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04 November 2017 @ 10:26 am
_Nowhere Man_ part 6  
 

“Err, none of you were dating Frankie, were you?” Eldon eyed his plain, black coffee dubiously. It wasn’t good enough to have cost so much. Not to mention what he’d paid for the ladies' lattes and mochas.

Emilia Edit, Lakisha Down, and Lisa Woolford. Three gorgeous gals. Emilia and Lakisha glared at each other.

Lisa snickered. “They’ve been fighting over him for months, now. Heaven knows why. I don’t go for the Bad Boys, myself. Now cuties like you . . .” She smiled, showing off brilliantly white and completely fake teeth.

Eldon blinked, a bit taken aback. This wasn’t the first world he’d been in that had tooth problems, but Lisa was the youngest person he’d met yet who’d lost all of them.

“He was mine.” Lakisha glared.

Lisa rolled her eyes. “Frankie married three times and has six children, one of them by a non-wife who was taking him for twice what the exes get per kid. I don’t know how the man managed to pay his own rent, but idiots still chased him.” She smiled nicely across the table. At least the smile appeared to be nice. The glint in her eyes was pure trouble maker.

“Three wives and an extra? Busy fellow.”

All three women burst into laughter.

Lakisha shook her head, a rueful smile dawned. “That man never had fewer than three women on the hook at a time. How his three ex-wives managed to get him to the altar, I dunno.”

“His first marriage lasted eight years. Three babies.” Emilia looked a bit wistful. “Then when ‘Ambushed’ topped all the charts, everyone thought he was the next superstar. Women hanging all over him. Marianne gave him an ultimatum, and he took door number two with all the starlets behind it.”

Lisa looked over in surprise. “You know his first wife?”

“She’s a neighbor of my mom’s. I baby sat his kids, now and then.” Emilia scowled. “I shouldn’t have even dated him, but when he turned on the charm . . .”

“He must have been looking forward to this film, all the big names.” Eldon prodded.

“Yeah, it was another chance. If the movie did well he could get a grip on his finances. He drank. Spent money stupidly, then had to pay all that child support.”

Lakisha rotated her paper cup of overpriced coffee. “Nobody killed him for his money, you can bet on that.”

Eldon grinned. “Jealousy sounds like a good bet. Either of you two have another lover on the side?”

Wide eyes and startled glances between the two.

“No one in town.” Lakisah shrugged. “Or state. I left that all behind me when I left Seattle.”

Emilia sighed. “No one. I was looking for someone special. Someone who would stick around.” Vertical lines sprang up between her eyes. “I can’t believe I was so stupid.”

Lisa and Lakisah traded looks and rolled eyes.

“Maybe.” Lisa tried to look innocent. “Your father killed him.”

Emilia glowered. “Very funny.” She sipped her mocha, made a face. “Time to get back, anyway.”

Eldon trailed along behind them. So, his love life was shallow and pathetic, and he had no money. Maybe he was hit by accident, and the driver panicked, tried to hide it all.

***

Eva looked him up and down and shook her head. “Now why would a good looking young man like you want blonde hair?”

Eldon looked at her uncertainly. Looked at Pat. "You warned her about my hair?"

Pat just grinned. "If you're brave enough to tell her you dyed your hair, go right ahead."

Eva sniffed. "Bleached it blonde, I hear. At least you came to your senses and changed it back. And while you're improving your appearance, you should put some work in on that poor suburban of yours. It's a disgrace."

"Your shocks are shot, and you ought to have someone look at the wheel bearings. I think it rolls on sheer will power." Pat grinned. "You want me to show you what a wheel bearing is?"

"I know what a wheel bearing is." Eldon tried for dignity. Gave up. "Now, how do you get to them?"

It did ride a lot better with the new bearings and shocks. He flattened the dents and Pat masked it for painting.

Eldon insisted on white, but Pat snuck in something pearly and when Eldon wasn’t looking, added some strips of black and shiny plastic down each side. It looked pretty damn fine by Monday morning.

The other actors joked about his new image.

They were fine ones to talk, especially after the makeup people and costumers got done with them. "So, are these authentic Atlantean styles?" Eldon eyed the Old Hag next to him.

The Old Hag, Katy Marcel by name, cackled and elbowed him.

The lead character of the story, the elder of the two archeologists, was played by an aging superstar, who insisted everyone call him G. He sat down on her other side. "I don't like being shown up by these youngsters. I need a more active part."

Eldon leaned forward and eyed the pair of them. "They never did explain where they got the whatsit. Maybe you followed the Old Hag down to their holiest spot?"

Katy cackled again. "Can I discover him, and take advantage of him?"

Jacob turned and frowned at the three of them, tapping his foot.

G. grinned at the foot tapping. "It would be my pleasure to be ravished by such a famous beauty."

Jacob snorted. "I'll find the script writer. We may have to have a young pretty apprentice along who also ravishes you."

"The American audience has no tastes." G. edged closed to Katy. "My heart belongs to you."

Katy cackled. "Your heart is up here. That part down there belongs to anything female within reach, so don't try anything with me, sonny boy."

Eldon left them to their mutual flirting and watched with interest as G.'s new scene was woven into the story line.

"Do you always have so many changes when you're already filming?"

Jacob arched an eyebrow. "Most of the changes come when we start assembling all the scenes. Some things never make the cut. This may be one of them."

"Huh."

Cleverly shaped and painted panels of plastic created the cave for the big fight scene. Bits and pieces served for a side passage G snuck down. Fancy lighting to augment the flaming torches, lots of miscellaneous props and G., Katy, and a young woman under so much makeup he wasn't sure which one she was, staged a hallucinatory/risqué scene with plenty of flesh showing. G. escaped, grabbing the sacred object as an earthquake collapsed the tunnel and sends the women scurrying off the other direction. G. looked pretty smug as Eldon, Jack and Kris merely fought each other.

Chapter Five

Eldon wandered outside with most of the cast, noting who drove what cars. The four men who might have expected to step into Frankie’s shoes (disgusting phrase, that) had diverse tastes in what they drove. Christian Kleckner gave him a finger gesture from his silver jaguar. Havier Matheson’s red Camero drifted his direction. Havier grinned as Eldon stepped back to give him extra room. Damien Green was conservative, with a black BMW. Felipe Caesar had a bright yellow with black trim Hummer. They both glared at him as they drove past.

“I don’t think they like you.”

Eldon turned; the two cops were back. “I know they don’t like me. They seem to be the only people who might have expected to benefit from Frankie’s murder.”

The younger one eyed him. “We’ve been talking to the ex-wives. They all knew he was hard up for money, they wouldn’t kill him. They’ve all lost their child support payments. The first wife had a small life insurance policy on him, but not enough to offset the loss of monthly payments.. The others, nothing. So you are the only one who actually benefitted.”

Eldon boggled a bit. Right. Emilia had said something about the exes losing all the child support. Money. Of course, a society like this, with all the jobs out of the house, a baby, a child, is a handicap to a single woman trying to work. So if the husband leaves, he still has to send money to help. Eldon looked back at his own childhood. He’d known who his father was. Everyone except the young women shunned him, as he’d fathered a number of children on various women. But between family help, a garden, hiring out during harvesting and such they hadn’t starved. And Eldon had worked and hunted from a young age . . . gone off to wizard’s school, run with the wrong gang, and found himself accused along with them of crimes of which he had no knowledge. Use the brain you were born with, if it has survived this far, and don’t get anyone pregnant. Because when the Dimension Cops track you down, you’ll have to abandon any children in this cold mechanical world. And what would they do when their magical talents sprouted?

“Yeah. I’ll have a talk with Jacob, about the scenes Frankie shot. There may be some income from that, for the kids.” Eldon frowned, and stepped hard on an impulse to give all his money away.

“Feel responsible, do you?” Hildebrandt eyed him. “What the hell made you pick Harlem Brown’s ID?”

“Brown was a nice, common, ordinary sort of name.” Oops, I really shouldn’t say things like that. Especially not to the police.

“Yeah. Right. Now, we could run you into the station just on the basis of the fake ID. Or, you could let us take your fingerprints and a cheek swab right here. We’ll check you out, and if you aren’t a wanted criminal, well, we just don’t bother with ID fraud until it involves stealing money as well.”

Eldon scowled. “What is a cheek swab? Sounds nasty.”

“We run a swab around the inside of your cheek, and analyze your DNA. Check it against the national database.”

Eldon snickered. “Oh, yeah, you’ll love those results.” Or maybe their tests are too primitive to show all the genetic engineering. If I’m lucky. Otherwise some damned scientist is going to want to put me under a microscope. He shrugged. “What the heck. Bring on the swab.”

Chapter Six

"Eldon? You take your mares away yet?" Jack trotted up as Eldon turned toward him. The parking lot was baking hot. "They're making a documentary, 'The Making of a Legend' sort of thing. I figure we could do something at my place, with all the horses. Show the cast all buddy-buddy and afternoon partying together."

"Sure, no problem. I haven't moved them yet, and I checked my notes, they've got another month before they foal." Mainly because I haven't let them out of their bubbles all last month. Gotta find a nice spot for them to foal.

He bought saddles for the other two, but harnessed all four to the wagon, bubbled them and drove the SUV up to the mansion. He hadn't seen the grounds before. He strolled around, checking out the big riding arena, the small stable where Jack apparently did not keep a horse full time, devoid as it was of hay or grain, not to mention manure. Then he waited until no one was looking before he produced the wagon and four horses from thin air. Jack was suitably impressed, and given driving lessons. Xtreme and Sindara's kids wanted, and received lessons, then Margo and Lily. Cameramen followed them, rode with them, and nearly got run over. Everyone got wagon rides, then Eldon unharnessed the mares, saddled them and various people got that sort of ride.

"Damn. I like these funny colored critters of your." Jack was monopolizing Star. "You should leave them here until they foal. You're so casual about them it's scary."

Eldon just grinned.

Jacob stomped over and scowled at him. "I don't know anything about you. And some damned reporters want to interview you, since you're taking a famous actor's spot. A murdered actor, at that."

"Hey. No problem. I'm an illegal wizard on the run from the Dimensional Cops, landed here with no way to earn a live except pretend I'm an actor."

"Very funny. Now, what are you really going to say to him?"

"Umm, that I'm a farm boy turned used car salesman who lucked out by being in the right place at the right time to land this totally cool spot?"

"Better. But say that you are an actor, working as a used car salesman while waiting for your big break. Emphasize that you never met Frankie Delong, that you knew a friend of Jack's wife who invited you to a party, where you met me."

"Can't I admit I crashed the party?"

"Did you now?" Jacob eyed him sharply.

Jack tsked in the background.

"It looked like the best way to meet Lily again."

The director nodded slowly. "That works. Very romantic."

 
 
 
(Anonymous) on November 4th, 2017 04:07 pm (UTC)
A different Eldon comment
Fiend encountered Eldon a couple of times, at least in stories that haven't been published. Did she see enough to begin figuring out how to do a transformation, or is this a case of not the right genes?

Darqref
matapampamuphoff on November 4th, 2017 07:12 pm (UTC)
Re: A different Eldon comment
In _The Lodge in the Mountains_ Eldon shows her, transforms her, demonstrates how it all works, seduces her . . .