Home > Desperately Seeking Epic(11)

Desperately Seeking Epic(11)
B.N. Toler

“Oh my God,” Clara sighs. “Let me get Bowman and Larry to finish up in here.” Clara scurries off down the hall and Marcus and I move to the small couch by the entrance.

“She’s still wound up tight,” I comment as we sit.

“She has her reasons,” Marcus argues and my brows furrow. Is he defending her? That’s new. They hated one another when I left.

“Oh does she?” I ask sarcastically.

“Paul,” Marcus says, his gaze fixed on the wall. “You’ve been gone a long time.”

“And I’d still be gone if she hadn’t cut off my money,” I add.

Marcus snorts and shakes his head. “It was the only way to get you to come home.”

“And why did I need to come home?”

He places his little hands on his face and rubs hard a few times. “Because—”

“Marcus,” Clara calls, interrupting him as she gives him a pointed, wide-eyed look. “I think we need to get the van ready for our jump.”

I haven’t jumped in months and the idea of doing it again brings a small smile to my face. “Maybe I’ll jump, too.” I stand and begin to head toward the back, but just as I’m about to pass Clara she presses a firm hand to my chest, stopping me. Here we go. I knew as soon as I said I’d jump she’d throw a hissy about it.

“I’ll get you a suit,” she tells me. “You stay here.”

I stare at her as she heads back down the hall, blinking a few times, wondering what’s happening. She didn’t even bat an eye about me jumping.

“Okay.” I snort as I spin around back to Marcus. “What the hell is up with . . .” My sentence trails off when I realize Marcus is staring out the large front window into the parking lot where a couple of teenagers are pulling what looks like camera equipment out of a van. A pretty brunette in skinny jeans, a green shirt, and a black beanie motions her hand several times, indicating for the others to hurry up. Quickly, her two male friends gather everything and one slams the van door shut.

“Who is that?”

“I don’t know,” Marcus says, simply. Seconds later, the bubbly brunette breezes in, forgetting to hold the door for her friends.

She takes a slow look at the place, nodding to herself until her gaze lands on me. “Holy shit.” She gasps. Looking back to her friends that have just walked in, she squeals, “That’s him.” She points a tiny finger at me. “That’s Paul James.”

Both of the guys dart their stares at me, their eyes going wide when they realize it’s true. “No way,” the taller one with shaggy hair says.

The brunette beams a huge smile at me and I take a step back. What the fuck is going on here? “Mr. James, I’m Ashley King. I go to Redford High.” Then jabbing her thumb over her shoulder, pointing at her friends, she adds, “And this is Zane and Mills, my crew.” I’m confused. Why are kids from the local high school here?

“Yeah, how about you turn that camera off,” I tell the one she indicated as Zane, who is holding a camera on his shoulder, taping our conversation. Ashley looks to Zane and nods yes, telling him to do it. Zane rolls his eyes but drops the camera to his side.

“Turn it off,” I order him. With a grunt of protest, he turns it off.

“That a boy, Zane.” I applaud.

“Your name is really Zane?” Marcus questions, his hands on his hips as he gazes up at the trio, his expression stoic.

The one called Zane looks down, and his head rears back as if he’s only now just noticed Marcus. “Holy shit,” Zane exclaims. “You’re a midget.” Immediately, Ashley turns and smacks him on the back of his head. “Ouch,” he whines. Kids.

“You don’t call them that, Zane.” Then looking at Marcus, she smiles brightly. “They prefer to be called little people,” she adds.

“Or just people . . .” Marcus replies.

“I’m sorry about him,” Ashley continues, ignoring Marcus and Zane. “He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.”

“I’m sorry,” I intervene. “Ashley, is it?”

“Yes, Mr. James, and might I say I am a huge fan.” She steps toward me, reaching out a hand, but when I cross my arms she drops it. “We’ve watched every YouTube video of your stunts available. You are an amazing man.”

“And that would probably mean something to me if you were legal, hon, but seeing as how you’re not, let’s skip your mediocre attempt to appeal to my vanity. What do you want?” It’s been years since I’ve been recognized or interviewed. A large part of that probably has to do with the fact I’ve been living in other countries for the past twelve years, but that’s not all of it. My glory days are long gone, my legacy having faded.

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