For this week’s 15 random words I’m using:
lighten – level – self – language – wistful – warn – precede – end – weak – stiff – simple – wobble – fine
Above are screen prints of the words it gave me (I got them in 3 batches because otherwise they were covered by ads).
New rule…up until now I’ve used the words exactly as they show up on the random word generator lists. Starting this week I will only promise to use a form of the word. One issue is I write in past tense, and the verbs on the list are always present tense. That can make for some awkward wording if I’m not allowed to modify the form of the word. 15 words is enough of a challenge…I want a little flexibility overall.
This week I went with a bonus missing scene that would be primarily from ’Til Death Do Us Part, but it could also arguably fit in with Nash’s flashback dreams from To Love and To Cherish. I’m going to include it in the bonus scenes links for both since it features an MC from each and is pertinent to both stories. This scene takes place right after Henry has arrived back home, Sam and Nash clash, and Henry and Buddy are leaving to go stay for a short while with Sam’s parents, so Sam and Nash can have their much-needed discussion in private.
I’d originally included a similar scene in ’Til Death Do Us Part, but ended up removing it in favor of keeping the readers in suspense (along with Henry) as to how things would resolve.
It’s told from Sam’s 3rd-person POV.
Sam would’ve rather been anywhere, doing anything, than staying where he was, watching Buddy precede Henry as they walked out the front door with Harley. He’d rather stand in front of a classroom full of incoming freshmen and use the words “epic fail” to describe his recent actions—or lack thereof. He’d rather have his career depend upon the outcome of his entry in a timed Sudoku contest against the math department professors. Hell, he’d rather get his balls waxed. In other words…anything.
If he needed a carrot on a stick to motivate him to turn around and face Nash, he supposed it could be the promise of getting Henry back after he’d suffered this long-overdue conversation.
Henry had been correct. Sam needed to do his level best to handle this properly. Much as he’d love to lighten the mood, to do so would be unfair to everyone involved. Sam straightened his shoulders and cast one more wistful glance out the window as Harley’s pickup backed out of the driveway, then turned to face his now-former fiancé.
Nash still stood with his arms stiff at his sides, his fists clenched as if he’d like nothing better than to unleash his admittedly righteous fury on Sam.
“I’m sorry,” Sam said, hoping a simple, sincere declaration would be a good start.
But, Nash’s face grew even redder. “Fuck you!” he shouted. Shrieked, really.
Sam wobbled on weak knees. Where the hell had that come from? Sure he’d known Nash was upset, as he should be, but they’d never raised their voices, let alone shouted at one another. That had come out of nowhere, with no warning. Language deserted Sam as his jaw dropped.
“First you couldn’t make a straightforward decision. Him or me? Do I stay or do I go? Then when you finally fucking did you couldn’t even pick up the goddamned phone and call me? Fuck! You!” At least Nash wasn’t yelling anymore, but his voice was cold and hard as he bit out the words.
What Nash said wasn’t entirely fair. Nash had contributed greatly to Sam’s indecision. He was the one who’d made the point that Henry would certainly have changed in five years and might not even want to get back together with Sam. It was almost as if Nash had seen the writing on the wall and actively lobbied to sway Sam’s decision.
But Sam didn’t want to make this about himself. This needed to be about helping Nash cope with the abrupt end to their engagement.
“I am sorry,” Sam whispered. Tears threated to fall as he ran a hand through his hair. “I do love you. Please remember that. You deserved better than a breakup over the phone, but I should have thought about how that reunion scene was being broadcast on TV.”
Nash stared at him for a moment, then his eyes became unfocused, and his gaze dropped.
“I didn’t want to hurt you,” Sam continued. “I would never have caused you pain deliberately.”
Nash sniffed loudly and lifted his gaze. The torment in Nash’s eyes ripped through Sam’s heart. Sam stepped forward instinctively to offer a hug, but Nash put up a hand, palm out. “No.” Nash shook his head. “That won’t help me anymore. It would hurt.”
Sam stilled, and his arms dropped. “What can I do to help.”
Rolling his shoulders and clearing his throat as if consciously trying to pull himself together, Nash looked around the room and said, “You know what? I’ll be fine. The sooner I clear out of here and move on with my life, the better off I’ll be. If you want to help, take a pass through the house and see if there’s anything I’ve missed packing.”
“Of course.” But Sam couldn’t bring himself to move his legs.
Nash wiped the back of his hand across his wet eyes. “I want to be ready to leave when Harley gets back.”
Stomach clenched, Sam nodded and stepped away. Nash might not want a hug, but Sam needed one desperately.
Sam turned at the sound of the softly spoken word.
“I…I love you, too. That’s why…” Nash snuffled. “You know.”
“I know,” Sam murmured.
“Maybe…maybe one last hug for the road. I don’t want to end things like this.”
Sam’s hands trembled and one of the tears that had been threatening finally traced down his cheek. He opened his arms, and Nash stepped into them. “Thank you,” Sam whispered into Nash’s hair.
As always, because I can’t resist a good challenge, I’ll take the first 15 prompt words given to me in the comments, below, for next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please. I’ll make up the difference using a random word generator site if I don’t get 15 here.
Quick links to my website pages with buy-links, blurbs, excerpts, review snippets/links:
’Til Death Do Us Part
From This Day Forward
To Love and To Cherish