Writing Prompt Wednesday – “Fulfilled”

the_empty_bed_by_serrah_d1mrtdo-fullview.jpg

The Empty Bed by serrah

A loud knock on the door had Richard jumping, which in his condition was not at all optimal. So instead of telling whoever it was on the other side that had the nerve to spook him to get in there and show themselves he groaned loudly.

They either heard him and took that as their cue or decided the knock was enough warning. Andrew stuck his head around the door frame, shit-eating grin on his face. “Long time no see!”

“Jesus, Andrew, have some mercy on the injured.” Richard’s griping was half-hearted, tone mostly colored by his sudden discomfort.

He was actually relieved to see Andrew. After the fiasco that was their last job landing him with a bullet to the side, Andrew had been tasked with handling all the formalities and after effects alone. It had been a success, thankfully, but even in their underground work there was still the bureaucratic bullshit to get through and finish things up. Richard had been kept in the dark despite his constant questions to his colleagues, but he hoped the rest of the job tied up nicely. He and Andrew were supposed to handle the hand-off of their ill-gotten gains together, and he’d be lying if he said he hadn’t been nervous to not be there to make sure it went well.

Andrew’s being here was obviously a good sign.

Taking a seat on the edge of the bed, opposite of Richard’s injured side, Andrew sighed. His grin was more thin now, and Richard could clearly see the lines of stress and tiredness pulling at his eyes. “Finally finished up all the paperwork and boring stuff,” Andrew said lightly. He pressed the back of his hand to his forehead in a very ‘woe is me’ gesture. “It was agony without you there.”

“Agony because you had to do it by yourself, maybe,” Richard laughed lightly, unable to keep his eyes from rolling. God he’d missed Andrew. It had been over a week and he suddenly realized he hadn’t gone that long without seeing his partner in… he didn’t even know how long. “How did it go? The few people that actually felt like stopping in wouldn’t tell me anything.”

“Went off without a hitch, of course.” Andrew winked. “Missed you, though–Fabián is damn good, but it’s just not the same as having you there.”

Richard desperately hoped the warmth of his face and neck wasn’t visible.

Andrew turned a bit, settling his thigh and knee up on the bed so he could face Richard more. He gave him a once-over. The grin slipped into a tight-lipped hum of thought. “How are you doing? They wouldn’t tell me anything, either.”

His hand lightly touched his hip, feeling the bump of bandages under his covers and thin shirt. Richard shrugged. “I’m not dead,” he offered, and when all that got him was a stern ‘don’t be an ass’ look he amended, “I bled more than anything. It mostly went through muscle and fat,” he said, lightly jiggling his uninjured left hip for emphasis. “Skimmed a bone or something though, and of course the fact that I have a hole in my side…”

“Have you ever been shot before?”

“No, and I don’t intend to have this become a thing either. If I can help it.” Richard had been damn lucky the bullet didn’t go even a bit further to the left, or down, or–well, he was just lucky. Getting the bullet dug out was awful, but his stay was almost over now, thank god. He sighed. “It’s been boring as hell here, though. They took my phone.”

“Oh,” Andrew said softly, reaching into his jacket pocket. Held aloft as if a prize was Richard’s phone and a charger. “Your sister has called a lot, by the way.”

The prospect of having a cure for his boredom far outweighed the sinking feeling at the mention of his sister–god knows what she wanted, probably money. As his mouth began to open in an enthused “thank you” he reached forward for his phone, only for Andrew to pull back. Richard frowned. “What are you doing?”

Another cheeky grin sprouted, and Andrew waggled the phone in his hand tauntingly. Bastard. He damn well knew Richard couldn’t lean forward and take it from him. Not without it hurting like a bitch. “What, don’t I get anything for being kind enough to bring this to you?”

“It’s probably because you’ve had it this whole time that I didn’t get it sooner.”

Andrew hummed again, and tapped the lip of the phone case to his chin in mock-thought. “Gigi may have asked where it was so they could bring it on their visit, and I said I had it covered…”

“If I could kick you I would,” Richard grumbled, waving a hand at him dismissively. As it was he definitely could not do any kicking, or much moving at all for that matter. He raised his knee the slightest bit and shoved it as hard as he dared into Andrew’s back from under the blanket, instead.

Andrew didn’t miss a beat. “Swap that ‘C K’ for two ‘S’s’ and we’ll be in business.”

“What?” he asked, before his brain actually put two and two together. Their eyes met, and while Andrew looked the most serious he’d ever seen him Richard felt his own eyes narrow and then widen in realization. “What?” he asked again. He’d heard him the first time, but the clarification couldn’t hurt.

This time the phone tapped lightly at Andrew’s bottom lip, drawing Richard’s eyes there briefly before they shot back up again. “K-I-S-S,” he spelled out slowly, and Richard wasn’t sure if he was being patronizing or afraid to say the actual word. “That’s not asking too much. Is it?”

He was genuinely asking, giving Richard an out if he wanted.

Normally he would spend a fair amount of time looking at this whole scene from way too many angles. Lots of second guessing and wondering at the different paths this conversation could take depending on what he said or did next. And god did Richard want to just sit and think for a moment.

But, instead, Richard swallowed before reaching forward again, leaning as far as he could without straining anything. Maybe he couldn’t reach his phone, but Andrew’s lapel?

As he grabbed the material and pulled, still stretched forward, Andrew moved closer and met him halfway. Before they reached each other Andrew suddenly closed his eyes and surged forward, lips only barely connecting. He was more at the corner of Richard’s mouth than anything. Richard puffed a short burst of air out of his nose, a laugh, before he shifted, turning it into more of a proper kiss.

It was chaste, soft aside from the slightly chapped lines of Andrew’s lips that seemed dry no matter how much lip balm he used (and Richard knew, he used a fair amount). Maybe he was being weird about it, but he couldn’t bring himself to close his eyes. Plus, this way he could take in all the small details now that he was up close, like the tiny sunspots on Andrew’s nose or how tightly clenched his eyes were, the lashes tangling together.

Before he could stop himself Richard huffed out another small laugh, not really believing this was happening. Andrew blinked his eyes open and drew back just enough to separate their mouths. He quirked a brow at Richard’s reaction.

“Bold of you to have that as your request,” Richard said, their lips still close enough they brushed together. It tickled, and Andrew pursed his lips to get rid of the sensation. “What if I didn’t feel the same way?”

“I was worried I might have misread the situation,” he chuckled, lightly placing Richard’s phone in his lap as he bumped their noses together. Richard wrinkled his in response. “But you also weren’t super subtle.”

“Says the one more friendly than I am.”

Another hum, definitely amused from the sounds of it. Richard closed his eyes and pressed his forehead to Andrew’s with a happy little sigh and smile. He felt fit to burst, near giddy, and was almost tempted to think he’d be willing to take that bullet again if it resulted in this same outcome. Almost.

Advertisements

Writing Prompt Wednesday – “Revenge”

gun_by_rahulbarfa_d5b2sdg-fullview.jpg

Gun by rahulbarfa

Andrew huffed loudly as he dragged Richard back around a corner, then grabbed his tablet from the other’s lap where he’d quickly dropped it before and set it aside. Shots echoed loudly down the hall behind them, and the wall splintered at their impact. “Gimme your gun,” he said urgently, and tried to pry Richard’s fingers out of their death grip on the pistol. He eyed the wound in Richard’s abdomen, biting his lip and narrowing his eyes. “And keep pressure on that, that’s more important.”

Richard wheezed, finally letting go of the gun as Andrew quickly peeked around the corner. When more shots quickly followed he ducked back, stuck his hand out and fired wildly, a few muffled curses coming from their pursuers. Stupid, but hopefully it would give them a moment.

A groan from Richard had him looking down again–good, at least he’d listened. Andrew gently set the tablet and gun back in Richard’s lap before he stood again, grip shifting to under the man’s arms to keep going. “While I’m more concerned for your health at this point, you still have that fuckin’ USB, right?”

Richard’s not-covering-a-bullet-hole hand had gone to keep the tablet securely against his thighs, but he wiggled it the slightest bit and Andrew could see the silver flash of their target between his fingers. “What d’you take me for?” he grit out, and just because he could, he raised his middle finger the slightest bit too.

Andrew laughed breathlessly, glancing over his shoulder to see they were about at the door they’d come in through. “Good to know you’re not so bad off you can’t suppress your inner asshole.”

“I’ve been told I’m a de-light,” he countered, head tilted back to give Andrew a raised eyebrow. The last word was forced out roughly as Andrew shifted him a bit too quickly to reach for the door handle and he grunted in pain.

Yeah, Andrew supposed he had said that at some point.

Just as he was about to duck into the room their pursuers rounded the corner, and as if he wasn’t bleeding out all over the floor Richard snatched the gun up and fired at them. Andrew rushed, muttering a few ‘sorry-sorry’s he he jostled Richard in his haste. He quickly shut and locked the door and made his way to the window. Thank god they were on the first floor. “What did I say about pressure on that?” he scolded, and helped Richard climb out the window.

“Not allowed to seek vengeance for my innards spilling out?” He propped himself against the wall outside as Andrew followed him out.

“Actually that’s what I was going to do as soon as I got you to the van,” he said brightly, shifting around. “Hop on,” he gestured vaguely at his back.

“R-really? Piggyback, are we five?” But Richard still moved to grab around his shoulders, items clutched tightly in his hands as they plopped against Andrew’s chest. He hissed as Andrew jumped him up a little to adjust his position before damn near sprinting across the yard to their getaway van in the street. He scoffed then. “You were going to run back in after them,” he stuttered with each step, the jerking motion an absolute killer on his gut.

“Of course, they hurt you,” Andrew said sincerely. And as tempted as he was to go back in guns blazing he also knew it wouldn’t do them any good. Getting Richard out and to safety was the new priority.

But damn if he didn’t want to, a quiet rage bubbling in his chest.

Writing Prompt Wednesday – “Degraded”

d4a3pnm-5a2c44ff-66c2-490e-b53b-af8b0225b1bb.png

On My Knees by jostef

Down, to knees, neck and arms limply dangle

Empty eyes meet the ground in submission

Granting access, showcasing a quiet vulnerability

Ready for the next best thing to take its place

After, what comes after that? Dare it wonder?

Death is likely, or perhaps a more placid destruction

Ever eager to please, to follow instruction

Does the outcome matter so long as the purpose is fulfilled?

Writing Prompt Wednesday – “Remorse”

dwauo6-395f82b3-31a1-4956-a7d4-9e30cb214691.jpg

compose by alperyesiltas

He couldn’t think of a single moment in his life where he’d felt regret. He never spoke without thinking through every possibility, plotting the course of most conversations to the point that it would likely be called obsessive, paranoia. Each action was carried out with purpose and no wasted effort. He didn’t believe in wasting time, whether it was his own or someone else’s.

After meeting Andrew, however, he found it increasingly difficult to keep track of the minutes when he just ended up staring dumbly at his face. Words would take even longer to come to him, his usual ability to be snappy and on top of things floundering. And he found himself wondering if he would end up regretting this, letting himself get lost in bright eyes and dopey smiles. Both of which were being directed at him right now.

“What?” he asked, clearing his throat and sitting up straight. He blinked, trying to refocus on… what had they even been talking about?

Richard,” Andrew laughed his name, shaking his head and flustering Richard even more. God damn, even just hearing his name was enough to skew his brain all over again. What a mess. “Were you even listening? Oliver said he sent you the next mission briefing. Care to share or do I need to hack into your email or something?”

It took a beat, but at the mention of their informant it was all business again. Good, he needed to get back on track. Stupid, unaware Andrew. “Pillar Financial, safety deposit box.”

Thank you,” his partner smiled, all chipper and perky as always. Richard bit back on the urge to drag a hand down his face.

Andrew turned back to his computer, mouse moving quickly. “I don’t think we’ve hit them yet, but it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle to get blueprints for you and get something set up for the security.”

“I’ve been there before,” Richard offered. He knew the layout of the place from a previous hit. “Very basic floor plan. A loop feed for the cameras should be enough, so all we’ll need is the guard schedule and paths, and bypasses for the doors.”

“Toooo easy,” Andrew murmured, typing away. His nose scrunched the slightest bit and his eyes narrowed a tad as he concentrated, and Richard once again found himself almost blatantly staring at the little hints of crows feet at the corner of Andrew’s eyes.

Richard clenched his jaw and turned back to his own screen. Stupid, positively distracting Andrew. Because it was clearly his fault. He was definitely going to regret letting this fixation go on for as long as it had.

Writing Prompt Wednesday – “Hyper”

d9yuyc6-abd42bf8-4915-4662-8ae9-c8d40c98ad6f.jpg

Grasp by cameraguyy

Hold him down

Eventually this will pass

He doesn’t know us, this place, his own power

Hold on

Making rash decisions will help no one

You are strong too, spare him some of your strength

Hold out hope

You may not see it now

But there is worth here, a purpose for this

Hold your ground

The fight will leave him, in time

And a moment of respite will do us all good

Hold your tongue

This fragile air is easily shattered

You know better than to let words fly so carelessly

Hold tight

Our hands slick with sweat and exertion

Maintaining this grip is all we have left

Hold him

We are all that remains here

We only have each other now

Hold me

And I will hold you

Writing Prompt Wednesday – “Thankful”

brighter_than_sunshine_by_hip_possible_d2005a4-fullview.jpg

brighter than sunshine by hip-possible

The world is brighter when you smile

Not even the dark curtain of your hair can cloud this particular sun

And at night, your grin a crescent moon

Lighting the way to shelter, to safety

While your eyes are the sparkle of stars

Connecting in constellations to tell the story of how you came to be

How on this vast planet, full of people, people, people

Where I am but one of many

How did I get so lucky

To meet the one and only you?

Rays – Writing Prompt Wednesday – “Humiliation”

Sort of a continuation/Robyn’s point-of-view of Hoarfrost from a dang-long time ago.


Unsure of where to go from here, Robyn sat in the parking lot outside her apartment building, slowly banging her head on the steering wheel of her car. She had no clue how to go about her sudden situation with Dante Conti.

Since having him trip over her months ago, she’d thought he was a complete goofball. Not necessarily in a bad way, but he was definitely a goober. And in her generous way she had helped the dummy out, and they had built a sort-of friendship from there. It was a lot of homework-doing and just general hanging out, but still a friendship. And as those few months went on, she found out what made up Mr. Conti.

Dante was a neat freak. His hygiene was crazily well kept, and he took it very seriously. It almost drove Robyn batty with how much of a stickler he was for his regimen. And it was hilarious, because other than his hygiene, he was so disorganized. He had a method to his madness (supposedly), but otherwise his apartment was a mess of paper, burned copies of CDs and DVDs, and other electronic equipment. He took indie music and films as his hobby (read: obsession), and it littered his living space.

Dante was a mama’s boy. In a good way, though. His mother had become ill when he was graduating high school, and for the next few years he’d stayed, given up his goals and dreams to take care of her. What a good son! Robyn couldn’t imagine being able to give up on her dreams, not even for her family, possibly… And she had to imagine she’d like his mother; she’d named her son after a famous poet, after all. She wouldn’t mind meeting Mrs. Conti.

Dante was plain. But that was a harsh way to put it. He was very interesting, Robyn thought, but when out of context (whatever that meant) he could be seen as blah. Well, that was how Tasha put it, and Robyn could see it, but she supposed she looked past that. He was very caring and understanding, a listener, and that made up for his ‘plainness’ in her eyes.

She was suddenly realizing she might really like Dante. Hm. She’d only had one boyfriend before, starting in high school. And of course, high school relationships usually don’t end well. And it hadn’t. She’d gone to the same college as that bozo, and things had ended up turning so nasty sour that the break-up had been part of the reason for her transfer to her new university.

And now here she was, in a situation like that all over again. Well, not really. He’d only asked her out. She hadn’t said yes, or anything.

“Uh, no, actually… I was waiting for you.”

Robyn hadn’t thought of Dante in that way at all since meeting him. He had been strictly and, sadly, friend-zoned. He was a super nice guy, of course, but the thought just hadn’t crossed her mind. And so the sudden appearance at her work had thrown her off. She’d been so mortified. Seeing the expression on Dante’s face, the look on hers probably hadn’t been very encouraging…

“What for?” She hadn’t meant to sound mean. It just took all of Robyn’s willpower to not go bright faced and watery eyed at the whole situation.

And then he’d asked her out! At work! She had felt like barfing. She kept her cool much better than expected, but oh, God, did she want to just disappear right then and there. Why’d he have to come to work? She felt trapped.

“Are you kidding me? You come and ambush me at work to ask me out?”

Needing to escape, and fast, she had grabbed him and practically dragged him from the establishment, leaving Jenny the hostess looking lost at her station. Whatever. She needed to leave.

He’d tried to reason with her, she’d guessed, but at the time she didn’t want to hear it. She saw his ATV and hauled him over to it. And then she let him have it, feeling the red spread over her face like a sudden, nasty nosebleed.

“That was so embarrassing!” she’d hissed, as if there had been someone around to hear them. Not likely. “You don’t pull that crap in public! That’s for in private.”

“Uh…”

Oh damn, was she having a nosebleed? Her face was on fire. She put her hands over her face and shook her head, muttering, “Oh my gosh, everyone was there and they all saw and even strangers and oh my go-osh…”

And he’d laughed at her! The nerve of that guy! Here she’d thought he was nice and just joked around sometimes, and here he was laughing at her in her weak moment. “It’s not funny, Danny.“ He had stopped laughing and smirked knowingly at her. Robyn had felt her face burn even more. “That was really embarrassing.”

“If anything, I should be embarrassed. You practically rejected me in there, after all.”

“What? What do you mean? I did not—”

“Really? You didn’t? So you’re free tomorrow?”

“Wait… I…” Son of a bitch. Word play sucked. Robyn had felt like a seven-year-old again learning chess from her older brother. Tricked and totally not seeing it coming. Sneaky bastard…

“I’m kidding, Robyn. I’d like to take you out tomorrow. I’d like to go out with you. But I won’t pressure you into it. Um, I think I did enough pushing for one night…” He’d waved his hands in surrender. “So it’s totally up to you. Of course.”

She’d tried her damnedest to calm down, and not seeing it happening anytime soon, she asked him for time. She just needed to think. The air felt constricted and limited, like she was going to run out if the conversation went on any longer.

“Can I, um… think about it, first? Let you know tomorrow? After classes.”

“Sure. I understand.” And he’d smiled.

Flustered all over again. Ugh! How had she not realized forever ago how freakin’ cute this guy was? His smile was dazzling, and it was just a smile. Thinking about it, she had realized that any time Dante smiled it was wonderful to see. She could only think of it as sunshine when he glanced down at her and showed off his pearly whites. If the situation hadn’t been what it was, she would have taken out her phone and snapped a picture.

“Cool. Great. Okay. Uh…” Unsure where to go from there, she lowered her hands from her cheeks and looked up at him timidly. She hated feeling so lost. And curse him; he was still sharing that sunlight.

They’d parted ways with the agreement to see each other tomorrow, and now Robyn was sitting in confusion in her car. Now what?

Glancing around, Robyn saw Tasha’s car nearby. Good. Maybe her roommate could help her out with this one. She was constantly juggling boys; she’d be able to help Robyn out with this, right?

Making it inside, Robyn found Tasha veg’ing in the living room watching something on Netflix. Breathing in quietly, she said hello and asked if Tasha could talk.

“Well sure!” And so Robyn briefly explained what happened.

“Dante… he’s that tall-brunette-plain-but-still-totally-a-hottie you’ve been hangin’ with for ages, right?”

“Not ages…” Robyn muttered, ducking her head down and blushing.

“You know what I mean. Doesn’t matter. Hot brunette, established.” Robyn wished she had Tasha’s New York uninhibited-ness.

“Um, yeah.”

“So what’s your problem?”

“Well… what do I do?”

Tasha snorted, giving her a look. “Well, I could tell you what I would do—”

“Um, no. Let’s not go there.”

Tasha laughed, patting Robyn on the shoulder good-naturedly. “Do you like him?”

“I hadn’t even thought about him like that until tonight, Tasha.” Robyn sighed. “I don’t know… I mean… I think I do. Can I be unsure?”

“You sadden me with your lack of boy knowledge.”

“Shut up.”

“Look,” Tasha said, gesturing with her hands. “He can’t be all too bad if you’ve been hanging out with him, right? So you’ve gotta like him in some way. And that’s okay if you’re not sure. Relationships are a lot of trial and error. A LOT. You’ve been in a relationship before. Treat it like that. Er, the beginning part, at least. Obviously the ending didn’t go so well.” Robyn nodded sagely, frowning. “So treat it like an experiment.”

“This isn’t a science class, lady.” Tasha was also an education major like Robyn was, but her penchant for the sciences liked to filter into everything. Not that Robyn could talk.

“Shush. Seriously, think of it that way. Hell, even tell Danny-boy that you’re not sure, but you wanna try.” She paused and looked at Robyn. “You do, don’t you? Wanna try things with him?”

“I…” Robyn bit her lip, remembering Dante asking her. He’d obviously been nervous himself. Now she kind of felt bad for how she reacted. And his smile when she’d said she’d think about it… She huffed a short laugh and said, “Yeah. I do.”

“And there you go. That’s fifty for the therapy session,” Tasha said seriously, holding out a hand. She smirked.

Robyn giggled and grabbed her hand, and was promptly pulled into a hug. She squirmed awkwardly. “Er, how about I buy you lunch?”

“Hm… I’d rather have coffee. We’ll say three different times?”

“Woof. Three? You’re expensive.”

“Fine, two. Stingy.”

Robyn thanked Tasha for her advice and listening ear, and went to her room. She sat up for a while yet, hearing the TV in the next room and letting her own thoughts clash together in her head.

Sighing, she rolled over under her blankets and hunkered down, imagining a beaming ray of sunshine-y smiles directed at her accompanied by warm brown eyes. If she could keep seeing those smiles… Yeah, I can do this. She smiled and snuggled against her pillow.