not safe and .
. . and you deserve better. Let me help you pay the difference between
that apartment and this one."
I poked him in the stomach and looked up at him curiously. "The difference?"
He grinned and rubbed the top of my head. "I figured that you wouldn't
let me pay for all of your rent, so I thought you'd like this compromise."
"You don't have to buy me anything, Daddy," I told him softly. "I hope
you know that."
"Of course." He turned his back to me and began examining the bathtub,
and then the separate shower stall with gleaming, clear glass door and
walls. "Very nice. Jets in the tub, and a steam shower." Then he smirked
at me. "Hopefully we'll be making good use of these?"
I figured that that translated into, "will you let me get this for you?"
and not, "let's have hot and steamy man sex right here, right now." I
crossed my arms over my chest and thought. I didn't want it to look like
I was with Zechs only because he had money because, to be honest, that
was just about the last thing that I wanted from him.
But I was touched by his effort and concern. He'd obviously done his homework
while I'd been sleeping, and I didn't want to upset him. I could see it
in his eyes how much this meant to him, so . . .
"Okay. Okay, that sounds like a good arrangement to me."
Zechs nodded. "Then let's go sign the papers."
The apartment lady was surprised that we wanted to sign an agreement without
her showing us around, but while she went to fetch the lease paper, I
had ample time to look around at all of the very nice, very new amenities.
I went over and peeked out of the window. Ah, perfect.
"What are you looking at?" asked Zechs from the kitchen.
"A bus stop. I can see it from the front window," I said as I joined him
at his side. "I'll need to check the schedule." He looked disturbed at
this. Oh boy. "Didn't you know that I don't have a ride of my own? That's
why I'm always bumming off of Q or Tro to get to work and back."
"Why don't you just get one?" he asked me curiously.
"Because I don't need one."
"Hm." Zechs stared off at the far wall thoughtfully.
I narrowed my eyes at him. "You better not be thinking about buying me
a car. You are not thinking about buying me a car."
He gave me a small smile. "No, I'm not."
"Good. Cuz if you were, I'd have to smack you."
"Is that so?"
I didn't have a chance to reply because Amy waltzed back in and sashayed
her way up to my boyfriend and handed him the lease and a pen . . . which
I made sure he slid my way so that I could sign it. We left after that
and headed back to the mansion.
It was still flooded with cops, and Quatre was hovering around outside
of the kitchen as the cops began wrapping up their investigation and cleaning
crews started moving in. I threw my arm around his shoulder and pulled
him into the living room where Trowa was reading the newspaper and Zechs
was in the far corner whispering on his cell phone. What the hell was
he up to now? I didn't have time to bug him about it, because Quatre commanded
"I bet you're feeling a lot better now that this is over, huh?" Q asked
me with a small smile.
"Yeah. I just wish that it hadn't ended that way," I said, curling up
in an armchair. "I was hoping that I would never have to off another person
after the war."
Quatre nodded. "I understand. You're okay?"
"Are you sure?"
I tossed a pillow at his head. "Yes!" Pretty sure anything. The man was
dead, there was no changing it, so why go all angst-y over it? It bothered
me a bit, but I'd get over it.
"Good. How's Zechs?"
I glanced over at him--he was concentrating on his phone conversation.
"Oh, just fine. We went on a spending spree today, where he did all of
Trowa looked up from his paper. "Oh? What'd you get?"
"Nothing major. Just one fancy, high-end flat for him and one moderately
high-end apartment for me," I said casual as I plucked a loose piece of
lint off of the chair.
Quatre gapped. "What?"
Grinning at him, I replied quietly, "Didn't I tell you? He's sticking
around now. Une's going to give him a job with the Preventers, so he needed
a permanent place to stay. And before you ask why I'm not living with
him, it's because of his sister." I made a face.
Trowa snickered and disappeared behind the paper again--Quatre
rolled his eyes. "That sucks."
"Doesn't it? But I'm glad he'll be around. If I have to put up with Relena,
so be it."
Quatre stretched out in his boyfriend's lap. "You said moderately high-end.
Er, can you afford that?"
"Hell no. But with Zech's help, I can. He didn't feel comfortable with
me living at my old place so . . ."
Q's eyebrows shot up. "Oh wow. That's nice."
Before I could reply, Zechs came over, hauled me to my feet and covered
my eyes. What the hell had he had for breakfast this morning? He was acting
"What are you doing?" I asked as I stumbled over my own two feet.
"Do you trust me?"
I laughed. "Have you been watching Disney movies behind my back?"
"Come on." He guided me past the cop-filled kitchen and outside, where
I heard the gates opening up and something coming in. Zechs removed one
hand and told me to hold out one of mine.
I did so and felt something small, cold and metal hit the palm.
"Okay, open your eyes."
They flew open and--holy crap, I couldn't believe my eyes!
Sitting in the drive way was the Sex Machine version 1.0, the beautiful
black sports car that Zechs had originally arrived in, and in my hand
was the key.
"Are you serious?" I demanded, turning to him. "Are you fucking serious?!"
"I'm dead serious. It's yours."
I smiled. "Thank you." I turned to the car and rubbed the exterior. "But
I thought I told you not to get me a car, silly."
He gave me a throaty laugh. "No, baby, you told me not to buy you a car.
And I didn't. I'm giving you one that I already had."
Sneaky little devil, twisting my own words! Hey wait . . . did he just
call me what I think he just called me? "Baby?"
"Daddies need babies, you know."
Oh jeeze. This guy was priceless. "Let's go for a ride, Daddy. You've
got to teach me how to drive this sucka!"
We got in and drove off, and seriously, I just felt like going and going
until there were no more roads to follow because Zechs was next to me.
That's all I wanted, and at that moment, that was all that mattered.
For the next two and a half months, everything was fantastic. Zechs settled
into his new flat and filled it with obscenely expensive things, I found
that I really didn't feel that out of place in my kind of ritzy apartment,
and Quatre, due to the fact that he believed that Rankin's ghost was haunting
the kitchen (boo! haha), moved into a newer, bigger and better mansion
a little closer to the city. Wufei and Heero, the stiffs, were in their
same old place, with their same old junk and doing the same old stuff.
My relationship with Zechs was . . . amazing. Although I couldn't live
with him, I was over at his place all the time and usually only returned
to my own apartment at night. At first the set up had been stressful,
with the transit and the late hours and what not, but seriously, those
jets in that tub and a butt naked Zechs with a bottle of champagne in
his hand really made all of that go away.
We still had some lingering, unanswered questions in the back of our minds,
of course. Who had helped Rankin? How had he gotten past Q's security
system? Was everything really over? No one could really say, no more evidence
had been uncovered, and things were pretty quiet and peaceful, so . .
But as you know, all good things must come to an end. Yeah, that sucks,
It happened on a work, sorry, play day, one fine, cold, and snowy December
morning. Quatre and I were watching old Japanese flicks with subtitles
on my computer when a voice called, "Duo! Duo Maxwell?"
I looked up from the computer screen, and my heart nearly stopped. It
was like déjà vu or something, and I really hate déjà vu. A young man
with a large vase of roses was wondering around the office. "Oh jeeze,"
I muttered. "Over here!"
As the guy placed the vase on my desk, Quatre's eyes grew big and round.
"Do you think . . . Zechs maybe?"
I shook my head and slipped the delivery man a couple of credits, and
waited until he was gone to say, "Hell no. He knows better than to send
Quatre visibly gulped. "Duo, there's a card."
Cue the scary, suspenseful music.
I yanked it from its place among the flowers and flipped it open.
I'm still watching . . .
Yeah, I know, something straight out of a bad horror flick, right? Nothing
to be scared of? Well, not really.
The terrifying part was that I recognized the handwriting.
It was Rankin's.
[chap. 15] [chap. 17] [back
to Singles a - k]