The Bus Route: Part VII of a brand new KDG story
I hope all of you’ve all enjoyed this brand new KDG story. It’s been my pleasure to bring it to you. I hope it has helped you survive and thrive during lockdown. Please stay safe.
If you’ve missed any of The Bus Route up until now, just flip back through the blog. All seven episodes are still up, at least for the moment. So enjoy, and happy reading whatever else you are reading.
Sex in derelict buses. Who knew it was a thing?
A money-making thing for Seth Allen, who blackmails enthusiasts stepping out on their other half by catching the deed on cameras he’s rigged at a public transport scrap yard known by frequenters as the Bus Route. Sadly the paydays aren’t as regular as Seth would like until con artist, Jon Knight, suggests they team up. With Seth’s tech and Jon’s charm, the money rolls in and the future looks bright until their marks start disappearing mysteriously.
The Bus Route: Final Instalment
I lurched to the kitchen and tossed the bakery bag in the trash. Even if he wasn’t drugging me, I wasn’t taking any more chances. In ten minutes I had a bag packed. I was just about to leave the flat when my phone rang, and I froze. I knew it was Jon. I knew he’d be suspicious if I didn’t answer, but I waited, taking two deep breaths and then mumbled a hello I hope sounded like I just woke up.
“You all right?” His voice dripped concern. “I was worried when you weren’t at the suite.”
“I feel like shit.” It wasn’t hard to sound ill when it was the truth.
“Shall I send a limo?” He asked.
“Just let me sleep. I don’t want to move right now. I’ll come when I feel a little better.”
There was an uncertain pause. “All right. Go back to bed, then, but I’m sending the limo first thing in the morning. You don’t need to be alone right now. Then he added, “I’ve already picked out our next mark, so I need my partner well and strong.”
Oh I knew all about the next fucking mark, I thought. I white-knuckled the phone and forced a reply. “Thanks. I’ll be here.”
“And Seth, don’t worry about anything. I’ve got this.” The line went dead.
I fumbled my device into into my pocket. The last thing I did was to stuff the cash from our efforts down deep in my bag. I’d need it if I were to survive. I couldn’t take a flight without some sort of ID, but I could easily enough buy a train ticket, and cash was my new best friend.
I took the tube to Euston Station, all the while my skin crawled with the sensation of being watched. I was already hanging on the meat hook and had been for a while. I’d just been too stupid to figure it out. I was at the Bus Stop the night Eleanor disappeared. And when the police finally discovered the body of Claire Richardson, I’d be implicated too. After I left, Jon would have laid her out beautifully for the police to find, just like the Incubus Killer always did. If it was him. And how could I possibly still hold out hope that it wasn’t? Surely that was why he sent me away, and now I was next on his list.
I bought an overnight ticket to Glasgow on the Caledonian Sleeper. I even shelled out the extra dosh for a private couchette. I grabbed a couple sandwiches and a bottle of water from the M&S and ate as though I were starving, feeling better with each bite. The drug seemed to be wearing off. Surely I’d be okay once I was away from him.
I had hours to kill before I could board at 21:15, so I hid out in a little mom and pop café, the kind that served breakfast and, deli sandwiches and little else. I drank tea until my kidneys floated and the staff began to look at me suspiciously. Then I went to a Costas around the corner. Time stretched interminably with me incessantly checking for updates on Eleanor. But there were none.
It was just getting dark when I got a text from Jon.
I didn’t answer. I was supposed to be sleeping, after all. A follow-up text came almost immediately.
I dropped the phone and it skittered across the floor under the neighboring table where a woman behind a laptop and a stack of books picked it up and handed it back to me, text still taunting me on the backlit screen. Thanking her, I turned the device off and stuffed it in my bag.
I waited another endless hour at the train station, heart going into free fall every time I saw a tall dark man in the crowd, who might have been Jon. But no one paid me any attention.
I was only able to relax when I was safely locked inside my couchette, watching the lights of London fall away outside my window. I ate my last sandwich then turned out the lamp and crawled into the bed falling instantly into an exhausted sleep.
Conscious thought returned to me slowly some indeterminate time later lulled by the hypnotic rocking of the train. For a time, with no sense of anything amiss, I watched the familiar silhouette limned in the moonlight streaming through the window. Then Jon’s whisky-smooth voice came out of the darkness. “Did you sleep well, Seth? I was worried about you. Oh don’t get up,” he said without turning away from the window. “Just rest. We’re still a long way from Glasgow, and you’ll need your strength.”
Even as fear dried the back of my throat, I had little desire to move, nor was I sure I could. I wondered if I was I still only dreaming. “Did you think I wouldn’t find out?” I mumbled as though speech was something new to me.
“On the contrary, I was hoping you would. I left you enough clues.”
“So you are the Incubus Killer then.” Whether it was fear or the drug, the words didn’t slide easily over my tongue.
He huffed a laugh that steamed the window. “I like that appellation, don’t you? It’s so very evocative.”
“How did you drug me? You at least owe me an explanation.”
The muscles of his shoulders bunched and relaxed in a shrug, and just like that, the crawling of goose flesh over my skin became something more tetchy, and my cock stiffened.
“Oh Seth, do you really want to waste our time together with drawn out explanations of details that would only bore you and can hardly matter now anyway. What does matter is that you were always going to be my masterpiece, from the moment I saw you eking out a living at the Bus Stop, from the moment I saw you watching me, so much like me and yet so different. After you, I’ll leave this country sated and begin anew, just as I’d planned.” He trailed a finger across the fogged window, and then he turned to face me. “But you, my dear Seth, you will be my fondest memory, and oh how I’ll miss you.”
I shoved to my feet, and in my muddled efforts to walk stumbled right into his arms, which closed around me. He took my face in his hands and pressed his lips to mine breathing deep like I was fresh air.
I flailed and jerked, feeling like I was falling, and as the kiss deepened, I curled fists in the back of his shirt, just like poor Eleanor had done. Just like her I was no longer trying to push Jon away.
He eased me gently, carefully toward the bed, where he lay me down and looked me over, him the artist, me the work yet unfinished needing to be complete. Than he settled next to me pulling me close, the feel of him against me summer heat lightning and ozone before a storm. “Are you going to kill me now?” Somewhere deep in me there must have been fear, terror even, but the drug kept it far away.
“Does it matter, Seth?” He trailed kisses textured with teeth and tongue and breath over my throat, patiently cupping and stroking like we had all the time in the world. “Does it matter?”
“Not really, no.” I might have said the words, or maybe I just thought them, but the fear slipped still farther away along with the Bus Route and the smell of stale take aways and the rent overdue. My fists had fallen open, gone seeking, needing, touching. The sheets were clean. The space was warm. Ages later, I opened my eyes just enough to see his face haloed in moonlight, all soft and out of focus. And I was certain. It really didn’t matter. Not at all.