Boy, it's been quiet around here! I had writer's block-still do-but this is a chapter I've had tucked away for a few weeks. Hope it holds you over until I can write again.
Jason entered the workout room of the police force to see who was incessantly pounding on the punching bag there. He wasn’t surprised to find Shawn there, dressed in only a pair of grey shorts and a layer of sweat.
“Hey buddy, you’re going to mess up your arm again” Jason said, as he casually walked over and held the bag still for him.
“I’m only punching with my right arm” he answered. He stopped hitting to slowly rotate his left arm. “Did you want something?” he asked, as he crouched to get his water bottle.
“I wanted to see who the jackass was that was making all the noise” Jason teased. “I should have known it was you”
“Well you found me so now you can go” Shawn said, dropping his bottle and preparing to start again.
“Why don’t you talk to me instead of pounding on this defenseless bag?” Jason asked.
“What should I say?” Shawn demanded, his face contorted as he began to punch the bag again. “That my fiancé hasn’t returned any of my calls since Friday night, and it’s now Tuesday? Keep in mind that this was the same night that she practically had a nervous breakdown in front of me. And I haven’t…had sex…in…weeks!” Jason grabbed the bag as Shawn gave it one last shove, finally collapsing against a column and reaching for his water bottle. He shot some water into his mouth and glared at Jason. “Don’t even give me that smug married look. You look like a satisfied man” Jason wisely kept his mouth shut and tried to change the subject.
“Mimi said that Belle seems better but she won’t talk to her” Jason said. “I don’t know why she won’t talk to you either”
“Brady’s keeping quiet too” Shawn added. “He’d better tell me soon or I’ll pound it out of him”
“You need to relax, Shawn” Jason said. “Just give her some time to find herself, or whatever. Go out and do something. Have a beer. Take some time to think and give her some time to think too. This will work out” Shawn looked up at him.
“Want to get a beer?”
“I can’t, the ole ball and chain is making dinner” Jason said. He saw Shawn’s expression change and instantly felt bad. “But you should come over for dinner. She’s making chicken and I’m sure she can’t make it too uneatable”
“Are you sure?” Shawn asked, instantly perking up. “I wouldn’t want to be a bother”
“Nah, no problem” Jason said. “Mama Meems won’t mind”
“Well…all right” Shawn said, rising to his feet. “I could use something to take my mind off of things”
“Sounds good, buddy” Jason said, following him out the door. “But shower first. You smell like shit”
Brady stepped into his apartment, utterly drained by his day but looking forward to his night. Yes, a long night out with Chloe. He was in the mood for Italian food, red wine, and peeling off whatever tight dress Chloe would have on that night. He dropped his briefcase near the door and then promptly tripped.
“Sonofabitch” he cursed, turning around to see that it had indeed been a pink sneaker that had tripped him. He went to sidestep it, almost tripping over a black dress shoe that also lay haphazardly on the floor. “Isabella!” She didn’t appear from the back so he turned toward the living room, noticing that the pile of blankets on his couch was moving.
“What’s all the yelling?” she asked, peeking her tousled head out from under the blankets.
“You, the most anal-retentive, clean freak I have ever met, are making a mess of my apartment!” he said, stepping around the couch to survey the living room. Piles of clothing, not even folded, were in various piles around the couch. “This is worse than my college dorm”
“I’m sorry” she said, tossing the blankets aside and rising. “I was tired after school” He gaped at her long black skirt and silk shirt.
“You slept in your work clothes?” he asked, before turning to the clock. “For three hours?”
“I was so tired when I came home that I took a nap” she said, starting to unbutton her shirt. Brady yelped and turned away as she took off the shirt and dropped it into a pile. She scooped up one of his hoodies and pulled it on over her head. When he finally opened his eyes again, she was staring at him curiously, now also wearing a pair of his track pants.
“Are you sure you’re my sister?” he asked. “This is not normal Belle behavior”
“I’m just tired, Brady” she said, rising from the couch. “Lay off”
“I hate to say it, Belle, but you’re a slob and you need to go back to your own place” he said, watching as she went to get a drink from the fridge. She paused and gaped at him.
“I’ll be out of your way this evening” she said, icily.
“Tink, this is for your own good!” he called out, as she grabbed bags and began randomly throwing clothes into them. “You need to go home and fix things with Shawn”
“You don’t understand anything!” she yelled back, fighting tears. When she had all of her things, she brushed past him. “Sorry to be such an inconvenience!” As the door slammed behind her, Brady sadly shook his head. Sometimes tough love was the only way to go.