Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: Love's Labors - A Crescent Bay Tale, Part I

Hello, hello, and happy Hump Day/Wednesday Briefs Day/April Fool's Day!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! Welcome to the Wednesday Briefers, a group of writers who enjoy writing flash fiction for your entertainment. Every week we write a tale, or continue a tale, between 500 and 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

This week, I am pausing my usual story, Don't Look Back, to have a little fun with some familiar characters, the men of Crescent Bay. I hope you enjoy their tale! Don't forget to check out the rest of the Briefers. Their links follow my story. Enjoy!

Love's Labor - A Crescent Bay Tale

“Damn, damn, damn!” Alexx doubled over, hugging his middle, as another sharp pain tore through him, threatening to rip him apart.

“I told you it was a bad idea to get up. Get back in that bed!” Miller gave Alexx a no-nonsense look, waving toward the large bed in the middle of the room. “Wow, I didn’t even know this kind of hospital room even existed. Leave it to Crescent Bay,” he muttered as he took Alexx’s arm and ushered him back to bed. “Guess this place is for the rich folks.”

“I want Raoul, where’s Raoul?” Alexx moaned, ignoring Miller’s commentary. True, this room resembled a high end hotel room rather than any sort of birthing room, but right now he didn’t care about that. He just cared about his husband, wanting him to be there.

“You know where he is, and he can’t help it. That’s what you get for going into labor on the night of the full moon. You think they’re gonna let a wolf in here? Sheesh!”

“I don’t care,” Alexx grumbled. The contraction had passed and he could breathe again. “He needs to be here. With me. With our child. Wouldn’t you be pissed if Holt didn’t show up for your child’s birth?”

Miller gently patted his swollen belly. “Well, Holt has his own issues, but naturally we’re going to have the baby where it’s safe for him to be, day or night.”

“Plus he has that sunscreen,” Alexx reminded him. “At least he can go out in the sun with that. There’s nothing that’s going to help Raoul not change.”

“No, that’s so true,” Miller agreed. “Speaking of Holt, he should be here soon, I just talked to him.”

“Goody for him.” Alexx pouted. “At least one of us will be happy.”

Miller rolled his eyes. “Hey, how about I get you some chocolate? Sounds like someone needs a heavy dose of feel-good medicine.”

“Yeah, yeah, that sounds great. I know they have vending machines here.” Alexx’s eyes lit up at the thought. “Bring me a candy bar or two. Um, the kind with the coconut. And nuts. Oh, and a cup of hot chocolate too. With whipped cream. And sprinkles.”

“Right away. I remember seeing the machine on this floor. Won’t take but a minute.” He turned to go, but his way was blocked by a tank in a nurse’s uniform. Her name tag read Dorothy. She did not look amused.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?”

“I-I-I…” Miller stuttered, apparently at a loss for words.

“Getting me food,” Alexx supplied helpfully.

“You’ll do no such thing.” She pushed a strong finger into Miller’s chest. “He’s going to have surgery, and he can have nothing on his stomach. Do you want him to aspirate and choke to death? Ice chips only.” She jammed a styrofoam cup into Miller’s chest. “Here. This is what he can have. Bon app├ętit.”

She pivoted and stormed toward the door, pausing only long enough to add, “I have my eye on you, so don’t try anything,” before she disappeared from view.

“That was one scary broad.” Miller looked down into the cup. “Ice chips,” he announced. “Better than  nothing, I guess.” He stirred them with a plastic spoon set into the cup. “Want me to feed them to you?”

“No!” Alexx wailed. “I want chocolate! And I want Raoul.” He drummed his fists against the mattress, and kicked his feet petulantly.

At that moment, Holt appeared in the doorway. “Everything okay here?” He looked between Alexx and Miller, even as he approached Miller, patting his swollen stomach gently. “How’s my little one?”

“Not so little anymore.” Miller chuckled. He jerked his thumb in Alexx’s direction. “He’s upset about Raoul not being here. I offered to get him chocolate, but Nurse Scary put the kibosh on that.”

“Oh dear, I’m sorry. Alexx, is there anything I can do? Anything else, I mean? We wouldn’t want to go against your nurse, now would we?”

“I. Just. Want. Raoul,” Alexx gritted out from clenched teeth. Suddenly he arched his back as a fresh contraction swept over him.

“Is the doctor coming?” Holt asked Miller. Miller curled up against him, purring contentedly, cradling their growing child between them.

“The call’s been placed. I think she’s on her way, but I don’t know from where.”

“With my luck, she’s a goddamned wolf, and she’s somewhere out there howling!’ Alexx screamed.

“We should probably get comfortable,” Holt suggested. He took Miller’s hand and led him to a large divan, then sat and placed Miller on his lap. “Looks like this might be a long night.”

Two agonizing hours later, the doctor bustled in. “Sorry,” she apologized, “just finished another delivery. How are we doing, Mr. Marchand?” She took Alexx’s wrist, feeling for his pulse.

“Ready to be done with this,” Alexx grumbled. He was between contractions and, for the moment, feeling no pain.

“It’ll be over soon enough,” she assured him. “We just need to make sure the baby is ready to come out and that you’re ready to deliver.” She glanced over at the couch. “Would one of you be the baby’s father?”

“Do either one of them look like a hairy wolf?” Alexx cried petulantly. “That’s my best friend Miller, and he’s having Holt’s baby. Holt’s a vampire. My husband isn’t here right now, where he should be!”

“Try not to excite yourself, Mr. Marchand.” The doctor’s voice never rose in volume or tone, maintaining an even professionalism. “I’m sure he’s on his way.”

“Actually, it’s the full moon,” Miller supplied helpfully. “He’s not exactly himself tonight. Holt and I are standing in until Raoul can get here.”

“He needs to be here, this is his fault!” Alexx screamed. “If he can’t be bothered to show up for his own child’s birth, then forget it. I’m not doing it either!”

“Uh, dude… you don’t exactly have a choice,” Miller pointed out.

Alexx screamed all the louder.

To be continued

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