Ikea - a short PGI story featuring Nick, Erik, Alex and Aidan

Aug 11, 2017 34 comments

  • humour
  • PGI
  • short story
  • Stay With Me

"I don't think it can be done, Top."

Nick Sullivan whirled around at the sound of the familiar voice, now strained and tight with fatigue. Aidan Blake rose stiffly and emptied an entire bottle of spring water over his flushed face.

"What did you say, Sergeant?"

The menace in Sullivan's voice filled the room. Erik Johansson looked up from his crouched position on the floor, his slightly raised eyebrows the only sign of concern on his blandly handsome Scandinavian face. Kneeling beside him, Alex O'Neill sat back on her haunches and floofed the hair out of her eyes with an exasperated breath. Everyone's attention was on Sullivan, who held the key to their entire problem in his hands.

The Allen Key.

The all-but-ineffectual piece of bent metal that was - according to the information they'd received and the diagrams they'd been provided - all they would need to complete this particular job. Sullivan gripped it tightly, refusing to surrender it to his next-in-command until he'd sorted out this particular clusterfuck for himself.

He ran his palm over his face and tried to clear his head. Fuck this was a mess. He sighed heavily and closed his eyes against the rage that swirled through his mind and made his heart thunder against his ribs in futile fury.

Get a grip, Sullivan he corralled himself, desperate not to let the others see how rattled he was. He looked up and took a deep breath, and then met the eyes of each of his team members.

"This is what's going to happen." he said quietly, which was somehow more frightening than if he had yelled it. "According to the intel," he gestured at the diagram of two jaunty - if slightly overweight - line drawings happily hoisting an armoire over their heads, "this can be done by two people using only this…" he held up the Allan Key and twisted it between his fingers, the sun glinting off the metal. "And as God as my witness, it's going to be."

"But Nick," Alex's high, feminine voice cut through the testosterone-cloud hazing the room. "Be reasonable. We've been at this for two days. I think Aidan's right, I think-"

"When I want your engineering advice, doctor," Nick cut her off sharply. "I'll ask for it."

"Inte prata med henne så". Erik said, his voice a low, ominous rumble. Don't talk to her like that.

"It's okay, honey." Alex put a cautioning hand on her lover's arm. "He's just frustrated. We all are."

"We can do this!" Nick said, his voice catapulting upwards in frustration. "We're fucking Army Rangers and a medical doctor, we won't be defeated by this. Blake, hand me that diagram." He snapped his fingers at Aidan, who dutifully grabbed the now wrinkled and coffee-stained piece of paper and thrust it at his former Master Sergeant.

"Alright," Nick said, casting his bleary eyes over the diagram for the upteenth time in the vain hope that this time it would start to make sense. "Okay, men, we have before us a simple challenge : assemble this Jävla Rövhål armoire…."

Erik snorted, and turned his face away. Jävla Rövhål roughtly translated to “fucking asshole” in Swedish.

"Johansson, what the fuck is so funny?"

"Nothing, Top," he replied, speaking into his hand to hide his laughter. Which didn't work.

"This is from your fucking country, you know." Nick narrowed his eyes at him. "I hold you personally responsible for this. What does Ikea even mean anyway? And for the love of all that’s holy why do you people need to name your goddamn furniture?"

Erik's eyes began to water as he struggled to hold his laughter in.

"I know this Roov-Hall guy is some big fucking designer guy in your country - that's what the girl at Ikea told me - but at this point I couldn’t give less of shit about him or his bedroom storage solutions.’

"I think she was comparing him to you," Erik offered helpfully, his face beginning to turn a shade of pink no one at PGI had ever seen before.

"Erik," Alex admonished. "Don't."

"Well, whoever he is," Nick said irritably. "He's a fucking asshole."

Erik squeezed his eyes shut as tears began to roll down his chiseled cheeks. Alex frowned at him crossly and gave him a disapproving shove, but he merely wiped his eyes and tried to sober himself.

"Okay, look." Nick crouched down and surveyed the landscape of beech particle board planks that littered the break room floor like broken teeth. "There, hand me that long one, the one I put my fist through earlier."

Blake handed over the bruised and battered board as Nick swept away screws and little wood dowels and made a space for it on the floor. Nick slammed it down on the carpet with a defiant thud.

"Okay, now…Alex, I need you to find the shorter one."

"Which shorter one?" she asked. "The short shorter one or the long shorter one."

"The…." Nick frowned and turned the diagram upside down. "The medium shorter one."

"This one?" she tried, handing over a plank.

"No, I said the medium shorter one. That's clearly the shorter shorter one."

"Sorry," she said, and handed over the smaller size.

"Now, Blake, gimme two of those little dowel fuckers. And the glue."

"You got it, Top." Blake began patting the carpet with splayed fingers, groping for the little wooden pieces. He found one and handed it over triumphantly.

Nick closed his eyes patiently. "I said I need two."

"You chewed up the rest, remember?" Blake prompted gently. He gestured to the broken and soggy bits of wood littered around Nick's feet.

"Fuck 'em," Nick announced grandly. "We don't need 'em. Erik, find me a screw."

Erik glanced at Alex for permission, but she scowled at him and restrained himself. He found a long tapered screw and tossed it at Nick.

"Alright, here we go," said Nick, as if tucking into a Thanksgiving turkey. "This is going to be a piece of cake. A piece of Daim cake, with a little Swedish fucking flag in it."

He fit the screw into the pre-drilled hole and tried to fit the Allan Key into the little square on the top.

It wouldn't go.

He tried again, forcing the tiny piece of metal into the square. It bounced off and the screw went flying.

"Fucking Jesus Goddamn Christ!" Nick burst out. "Why doesn't the fucking Allen Key fit? Can anyone tell me why the mother fucking key doesn’t fit in the mother fucking screw?”

"Maybe it's metric," Blake offered quietly.

"Maybe it's what?" Nick rounded on him.

"Well…" Blake blanched. "Well, I mean…I was just thinking….this thing didn't come with an Allen Key so we used Erik's, and maybe since he got it in Sweden and we bought this armoire here…maybe the key is metric and the screw is-"

“You’ve got to be fucking shitting me!” Nick bellowed. “I gotta deal with two different measurements too? I can’t take it, man,” he began to sob. “I can’t take it, I just take it.”

"Nick, Nick, it's okay," said Alex soothingly, walking towards him on her knees. "You want a Xanax?"

Nick Sullivan crouched, and buried his face in his hands. Emotions surged through him, the bitter taste of failure souring his mouth, the utter despair of the vanquished hollowing him out like a 50 calibre slug. He felt the tears stinging his face, felt the splinters of dowel stuck between his teeth, wanted to sink to his knees and throw his hands up in the air like that guy in Full Metal Jacket (or maybe it was Tropic Thunder) and curse the gods. He was defeated. There was no retreat, no surrender, he was simply lost, alone among the chip board planks and the stubby little screws, having failed his men (and one woman).

His men…his heart lurched…he’d led them into this goatfuck and it was his fault…HIS FAULT they wouldn’t be going home tonight.

His fault there’d be no armoire in the break room come morning.

He slumped to the ground, a broken man, and wept.


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  • cuddle_with_me on 2017-08-12 21:45:59 (UTC)

    I love little extra ditties like this where the characters get to play around and show their true colors. This is wonderful. 💓

    • A Eve on 2017-08-13 15:42:01 (UTC)

      Aww, tack tack sötnos...tack för att du hjälpt mig med svenska 💋

  • CharlieRomeoLima on 2017-08-12 12:28:17 (UTC) (edited)

    When the film version of Stay With Me comes out, it's short stories like these that will form the heart of its blooper/outtakes reel. :P

    And I just wanted to post again to congratulate you on receiving your order for your binaural mic and new colleague, Mike Rifone. I know you and him are going to accomplish great things together. And, haha, please don't forget to google-eye him and post pics! :P

    I went to Ikea the other day to try out their mattresses and had a slice of that Daim cake - heavenly choco-almond goodness! I also had some fun google-eyesing a few things...pics on Instagram.

    • A Eve on 2017-08-13 15:40:48 (UTC)

      I absolutely loved your eye-bombing, you are gifted!

      • CharlieRomeoLima on 2017-08-15 20:19:12 (UTC)

        It's such a huge payoff for me to hear you say these words, Eve. Thank you so much! 💖

  • billymacorbuddy on 2017-08-12 12:01:29 (UTC)

    Haha! I love little side stories of comic relief like this! That's the beauty of creating your own material, you can do whatever you want with it. I hope the crew is able to pull together and overcome this adversary, but we haven't seen the cam bolts yet. I'm sure those little bastards are lurking in the shadows.

    • A Eve on 2017-08-13 15:40:22 (UTC)

      haha I don't even know what a cam bolt is! Halp!!

      • billymacorbuddy on 2017-08-13 16:36:45 (UTC) (edited)

        They're used to attach boards at right angles to each other, common in home assembly furniture. There's a male and female part. The male part penetrates the female part, sometimes you have to jiggle it around to get a good fit. Then when it's in there tight, you rotate the female part and it grips the head of the male part, uniting the two in an unbreakable bond. God, furniture assembly is sexy.

        • A Eve on 2017-08-14 19:56:29 (UTC)

          is it getting hot in here, or is just me? 😅

          • billymacorbuddy on 2017-08-15 10:13:45 (UTC)

            Yes. 😉

  • MadWithLust on 2017-08-12 00:05:40 (UTC)

    Now I don't feel so bad for assembling one with a board upside down or backwards! :P

    I imagine the story continues...when everyone else goes to bed for the night, furiously frustrated, Alexandra convinces Erik to try one more time...and he totally figures it out! In their jubilation, the relief of all that pent up stress turns into a happy kiss...and then a lusty kiss...and then she's pressed up against the armoire...and then the armoire tips over and then she's bent over it while Erik is banging her...as hard as he was banging that armoire...

    Ahem Or something like that...

    Runs off to find out which chapter has that hot scene where he takes her for the first time...

    • A Eve on 2017-08-13 15:40:00 (UTC)

      haha I like the way you think! They forgot to put those little bracket things into the wall and so it toppled over! And the whole place came running and wow did they get a show! :D

      It's chapter 9, btw :P

  • Georgio36 on 2017-08-11 12:26:03 (UTC)

    Now that's a rather unique short story Eve. Um what made you wanna post this? There's a lot going on in it for sure. Also what made you take down that audio clip from yesterday? I didn't see anything wrong with it as I'm sure many other people here didn't either. Please don't give into the negativity of the online world. You certainly can't please everyone & it's not worth stressing over. I wouldn't dare share your exclusive content with anyone. Maybe cuz I'm a bit protective & I know the value of your hard work.

    I'm sorry all this negativity is coming your way especially from that GWA site. It makes me glad I'm not on any of that stuff. As I said in that clip yesterday, focus on the people & comments that truly matter. Those are the ones who will keep it real with you; which we have.

    If you give in to haters; than it only makes them feel good & it will be a never ending battle. Be strong, stand your ground. Know that we love you & that we support you the best way we can. Sorry about everything & I wish you the most beautiful day and weekend ()Hugs() 🌷

    • A Eve on 2017-08-11 14:27:42 (UTC)

      This was just a bit of fun for anyone who knows the characters in my book, I know it's not erotic but not everything I do is, so I thought it would be good for a laugh.

      I took down the video because I was getting the feeling from people that while they liked it, they felt I was heading in a cam girl direction, and I got asked by people if I'd do a masturbation one, etc. It was just the wrong message, and the reaction from two of out of six people who commented wasn't entirely favourable. Considering that there's a typical ratio of 100:1 on comments, it made me feel as though a lot more people don't like it than will let on.

      At the end of the day, it's so much harder than you think to just let the 'haters hate'. I am putting myself out there in a very vulnerable way, and most days I face a lot of abusers, thieves, haters, resentful people, etc - and sometimes it just becomes too much. I have left the video up on erome for anyone who wants to see it.

      • Jeffsortairish on 2017-08-12 02:09:10 (UTC)

        After your sweet vaudio Eve - that shows your sensibilities in lighting and soft focus - and then seeing how good listeners can appreciate you in differing ways, I had a simple thought. If you do any in the future, perhaps it can be with a friendly reminder along these lines:

        If you like the fantasy freedom of enjoying my audios only, you might skip this💋 If you want to see this imagery with my voice, I hope you enjoy, and kind comments are appreciated💋

        I feel inept trying to guess how you'd say it - and imagine you'd have a thumbnail that gives a vibe you like, and as much a hint as you wish. Then the watching or not is up to each of us. To me, it's brave and sweet when you share in a vulnerable way, in whatever medium, and I respect your freedom about when/how those times might be :)

        • A Eve on 2017-08-13 15:43:08 (UTC)

          I think you expressed it beautifully, that's a great suggestion. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement 💋

      • Georgio36 on 2017-08-11 15:06:51 (UTC)

        Ohhh ok I see now Eve, & trust me I had no problem with this short story 💓. I figured it had something to do with your book cuz I saw the title. It's just I wasn't entirely sure so that's why I asked. I'm sorry you have to deal with all the abuse & I know it scares you to put yourself out there in the way you do which is why I understand why you don't show your face.

        I rather you be comfortable & safe as possible. I don't wanna seem insensitive either Eve. If you don't feel like something is right for you; you certainly don't have to do it. I and many others enjoy whatever you make us. I like being surprised & that clip was just a fun surprise. I feel bad for liking it as much as I did knowing the backstory behind it. When people treat you bad it hurts me too.

        This is your site & you can do what you want on it. I just want people who aren't regularly here trying to hurt you. Anyways this got way too long lol. Besides all that I hope you are feeling better now & that things will get better. Like I said before, we love ya no matter what you do here 😊 ()Hugs()

        • A Eve on 2017-08-11 17:18:51 (UTC)

          It's okay, I have just had to deal with a lot of stuff behind the scenes lately, and it's had an effect on me. But I'm fine, please don't worry. I have a wonderful group of listeners and fans and I consider most of you friends - so here's a big hug right back!

          • Georgio36 on 2017-08-11 18:12:46 (UTC)

            Aww it's an honor to be considered that Eve 😊. Thank you & may you continue to smile throughout the rest of the day. I'm glad you are ok 🌺

    • CharlieRomeoLima on 2017-08-11 14:22:39 (UTC)

      I noticed too that the vaudio link was taken down, before I had a chance to see the comments (was busy yesterday with invading pests). I just really hope Eve didn't get any grief from anyone over it, because she deserves none of that.

      If some torrenting pirates think they're being generous giving away Eraudica Exclusives, they're dead wrong, because this stolen content is not theirs to share in the first place. And those thieves who post her free audios to Youtube without her permission refuse to acknowledge the idea that a creator can make something available for free, while retaining full copyright and creative control over it.

      I highly doubt haters have the capacity to feel good in a genuine sense of the word. Know that I like reading your enthusiastic and supportive comments, Georgio, and I hope you too have a great weekend! 👍👍

      • Georgio36 on 2017-08-11 15:13:19 (UTC)

        Wow thank you Soo much Charlie 😊. Your name kinda reminds me of the cartoon Character Charlie Brown. I love seeing what you have to write too! You seem like such a smart person with all your big words & wealth of knowledge. That's something to admire especially since you are kind too. I know Eve loves making men happy but she deserves to be happy too if not more. I'm just glad my words help in some way. I think everyone here is amazing. I wish you a great weekend too Charlie 💫. You are super cool just like Eve 👍

      • A Eve on 2017-08-11 14:30:39 (UTC)

        I got a lot of wonderful comments from people, but also some not so great ones, to the point where someone actually said he didn't think I should do anything longer than the first one. Another one said it spoiled the fantasy for him. And others wrote asking if I'll do a masturbation one next. So all in all, while I appreciate the kind thoughts from everyone who liked it, I just don't have the patience to keep putting myself out there to get those kind of reactions. The vaudio is still up but I am rethinking whether there will be any more.

        • CharlieRomeoLima on 2017-08-11 16:44:58 (UTC)

          I support your decision on whatever works best for you; the vaudio thing was, as you said, an experiment and not worth continuing if it doesn't make you feel 100% good about it too.

          Anyway, I want to help steer this discussion back on track so let's get back to chuckling with you at the off-duty antics of our PGI friends! XD I don't know much about Aidan Blake and Nick's sister Thea, but I hope I'm not wrong assuming they are to be the protagonists of the upcoming Book One of the Phoenix Group Trilogy. From your brief allusions to them I am intrigued about the circumstances as to how these two special operators got married. I know, I know! I'll just have to wait and see! 😆

          And YES!!! I got my copy the same day as you, only several hours later - I put some pictures up on Instagram but the multipic share feature cropped them more than I'd like. I think I'll read the text while I listen to your narration for the later chapters. I'm on Chapter 17 now, which promises to be another scorcher!

          • A Eve on 2017-08-11 17:17:23 (UTC)

            haha I should say that I made some microscopic tweaks here and there so the printed version will vary slightly in terms of word choice now and then. But I hope you enjoy it!

            And yes, Aidan and Thea star in Book One, where more background will be revealed...

        • netsroht on 2017-08-11 16:12:36 (UTC)

          Ok, so no I am actually worried, that my comment headed the wrong way. I hope it did not, because I was honest and just told what I feel about it. That cant be bad, can it?

          I dont want to be put into that "hater"-corner, because I am a "lover". And I can not continue beeing a part of this platform, when some people think, (especially you Eve, because you are the reason I am here), I dont love what you do here. But reading all this ... just makes me really sad.

          • A Eve on 2017-08-11 17:14:30 (UTC)

            No, I don't consider you a hater, I was referring to other messages and things I've had to deal with, things that go on behind the scenes and which I don't tell everyone about. I did the vaudio as an experiment to see how people felt about it - I wanted to know people's honest opinions.

          • Georgio36 on 2017-08-11 16:58:01 (UTC)

            No you can stay here, I wouldn't want you or anyone to go away because of a small mishap, & that's all it was. Like Charlie said above, let's just let this go & focus on the real reason we are all here; & that's to enjoy Eve's audios & this wonderful dialogue she posted for us above. Which is quite entertaining might I add. Sorry this got out of control & it's ok to talk about it but let's not dwell on it either. It's in the past so let's move on to greater things. I offer you & everyone a 🍹as a peace offering 😊

            • A Eve on 2017-08-11 17:14:53 (UTC)

              haha what kind of drink is that, that looks good!

              • Georgio36 on 2017-08-11 18:17:11 (UTC) (edited)

                It's raspberry tea lol or it can be juice, or a martini if you like those? 😄. It can be whatever you want Eve. I just wanted to leave something nice here to lighten up the vibes. Enjoy it

          • CharlieRomeoLima on 2017-08-11 16:52:29 (UTC)

            I didn't get to read your comment but for my part I don't see you as a hater at all, netsroht. You did after all get a comment trophy from Eve (congrats by the way!) and haters never ever get those nor do they care to. 🙂

        • stormmuse on 2017-08-11 15:22:04 (UTC)

          Eve, I want to publicly apologize for my comment on longer videos. My intent was not to come across as negative and hurt or discourage your and for that I am sincerely sorry.

          You are such an open and giving person and to know that I caused you pain or distress saddens me.

          Again, I apologize for the tone of my comment and any pain it caused you.

          • A Eve on 2017-08-11 17:16:02 (UTC)

            Not at all, don't be sorry. I wanted people's honest opinions on it, and I'm glad to hear them. It was just an experiment, and I might do more in the future, or I might not. It was mostly the nature of the private messages I got that made me reconsider anyway 💋

  • CharlieRomeoLima on 2017-08-11 10:54:12 (UTC)

    Was listening to a couple Sweet Nothings to lull me back to sleep for a few more hours on my lumpy couch when I saw this. We'd better not let this intel on PGI personnel decryption skill gaps fall into enemy hands; if they redesign their base/facility layouts to look like Ikea assembly diagrams, well, Phoenix Group just might have a small issue with remaining competitive on their future ops. Hahaha, and Nick should know better than to try forcing these things! It just needs a little bit of [lube]...

    I suppose if a man can put together Ikea furniture with ease, he could market that talent as an 'icing-on-the-cake' feature about himself to impress and attract the women he wants in his life. :P My approach to assembling Ikea furniture: fold the manual neatly, place it back into the box, and use the Force........???........profit.

    A funny short story, Eve! Clever use of your Swedish as a name for the Ikea collection of which that armoire is a part. I won't take it as a spoiler that Erik comes across as much more well-adjusted and relaxed; I know you like happy endings for our dear protagonists! :) And, physical book in hand, as one of your official readers I am now obligated to ask of you, the author: Is this considered canon? 😁

    • A Eve on 2017-08-11 14:31:31 (UTC)

      haha you got your book! Awesome! And I don't know if it's canon, I think Nick is usually a bigger softie than this :P