It’s Sunday and time for another 25% excerpt. Today I’m posting from the quarter point in the third story in The Tomcat Line series, WEST OF EL PILAR, enjoy!
Ian went on, “I had planned to talk to you this evening, Mac. I’ve been feeling guilty about how selfish I’ve been, spending all my time working every weekend. I know, I know,” he continued quickly as Mac made to say something. “At least I’m home but I don’t always feel as if I’m with you. As I just said it could take years to find the skull again, if I ever do, and I can’t keep holding you at bay the way I am–”
“That’s unfair, I don’t feel neglected or anything,” Mac interjected.
“Don’t you? How much time have we really spent together over the last few weekends? Wouldn’t you rather I was with you during your swim earlier? If memory serves me, our last time in the pool was…” he grinned, “memorable. You were the one who insisted all those months ago that I should be honest and open with you, so come on tell me the truth.”
Mac stared at him, and giving a rueful smile, he admitted, “Yeah, I miss you, you know? You’re here with me, only sometimes I don’t feel that you’re here. You seem somewhere, somewhen else and I can’t reach you. Part of me understands and just goes with the flow, the other part wants to grab you and shake you and say ‘don’t forget about me; don’t I matter?’ I know that’s unfair and I don’t really feel that.” He hesitated and shrugged. “You know I’m no good at this talking crap.”
“For a man who is no good at talking you sure get your point across.” Ian smiled. “Your comments are not unfair and you do feel that way. I understand and I agree, which is why I brought this up in the first place. I’m going to back off on the research a little and make Sundays our day. What do you want to do tomorrow?”
Mac grabbed Ian and thoroughly kissed him.
2 months later
Mac was driving his eighteen-wheel truck along Interstate 76, just north of Denver, Colorado, on the homeward leg of his run. He was due back at his Tomcat base in Joliet the following evening, having two more drops to make. It had been a particularly long journey, not one he would normally have made as it meant he didn’t get back to base until late on Friday. He made sure over the last few months always to be back in Joliet by Friday morning as he didn’t want to take any risks that something could happen during a trip that might eat into his precious time with Ian. However, one of his drivers became sick the day before the man was due to take on the five-day trip to Portland in Oregon and there wasn’t another driver available. Mac was relieved that everything had gone well and he should make it back in good time.
Just then the cell phone set into his dashboard rang and it wasn’t without trepidation that he picked up the new fangled earpiece that he’d only had fitted recently. Slipping it over his ear he had to admit it was comfortable as well as very convenient.
He expected it to be Neil from his office, as it was rare that he got a call from his lover during the day unless there was a problem. Ian always called him in the evening when they could have a long chat without him worrying that Mac was being distracted from his driving. Irregardless of how many times Mac told him that it didn’t matter, that he wouldn’t be distracted, Ian always waited until the evening. So, it was with some surprise that Mac heard Ian’s voice on the other end of the call.
“Mac, Mac, is it safe to talk? It’s important,” he said hurriedly without any preamble.
“Ian? It must be important for you to call me on the road. It’s safe; I’m about to pull into a truck stop. What is it?” He hadn’t intended to pull over just yet but he would make his statement true. There was a truck stop just ahead at Brighton and he would pull in there.
“Good, good. I have it, Mac!” Ian said excitedly, “I’m pretty sure I know where to find the temple.”
“What? But you said it could take years…?” Mac queried, as he signaled to turn into the truck stop, then he figured – what the hell, this is the incomparable Doctor Grayson. “Where? In Belize, right?”
“That’s what I expected but no, it’s just across the border in Guatemala.”
“Guatemala, that’s a little more risky, Ian,” Mac said as he parked his truck outside the restaurant.
“Look, I’ll explain more when I see you. You will be home tomorrow, won’t you? I’m going to talk to Dean Tyler and make arrangements for a leave of absence. Can you get Neil to arrange flights to Belize?”
“Belize? But you just said…”
“I know, but we need to go in from Belize. Damn it, I have to go, I have a class and I’m already late. I’ll speak to you again tonight.” With that the line went dead.
Mac stared at his cell phone for a second before he burst out laughing. Only Ian!
He guessed he’d better follow orders and get the plane tickets organized so he called Neil and told him of the bizarre conversation with Ian.
“Okay,” Neil asked, “What day will you want to fly out? Can you give me an idea of how long you will be gone for?”
Mac opened his mouth to reply and then closed it again with a sigh. “I don’t know,” he confessed.
“Right,” Neil said, amusement lacing his voice. “I’ll get in touch with Ian and find out more details.”
“Do you want me to speak to Leslie about covering the contracts while you’re away or do you want to speak with her yourself?” Neil asked next.
With an exaggerated sigh, Mac said, “Seeing as I don’t know anything I guess you’d better speak to her when you know more, and then you can tell me!”
“Okay, boss, don’t panic.” Neil said with a laugh, “I’ll sort everything out.”
If you want to read the whole story, go here