Come Alive

Page 43

“Have you told her about me?” he asked. “I mean, what I am?”

My eyes nervously flitted over to Perry who was back to watching the DVD. “No,” I said carefully. “I haven’t. I was planning on it one day, when things calm down a bit here.”

“Good. I reckon she should know the truth. About everything.”

He was meaning the baby thing too, the holes in the Thin Veil. I had no plans to tell her that part, not for a long time. There were some things she just didn’t need to know. Not yet.

“Well, listen,” I started.

“Yeah, I should get going. Just wanted to see how you were holding up.”

“Almost fully healed. Back to full fucking capacity.”

“Now, I’m not sure if you mean the capacity to fuck or…you know what? I don’t want to know.”

“No, I don’t think you do.”

“Have you spoken to Jimmy yet…I haven’t called him.”

“We’ll be dealing with him soon. You just take of Rose. Give her our love, okay.”

“Will do.”

I was about to hang up the phone but quickly said, “Bye, ginger balls” at the last minute. Things were going back to normal.


It turns out that even though Maximus left us under noble circumstances, that didn’t mean that Jimmy saw it that way. In fact, Jimmy was right pissed off (though that was no surprise).

“I don’t fucking believe it,” he muttered into his hands. Perry and I were sitting across the table from him in his office. We’d decided we had to tear ourselves away from our marathon sex session to finally have the meeting and fill Jimmy in on what happened. I hadn’t given him the footage yet, wanting to torture him a bit with Maximus’s sudden departure from the Experiment in Terror team.

“Well, that’s the truth,” I said matter-of-factly. “He’s staying in New Orleans to look after his sick ex-girlfriend. Kind of fucking noble, if you ask me.”

“No one is fucking asking you, Dex,” he grunted, face still buried.

Perry and I exchanged a look. She didn’t even want to come to the office, saying we could just tell him over the phone, or at least I could go in by myself. I knew she was afraid of him, but I wanted to prove that we really were a team. And to be honest, I wanted to prove more than that.

But first things first.

“So, this is great,” he went on caustically. “All this sponsorship and we once again have nothing to show for it. Do you have any idea what this means? They won’t want to deal with Shownet again.”

“Who are the sponsors, anyway?” I asked out of curiosity.

He sighed, his breath fluttering the papers on his desk. “Enerbomb. An energy drink company.”

I snorted. “Well nothing says ghost-hunting like having a fucking cardiac arrest. Are you sure Jack Daniels wasn’t interested?”

He looked up at me sharply. I’d never seen his eyes so viper-like. His glasses should have been fogging up. “Is this the time to make jokes, Dex? You’ve ruined the show. You’ve ruined me.”

“Don’t be so dramatic,” I said pulling out the USB stick from my pocket and sliding it across the table. “Here. This is what we shot. You can show your Red Balls sponsors that.”

He picked it up like it was a wriggling insect.

I nodded at it. “Go ahead, take a look. We’ll sit here and wait.”

Jimmy shot me a wary look but did as I suggested. He put the USB into his laptop and went through it. Maximus had already picked out all the shots before we left NOLA, so it was easy putting it all together. It wasn’t everything, just cropped shots of the exterior of the house intersected with NOLA stock footage and Perry’s narration, then everything we’d shot in the interior, ending with the zombie coming after Perry. We ended it in a fade to black, fudging the truth a little and saying that Perry was attacked and then the zombie “ghost” just disappeared in front of our eyes. It was a little bit better than saying he was a real person who jumped out the window to his death for the second time. RIP, Tuffy G.

When he was done, he looked over at us in awe. Well, maybe “awe” was a slight exaggeration. But he looked more impressed than he did ten minutes ago.

He took off his glasses and rubbed at his eyes. “So,” he said slowly, “are you telling me that you finally got something amazing and the person who’s responsible for it is now gone?”

I grinned, knowing he would say that. “No. Because Perry and I have always had the power to make this amazing. I hate to say this but Maximus was good, he actually was, but it wasn’t him that made this work. It was the extra help. It was the extra camera. Just having someone else there. Perry and I, we’re too busy staying alive, we can’t be worrying about everything. An extra person on our team would make everything run a lot smoother. All the shows will be like the one we just showed you and your sponsors will be cracked out and happy.”

He squinted at me, not trusting a word I was saying. “Okay. So if you’re right about this, then who would the third person be?”

Perry spoke up, “Let us work on that tonight and get back to you about it.”

He directed his disbelieving gaze to her and to her credit she didn’t shrink in her seat as she usually did.

“What?” she added. “We have someone in mind, we just don’t want to say anything until it’s official.”

He grunted something. I took that moment to push the envelope further and I put my arm around Perry.

“Don’t worry about Jimmy, baby, it always takes him a while to come around.”

I smiled as I bit my lip and relaxed in my seat, enjoying the sight of his eyes widening as he put everything together.

“What the hell is this?” he asked.

I shrugged. “What is what?”

“You two are an item now?”

Perry and I exchanged a smile.

“Oh right, this,” I said. “Forgot you didn’t know.”

He was flabbergasted and pissed off, a very Jimmy-esque combo. “I didn’t know? Look, I don’t care who you’re with, Dex, but you do remember what happened with Wine Babes.”

“I left when it became boring and monotonous.”

“Well…I don’t know about that…” he said, taken aback.

“And didn’t Rebecca just quit?” In fact, Rebecca just told us that this morning when she came by to see how were holding up. The break up with Emily was one of the factors to Wine Babes demise, she just couldn’t handle it, but working with Jenn had got to be too much, too. I couldn’t blame her one bit. I’d been there. “Actually, at this moment, doesn’t Wine Babes not exist anymore?”

He grunted, eyes studying the papers in front of him. “What’s your point, Dex?”

“Everything happens for a reason,” I said, getting to my feet. “Experiment in Terror might be the show to bring Shownet out of the ground.”

He looked at me sharply. I remembered what Seb and Dean had told me the other week, that even they had gotten the talking to about dwindling hits and numbers and their stoner show cost nothing to make. Perry and I had discussed that no matter what Jimmy said, we’d be okay. That we’d go out on our own and do our own thing and make our own damn show if that’s what we wanted to do. But even though Jimmy was a giant pain in the ass and the biggest thorn in my side (now that Maximus was in Louisiana, anyway), Shownet was where I got my start, it’s what brought Perry and I together, and if I could save the show and possibly save the site, then that’s what we’d do. It would almost be damn near poetic.

And I wanted to make sure it was on my terms. Mine and Perry’s relationship would never come into question. Our motives for filming a show or not filming a show wouldn’t either. We wanted to hold the reins this time. We wanted all the control and considering the risks we took for the show, I’d say we deserved it.

Of course, Jimmy didn’t look like he believed a word I was saying. It didn’t matter. Tonight we’d have our answer.


“To threesomes,” I said, raising my jug of beer in the air.

We were sitting in a tapas bar in Pioneer Square, the rain falling steadily outside. Rebecca and Perry were across from me, my two favorite women, and we were making a toast. Not to my boyish sexual fantasies but to our future.

Our plan was in effect. We had just asked Rebecca to become the third member of Experiment in Terror and she’d gleefully accepted. Now that Maximus was staying behind in NOLA and taking care of Rose, we realized that it really was worth it to have someone else on the team with us. Someone to organize shit and film when we needed an extra hand. She wouldn’t be on camera, even though Perry asked her to, but she’d make sure everything was running smoothly. And we knew Jimmy loved Rebecca and wanted to use her in any way he could. With Wine Babes kaput, he’d be happy to know that Rebecca was still with the Shownet team.

Meanwhile, Jenn could go fuck herself. But that was neither here nor there.

“To threesomes,” Rebecca and Perry said in unison and the three of us clinked our mugs together. We chugged it down and then waved over the waitress for another round.

Rebecca dabbed at her red lips with a napkin. “So where is our first adventure?”

“It ain’t Napa Valley, baby,” I told her. “So you can forget the wine and macaroni and cheese.”

She grinned. “Good. I was so sick of that bloody shit. I never want to drink another glass of wine again. A pint of ale is all there is for me, now and for good.”

“All these years in the states, and you still speak funny,” I teased her, sitting back in the booth. The bar was crowded, everyone having a good time, and it felt fucking good to have my favorite people around me. Cold and wet outside, dry and warm inside. A perfect Seattle night.

“Ha ha,” Rebecca said, shooting me her patented dirty look, made more vicious by her thick eyeliner.

Perry smiled. “We don’t know where we’re going yet. But that’s something you can look into. Start searching around the web to see if there are some paranormal hotspots or new hauntings. No matter how implausible it sounds, flag it and we can all look into it together. Go from there.”

I squeezed her knee under the table. I loved seeing her take charge. It was about time.

A Foo Fighters song came on in the bar and Rebecca got up. “Care to dance with me, Dex?” she asked, batting her eyes. She looked to Perry. “You’re next, by the way.”

Perry grinned and sipped back her beer. She swatted at my ass as Rebecca pulled me to the floor. “You better not turn her straight,” she warned me.

“Baby,” I said raising my arms out to the side of me, “if I haven’t made her want cock at this point, you know she’s muff for life.”

Perry laughed and rolled her eyes while Rebecca hissed, “Dex!” in my ear, continuing to pull me backward until I was surrounded by a bunch of collegiate drunk idiots trying to both dance and rock out to Dave Grohl.

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