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(The assignment this day, and sorry it’s late, was to write about a loss.  Assignment’s here:  This is a part of my book Patenting Magic, which is in the same reality as The Gods Defense, but a different main character.  Big question here is what do you think of how I did the flashback, as in the style? And does the flashback convey enough emotion to tell how upset and confused the main character was or do I need more?)

“What happened between you two?”

I shook my head. This wasn’t a conversation you had with your boss. “It’s not important.”

“You freaked out when you saw him.” He gestured at the trashed shelf. I guess he didn’t have the chance to clean up the scattered books and knickknacks yet… or he was waiting for me to come in today and see it to get a point across. “If he’s going to work with us, it’s pretty damn important, Millie.”

I looked out the window, squishing down the urge to fly away. The last thing we needed in the crowded office was another Millie pops wing fiasco. Yesterday had been almost as embarrassing as the day that jackass broke my heart. The memory bubbled up like acid in my stomach.

#          #          #

            “What did you want to talk about?” he asked, shoving his hands in his pockets once we were outside. It was at least ninety and the air was heavy with humidity I still wasn’t used to after a month of living here. It felt great after freezing under the law school’s AC all morning in my little pink sundress.

            I could barely meet his eyes without blushing, my heart was pounding so hard I thought it’d break my sternum and I could barely breathe.

            It was exhilarating!

            Those stupid chick flicks I would go see with my girlfriends and secretly mock made a hell of a lot more sense now.

            He shifted on his feet, big brown eyes meeting mine with an easy familiarity and I swear my heart actually hiccupped. He matched my grin but kept shifting.

            “Last week things… got messed up. I think we just took things too fast and, I mean, we’re friends, and I think that’s a good place to start a relationship from. I just got scared.”

            “Okay?” He nodded.

            “Okay, soooooo, can we try again?”

            He grinned again, taking his hands out and shoving them back in his pockets. “I, ugh, thought we agreed that wasn’t a good idea.”

            “Yeah, I know.” I waved a hand. “I said that we shouldn’t but I was just confused and my head was all crazy. But after thinking about it this weekend, I realize I really like you, as more than a friend. And we could…” I shrugged, grinning, “try.”

            “Millie, ummmm.” He shifted on his feet.

            “I know I said on Friday that I didn’t feel that way about you and it was a mistake, but I… I take it back. It was stupid.” I met his eyes, stepping forward. “How about one more stupid thing before I have to get to class?” I pushed up on my tiptoes and reached out to steady myself on his chest.

            He stepped back.

            “Millie, no.”

            “Are you mad about Friday?”

            “I agreed with you on Friday.”

            “That it was a mistake, and it was, but just because we moved too fast.”

            “No, I don’t think it was a mistake. I just think you took something out of it that I didn’t. I told you I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend.”

            It hit me.

            “You meant for it to only be a one time thing.” It wasn’t a question. “You weren’t upset on Friday, you were relieved I wasn’t… I thought you liked me.”

            “I do! But it wasn’t good. We don’t have the chemistry. You said that yourself.”

            “You’re mad that I wasn’t good? I was drunk! And in pain! In case you didn’t notice.”

            “I’m not mad. And it shouldn’t have hurt.”

            I stepped back, couldn’t even look at him. “You knew I was a… I’d never… I told you.” I pressed my hands to my forehead, pushing back my hair, eyes darting everywhere but his face. “I’m a cliché. I’m a bad high school cliché. Only, I’m too old for this crap. This doesn’t happen in law school with a man in his thirties! This happens when you’re a stupid sixteen year old with the high school quarterback.”

            “What, what happened? I thought we agreed?”

            My head filled with cotton. I couldn’t think. Couldn’t breathe.

#          #          #

            I still couldn’t remember where the conversation went after that. It was only another few minutes, mostly of him protesting that he didn’t realize I thought it was more than just sex and that he was sorry he hurt me. I got vicious, accused him of taking advantage and lying.  It ended with him saying he was sorry and me storming back into the law school, snapping, “Don’t apologize.”

“Millie?” my boss asked.  “If you can’t work with him…”

“What!” I whirled. “This is my project. My baby! I’ve already lost way too much to that jackass, I’m not losing this!”

His raised eyebrows were the only reaction to my raised voice.  He wasn’t used to the drama queen side of me.  I thought I’d finally outgrown the drama queen by the end of law school.  Turns out the man who brought her out of me in the first place still could.

“I meant, we have no shortage of qualified applicants. I can hire a different lobbyist.”

“You would fire him?”

“If you can’t work with him, of course.  This is way too important.”

I grinned. It couldn’t possibly have looked as evil as it felt. I could get him tossed off this before he even started.


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