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Caleb Holmes
Evening Enchantments
Fri May 13, 2005 22:36

For the umpteenth time this morning, Devon questioned himself as to why he had even considered going on this insane ‘shopping’ trip. Why did women call it shopping when all they did was wander past a window, ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at the products, them move on? It made absolutely no sense!

“Gosh, that’s beautiful.” Case in point.

Watching Lucy walk right into the store, he sighed and slumped his shoulders. At least he hadn’t been relegated to carrying her purse or anything so demeaning. Granted the sight of her posterior encased in tight denim, Devon trudged along with little better to do. As if Caleb would really be all that happy with him for abandoning his fiancée in the middle of the city. Gah! Right, follow the wiggling hips. “The Art Deco gown you have in the window, may I see one in a size four?” What was Art Deco? And there was no way in hell she was a size four! Flopping down beside the girl, he quirked a brow. “Sorry. At least we can go home after this.” Snort. Riiiiight. He heard that three stores ago!

“Miss, please come with me.” Shit, he’d been relegated to purse carrier! That’s it, he was never going to date a woman that carried a purse. Ever. Uh oh, the women were eyeing him sympathetically. Once, twice, his mouth opened to explain the situation away, but he knew it was useless. Peeking down at Lucy’s purse, and wondering if he dared to do it, his fingers twitched toward the buttoned flap… Ack!

“It looks nice.” Ignore the guilty look on his face, please! Studying the way Lucy twirled about before the mirrors, his eyes traveled from the top of her head down to the hem of the dress, gobbling up the image for the little time he could. God! Did Caleb realize how lucky he truly was? Probably not.

“I need the skirt hemmed about two inches. Can you have it delivered to my home address when it’s finished?” Oh God, she squealed. Being the dutiful shopping partner, Devon scooped up Lucy’s purse and waited near the counter. She wouldn’t even let him peek at the price! Pffbt. The register was free though! And his eyes bugged out at the price. God damn it all! Where the hell did she get the money for this? Caleb? Where the hell did he get the money for this! Trying not to boggle, he was two steps behind Lucy as they left the store.

Or he was.

Some jackass ran right into the girl, sending her falling backward into him. Devon was just lucky enough to catch her in time. His mouth opened angrily to deliver a tirade for the Ages, but he never got a chance. Instead he was eating a mouthful of elbow. Ow. OW! Bastard!

“My purse!”

Fight or flight mode kicked right in, and Devon spat out blood after giving chase. What, was he really going to let them get away with it?! Pffbt. Until the tasering incident, none of his family had ever seen him do anything remotely work related. He liked it that way! Father had worried so much over Caleb, the last thing he wanted was the man worrying while he was caught in Hell’s Kitchen. But now, he had no troubles vanishing into the crowds ambling along Fifth Avenue. Did anyone get out of his way? Nooo! Forget that! But they didn’t get out of the mugger’s way either.

It took two full blocks before he tackled the bastard down, using the newspaper machine for added leverage, and a handy place to bash the bugger’s head in. Right until a cop decided that was enough, and hauled Devon to his feet. “That’s enough! What the hell is going—Devon? Jesus Christ man, you look like shit. What happened?”

Insert truncated version here, especially considering his lip wasn’t feeling all that fantastic. The purse was given back after he could verify the woman’s information and physical description – he never would’ve imagined knowing her dress size would help – and went on his merry way. No, really. But he wasn’t feeling all that great by the time he returned to Lucy’s side; and she was still waiting there! There really were small blessings.

“Thank you!” The last thing Devon would have expected was a hug, and he nearly toppled to the side before righting both of them. Then practically fell on his ass with the kiss. “Ok. Trip over.”

He was sinking quick!

She was… fine with it? Caleb shared a look with John once Lucy went through the spiel.

“Welcome to the family, John. There are three bedrooms here, though ours is definitely off limits.” That look scared him. “That leaves two to pick from. Just toss your things into the one that feels most comfortable and get yourself settled. Dinner will be…” There was someone in the kitchen? Blink-blink. “We got one more for dinner, Sean. How much longer?” Ack!

“Uh .. soon as Caleb gets his ass out to the patio and does the honors. We have twelve patties here right now and a pack of hot dogs for the kids. Pen?” Penny too?! Jesus H. Christ, everyone was lurking around here! He knew he shouldn’t have bought such a large house. “Half an hour, maybe.” Right. Great!

“Thirty minutes. Caleb, go and cook, please.” Whoa, hello! Barely freed of the kiss before John was pushed toward the stairs, he could only shake his head. “Go on. The longer it takes to unpack, the longer you’re going to be uncomfortable.”

“Trust me. Just do what she says, man. It’s easier that way.” Run! Actually, Caleb ran upstairs first, dragging one of John’s suitcases with him. “Both bedrooms are down the hall! Pick one, doesn’t matter which; the bedding is fresh.” Clunked the suitcase down in the middle of the hall and ran into the bedroom, changing into lighter clothing that hadn’t been worn for nearly two days. Ah, comfort! A shower and shave was in order, but that could wait until later, he supposed. Lucy always seemed to like him scruffy anyhow. Thud-thud-thud, down zee stairs!

“Ooh, celery!” Snagging up a stalk, but not before being thwapped by Penny, Caleb went outside to do the whole manly grilling thing. Making appropriate grunts of pleasure or dislike, depending on the situation, it wasn’t too long before he was shouting, “Fire! I have created fiiiiire!” Cackle. Ahem. Sizzle-sizzle.

“Sir, are you sure that’s wise?” Huh? Eyeing John, and wondering how he meandered through the kitchen without being assaulted, he squirted some more lighter fluid onto the charcoal. Pssh, he was fine, and told him so. “Well, sir, I wouldn’t be surprised if your hand catches on fire. Like that.” Huh? GAH!

One very wet Caleb Holmes later, swearing like a sailor, and the cookout was complete.

“Food’s ready!”

“Caleb! Sean’s kidnapping me! We’re going to Reno for a shotgun wedding!” Right in the middle of a conversation with John, no less. Merf.

“’Kay! Bring me back a showgirl! And make sure she’s cute this time!” Mumble mumble. The ex-spook was eyeing Caleb askance, and he could only shake his head. “As I was saying… There isn’t much to it. Seriously, man. Were you ever stationed in Japan or Germany?” A slow nod came forth, and he grinned. “Think of it like that. Hell, your C.O. wasn’t around half the time anyways, so you got away with murder in those places!” Now the Green Giant understood. “Besides, the Playhouse isn’t a bad place. You don’t have to keep down a job, so it isn’t real civilian life once you think about it. Y’know?”

“True enough. When I wake up every morning, I keep expecting to see someone glaring down at me, shouting to get my lazy ass out of bed.” Hah. Well, John wasn’t too old and he had been recruited earlier than Caleb. “Now I can’t even orient myself on waking. I keep thinking that I’m hiding out, or something.”

“It takes a while to get used to, John. I won’t lie to you, it really does. But hell, it’s good once you do.” As if he was speaking from experience, here? Some mornings he found himself reaching for Lucy’s throat before realizing who she was! No real nightmares, though.

Bang bang bang!

“What the hell was that?” Frowning at the open bedroom window, he took a peek outside, eyeing Sean as he beat… on the bathhouse door. That didn’t make sense. “Hold on, I’m gonna check this out.” Thud-thud-thud, rushing down the stairs! Out the back door, where a frustrated Sean was stalking back and forth. “What’s going on here?” Not a stern voice, but Mister Perfect whipped about like he had been burned. Sean only managed to flap his jaw a few times, before ceasing that futile task. Great. Just freaking fantastic. At least he had backup for this one! The lumbering giant! “Take Sean inside, would you?”

“Yes’sir.” Times like this he didn’t mind the honorific, because at least something was getting done! Sean cast an uncertain glance toward the bathhouse before allowing himself to be led inside like a puppy. Jesus, did they have a fight?


“Sweetheart? It’s me.” The door was definitely locked and apparently staying that way for a while. Rifling through his pockets, Caleb came up with his keys and unlocked the door. What he didn’t expect to see was a crying Lucy on the other side. Shit. “C’mon sweetheart, let’s get you upstairs where it’s quiet.” With any luck, she’d tell him what the hell he had missed.

“Forgive the interruption. Anyone here seen a beast with the head of a serpent, the body of a boar and the tail of a lion, baying like forty hounds?” Caleb wanted to be amused, he really did, but his heart wasn’t in it tonight. Instead, he was getting a hand from John with his armor, who seemed highly entertained by all of this.

“What’s so funny?” Caleb murmured out of the side of his mouth, fastening up the breastplate.

“You.” Huh? “You were always so serious!” Making hushing motions to the giant before he lent Sean a hand with his armor, making sure all the buckles were tight, while Mister Perfect tried to affect an air of interest and failed miserably. Bah. “Like the one time when you had to pole dance; even then you were serious!” Now that definitely caught Sean’s attention, and John favored him with an elaborate description that really wasn’t fit for human consumption. There really was no God, if this was happening to him right now!

“By jove, what a curse, what? Mollocking about after that beastly Beast, what? What? What?” Uh oh, that was their cue. Cuffing John on the back of the head and snatching up Sean who was trying so hard not to laugh, the two tromped their way onto stage in the gay month of May. Riiight.

“What, what, what what?” At least Hugh pulled off the role of Pellinore rather well.

“Where’s the bird, Arthur?” Such a loveable old coot! “Where’s the bird? You hit it. I saw it. Where did it go?” Tromp, tromp, tromp!

“Strange, Pelly. I’ve never seen this forest before. I used to play in this valley when I was a boy. But it was like a meadow. There were no trees…” At least he could do his ‘confused face’ now!

“Nature, old boy. Things pop up, you know. Where’s the bird?” High and low Pelly looked, clanking like a rusted tin can all the while.

“Sh-h-h. Its awfully quiet around here, isn’t it?” He knew the woman that played Morgan Le Fey lurked behind the nearby tree, and he wanted so badly to look. But he couldn’t! “Not a leaf rustling, not a whisper in the woods. It makes one rather drowsy. Would you care to rest a bit?” What a silly line.

“No thank you, old man. I want to find that bird, what? I mean, if you hit a bird with an arrow, it ought to fall down like a gentleman.” Audience members snickered at the line, and rightfully so. Definitely a bit of British wit there. One exaggerated yawn later, and Caleb was flopping down after Hugh had tromped off stage, eyelids drooping dramatically.

“Merlyn…” Slurrrr! “Do you remember how often we walked this valley when I was a boy?” Big yawn! “Do you know what I miss of those days? Not my youth. My innocence. My innocence…” Sleepy time! But being back so far on the stage, he could peer through his lashes at the tableau, which he had never had a chance to witness. One day he was going to filch all the tapes and DVDs from David’s office of past performances, just to see how silly they looked up on the stage. But there went the wall!

“Arthur?” Wakey-wakey, sunshine! “The bird’s hopeless, Arthur. Let’s push on.”

“Where am I? What's happened? How long have I been asleep? Pelly, we must get back to the castle. I have strange feelings.” That’s called puberty little man! Oh God, the snide comments they all made at this script, and the horrible lines! But it was amusing nonetheless.

“Right. If you want.” There went Hugh downstage, and this was always the painful part. Rising, Caleb went to tromp after him at a jog, only to run into the ‘wall’. Thud. Ow, mommy!

“Good God!” Now he knew how a mime felt.

“Well, old man, are you coming or aren’t you?” The frightening thing was that Hugh really did look like that when he was perturbed!

“I’m trapped!” said the rat.

“I say, Arthur. Who are you waving at? What's wrong with you?” Thud! “I say! What is this? It feels like a wall! But I don't see it.” Now the audience no longer giggled, but watched in rapt attention.

”It is a wall.” Astounding, Watson! No, wait, Holmes!

“Where did it come from? How did it get here?”

”Morgan Le Fey! Morgan Le Fey! Is this your sorcery?” he shouted at the rafters. “Pelly, get back to the castle. Find Lance. Find Jenny. Warn them to be careful.” And be sure to commit adultery too!

“You bow, Arthur?”

“Do as I say, Pelly!” He watched Hugh tromp off, before returning to his futile shouts. “Morgan Le Fey! Morgan Le Fey! Morgan Le Fey!”

Then the lights dimmed. It was almost done.

  • Mister Holmes' NeighborhoodLucy Avellino, Fri May 13 18:45
    “ . . . until you’ve tried the patented Holmes Omelet.” Huh? Lucy shook her head, trying to clear the cobwebs, and shoveled the first bite of eggs into her mouth. Chew. Chew. One very blissful sigh... more
    • Evening Enchantments — Caleb Holmes, Fri May 13 22:36
      • Fruits and VegetablesLucy Avellino, Sat May 14 23:39
        “Take Sean inside, would you?” Sure. Take the varmint inside and keep him under house arrest. Sean glanced towards the locked door, then wisely decided not to press his case. Italian women were very... more
        • Coffee and BreakfastCaleb Holmes, Sun May 15 21:18
          “Take Sean inside, would you?” Caleb had worded it as a request, but John knew better. Oh, he had heard that tone of voice countless times, and never disobeyed. The ones that did were left in... more
          • Hot Cross BunsLuciana Avellino, Mon May 16 15:10
            He stepped mechanically through the motions, body and mind doing their best to synchronize at the behest of the katas. Muscles once driven to the edge of tension slowly began to loosen up as Sean... more
            • Star CrossedCaleb Holmes, Tue May 17 02:42
              It was the first time that John had smiled – truly smiled – in a long time. “I miei genitori sono venuto in America quando ero giovane; tutta la nostra famiglia ha incluso. Spendere i vostri giorni... more
              • Tears of a ClownLucy Avellino, Wed May 18 15:31
                Lucy stood at the top of the steps, toweling her hair dry, and watched Sean stalk out of the kitchen into the foyer. He glanced up, sharing a frustrated glance with his sister before exiting the... more
                • Of Nightmares and DreamsA Company of Miscreants, Wed May 18 19:14
                  He had ran. John couldn’t help it. With Sean’s body pressed so tightly against his, he couldn’t bloody think properly! It was an intoxicating experience, the faerie tale sensation broken by the rude... more
                  • Codes and RiddlesCaleb Holmes, Wed May 18 23:51
                    His chest felt heavy. Beyond that, laden with the weight of the casket. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he felt as if it were his fault for Beth’s death. If he had never retired, taken Lucy... more
                    • Dastardly DeedsLots of Characters, Thu May 19 16:29
                      Oh Jesus. The last thing Sean expected was this . . . a large hand settling against his jaw so timidly that the underlying fear just about broke his heart. Any thoughts of gallantly backing out of... more
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