Good things come in threes, so this will be the last Guest chapter for a bit. But with it I bring some good news. Thanks to a very talented editor, Two Destroyers will be in a publishable state soon, end of this year soon. For those unfamiliar with the namesake of the blog, check out my other pages to see info and early chapters.
Beat D-6 — Temptation
The dining room of the Hoigleheimer house had a long history of accommodating a myriad of people. Today had been no exception. Dr. Jocelyn and Trixie became fast friends over dinner, relating to their difficulties over the last year, and offered stolen looks at Lloyd and Matt.
Both boys responded similarly, peeking up from their steaks and ‘potatoes’ (that were lovingly shaped cubes of meat seared with care). Nothing less from Patton Hoigleheimer, cooking was in his blood. In regards to Matt himself, a rift sat between Lloyd and him.
There was no doubt that like Lloyd; Matthew Heiber had a greater appreciation for the female form. But he treated him as a threat, competition for the affections to Dr. Jocelyn. Jay treated the gathering with decided apathy, similar to JP’s usual method minus the air of contempt.
“Lloyd. You got a minute?” Matt stood up from the table.
“Of course.” Lloyd stood as well. “We can talk in the foyer if you’d like.”
Joyce looked up from her conversation with Trixie and gave him a nod, making no move to stop him. Jay gave JP a precursory elbow, and jabbed a thumb in the opposite direction.
Matt settled against the wall of the foyer, wearing a grim expression.
Some important hero business no doubt, perhaps I’ve earned his trust already. Lloyd gave one final glance to the dining table and closed the door on his way out.
“Lloyd. We need to establish a truce.”
“A truce? I hadn’t realized we were at war.” Lloyd smiled. “We have similar tastes so—“
“Hands off Joyce, she’s mine.” Matt narrowed his eyes. “You can look all you want, but I know a kindred spirit when I see one.”
“So it comes to this, huh?” Lloyd chuckled. “I’ve never actually had a Rival before. Not truly I mean.”
“Don’t get full of yourself. You’re not my rival, just in the way.” Matt pushed away from the wall, giving Lloyd a shove. “I want to make an agreement with you, just because Jay tells me you can make it happen.”
“What sort of agreement?” Lloyd’s curiosity piqued. “The truce you spoke of, along with kindred spirits, you share my vision don’t you?”
“Yeah.” Matt nodded. “You want a Harem right? But not just any Harem, quality over quantity right?”
“Of course.” Lloyd’s eyes lit up. “Not that all women aren’t entitled to happiness, but I have my particular tastes. It will be a challenge to respect your request regarding the lovely Dr. Jocelyn, but I will comply.”
“Good. So I’ll let you in on the secret.” Matt drew closer. “Why do you think we’re here? Why do you think we just recruited you rather than getting rid of you? Any of those questions ring a bell?”
“Well other than my dazzling personality? I haven’t a clue.”
“Don’t be an idiot. We need you because your talents are more in line with the ‘threat’. Something is putting out a signal we were able to pick up on. But the thing is, the signal isn’t like radio or a satellite signal. It’s like brainwaves.” Matt twirled a finger in the air. “Signals that can tell people what to do. When to do it. We’re here to stop it. Well… that’s the plan.”
“That sounds diabolical.” Lloyd eyes grew wide. “The work of some nefarious villain no doubt.”
“We can’t be sure.” Matt shrugged a shoulder. “It also might be some bozo playing around with a machine that makes bread. Most of this stuff we find are just accidental signals, but this one is focused and strong. But here’s the part where I tell you my plan.”
“You mean the plan of your group?”
“No. I mean mine. Jay is in on it too… but if Joyce caught on it would be bad.” Matt glanced to the door. “Jay should be keeping an eye on your brother, and he’ll have to tamper with the listening devices.”
“Oh. Of course. We should take the conversation outside then.” Lloyd placed a hand on the front door.
“No. Too suspicious.” Matt reached to the wall, shadow pooled against it. He reached forward moving his hand against and through. “If we needed privacy I could give it. But Joyce would pick up on me using that much of my power. Instead, we do this Jay’s way. If your brother is problematic, he might have to make him lose the relevance of the ploy.”
“What? You’re going to harm my brother?” Lloyd was taken aback. “I thought you were heroes?”
“Not harm. Jay can make people stop caring about select things. It’s better than forgetting. If there’s a cloud of apathy about something you know, the details aren’t gone, they don’t matter.” Matt wagged a finger. “Say we just made him forget an important detail. If someone said something that could trigger the memory it would jump start. With Jay’s power they simply feel the information is so unimportant he can’t be pushed to reveal it.”
“That sounds handy, if not somewhat questionable from an ethics standpoint.” Lloyd rubbed his chin. “And your powers, shadow manipulation? That sounds extremely useful for getting into difficult places at just the right times.”
“You have no idea.” Matt wore a sly smile. “I like to call it recruiting for my future endeavors. You’d probably like it where I live. Keri is a bit of a forbidden fruit, but Sam is smoking hot too. She’s our age.”
“Nothing wrong with that.” Lloyd shook his head. “But you mentioned a favor?”
“Oh. Right. I think with your help we can capture the thing putting out that signal and put it to good use. You know, without it becoming a mass mind control device that brings humanity to its knees.” Matt waved a dismissive hand. “But if we can get you to use it…”
“I’m sorry. I don’t follow you.”
“Auditions man, Auditions.” Matt planted his hands on Lloyd’s shoulders. “Jay told me about the stage. He might look like your stick in the mud brother, but he knows the truth. He can appreciate our vision, he just lacks the drive. I need a director, and you’re it.”
“Auditions? You mean THAT stage?” Lloyd folded his arms tracing across the familiar ceiling of his Foyer. There were details he didn’t understand regarding his power and the mysterious audition theater it was built around.
“Joyce doesn’t remember the details… but Jay was able to sneak in.” Matt gave his shoulders a squeeze. “So that means that theater must have a pretty big capacity. Imagine it full of beautiful women, itching to get in on your dream. With that device… we can make it a reality.”
Lloyd’s eyes grew wide with realization. Matt was right. It wasn’t a matter of unscrupulous treachery. It was about range. The biggest flaw of his power was that he needed to be next to said beauties and the capacity was limited to the moment of triggering.
A devious smile came to Lloyd’s lips.
“So I take it you’re interested.” Matt smirked. “It’s the perfect plan. We stop the mad-man, or woman whatever… and use the device to make or dreams reality. So are you in?”
Lloyd’s settled his gaze on Matt’s outstretched hand, a light fluttering sensation danced in his stomach. The dream of a Harem seemed lofty and unattainable, but now through this seemingly legitimate means it could be a reality. It would still take days or even months to finish the auditions. Matt’s passion matched his own though, so he would have help. The only contingency, the exception to the rule was but one woman, one particularly stunning woman that would never take part in his personal entourage.
Lloyd slipped his hand into Matt’s and shook. Bargain Struck.