In last week's episode of Dallas in Wonderland, we saw Dallas reluctantly meet his lying, cheating ex, Quentin Mandrake, for lunch at Chaucer's. Did he really just ask Dallas if he wanted to go back... there? Find out in this week's episode! Then see what the other Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!
Dallas in Wonderland II: Chapter Eight
Back there? Had Quentin really asked him that? He meant Wonderland, of course.
Come to think of it, he’d never answered Dallas’ original question, had misdirected him by going off on a tangent. Again. Avoidance—one of Quentin’s less endearing qualities.
Why did his ex have to be so damned enigmatic? No, scratch that. Crooked was a better word for what ailed him. A crooked snake in the grass who didn’t deserve to be the recipient of Dallas’ love. Too bad Dallas hadn’t seen through him sooner. Would have saved himself a buttload of heartache.
Unlike what he was going through now, the unwanted thought flashed through his mind.
Focus, Dallas. His thoughts were straying, and if he wasn’t careful Quentin would get one over on him somehow. He didn’t know how and didn’t want to find out.
“Go back where?” he asked cautiously.
“To a happier place,” Quentin replied in an infuriating voice that made Dallas just want to slap him. That didn’t tell him anything. Judging by Quentin’s warped devious mind, he could be referring to any number of places. Including his bed.
Before Dallas could delve further into the subject that was on the tip of his tongue, the waitress arrived with their lunch, an ill-timed interruption if ever there was one. Dallas fumed while she played up to Quentin. She set his order before him with great care while she almost dropped Dallas’ calzone into his lap. When she started to smooth Quentin’s napkin out for him, her hand venturing beneath the table, Dallas had had enough.
“You know he plays for the other team, right?” His words came out with a bit more venom than he’d intended. The girl jerked her head up, so fixated on Quentin she’d probably forgotten Dallas existed.
“Wh-what?” she stammered.
“I mean he likes hot dogs, not tacos,” Dallas continued, as if he were talking to a particularly slow child.
The waitress’ face was a close match for the tomato sauce on one of Chaucer’s pizzas. She opened and closed her mouth a few times before finally stumbling off, toward the kitchen.
“Tsk, tsk,” Quentin chided. “Well, if that isn’t a little case of mood poisoning... was it something you ate?”
He smirked broadly. “Or should I say someone?”
Dallas was not about to be buffaloed, not now. He’d come too far, and there was too much at stake to worry about the hurt feelings of one waitress who hadn’t had a chance in hell with his ex anyway. Quentin might flirt with the ladies, but when it came down to it, he was strictly all about the dicks.
He leaned across the table, deliberately dropping his voice to be inaudible to anyone but Quentin. What he was about to say could totally be interpreted as nuts by someone who didn’t know the truth. Someone who had never been there.
“How do you get into Wonderland?” he asked, locking his gaze onto Quentin’s, daring him with his eyes.
Quentin’s entire attitude screamed smug. He was too self-possessed for his own good, too in love with himself to let the outside world disturb him. “The usual way,” was his flippant reply, as Dallas swallowed a frustrated scream.
Suddenly, Quentin darted forward until his mouth was right next to Dallas’ ear. At the same time, he’d caught Dallas’ wrist in his grip and held it tightly. Dallas didn’t know if he intended to slam his hand down on the table or kiss it.
“I can help you get back there. Back to stay. With him. Isn’t that what you want? To be with Samuel?”
Dallas’ brain threatened to explode. Too much too quick. Was Quentin playing him? Teasing him? Torturing him?
Or offering to help him?
As Dallas debated, Quentin took advantage of his confusion to brush his lips softly across Dallas’, eliciting an unexpected moan.
“Wonderland can be yours,” he whispered. “All yours.”
“How?” Dallas’ voice sounded raspy. His breathing was far from under control and he felt tiny beads of sweat break out on his forehead, as if he were in the midst of some sort of attack.
But was it physical or psychological?
“How?” Dallas repeated, every nerve in his body on edge, as if his whole life depended on Quentin’s answer.
Because, it just might.
“It’s very simple,” Quentin began. His breath was warm in Dallas’ ear, and it sent shivers of the wrong sort up and down Dallas’ spine. He didn’t desire Quentin, only his words. Only his truth—for once.
He wanted to get back what he and Samuel had, and this time he wanted to keep it.
Suddenly the sound of shrieking violins erupted from the vicinity of Quentin’s pocket. It took the startled Dallas a few moments to recognize Danse Macabre. The music always reminded him of skeletons dancing upon someone’s grave.
A petulant expression crossed Quentin’s face. He abruptly released Dallas from his overly warm grip, and Dallas fell backwards. His chair tipped up onto its two back legs and he almost lost his balance, barely managing to keep himself from toppling to the floor.
Quentin pulled out what appeared to be the latest thing in cell phones and placed it to his lips. “Yes?” The word came out almost as a hiss.
“Of course not,” he said silkily. Dallas could hear nothing of the other end of the conversation, try as he might. He wanted to scream in frustration.
“But... but...” Quentin protested. Dallas had the feeling his ex was losing this argument, whatever it was.
“Yes, very well.” His eyes became unreadable as he rose from the table, pocketing the phone. “Another time,” he whispered before he bolted for the door.
Dallas glanced out the window at his retreating figure. Oh Lord, was that... did he see?
Samuel? What was going on?
It wasn’t until several minutes later that Dallas realized Quentin had just stuck him with the check. And an irate waitress.
Oh hell’s bells.
to be continued
Now check out what the other Briefers have done!