Challenge: tehuti’s 100 Sentence Prompts
Prompt: If you turn that knob it’ll pop right out.
Stuck With You
“If you turn that knob it’ll pop right out.” Rose leaned over enough on her perch to see past him.
Jean smirked over his shoulder. As far as a deal gone bad, he couldn’t have picked a better person to be held hostage with. Rose was a bundle of frayed nerves, with a bit of passive-aggressive angst right on top. “If you weren’t trying to be a heroine, you wouldn’t have to enjoy my company.”
“Right,” she grumbled, crossing her arms.
Jean’s smirk grew into a pleased smile. She was an easy rile. If it was anybody else, that would have made them a target but he had a soft spot for the girl with bouncing waves of burnt blonde hair and a frustrated pout that kept him up at nights, wondering if he could ever kiss it away.
“Damn!” He threw the knob the few feet they had in the cramped storage closet. “Guess it does pop out.”
He turned around, expecting to get an, ‘I told you so,’ but instead he was met with a look of disappointment. Looking away, Jean tried not to fidget. The look wasn’t anything new. He got it from the townsfolk, the people he scammed, officials, his dad whenever the man was sober enough, and many parents of the girls he occasionally convinced to spot him one thing or another but their disappointment didn’t burn his skin. Not the way Rose’s did.
“Why can’t you ever listen when people warn you?” She finally sighed out.
He shrugged. A lie they both knew. More time than he cared to admit, she called him out on his bull but how could he stop? There was only so much the son of a drunkard could do. Worse, there was only so much the son of a drunkard with debt and an inability to catch a single fish could do. It was scam, be scammed, or die with nothing but maggots in his stomach.
“You will get out of this.” He managed to look at her. “They only grabbed you cause you’re a fighter. They probably thought you’d kick my ass in here and save them the trouble.” Despite his chuckle, his inside churned. The idiots didn’t need to grab her at all. All she did was try and break up their disagreement. “So, do you know if that knob can get back in the hole?”
Rose shifted so her skirt wasn’t bunched up on her lap then slid off the crate she claimed as her spot. “I haven’t been on this end of it but I can try.”
Picking up the knob from where it rolled, he placed it in her waiting hand. He moved his under hers and, for a moment, he left it there. Dreams weren’t his thing. If his day went right, he was either too exhausted or intoxicated to be haunted by them but he often wondered what it would be like to be stuck alone with Rose.
He felt her hand graze over his fingertips as she moved away but his thoughts refused to let go. Their families were well acquainted. Even in childhood they would play together. He’d ruffle her feathers, like always, and she’d lecture him. It was how they danced. It was how he wanted his life to be but first he needed stability, and for that, he needed money.
Thinking on it, and how nice she looked from behind, Jean sighed. “Rose, I really am sorry about this.”
“It’s one more thing you’ll make up to me.” She rattled off in distraction.
Curious, his brows shot up. “You have a list?”
“With you around,” she paused, straightened up, and turned to smile at him, “I wouldn’t know how to keep up without one.”
Smiling himself, Jean tucked his hands in the front pockets of his trousers. ” Guess that’s not so bad.”
“I could use less excitement but no, it’s no all bad.” She shook her head again but there wasn’t a trace of disappointment.
Progress, he thought, a smile still tugging at the corners of his lips.
She returned to trying to get their side of the doorknob back into place and all he could do was think. He would make it up to her. Majorly. As soon as he had a talk with the idiots who thought touching her was okay. It depended on their getting out but he had faith. Was that or break the thick door down.
His body trembled at the idea alone. Some goons he could tackle but a stationary door that was well made was something else.
No sooner did he begin strategizing did he hear Rose’s triumphant sigh. “Now you really owe me.”
“And I promise to pay, with interest.” Jean’s eyes gleamed as he passed her. He’d pay for all the years she’d allow him to. He’d straighten up his life for her. Go completely clean and legit. All he needed was the strength to ask her and for the fates to be on his side.
I did it! I finally found time to get the next prompt done and, ugh, I’m so relieved. It’s so gratifying to be able to write and to fulfill the promises I made to my readers, the blog, M.J., and myself. I’m a bit rusty so bear with me. The dust will settle soon.