C'est La Vie Ch. 03byBlack_Hat_Lee©
If Michael was completely honest with himself, he would have to admit he wasn't a fighter. The last brawl he was in was a vague memory from his time in middle school. He couldn't really remember if he won or not, or if there had even been a winner. They didn't exactly have regulations for that sort of thing. But for the third night in a row he was cursing himself for being an idiot. The ache along his rib cage and the bruises across his body agreed with him. The pain was waking him up again after he had been asleep for only a few hours.
He sat up carefully from the couch, swinging his legs over the side and trying to ignore the pain as his body protested his movements. With a grunt he pushed himself to his feet and made his way down the hall towards the bathroom. He grabbed the bottle of not-Vicodin painkillers and swallowed one then chased it with a sleeping pill. It probably wasn't the wisest combination but it would let him sleep soundly. He stepped out into his bedroom and paused a moment to look at the empty bed.
The sheets and comforter had been stripped off, leaving only the bare mattress and the box spring. The lamp and alarm clock that had been on the nightstand were gone. A mirror that had been hanging on his closet door was missing too. There was a hole in the wall also, with a piece of paper covering it until the repair man came later in the week to patch it up.
It looked better than it had after he and the other guy had literally gone wall to wall from one end of his apartment to the other. What was his name? Lawrence Something or Other. Lawrence the Cockfag. Lawrence the Stupid God Damned Asshole.
Michael's head started hurting just thinking about that night. What had seemed like a good idea at the time had gone to hell pretty quick. Michael had tried to aim for Lawrence Fuckface's nose. Instead he had smacked him in the chin, busting his lip up but not disorienting him as he had intended.
The bastard recovered quickly and launched himself at Michael. They had wrestled back and forth in the bedroom before tumbling into the hall, trading punches and kicks like a couple of junior high kids thinking they were kung fu masters. On YouTube it would have been hilarious. In reality, they both were full of piss and anger and completely intent on beating the shit out of each other. Amy was yelling at them the entire time to stop.
His living room had suffered the worst of the fight. The coffee table, the shelves with his movies and books, and his big screen TV were gone. Somehow even his coffee machine became a casualty.
In a single moment of clarity, Michael had gone Jason Bourne on Lawrence Numbnuts and smashed his face in with a large book that had fallen from his destroyed bookcase. The guy was done after that, collapsing in a heap on the ground while he clutched his broken nose. Michael had managed to smash his face after all.
The victory was short lived, however, because Amy had grabbed her tazer out of her purse and hit him in the back with it. He went down hard and had been completely unaware of anything but the pain until Lawrence started kicking him over and over while he rolled on the ground. Amy ended up tazing him too when he wouldn't let up.
The only smart ones in the entire mess had been the neighbors. They had called the police to report the noise and it didn't take long for the cops to show up and begin sorting it out. Amy and Lawrence Asshat were charged with trespassing and assault while Michael was checked out by the paramedics. They told him he should go to the hospital and he agreed. The cops took Amy to jail and Lawrence Scrotumsucker to the hospital to get checked out as well before being thrown behind bars.
Michael tried to push the memories away in the hopes of getting a little more sleep. Even now he was still trying to sort it all out. He had kept busy the last few days talking to the police, trying to calm down his apartment manager and cleaning up the mess. He had also called his boss and left a message telling him that he was canceling his vacation and that he would be back to work on Monday. He offered no explanation why.
And there was no explanation. None he could think of. There had been no chance to talk to Amy and, considering the state he had been in, it wouldn't have been a civil discussion. But as he laid back down on the couch and let the drugs carry him back to sleep, he was still asking the question: Why? He didn't have any answers and he knew that he wouldn't like them when he got them.
A sense of dread made him realize he was dreaming. He was walking down a long hallway towards a glowing door that melted away as he tried to open it. Inside the next room were walls covered with mirrors of every shape and size. Light seemed to come from everywhere and in the middle of the room was a large bed, covered with white sheets.
Amy was there, up on her knees near the foot of the bed, completely naked. She smiled when she saw him, crooking her finger in his direction. He knew that smile and her hips swayed back and forth, like she couldn't hold still. She wanted it bad. Whenever she was in that kind of mood, the ideas of foreplay and romance were tossed aside for hot, wet, animal fucking. Seeing her like that, part of him couldn't resist walking towards her but his instincts screamed danger with every step.
When he reached the edge of the bed he realized he was naked too and Amy dropped down to his hard cock. She lay on her stomach, sucking him all the way into her throat, looking up at him as her fingers stroked his balls. She had never been able to do that before but she took him without difficulty.
She went down on him for what seemed like an eternity but it was over far too soon. Her mouth came off of him and she licked her way up his stomach, across his chest and along the side of his neck until their lips met and her tongue was down his throat. He could feel it forcing its way into his mouth and swabbing every inch it could reach. When she pulled back, he thought he saw a fork in her tongue before it was back behind her teeth.
She turned around and dropped to all fours, letting her ass wave back and forth at him seductively. Her cunt was wet and swollen and he could see the juices flowing out and running down her legs. He grabbed her hips and pulled her back onto his cock, feeling her squeeze down on him as he entered her in a single, buttery stroke. She moaned wantonly and started fucking back on him, throwing herself onto his cock as he thrust into her.
It was incredible, the best fuck he had ever had. Every time he pulled out of her he tried to thrust back inside harder and deeper than before. Yet that fear, that sense of wrongness, was still there growing with every thrust.
Michael wasn't sure when the mirror was put in front of them. It was only inches away from Amy, close enough that he could see the hungry, animalistic expression on her face, the way she bit her lower lip and stared at him like he was some kind of prey animal. He watched, entranced, as her tongue ran over her lips and that it was forked like a snake.
Then he looked at his own reflection and found he was unable to scream with shock when he saw Lawrence the Bastard standing in his place. The mirror shattered and he wasn't fucking Amy anymore but was standing there at the foot of the bed watching helplessly as Lawrence fucked her instead. Amy started fucking harder, grunting and screaming with every thrust like it was the worst agony and the greatest pleasure she had ever had.
Michael couldn't move but he knew he had to get away. Aside from having to see this again, aside from watching the woman he loved betray him and love every moment of it, that wrongness, that dread, was reaching a crescendo. He had to run, now!
Amy's eyes snapped onto him and she reached out to grab him. Her nails turned to talons and they dug into his sides. He was frozen in place and she gripped the wounds her fingers had made to give her leverage to fuck Lawrence harder. The pain was unbearable, the fear making it even worse. Somehow he knew she was about to come and that if he didn't get away before she did, she would kill him.
But there was no escape. The torment went on forever and yet his body refused to move until at last Amy was screaming at the top of her lungs. She jerked her hands back, tearing huge gouges into his body before both hands slammed down into the middle of his chest and began savagely tearing him open. Michael screamed in agony and black tears poured down his face.
Amy seemed to calm down now that her orgasm was passed. The hole in his chest was an empty, black void and she put her hand in, reaching all the way through him until she was almost buried to her shoulder. There was no pain but Michael had never felt so violated in his life.
There was a sound like the most delicate chimes as she began slowly pulling her arm back. When her hand emerged, she was holding his heart. It wasn't a bloody, beating lump of meat but a delicately carved Valentine heart of crystal. There was soft music coming from it, like harp strings.
Amy stared at his heart in wonder as she held it carefully cradled in her hands. Then she looked up into his eyes and gave him a smile full of evil.
"I can see into your heart, lover." She said. "I knew that you would never betray me. I always knew. That's what makes this all the sweeter."
Her clawed hands crushed his crystal heart, breaking it into a dozen pieces and then grinding those pieces into her palms to break them even more.
Michael woke up screaming, sitting up too quickly and bringing a fresh wave of pain to his bruised body. He clenched his teeth against the pain and started crying uncontrollably.
Why? Why? Why? The question echoed in his head over and over again.
For days he had been able to bury the emotional pain behind the physical injures and the distractions of everything else. Now it was all coming up like a festering wound: Humiliation that he was crying like a child over a nightmare; frustration at how powerless he felt; and anger, so much anger, at the world and everyone in it. Enough anger to fill that hole in his chest that Amy had torn open.
He laid there a long time just breathing until he could get a handle on himself and the nightmare was fading into a bad memory. A very bad memory. After sitting up very slowly, he picked up his watch off the floor and saw that it was barely after six. Too early for him to be up but he knew he wasn't going back to sleep.
The next hour was spent mechanically going through the morning routine of breakfast, getting dressed and making sure he had enough non-narcotic pain killers to get him through the day. Despite his work as a "courier", he still had to hold down a regular job to make ends meet.
It was a poorly kept secret that Michael wrote for a local arts and entertainment magazine called Blitz. He had gone to college with aspirations of being a hard hitting investigative reporter, discovering all the dirty little secrets that were hidden under the grime of the city. Then he realized how boring and underpaid the job was.
Writing about entertainment came with perks. As a member of the press, he was invited to lots of events that people wanted to promote, he was constantly being given free music from bands who were pimping themselves out, and the more he got around the more people he was able to meet and connect with. That was how he had built his network of contacts to begin with and eventually spun it off into a side job that paid as much as his regular job.
The irony was that his side job had let him learn more of the city's dirty secrets than being a journalist ever would. But in the age of the internet, where nothing was ever forgotten, finding someone who could keep a secret rather than sell it was a priceless commodity. The currency of trust was highly valued on the open market.
Being out the door so early in the morning had allowed him to avoid the normal morning rush. He made it to work so early that the main door to their offices was still locked when he got there. He checked his watch and saw that it wasn't quite eight yet, which was when one of the editors usually got there to open up shop.
The nightmare from that morning had left him in a foul mood. He wasn't a morning person by any stretch of the imagination and today was going to be even worse. He hoped that he could pick up whatever assignments were available and get out of the office quickly. Being on the move and out in the open would help keep his head clear.
Footsteps caught his attention and he looked up to see a group of people moving down the hall together. The floor that the magazine's offices were on had another set of offices across the hall that was used by a medical equipment company. Since the two businesses had no reason to interact with each other, he didn't know much about any of their people except for Brooke the Office Manager. Everyone knew who she was.
As if on cue, Brooke appeared at the back of the group, moving around them to unlock the office's double doors and let everyone inside. While they filed inside one by one, she looked over at Michael and he braced himself. He wasn't in a mood to put up with her today.
"You're not supposed to be loitering out in the hallway." She said.
He had to force himself not to clench his teeth. "I'm not loitering. I'm waiting for the office to open."
"Solicitors aren't allowed either. You have to make an appointment if you need to see someone."
He pushed himself off the wall and closed the distance between them so fast that Brooke stumbled back and bumped into the wall. With a few feet still left between them, Michael glared at Brooke for a moment before offering her a smile that was way too forced.
"I work here. I don't work for you. So leave me alone and go do whatever it is you do in your own office."
Before Brooke could respond, he turned away and nearly ran into a young man who had his arms full of folders and a cardboard drink carrier filled with Styrofoam cups. There was a moment of panic as Billy the Kid stumbled back and the stuff in his arms started to tip over. Michael grabbed the coffee tray before it fell all over Billy and the kid was able to shift the folders he was carrying in time.
"Damn it Billy, are you trying to douse me with boiling coffee?" The words came out a little harsher than he had intended as he was still riding his annoyance at Brooke. The near collision with Billy didn't help his attitude.
"Sorry about that, Mike. I'm kind of in a hurry. Hold on to that a sec."
Billy shifted the folders to one arm and pulled a set of keys from his pocket. It took him a few failed attempts to find the right one, much to Michael's growing annoyance. While Billy took his time with the door, Michael opened the lid of one of the coffees he was carrying and took a sip. It was heavy with flavor, bitter and sweet with a touch of cream. Although it didn't eliminate his annoyance completely, the Lifeblood of the Universe helped keep him calm until Billy finally managed to get the door open.
The kid rushed inside and Michael followed. Billy moved to the nearest desk and laid the stack of folders down, sighing at he did and rubbing the one arm he had been carrying them in. Then he turned to Michael and took the tray of coffees from him, minus the one he was drinking from, and Billy's eyes went wide with terror.
"Michael, you can't drink that!"
"You should have brought enough to share with the class." He took another pull from the cup then walked towards his own desk.
"I did bring enough." Billy protested "Well, just enough. That coffee is supposed to be for the editing staff. They've got an important meeting this morning. That's why I'm here, Shep asked me to come in early and open up so that everything would be ready."
"Shep let you open up for him?" Michael asked, genuinely surprised "That's great! You're moving up in the world."
"Yeah but I was supposed to make sure there was enough coffee for everyone."
Michael shrugged as he set his half-empty coffee down to turn his computer on. "Well, the whole reason you came to be an intern here was to learn things about the business, right?"
"Right." Billy said, uncertainly.
Michael walked to him and clapped him on the shoulder, smiling like an asshole. "Then let this be a lesson, young Skywalker. Always have more coffee than you need. Because you'll need it."
The younger man slumped with a sigh and Michael walked back to his desk.
"If anyone complains about it just tell them I'll pay them back for it alright?"
Billy shook his head but didn't say anything. Instead, he went back to the files he had left on the desk and carried them towards the conference room. Michael sat down at his desk, feeling a little bad about the coffee since Billy would take flak for it. That, of course, was the price of being an intern. Being ignored, abused and run ragged for little or no pay. He remembered those days. Good times. Well, not really.
He forgot about Billy as he began looking through his e-mail. He had three windows open with three different e-mail accounts that he maintained. One was for his work on the magazine, one was for his courier work and one was personal. All of them were rather full, not counting the spam. There were newsletters from mailing lists he had joined, links and information from his contacts about things going on in the city, and even a few messages from friends.
He pulled out a notepad and started making a list to sort through all the information so he could decide on what he wanted to cover and what he would pass on to someone else. As he went through each mail, he saw the editing staff trickling in. He recognized a few of them and even gave them a little wave as they went by, but he soon realized that it wasn't just the Blitz staff that was coming in but the editors for all the magazines that the office housed.
There were several different magazines that worked out of the large office, all owned by the same company. James Shepard was the editor-in-chief for all of them. The modern age had seen the death of so many traditional forms of print media that publishers who hadn't been devoured were doing everything they could do stay afloat. That was why they all shared an office and contracted to a printing company to produce their magazines.
Something big was going down; otherwise all of them wouldn't have come in so early in the morning. He got up to find Billy and find out what the meeting was about when his cell went off, the tinny voice of a pop diva breaking the relative peace and quiet of the office.
Despite wanting to avoid the reality of the situation, Michael had known he would eventually have to talk to Amy. There would never be a good time to do it as far as he was concerned but he definitely didn't want to talk to her this early in the morning, especially in the mood he was in. The calming effect of the coffee had been destroyed by that one ring tone.
He pulled out his cell phone and stepped away from his desk, walking to the far side of the office where no one else was at the moment. He let it ring almost long enough for his voice mail to come on before he pushed the "TALK" button.
"This is Morningkill."
"Michael, it's Amy."
She sounded tired. He wondered if she had spent the entire weekend in jail. There was a vicious part of him that hoped that she had.
"What do you want?"
"I need to talk to you. About what happened the other night."
"I'm pretty sure I know what happened" he said, "since I was there for the grand finale."
"Look, you weren't supposed to find out about it this way."
That made his bad mood spike into full blown anger. "I wasn't supposed to find out that you were fucking some guy on my bed, in my apartment, as I was coming home? What the fuck is wrong with you?"