Revelry Island: Maintenance Men One – Chapter One (WIP)

cover for maintenance men one


Tapping endlessly on the screen wasn’t working. An error pops up. “No internet… ?” Raising my voice, I stretch just enough to get a glimpse of my host. “Leo, your internet is down.” I tap the screen a few more times, regardless. Glutton for punishment? Sometimes.

“No, I turned it off.” A glass of wine appears in front of me full of ice and fruit and bubbles from whatever extra he added to sweeten it.

Taking the glass, I swing my legs off the arm of the chair and sit properly. “Oh. Damn, I promised you movie night. I’m so sorry, Leo.”

He winks at me with a smug grin. “Why do you think I turned off the wifi?” Grabbing the remote, he turns on the projector, then stretches out on the chaise portion of his couch.

I get a better look at him, then stare at the wall across from us away from him. He’s pale, but a little green around the gills. I know the side effects of his treatment are starting to kick in again. It makes me feel guilty wallowing in my own problems when he’s literally fighting for his life.

“Leo, can I get you anything?” The hesitation in my voice is so obvious, I want to disappear into the cushions of the cuddle chair I’ve been claiming the past two weeks. Leo’s a fighter. A do-er. A mover and shaker. Seeing him go through this battle for the second time is more painful than the first.

“No, I’m good. Thank you. Shall we?” He hits play on the remote and the movie begins.

Snuggling back down into the cuddle chair, my fuzzy blanket wrapped around me, I try to pay attention to the movie. The movie is funny and one of our favorites. It’s both a soothing balm of comfort and an uplifting can-do story. It’s not long before I’m struggling to hold my eyes open, though. Before I know it, Leo is tucking me under the covers in the bed in his guest room.

“Dammit, Leo. I’m supposed to be taking care of you,” I mumble almost incoherently, trying to wake back up.

“Why can’t we just take care of each other and leave it at that?” He fixes a lock of hair gone astray and starts to leave.

“Wait, Leo…” I fight with the blankets at the bottom of the bed. I fucking hate hospital corners.

Laughing, he walks back over and yanks the comforter and sheet from under the mattress. “Sorry, I asked for the cleaning team not to do hospital corners, but sometimes it’s automatic.”

“It’s okay. I normally yank it out when I’m about to crawl in.” Able to move, I flip the corner of the blankets under my feet and get into my favorite position.

“Good night, Sav.” He hits the switch on his way out, turning off the overhead light.

“Good night, Leo.” I tap the lamp on the bedside table and close my eyes in hopes of a dreamless sleep.


Sound stabs into my brain, ricocheting inside my skull. Ringing, there’s a ringing phone. Grabbing for it, I hear it thud when it hits the floor. Groaning curses, I find it again and open my left eye just enough to see Leo’s smiling face on the screen. It’s not my phone. It’s got to be Evan pulling a damn prank on me. An alarm is probably set at the highest volume, but Leo called first.

“Leo, hey what’s up?” My voice is shot. Being dehydrated and too much alcohol will do that.

“Hey, Evan, you sound like you had a rough night. Should I call another time?” Leo sounded tired. I wondered why the hell he was up so early.

“Not Evan, man. It’s Owen. He left his damn phone here, probably with a loud as fuck alarm waiting to go off any second.” Slow as molasses, I sit up, the slit of my left eye focusing on a point. When I make it all the way to sitting up, nothing spins. Sighing in relief, I try to pay attention to Leo.

“I didn’t know you were back in town, man. When did you get back?”

“A week ago. I didn’t really have anywhere else to go, so here I am.” Pinching the bridge of my nose to help deal with the pounding in my head doesn’t do much. Squinting at the coffee table shows me a bottle of water and two pills sitting on a coaster. Evan might detest me being here, but this shows he cares. Gratefully, I pop the pills and put the bottle of water between my knees to open it.

“I’m glad you were the one who answered. I need a favor…” Leo drifted off and I could hear him speaking to someone else nearby. A sound of something sliding. “I need to hire you as an escort.”

Choking and spluttering from the drink of water, I clear my throat. “I’m sorry, what now?”

“Did you forget I helped you with your previous legal issues?” Leo laughs and then sighs. “I have a friend who just got out of a bad relationship who is staying with me. She’s amazing and beautiful and smart. I am trying to remind her of these things, but instead she’s stuck in wallowing mode.”

“Usually the clients come to me. How do you plan on telling her you hired an escort?” The shower shuts off in the bathroom and I hear Evan moving around on the other side of the wall behind me.

“I won’t. Text me so I have your number and we’ll go over the details.” I hear the same sliding noise again. It makes me think of a balcony door, and then the call clicks off.

Knowing Evan will be out here any moment, I type Leo’s number into my phone and send a ‘hey’ so he knows it’s me. I delete the call log and check the alarms on the phone. Sure as hell, he had one set to go off in a couple of minutes. I turn it off, then lay the phone on the coffee table and pick up my water.

The bathroom door opens and Evan pops his head around the corner. “Good, you’re up. Get cleaned up, you’re coming to work with me today. Time to earn your keep.” He tosses a shirt at me with the Maintenance Men logo embroidered on it.

“Yeah, sure, no problem.” Now I have to find a way to date some girl Leo is helping and work hard labor. Maybe coming home wasn’t a great idea. The quicker I earned some cash, the faster I’d be able to go.

After a cold shower, Evan used all the hot, I get dressed in jeans and the shirt Evan threw at me earlier. It’s orange and I feel trapped. Two more pills and another bottle of water, I’m as good as I’m going to get. Hopefully, Evan will let me sleep during the drive.

Author’s Note

Please know that this is not a finalized chapter. Everything here is a work in progress. Inspirational comments and questions are welcome. XoXo

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