Spirk (with a small dose of Pinto)

Fan Fiction and Personal Ramblings


October 2021

Flash Fic, October 13, 2021

Jim pulled at the flesh flaking off his face. It was itching like crazy. He knew he shouldn’t have let himself be talked into wearing so much make up and fake skin. Sure, he looked the part of a zombie, but he was completely uncomfortable and probably having some kind of allergic reaction besides.

The zombie contacts were killing his eyes, making them red. Which okay might be a nice effect for his costume, but he was miserable and his eyes were watering and making his make up run.

And don’t even get him started on the zombie wig. His head itched something awful and he’d began to wonder if it really was new and not used as the Halloween shop guy had claimed.

He had managed to secure himself a spot in the corner of the party, where he sipped lightly at a cocktail with a beating heart. Okay it was really just a cherry but that’s what the bartender had called the drink, the Beating Heart.

Jim was sorry he’d come. No one he’d been told would be there had shown up. The band, the Crimson Ghoulies, were pretty awful.


Jim rolled his eyes. Ever since he’d arrived partygoers had been coming up to him and yelling BRAINSSSS in his face. He was over it.

But when he glanced over at the latest one, it was someone else dressed in a zombie costume, fairly similar to his.

“Uh, yeah. Brains. Hungry for them.”

The other zombie stared blankly at him. He had his arms outstretched toward Jm.


“Yeah, brains. I get it. We’re both dressed like zombies.” Jim didn’t recognize the guy, but there were plenty of people at the party he didn’t know. He gestured with his thumb. “Bartender’s there in the back if you want to get a drink. I think he’s got one called Brains.”

The zombie guy continued to stand in front of Jim, his mouth hanging partway open. He smelled too, a bit like rotting flesh. Jim shivered.

“I think you’re taking the zombie thing a bit far, buddy.”


“Beat it, dude. I’m not interested.”

And as Jim was about to turn away and ignore the guy, a hooded figure came up behind him and shoved what looked like a Vulcan weapon straight through the middle of the guy. He collapsed at Jim’s feet, his now oozing flesh beginning to steam.

“Holy crap, what—”

The guy lowered his hood and looked calmly at Jim. “He was indeed a zombie.”


“I am Spock of Vulcan, a zombie slayer, if you will. Come with me.”


Spock sighed. “This area of Earth is about to be overrun with zombies. I have a ship that will take us away from Earth while the zombie apocalypse takes place. You will be safe with me.’ He paused. “Or would you prefer to take your chances with him?”

Jim looked down at the now disintegrating creature. “Oh my God. That’s so gross.”


He looked back up at the Vulcan. “You know my name?”

“I know everything about you. There is little time and you may wish to remove your costume. Come.”

“How’d you know I wasn’t a real zombie?” Jim asked, moving away from the corner where he was to follow Spock.

“As a slayer, I have the ability to distinguish them.”

“I still don’t understand—”

They got into the lift.

“Other than that guy, everyone else seemed normal.”

Spock nodded. “He is the start of it. Or is among those that are the beginning here in San Francisco. I would rather we leave and get you to safety before the city is overrun.”

“Me? Why?”

“You are…important to me. Once I have gotten you to safety, I will return to do my slayer duty.”


The lift opened and Spock grabbed Jim’s arm and tugged him out and down a corridor.  At the end of that was a door and he pulled Jim through.

A ship waited there.

A man Jim thought he had seen before in Starfleet stood outside the doors of the ship.

“You got him, then?”

“Yes, Mr. Scott.”

The door of the ship opened, and a tall, slim, dark skinned woman emerged. She smiled. “Thank goodness, Spock. You got your T’hy’la?”

“Yes, Nyota.”

Jim was brought on board and there were others there too.

Spock pointed. “There is the refresher. You can go in there to clean up. A change of clothes awaits you.”

“Spock, who are these people?”

“My crew. Other zombie slayers. Go, Jim. We are about to leave.”

Shaking his head, confused and a little wasted from alcohol, Jim went into the refresher to shower and remove all evidence of the costume. He ripped at the horrible contacts first.

He stared at himself in the mirror. His heart pounded hard in his chest as he felt movement under his feet. The ship was taking off.

“Well, Jim, you wanted excitement and adventure. Guess you’re about to get it.”

He got in the shower, closed his eyes and let the water wash away the grime of the make up. But then he opened them quickly. If there were zombies out there, he’d better be on his guard.

After he was finished and dressed in the clothes left for him, Jim exited the refresher.

Spock waited for him. “Teach me,” Jim said. “I want to learn to be a zombie slayer.”  

Photo by Daisy Anderson on

Flash Fic, October 11, 2021

“Do you hear that?” Jim’s steps faltered as he walked along the foggy path toward home. It had seemed a short trip when he left the restaurant.

“Hear what?” Beside him was his “date” he guessed. Gary Mitchell. Only Jim was definitely not feeling it.

“Sounded like…howling.”

Gary snorted. “Howling? Geez. I know it’s October but cut it out with the stupid shit, will you?”

Jim felt himself blush, but attempted to ignore Gary just the same. “It’s cold tonight.”

“I’d offer you my jacket, but you’re the dummy who didn’t bother to bring one.”

Jim’s jaw clenched. “It was warm today, I didn’t think about it.”

“That’s the thing, Jim. You don’t think.”

Jim stopped in front of Gary’s apartment building. “Okay. Here we are. See you.”

“What? You aren’t coming inside?”

“Why would I?”

Gary gave him a look like he thought Jim was a moron. Jim figured Gary was the moron for even imagining Jim would sleep with him.

“To finish our date.”

Jim laughed. “Our date is finished.”

“Fuck you, Kirk.”

“You wish. Get lost, Gary. Have a nice night.”

Jim began to walk away in the fog, leaving Gary behind as he headed in the direction of his own place.

He was less than a block away when he heard a man’s scream, followed by snarling and then another howl.

His heart picked up pace, beating hard in his chest. He didn’t care what Gary said, something was out there in the fog.      

Jim decided to run, feeling as though his life likely depended on it. He had only a few short blocks to go, but it felt like miles and the fog seemed endless. When he thought he could go no further, his apartment building was in sight. He ran up the stairs to the front glass doors and turned around, feeling like his heart was in his throat.

There was nothing there. No one seemed to be chasing him. And as he stood there, panting, the fog began to lift, and the area around the apartment building cleared and came fully into focus.

But he was not alone, because coming up the walkway was the Vulcan, Spock. A professor at the Academy that lived in the same Academy apartments as Jim did. He had to admit the Vulcan was insanely hot.

“Oh. Hello. Uh, Spock. Did-did you come from that way?”

Spock arched a brow. “Obviously.”

“Yeah.” He laughed nervously. “You hear anything?”

“Such as?” Spock joined Jim on the steps by the doors.

“A scream or-or howling.”

“I did not.”

“See anything?”

“It was most difficult to see clearly in the fog, Cadet. But it seems to be clearing. Shall we?” Spock reached past him and opened the door to the building. “You do look rather pale.”

“Yeah. Seems like my imagination freaked me out a bit.” Jim smiled and headed for the lift that would take him to his floor. Spock’s apartment was on the ground floor so required no lift. “Goodnight.”


In the morning, Jim was sipping coffee in the cafeteria when Bones appeared.

“Hey. Didn’t you have a date with Mitchell last night?” Bones asked, as he sits down.

Jim rolls his eyes. “If you could call it that. Big mistake. He’s a jerk.”

“Well, don’t think you’ll have to worry too much.”

“Huh? Why?”

Bones shrugged. “Mitchell has disappeared.”

Flash Fic, October 08, 2021

You are in luck! This one is not scary!

Photo by Monstera on

Leonard stopped his hover car in front of the Kirk farmhouse.

It was mid-October and the house was decorated for Autumn and Halloween with pumpkins, ghosts, black cats, leaves and witches. It made Leonard smile.

No matter what everyone thought of Jim, he could be entirely sentimental about such things.

The Enterprise crew was on an extended leave after the end of the five-year mission. Most had signed up for a second one, very few had not. Though Leonard had been dubious about going on another, Jim had wheedled him into with a…

“Bones, I need you.”

He’d already spent a month visiting with his daughter and he intended to go back once this task was over. He didn’t really know how he’d got roped into it, actually.

He got out and went up the steps to the front door. Along each step, Jim had placed pumpkins. At the top was a white one.

Leonard knocked and as it took a really long time for the door to be answered, he realized he had stupidly not let Jim know he was coming. Maybe Jim wasn’t even there.

But then finally the door opened and a bleary-eyed Jim stared out at him.


“Jim! You look like hell. You been sick?”

“What? No. Come in.” He held the door wide and Leonard noticed that save for the kitchen, there were no lights on in the house.

He looked fully at Jim for the first time.

Jim wore only a pair of pajama bottoms. His hair was askew. He had dark circles under his eyes and what looked like bite marks on his chest and neck.

“I’ve interrupted something, have I?” Leonard asked with a smirk.

Jim just gave him a look. “Coffee?”

“I don’t want to be any trouble.” He glanced at the stairs. “Is she up there? Let me guess. Orion.”

Jim snorted. “You’re always trouble. Coffee or not?”

He was already making a pot, so Leonard agreed.


“No. And he’s sleeping.”

“Wore him out, huh?”

“Something like that.”

Jim bent down and reached into the fridge. He took out half and half and a plastic box. “Pumpkin donuts.”

“You went all out.”

“Mm. These are a couple of days old, but they should still be good. I’m starving.”

Jim brought them to the table, poured two mugs of coffee and then sat down. Leonard joined him.

“Thought you were in Georgia.”

“I am.”

“I have something to tell you, Bones. This is Iowa.”

“Hardy har har. Think I want to be here? Bothering you on your leave? I was with Joanna.”


“M’Benga and Starfleet contacted me. The Vulcans are looking for Spock.”

Jim frowned. “Spock? Why? What’s wrong?”

“Guess there’s something going on with a lot of the surviving Vulcans. Many of the younger ones have been going into pre-mature…uh…there’s this thing. Called—”

“Pon Farr.”

“You know about it?”

“Spock mentioned it to me some time ago. At that time, he expected if he went through it, it would be with Uhura. He wasn’t sure as he’s only half Vulcan.”

“Right. So I guess they haven’t been able to reach him to find out if he’s having some of the symptoms. Because I’m CMO of the Enterprise they asked me to try to find him. He’s not on New Vulcan and Uhura hasn’t heard from him.”

Jim took a bite of a donut. “They’re not together.”

“I know. But I thought if he was desperate and he had no one else he might seek her out. Hasn’t though. I tried contacting you for the last few days but you haven’t been answering, so that’s why I came here.”

Jim winced. “Sorry, Bones. I’ve been, uh, busy.”

Leonard smirked. “So I know now. Some of the younger ones facing it have been having trouble mating and that’s why they want to check on Spock. See if he’s experiencing any of this.”

“Trouble mating? Like what?”

Leonard shrugged. “The urge is there but the equipment’s not working. They have medical personnel and healers working on it to save them. I doubt there’s—”

He stopped as he heard footsteps on the stairs.

“Jim? I woke and you were not—”

Leonard felt his eyes were about to pop out of their sockets.

Standing at the bottom step of the stairs was a naked Spock. He looked a bit dazed and flushed.

“Uh, yeah. Sorry, sweetheart. Bones arrived looking for you.”

Spock blinked in Jim’s direction, but he said nothing.

“I needed some food too. I’ll be right back. Go up to bed and I’ll be there in no time.”


“I promise, Spock. I’ll be right after you.”

Spock barely glanced at Leonard, but he nodded, gaze a little lovesick as he looked at Jim, but then he turned on his heels and went back up the stairs.

“You could have said he was here,” Leonard said sharply.

“I was protecting his privacy,” Jim murmured, sipping his coffee. “He’s, uh, in Pon Farr right now.”

“So I gathered. You and—”

“Yep. We’re bonded. And I gotta say, he’s had no trouble with his equipment.” Jim finished his coffee and donut and stood. “I really need to get back up there as it’s not over.”


“You can stay if you want, but I gotta warn you it might get loud.”

Leonard pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m torn. Part of me thinks I should stick around for it to be over so I can check you two lovebirds medically, but the other part of me can’t wait to get out of here. Either way, I’ll notify M’Benga and Starfleet and Vulcans that Spock’s fine.”

“Thanks.” Jim headed for the stairs. “If you decide to stay, there’s a room down here to the left of the stairs.”

“How much longer has he got?”

“Hell if I know. This is the end of day three. See you, Bones. Soon or not.” Jim chuckled and then made his way up the stairs, favoring one cheek as he did so.

Leonard sighed. He probably needed to get his medical bag out of his hover car and stay a few days.


Flash Fic, October 06, 2021

What is this place?

Jim stood before the stone structure. It was many stories high and had a large arch opening here at the base of it.

The Beast of Vulcan.

He’d come here seeking adventure after being bored for weeks. His mother had brought him to this planet while she worked there in a lab. Jim had been on Vulcan for three years now and had finished his education, near the top of the class, quite a feat for a Human.

He was old enough, now, to leave on his own and seek his own path in life, which he intended to do, but his mother had asked him to stay just a bit longer, and Jim was bored.

And he’d heard about this place.

A place where a legendary beast was hidden within. Or so the stories went. Some didn’t believe it and most never bothered to go there. Some that had were chased away. None had ever managed to get to the top where it was said the beast lived.

 Jim intended to do just that. With his backpack of survival supplies at the ready, Jim headed toward the arch, determined.

In the middle of the first floor was an old stone staircase. Jim had been told that this was once a mighty fortress, pre-Surak times. Jim climbed it, being careful to watch for weak spots, yet there were none.

The second floor seemed to be a series of old empty rooms devoid of furniture or anything. It was hauntingly lonely, Jim thought.

This time the stars to the next floor were on the side, so Jim made his way to the third floor. So far he had seen nothing nor had he been attacked, but he could hear the faint sounds of movement above him, on another floor.

“The beast?” he whispered.

Of course there was no answer and Jim expected none.

The third floor was similar to the second except there was an ancient table in one room. He also noticed far more evidence of insect activity. He found the stairs and went to the fourth floor. The sounds above grew louder and somehow for ominous.

Jim thought he heard low growling as he moved from room to room but he couldn’t see anything. He was grateful for the flash light he’d brought with him as there were no openings or windows on this floor and he’d be in darkness otherwise.

He was about to put his foot on the stairs to the fifth floor, Jim thought there were two more floors after that for a total of seven, when a hand suddenly grabbed his wrist.


“Jim, it is me.”

Jim turned, heart in throat, to stare at Spock. “Damn it, you scared the crap out of me.”

Spock gave him a disapproving look. “I followed you, for I knew you could only be up to no good.”

“Well. Not always.”

“Yes, always. Jim, this place is not safe, please leave with me.”

“But there’s only three more floors until I reach the beast.”

“The beast is merely an illogical legend. It does not exist.”

“I heard growling,” Jim suggested.

“Likely your stomach for you failed to eat this morning.”

Jim sighed. “But, Spock…no one’s ever gotten to the top.”

“It is a broken down old dwelling that could crumble under your feet at any time. I would like us to make it to Starfleet Academy in one piece.”

Jim let his words sink in. “Wait. You’re coming with me? But I thought the Vulcan Science Academy—”

“I turned them down in favor of Starfleet.” Spock paused. “And you.”

Jim smiled and leaned in to kiss his boyfriend. “Now that’s most excellent news.”

“Leave this place, Jim. If it is adventure you seek, we will surely find it together in Starfleet.”

Jim looked at the stairs going up regretfully. “All right. But it might have been fun. Beauty and the Beast, you know?”

“I suppose you are the beauty.” Spock directed him toward all the exits.

“Duh, of course.”

“I can find no illogic in that statement. You are singularly attractive.”

When they reached the ground floor, Jim switched off his flashlight.

“I am relieved,” Spock admitted.

“You aren’t afraid of the beast legend, are you, Spock?”

“Not truly, no. But there are tales within my family that one of my father’s brothers came here and never returned.”

They stepped outside and Jim saw that Spock was quite relieved.

“You really were worried about me going up there, weren’t you?”

“It is logical to be cautious and concerned where one’s mate is involved, Jim.”

Jim smiled. “All right. Let’s go home then. I am hungry.”

And as Jim and Spock walked away from the Beast’s lair, on the seventh floor, looking down, the Beast roared.

Photo by Pixabay on

Flash Fic, October 04, 2021

“This all seems like so much hocus pocus if you ask me.”

Jim gave his friend a wry look. “Pretty sure no one asked you, Bones.”

He stood, hands on hips, and looked up at what could surely only be a hologram or something of an old earth haunted house. This planet was nowhere near Earth and so Jim doubted it was authentic. He just wasn’t sure why the inhabitants of this planet would create such an illusion for their benefit.

“How come you didn’t bring Spock?” Bones asked pointedly.

“He doesn’t have to come along every time.”

Bones gazed at him. “He doesn’t?”

“No. He can stay up there and be commanding on the bridge.”

“And he made you mad again.”

“Shut up. He did not.”

Bones smirked. “Uh-huh.”

Jim looked around. “What happened to Ensign Monroe?”

“She was just here a moment ago.”

“Kirk to Monroe. Kirk to Monroe.”

Bones frowned. “I don’t like this.”

“Martin, did you see where Monroe went?”

Lieutenant Martin looked up from his tricorder. “Said something about going to investigate that structure, sir.”

“Damn. Why do people not listen to me? I didn’t say anything about going in there. Kirk to Enterprise.”

“Spock here, Captain.”

“Can you do a scan of the planet and see if you can locate Ensign Monroe?”

“Scanning now, Captain.”

Jim stook a step forward but Bones stopped him with a hand firmly on his arm.

“Don’t take another step, Jim. Look at the ground.”

Jim looked down and saw the ground bubbling up a strange greenish blue. “What the hell?”

“Acid of some kind, Jim. If you stepped in it—”

“Enterprise to Captain Kirk.”

“Go ahead, Spock.”

“No life signs for Ensign Monroe. The Enterprise is also experiencing…”

“Say again Spock?”

“If we do not…it is recommended…”

“Spock, you’re breaking up.”

“Jim, Martin’s gone.”

Jim turned and looked. “What?”

“Initiating emergency beam up.”

Jim saw Bones waver and then the sound of transport.

He and Bones appeared on the Enterprise.

Jim stepped down. “Spock, what’s going on?”

“The Enterprise is breaking up in the atmosphere of this hostile planet, Captain, if we don’t…”

The ship began to shake violently and the instruments in front of Jim in the transporter room exploded and began to burst into flames.

“Get us out of here—”

Jim sat up straight, heart racing, body covered in sweat. “Fuck.”

He was alone in his quarters, and it was still dark.

“Computer lights.”

Light lit his quarters which looked completely normal.  

“Kirk to Bridge.”

“Sulu here, Captain.”

“Status, Mister Sulu?”

“Normal, sir. Steady course to Starbase 4.”

Jim nodded. He had his hand on his heart. “Thanks. Kirk out.”

The door to his quarters opened and in walked Spock.

“You are awake.”

“Yeah. Dream. Nightmare.”

Spock came to the bed and sat beside him. “Do you wish to talk about it?”

Jim moistened his lips. “Weird planet. Spooky house. Enterprise exploded.”

“I am pleased to advise you that none of that was real,” Spock said, leaning close to kiss him.

“Done with your experiment?”

“For now.”

“Ensign Lilly Monroe.”


“Where is she assigned?”

“She was assigned to engineering, Jim.’


Spock paused, looking into Jim’s eyes, Jim didn’t know what he was looking for. “She disappeared on the planet Turtonian. Six months ago.”


“I was unaware you knew her.”

“Uh. Well, it’s good to know your crew.”

Spock inclined his head. “Lily Monroe was not assigned to the Enterprise, Jim. She was in engineering on the Reliant.” Spock kissed Jim’s forehead. “Do you think you can return to sleep? I can assist you.”

“I don’t know,” Jim admitted. He shook his head to clear it. “That was a strange dream.”

“I imagine. I will make you some tea then and you can sit up with me for a while.”

“Okay, thanks.”

Spock went to move away but Jim held on to his hand. Jim smiled a little.

“Just…give me a moment.”

Spock squeezed his hand. “Take all the time you need. I am here.”

But Jim could not shake the sense that something was still not right. He didn’t know what, though, and so he sat holding Spock’s hand for a long time.   

Flash Fic, October 01, 2021

And so begins October flashes and a new theme

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

It’s October and getting close to Halloween and Chris doesn’t know whose bright idea it was to watch horror movies. He’s not fond of them even though he was sort of in one if you counted Carriers.

Zach is here in LA for a very short time before he heads back to NYC and Chris can’t help but wish he’d move back to LA full-time. He understands the allure of New York to Zach, and Zach did grow up in the East, but still Chris prefers him living close.

After the last slasher film, one of three chosen by someone other than him, the others left. His buddies. He loves his friends. Everyone of them is precious to him. But he’s glad nevertheless it’s only him and Zach now.

Normally Zach rents a place from friends of his, a place with great views and an even greater pool, but he’s only in LA to film an hour guest appearance on a talk show, so this time he didn’t bother as he’s not staying, and though Zach had intended to get a hotel room, Chris talked him into staying here.

Chris goes into the kitchen to pour himself another glass of cabernet and he almost offers Zach some but remembers Zach stopped drinking. He’s been indulging himself all night, probably because all the films kind of terrified him. He briefly wonders if it’s wrong to drink in front of Zach, but Zach didn’t protest earlier, so he pours himself about three fingers worth.

“What are you doing?” Zach asks from Chris’ living room.

“Getting more wine.”

“Well, hurry up, will ya? Thought we were playing cards.”

At Chris’ suggestion they were going to play the silly game, Go Fish. He’s exhausted, honestly, but he also doesn’t want to go to bed because that would shorten his final hours with Zach, who’s flight is supposed to leave the next evening.

Chris did wonder why Zach didn’t protest more to the suggestion, but he wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

He stifled a yawn and was about to turn to leave the kitchen when something caught his gaze through the window. He jumped back, startled, spilling wine from his glass as he did so.


“What are you going on about, Pine?”

“There’s…there’s something outside.”


“Zach, I’m not—”

Zach steps into the kitchen, looking cool, breezy and gorgeous. Somehow despite the fact Zach is wearing sweats and a t-shirt just like Chris is, Chris feels schluppy next to him.

“What’s the drama?”

Chris points and moves toward Zach until his back is plastered against Zach’s chest. Surprisingly, Zach makes no move to put any distance between them.

Zach squints. He’s wearing glasses, but squints anyway. He’d recently complained that getting old meant no matter whether he wore contacts or glasses, it was still hard to see.


Chris points again, his hand shaking.

As Zach moves closer to the window, Chris shifts so that he is behind the other man, and well protected. His heart slams in his chest as he holds onto his friend.

Who bursts out laughing.

“The spider?”

“Y-Yeah. Biggest damn spider you ever seen.”

“Get real,” Zach chuckles. “That spider is tiny. I’ll give you that her web is kinda big. Want me to go out and get rid of it?”

“Would you?” Chris pleaded. “I mean what if that thing gets in the house?”

Zach smirks. “What if it does?”

“You’ve seen Arachnophobia, haven’t you?”

“I have though I’m pretty surprised you have given your fear of spiders.”

“An old girlfriend made me watch it,” he mutters.

“What we do for love.”

“Or sex,” they both say at the same time.

And Chris wants to smile, he does. But not before Zach takes care of the monster outside his window. He somewhat forcefully pushes Zach toward the back door.

Zach gives him one of his trademark sardonic looks and grabs the broom.

Chris holds his breath as Zach makes his way outside into the backyard outside the kitchen window. He covers his face with both hands, unable to look.

Zach screams, “It got me, it got me! Help!”

Eyes opening wide, Chris bolts to the door to save his friend, when he seems Zach simply standing in his backyard smirking at him, broom gripped in his left hand.

“You asshole!”

Zach laughs. “I’ve slayed the dragon, Pine.”

“Web and everything?”

“Yes. She’s a goner.” Zach comes back into the house and returns the broom from whence it came. After all he was a slayer.

“Thanks,” Chris whispers, feeling shy somehow.

“You’re welcome.” Zach’s teasing glint is gone from his eyes and he’s moved closer to Chris. “Need a hug?”

Chris simply nods and Zach’s arms come up and around him, pulling him close. Chris allows his nose to land right in Zach’s neck. He smells like strawberries and Chris has no idea why. He closes his eyes.

“You need a shave, Pine.”

He laughs, somewhat wetly. “Yeah.”

He pulls away but not out of Zach’s arms, and instead finds himself staring into Zach’s dark chocolate eyes.

“Do you have to go back to New York just yet?” he asks out of the blue. He can see Zach is surprised the question.

“Uh. Need me around to take care of more spiders?”

He nods again and this time Zach smiles a genuine smile, and it’s gorgeous and Chris’ heart flutters.

“Okay, sure. I can stay a little longer. Go Fish?”

And Chris knows it’s to break the intense mood between them. Part of him is relieved but another part, secreted, is disappointed. He pulls out of Zach’s arms and grabs up his wine glass.

“Sure, get ready to lose, Quinto.”

“You wish.”

And as they turn to leave the kitchen to return to the living room, Chris glances toward the window. The spider is gone.

My hero, he thinks. And takes Zach’s hand.

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