This is the final week of the A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge, and I’m writing a story about a character named Codie Snow. If you’re just joining me, you’ll want to start with these earlier posts so you’re not completely lost:
Codie lay with her head resting against Pete’s chest, relishing the feel of his arm hairs under her fingers as she brushed them back and forth. He smelled really good tonight. She’d expected him to smell a little more like he’d been exerting himself, considering the weather had been warming up quite a bit lately and he had to wear that starchy uniform, but he smelled almost as fresh as if he’d just showered.
It made her almost want to lick him.
Instead, she let her senses rule her mind for a bit as she wondered what this meant for them. Were they going to really get together now, after walking away from each other all those years ago? Could they see past their juvenile differences and become adult lovers meant for one another?
Codie continued to ponder it until she remembered something else very important. She sat up a little so she could look in Pete’s eyes. “So what exactly were you talking about on the phone earlier?”
He lifted his eyebrows but his eyes were shut tight. “Hmm?”
Was he pretending he didn’t know what she was alluding to? “You know…what you said about checking the paper in the morning.”
“Oh, yeah, that.” He half-shrugged his free shoulder but he didn’t open his eyes to look at her. “You know that woman at that religious house? Name of Dinsmoor?”
“They’re saying it wasn’t suicide.”
Codie sat up. “Seriously?”
“Yeah. They’re not saying murder yet, but…”
After a few seconds, Codie added, “That’s what they suspect?”
“I think so. But that’s all I can say. It’s still under investigation.”
“Of course.” She tried resting her head on his chest again but she knew he was going to have to get up in a little bit anyway. She imagined he was pretty strict about getting back to work on time—that was just the way Pete was. “You should come over for dinner sometime.”
“Yeah, you know—the evening meal. But since you have lunch around two in the morning, I could make you pancakes and bacon before you go to work.” She grinned. “Or we could do it when you have a night off.”
Pete shifted underneath her, and she could tell he was trying to squirm his way out from underneath her. Yes, squirm…and she felt herself grow angry before he could even say a word.
Angry, because the alternative was hurt.
He sat up and made sure he was sitting on the edge of the bed before he said, “Why can’t this just be for fun? Why do we have to make it something more?”
Jesus Christ. And she’d thought Slade was commitment-phobic.
She pursed her lips together so hard they started to feel numb and then, as he was pulling on his underwear, she let out a breath. “I didn’t realize inviting you over for dinner was a huge deal.”
Pete shrugged and stood. When he finally looked at her, he said, “I guess it doesn’t have to be. It just feels that way.”
That was it. She couldn’t help the feelings in the pit of her stomach. She felt unloved and used. That wasn’t the Pete she remembered. “Um…I kind of think sticking your dick in me feels kind of huge.”
Both of them had upset and shocked looks on their faces for all of two seconds, until the humor of what Codie had uttered washed over them. They both started smiling until Pete said, “Thanks, I think.” Codie tried to hold onto the anger, because she had a lot more venom to spew at him, but before she could, he said, “Look, Codie, we haven’t done a good job at keeping in touch, even with shit like Facebook, so maybe you don’t know that I just got out of a pretty serious relationship the end of last year. I like you. I’ve always liked you. But I’m just not ready for anything heavy. I don’t know when I will be.”
Okay, well…now Pete didn’t seem like such an asshole. Still, it would have been nice to know his feelings going in. Maybe she could have protected her own. In light of his honesty, it only seemed fair to return the favor. “I don’t know that I can be a friend with benefits.” But wasn’t that almost what she and Slade were to each other? She felt confused and alone—and still angry. But she didn’t know that directing those emotions at Pete would be such a good idea.
“Fair enough.” Pete picked his pants up off the floor and began sliding them over his legs. “Can we be friends, though? I’ve missed that, Codie.”
That hurt too. Yes, she’d missed Pete in her life as well, though she never would have thought so before the past week. “Yeah, of course.” She sighed, looking on the bed for the t-shirt she’d worn as a nightie and began pulling it down over her head.
“I don’t know if I told you back in high school, but you’ve got gorgeous tits.”
Ugh. Really? Talk about ruining a moment. “Thanks. I think.”
He grinned while buttoning up his shirt. “Maybe we could go to lunch sometime.” Before she could protest or get angry again, he said, “Real lunch. Catch up. It’s been a long time. Maybe we could start there and see what happens.”
A small smile crept up on her face. “Yeah. I think I’d like that.” More than she’d say out loud even.
QUICK NOTE: Something happened while writing the beginning of this chunk of story, something that often happens to me while writing. Basically, the story or the characters (or my crazy brain–whatever the case may be) decided to do a quick zigzag: I had one direction in mind for the story and they took me down another path. As long as it adds to the story or makes it better, I’m all for it, and the zigzag basically added an emotional element that I’m happy to take. 🙂 I love when that happens!
UP NEXT: X is for It Takes X Times to Get a Clue