*So, remember, a long long time ago, I said I didn’t like the name Flash Fiction Fridays? Well, I do like the name Saturday Shorts, so here we go. My goal is to twice a month give you a new short snippet of something I’m working on. Sometimes it’ll be Alex and Law, other times it’ll be one of my upcoming stories. But here’s the thing: I’m still working to improve my writing, so I will often try new rhetorical devices, work on my setting or description, all those crafty things that are part of actually being good at this. And I’m going to use the shorts as a vehicle to do this. If I’m working on something in particular, I’ll have a little snippet at the beginning. So, without further ado, here’s Alex and Law.*
Alex ran from Judge Roberts’ office across the hall to Law’s, then skidded to a stop. Darn it, he was still holding the files Roberts had asked him to pull. Alex spun on his heel and ran back, dropping the file on Roberts’ desk before darting back to Law’s office. He could feel the rivulets of sweat dripping down from his forehead when he sat down.
“You okay there?”
Jesus Christ, Alex hadn’t even seen RJ. The bailiff leaned against the doorway, his beefy arms crossed in front of him, one brow raised. Alex sighed and let his head drop back. “I’m good. Exhausted, but…”
“But what?” RJ sat on the small couch in the corner and propped his elbows on his knees.
“But I asked for it, so I can’t complain now.”
RJ frowned, like he was mulling over Alex’s words. “I’m pretty sure you didn’t ask for Becky to get fired.”
“RJ, I got Becky fired. My stress is my own fault.”
“Bull.” Alex’s eyes widened. RJ almost never cursed and rarely raised his voice. “She tried every trick in the book to screw up that holiday party, and she wouldn’t have stopped. Don’t you dare feel sorry for getting rid of that snake.”
He was right, and they both knew it. But Alex still felt bad, and he felt bad that he felt bad. He shook his head to clear it. “Where’s Law?”
“Judge’s meeting. He should be back soon.”
Oh, the same judges meeting that happened every Friday at the same time? Alex needed sleep in the worst way. He looked up and found RJ standing there, that worried look on his face. “I’m good RJ, I promise. I just need to get some sleep.”
“If you say so. RJ started to say something els, but the door opened and Law stepped through. God, he was gorgeous, and the way his smile lit up his face melted Alex’s tiredness away.
“Hey there,” Law said as he crossed the room and perched on the edge of the desk.
Alex rolled his seat closer and tilted his head back. Law gripped his chin lightly and gave him a soft kiss. Alex sighed into it and parted his lips. Law chuckled and pulled back, and Alex fought to control his groan.
The door shut and Alex startled. He’d forgotten RJ was there.
“Do you have more work to do?” Alex shook his head. “Good, let’s go.”
Alex didn’t ask questions, just followed Law to the garage. In the car, he closed his eyes and let the low rumble of the engine soothe him. He opened them when the vibration stopped and looked around. They were at the harbor, across the street from Madeline’s Twist. He looked at Law, who had a grin on his face.
“I called the restaurant and got Brendan. He’s holding a table for us.” Law grinned and took Alex’s hand. “Let’s go.”
Alex hadn’t seen Bren since the holiday party. He hadn’t even had a chance to thank him for his help. Law opened the door and they crowded in behind the crush of people at the front. Madeline’s Twist was crazy popular, and Alex could rarely afford it. This was a special treat.
Bren’s super-blonde head glinted under the lights, and Alex couldn’t stop his wide grin. Bren swooped in and hugged him, then shook Law’s hand.
“Let me seat you, then I have to skedaddle,” he said, his words a rush. “Tonight’s insane.”
Bren maneuvered them to a table with an amazing view of the pier and the landmarks, hugged Alex again, and scurried off. Law stared at his retreating back. “Is he always like this?”
“He’s the manager, so yeah, pretty much.”
Law chuckled and perused the menu. They were quiet outside of ordering, and when the meal came, Law attacked it with gusto, Alex following suit. When he finished, Law pushed the plate away and sat back.
“That was delicious.”
Alex smiled. “It was. I’m stuffed.”
Law’s mouth quirked up, then he reached across the table and laid his hand over Alex’s. “I’m sorry Alex.”
“What? What are you talking about?” His nerves spiked and his pulse started throbbing by his neck.
“You’ve done everything for the past month. Working for me and Graham, packing boxes nightly to move, taking care of me when I get home. I’ve taken it for granted and I’m going to do better.”
Alex opened and closed his mouth like a fish. Law was everything he’d wished for, and even though it was still new, and they were still feeling their way through their relationship, Alex had never been happier.
Alex turned his palm up and squeezed Law’s hand. The way his mouth tugged up at the corner was adorable, but Alex still saw the insecurity there.
“You haven’t taken me for granted,” Alex started. Law opened his mouth to speak, but closed it when Alex shook his head. “You let me barrel into your life, change everything about it, move in with you without discussion, and pretty much take over. Not to mention, I’m sure I haven’t let you get a single full night of sleep since Christmas.” He winked to lighten the mood.
Law huffed, then tightened his grip and closed his eyes. Alex’s heartbeat slowed and he took a deep breath. They couldn’t jump into perfect—they had to create their own definition of it. They fell into a silence, but it was the comfortable one Alex had grown accustomed to. Law squeezed him tight as they left.
The night air chilled him and Alex turned into Law, nestling into his side as they walked to the car. Once inside, Law turned to him. “So, should I let you get a full night’s rest tonight?”
Alex snort-laughed before shaking his head. “Nah. I think I’ll make it a few more days.”
Law’s only response was a laugh as they headed for home.