Paige stood at the stove, heating oil, adding chopped vegetables and chicken, stirring to make sure everything was cooked perfectly. The rice needed a little more time and she hoped Dennis was late. His anger could escalate quickly, especially if he’d had a “bad” day.
The bruise where he’d last kicked her stomach was fading but she feared for the baby he didn’t want. Her hands shook as she set the table, cleaned the kitchen, hid ingredients away.
After they began eating, Dennis clutched his throat. She moved out of reach as he struggled for breath. “Peanuts?” Paige nodded. “Oil.”
My theme this year is 100 word fiction. (So, no, don’t count this line!)
Her eyes fluttered open to feather light kisses on the back of her neck, that sensitive spot behind her ear, then her jaw, his morning whiskers rasping lightly against her face. She turned fully in his arms, her hands softly stroking his hair, then his face, then curling into the soft brown strands on his chest.
She could smell the minty scent of his toothpaste and covered her face with one hand as she climbed out of bed to rush into the bathroom. When she returned to the bedroom a small, red-wrapped rectangular box lay on her pillow and he watched her approach through those gorgeous sapphire eyes.
She pounced on the gift excitedly, pulling off the ribbon and paper quickly, exclaiming in delight at the sparkling charm bracelet filled with beautiful charms representing their life together these past seven years. A pineapple for their Hawaiian honeymoon. A typewriter to symbolize her career. A tiny, three-tiered wedding cake. A heart with a ruby chip to represent their love for each other. And in the box, still to be added, a baby carriage?
Her brown eyes widened in dismay as he splayed his fingers over her still flat tummy.
“But I just found out for sure yesterday. You guessed?”
He shook his head, smiling, and pulled her close. “You’re even more beautiful than usual. More sensitive. So I hoped.” That was all they spoke as she covered his face with kisses and then eventually one thing led to another…
Leaning back from her computer, satisfied with her work, she placed her right hand over her slightly rounded belly and smiled to herself…
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!