A to Z Challenge: Q is for QUESTIONS

posted in: Various Musings | 5

For the A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge, I’m writing a story, aiming for 1000 words a day (every day except Sundays). Continuing today with the next part of the story about the character Codie Snow.

If you’re new to this series of posts, you might want to start here:

NOTE: Ah…another thing I’m good at doing. Before the character is fully solidified in my mind, I might change his/her name until it’s settled. Well, I discovered that Slade’s last name was Stewart when I’d first begun writing this story, and now it’s Sheppard. Apparently, I really like the SS, but I’d better figure out which last name I want. *Sigh* A writer’s problems…

Codie putzed around their apartment that afternoon. It was a day off from work (a job she hated) and she should have been doing something…something meaningful, but she couldn’t. Her mind was obsessing over Pete.

So, after spending an hour napping and then cleaning up her room, she fired up her laptop computer. She’d considered for a just a second to see if any of the scenes she had witnessed with Pete had hit the news, but she had another goal entirely.

When the laptop was done booting up, Codie opened up the browser and went straight to Facebook. She remembered that, at one time, Pete had had a profile, but she wondered if becoming a cop had changed that. Maybe they were encouraged to do away with them or to go incognito. She typed Pete O in the search bar, and his profile was suggested by the site. She heard the words I’ll be damned in her head, but she only smiled and barely shook her head as she clicked and headed to his timeline.

They were friends on the site but it looked like he wasn’t very active on it. She imagined he could actually lurk and use his connections to see what some of the dumb criminals around town were up to. There were a few things she wanted to check, and she thought by snooping she could find several answers to her burning questions. She knew a few years ago, Pete and some girl named Clarissa were pretty serious. Codie couldn’t remember for sure, but they might have even lived together. Pete was “not in a relationship,” but she thought maybe she could peek through his photos—

She heard the front door open. “Honey, I’m home!” Matthew yelled. She slammed the laptop lid down. It wouldn’t do her any good to have Matthew doing his usual probing and prodding when she wasn’t sure how she felt about her and Pete yet. Yeah, Matthew thought he knew, but how could he when she didn’t? All she knew was she wasn’t willing to chalk it up to a one-night reminiscent thing.

Not yet anyway.

She stood, taking a deep breath, and walked out of her room. Matthew pulled her into a hug. “How’s my favorite roomie?”

“Tired.” He set her down on her feet. “I just proved to myself once again that graveyard shifts aren’t for me.” She’d tried it in her present job as a CNA and learned quickly that the higher overnight pay just wasn’t worth it. Not for that damn job anyway.

Matthew shrugged, removing his suit jacket. “Somebody’s gotta do it.”

He started walking toward their bedrooms and, even though it bordered on potential talk about things she wouldn’t care to hear, she chanced asking anyway. “How was work?”

Matthew paused just inside his doorway and spun with a flair. “This afternoon was exciting! We were in court.”

Codie had heard for years that good lawyers never saw the inside of a courtroom, but the people who said that shit had never seen Slade in action. When they’d first started dating, he’d invited Codie to sit in on a big lawsuit involving tenants versus slumlord (well, as slummy as Dalton got—there weren’t any actual tenements or ghettos, but there was a “bad side” of town). She still hadn’t been convinced that Slade had been the one, but seeing him in his arena—so to speak—had encouraged her to give him a fair shot. The man was likely one of the best performers she knew. She might have even called him an actor, seeing how he could turn on emotional responses like anger and empathy like a switch.

The day she’d sat in on the trial was one she’d never forget. Slade was wearing a dark gray suit. His black hair was slicked back, his brown eyes blazing. She hadn’t seen him in his birthday suit yet, but watching him storm back and forth from his table to the witness stand to then pace in front of the jury before delivering a passionate tirade made her feel warm.

Their first night of sex was fueled with those memories.

Now, though, it seemed like that was where Slade’s mind always was—in the courtroom. Most lawyers might have preferred to dicker about on paper, but Slade was meant to perform in that arena—and he was fun to watch. The boring stuff like divorces he left to his paralegal and Slade just overlooked it and signed off. “Exciting, huh?”

Matthew started unbuttoning his white button-down. “You know Slade…” Yeah, she knew Slade. “Some construction company up to questionable practices in town and three Main Street businesses hired Slade to set them straight.” Matthew slid the shirt off his shoulders before draping it over the back of the chair next to the dresser. “And, believe me, he did. The judge already ruled on it and told the assholes to pay restoration for damages.” Matthew opened a drawer and lifted items until he found a shirt he wanted to wear—a skin-hugging black tee—which Codie found strange, because Matthew should have been changing into his workout outfit like he always did this time of day, but that tee was one he often liked to wear when he was going out. “So Slade and I are going out to dinner to celebrate.”

Ah. That explained it. “Where you goin’?”

Matthew slid off his shoes and then picked them up, placing them in the closet on a rack before unbuttoning his slacks. Codie knew anyone watching would find it strange, but she and Matthew had been close friends and roommates for so long that each other’s partial nudity didn’t bother the other. As long as she didn’t see his actual junk, she was fine—and he felt the same way about her. He’d seen her in bra and panties more times than she could remember, but he’d never seen her completely naked. “I don’t know yet. I don’t think Slade knew where he wanted to go yet—just some place with alcohol.” In seconds, her friend had donned blue jeans and loafers. “How do I look?”

“Great!” They walked toward the kitchen. Codie planned to see Matthew to the door and then to rummage around in the kitchen to scrounge up something to eat. When the doorbell rang, though, she realized that her roommate was being picked up for dinner—he wasn’t meeting his boss somewhere. Codie wanted to bolt—she was in no mood to face Slade—but Matthew wouldn’t let her run off and hide…and she knew it. So she took a deep breath, bracing herself to see her ex-boyfriend Slade for the first time in a month…


5 Responses

  1. Tawnya

    Loving your story! Can’t wait to read what happens next! Also, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a kind comment!

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