Sneak Peek Saturday

Fiction Friday, a day late

The hay loft of the barn felt a lot smaller now than it had when they were kids sneaking up there to make out. Hay was stacked almost to the ledge and all around the ladder as Addie climbed through the hole cut in the plywood floor.

“Why are we-” she grunted as she lifted herself the rest of the way up, “-coming up here to talk?’

“Old time’s sake?” Tim’s voice came from below her.

“Right,” she muttered back, settling herself on a hay bale.

Tim poked his head through the opening and looked around. Turning sideways to accommodate his shoulders he yanked himself up through the hole and cautiously took a seat across from her.

He tucked his hands under his thighs, probably to keep from fidgeting. Addie just watched, refusing to be the first to speak. After a long tense moment he sighed. “There is nothing between Jessi and I.” He spoke slowly and deliberately.

Raising a blonde brow Addie lied through her teeth. “I don’t care what’s between you.” She took a deep breath and added, “I would like to know what’s between us though.”

“Electricity, raw attraction, allure,” Tim said, smile flashing in the dim light.

“I’m not just some lay, Timmy.” Addie’s voice was quiet and full of hurt.

“No Addie, you’re not,” he responded just as quietly.

Addie exploded. “Then what the hell do you want from me?”

“I don’t know! Okay?” he retorted, his voice rising to match her decibel. “I want you in my life, but I don’t know how to deal with the past.”

Silence hung as dust swirled through the air, dancing in the dim light.

“It still hurts,” he whispered.

Addie winced. “And it doesn’t still hurt me? You think you were the only one hurt? I lost my friends, I lost my family, I lost you.” Her voice broke on the last word and she buried her face in her hands.

“What the hell do you want from me?” She repeated the words but they were muffled.

“I don’t know.” She heard him shift. “Addie, honey, come here.” A hand tugged on her elbow and she desperately wanted to crawl into his lap and be held.

She wanted to feel his warmth and let all the problems and tension between them fade away but she knew if she did that the things left unspoken would eventually destroy them.

“No Tim,” she said. “You need to decide exactly what you want. When you do, then we can talk but until then, leave me the hell alone.”

On shaky legs she stood and maneuvered back down the rickety ladder. At the bottom she paused to catch her breath and realized he wasn’t following her. The realization hurt more than it should have but she managed to make it back to the bunkhouse before collapsing into bed, crying and exhausted.

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