Part Two of our queer epic switchblade-and-sorcery novel, Those Who Create and Destroy, is here, with a new chapter free to read every Monday and Friday! ✨
In today’s new chapter, “Everyone Is My Friend,” Rory and Jules settle into their new living arrangement with Max, and Jules and Caliban talk next steps in the investigation.
Download the full Part One free for e-reader, for those who need to catch up!
Happy New Year, everyone, and hope you enjoy! 🙏
“Everyone Is My Friend”
story by Mabel Harper & Emrys Webb
written by Emrys Webb
Saturday was taken up mostly by fitful napping, with both Rory and Jules trying to make up missed sleep from the night before between alternating rounds of keeping an eye on Max.
Then came the awkward moment in the middle of the day when Max woke up fully for the first time since the incident, and Rory roused Jules, and the two of them sat by her bedside like parents breaking complicated news to their kid, telling Max how much they both loved her and that everything was going to be okay. Max didn’t seem to know whose hand to hold or whose eyes to look into. Both Rory and Jules were reserved when it came to their own displays of affection. Rory, for his part, felt too weird about acting couple-y with Max in front of Jules. He supposed Jules must feel the same way.
What little remained of the day after they’d caught up on rest was dedicated to domestic concerns: stocking the kitchen so they wouldn’t have to order all their meals from room service, hooking up Jules’s laptop to the TV so they could play Pixar movies for Max. When Rory turned on the TV to set it up, he caught a few seconds of a local news story about the strange and grisly murder of convicted rapists Jordan Knight and Ethan Kirkpatrick, before a panicked search finally turned up the button to change the input. Until that moment, Rory’d managed to shove the murders into some small, partitioned-off corner of his psyche—because there had been things that more urgently needed his attention, because he hadn’t yet had the luxury of time to contemplate the fact that he was officially a coldblooded killer. On some level, he’d convinced himself it maybe hadn’t happened at all, that he and Fabi had dreamed it—an illusion that shattered like sugar glass when he saw his handiwork plastered all over the six o’ clock news.
Jules happened to be nearby at that moment, crouching over his laptop on the floor. Through the palpitations, Rory felt him watching, sensed those sober eyes trained on the side of his face. “You okay?” Jules asked, quietly so that Max, who was curled up on the couch, wouldn’t hear.
“Why wouldn’t I be.” Rory’s eyes stayed riveted to his task.