Part 5 - The Real Ethan Fairchild
Have I mentioned how not too peachy of a trip this whole landing-in-your-own-story has been?
I'm still ticked off at Kevin for trying to use me like that (The more I think about it the more I want to kick his ever-lovin' butt!). Trying to get all kissy face and gain my trust while he shoots me in the back!
Now I'm walking in the dark with only one black shirt to my name, which I am wearing. (Do I even want to go into how Kevin got me to take my clothes off? I think not.) I'm off in the dark, searching for God knows what.
I guess shelter should be my first priority, and then about a fifth of some liquor that tastes about as nasty as it smells. Since I don't drink as a rule, a few gulps should have me under the table. Then if they find me, I really wouldn't care one way or another.
I do have to stay a little lucid while I think about writing scenes for upcoming Legacy storylines. If I can keep the characters busy, then maybe I can find a way home, back to reality and the real world.
The bar was crowded but in it I found the relief I was searching for. I wanted to forget. I wanted to make it all go away, at least for one night.
The bartender had only handed me my second drink when I heard someone step up beside me.
"You're a really annoying broad," said a man's voice.
I was beginning to feel the effects of the alcohol take over my central nervous system. So, not only did I lose hold of my tongue, but my legs weren't working too well either.
"Annoying?" I said, rather loudly, as I turned around. "I'll show you annoy..." It was in that moment I recognized the man.
"Hey, you're the cute guy from the train," I blurted out.
I quickly raised my hand to my mouth. I could hardly believe I'd said that outloud. People from all around the bar glared at me.
"Look," I whispered to the man next to me, chuckling. "It's the cute guy from the train." The man on the nearest stood didn't hear me, but I didn't notice. "I look forward to every time I see him."
I couldn't help but laugh, and then I wondered why drinking made me laugh. Was drinking funny? I guess it really didn't matter, because in that moment it was hilarious.
The man from the train yanked me off the bar stool and took my drink away from me. "You've had enough."
It was only the second sentence I'd ever heard him say, and it was damn sexy.
As he dragged me through the crowded bar, I yelled, "Where are we going?"
"This place isn't safe. I'm taking you home."
"Your home or my home? Cause I have to tell you, I don't think I have a home in this reality."
The cute guy rolled his eyes. He was annoyed again, I could tell.
Outside it was a little cooler and the night air cleared my foggy brain a bit. It was then I realized I didn't even know this man's name. I'd seen him off and on for over five years, and I'd never once had the courage to talk to him.
I gave him my name and asked for his. I'd been dying to know.
'All the years you've been writing that damn story, you didn't know what my name was?"
"No, you never said your name aloud, and I never heard anyone else call you by name."
The cute guy laughed. It was one of those ironic laughs.
"This is rich. You've been ruining my life for five years by accident?"
I shook my head. He wasn't making any sense. How could I ruin his life when the only time I'd ever seen him was here and there on the train?
"You're making that up. That's a fib."
It's no lie, lady. The stories you write have put me in danger more times than I want to mention."
"Who do you think you are? Ethan Fairchild, super spy?"
"Yes," he said seriously. That is exactly who I am."
"You're name is Ethan too?" I burst out laughing. I couldn't help it.
There was no way on God's green Earth that I could have pulled that name from the air and then find out the guy I had lusted after for five years had the very same name. What were the odds?
"Yes, and we have to get you back to your own reality. So that the you from here won't know you're around."
"Huh?" This entire sequence was giving me a massive headache, or maybe it was only the after effects of the alcohol. " There's a me from here?"
"Of course," he said. "It's your reality."
I was beginning to think I hadn't jumped into an alternate reality, but instead had stumbled into the looney bin.
As much as I adored gazing at the cuteness that was this man, I had a feeling he wasn't going to be much help getting me home. He only wanted to keep me away from her... I mean, me... I mean, I don't know what I mean.
All I really knew for certain was that I should travel onward toward whatever was ahead of me.
"You can't leave," he said. The hitch in his voice said he cared for this woman, this other me. "Without you, I can't get her back."
Suddenly I was intensely jealous of ... myself! And if that wasn't something that will send me to the head-shrinker, nothing would.
"Get who back?" I asked, not completely listening to him.
The other Ethan was annoyed again. He seemed frustrated that I wasn't completely grasping his meaning. I was still stuck back at the part where his name was Ethan Fairchild."
"Can I call you something else? Something besides Ethan? Because, I'm already confused enough."
I knew he was only agreeing with me to get me to stay in this dimension.
"What's your middle name? I asked.
"Thornton." Gee, that was helpful, and strange. Thornton was the middle name I had secretly given him but never revealed to anyone. I was going to have to call him Thor and I wondered if I could do it with a straight face. It was then I decided to dub him plain Thornton.
"Does that mean you'll stay and help me get back at the you from here?" He seemed almost desperate to find her, and it made me wonder what kind of relationship the two of them had.
A rustling of wind and leaves sounded behind us in the dark alley. The street lamps were strangely dim and I could feel a presence of evil.
"Actually, lover boy," a voice said from behind. "I'm still here And this is all turning out exactly the way I planned."
I have to say I wasn't precisely expecting this – looking at my adversary and seeing my own face there.
"It's... It's not possible," I mumbled.
"Honey, you should know better than anyone that anything's possible."
Honey? I never said honey. So I knew that was definitely not me over there.
There was something greatly different about this other me. She was stunning. I'd never seen myself look so good, and she acted as if someone had given her a lethal injection of confidence, because that was one thing I surely lacked.
"What are you doing?" Thornton asked. Clearly he was confused by the other me's behavior.
"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm getting rid of the competition." Her steely hazel gaze hit me as hard as any assassin's bullet.
"How... How can that be me?" I realized until that moment I had never felt fear. At least, not fear of losing my life so tragically in the next few minutes.
"I didn't realize it had gotten this bad," Thornton said. "She used to be like you. But being here has changed her. Before she showed up here five years ago, this world used to be different. Brighter, happier."
I always had a feeling if I ever did turn evil, I would be one villain I wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. My assessment of myself was curiously accurate.
"Prepare to die," the lookalike said. Then she trained her weapon on me and fired.