Flash Fic Friday, Serial

Flash Fic Friday

**Tomorrow, Crystal Clear releases. And if you read the post earlier in the week, you know there’s an Easter egg for serial readers. I thought I would do the reverse here. So catch up with Lane and Walker today, and Justin and Cole tomorrow. But for now, episode 14! Enjoy!**

I stared at my phone until the screen went dark, then woke it up again. The message hadn’t changed. And really, my coworker was taking a chance on sending it to me in the first place. Technically, the case wasn’t mine anymore and technically, I wasn’t privy to information in regards to it. She’d used code words to keep it sounding innocent, but it was clear what she meant. And though I kept my face neutral from long practice, I couldn’t help the emotions that roiled through me.

“What’s wrong?” Walker sat up. He’d been leaning against me, snuggled into my side, which had become his preferred position over the past week. I didn’t mind. At all. I loved having him there, warm and pliant against me.

“What?” I offered him a smile. “Nothing. Why?”

The face he made coaxed a chuckle out of me and went I reached for him, he came willingly. But he didn’t resume his previous snuggle position, though he did push in close.

“I smelled it. The…upset? Yeah, you smell upset. And your leg went tense. What’s wrong?” Walker’s eyes went wide. “I mean, if you want to tell me. I’m being nosy.”

This time, my smile was a lot more genuine. I cupped his cheek. “You aren’t being nosy. And I love that you care enough to ask, and that you can tell. I’m far too used to keeping emotions under wraps and keeping a professional demeanor at all times.”

Walker took that all in, his mind working. I could practically see the gears turning. After a long moment, he nodded. “So will you tell me?”

I let out a sigh. “I can’t give you all the details. But…” I took a moment to get my thoughts in order, figuring out exactly what I could say. “Part of my job is investigating complaints of misconduct. Was, I mean. It was my job. Before I was moved.”

Walker pushed into my arms, holding me tightly. For a split second, I thought about pulling away and insisting I was fine and that it was no big deal. But that was a lie. I wasn’t okay. I was still pissed about the way things had been handled. Angry that I’d been demoted. Sad that I couldn’t do the work I loved. So I just let Walker hold me and took comfort in the touch, the physical support he was giving me.

After a few minutes, I took a breath and pulled away. Not far, but just enough so that I could see his face. It was such a good face. Strong and angular, with the softest, most beautiful dark eyes I’d ever seen. It took me another minute to get my brain back on track. I could seriously get lost just staring at him.

“Anyway, one of the cases I was involved in that got reassigned…” I had to take another breath, so the bitterness didn’t come out in my voice. “The case came to ahead and has resolved. Fortunately, it was as satisfactory as can be. But the fact that I didn’t get to see it through…it rankles.”

Walker stroked my hair, and it took me a minute to realize he was petting me. I wasn’t complaining. It felt really nice.

“You don’t seem happy with your job. And maybe it’s not my place to say it yet. We’re barely us.” Walker pressed his forehead against my temple. “But I don’t like seeing you unhappy.”

Everything moved faster with Walker. It had from the moment I laid eyes on him. Even though I was still figuring out how to navigate my own feelings, I felt the sincerity pouring off him. And I was solid in the knowledge that for Walker, as a shifter, this level of attachment this quickly was absolutely normal. I knew I could trust that completely.

“I was happy.” My voice was soft and I closed my eyes. “I really liked my job and I was good at it. And maybe I bent the rules sometimes. But I did what was right and moral and—.”

Walker climbed into my lap, and he didn’t exactly fit, but neither of us cared. It was so good to just hold him. So that’s what I did. Let the emotions wash through me, the disappointment about my work situation, and took strength from his presence.

“Lane? Uh, are you okay?” Archer’s tentative voice came from out of nowhere. I turned in the direction to see him hovering in the hallway. I loosened my hold on Walker in case he wanted to pull away, but he didn’t move.

“Yeah. I’m okay. Thanks for checking.” I gave the teen a smile. And then, because Archer knew a little about how things had gone down for me with the MBI, I added. “I’m just going through some stuff in regards to my job. And how I’m not happy with things as they are.”

Archer chewed his lip as he nodded. After a few seconds, he asked, “What are you going to do about it?”

And that, right there, was a very good question.

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