Thursday, September 30, 2010


This little ficlet comes from a future short story/novella/novel idea of mine, entitled Serendipity. It involves a wanderer who calls himself Maverick and drifts into a small beach town and meets Abbigail, a girl who suffers from the monotony of the town she's spent her whole life in. He meets her while she's working her shift at this little diner and leaves his number behind. When she doesn't call him, he shows up at the diner for a week. When she finally agrees to hang out with him, a friendship and eventual relationship blooms. Maverick spices up Abbigail's boring life with little adventures, introducing her to a side of life she's forgotten to sample.


His arms wound around her waist and before she could stop him, she was falling, rushing, senses distorting as up became sideways and she landed with a gasp of breath on the sandy beach. And even in that moment, the brief number of seconds it took to fall from here to there, she didn’t cry out, she didn’t squeak. Though her heart sped up, a sense of security was found in the cage of arms, even though she landed in the sand with no buffer.

She rolled onto her back and there he was, hovering over her, delight in his blue eyes. Above him, a canvas of purple blended into violent into pink into yellow on fire and he was all but a silhouette. Yet, his eyes seemed bright, and as happened often when caught off guard, she sucked in her breath when they made eye-contact. It was horribly corny, horribly cliché for someone to be so gorgeous they stole your breath, and Abbigail resented herself for being one of those people, but sometimes, it really was as if he sent jolts of electricity coursing through her.

“You could have killed me!” she admonished in jest, the right side of her mouth quirking upwards.

On either side of her, his fingers dug in to the sand as he held his body over hers, though he lowered his face towards her. For a moment, a brief moment, she wondered if he would kiss her, even though she’d told him not to, and fire in the pit of her belly betrayed her. Hope doused quickly, though, because he merely nuzzled his nose against hers.

“You’re such a drama-queen, Abbigail,” he pointed out, before he pulled back on his haunches and crouched over her. He tipped his head to the side, eyes serious as he fixated his gaze upon her. Probably not even realizing it, he drew his long fingers through his curls and then he chuckled, a soft noise.

Brows lowered over her eyes, Abbigail surveyed him and a crease formed in her forehead. “Why are you laughing?” she demanded as a self-conscious smile curled on her lips.

Rather than answer right away, he moved to her side, laying on his side next to her in the sand. Propped up by his left hand, he used his free hand to reach over and very gently, touch the cleft in her chin with his index finger. Her breath hitched, caught in her throat, and all she could do was watch him while her stomach vibrated in a manner which may or may not have been pleasant. And even though she resented it about herself and any other girl who thought something so cliché, she couldn’t help but note how very beautiful he looked. In order to prevent herself from blushing, she tried to focus on the hemp bracelet he wore on his tiny wrist.

This focused distract didn’t last long, though. Suddenly, his face loomed near hers, his mouth hovered at her ear. Her toes curled and her breath released in an audible gasp. He responded to this with another dry chuckle and shivers cascaded over her body.

“What’s your favorite word?” he asked her, voice low.

Her brain buzzed, the sort of fizzle of all ideas and every sense of coherency evaporating. Laying perfectly still in the sand, she waited for her nerves to stop dancing, attempted to focus on his speech. A hollow feeling settled over her stomach. She’d expected something more. Something magical, something sweet, maybe romantic. This was Maverick, of the spontaneous ideas, the impulsive adventures, the headstrong ideas. And he wanted to know her favorite word, as if he’d become some sort of freaking philosopher?

It didn’t make sense to her.

Nothing came to her.

“I… I don’t think I have one. Maybe… I don’t know. Asshat?”

Whatever serene moment he’d built was broken and his laughter came out loud and effervescent, reminiscent of a child. It carried no sound of mockery; only pure delighted humor spilled through his loud laugh. Even still, she felt her cheeks flush, warm, aware this mustn’t be the sort of answer he was looking for. It was his fault, she maintained, though. He set the fail up, in the moment his mouth neared her ear and disrupted any sense of cognition she had.

Who tried to maintain a serious, intellectual conversation while trying to seduce someone?

He nuzzled her neck with his nose and shivers trickled along the path he drew.

“You seem flustered,” he murmured.

She felt like punching him.

“Do you know what my favorite word is?”

Avoiding contact with his eyes, Abbigail looked away and pushed herself into a sitting position, propped up on her elbows behind her. Where this conversation was going, she couldn’t tell. Then again, when it came to Maverick, she couldn’t figure most things out. He remained an enigma, like a ball of yarn so tightly tangled she didn’t know how to follow the path. His thoughts lead from one point to another with no clear path in between. To try and jump ahead of him, to follow his thought process, seemed impossible. It was silly to say he was unpredictable, but he certainly wasn’t easily figured out.

When Abbigail finally hazarded a glance his way, she found a serene smile on his face. No mocking smile, no teasing laughter. Just serious contemplation.

“I have no idea,” she finally told him, aware he was waiting on her response.

Again, he chuckled, then he expelled a loud sigh and stretched, his arms reaching for the stars dotting the sky above. With his arms, his shirt rose and the bared midriff seemed to taunt Abbigail. Before she had a chance to reach up and tickle him, though, his hands were back in his lap, shirt covering his stomach and he was talking.

“Serendipity. I bet you didn’t think that, did you? That’s the word.”

She blinked. “Serendpity.”

“You know. Luck. Good fortune.”

“I know what it means,” Abbigail stated, scrunching her nose as she eyed him out the corner of her eyes. “It’s more that… I guess you’re right. I wasn’t expecting that at all.”

Now his grin turned somewhat teasing, in that low-key sort of way, as though he was running a million taunting jibes through his mind, shared only with himself. Curious, she watched him, wondering what was going through his mind and why his eyes looked like they were dancing.

“It’s really dumb and I haven’t confessed this to many people, but I like to think I live my life fueled on serendipitous moments. It’s how I get around the country, meet the people I do, manage this lifestyle. And it was sort of serendipitous, wasn’t it, that I met you?”

Abbigail responded with a dismissive snort. “You ate a diner and you happened to think I was cute. That’s not serendipitous, that’s just… I don’t know. I mean, I didn’t even talk to you for like, a week.”

Maverick merely shrugged. “But that’s not the point of it. The point is. I chose that diner on a night you were working. You weren’t even the waitress. But I still got to meet you and I still wound up here. Serendipity. Good fortune.”

And even though she had told him not yet, even though she didn’t yet know what to make of him, even though she felt like a whirlwind around him, his arms were around her waist, his mouth pressed against hers, and somehow their bodies pressed together.

Despite it all, she didn’t pull away and her arms snaked around his neck as she held herself closer to him. Because she had told him not yet and she didn’t know what to make of him and he made her feel like a whirlwind and it was exhilarating and it felt right and her body seemed to burst into the most pleasant of fires. They melded together and their hearts raced each others’ as they lay in the sand and she kissed him hard and realized this was exactly what she was looking for.

And perhaps he was right. Perhaps it was serendipity.


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