A rotten morning turns into to a great evening when Rory runs into the girl of his dreams. But "the path of true love never did run smooth". Rory, intent on telling everything to the girl he loves, wants to confess he spent two years as a vampire. Not to mention, solve a case of attempted murder at the office . . . . Takes place ten years after the series and is a sequel to "The End of the Beginning".
A BOY AND HIS DOG - GROWN UP
Even at the age of 25, Rory Keener couldn't whistle. Rory was a licensed private pilot, licensed architect and engineer, was an okay amateur rapper, and held a well-paying entry position at McMurdo-Abbott, one of the famous Canadian engineering firms.
As an adult, Rory had even lost most of his teenage gawkiness. He was now a rangy young man, with an eager face, and contacts hiding his poor eyesight. Rory's asthma was in check, Rory using his trusted garlic cloves as a home remedy and avoiding the hated inhaler. The demands of the corporate world meant his hair wasn't as long (or as cool, in Rory's eyes) . . . but Rory didn't make it too short either. It was neatly combed and parted.
Importantly, Rory had even managed to gain some common sense. This was a commodity not given out in school, and Rory had to earn it through some serious thought. Even now, at 25, Rory had less common sense than your normal person. Yet, Rory seemed to have enough to get by.
But the dude still couldn't whistle. And when he opened the bikini-clad centrefold of this month's edition of Canadian Amateur Aviator, Rory resented the handicap. Just for a while. He was a bachelor, and he had his breakfast and his dog's to get.
Krypto, Rory's yellow Lab Retriever, was in his ninth year. The loyal Krypto still usually slept under Rory's bed. Or even at his feet. Rory had bad luck with girls. Not being able to whistle made Rory think of this. Years before, Benny had even joked that Rory'd be a bachelor until he was put in an old age home.
The slow-moving Ethan had finally married Sarah the year before. Right at a big wedding in back of Sarah's parents folks' split-level house.
And even Benny was finding that height plus bucks were making up for his lame-o pickup lines and weirder ideas. At least before Benny had been sent packing up north to work for several months on a mine project on Baffin Island. But still.
Rory was a little disappointed this morning about his poor luck with the opposite sex (how could he not be?), and he told Krypto this at breakfast. A square meal of eggs, coffee and garlic toast.
"Krypto, buddy I can't believe we were talked into buying this place last year. I mean, it's a got a okay view, almost penthouse. But I thought girls would be all over a bachelor in a cool new condo! And Mom and Dad, they thought a condo was a good investment, my just starting out. Too bad I picked a place bought up by families. Man, think how much cooler it would have been if I had rented and gotten the Cessna 172 Skyhawk! We could go flying whenever we wanted! Well, once we found a small aerodrome where we could afford to keep the plane. And then think how cool I'd have looked. Everyone has a condo, no one owns a plane. It'll be way more awesome . . . and girls love pilots with their own planes way more than they go for architectural engineers."
Krypto barked, either in agreement or sympathy. Rory didn't know which, as he slowly turned from the centrefold to an airplane ad near the back of the magazine.
"Maybe I shouldn't have bought that Mustang and stuck with the old Taurus" Rory said reflectively. "More money for flying."
As for Rory's condo building, it was one of those places that looked like stacked squares decorated with burnished steel. Rory's home in particular was much like his old room at home. His home office and his bedroom were filled with toys, models and posters.
And photos of himself. Unless you were a selfie-happy kid who went through two years of not being able to have your picture taken, will you ever you realize how much fun it is to be photographed.
Yet besides loving having his picture taken, Rory rarely thought or remembered he had been a vamp for almost two years. He had changed his mind about vampires - within a week of being cured by the fallout of the lucifractor explosion – and only thought about it insofar as much that was the time SArah, Benny, Rory and Ethan formed "Team SABRE", a cool secret monster hunting team. When they weren't on their day jobs that was.
The one thing Rory had to admit was cool about vamps was flying like Superman. But Rory didn't consider it worth the price of eating rats, not eating garlic, not having your picture taken, not having your reflection in front of you, not being able to live a real life, and of course, damning your soul. Learning to fly in machines, learning to go to space in rockets and shuttles, those were the real human achievements.
Besides, at least once a month Rory made sure to go to church. He was raised that way. Once in a long while Rory wondered how exactly how Jesse had managed to be a vampire minister if everything holy was lethal to him. But then, with some thought, Rory concluded that Jesse was a cult leader instead of a sincere man of the cloth.
Rory's condo was (well, the bank owned most of it) on the tenth floor, with (the real estate agent had said) 1 + 1 bedrooms and almost a view of Lake Ontario. Rory was on the wrong side of the building for the lake. He could look down on Lakeshore Boulevard. This road ran from west to east through Mississauga (a Toronto suburb), with the four lanes crawling with traffic most of the day. It was probably more exciting to see the cars inch along like bugs (Rory thought) but not nearly as romantic (or cool) as the waves on a stormy night. Or the sunrise from the east.
Rory did remember enough about vampires to put a monster-repellent Benny advised above his door. Rory remembered from an evil vampire the guys had come across years before the terrible secret about condominium buildings and vamps. Once vamps got in the door . . . they could then go into any room or apartment in the building . . .unless you were protected.
It was also that experience that gave Rory a sense of revulsion to living in a downtown condo. Not to mention that price was too much for his entry-level wallet. Rory's Dad co-signed the loan for him, as it was.
So Mississauga it was.
"I've gotta run across some hot chicks here sooner or later" Rory told Krypto optimistically. "When I take you out for your walk, that's how we get usually girls. Not just like last week . . . Ruth Demeter, who got me to watch over her kid all Saturday night. . . I guess it's good she thinks I'm a nice guy."
Rory stuffed his and Krypto's dirty plates into the dishwasher that had come with the place. Rory then cheered up.
"It's gotta happen sooner or later" said Rory. "I've got everything else. See you tonight, Krypto. Man, I wish I still had a yard for you to go run around."
Krypto didn't agree, or didn't let on. So long as he was with his master, he was okay with being inside and only going to the grounds for his evening walk.
The story is rated T for language and some adult situations. The content in this story is no worse than, for example, the comedy-drama detective series Monk.