Chapter 43: Bas

I could understand it when some of my clients checked up on me a lot, or had a real sense of urgency. Most of ‘em were worried about court dates or other time-sensitive type deals, but others…others just wanted something so bad they couldn’t leave it alone.

“Got my best guys on the case,” I promised over the phone. Again.

It wasn’t a lie…except I only had one guy. “Best by default” still counted, yeah?

The guy started showing up in person more and more, but I didn’t mind. My pops said it was like a sickness, back when he was trying to help Ma with her case–he couldn’t think about anything or anybody else. It wasn’t like that with me and my client, but I could tell he wanted answers bad.

And being a private eye was pretty lonely work. Guy could get kinda touchy-feely, but Daze was like that too.

“No dice on the old ButlerQuest dev,” I said. “Never replied to my emails. But I found a couple forums–one pretty dead, one a little less dead–with some old players. I can start asking around, find out if anyone remembers a Leonidas. Hell, the guy himself could be on there.”

“I’d like to find him as soon as possible,” my client said. “My little sister keeps trying to arrange a date for me.”

“Yours too?”

“Her coworker.”

I laughed. “Her roommate.”

Never thought I’d be grateful for workplace small talk, but it wasn’t so bad. But at least when I was alone, I could go back to wearing casual home office attire.

And as much as we vented about our families sometimes, I was always glad to help my sister out. She was house-sitting one weekend and asked me to drop off some stuff from the local farmers’ market at her apartment. Her roommate probably wouldn’t be there, but she told me to knock before letting myself in, just in case.

No one answered when I knocked, so I let myself in and set everything out on the counter…

And then got distracted when I met one of her roommates.

We’d never had pets growing up, living in a San Myshuno apartment with two parents who could work odd hours, but I liked animals just fine. They didn’t ask for much.

…And then I saw…her.

“I’ll gouge my eyes out,” I promised. “I swear I didn’t see anything.”

…Or maybe I hadn’t said that. Why would I promise to gouge out my eyes if I hadn’t seen anything? I couldn’t remember what I said, but I knew it had to have been the wrong thing. It always was.

Galatea Straud…I never thought I’d see her again. Or see so much of her. It was like she was…flaunting everything, even as I tried to keep control over myself…

I always thought she was really, really into hair dye. So either she was so into it that she dyed everything, or…

I tried to look at her face, if I made myself look at anything at all, but…

I’m only human.

And then she had to go talking about Daze… I knew she was lying about part of it, since I’d babysat her–shit, I’d babysat her–for all those years, but she was a Straud. Her dad…everybody knew what her dad did.

But to come into her apartment and accuse her of corrupting Daze for no reason…that was on me.

Money, she’d said, all those years ago, or sex. Was she showing off like that because she’d gotten into the industry too? And…had she gotten my sister into it alongside her?

Should I tell our parents, or respect my little sister as an adult and trust her to make her own decisions…? And what if I saw her–or both of them–online? Shit, Galatea Straud even managed to ruin lesbian porn for me forever.

After I escaped Daze’s apartment that day, I tried to put it all out of my head. I kept working on the butler case, scouring forums and posting in as many places as I could…

In between posting, checking my email, and waiting, I’d relax and watch whatever game was on.

I started channel-surfing during a commercial break.

Ma and Daisy’s favorite show was on–some old-timey romantic-type deal with fancy clothes they squealed over while Pops and I watched football.

I was about to switch back to the game when Rhys Straud’s name made me stop. There was an “exclusive preview” for his new show… Did my finger stop on the remote because of Daisy’s relationship to him–or Gal’s?

Chess and vampires. No reason for me to watch. Ma said everybody got vampires wrong anyhow.

But I wasn’t expecting genies

Holy shit. So she was acting–real acting, not…what I thought. If I’d known, and she hadn’t been naked, I would’ve congratulated her. She’d wanted to become an actress for as long as I’d known her, and I guess her dream came true.

If she was wearing something like that for work every day…

Maybe she was finally comfortable in her own skin. If only the rest of her personality had changed too.

…Why was I rewinding my DVR?

She wasn’t a porn star, asking guys to look at her like this. She was just an actress on another low-budget vampire show, probably hoping creeps didn’t upload pics of her feet to one of those celebrity foot fetish sites or stalk her while she tried to buy lady-products…

But I couldn’t stop rewinding, or even bring myself to mute her as she told me to shove a magic lamp up my <bleep>. (Maybe it’d be uncensored if it aired during primetime.)

You’re going straight to hell, I told myself, if you’re not already there.

…At least good news came later that day, when I got a really late reply back from that ButlerQuest dev.

Sounded like my emails had ended up in his spam folder–and when he found them, he wasn’t sure if he should get back to me, since it probably wasn’t completely legal to pass around old account info…

But neither was running an emulation of an old game, and he’d met his wife in an online game way back when, so he promised to look up “Leonidas” and send over whatever limited info he could.

I was tempted to call my client, tell him I had a lead…but when I finally got the name of the ButlerQuest account holder, I was glad I waited.

But I had nothing else to be glad about.

Isla Straud. Of course I recognized the name right away–and I knew it was probably just her name on the credit card used to pay for the game subscription.

…Which left her kids.

I wasn’t sure which was worse: my sister’s celebrity crush or her roommate. And wasn’t there a third Straud kid…? Pops would know.

And now I had a choice–tell my client the truth and keep digging, or let it go and say the trail had gone cold.

He was a good guy–an earnest guy, the way he professed his undying love to an internet stranger in front of a guy he’d just met. Gal would tear him to shreds and laugh in his face, and her hotshot actor brother…thanks to the internet, it didn’t take too long to find out what kind of guy he was.

Ignorance is bliss, or so they say…but was it really better to lie?

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13 thoughts on “Chapter 43: Bas

  1. Oh Bas… I think it’s so funny that he actually thinks Gal might have been telling the truth about her and Daisy! 😂 Surely he must remember how that girl can be haha

    He is definitely lusting after Gal, hard (pun maybe intended… 😉 ). I loved seeing the way he remembered things versus what actually happened haha But gah, that girl has gotta get her act together in the personality department for me to board this ship 😛 (unless we get FWB 2.0, but somehow that doesn’t feel like Bas’ style…)

    A huge clue to the Leonidas mystery has been revealed! 😮 He’d better not end up thinking it was Finn and then tell Benny that… oh dear… 😂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. He knows how Gal can be…but it’s been a while, and his brain(s?) is still processing other things. He did know she was lying about something, but not what.

      I wouldn’t want to inflict Gal on him–or anyone else–just yet either. She’s got a lot of shit to work through first. …But that’s not going to stop the lust, apparently. LOL.

      If Benny thought it was Finn…hmmm…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay…new ship. Dals! They look fucking GREAT together! 💋💋💋 Am I allowed this??

    But yeah..that was all in Bas’ twisted mind. He’s onto something…but what? Aaahhh! I don’t KNOW!!

    I guess I’ll defer to you, Ms. Author…I also have no idea what’s going on! 😱

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ROFL, I loved that shot of Gal and Daisy. Daisy especially looks so excited. “Yaaay, Gal is spanking me!” I know you’re not the only one to ship them. 😉

      LOL, Bas’s twisted mind. Well, the truth has to come out sometime…

      Like

  3. Bas rewinding the clips of Gal 😂😂😂 Candy bowls were obstructing the view…how dare you!

    Bas is going to think it was Finn! I wonder how Benny will take that piece of misinformation? Poor dude. Getting all touchy-feely with Bas.

    I have a confession…😳…I didn’t get the whole joke with the blue ‘pussy’ cat from last chapter until about a day later…I’m such a dork.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. LOL, I considered using more suggestive shots of Bas (that’s why it’s a 2-lobster thermidor warning when it probably deserves a 1–I originally had different shots in mind and forgot to change it), but I was like, Oh, people probably won’t want to see that, especially with 2 chapters in a row of naked or almost-naked people.

      Benny definitely seems to have taken a liking to Bas. And if he thinks it’s Finn…that won’t end well.

      ROFL, that’s hilarious about Turquoise Trash. It’s okay, you’re not alone! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  4. *_*
    I keep picking favorite characters, and then every new chapter I change my mind! I’m so glad Gal’s anger didn’t totally upset Bas, he’s too precious! I look forward to their next interaction.
    And poor Benny! It would be pretty wild if he ended up assuming Finn was his ButlerQuest True Love, but I wonder how good that scenario would even be for the poor guy. I hope Gal doesn’t end up ripping him to shreds, but at the same time maybe he needs a reality check, harsh or not.

    And yay! Cedric and Nettie!! I hope Daisy and Daya continue to enjoy their old-timey love-drama!
    Thank you for so much for that ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bas is a big boy. 😉 He was surprised, but he spent years with her, so he knows the drill. So glad you like him!! ❤

      A mixup wouldn't do Benny any favors…but Bas might keep his mouth shut. Might. But you're right that Benny totally does need a reality check–he's built up this unrealistic ideal of a person who doesn't exist.

      I love that shot of Cedric and Nettie. ❤ ❤ And I love your story!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. ROSE GARDEN SHOUT-OUT!!!!! 😀 Mine is one week from today, and is much more subtle, but it’s there! 😀

    Eeeee, poor Bas has to make a choice now. I don’t envy him, but seeing what he decides will definitely be a turning point, no matter what he does. I’m still rooting for our sweet little Benny!

    Liked by 2 people

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