Donovan put an arm around Hannah as they watched Ryan walk Charity from the coffee shop. “That was harsh” he mumbled thankful his dad had never treated him like that. His dad was pretty ok even though he chose his life as an adventurer over his family.
“Charity is one of the sweetest girls I know,” Hannah sniffed “she deserves better than that old con.”
“She does have better” Donovan pointed out “she has her dads.”
Turning Hannah smiled “you know something, you’re right.”
“Of course I am” he gave her a quick peck on the cheek “I’m always right.”
Shoving him aside she walked towards their abandoned drinks “you’re never right” she tossed back at him.
Smiling he followed her straddling the chair he took a swallow of his lukewarm coffee “yuck” he grumbled “I was right about you.”
Arching an eyebrow she shook her head. Taking a sip she said “I wouldn’t say that.”
“Why not?” he demanded tossing his coffee away mostly unfinished “you like me.”
Crossing her arms she tossed her cappuccino away “I never said that…”
“You did” he pulled her close “I distinctly remember you telling me you did.”
Donovan’s face was dangerously close to hers. She could feel his warm breath tickling her skin. She leaned in close expecting to feel his lips on hers at any moment. She gasped when he abruptly released her. She fell forward catching herself on the back of a chair before she could fall. “What the?” she cried blinking.
“I think my feelings have been hurt” he announced walking towards the exit.
Blushing as she found herself the center of the barista’s undivided attention she took a deep breath and followed him outside. She watched him get in his car and start the engine. Was he really going to leave her here? Stunned she stopped and stared. What was it about this guy that kept her coming back for more?
A car door opened “well are you coming?” Donovan demanded “or are you going to stand there and pout?”
Walking towards the car scowling “maybe I was waiting for someone?”
“Hah” he grinned “I’m the only guy you think about. All I’ve got to do is get you to admit it.”
“What movie are we watching?” Trinity asked as everyone gathered outside the theater.
“Don’t know” Zach said “we decided as the only girl you could decide.”
“Oh cool” Trinity grinned “there’s this zombie apocalypse movie….”
“Safe Harbor?” Vincent asked “I’ve been wanting to see that movie since I saw the previews.”
“Yeah I heard it was supposed to be good,” Waylon smiled turning towards Zach “what do you think?”
“I um…yeah ok sure” Zach swallowed “I don’t usually watch that kind of movie.”
“We don’t have to see this one” Waylon suggested looking towards the others for back up.
Zach shook his head “no it’s ok. I’ll watch it.”
“Are you sure?” Waylon asked “I want you to have fun too.”
“I’m sure” Zach nodded with resignation “it’s what everyone else wants to see.”
“Yay” Trinity cheered “I’ve been wanting to see this movie since Vincent suggested it.” Glancing at Waylon she winked at Zach “besides if you get scared you have a big strong guy to hold onto.”
Zach nodded looking towards Waylon fear and uncertainty bright in his crystal blue eyes. Taking a deep breath he closed his eyes willing his racing heart beat to slow down. He almost jumped when a deep voice spoke close to his ear.
“Are you going to be alright?” Waylon asked concerned.
Nodding Zach followed Vincent and Trinity into the theater.
Trinity headed towards the front of the theater hips swaying as she went collecting appreciative stares and whistles as she went. She turned and winked at a few of them. The glower on Vincent’s face didn’t go unnoticed either however it did go without acknowledgment. Sitting down in the middle of the row a couple of girlish giggles caught her attention. Turning she frowned upon finding Vincent talking to a couple of cute girls.
When the previews began Vincent found his way to his seat reserved for him between Trinity and Waylon. He sat down without comment grabbing a handful of popcorn from the combo he went halfsies on with Trinity. He munched loudly. From the corner of his eye he found Trinity glaring at him. Smiling he asked “what?”
“You were flirting” she hissed under her breath.
“So?” his grin growing bigger “you’re the one who said to keep things casual.” Munching on another handful of popcorn he said “it’s different when your on the other foot.”
She averted her gaze from his piercing eyes. She didn’t like this feeling she had watching him flirting with those girls. It was confusing. No one had ever made her feel hurt when they moved on to someone else. She’s the one who made the rules. Insisted on keeping things on a casual basis. She hadn’t expected to feel anything when Vincent moved on.
Here she was with the resident nerd and she wanted to gauge out the eyes of the perky young girls who had diverted his attention to them instead of her. He sat beside her like nothing had happened. Throwing her words back at her. Of course she wanted to keep things casual between them. There’s no way way she wanted anything serious. Once it got serious the fun was gone.
Vincent smirked munching on the buttery popcorn. What did she expect? That he’d seethe with jealousy watching her flaunt herself. Two can play that game. He had felt low seeing her wink at all those guys appreciating her curves leading them on. She was supposed to be there with him. Instead it was just an opportunity for her to catch the next willing fish.
His over active brain took over. Smiling at the cute girls near his own age eighteen years old. Blonde slender with dimples. Cute. He hadn’t talked to the girls with the intent to hurt Trinity. It suddenly hit him that he was following her around like a lost little puppy.
He was better than that. It reminded him too much of how he used to follow Hannah around not too long ago on the off chance she’d notice him. He finally got what he thought he always wanted and he dumped her on the dance floor when he caught sight of Trinity laughing up at Ryan.
He had been hung up on Trinity for the past several months. She kept ignoring him. Flirting with everyone not him. Was it so surprising he’d had enough? He had the girls numbers in his phone. It was time he explored his options. The girls at least were interested in him not the other way around.
As the movie progressed Zach cringed against Waylon’s shoulder squeezing his eyes shut. He knew he was going to have nightmares for weeks after this. He felt like he was in a constant state of agitation and fright. He wanted to scream at the screen when Dallas ran off. Couldn’t he see Harbor only wanted to help? Too late the zombies had him. Even the sweet moments were clouded by the sure knowledge that someone was going to die.
That Hollis character started off as such a cold insensitive jerk. How could he not want to help someone who was bleeding to death right in front of him? The next scene had Zach jumping in his seat clutching at Waylon’s arm. That poor defenseless little girl. Who could think of doing such a thing?
Tearing his eyes from the screen Waylon found Zach attempting to burrow into the back of his seat clinging to his arm. It felt like Zach was trying to squeeze his arm off. “Hey are you alright?” he asked growing concerned at the glossy look in Zach’s eyes and rapid breathing.
“I don’t…I don’t” Zach shook his head “I’m sorry…”
Standing Waylon pulled Zach to his feet “come on.”
Shaking his head Zach attempted to sit back down “no. You were enjoying the movie. I…” He looked down realizing people were watching them instead of the show “I don’t want you to miss it.”
Pulling on Zach’s arm Waylon half dragged him up the aisle. Once they were outside the theater Waylon cradled Zach’s face in his hands “I could care less about a dumb old movie. I care about you. Why didn’t you tell me?”
Taking a deep breath “I wanted…I hoped” shaking his head he shrugged “I don’t know.”
“Come on” Waylon smiled “lets wait for the others over there.” He directed Zach towards a nearby bench “I don’t ever want you going through something like that again. Not for me. Not for anyone.”
“I’m sorry” Zach mumbled “you must think I’m an idiot.”
Laughing softly Waylon put an arm around the blond “not at all. Besides” he kissed Zach’s cheek “I wanted to spend time with you. I’m getting to do just that. I think it’s a win win situation.”
After meeting with the art dealers and receiving commission pieces to work on Marzia turned to Divia face beaming. “You did this for me?” she asked pulling the girl close.
“I couldn’t let you throw your talent away,” Divia said quietly. She could feel several people staring at them. She tried to blot out their stares and veiled whispers behind their hands. She wanted to enjoy this moment with the girl of her dreams.
“You really think I’m talented?” Marzia asked voice full of wonder.
“Of course I do or I wouldn’t have done all of this” Divia smiled up at her “if I didn’t believe in you.”
“Thank you” Marzia whispered leaning her head on Divia’s shoulder “no one has ever believed in me the way you do.”
“Look over there” Phoenix nodded with his chin toward the couple embracing each other.
“Aw how sweet” Teasha smiled genuinely happy for her best friend “I’m so glad this worked out for them.”
“Let’s dance” Phoenix suggested escorting her towards the dance floor. Once they had been dancing for a while Phoenix asked “do you regret letting Divia go when you had the chance to have her?”
“What? No” she shook her head causing her curls to dance around her face and shoulders “I’m happy with what I have.”
“Even though I’m hardly around?” he asked. His eyes were worried as he looked deep in her crystal blue eyes. “I know how difficult it is on the family of military guys. I grew up with a mostly absent father. I watched my mom pretend to be happy a lot.”
“Pretend?” she asked this time there was a catch in her throat “that sounds awful.”
Nodding he looked down at his feet “it was. There were times she’d stay up late waiting for him to come home only to fall asleep alone on the couch. I’d find her the next morning. The dinner she prepared cold on the table. The candles burned down to nothing.” He blinked back tears “yet she’d smile saying he had important things to do to protect Sim Nation.”
“It’s not always like that” she said squeezing his hand “there has to be some happy moments.”
Shrugging he mumbled “I guess.” He lifted his eyes “my brother hates anything to do with the military. He said it ruined his life.”
“Did it?” she asked pulling away from him and walking off the dance floor.
“Mom loved my dad. I’m sure of it” he sighed “I don’t think she was cut out for the life style of a military wife.”
“Meaning she wasn’t prepared for the late nights. The missions where he’d be gone for days if not weeks. The constant moves. The injuries. The….” she stopped looking deep into his eyes “I know what I’m getting into. I’m not blind to what you do. I know there will be times when I won’t know where you are or when you’ll come back.”
He gave her a small sad smile “you say that now. What about tomorrow when I call to break our date? Or when I don’t call at all because there’s no time. What happens when you cry yourself asleep at night.” He reached up to caress her cheek “I don’t want that kind of life for you. You deserve someone who will always be here for you not off fighting some enemy overseas.”
“Are you breaking up with me?” she asked her voice barely more than a whisper “you are aren’t you?” her eyes shimmered with tears.
“No” he cried taking a deep breath “Yes. Maybe.” he dropped his arms to his side as if he didn’t know what else to do with them “I don’t know.” He turned away unable to look at the hurt bewildered look in her eyes “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“You don’t get to make that choice” she shoved her hands against his chest “it’s my decision. If I want to take a chance on you that’s my choice.”
Grabbing her wrists “not if I won’t let you” he said “I have a choice in this too.”
“I was taught that anything good is worth fighting for” she struggled in his grip “I think your worth fighting for.”
“I don’t want you to” Phoenix said releasing her hands “I’m sorry. I’m being shipped out tomorrow.”
She stared at him blinking several times as tears threatened to fall and her heart raced “you’re dumping me. You think I can’t handle it. Instead of giving me a chance to prove myself you’re dumping me.”
“It’s not like that” he pleaded “I don’t want you putting your life on hold for me.”
“That’s my choice” she snapped at him “not yours.” She turned and swiftly walked away from him shoulders shaking.
Ryan pulled the car over and stopped. Turning towards Charity who was crying in the seat beside him. “I’m sorry” he said wishing there was something more he could do or say to help her.
“It’s not your fault” she gulped wiping at her eyes sniffling. “I shouldn’t have let you talk me into this. I should have met her alone like she wanted.”
“Charity” there was a pleading note in his voice as he said her name. He was afraid that she wouldn’t tell him the next time her mother tried contacting her “please don’t let her get to you.”
“You don’t get it do you” she cried “after all these years I finally have the chance to get to know her. Don’t ruin this for me.”
“I didn’t think I was” he sighed “what about how your dad’s will feel about this?”
“What do they have to do with this?” she snapped “they shouldn’t have kept her from me.”
“They must have had their reasons” he pointed out “don’t let this woman throw a wedge between you and your parents. They’ve been there for you…”
“Don’t you think I know that?” she demanded “why did they keep her from me? She obviously met them before. Why didn’t they tell me?”
“Call them and find out?” he suggested “don’t just take her word for it.”
She turned her face away from him “I’ll consider your suggestion. First I need to know more.”
“Meaning what?” he demanded “you’re not planning on seeing her again are you?”
Shrugging she said dismissively “what if I am? You can’t stop me.”
“No I can’t” he muttered turning the car carefully into traffic “I’m your friend. I’m worried about you.”
“I can take care of myself” she grumbled “I don’t need you holding my hand.”
Her words stung like a thousand wasps stinging him at once. “Fine have it your way” he said as the silence deepened between them. He pulled into the dorm parking lot “when this all falls apart don’t come crying to me. I’m done.” He walked swiftly away after slamming the car door shut.
She watched him go. He’d never done that before. He had always stuck by her side picking up the pieces. A reassuring presence like her dads. Was it really that wrong to want to get to know her mom? Deep down she knew the answer to that. She knew her dad’s would be upset knowing she wanted to meet her mom. If she was honest with herself she felt guilty for not telling them about her. She had taken that guilt out on Ryan. What he said made sense. But she couldn’t just pass up this opportunity could she? She never wanted to find her mother. Now that her mother had found her she wanted to know everything she could about her.
Author’s Note: the movie Safe Harbor was based off of a story written by Legendofsim. I would highly recommend it if you’re interested in zombie apocalypse stories. You can read it here.