Welcome back and good morning all!
Are you ready to rejoin CC and Mat? Me too! Writing these two is just so much fun.
My story is based on a prompt suggested by Cheri Taylor 1)Ability to magically manifest a giant pile of marshmallows 2) accidentally setting one's car on fire (on the inside) 3) a vegetable peeler.
Story Orgy Superheroes: A Man of Unusual Talent
May 4th: He was better than that.
“No! Oh Jesus…” Snapping from fantasy to reality as he choked on acrid smoke, CC slapped frantically at the spark, jumping back and shoving his finger in his mouth as it burned. The gray fabric of the passenger seat was blackening, turning a glowing orange. What seconds before had been a tiny dot of ash…the glowing cherry from the tip of his cigarette…was now well over the size of a quarter.
He’d have it cover it with duct tape…
The orange glow burst into a crackling flame and CC jumped. “Shit!”
The interior of the car was already smoky from his cigarette…but the synthetic fabric of the seats and the foam beneath where doubling that. What do I do now? CC dug around the bottom of the car hoping to find a half full water bottle to pour on the small flame.
His fingers tingled…heat welled up rapidly and…
Plop. He shoved aside a book without checking the title. Reached further back.
Plop. Contorting, CC peered into the emptiness of the back seat.
Plop. Panic rising, he turned back to the front...
“No.” He moaned softly…unable to stop either the rapidly growing flame or the…other…
“How could this happen?”
But he knew. The answer was, as it always was, it could happen because CC was book smart and real life stupid, and lacking in common sense. He’d been sitting in the parking lot at work, smoking a cigarette before his shift began, and as had happened more than once in the last week, he’d begun daydreaming about Mat Giraud.
His mind had been on those pretty blue eyes, the plump curve of his lower lip, the way Mat’s broad shoulders filled out that uniform… CC shuddered. Smoke was fogging the interior of the car. It clung in his nostrils and choked him.
Thinking about sex and Mat Giraud and he’d lost awareness of where he was and the cigarette…
Damn it. He had a water bottle in here, he knew it.
“Sir! Open the door! Are you all right?”
Shit. He became aware once again that his mind had wandered, and how that was even possible when he’d just set the interior of his car on fire he didn’t even know. Steeling his resolve, hoping no one would notice the mess, he rolled down the window. “I’m okay.” He looked up, way up, and his heart sank into his toes. Of course it was. “I’m okay Officer Giraud.” The object of his fantasies, the cause of his plight, stood looking down at him.
Mat’s eyes widened and he reached for the door, yanking at it. “CC… your car is on fire! Get out.”
“It’s no big deal.” He tried to sound nonchalant, but he could feel the heat of the flames growing next to him, could actually hear the fire crackle and snap. “I dropped a cigarette.” He explained as Mat succeeded in opening the door and dragged CC out of the car. “I’ve got a water bottle…I was just looking for it so I could put out the flame.” He continued lamely, as he stumbled into the trashcan from the force of Mat’s shove.
Mat pushed him away, and CC stood in silent misery as the man and another policeman, who could only be Mat’s brother…one of them, anyway, went into action dousing the interior of his car with a fire extinguisher.
His boss Deana and the other day shift clerk came out of the store and stared. People driving by on the road in front honked. Some slowed down and called insults out the windows of their cars before speeding off again.
Deana walked over to him, put an arm around his shoulders. “CC, honey, what happened?”
“I was looking for a water bottle to put out the fire,” he explained. “It was just a cigarette.”
“Are you okay? Do you want the day off? I can call in Freddie.”
“No. I’m fine.” He mumbled the answer, unwilling to admit that he needed the day’s pay more than ever. “I can work. I’ll be in as soon as…” He waved at the two cops and the small gathering of customers and on-lookers. “As soon as this is all over with.” Was he going to be arrested? Had he committed a crime? Was anyone going to notice the marshmallows?
“Okay honey.” Deana gathered her clerk and urged the customers into the store. “Come on y’all. Let’s let these folks take care of their business.”
CC could still feel eyes on him, but he didn’t look up.
“What happened CC? Were you making s’mores with your car lighter? There’s marshmallows all over.” Mat’s voice shook him. His features showed a dizzying mix of concern and amusement.
CC’s heart raced, he felt a little unsteady on his feet and clutched at the trash can behind him before forcing himself to stop cowering and stand up straight.
“What? No, that’s crazy.” He should have said yes. Lying would have been so much better than the truth. And making s'mores with his cigarette lighter was not even half as crazy as the truth. “I was…smoking.” He glanced over at his car where Mat’s brother stood shaking his head, a disgusted sneer lifting the corner of his lips. CC”s little car…the white Jetta he’d been driving since high school looked pathetic. White foam and debris spilled out the driver’s side door. Streaks of the flame retardant chemicals smeared the windows. His gaze zeroed in and got stuck on a fat white marshmallow lying on the pavement just in front of the door. “I just washed it.”
“I’m sorry. It’s not that bad. Just where the marshmallows burned. It’s sticky and… Anyway.” He stopped, and stood looking at CC.
CC fidgeted, let his gaze stray over Mat’s shoulder. The other cop was sitting in the patrol car now. “Um… Am I going to be arrested?”
“No. Nothing like that. I just…wanted to make sure you were all right.”
“I’m fine.” Embarrassed, humiliated, dying a little inside…but hey. His secret was safe and his car was functional, and…Mat’s eyes were so concerned and sweet.
“Are you sure? You want me to give you a lift home?”
CC glanced at the police cruiser again. Mat’s brother’s head was turned in their direction, his lips a slash of impatient red. “I have to work. Thanks for the offer.”
“I can come back when your shift ends.” Mat put a steadying hand on CC’s shoulder.
“Mat…I have to drive my own car home. I can’t leave it here.” CC jerked away from the touch, crashing against the trash can again.
“CC… Why are you being like this?”
His heart lurched. “Because this is who I am. And you’re who you are and…I have to go.” His anger was misplaced…he knew that, but his fingers were tingling again and his arm… Jesus where Mat’s hand had touched him his arm burned. What did that mean? Was he going to explode into a huge pile of marshmallow goo just… “See you around.”
“Right.” Mat’s lips pressed together tightly, his eyes narrowed. “I’ll come by and check on you before the end of my shift.”
“You don’t need to do that, Mat. I’m fine. The car will be fine. If I’m not going to be charged with anything…then I don't see the point.
The cop in the car honked, and Mat flipped him off. “You could be in shock. And I could need a Tony Stark/Ironman cup to go with my Thor one. See you later.”
“Are you done flirting? Can we go now?”
“Who is this guy anyway? He looks familiar.”
“CC? Collin Crane. He was two years after me in high school.” And had the most incredibly haunting green eyes…beautiful whispy brown hair that looked like it had been tossed by the wind. And he smelled like marshmallows, which reminded Mat of campouts… “He’s cute, don’t you think?”
Dillon scowled fiercely. “No, I don’t think. And you’d better hope Pop doesn't hear you talking like that.”
“He knows I’m gay, Dill.” Mat had come out directly after returning to his hometown after college, and it had gone over fairly well with almost everyone. His parents were supportive… Pop Giraud though…he had rolled his eyes and told Mat to keep his private life private if he knew what was good for him. It had seemed like sound advice at the time, given the conservative nature of their small town, but…
Driving into the next big city for a night out, not dating locally…it had grown old quickly. “I’m not going to hide who I am.”
“Neither am I, Mat. And I’m not saying you should. I’m just saying that discretion is a virtue. And that kid… He’s not discreet. Dating him would be like painting a big Gays R Us sign on your front door.”
Snorting, Mat punched his brother on the shoulder lightly. “Right. It’s not like he’s wearing drag and eyeliner.”
“No, but he’s got…one those little soft voices and he…look. If you put him in a room with fifty other men and said pick out the gay, he’d get the most votes.”
“Dill…quit being a dick.” Mat bit his lower lip and stared ahead through the windshield for a minute. They were heading into town. “Are we going back to the station for some reason?”
“Yeah. Got a call while you were chatting up pretty boy back there.”
“He is pretty, isn’t he?” Mat contemplated CC’s eyes, the deep green pools, his delicately colored cheeks…the way his rosy mouth seemed always to be pulled down in a frown. “I need to go back over there before our shift ends. What’s up at the station?”
CC Crane was just the type of person Mat had always been attracted to, the kind of man who needed someone to look out for him. Every time Mat saw him, he seemed so sad and lonely… It made Mat want to wrap him in his arms and ward off the world.
“Just a quick meeting about some bank robberies that have been happening in nearby towns. They’ve got a description of a couple suspects they want people to be on a watch for.” Dillon’s grip on the wheel tightened, and Mat could hear him grinding his teeth. “Mat…don’t.” Dillon’s voice was quiet and sober.
“Don’t what?” But he knew… Don’t fall in love. Don’t imagine there’s more than there is. Don’t be a romantic fool.
“Being a cop, joining the force, that’s how we do good in today’s society. Playing super heroes is a kid thing…you can’t save Collin Crane. There’s no arch enemy to defeat, and…”
“I’m not playing super heroes. I think he’s cute, I know he’s smart…” Mat bristled at the familiar lecture. Immediately he leaped to CC’s defense, and his own.
“He works in a convenience store.” The scorn in Dillon’s voice rankled. His brother twisted the steering wheel abruptly, drive into the station parking lot.
“He was reading a book on quantum physics last week.” Mat had been surprised when he caught that glimpse of CC’s reading material. “That’s over both your head and mine.”
“He set his own car on fire,” Dillon pointed out reasonably, shutting off the car engine. “That does not argue for intelligence.”
“That could happen to anyone. It was an accident. He was smoking.” Mat ignored the fact that he’d actually never heard of it happening to anyone else.
“He’s a slob. There were marshmallows all over his car.”
“I like marshmallows.” Or at least, he liked the way CC smelled of marshmallows.
To Be Continued