Today, the saga continues. As you'll recall, last week Dallas was enjoying a quiet evening with his nephew, Oz, and his neighbor/friend Campbell, when suddenly the phone rang. Could it be... Well, keep reading to find out, in Chapter Five of Dallas in Wonderland II. Then don't forget to check out all the other Briefers, whose links follow my tale. Enjoy!
Dallas in Wonderland II: Chapter Five
Dallas froze, his heart thumping incredibly loudly in his chest. Ever since Campbell had mentioned seeing a mysterious visitor outside of Dallas’ door, he’d been hoping against hope that something like this would happen. That Samuel would try to get in touch him. And not impersonally, like the professional façade he maintained during their sessions. Personably. Charmingly. As he’d been when they were... closer.
So why was he standing there, like a deer caught in the headlights, looking like an idiot while his phone continued to blare from his pocket?
“Uncle Dallas, your phone is ringing,” his observant nephew pointed out. From Campbell, he received a quirked brow and an expression that could be interpreted as “what the hell’s wrong with you?”
Dallas wondered that himself.
He dropped back onto the couch as if his legs suddenly gave out.
“You get that, I’ll get dinner,” Campbell mouthed on his way to the kitchen. Dallas drew out the ringing instrument, anticipating the name in the caller ID. Would it read Samuel Levi, M.D.? Or Dr. Samuel Levi?
Or maybe just Samuel? Sam? Although he hardly expected to see such a common sobriquet for such a complicated man.
None of the above. The name that displayed itself to Dallas’ irritated dismay was Quentin Mandrake.
Fuck. What could his ex possibly want of him now? How many times could one person break another’s heart?
His first inclination was to ignore the call. There was nothing he wanted or needed to hear from Quentin. Too late for apologies or explanations, and no real chance for forgiveness.
But then he realized that wasn’t quite true. There was something he wanted explained. He wanted to know why Quentin had been in Samuel’s office. And if the good doctor was not inclined to talk about it, perhaps Quentin might be more amenable to spilling the beans. Although Dallas was sure there’d be a price to pay for any information he received. If so, was it one he was willing to pay?
“Hello,” he finally answered in a flat tone. As if he didn’t know or care who was on the other end.
“Miss me, baby?” Quentin fairly purred in a voice that had once set Dallas’ senses aflame. Now he felt nothing but disgust for the man who’d betrayed him.
“I’m sorry, who is this?”
Quentin chuckled. Dallas hadn’t really expected him to fall for the subterfuge, but he’d tried. “I know you haven’t forgotten me so quickly, no matter what you try to tell yourself, Dallas. Admit it, you miss what we had, don’t you? Yearn for those exciting days of yesteryear. For the best sex of your life.”
Didn’t someone think he was all that and a bag of chips?
“Ho hum.” Dallas put as much indifference into his tone as he could, refusing to be drawn into a discussion of what was. And by what was he meant their now long gone sex life. “Is there a point to this call, Quentin? Seems like you’ve got it backward. You must be the one that’s missing what you used to have. You called me. Not the other way around.”
Another throaty chuckle. Dallas wished he could wrap his fingers around Quentin’s neck and throttle him until that annoying sound ceased forever. But that would solve nothing, would it, and only land him in hotter water than he was already in. With the court. And with Samuel, as well. Mostly his concern was what it would do to him and Samuel.
“Is that nurse an adequate substitute for me?” Quentin continued.
Dallas’ blood turned cold. What did he know of Campbell? Seemed like way too much for his taste. Samuel knew about Campbell, of course. Knew about everything in Dallas’ dull, dreary life. Was it possible... did this prove that he was in communications with Quentin? If so, why?
No, this proved nothing substantial, but it certainly gave Dallas food for thought.
“Does he fill the empty spaces? Hold you in the middle of the night when you come down with the frights?”
Dallas stiffened. Why did Quentin have to know all his weak spots, and be uncouth enough to use them against him? Having night terrors at his age wasn’t funny. That was a child’s malady, not a grown man’s. He’d never mentioned them to Campbell, didn’t see himself doing so.
Bad enough Samuel knew. At least he was nonjudgmental.
“What do you want?” Dallas skirted the question, shifting the phone from one hand to the other. He glanced at Oz, whose attention was focused on his figurines. Campbell was still in the kitchen, probably to afford Dallas more privacy. But this apartment was just so big, and Dallas knew he could hear everything on this end of the line. Couldn’t be helped.
“I thought we could do lunch together tomorrow. I have some free time, and since you’re not in school any more, I know you do too. How about I meet you at Chaucer’s? Say one o’clock? No, make that two. Let the lunch crowd die down. What do you say?”
What did he say?
His first thoughts began and ended with the phrase “Fuck you”. Followed by a ten minute tirade—no, make that thirty—on what a fucked-up person Quentin Mandrake was. What nerve he had, calling Dallas and expecting him to fall all over himself for the opportunity to see his lying cheating ass again?
Do lunch? Seriously?
Did he really think after what he’d done to Dallas that he merited such consideration?
But then Quentin’s next words caught and held his attention, and for a moment Dallas forgot to breathe.
“You stole my tart, you stole my heart.”
And Dallas was back in the courtroom again, amidst the clamor and confusion, the shouting and screaming, desperately trying to hold on... to Samuel.
Quentin knew. He knew about Wonderland. It was not a figment of his imagination. Maybe Quentin had answers he would share.
“I’ll be there.”
to be continued
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