21. Inspiration

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I've been searching for some inspiration - Grace Jones

9:08 a.m. Wednesday, October 13, 2021

"Did you and Michele run this morning?" Ace asks as his fingers knead Harry's right deltoid.

"Mhm," Harry murmurs, his face in the cradle of the table. Holy back muscles! He'd missed massages so much the last couple of weeks.

"You've spent a lot of time together lately. How's that going to work when you go back to LA or London or wherever you're off to next?"

While he doesn't mind conversation during his massage, this is not a topic he wants to discuss with anyone. Leaving Nowhere -- and Michele -- has been pushed to the edges of his brain. At some point, he's going to have to consider it. After all, he's only in town a few more days.

"Uhmgh," Harry grunts, shrugging the shoulder not currently being worked on.

"It's no secret you've spent nearly every minute together the last week or so," the man continues talking as his hands work Harry's glutes, throwing an elbow in every now and then to work really deeply on the tightest knots.

Propping himself on his arms, Harry raises his top half on the massage bed in order to reply, "Look, mate. I know you and the town are protective of her, and I'm not trying to be rude here. It's just really no one's business but ours, you know?"

There's silence for a solid minute as Ace removes his hands from his work. Blowing out a mouth full of air, the therapist and stylist concedes, "You're right. Of course you're right. We love her, and we don't want her hurt. But you're both consenting adults. Just...."

Feeling slightly exasperated, Harry barks, "Just what?"

"Nothing," Ace says, raising his hands in surrender.

Sighing deeply, Harry calms himself. "I'm sorry. Just what?" He speaks more slowly, his tone asking for forgiveness.

Returning to massaging Harry's feet, Ace mumbles, "We're all going to miss you. Michele and the kids the most. So don't forget about us."

That settles it. Now Harry feels like a todger. His face is flushed as he softly replies, "Never. Nowhere will be in my heart forever." With that, he puts his head back in the cradle and allows the massage to continue. Ace grows quiet as he continues to work.

Once he's settled on his back and the therapist is rubbing his quads, Harry ventures into conversation once more.

"Before I came to Nowhere....there was a town meeting." It's not a question. Purely a statement of fact.

"Yes. We were all there. Well, except the Moore family. I remember they weren't there because there was a big to-do about whether we should do something to help out Michele, but that got moved to the back burner with the news that you were coming to town."

"Who calls those?" Harry asks, his eyes closed as his body slips into deeper relaxation.

"Oh. Pablo does. He's our mayor. Although I think Liz might win in November's election. Those two have been back and forth for the last few years about how to best run the town, and her policies are a bit more thought-out than Pablo's. He's won the most recent elections because his father was mayor before him."

"Ah. A legacy mayor," Harry mutters. "Who's Pablo again? I think I've met him."

"He owns Luigi's. You've been there."

"Mhm," Harry's voice grows quiet as Ace moves to the pecs, loosening Harry's tight muscles with the knuckles of his hand.

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