Good morning and Happy Hump Day ! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.
When we left the boys, Ethan and his sister were having a bit of a spat over her revelation that she might actually be going back to the ex who abandoned her. See what's going on in this week's chapter of Rose and Thorne. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!Rose and Thorne 6 #4 (1.4)
For a long moment, neither of us spoke a word. Then Ethan moved toward the back door and pulled Benny’s leash from a hook on the wall. “C’mon, Benny,” he said so softly that I wasn’t sure the pup would be able to hear him. But I underestimated his keen canine auditory abilities. He scurried up to Ethan and assumed the position with a joyful bark that indicated his willingness to venture into the outside world, aka the neighborhood.
I remained where I was, standing indecisively. My gut instinct told me I should go with Ethan, but my insecurity insisted that if I was needed, he would have said something and maybe he wanted to be alone. But then he turned toward me and the look in his beautiful eyes told me everything I needed to know—he wanted and needed me with him, and I certainly wasn’t going to let him down.
“Here, let me.” I removed the leash from his hand and bent down to connect it to Benny’s collar. Then I rose and, taking that same hand in my own, raised it to my lips and kissed it gently before returning the leash. “Let’s give Benny the chance to work off some of that breakfast.” I was rewarded with a small smile. That had to be a good sign, right?
We exited the house through the front door. I followed Ethan’s lead as he chose a direction, probably at random, and we began a leisurely stroll. Benny didn’t try to get us to any greater speeds, content to simply amble and explore everything along our path, sniffing curiously at what he could see. I held Ethan’s free hand in my own and asked no questions. He would talk when he was ready.
Sure enough, after a few minutes, I heard Ethan sigh before he began. “I’m sorry you had to witness that,” he said.
I wasn’t even sure exactly what I’d witnessed, so I kept quiet. Sure enough, he went on without any prompting from me.
“I have no idea what she’s even thinking. I mean, the way he just left her in the lurch when she needed him the most. The terrible things he said to her. Who abandons the person they supposedly love, not to mention his own child? What has he done to make her think he even deserves a second chance?”
He fell silent again, so I decided it was time for me to at least say something. Benny had paused in his perambulation and was examining a particularly suspicious bush. No one else was within sight. Not like I’d expected Sarah to come running after us or anything. She didn’t seem the type to do something like that. She and Ethan were both stubborn that way.
“You don’t think maybe there’s a chance he’s really changed? I mean, how well do you really know him?” He was Sarah’s ex, after all, and since Alex was just three years old, he had been conceived since Ethan and I had become partners, in either sense of the word. Maybe he just needed the opportunity to get to know this James guy a little better.
“That’s the trouble, he has changed.” An atypical frown furrowed Ethan’s blond brows. “He was nothing like that when we were kids. At least I never thought he was. Not until he did that to Sarah.”
Now it was my turn to be confused. How did Ethan know what James was like as a kid.
Ethan’s next words cleared up the mystery.
“James McDavid was my best friend.”
The pain in those words tore at my heart.
to be continued
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