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I Cu

I Cu

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Published by Rachael Finley
When all else fails, make the man who wants to kill you into your best friend
When all else fails, make the man who wants to kill you into your best friend

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Published by: Rachael Finley on Oct 09, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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He considered it a blessing now that he had never been good at rememberingfaces. Even before, in his other life, he had been woefully, pathetically bad at it. Oldfriends, classmates, coworkers, distant relatives; inevitably he would find himself staring blankly into the face of a stranger, trying to figure out how they knew hisname, and why they were so incredibly blown away to see him. More often than not he would have to feign recognition, mirroring their reactions and waiting for thelittle clues they may drop that would help him remember before they caught on that he was only pretending. From time to time it would come to him in the end, but onmost occasions he would walk away bewildered, his hands in his pockets, hoping
the situation didn’t 
come up again anytime soon.It had been a burden then, just another unpleasantness to deal with, but nowhe was grateful for what had become a convenient and merciful talent. Why wouldhe want to remember faces and names, as fleeting as they were? It made nodifference, and if his companion was to be believed, it would be extremely beneficialto be able to feign complete ignorance if he ever ran into one of those faces again.
How that would ever happen, he didn’t know, but he went with it. Names and faces
were instantly dismissed, his own included. There had been a point in his life whenhe went for more than a year without looking in a mirror, and now when he caught 
his reflection he couldn’t remember the name that went with the face looking back 
at him. S
omething with a ‘D’ maybe, but he wasn’t sure anymore if he was just 
mixing one memory with another.There was only one face and one name that he would never forget. By somefluke it was burned into his mind like an ugly persistent scar, and no matter howmuch he tried to write over it, the memory would spring back up like an evil,grinning jack-in-the-box.Dash. Dash St. fucking Thomas.
They hadn’t even known each other for long, an hour, two at most that they
had both been awake and aware of each other, but that was all it had taken. It frustrated him. If his memory was actually right, and all the details were as they
should have been, he shouldn’t have even been able to remember Dash’s face, and
the fact that he had even learned his name had just been a coincidence. The roomhad been dark, too dark for him to have actually seen more than a fleeting
impression of Dash’s face, and at that point he had probably been too distracted and
otherwise occupied to care who he was or what he looked like, and yet Dash stayedwith him.Dash had been sitting across the room from him when he woke up, hungryand tired and unwilling to commit to be being conscious and aware for more than afew minutes, but somehow he had noticed the man crouched in the corner of theroom
, cursing under his breath and working furiously as something he couldn’t see.
He had shifted, moving his numb legs and repositioning his raw rope burned hands,
and that little movement in the darkness had been what called Dash’s attention to
He hadn’t answered the man’s call. His throat was too dry and his body tootired; eventually the man would have learned that it wasn’t the right idea to wastewhat energy had on yelling and screaming, but he didn’t correct him. He did move
again though, just an adjustment of his sore shoulders against the wall, and the manhad taken that as a reason to continue.
“Who’s there? Hello? I can’t see. It’s too dark.”
 Those words stuck in his head. Of course it was too dark. They wereunderground, and even if the light had been on, it was just a single forty watt bulbon the ceiling; hardly adequate light, all considered. The light switch was on the
other side of the door, where they couldn’t reach it, anyway.
He still hadn’t answered, but his new roommate
had kept babbling on. Herecognized why the man had did it, now that he knew more, but at the time it hadjust been annoying.
“My name is Dash. Dash St. Thomas. I’m
a salesclerk in town on personalbusiness. I have two older brothers and a younger sister who just had a baby girl.
Her name is Chelsea…” The man stopped talking, and he could see him peering
through the darkness, trying to get a better look at him. His eyes were much more
adapted to the dark than Dash’s but he seemed to do well enough. “Did he
get you
too? Do you need help? What’s your name?”
 He had thought about not answering, but the question had been asked of himso many times lately that he replied almost automatically.
“Copper?” Dash sounded confused. “That’s your name?”
“Okay.” Copper saw Dash stand, moving in the awkward way that was
unavoidable when your hands were practically useless and look around the room.There was only one door and no windows, and Copper thought that Dash was verysoon going to be disappoint 
ed by the prospects. “Copper. I’m Dash. Do you knowwhere we are?”
 He closed his eyes and rested his head against the wall. He did know, in a
very vague way that wouldn’t have helped anyway.
“I think I can get out of these ropes. Are you tied up? Can you
 Copper unconsciously flexed his hands. The tips of his fingers were numbwith cold and too little circulation, and he wondered vaguely how long he could stay
like that before he lost them. “Yes.”
“Yes what? You’re tied up? You can move? What?”
 Copper remembered that the question had confused him. He had thought his
answer was pretty self explanatory, so he repeated it without elaboration. “Yes.”
Dash shuffled around the room, uncertain of his footing in the darkness. “Are
you fucking dumb? Whatever. Listen. I think I can get out of my ropes. I need your
help to break down this door.”
 He remembered that Dash had looked in his direction, not exactly at him but 
close. “Are you kidding me? Cause some psycho tied me up and locked me
, and I’m not waiting to find out what comes next.”
 Copper had just shrugged and closed his eyes again. Dash could do what hewanted, and if he wanted to yell and scream and pound at the door like a child, let 
him. It didn’t affect Copper any, except for
making his head hurt. Somehow Copperhad fallen asleep despite the noise, drowning out the banging and cursing and
Dash’s repeated attempts to make him stand up and help. Whether or not he had
been right about being able to get out of his binds or not Copp
er wasn’t sure, but 
when he opened his eyes again it was against a bright, painful light coming in fromthe hallway outside, through the open door.For a single second he thought Dash had actually succeeded in breakingdown the door, but as his eyes slowly adjusted he saw a familiar figure silhouetted
against the light. Dash hadn’t done anything. He had just run out of time.
The light overhead had switched on, and Copper had covered his eyes against the new and intrusive light as the figure in the door stepped inside
. Dash didn’t try
to do anything, fight back or any of the wild plans Copper had heard him mutteringearlier, and he could guess why. The new man no doubt had a gun, a big one, andthat was enough to make even a grown and determined man cower back.
“What do you want from me?!”
 The new man ignored him and shut the door to the hall. Gun or not, Copper
knew he wouldn’t take any chances.
 Dash continued, repeating the mantra he had used earlier when he had tried
to appeal to Copper. “My name is Dash St. Thomas. I’m a salesclerk from Charlotte.My sister just had a baby girl, that’s why I’m in town….”
The new man cut him off. “Hello, Mr. St Thomas. You can call me Gates. Haveyou met Copper?”
 Dash had looked at him, confused and a little scared, and Copper had onlyblinked dispassionately as Gates strode across the room, keeping the gun trained onDash. Gates was bigger than Dash, but he took no chances. Gates had pet him on thehead with his free hand, and Copper had noted the greater confusion and fear that 
creased Dash’s face. The situation was becoming too unpredictable, and that was
scaring the hell out of Dash.
“You could use a shower, Copps. Your hair is greasy.”
“I know.”
“Maybe in a little while.” Gates crouched next to him, resting th
e gun against his knee.Dash watched him, and for a second Copper had thought he might trysomething, but rather than attempting to get the upper hand, he had just kept 
talking. “Listen, I’ll do anything you want. Is this about money? I can get money. My
family will pay. Just please, let me go.”
Gate clicked his tongue. “Money? Tell him, Copper. Is this about money?”
 Copper shook his head.
“Copper,” Gates reproached.
“Exactly right.” Gates had pressed the gun into his hands then, and Copper
had had a difficult time holding it with his wrists bound and fingers numb. But he
had grasped it as best he could, keeping it pointed where Gates had intended. “Holdthat for me, Copps. Nice and steady.” He began to work the knots out of the rope,
loosening them slowly and letting the blood run back into Coppers hands. It madethem warm and tingle, and Copper had wanted to drop the gun and rub themtogether until all of the feeling returned. Gates kept talking as he worked, his tonerelaxed and calm, just li
ke they had been discussing the weather. “I don’t care about 

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