|The Vegie Bar, Brunswick St|
Keith, Luigi, Jason and Esmé were sitting having coffee the next evening. after The Lord Grey had closed.
“Another victim,” said Esmé, who was leafing through a copy of The Age the café provided for its customers.
“Of what?” asked Keith.
“The Three M killings.”
Keith shook his head. “Three M?”
“Mt Macedon Murderer. You guys are so busy fucking each other that you aren't keeping up with stuff that matters.”
Keith looked at her then gave her the crooked grin that always turned her heart to water. “I'm all attention now, Ezzaloona.”
She swatted him with the paper. “Idiot. OK, listen everyone.” She waited until they were paying attention and then read out the report. When she'd finished there was silence.
“Poor fucker,” said Keith, at last.
“There are always the rumours, aren't there?” Luigi looked at the others. “You know, the pick-up with the sound-proofed van, who's as hot as, and so sexy and loving in the pub, then coldly slices you up and you're never seen again. The elegant old dude who keeps a leather dungeon where he expects the ultimate fuck.”
Esmé shuddered. “Men are such awful creatures!”
“Sorry,” said Jason. “If it's any consolation, I'm pretty vanilla.”
Keith was silent. He'd seen stuff which would haunt him always.
“Anyway,” Esmé continued, “I hope you blokes aren't picking up anyone.” She looked from one to the other, then said, “I would miss any of you idiots if … you know ...”
“Hey!” said Keith. “It's OK, Ezz. We don't pick up strangers. Right, Lou, Jace?”
“Nope!” said Jason.
Luigi was silent.
“It's just that men … gay men … like pick-ups and hot anonymous sex … you know.” Esmé was getting a bit pink and uncomfortable.
Keith stared at her. “Hey, love, daon't worry. That part of my life is over.”
Episodes 1 to 500 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter)