Chapter 15, "Well, Xlormp Certainly Won't be Happy About This"
Being at the Haberdashes made me feel calm. On the car ride over, Christopher had briefed me on the various horrible things they might do between now and their actual attack, but it all seemed so silly to worry about now, sitting with her and Hector 2.0 in their house. I mean, she'd saved my life a billion times. She stalked me obsessively, she was an expert on aliens and the hunting of them, and her brother was a robot with encyclopedic knowledge of everything. Or at least of pop culture references, both common and obscure.
I knew that in here, I was safe. With Christopher and Hector 2.0 Haberdash, we would find a way to get Lou's pets back. There was no need to panic.
"I have to admit, I'm getting pretty panicked here, Frig," Christopher insisted.
This statement was incongruous to my previous thoughts.
"Yeah." She paced back and forth across the length of her room. As she spoke, her hands flailed manically around her body. "I mean, I know you haven't really seen any evidence that things are getting pretty serious with these Tallybonkers, but that's because I've set up a perimeter around your house, and you don't even know how much stuff I've fended off."
She was rambling. I thought occasionally of things to interject, but before I could even construct a sentence out of them, Christopher moved on to her next statement.
"I've deflected so many attacks, I've kept your house from burning down, I've stopped them from sending a small fleet through your window in the middle of the night to blind you until they can make a full attack, I've even kept them from leaving a severed head on your bedspread. Granted, it was the severed head of a caterpillar, but they're very small. It's the thought that counts."
She finally stopped pacing like a madwoman and stared at me. Her eyes looked drained, as if she'd recently attached herself to a giant hose that sucked all of her happiness away. Where was the Christopher who'd so jovially swept me away from my alien boyfriend not hours before?
"They're making me really nervous, Frig. Their attack patterns are random, there's no sense to it, they're keeping tight security on everything and even with Hector asking for dad's help, I can't guess their next move, and I still haven't been able to find anything dad's partner had been working on as far as the brain transporter goes..."
She opened and closed her mouth several times. If she hadn't been so danged scared right now, she'd look like something really ridiculous and funny. But scared people aren't funny. At least not when they're the people who aren't supposed to get scared. Her eyes, still locked on mine, welled up.
"What if I slip up, fall asleep at the wrong time, and they sneak past me?"
"They won't," I said. "You'll figure it out." I believed that she could. She'd come sweeping in at the last minute, like she always did, exotic weaponry in hand, ready to take out the bad guy and save the day. I didn't know how, but I hadn't known how in the past, and she did it anyway. Why should this time be any different?
"What the hell is Xlormp doing to protect you?" She demanded out of nowhere.
"I mean, he's flying around in his spaceship doing who knows what, we're supposed to be working together on this but all I see is me busting my butt to provide him information and he..." her eyes flashed, then dropped to the floor. "He gets to make out with you."
I admit I didn't know what to say to that. It's not like Christopher had never told me that she wanted to make out with me before. It's just that usually, she didn't grab hold of me and do it.
Because the next thing I knew, her mouth was on mine. Her fingers were wrapped around the back of my head, pulling me closer to her. I could feel her breath, her hot, human breath on my face, frantic, desperate...
To be honest, I'm kind of surprised how okay I was with it. I mean, I'd kissed lots of Earth boys before, I'm not gonna lie. But I sort of figured that once I'd delved into the slimy wriggling that was Xlormp, making out with a human being again would be kind of boring.
But I have to say I wasn't entirely bored. It wasn't all that different from kissing a boy, and my skin was doing this tingly thing, like there were all these beetles running around underneath with spears. Except less gross. And not painful.
And then I thought of Xlormp, and the fact that usually when one person is madly in love with an alien they don't run around making out with their best friends. "Mmmrph," I expressed passionately, but the thing is I was actually saying, "Hey, I need to stop this now," except my lips were all smashed on Christopher's which made it difficult to say much of anything.
She interpreted it kind of wrong, because she grabbed me tighter and kissed me harder. I had to nudge her gently, which only worked after the sixth time. When I finally got her off of me, I said, "Xlormp might be a little upset if he knew you were making out with me."
Christopher seemed startled. "I was making out with you?"
"Um. Yes. Just now."
She burst into a wide grin. "It wasn't just a wild fantasy in my head this time?"
I tried not to be too disturbed or overly flattered by that. "I don't think so," I confirmed succinctly.
She leapt up. "YES!" she hollered, pumping a fist in the air. "HIGH FIVES!"
I eyed her outstretched hand dubiously.
"HIGH FIVES!" she insisted.
I relented, and extended my own hand for slapping. The woman wrought startling high five vengeance upon my sensitive palm.
I shook my hand out. "But seriously. Xlormp's going to be super pissed. Like, laser-beam inducing pissed."
Christopher waved her hand dismissively. "But it will be worth it."
"Yes but it would be kind of neat if you didn't die, so maybe we shouldn't tell him about it."
Which would have been a totally awesome plan except for right at that moment the doorbell rang, and we waited tensely while Hector 2.0 answered the door.
"IT IS XLORMP, FRIG'S ALIEN BOYFRIEND," his voice boomed up the stairs, clearly in loudspeaker mode.
"WHAT DOES HE WANT?" Christopher yelled back.
"HE SAYS HE SURE HOPES FRIG ISN'T MAKING OUT WITH ANYONE IN HIS ABSENCE."
"THAT WOULD BE CRAZY RIDICULOUS BUSINESS," Christopher yelled back.
"OKAY I SHALL RELAY THE MESSAGE."
I glanced at Christopher, not knowing entirely what to say. My brain was a vast emptiness of nothing with a lot of room for stuff that wasn't there. The moments passed silently, neither of us knowing what to say, so instead we waggled our eyebrows suggestively at each other until I remembered that probably wasn't such a good idea either and stopped. But she didn't and then I started to feel uncomfortable.
"HE SAYS THAT HE DOESN'T BELIEVE YOU AND FRIG SHOULD COME DOWNSTAIRS."
Hector 2.0's message loomed with ominousness. I felt very crappy about things.
"Don't worry," Christoper winked. "I will save you if he tries to lock you up."
"Maybe that would be a bad idea," I thought to myself except that I said it out loud as I shuffled out the door, off to my slimy, guilt-ridden doom.
Oh man, guys, I'm so sorry for how late this is today. Unfortunately, since I'm not on a regular work schedule anymore, I can't promise consistency as far as what time future chapters will be posted, but I promise you you'll still get a chapter every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. I'm doing fine, I'm pretty excited about my imminent free time, actually. :) See you tomorrow with a new Reader of the Day!