9/08/2015

Story Orgy Presents: Creature Feature Mum's the Word #malexmale #storyorgy #serial


Good morning friends and readers!
Sorry for the posting delay! Labor Day knocked me off track. Ready to see what's up with those letters? Me too!



Mum's the Word
Chapter Six
Sept 7: There were sirens.

There were sirens, loud and obnoxious blaring anxiously, coming closer. When the noise didn’t stop or fade, Owen guiltily shoved the letters back into their box and glanced around the room for a place to stash the box itself. Maybe Gregoire had realized what he’d done… that he’d taken the letters. Maybe he, like Izzy and Owen, knew that a collection of authentic, never before displayed Egyptian artifacts, with the letters proving provenance, would be a huge draw for the museum. 
Even when he’d swiped the box earlier that evening Owen had known that what he was doing was wrong. He didn’t trust the professor though. The discovery belonged to him, and to Izzy. Gregoire had made it clear he planned to take credit for any and all museum work. To him, Owen and Izzy were lackies… laborers. He had no respect for the fact that they were both trained scholars with hundreds of credit hours under their belts, months away from perfecting their dissertations. 
“It’s not stealing.” His conscience raised its invisible, snarky brow, prodding at him. “Okay, it is… but just temporary and only to make sure we get the credit we deserve.”
The sirens finally faded as he shoved the box under a UNC Wolves blanket that Izzy must have bought at some time in a fit of school spirit. Maybe one of the previous boyfriends had left it behind. 
Owen checked his watch at the thought of Izzy. He was supposed to have quit the lawn work at the nursing home by eight, and yet when Owen arrived home from his pizza delivery job- with an anchovy and mushroom pizza in hand- well past midnight, Izzy hadn’t been there. 
Thinking Izzy had stopped by the library to work on his dissertation, Owen had cued up The Walking Dead on Netflix and settled down to assiduously pluck salty fish bits off one half of the pizza. All the while, he’d been conscious of the box of letters, and the waiting for Izzy to get back had been killing him. 
The sirens were finally gone, but still Izzy hadn’t returned. The library was long closed. Where was Izzy? Maybe he’d gone for a drink? Met someone? 
Pushing away the thought that Izzy might not return home alone, Owen reached for the box again, and extracted the letters. He began arranging them in order by postage date, snapping shots with his tablet’s camera as he went. 
Finally a key scraped in the door lock. His head snapped up, tracking every movement of the door. Waiting…
It rocked open slowly, telegraphing Izzy’s tiredness before Owen caught a glimpse of his face. “Owen?” Izzy dropped a leather back pack on the floor and kicked the door shut behind him. “What are you doing still up?” HIs glance fell on the letters, the half empty pizza box, and the gory television show in rapid succession. “Uh…” 
“I wasn’t waiting up for you.” Owen defended himself swiftly. “I was just… documenting these letters.”
Izzy’s blue eyes widened. “Are those the letters?” He advanced into the room, threw himself onto the sofa. He seemed to shed tiredness like a snake does its skin, eyes sparkling, shoulders straightening. “And anchovies on the pizza? Awesome.” Izzy reached for a letter with one hand and a slice of pizza with the other. 
Owen snatched the letter back. “No. Eat first, then wash your hands. This paper… it’s old and …”
Izzy nodded. “I know. Sorry. Just forgot in all the excitement.” A cloud passed through his eyes. “How’d these get here?”
“I brought them, how’d you think?” Owen’s voice was harsher than he intended. 
Izzy stopped chewing pizza and stared at him, swallowing. “Professor Gregoire doesn’t know about this, does he?”
“No.” Owen lifted his chin, squared his jaw. “I didn’t tell him. I don’t want him taking credit for the discovery when we find it.”
“It’s not exactly fieldwork,” Izzy’s glance slid away, over Owen’s left shoulder, an expression on his face that was hard to read. “There is no “credit” involved except in the design and presentation of the displays.”
An inkling of something wrong snaked through Owen’s consciousness. “Izzy? Where have you been?”
“I met someone at the library. We went for a drink.”
“Did you tell them about the letters?” Owen demanded anxiously. 
“I may have,” Izzy drawled timidly. 
“Who?” The inkling became a tidal wave drowning Owen in emotions- anger, disappointment, fear. “Who did you tell, Izzy?”
“Micahn… uh Professor Gregoire. He was in the library…” Izzy trailed into silence, finally turning his head to meet Owen’s gaze again. “He asked if we’d found anything new today. I’m sorry, Owen. I didn’t know you wanted to…”
Gulping, stomach tensing painfully, Owen shook off the emotions stalling him. “Yeah… sorry. No. I didn’t say. Don’t worry about it.”
“Worry?” Now Izzy sounded angry. His eyes snapped, his body stiffened. “What if he fires us for stealing from the museum, Owen? You didn’t think of that did you?” 
Blinking furiously, taken off guard, Owen sat upright. “What?”
“You put our jobs at risk, Owen. We get our first paycheck next week, and now it just might be our last!” Izzy shoved the pizza box violently, sending it tumbling to the floor. 
“We have other jobs,” Owen protested feebly. 
“It’s not the same and you know it. Classroom experience, museum experience… these are things that will get us employed doing… archeology things.” He sputtered wordlessly for a moment. “I don’t want to prune shrubs and cut grass while elderly people of both genders ogle me for the rest of my life. Get real, Owen. This could get us kicked out of school, get our dissertations flunked…” He gave a frustrated humph, blowing thin locks of dark hair off his brow. 
Owen stood frozen, unable to answer because he had no answer. Not that Izzy gave him time to come up with one. His roommate stormed off down the hall to his bedroom. The slamming door left Owen in no doubt that his presence would not be welcome tonight. He sank back into the couch cushions and grimly picked up his tablet and began snapping shots of  each letter. 



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