Rewriting Singularity Ch. 07

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I woke up a sticky Hec-and-me mess with no desire to shower. God, who would want to with a hot romance novelist curled around you like a big, snuggly warm blanket? Not me. I didn’t move, just inhaled his musky, sweet sex-kitten neck. If I thought I had it bad before, I was now in the terminal stage– I even loved his snoring. His whistles and snorts sounded like Gershwin. Fuck, I had to be in love.

I was admiring the freckles on his upper lip when he woke. He yawned and stretched like a cat, then smiled at me like he’d eaten the canary– well, maybe that was the wrong simile to use: I’d never let him eat Pete. Me, I’d let him eat. Serve me up hot with two helpings of tossed Hot Hector and Mr. Grumbles on the side.

“Hi,” he said.

“Hi,” I smiled back.

That grin. Then– Zap! Pow! Bang! went my heart. I looked up at the ceiling, then back at him.

“That was– nice,” I said. Lame. Yes, lame. That was nice?! Was that all I could think of to say? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

“I thought it was spectacular,” he said.

“That too.” Double lame. I needed to come back with something witty, something that would impress him with, you know, my intellect–

“You have amazing–” think, think, think. Witty. Something witty, “–testicles.”

What came out of him sounded more like a sneeze than a laugh that transmuted into a cackling, comedic-contagion.

“Yours are amazing too.”

He started laughing and choking again. I started. Tears rolled down our cheeks. There was no need for sweetening our little sitcom with canned laugh track.

He caught his breath, and I reached over to muss his hair. I liked touching it. I had to make sure he was real every once in a while. Besides, any excuse was good for me to play with those curls.

“Probably should be getting downstairs,” he said at last.

“So soon?”

“I bet Kate’s wondering what happened to me.”

“Or maybe she’s not wondering–” I added. Man, my tummy was good and sore from mad snorts of laughter.

“Yeah, you’re probably right.”

I sat up, pulled the sheets around me and looked down at Hec.

“What’s up with your sister anyhow?”

“What do you mean?” he asked, chewing a hangnail.

“The way she looks at me like I’m the Prince of Darkness or something. What’s up with that?”

Hec sighed and put his hands behind his head. “It’s a long story.”

“I got time.”

“I got time, too.” Hec rolled over and into me. The corner of his mouth curled up as he rubbed seductively against my thigh.

Horny bastard.

Mr. Happy tried to get hard again– but four times in one day had him all wore down to no bone.

“Sorry,” I said, shaking my head. “I need recovery time– how about story time instead?” I closed my eyes. “I love stories.”

“I didn’t want to get into this yet.”

“I said, it’s story time!”

“I don’t believe this–”

Mr. Grumbles returneth.

“Come on, Miss Charlotte, tell Jacob the Legend of the Lodges. Come on– ple-e-e-ease.”

“You aren’t going to give up, are you?”


“Very well,” Hec sat up next to me in the bed. Needless to say, there is nothing more distracting than a hot naked man sitting with his legs crossed.

He cleared his throat and began his tale. “Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away lived a family of three curly-haired children. These three children were very, very close and very, very special.”

Like I could understand one word with his special family jewels on display? He had to know how distracting that was.

“They lived all alone with no one else in the world. You see, they had no mommy or daddy to look after them, so they were forced to look after themselves. Because of this–“

“You really need to sit differently,” I interrupted. “I mean, at least cover yourself–” He bounced his knees instead. Christ.

I got tough. I was strong. No need to succumb to human weakness– I will look at him– in the face! That’s it, yeah! No! No! No-o– not there! Um, I do believe they’re bouncing.

“Ok, what happened to your parents?” I asked, trying to get my act together.

Hmm, yes, follow the bouncing balls. No, no, don’t follow them, look at his face– oops! Shit!

“Don’t know,” he smirked, enjoying every moment of my frustration. Bouncy, bouncy… What a tease. “We woke up one day, and they were gone.”

“You’re saying that your parents ran away from home?” Now, he had my attention.

“Something like that. After they disappeared my sister took over, became mom, I suppose. She raised us.”

“That must have been hard on your sister.”

“She didn’t have any choice– we didn’t have any choice. None of us really had a childhood.”

“That’s not very fair. Still,” I said.

“Listen, my sisters and I are all the family we have. We stick together. Kate is just protective, and well, maybe a bit afraid I’m going to find someone and, you know, leave her all alone.”

I could understand that, but–

“She has your bağdatcaddesi escort younger sister–“

“–who’s getting married in June.”


“–and that’s been a hard one for Kate too. She doesn’t like the guy.”

“Do you?”

“He’s ok– for a Bears fan.”

“So why doesn’t your sister like him?”

“Maybe it’s the fact that he slept with me first.”

“Huh?” I thought I heard him wrong.

“It was nothing–” he said.

My mouth was still hanging open thinking about how the Lodge Lodge was really Peyton Place Revisited.

“He decided he preferred his Lodge with breasts instead of balls.”

I could relate to that– Austin, the traitorous bastard, was with Miss Big Bazoombas, and he left my balls hanging.

“From the moment you checked in, Charlie couldn’t stop talking about you. ‘Jake this’ and ‘Jake that’ and she even Googled you.”

“I don’t know if I should feel honored or scared shitless,” I admitted.

“Yeah, well, she tends to fixate.”

Like other Lodges don’t?

“I thought you said she was getting married?”

“She’s fickle,” he shrugged. “She’s been engaged three times. This one’s lasted the longest.”

“Don’t tell me– they were all your boyfriends first?”

“No,” he laughed, then turned serious. “I liked you too. Right away.”

Alright. True confessions.

“And we’ve spent a lot of time together since you’ve been here, talking and writing. My little sister noticed and got pissed– Kate freaked. I’m sure she thought, ‘Oh, no. Here it comes again.’ So Kate thinks this whole thing with you is like déjà vu because Ted, that’s Charlie’s fiancé, stayed here too. That’s how we– they– met, in this same room. And well, after a few days… this is all pretty personal…”

“I think we’re getting into the long story–“


“So, you did it in this bed, huh?” I asked, slapping the mattress. I was trying hard not to get jealous. I mean, he had a life before me.

Before me? I was thinking like we were a couple…

“Did he sneak into your room too?” I asked.

“No,” Hec frowned, “but he snuck into my sister’s.”

“Did he find anything?”

“Just my sister.”

I stifled a laugh. “That’s not what I meant.”

“I know– you meant did he find anything unusual– like maybe a music box?”

My brain went white. “Yes,” I whispered.

“No, she doesn’t have one, but you should know that since you went through Charlie’s room–“

“Yeah, I did.”

“And Kate’s.”

I nodded.

“And most of the rest of this house.”


“And the passageways–“

“Well, some…”

He took both my hands in his, long fingers brushing my knuckles, then my sore palms.

“I noticed you had some trouble,” he said slowly. “Is that what happened to your hands?”

I nodded.

“Next time you want a tour, just ask, ok? It’s safer.”

I hesitated. “I want a tour…” Should I say it? Should I? He squeezed my hands.

I said it.

“…of your room.”

He inched closer, took my bottom lip into his mouth and sucked.

Mr. Happy came alive.

“I can arrange for that tour,” he said, as my lip popped out of his mouth.

“Arrange? I want you to be the guide.”

“Sure,” he said, slyly. “I’ll guide you.”


“How about later today?” he suggested.

“I think I can fit that in,” I nodded. Mr. Happy should be wide awake by then.

“Maybe we can play, you show me yours if I show you mine.”

“I was hoping for more than show and tell– more like hide and seek.”

Suddenly, Hec went quiet– like he was listening intently for something, then he jumped off the bed.

“I’ve gotta go now.”


He rushed to dress, shoving his legs into his jeans and he walked across the room, then pulling his green and black striped shirt over his head as he stepped out the door.

“I’ll give you the tour after dinner.”

The door closed.

People sure came and went fast here.

I rested my back against the headboard. I closed my eyes. It was then that I realized there was something in my hand. I slowly opened it, and there in my palm lay a tiny gold key. How it got there I didn’t know, but I did know that Hec was somehow responsible.

What was the key for? Not the music box. It didn’t have a lock. And how did I come by it?

Over and over I’d scoffed at the possibilities– that Hec was not what he appeared. Genie? A supernatural being? A magician? All had seemed impossible.


Until now.

My first impulse was to run down the stairs and find Hec. But wherever Hec was, Kate was near. Not that I was chicken-shit, but playing twenty questions about my sex life wasn’t my idea of a good afternoon.

I tried to be logical– he’d looked in my hand. Maybe he was a slight-of-hand artist, slipped it inside my hand. If so, he was pretty damn good. The more I thought about it, the more I worried I was beykoz escort falling in love with an apparition.

I dressed, then decided to write. Sat down to my laptop, turned it on. I tapped my fingers against the table waiting for it to boot up, then clicked on our sitcom script, scrolled down, and shit. There was more there. A lot more there. He’d done it again. I jumped up and paced around my room. How did he do it? Was he in my room all along, writing instead of at the store with Kate? More feasible than the other idea I had in my head– the one where he wrote through telekinesis.

The key? The sitcom? This place?

I plopped back down in the chair and read what he’d written. Brilliant. For a romance writer he had a knack for comedy. I reread it. Then added, then edited. I shook my head, then glanced over at the clock. Almost dinner time. I stood up, stretched and scratched my head.

Time for dinner or at least a sandwich. Maybe run into Hec, and I could get the tour– I’d long since given up on straight answers. I checked myself in the mirror and decide to try my luck, go downstairs. What I didn’t expect was to find Kate standing outside of my door.


She stood in front on me, dressed in a simple gray knit sweater with a scoop neckline and jeans. Her tiny diamond stud earrings were as cool as the eyes that appraised me. She crossed her arms over her chest and heaved a sigh before telling me, “Dinner is almost ready.”

I tried slipping around her, but she blocked my way with a quick sidestep.

“I was just coming down,” I said, still trying to get past her.

“I need to talk to you first.”

“Won’t dinner get cold?”

“If it gets cold, I’ll warm it back up.”

“Fine,” I said, leaning my shoulder against my door. Might as well get this over with; I cleared my throat. “What do you want to know?”

“What do you want with my brother?”

I took a deep breath.

The stairwell just didn’t seem the best place for this conversation. Our voices echoed through the vast expanse of the entryway below, and I didn’t like the idea of other people hearing our conversation– not that there were other guests– it was more along the lines of Charlie and Hec hearing which concerned me.

I kept my voice low, trying not to let my part of the conversation bounce off the walls.

“Well, I want him for a friend for starters.”


“I want to spend time with him. I like being around him. He’s smart, funny, intelligent; he makes me laugh.”

“Go on…”

“I’d like us to be more than friends.”

She inspected me like a bug under a magnifying glass that a kid intends to fry under the lens.

“I think you already are.”

“You should talk to your brother about this.”

She ignored me.

“I’ll tell you what I think you want–“

“If you already know, why bother asking?” Damn, it was hot in this stairwell.

“I wanted to hear what you had to say– to see if it had a ring of truth in it.”

“I take it you already have me all figured out. I admit I’m very attracted to your brother. I don’t see why you’d find that threatening– and if you’re worried that I’m toying with him– don’t. You think I’m after something? I’m not. I don’t see what you’re so concerned about.”

She shook her head. She didn’t believe me. I wiped the sweat off my forehead.

“I’ll tell you what I see,” she said, “and you tell me if you think I’m wrong– how’s that?”

“Go right ahead–” I jiggled the change in my pocket impatiently. I was sure she saw me as an intrusion into her life. Sounded like she wanted to drop-kick me. And to make things worse, I was sweating like I’d run a marathon– it had to be over ninety degrees in this stairwell. Must be all the hot air rising.

I took my hand out of my pocket and fanned my face. “Tell me what you see then–“

“I see a washed-up sitcom writer who hasn’t had a hit in years,” she said. “I see a man who tried to take credit for someone else’s work.”

I was dumbfounded. “Ah, shit–” I wiped the sweat off my brow again, which I’m sure she interpreted as guilt.

“I see a man who took money that wasn’t rightfully his to dissolve that partnership, and I see a man who’s found another patsy to write for him.”

It was all clear to me now. Austin– he’d gotten to her.

“I don’t believe this,” I said. “When did he talk to you?”

The stairwell got hotter; it felt like the temperature had climbed at least another 10 degrees.

“A few hours ago.” She recrossed her arms in front of her. “It’s plain for me to see– you found out my brother was a writer, and you used him.”

Something smelled hot. Smoldering. Could be her frying my brains.

“Wait a minute– he was writing on my laptop before I knew he was a writer.”

“You mean before he told you he was a writer.”

She probably thought I was using sex to get what I wanted, too. Great. Thanks, Austin. That sucked, especially since we caddebostan escort really hadn’t had sex yet, at least not the Final Act.

“You’ve got it backwards– or should I say, he’s got it backwards,” I explained. “Austin is the one who stole my sitcom that I wrote.” Sweat rolled down my forehead, down, down and ending in a precarious drop at the tip of my nose. I flicked it off. “It’s hotter than hell in here! Is something wrong with your furnace?”

“I’m not hot.”

I looked her over. She wasn’t. I wondered if I was coming down with something– flu maybe.

“He’s the one who screwed me over,” I continued. “I left him– he didn’t leave me– well, he did leave me with Thanksgiving supper on the table to go eat with that woman, but I left after that.”

“He said he threw you out.”

“He says a lot of things. Normally, I’d just blow this off as Austin being a son of a bitch, but I care about your brother and consequently, what you think.” She rolled her eyes. “I do.”

“Doesn’t sound that way to me.”

“Listen, if you don’t believe me, I have some friends who will vouch for me and tell you all about Austin’s antics.”

“I’ll do that. In the meantime, I don’t want you playing with Hec’s head.”

I blinked. That wasn’t what I wanted to play with, but I wouldn’t say that to her. Didn’t matter. It was like she could read my mind– her cheeks flushed an angry red.

I stood there, drenched in sweat, looking down at a woman half my size, beating me down, telling me what a rotten, lousy person I was. Shit. I was the injured party. And since I’d been here, weird things were happening to me.

“If there’s anyone who should be pissed off, it’s me,” I snapped, not caring anymore if anyone heard me. “People sneaking into my room, going through my things, leaving food, messing with my laptop.”

“What are you talking about?”

“What is it with this place? I keep thinking this is all a dream, and I’m going to step out of the shower like Bobby Ewing or– are you missing your thumbs? You don’t eat walnuts, do you? Do you know Kolac? Have two extra eyes in the back of your head? Where are the walnuts?”

She looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Maybe I had. I felt delirious– waking dreams of Dick Van Dyke and Dallas danced through my head like sugar plums or thumbs. Not sure which.

“Forget it,” I said, waving her off. “It’s so hot. You can’t feel how hot it is? I don’t think you want to believe me– about the heat, about my room, or about your brother. You had your mind already made up before you came up here to talk to me. I’ve never used anyone in my life– and I like Hec.” I fixed on her narrowed eyes. “Correction– I more than like Hec. God, I don’t believe I’m saying this–” I exhaled slowly. “I think I might be in love with him.”

A light came from above. Or maybe it was just my imagination (running away with me). Like temptation– or The Temptations– depending on whether I wanted five hard parts or five-part harmony.

Something happened inside her after I said those words. Her whole countenance softened: Her arms loosened, her hands relaxed, her pupils widened. Then she stepped aside.

“I want my brother to be happy. He’s never been lucky in love. I don’t want to see him hurt again,” she said, pointing her finger at me for emphasis. “And if you hurt him, so help me, I’ll make your life a living hell.”

“Feels like I’m already in hell. Christ, I’m burning up.” I got a whiff of smoke, too. Not a good sign– she probably charred-broiled my insides.

“I think dinner is burning,” she blurted out.

I didn’t think that would turn the house into Dante’s Inferno– but it would explain that smoky ambiance.

We rushed down the stairs.

“I’d appreciate it if you two were more discreet,” she said, stopping short. I halted at her heels.

“About what?” I held the railing– the obscene railing– under my fingertips. Smooth. Warm. Please. I need that guided tour.

Beep! Beep! Beep!

“Shit, that thing is always going off,” she grumbled. Going off? Does everything have to be a metaphor for sex?

Beep! Beep! Beep!

Smoke detector. Wonderful, maybe the house was on fire– it was hot enough to be.

She flung a look at me. “Don’t talk about having sex. Especially around Charlie.”

“But we haven’t had sex!” Not yet. But there was always hope.

Beep! Beep! Beep!

She spun and continued down the stairs, through the hallway and I followed half falling over my feet. “Ah, fuck!” I grabbed her waist to keep my balance. “We haven’t!” I repeated.

“Shhh! Keep your voice down,” she said, opening the door to the dining room. “No sex? According to what definition?”

“Mine, the Bible’s, Webster’s Dictionary’s, the Encyclopedia Britannica’s, Bill Clinton’s. We’ve only– you know, done other things.”

Other things– but were they ever good.

“Like making out on the kitchen counters?!”

“The counters? No, but I can’t say the same for the dishwasher–“

I heard running ahead of us. We weren’t the only ones heading toward the alarm.

Beep! Beep! Beep!

Through the dining room.

“Well, keep whatever you did together to yourself,” she continued. “I’d rather Charlie not know the details–”

Beep! Beep! Beep!

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