TITLE: Smoke and Wait
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Alex wants to sort out what her friend Will feels for her.
“I know if I try to start a conversation, you’ll clam up, start speaking in single word sentences. And we’ll be right back where we started. Or behind where we started, really, because now there’s this weirdness between us.”
“Maybe,” he said.
“You said yesterday I can tell you anything.”
I wanted to flip a rice ball at him. Instead, I said, “Okay. Guilt is b******t."
Two words. We had progress. “It’s an emotion of inertia. It gets you nowhere or keeps you rolling in the same direction. You do something wrong, you feel bad? Fine. Don’t do it again and move on.”
Will’s nostrils flared, a bad sign. “You think my feelings are b******t?"
“No. I didn’t mean that.”
“I’m emotionally inert?”
S***. “No. Not at all, I just…”
“You are a b****.”
“And you are so easy,” he said.
“I am not easy.”
“You have rice in your hair.”
I dropped my chopsticks on my plate, tempted as I was to stab him with them, and flicked at the offending strand of hair.
And froze when Will’s fingers wrapped around mine.
“You can tell me anything, Alex.” He rubbed his thumb along the back of my hand. “Tell me what I shouldn’t do again.”
Not a hint of sadness or guilt in his voice. If he wanted permission, he had it. At that moment, I couldn’t think of a d**n thing he shouldn’t do.