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The Traveling Story

Look, I have a present for you. Two posts in one day. ^_^ This one isn't any less cool than Kim's post. But it is different.





We were asked to join in a blogger round robin and happily agreed. We're part three. Make sure to read to the end and vote on which way you want the story to go. Choose A, B or C and then I'll hand the story off to the next blogger. You've got three days to vote (for the lazy folks out there, that's Wednesday).

Part 1: From Romance In The Backseat


We have all read the books, and seen the movies, and dreamed them up in a passing cloud, but there is no such thing as dragons. Or so Eliza McKenzie thought. Then early Saturday morning the door to her apartment was set on fire. Just the door, one second a normal door, the next it looked like the flaming entrance to hell. Eliza might have been able to rationalize this. Fires happen, maybe arson, maybe spontaneous combustion, she would have come up with something after she climbed out the window and dropped from the second story into the bushes.

The explanation would have had nothing to do with a giant, green, winged, lizard knocking through the door and standing on the welcome mat surrounded by fire. Eliza’s eyes doubled in size as the massive beast (her mind had not come up with the word dragon yet) opened his mouth to suck in a deep breath.

Fire came rushing for her face just as the dragon, yes it was definitely a dragon, was pulled from the room by his tail. The wall shook, the ground quaked, and there was the horrible sound of wood breaking mixed with the screech of nails on a chalk board. The floor gave another bounce then the sound of the hallway window shattering held Eliza’s full attention.

Eliza’s window still looked inviting as heavy footsteps made their way back towards her apartment. The green shape, flashing golden wings gliding by outside changed her mind. Whoever was walking towards her had kicked a dragon’s ass, but hopefully would lack a muzzle full of sharp teeth. After the dragon a troll, wizard, or kilt clad Highlander would feel downright normal. Though if that actor guy walked in and started preaching Scientology Eliza would know this was all a dream.

Henry Howard, her somewhat geeky next door neighbor, stepping over the smoking door was a bit of a letdown. Tall, slender, wiry, Eliza had often wondered how he carried victims out of burning buildings. Henry was a full time Fire Fighter for the city. His moving in down the hall three months ago had actually allowed Eliza to sleep better at night. She just felt safer for no reason, or at least not one she could pin down. Though the feeling now seemed more than justified.

Henry gave her his usual crooked smile, eyes flashing behind his soot covered glasses.

“You still have your eyebrows, or were they singed off? Can’t tell from here.”

The possible loss of her eyebrows was just too much to contemplate. Eliza’s temper began to simmer and boil as Henry calmly used his t-shirt to clean his glasses. “Who the heck are you anyway?” the question forced its way out between clenched teeth.

PART 2: Cheeky Reads

“A better question might be who are you? Since I believe it was your apartment I just had to keep a dragon from making an inferno out of,” Henry quipped with a lift of his brow.

“Listen here mister,” she sputtered as she placed her hands on her hips and tried her best to stand up straight and present an intimidating figure. Ok, so at 5’4 intimidating was pushing it, but hey, a little display of confidence could help a girl through a lot of messy situations. She watched as Henry’s lips twitched. A sure sign he was holding back laughter. No way was he standing there laughing at her!

Poking her finger in his chest she demanded, “How did you manage to chase off a…a dragon? I mean you have to admit you’re not packing any serious muscles. Unless you’re some sort of Superman/Clark Kent superhero? And seriously, a dragon? I think we are both inhaling some serious toxic fumes from this smoke and have lost our grip on reality. Dragons do not exist.”

This time he let a deep chuckle escape at her overflow of questions. “If you say so, but then what do you call the giant, green scale-covered creature I just ran off for you? You and I both know that was a dragon.”

“Exactly!” She exclaimed. “You want to tell me how come you aren’t freaking out about that. And how did you drive him away?”

“Now you’re asking the right questions. I think it’s time we had a nice long chat over a cup of coffee.”

Henry reached out and brushed a smudge of soot from her cheek. Instead of the irritation that had been welling up inside her, she felt a frisson of excitement as his fingers moved against her skin. Startled that she had just stood there staring at geeky boy next door; she backed away and turned to stare at what remained of her front doorway.

“I don’t think my apartment is in any shape for entertaining.”

She met Henry’s gaze and couldn’t help but smile. “How about we figure out something to do about my front door before we head over to Mel’s? Somehow I think a dragon trying to fry me to a crisp calls for something a little stronger than a cup of Joe.”

Walking over to Eliza’s phone, Henry checked for a dial tone and then dialed a number from memory.

“Dek, I need the team over here for a clean-up and containment job fast.”

Eliza watched as Henry ran his hands through his slightly wavy brown hair that was just a tad too long and wondered what he was going to say to his fellow firefighters when they arrived. Had he said containment?

“Yeah,” Henry murmured. “Apt. 303. I must have been right about this one,” he said and then hung up the phone.

“This one,” Eliza demanded feeling her previous agitation start to rear its head again.

“Hold off on that anger until we sit down to have our talk. You’ll have a whole bunch more questions and some issues to deal with after that. You don’t want to waste all your anger on me just now.”

Putting a hand on Eliza’s back, he attempted to start moving her toward the crispy doorway.

“Stop.”

Part 3: Twisted Fates Café

Rather than stop, he continued to try guiding her toward the door. Growing frustrated with the situation and not sure if she should trust him, Eliza felt her anger and frustration overflow. One minute Henry was touching her back. The next, he was flat on the ground with her foot on his throat. Laughter exploded from beneath her foot and she nearly toppled over from the shock that she’d actually just dropped him to the floor.

“If you had that in you, why did I just rescue you from a dragon?”

Eliza narrowed her eyes to slits and kicked him in the ribs, which earned her another chuckle.

“I’m not going anywhere with you until you answer my questions. That—“ she gestured toward the blackened doorway, “should not have happened. Ever. And you—“ she waved her hand at the once geeky looking man smirking at her on the floor “have explaining to do. Now.”

The amused expression on Henry’s face didn’t waiver as he picked himself up off the floor. He took his time brushing the soot off his clothes while she tapped her foot on the floor. Chuckling again at her, his eyes met hers, causing the tapping to stop. How had she never noticed the pretty shade of blue his eyes were? She shook her head and took a step back, that was not what she should be thinking about at all. Dragons, doors burned off hinges, not pretty eyed men.

“Are you going to start talking or are we just going to stand around?” It was high time she got some answers about the whole fiasco.

But he just stood there with that lopsided smile and those eyes, staring. So, Eliza did what any girl in her situation would do, she shoved him. “Seriously?”

She huffed and irritatedly ran her hand over her face.

“Why are you so easily flustered?”

She glared at him and crossed her arms over her chest. “Are you kidding me? A flipping dragon was just in my living room and you want to ask me why I’m flustered? The nerve you have!”

“You have—“

She stepped toward him angrily, “don’t interrupt me when I’m yelling at you! I need answers!”

He rubbed his cheek while staring at her with an annoyingly soft expression on his face, “no, but you—“

She took another step toward him, “right now, damn it!”

“But you seriously have—“

She shook her head and stomped, “stop ignoring me!”

He reached out and brushed his thumb across her cheek. “You had soot on your face.”

Eliza stared up at him, trying to ignore how close he was to her. “You’re trying to distract me.”

He flashed that grin again and showed her his now dirty thumb. “Was I?”

“Just because there really was soot on my face doesn’t mean you’re not. It could have waited.”

“No, you see…” He linked a finger in the belt loops on her pants.

“What are you—“

He pulled, bringing her hips against his and running his hand through her hair. He lowered his face closer to hers so his mouth was nearly touching hers. She felt his breath on her lips, “this would be distracting you.”

Options:
A) She tilts her head up and closes the small gap between them, kissing him briefly before pushing him back. Her answers are more important than finding out how well he kisses, no matter how intriguing it may be.

B) He slips a hand under her chin and tilts her head up, closing the distance, and kisses her. Her arms wrap around his neck, fingers curling in his hair. This is what she really needed.

C) She laughs and shoves him backward. If looking dirty in front of the guy wasn’t in the forefront of her mind, neither was kissing him. Dragons, kind of a big deal. Kisses happen every day.

Comments

( 6 Opinions — Have an Opinion )
(Anonymous)
May. 17th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
My Choice!
I pick number B.
Kiss him,
Kiss Him,
Kiss him!
Em this was an awesome installment!
Terry Kate
Romance in the Backseat (http://www.romanceinthebackseat.com)
maggie_writes
May. 18th, 2010 06:54 am (UTC)
This was adorable and hilarious and sexy all in one. Good job everyone.

I pick option C. I like the tension it presents =)
(Anonymous)
May. 18th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
Frome Cecile
C - all the way!
Cecile
All I want and More
(Anonymous)
May. 18th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
I vote A. I like A.
silver_elena
May. 19th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
I say A or C but I'm leaning more towards C. Great story you guys, we need more!
(Anonymous)
May. 20th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
C, lets keep the ass kicking going!
Maureen
( 6 Opinions — Have an Opinion )

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Em: 23, writer, book lover, music lover, movie lover, really big dork, reviewer of all things interesting.

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