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Subject: Part 4
Author: klundtacular   (Authenticated as klundtacular)
Date: June 9, 2012 at 9:42:12 PM
Reply to: Build-a-Soundtracked-Story Part 4 by klundtacular
Leo looked at her in the overhead lighting of his dining room with a fine wood set. It didn’t fit him. He should be using some clunky style picked up from a large corporation in the furniture district or some filler picked up at a garage sale. She scowled and moved her head so he couldn’t adjust her face to see it better. She didn’t want his scrutiny. They were upside down on that in the wrong direction for her.

“I fell.” She was testy after having her life threatened.

“I can see that.” Leo laced his comment with as much humor as the situation could handle. He continued as he left for his kitchen. “Did you have help?” While the faucet spilled into the sink she bent over quickly to check the bottom of his dining room chairs. She righted herself before he walked in with a washcloth and painkillers.

“I wouldn’t be here if I’d trip all by myself.” It was dumb to think he’d tape bottles of water under his chairs but she couldn’t help it. The thought got stuck in her head. “A man come up behind me and,” she explained and took the washcloth before he could press it to her lip. “He demanded that I let him in my house, tell about my visit to Tschida Skins, show him my Skin, and then take a ride with him. He thinks I’m some super ninja chick—well he did until we tussled.”

“You tussled?” He gave her a dubious expression like it almost amused him. He’d used the same tone on her during one of their conversations. She pressed the cool washcloth onto her cheek wondering how it had gotten hurt. She gave up by sitting down in a wood chair with no cushion.

“What should I say? We brawled; my chairs and oranges will never be the same. Better?”

“Oranges?” Leo knelt down to continue an inspection. She avoided looking directly at him, gaping at him. She shrugged.

“I threw what I had.” Leo leaned in further. Katie shooed him away from her face and into a chair. He waited for her when she gave him a pause to insert a joke. He didn’t take it. She looked around the townhouse at the leather sectional. What an easy way out of decorating. “He just seemed kind of stunned. So I proved I’m not a super ninja chick.”

“You got away, didn’t you?” She snorted at the implication. No, she got lucky.

“He didn’t like heights,” she hoarsely retorted and poorly disguised a shutter. Leo cocked his head and reached out again. “Don’t touch me,” came out as a plea. His hand froze in midair. She avoided his eyes and cologne. It was so odd to think he would put some care into going out with a woman. It rather surprised her. “I’m barely keeping it together and touching me will make me bawl.” He slumped back into the wood chair. She breathed in and let her vision blur, reliving the fight and the moment she realized he wouldn’t jump onto the neighbor’s balcony. The emotion caught up with her and she stood. She paced to keep him from noticing her blinking back tears, overwhelmed by her emotions and the days she’d spent in a bunker. “I can’t stay here.”

“Why?” His question was so simple and so direct. Why couldn’t she stay there? She didn’t want to be here. It was wrong to come here and interrupt his date. It was wrong to look under his chairs. She didn’t want him touching her after all the humiliation he’d given her on the course, in the room, and the inspection in the bathroom. That had been the worst part to have those rubber gloves lightly touch her body looking for cut marks from her childhood. She’d told him like a thousand times that she’d only cut her left shoulder. He didn’t trust her word on something so private.

Why couldn’t, why wouldn’t he understand that? Was it too farfetched that she hadn’t gotten over those things in the last 28 hours? But she’d been the stupid one to show up on his doorstep, looking for help with her problem.

“Not safe,” she left off the subject to keep her thoughts hidden. That’s when she’d won, those times when he couldn’t read her mind.

“Where will you be safe?” Her mind flashed to the concrete room. No, if the man knew about her training, she wasn’t safe there either. A calm, almost falsely chagrined, smile slithered out.

“I shouldn’t have come. I apologize for inconveniencing you this evening.” She dropped the washcloth on the table and stood and left him in the dining room. “Thank you for listening.” Katie fiddled with the door.

“It’s locked.” She nodded and released the latch before opening the door. The rain cooled her face, which had begun to burn from reliving those moments. She just wanted to sleep and rest. “You can’t just—“ Leo grabbed her elbow.

Katie whipped around with a whispered, “Ouch!” taking her elbow with her. She covered it with her hand and stepped backwards further into the rain. She had several tender spots on her body from the tussle in her apartment and all the time she’d spent running around dropping Leo.

“Just,” he held up his right hand to get her to halt, “just wait a second and I’ll go with you.”

“I don’t need to be babysat.”

“You do.” Her hand slapped him across the face going from her left to right. He closed his eyes and pursed his lips when she made contact. Her hand stung and she’d surprised him. Really, truly he hadn’t anticipated a response. He thought she’d just roll over and do whatever he said because she’d let him 26 hours ago. “You came here looking for my help,” he calmly stated.

“I wouldn’t be in this mess if it weren’t for you. No one cared about me until I went through your training. I was completely anonymous. I was so under the radar that even you didn’t know I was seeing someone. And now—now some man punched a hole in one of my kitchen cabinets and busted my bedroom door down, knows where I live and what my car looks like and wants to take me for a ride after I show him my nonexistent skin.” She breathed indignantly, letting the humiliation and pain of their times together fuel her. “I came here because Tschida Skin is the only reason why I’m interesting now.”

“I wouldn’t say—” She slapped him again and ran to her car.

~Raging and quivering female mass of hormones and tosser of Dark Side Cookies™ (trade marked by Etoile)

This message was edited by the author on June 10, 2012 at 10:50:00 AM

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