This week I’m just using the one prompt word (jockstrap) that was left in the comments of last week’s post. In general I’ll use up to 15. If they aren’t left in the comments, then I may or may not grab some extras off a random word generator site. This week I went with not. 😜
Oh, and sorry, Nell, I broke the rule you attached to your word (“But you have to write something hotter than someone doing laundry and finding a hot jockstrap, that’s the rule 😉”). In fact, it’s literally found in the laundry.
Anyway, since April 3rd is the 1-year anniversary of the release of ’Til Death Do Us Part, I’m going with a bonus scene for that novel, today. The timeframe for this scene falls within the timeline of the story, rather than after it ends, so I suppose you could call it a missing scene. I picture this scene taking place shortly before the action in chapter 4, where Sam hands over his summer class to a grad student and surveys Henry’s office at the university.
For more bonus scenes from ’Til Death Do Us Part, as well as from a number of my other published stories, check out the “Bonus Scenes” tab in the menu at the top of the page.
Sam closed his eyes and took a deep, shuddering breath before reopening them and facing the hamper. In the days immediately following the news of Henry’s plane crash, he’d eyed the tall wicker basket despondently and had instead put his freshly used clothes directly into the laundry basket sitting atop the washing machine.
Would this be his last chance to catch Henry’s scent? It was already starting to fade on the sheets that were still on the bed. His heart wasn’t ready to give up hope, but it warred with the logical nature of his brain. Either way, he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t take care of Henry’s personal effects himself. Regina had offered to handle this task for him, but he’d declined. He both dreaded and wanted to do this himself. He squared his shoulders, removed the lid, and reached in.
His own pajama bottoms lay on top. The ones he’d been wearing when he’d awoken that fateful morning. After watching the news report, he’d been too distracted to think. Apparently, he’d opened the hamper out of sheer habit and tossed them in. He transferred them to one of the laundry baskets he’d placed beside the hamper. Next he quickly sorted the clothes he’d worn earlier that day.
Sam sighed and stared at Henry’s lime-green Nike stretchy fitted shirt that he’d worn when they’d gone cycling together earlier in the afternoon before the flight. Henry had wanted to get his blood flowing before he’d be stuck sitting in an airplane for thirteen hours. Sam’s heart skipped a beat as the sweaty musk that permeated the fabric wafted up to him. He reached, then froze with his hand suspended above the brightly colored material. A sob wobbled in his throat, and he fisted the shirt and clutched it to his chest. He desperately wanted to bury his nose in it, but a vocal corner of his brain cried out, arguing that it would be impossible to turn back, emotionally, if he let himself flounder in his pain.
He tossed the shirt into a waiting laundry basket and gaped at the next item in the hamper. The jockstrap Henry had worn beneath his biking shorts. In typical Henry style, it was a tantalizing cross between form and function. No strictly utilitarian underwear for Henry, but neither was it meant purely as a fashion statement. It was bright blue with a wide gray waistband—pretty, but functional. And rich with Henry’s personal fragrance.
Again, Sam’s fingers hovered over the garment before finally clasping the material. The tears he’d been holding at bay flowed freely as he clenched and flexed his hand around the material. He kept his hands down at his belly, that corner of his brain now positively screaming that he’d never be able to turn back from the abyss if he lost control here and gave himself over to the desperate desire to wallow in Henry’s scent. His hand shook as he transferred the skimpy garment to the laundry basket. He shivered, picturing himself turning into some shifty creeper that came home and sniffed undergarments in a baggie every night. He ran his fingers through his hair and steeled himself to quickly sort through the rest.
He stood and carried the first load to the washing machine, opened it, and tossed in the clothes and a detergent pod. The bright blue jockstrap teased him from the top of the pile. He closed his eyes and counted to ten as he fiddled with a button on his shirt. When he reopened them, the rational corner of his brain whispered: This needs to be done, regardless. Either Henry will want his clothes clean when he returns, or they’ll need to be clean when you pack them away. Sam pushed back when that reasonable part of his psyche pressed him to accept it was the latter, and aloud, he murmured to the empty house, “I know the odds that you’re still alive out there are far closer to ‘none’ than ‘slim,’ but I’m not ready to let go of you, yet.”
Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total.