A week ago, I posted an introduction to Jared, the narrator of the first book of my urban fantasy series. Also important is Jared’s long time best friend, Bryson Finney. They’ve been palling around and acting like the brother that neither has since aged 10. Now they are mid-30s, and Jared moves in with Bryson and his pregnant wife Kate for a short spell while he sorts through the separation with his own wife, Molly.
Curiously, both Jared and Bryson experience the premonitions that they call jumps, or dreamwalks. They have also established a pattern of downloading to each other about their premonitions. After a particularly sexy dreamwalk that involved another man, Jared is a bit reluctant to download with Bry, and Bry senses it. The following is an excerpt:
“Jared, answer me or I’m coming in.” Bryson raps on the bedroom door, not sounding very patient at the moment. “Even if it’s just to say you want to sleep in longer.”
“I want to sleep in longer.”
“I’m coming in anyway.” The door swings open.
“Dude—“ I protest. Bry has a bent paperclip in his hand. “Maybe I locked it for a reason.”
“I’ve seen you naked and lord knows you don’t have company.” Bry’s not very amused. He’s probably pissed at me for not awakening him and downloading last night. “I’m a little miffed that you didn’t wake me last night when your jump ended. We should’ve held the download then while it was still fresh.” I called it. Besides, I purposely didn’t wake him. I don’t know if I’ll even tell him about last night’s jump. “I woke up with the TV on and you missing, Jared. And you locked the basement door at the top of the stairs. Not cool. It’s still my basement even if you have a room down here. You can lock this door all you want—“
“Apparently, I cannot.”
“Shut up. I’m pissed at you. I was scared that I’d find you all—“ Bry just shakes his head without finishing his thought.
“You’d find me all what?” Bry shakes off my question. He regrets starting to say whatever he almost said. A horrid image enters my head. “Do you have me on some sort of suicide watch?! Bryson?! Bryson!” He’s not going to answer. My best friend thinks I’ve been unstable enough that a suicide watch is merited. I can’t be mad at him for that: I’m horrified. This is not the type of stress he needs right now, or ever. I swing my legs off the bed. “I’m getting up. Let me know what we’re doing today.”
“You can sleep longer if you want.” He’s not upset any longer. “I would like you to download later. That was one helluva jump; you were gone for hours. I watched an entire crappy zombie apocalypse film while you were out.”
“We need to get a hold of Walsh. I’ll need to download with him, too.” Bry looks at me with curiosity. “I spent my entire dreamwalk in his presence.”
“I’ll try to give him a call. You should jump in the shower; you look terrible.” Bry steps out of the room and starts to close the door.
“Thanks.” He must think I’m being sarcastic since he said I look terrible. Actually, I’m confident that I do look terrible. “I mean it, Bry!” I’m yelling to a closed door. “Thank you for keeping my ass in line.” The stairs to the main level are squeaking from Bry’s ascent.