The story begins with Masked – The Fortress (1). To access installments in narrative sequence, click on an entry title, then click on “Next” at the end of that installment.
He kept his tone neutral, bored even. “Did they have the player’s guide?”
“Nah, John said something about not being able to source it through their distributors.” She paused. “The power was out again.”
How would Sean react to this news? “Again? That place is on its last legs, I swear.”
“It’s a real shame… I mean, how will I get to see John again if it goes under?” Her tone had turned teasing again.
“See John again?” He hoped his curiosity didn’t shine through.
Amica reached across him to pick up the pillow not in use and thumped him on the head with it. “Come off it! You know I’ve got a crush on that guy that is a mile wide and two miles deep!” She continued whacking him with the pillow.
He forced himself to laugh as he protected his head from the onslaught. Should he portray Sean as jealous? “I don’t understand what you see in him.”
Amica tossed the pillow back onto the other side of the bed. “I don’t understand it either. I guess I’m just a sucker for helpful clerks who know the d20 system inside and out.” She nipped him lightly on the shoulder.
Bloodwater hadn’t lied. She really did feel the same way as John. He decided to ask for a cue. “Should I be jealous?”
Amica shrugged. “I saw you first. Now we’re in this together. It would take a lot more than a crush for me to walk away.”
He turned on the bed to face her. What would Sean say to that? The words spilled out much more easily than he could have predicted: “I love you, Amica.”
He saw her eyes sparkle in the bedroom’s darkness. “ ‘ Amica’? So formal! Call me ‘Mickey’ and I’ll believe you.”
“I love you, Mickey.” He’d never heard Sean use the nickname before. For a moment, he felt like an intruder, but the moment passed. He slung his arm over her waist.
She edged closer to him until her body pressed against his. “Feeling better?”
“Huh?” He remembered the conversation had started with concern over his vomiting. “Yeah, I feel okay.” How much longer did he have before whatever Bloodwater had done would wear off? He pulled her tight to him. “Better than okay, actually.”
“It’s been a few days, hasn’t it?” She slipped away from him, stood up, moved to the foot of the bed, and winked at him before tugging off her sundress. As she reached behind her back to unclasp her bra, he felt déjà vu. Of course, he realized as she discarded the undergarment beside her, he had seen this before. On Bloodwater’s wall. Hands on hips, she tilted her head and smiled at him, completely at ease.
Thank you for reading! In the next installment, John crafts a hall of mirrors.
Previous Aum stories include Globe Without Goodbye.
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