"When I'm looking for an idea, I'll do anything--clean the closet, mow the lawn, work in the garden."
And underneath that one of the tags read: "That's where stories tend to hide."
This afternoon we had a preemptive Not-Back-To-School party where we took off the afternoon of homeschool and ate doughnuts and played games. I was goofing off, losing games of Solitaire in succession, when this little scene began to manifest itself in my head. Solitaire is really good for things like that: it doesn't require even a third of your concentration to play it well, and I find myself drifting off into writing land frequently. There was one lyric out of a song that stuck in my head, and I couldn't tell you what it originally was, but it transformed into a man saying, "You know we don't do this, (name)." What "this" was slowly transformed into this scene. Don't know if I'll do anything with it, and I left in the original note where I could expand into more background story, but it's actually rather self-contained as it is, and I'm proud of that.
Roark's surprise was revealed by the slight straightening of his spine, by the pause before he resumed pulling his shirt back over his head. The scars that cross hatched his back gleamed slightly before being covered by his shirt. All past weaknesses concealed by a plain grey covering. His face was turned to a profile, but she didn't bother trying to study it for a response. Roark was too good to show his emotions. His voice was as stiff as his shoulders.
“You know we don't do that, Leesa.” He turned toward her then, a carefree look on his face that didn't quite reach his eyes.
She hugged her knees closer to her chest. It was these moment she felt the most vulnerable, when she let her walls slip down far enough that these conversations were possible. <optional expansion>
“Why don't we do this, Roark?” She heard her own voice in her ears, and to her disgust it sounded like she was pouting. She sat up straighter, dropping her knees and instead holding the edge of the blanket.
“We're both consenting adults. We are free to make these kind of decisions ourselves--”
“Exactly,” he interrupted her by foregoing getting dressed and crawled into her space. He knelt in front of her, nearly in her lap, and she felt his hand on her cheek. Her face had cooled from the flush it held earlier, and the warmth of his hand was welcome. She leaned into it, and tried not to look at his eyes.
“We are making the decision to not complicate this. You know this line of work doesn't have a long life expectancy. Let's just have fun when we can and not worry about anything else, okay?”
She heard the earnestness in his voice, but she couldn't bring herself to look at it in his face. She never knew whether he was trying to convince himself or her of that anymore, and she was tired of trying to guess which it was. She sighed, and relented.
He ruffled her hair like he would a kid sister. “Good girl.” He leaned away from her and she didn't bother to hide her glare as she watched him shrug into his shoulder harness. He checked both guns with a sliding click before re-holstering them and locating his boots under the bed. He glanced over at her as he laced them up, and didn't flinch at her scowl. He saw her tank top tangled in the sheet and tossed it her way.
“Now get dressed Lee, we've got work to do.” He finished his boots, and slid a black overshirt on to conceal his gun holster. He gave her a playful wink as he shouldered his duffel bag.
“That prince isn't going to assassinate himself.”
Her gaze followed him as he left the room, and she was irritated when it was blurry with tears. She scrubbed her eyes clean, and quickly found the rest of her clothes. She muttered angrily to herself as she shoved her legs into her pants.
“A simple “Love you, too” would have sufficed, asshole.”