Part 19 Blackout

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A LOUD HORN BLASTS MY HEAD OFF THE PILLOW. Blurry-eyed and dizzy, I peruse my surroundings. I'm on Modeus' yacht alone in the master cabin. Warm beads of sweat drip down the crease of my back. I take a strained glance down at my body to see I'm half naked with just a pair of panties on.

Another yacht horn sounds in the distance.

"I got it, I got it," I say, slowly swinging my legs over the side of the bed and rubbing my eyes. My body is weak from the alcohol. I hate getting that wasted. I head to the bathroom to investigate my condition. I turn on the light, look in the mirror and gasp. My makeup is non-existent, I'm pale as a ghost and my mouth is dry like sandpaper. I grab my hair and face with disgust that I let things get this bad. As I continue to examine my skin, I come across three scratch marks underneath my earlobe on the right side of my neck. I rub them with my finger and frantically try to recall last night's events. I know if anyone sees them they will question me. Panicked, I quickly grab a towel from the bathroom and rush to find something to wear. I fall to my knees at the side of the bed and look at the wide drawer with the leather handle. Surely Modeus must-have T-shirts in here. I grab the soft leather handle and slowly pull. The drawer easily slides open and to my surprise, reveals something I was not expecting.

A beautiful long glass case with a sword just like the one on Modeus' chest lay snug inside. I run my finger down the front of the glass tempted to take it out and hold it.

Double and triple voices infiltrate my mind. I look down to the ground focus until one of the voices breaks through.

Do you like it?

I turn around startled to see Modeus standing in the doorway watching me. I push my hair behind my ear. "It's beautiful. It's the one on your chest?"

Modeus nods his head and walks into the cabin.

I turn back to the sword. "It looks really old."

Kneeling next to me, he kisses my shoulder. "The sword is ancient. You have a fascination with sharp objects don't you?"

Like a deer in headlights, the statement stops me in my tracks. I take another look at the sword and push the drawer back in. "What happened last night? How did I end up back here?"

Studying me curiously with his deep brown eyes he helps me to my feet. "You don't remember?"

Afraid and ashamed of what he might say next, I begin to panic. "Please tell me you didn't just plop me over the back of your bike?"

Laughing just a bit he sits me down on the bed. "No, one of the other women brought you here."

"Who?" I ask as my mind rapidly collects images of an ugly woman with ocean blue eyes questioning me about Modeus.

"One of Steve's girlfriends. You passed out on the floor. I picked you up and carried you to the elevator then her car."

Oh my God. "I'm sorry. I don't remember anything except talking with Steve a bit at the bar and that crazy cave you took me to."

"You don't remember how it ended?"

Embarrassed, I fold my hands in my lap and shake my head. "No?"

"It was not a big deal. Really," he said with a reassuring tone. "You just had too many drinks."

Picking my head up with hope, I dramatically kiss him on the cheek. "Oh, thank God."

He chuckles and takes me in his arms.

His warm embrace feels bittersweet. I can't believe I got that drunk.

"You did speak briefly before you passed out in my bed about your father. You probably don't remember that either."

The mention of my father from Modeus stops me in my tracks. "What did I say about my father?"

"You said he cured your darkest moment. Something to do with that slash you hide on your arm isn't it?"

Feeling pushed into a conversation I don't want to have, I get up from the bed and begin to fidget with my towel. "I'm really not ready to go down this road yet."

"I thought we were making progress?" he said, standing up and folding his arms in front of him. "You know, I didn't get involved to sit on the sidelines. Wrong guy. I asked you if you would let me in that head of yours and you said yes."

I lean my head back with frustration and rub my hands across my neck. "What are these scratches on my neck?"

With very little expression he leaves the room and down the hallway without so much as a word.

I follow after him. "That's it? You've got nothing to say about these?"

Modeus turns around. "Is that all you have to say about your father and your telepathy?"

I fidget some more with my towel and pretend that I don't hear him.

Visibly angered, he turns back around and continues to walk away.

I roll my eyes and pace like a little kid. I can't believe I'm doing this. "My father taught me how to do that," I say loudly down the hallway. "Please don't walk away from me."

Modeus abruptly stops.

"I'm sorry," I say. Oh God, this is painful. "It's just that my father is a really heavy subject for me."

Turning around slowly, Modeus cocks his head as if contemplating his next thought. "If this is going to work, I need to know the real stuff about you."

I look anxiously down the hallway. The realization hits me that this is what grown-ups do in relationships. I understand now why Freddy didn't want to go here with me. It's uncomfortable as hell. "It's just that..."

My phone rings loudly from the main cabin. I can tell from the ringtone, it's work. "Hold that thought," I say, all too happy to be fleeing this conversation. I run down the hallway back to the cabin and grab my phone. "This is Brenda."

"Brenda—Richard. We need to set a meeting ASAP."

"What happened?"

"The lead singer of the band opening for Soulbusters OD'd. Modeus is going to open for them instead. Can you please let him know right away? And I need you in here pronto."

"No problem. I'm on my way." I hang up the phone and see Modeus is now watching me through the doorway.

"You're opening up for Soulbusters next week at the Honda Center. This is huge. Things are going to happen real fast from here. I have to go. You're off the hook for now," I say, frantically looking for clothes and an escape hatch.

"Off the hook from what?" he asks.

"Explaining these scratches you kinky ass. I'm going to have to hide them today. Please don't do it again. For reasons I can't explain yet, this isn't cool."

"It has something to do with that gash you hide. Doesn't it?"

I nod and pull up my towel. "And it's going to take more than five minutes to explain it."

"It's going to take much more than five minutes to explain those scratches," Modeus says, his eyes seductively fixated on mine. "Now the hard work begins."

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