Axel Andrews is having a very bad day. He gets passed up for a permanent job, his boyfriend breaks up with him and then kicks Axel out of his own apartment.
Needing to release some of the anger inside of him, Axel loses his temper. When he does, something is released inside of him.
Knowing he has caused the devastation around him, he runs. When he is found by Cadence. He believes that Axel is the embodiment of King Arthur.
Axel will need to trust Cadence if he is to find the strength to save humanity once and for all…
When Axel felt the ground shake below him, he knew that he had caused the tremors. His heart raced inside of his chest as the building began to shake around him.
He had been talking to Gregor, the graphic designer in the office. The guy was a total sleazeball. Axel tried to pay attention when the man talked, but it was all hot air. Gregor never had a good thing to say about anyone or anybody. Everyone in the office knew this.
“You see, what we have to do is this; we have to tell them all to do the fuck off, yes? I cannot believe that she is saying these things about Joanne. You know what Joanne said about Stacy? And what Stacy said about Marcus…”
Axel sighed and tried to pay attention to Gregor as he spoke. But Axel found the way that Gregor talked with his hands distracting; the man looked as if he were trying to take flight and perhaps mate in midair.
“And so Marcus said, ‘Yeah, but at least I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing those hooker heels.’ And you know what? When I was outside having a smoke, I could see that woman’s thong. And, honey, it was tied together in one place. I wanted to tell her, ‘Girlfriend, if you’ve got to tie your thong together to wear it, it’s time to buy a new thong, yes?’” Gregor sighed.
“I can buy thongs a plenty in my country. I can get like five for the dollar. I can give some to her, you know?” He shook his head. “Women.”
Axel sighed again. It had been a very long day. He had been working since six-thirty in the morning, and he had barely any work to show for it. The truth of it was, he was burned out.
He needed a drink, a smoke, a good book and a vacation—and not necessarily in that order. But, unfortunately, none of those things were attainable; it was another hour and a half until quitting time, and he’d just had his afternoon break.
Axel wondered if he should start carrying a hip flask with him and take shots of Frangelico all day. At least he’d be mellowed out and his breath would smell amazing. Sort of. Actually, he would probably end up smelling a lot like his Aunt Mildred, come to think of it.
Giving his head a shake, Axel waved his hand at Gregor to make him stop talking. “I don’t have time for this now. Go bother someone else or maybe do some work for god sakes.” He hoped that Gregor would take the hint. He never did. He always stayed well past his welcome.
Gregor put a hand to his heart and batted his eyelashes. “I work very hard, I’ll have you know.”
Axel sighed. “Yeah, at being fabulous.”
Gregor grinned at the expected response. “If you got it, flaunt it, honey.”
Axel put his head down on his desk. He really was having the very worst of days. Axel had been up for a permanent job, and the position had gone to Gregor. He had been working as an office temp for almost six years and hated almost every moment of it.
Mostly he hated not knowing where his next paycheck was going to come from. He hated not knowing where he was going to work next, going from contract to contract. Finally, he had been given a chance at a permanent job…and someone else had gotten it.
They had been told that morning in Mr. Reckomyer’s office. He had called them in and told them the news in a kind but gruff way. “We need a graphic designer more than we need a writer.” He had said this to Axel. “I’m sure you understand.”
Oh, Axel understood all right. Gregor got the position, because he kissed ass a lot. Axel didn’t, because he refused to. He had nodded and assured Mr. Reckomyer that he had made the right decision.
Then Axel had promptly gone to the washroom to have a stolen cigarette and calm himself.
He wondered how this day could possibly get any worse. He didn’t need to wait very long.
When the phone rang, Axel took a moment to take a breath. Saved by the bell, he thought as Gregor turned away and went back to his cubicle. Axel picked up the phone and spoke wearily into the receiver. “Yeah?”
“I just don’t think it’s working out between us, angel face,” Brock said.
Axel could hear the sounds of pornography playing in the background. “You’re breaking up with me?” Disbelief was in his voice. “Over the phone?” He tried to take another calming breath but could only manage a rough kind of sob.
“Well, it had to come some time, honey buns. I need a man who can provide me with the lifestyle to which I want and who can satisfy me sexually and who’s good looking. You just don’t fit the bill on any of those counts.” Brock’s sigh was like a match to the fire along his skin.
“But I love you,” Axel said. At least he thought he did. Things between Brock and him had been slippery for a while now.
“Oh, you don’t know what love is, pudding pop. Of course I’ll let you stay here till you find a new place to live.”
Axel had felt a moment’s anger at this. “But it’s my apartment; it’s my name on the lease.”
Brock had sighed. “Axel, honey, you know this place is too nice for you. Besides, I’ve already talked to the landlord and sorted everything out. You’ve got two weeks to find a place.”
Axel felt as if the world were crashing down on him. “Shouldn’t I at least have thirty days?” His voice sounded weak.
“Yeah, normally you’d have a month, tootsie roll, but I want you out before summer starts.” There was the sound of a loud grunt coming from the television. What kind of porn was Brock watching, anyway? “I want you out in two weeks. No excuses, okay?”
Axel couldn’t believe that this was happening; first the job, then the break up, and now this. “But what am I supposed to do?” Internally, Axel chastised himself for being so whiny. God, is this what he’d become? “I mean, why are you doing this to me?” He sighed. Fuck, he needed better lines.
Brock laughed, and the sound of it sent Axel’s blood, already filled with anger, bubbling like hot oil. “Oh, honey, I’m sure I don’t know. I want to start a new chapter in my life, and that means getting you out. I want to be happy, not with you moping around all the time.”
The resentment inside of Axel had stilled but only briefly. “This is hard for me. Don’t you know that?” Each word was like a small, sharp bullet. They never found their target.
“Of course I do, honey, but you can only mourn a dead lover for so long. I mean, he’s dead, right? Not going to do you much good, except maybe to give yourself a good ride. You buried him, right? His dick would be good and frozen solid now, wouldn’t it? Get yourself a bit of cold sausage, okay?” Brock laughed again, and the anger flared to life again inside of Axel.
“I don’t want anything,” Axel said, his voice chilly and grave. “You can keep it all.”
“But, honey, your clothes—”
“I don’t want anything. I don’t need anything. And you can go fuck yourself.”
He had slammed down the phone, and the anger that had receded a little came roaring back. It flowed through Axel like a fire, and his skin flushed red then a darker red. His entire body felt as if it were on fire.
He knew that he needed to leave the office for a moment, to have a cigarette and lose himself in the book he was reading, get a bit of fresh air. But the heat and fire inside of him demanded that he release some of it.
Before he was really aware of what he was doing, he pulled his office phone from the wall socket, cord and all. “It’s just not fair,” he screamed.
Several people looked at him over the walls of their cubicles as he threw the phone to the ground where it broke into many jagged pieces.
Axel had only a moment to reflect on what he had done before the ground began to shake.