This prompt continues with Mav’s Story. If you’re new and would like to read it in chronological order, read the previous parts HERE before you read this. It can also be read as a stand alone.
“She?” Did I even want to know? I gazed at bottle. Surely just one shot wouldn’t hurt.
“Yeah.” He moved between me and the bottle, blocking my view. “I lived. She didn’t.”
The jealous beast within silenced as my relief sickened me. Someone was dead. She was dead.
He had wanted to die for her.
I ran as fast as the sheet allowed to the bathroom, flashes of earlier that evening slamming into me as I kneeled.
It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.
I sacrificed me, shoving my insecurities and fears behind a mask, along with the entangled dreams.
I had to. The mask filtered emotion. Without the hope, the joy, and the fear, I gained the one thing I craved.
It paired with the a desire too strong to hide: revenge.
I stopped drinking.
I molded my mask into blasé perfection.
I threw myself into work.
I waited for my wish to come true.
For the call.
I’d invite him over for drinks and don my sexy black dress.
His jaw would drop. At me. At my life.
Perfect without him.
He’d beg for forgiveness.
Danny would walk in, greeting me with his customary deep kiss.
And I’d see John’s heart shatter.
Instead he had wanted to die. For her.
His hands pulled my hair away, keeping it safe.
Like a million times before.
History repeating itself.
It melted the mask and stole my control.
“No.” My voice was hollow, bouncing off the bowl.
I whirled around, welcoming the pain as my hair yanked from his hands. “No! I won’t do this again!”
“This?” Confusion filled his face.
“This. You. Us.” I knew how our story ended.
“Good idea.” He rocked back on his heels, standing up and moving away.
His easy capitulation surprised me, knifing the hopeful teenager within who dreamed of happy endings. “You agree?”
“You’ve made it clear I have no say in the matter.” His voice was nonchalant, contradicting the biting words.
My anger wavered, lacking the fuel to burn. “Okay then. If you could just get my clothes and drive me back to my car, I’ll be out of your life for good.” I tried to match his tone.
“I’m sorry, Mav.”
“Yeah.” I slid the remnants of my mask into place; I hid the agony.
I flushed the toilet and waited.
He didn’t budge from the doorway.
“You can’t leave.”
My laugh was shrill. “Of course I can.”
He shook his head. “It isn’t safe.”
“I’ll be fine.” I lied.
“I can’t take the chance. Someone used you as bait. If they did it once, they’ll do it again.”
“Bait?” Little sleep and even less food took their toll and I struggled to follow his chain of thought.
“The postcard and the email. They were either a test or a trap. Now they know I’m alive.”
“What do you mean “they know”? You stood me up and then kidnapped me into the alley.”
“You were bugged. They heard us.”
Shock flooded me. “What kind of shit did you step into?”
“The deep classified kind. And now they know I’m willing to break my cover for you. It’s why you can’t leave.”
Panic edged out the flare of warmth at his words. “I can’t stay here.”
“We won’t. We’ll have to switch locations.”
“John, I have a life! A job. A home.”
“I’m sorry, Mav.”
The regret vanished from his face, transforming into something unreadable. “I know.”
“I’m not giving up my life for you.”
“That’s what I’m trying to prevent.”
The true meaning of his words hit me. “You think someone will try to kill me?” I couldn’t hide the incredulous tone. “Why?”
“Because you matter to me.”
A Red Dress Club writing prompt
This week’s prompt is all about character development.
We’d like you to write about what your character wants most.
Which reminds me of the scene in Good Will Hunting when Robin Williams’ character asks Matt Damon’s character, Will, what he wants. And Will can’t answer. Because he doesn’t really know.
Do you know what you want most? Does your character?
If you missed a section, you can find them all HERE.