A chapter from a massive group project where 30+ writers will be contributing a chapter about a Halloween Party in a mysterious hotel. Here’s mine, featuring old favorites previously seen here:
Leo pulled his hair back and wiped the sweat from his brow. He had been hauling the luggage since his partner Jamie, had declined a bellhop. They weren’t exactly packing light. But Jamie was so excited he wanted to grab the keys and go.
This excitement resulted in them getting lost on the wrong side of the building. Although Leo had a feeling that this was more intentional than anything.
“Shit!” Jamie muttered, turning the opposite direction. He had been walking a good ten feet ahead at the time, so when was quickly diverted Leo knew something was up.
“Fuck, man,” Leo said, dropping the four suitcases. I thought you knew your way around this place?”
“I do, man. I’m just tired.” Jamie’s tossed his long black hair like a supermodel, as he power-walked in the opposite direction.
Looking down the hall Leo could see a staff member. This man was clearly the reason Jamie was forced to change direction. Was that a restricted area? If so, why did Jamie want to go there? As Leo readjusted his grip on the bags he distinctly heard the phrase, ‘fucking fanboy,’ uttered in the distance.
Jamie opened a door at the end of a larger hallway. Thankfully he waited for Leo before shutting the door.
Leo quickly entered, sliding the luggage in a side closet before locking the door. “Jamie, I want an explanation- now!”
Jamie sat on the windowsill, kicking up his legs like somsort of mythical elf. “I told you, Leo, baby, date night.” The sexy rebel looked like a typical surfer from the nineties, with his long hair, and sun-kissed, caramel skin. And there was his innocent sexy smile. He smiled like someone younger than his twenty-two years. Leo assumed that eternal beauty was just part of being an angel.
But Jamie wasn’t always an angel. He died before Leo, taken by a cult. He was young and beautiful, the perfect target to get butchered as a human sacrifice. In a quest of love, Leo found him. In the depths of hell, Leo sacrificed his life, his humanity to save Jamie. Somehow Jamie’s corrupted soul plus Leo’s human soul equaled two undead angel souls. There was always something off about that. What exactly did it mean to be an angel?
“Earth to Leo!” Jamie chuckled as he lit up a joint. That was another odd thing about Jamie; he drank, smoked and even shot up. The only thing Leo had not caught him doing was snorting cocaine- yet. “Hand me my tablet.”
“You brought your tablet?” Leo went to Jamie’s luggage, a purple suitcase with halo trim and fished out the off-brand Ipad. He swiped the screen just to see if the wifi connected automatically. It didn’t, but he seemed to have a direct connection to data. It connected directly to a field called project: TinkerBrat. “Who’s “TinkerBrat?”
“Huh?” Jamie raised his eyebrows in an adorable haze. “We’re here for the Masquerade Ball.”
Leo sighed as he placed the tablet in Jamie’s hands. “Who is TinkerBrat?”
Jamie shrugged. “Just something I’ve been studying during our downtime.”
“We’re angels we get nothing but downtime.”
“Yeah, but only because we’re waiting for an assignment.” Jamie took the tablet, opening it to his music software. “I mean, back when I was, well you know.”
“Yeah I do,” I muttered as I located his headphones.
Jamie plugged in the jack before turning on what sounded like early-eighties rock. “I did a lot of things, traveled, met people, had experiences…”
Leo knew he was telling the truth, after all with the right makeup and clothes Jamie could easily pass for a normal, teenage goth. “Is that how you scored this invite?”
“What do you mean? Did I blow someone?” Jamie took a long drag of his cigarette as he put in his earbuds. “You know I don’t do that shit.”
“Anymore,” Leo muttered as he returned to the luggage.
“I heard that.” Jamie closed his eyes and leaned back, relaxing to the music.
Leo lifted one suitcase on to the bed, his suitcase, filled with costume pieces. He had been asked with shopping for both of them, creating intricate looks for when they made their appearance at the mysterious, masquerade ball. He glanced at Jamie, knowing exactly how he wanted to style his lover. ‘I know that you know people. I just wish I knew the kind.’
“I know the kind of people you read about in fairytales,” Jamie answered out loud.
It came as no surprise that Jamie could hear his thoughts, that was the nature of their relationship. Leo started to fish through the pile of silk, satin, and lace. The colors were pastel and metallic with shades of blue; a steampunk-fairy wonderland. Leo picked out a blue top hat with silver accents and trim. He suddenly felt the warmth of Jamie’s touch.
Jamie put his arms around Leo while reaching into the suitcase. “You’re not planning on making me dress like a steampunk Indian, are you? Because I will find that offensive.” He kissed Leo’s neck, down his collarbone.
Leo chuckled. “Lakota is what you were in your previous life.”
Jamie glanced at his hands. “I don’t know, I still look pretty Indian.”
“Except for these.” Leo reached around and helped Jamie remove his shirt. He knew Jamie never taped down his wings. It was almost comical the way his lush, ivory-white wingspan erupted from his back.
“Yeah,” Jamie said as he stretched his back. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to these.” The wings moved on their own like separate limbs, holding Leo close. They moved like tentacles with the most dexterity at the tips. “I showed you mine, now show me yours.”
Leo removed his shirt. His wings were secured under a corset-like wrap.
Jamie wing flicked the straps, releasing Leo’s wings and exposing his unique stomach tattoo. “God, you’re beautiful.”
“You’re one to talk,” Leo chuckled, he was sure he was blushing. He had baby-blue angel wings on one side of his abs and a holy flame on the other. The images had been with him in life, but in death, the colors of the image seemed to spread to his wings like highlights.
“We need to wear our wings out at the party.”
“Um, no, I don’t think so,” Leo said with a laugh. “I’m all for hanging out with your friends but I think we need to keep a low profile.”
“Because we don’t need giant targets on our backs. I don’t know what this place is but…”
Jamie sat on Leo’s lap pulling him close for a kiss. “It’s a place to let our freak flag fly.”
Leo shook his head with a chuckle.
This did not sit well with Jamie. “Fuck it, I’m going to take a walk.” With his wings fully exposed, he opened the window and jumped out.
Leo walked to the window. Jamie had safely landed in a garden area just a few floors down. The two locked eyes. “You left the room key behind.”
Jamie stuck out his tongue like a mocking child before walking off.
Leo went back to the room. There was no tv or even a clock radio, so all he had to entertain himself with were the costume pieces- and an unopened bodypainting kit. He walked to the bathroom, which housed the only mirror. Yeah, this was a low-end suite.
He shut the bathroom door, with the goal of taking a piss. But as the door closed a full-length mirror materialized. Leo stood up to examine the trim. A strange carving was emerging; elaborate letters that spelled out, ‘Can you see?’
“Can I see?” Leo asked out loud.
The mirror went black then started to glow. An image of Jamie emerged.
He apparently took his kindle and earbuds so he was able to listen to music, moving and dancing to a silent, unheard beat. Although Leo couldn’t hear it, he could feel it. Jamie’s long hair sparkled in the moonlight. And his wings, they seemed shimmery, holographic.
There was something about Jamie that Leo had never seen before. Beyond the wings. He saw his spirit. In life, Jamie was a junkie prostitute who played guitar at a roadside bar. He was an artist, a dreamer.
Leo knew what he had to do. He donned the top hat and selected a simple lace mask that he wore over his shoulder like a necklace. With the body paint he made a few marks; one on his eye, that resembled a tear, streaks on his arms that resembled restraints, and finally a silver line on his lips. With a renewed sense of confidence, he jumped out of the window with his wings on full display.
Jamie was laughing.
“Nothing,” he put his arms around Leo, pulling him close. “You look good.”
“So, do you.” Jamie smiled a sweet smile. “Do you want to know about TinkerBrat?”
“Nah, man, I trust you.”
“Nah, man, I trust you.” Leo gave a sexy smirk as he put on his mask. Perhaps this would turn out to be a fun date night after all.