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Breaking the Cycle Post Seven

Being Friday night it is kickboxing Friday.  Get well soon, Keoni!!

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Max drove down the interstate barely paying attention to the road.  For the last week and a half he couldn’t get Chloe out of his mind.  Her laughter on their date echoed in his ears.  Seeing her so sick she couldn’t recognize him twisted a knife in his heart.  Seeing her running from Roadie’s Gym in tears made him feel helpless and pathetic.  Not knowing how she was, what she was doing was driving him insane.

He glanced briefly at his smart phone for the time but instead caught the date.  Thursday.  He quickly ran dates in his head.  He paused for a moment.  Should I see if my hunch is right?  Can I handle what I’m going to find?  He nudged his turn signal on as he caught the next exit out of the corner of his eye.

Max turned the car off and stepped out.  He stared at the old, large white house for a moment before he jogged up the porch steps.  He knocked on the door and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  He heard the television on inside.  Someone was home.  He knocked again.

The front door was wrenched open violently.  It’s the witch.  Chloe’s mom glared at him.  He could feel her eyes sear through him. 

“Is Chloe home?” Max asked, his voice cracking weakly.

“Now’s not a good time, Mike.”

“Max.”

“Whatever.  Get off my porch.”

He glanced down at the stains covering her sweatshirt.  “Is she sick?”

“She’s in the bathroom.  Check for yourself.”

Max squeezed past her and wandered into the house.  His neck snapped around at the sound of retching from upstairs.  He took the steps two at a time and came to a stop at the bathroom door.

Chloe laid on the cold tile floor of the bathroom with a bucket near her.  Her head laid on a rolled up towel.  She didn’t turn to look at him.  She looks about aware of me as she was in that alley.  Her body started to writhe as she vomited again.

He knelt beside her and held her in his arms, helping her to the bucket to keep the mess off the floor.  When the retching stopped she slumped against him weakly.  He pushed a sweat soaked lock of brown hair from her forehead as he gazed at her pale, sunken face.

“So, want to stick around?” Chloe’s mom hissed from the doorway.  “She’s not done yet.  Are you all right with your precious expensive athletic wear getting all messed up?”

Max held her tighter to him as he scowled at woman.  “Yes.  They’re just clothes.  They wash.”

Chloe’s mom stared at him dumbfounded for several moments.  Max felt Chloe jerk against him again.  He supported her as she vomited again.  “So, this is what happens every three weeks.”

“Yes.”

“Do you have to take her to the hospital?”

“Hopefully not.”  Chloe’s mom watched him silently for a few moments as he settled Chloe back into his arms.  “My name is Liz.”

“Nice to meet you, Liz.”

She smiled at him.  “Can I get you a soda?”

“A glass of water would be fine.”

“Sure.  I’ll be right back.”  Liz disappeared down the hall.  Max listened to her footsteps pat down the steps.  He turned back to Chloe, gently stroking her cheek.  She relaxed, the tension that once ripped through her now dissolving.  Max shifted, crossing his legs to get more comfortable on the hard floor.  Liz reappeared, stepping over the two of them to sit on the edge of the bathtub.  She handed the glass to him.

“She seems to have relaxed,” Max murmured.

“That’s good news.  Hopefully she’s done.”

“Then?”

“She’ll be out for a little while.”

He glanced around at the puddles on the floor and the fluid in the bucket.  I can see why.

They sat in silence for nearly a half hour.  Liz smile.  “She’s done.”

Max cradled Chloe in his arms and carefully stood.  He glanced down at Liz.  “Where’s her room?”

Liz rose and motioned to him.  “Follow me.”

He followed her to a white painted room.  The furniture was also painted white and the bed was covered with a rose colored quilt.  Max pulled the quilt back and gently laid Chloe on the sheets.  He covered her with the quilt then pressed a kiss to her forehead.  He glanced at Liz as he strode from the room.

“You’re leaving?” Liz asked incredulously as she spun to follow him.

She stopped short as he walked into the bathroom and knelt on the floor.  He looked at her from over his shoulder.

“Do you have a towel or scrub brush or soap or anything for this?” He motioned to the puddles.

He met her stunned gaze evenly then smiled as she rushed down the hallway to get him a scrub brush and soap.

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Tuesday Tales – Chocolate

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Hey everyone!  Welcome to another Tuesday Tales.  This week’s word prompt is “chocolate”.  We are back with Miranda and Thatcher in The Thirteenth Knight.  And don’t forget to stop by and check out the other wonderful writers involved with Tuesday Tales!

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Miranda wandered along the garden paths, ignoring the leaves on the trees blazing in brilliant autumn color or the rows and rows of late blooming blossoms.  She wrapped her arms around herself to block out the chill in the air.

She was in disbelief.  Thatcher was here, in the palace, serving her uncle in the closest capacity one could serve the king.  He would be in the palace protecting Thaddeus, protecting her.  He would be so close yet still…

“Is everything all right, my lady?”

Miranda spun around, finding Thatcher behind her.  She took a moment to soak him in.  He wore a gold embroidered maroon tunic and chocolate brown trousers of a knight.  His short black hair, chiseled, muscular body and sapphire blue eyes were that of her Thatcher.  He quickly untied his cloak then crossed the browning grass to her draping it over her shoulders.

“Miranda, you are freezing.”

“Why are you here?” she breathed.

“I thought your uncle explained it perfectly.”

“You joined the army.”

“Yes.”

“I was that easy to forget.”

“No, Miranda.  I joined to find my way to you.  Even I know Thaddeus isn’t going to marry you to a farmer’s son.  The only way for me to reclaim your hand is to work for it, shed my blood for it.”  He opened his arms wide in presentation.  “To become one of his knights.”

Tears filled Miranda’s eyes.  “Oh Thatcher.”

He pulled her into his arms.  “What is it, Miranda?  Tell me.”

She took a deep breath to steady her trembling voice.  “Thaddeus has spoken to me of my impending marriage.  As next in line to the throne, I can be married to no less than a lord.  I love you with all my heart, Thatcher.  I will until my final breath.  But by my uncle’s  own words I will never be able to be your wife.”

She pulled free from Thatcher’s grasp as she heard approaching steps.  Through swollen eyes she gazed up guiltily at Thaddeus.

“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded.  “I sent Thatcher out to see if you were all right.  I thought since you both came from the same village it would be special for some time alone with an old friend from home.  But to find you in his arms…”

Miranda looked away from her uncle.  From the corner of her eye she could see his glare flicker between her and Thatcher.  Then his gaze softened.  “Thatcher, what does your father do?”

“He is a farmer, your majesty.”

Thaddeus shook his head.  “I did not realize, Miranda.  I did not know Thatcher was your young man.  I did not intend to make this decision I have to make concerning your marriage worse for you…”

It was all Miranda could stand.  With a sob she fled the two men in the garden and sprinted to her bedchamber.

Don’t forget to stop by the other incredible Tuesday Tales blog posts!

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Breaking the Cycle – Part Three

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Got lots going on.  It’s crazy…crazy…crazy!  My muses have decided to come out to play and are working me overtime.  I really wanted to post another segment of Breaking the Cycle before the chaos really begins.

Max put the car in park then glanced up at the two story white house with the wide front porch.  His heart raced in his chest.  He watched as the front door then the screen door opened.

Max scrambled for the umbrella sitting on the passenger seat of his ’57 Ford Mustang.  He left the car running as he flung open his door and opened the umbrella.  He jogged to the base of the porch steps and smiled as he greeted Chloe.

He gazed up at Chloe as she stopped on the top porch step still protected from the rain by the porch roof.  Her brown hair was held up on her head in a mass of curls by a barrette.  She wore a burgundy spaghetti strap sundress that ran down her fit body and ended at her knees.  Her feet were nestled in a pair of strappy sandals.  He stared at her in fascination for several moments.

“Are you alright, Max?” Chloe asked concerned.

Max shook his head, bringing himself back to reality.  “Yeah, sure.”  He leapt up the stairs to her.  “You are so beautiful.”

Chloe’s cheeks flushed pink.  “Thank you.”

Max took her arm in his as he held the umbrella over their heads.  He escorted her to the waiting car being careful to maneuver her around the puddles.  Once she was comfortably inside and the door was shut he walked to the other side and climbed in.

“I hope you’re hungry,” Max began.  “I thought we’d try that new Italian restaurant near the gym.  I hear the lasagna is incredible.  What do you think?”

“Sure.  That would be great,” Chloe answered weakly.

Max gazed at her for a moment stifling a sigh.  She really isn’t into me I guess.  He slid the car into gear and pulled away from the curb.