Fic Prompt Friday
Welcome to the first installment of Fic Prompt Friday! Here's how this is going to work: on Fridays - the Fridays I can make room for it on the schedule - I'll take prompts from you guys and write a little <1,000 word scene. Today's installment went just a few words over, but I trust that's okay ;)
Please be advised that this is a quick, off-the-cuff sample of writing and though I've speed-proofed it, there might be a typo or two here and there.
*Contains spoilers for Tastes Like Candy*
5/20/16 – Michelle
Really, she thought, at nine-fifteen on Saturday night, she should have expected this. This would fall under that old Murphy’s Law thing, wouldn’t it? It felt like it would. It also felt like hell.
The back pain had started during breakfast that morning. Not unbearable, but steady and insistent, like two fists pressing firmly into the small of her back, right in those little indentations above her backside. She’d spent a half hour in Candy’s chair in the sanctuary, a pack of frozen peas wedged behind her, and finally gave up when she realized it wasn’t going to work. No sense being helpless about it, she decided, and heaved back to her feet, her belly thrusting out in front of her like a hot air balloon. A big baby, the doctor had said, smiling at her. And of course he was big, because look at his giant father. But she wasn’t big, and she’d never been this uncomfortable in her life, housing a tiny giant growing bigger by the day.
She’d spent the day in the office, going through vendor orders, returning phone calls, trying not to worry about the fact that the pain was getting worse and worse as the hands moved around the wall clock. Candy was on a run, currently riding back from Cali with all but the skeleton crew he’d left behind in Amarillo.
At three, Darla had stuck her head in the door and said, “I made sandwiches.”
Michelle smiled, but shook her head. Her stomach was trembling in a funny way, and she wasn’t hungry. “No, thanks.”
Darla frowned. “You okay, sweetheart? You look a little pale.”
“Just tired.” She pressed a hand to the mound of her belly. “Ready to meet this one.”
“Aren’t we all!” Darla said with a wide smile, and ducked back out.
She’d headed to the bar around eight, just to check in, make sure things were running smooth. She trusted her staff, she just…well, she was a control freak, maybe more of one than her husband, something he liked to remind her as often as possible. God, she missed him. He should be back soon. Within the next few hours. She realized, as she moved across the floor, that she was praying about it, in an abstract way: Bring him home safe, bring him home soon.
The pain turned visceral and ragged, sharp as daggers running through her back. And now…now…
It was nine-fifteen, and all this wet warmth was gushing down her legs, soaking her leggings, sliding down into her boots, pattering against the hardwood floor.
“Fucking fantastic,” she said through her teeth, and then the pain grabbed.
Yeah, okay, she should have stayed home. And she knew she was in trouble when she felt too bad to worry about being embarrassed, standing here in the middle of a hot nightclub spot with her water breaking all over the damn place.
Someone appeared at her elbow, and she glanced over, eyes glazed from the pain, to find Jinx giving her a look so motherly and concerned she would have laughed if she could. “What’s wrong?” he asked, right away.
“Um…my water broke.”
She gestured down toward her feet, and his gaze followed. It was dim, but she could tell he could see the wetness gluing her leggings to her skin.
“Oh shiiiiittttt,” he hissed. He took a huge breath and grabbed at his hair. “Okay. Okay. This is cool. This is fine. It happens, right? Biology?”
She’d never seen him like this. It was terrifying and adorable.
“Calm down.” She grabbed his sleeve. “Hey, look at me. This is my first baby. He’s gonna take his sweet time. I’m not gonna plop him out right here on the floor.”
It was a ridiculous statement, but obviously something he’d thought of, judging by the way his shoulders relaxed a little. “Hospital, right?” he asked, expression dazed. “Yeah. We’ve got to get you to the hospital. Shit, do I need to call an ambulance?”
“No. We can take the truck.”
“Jinx. Do you need to sit down?”
“Probably.” He took another breath and shook his head. “No, no, it’s fine. Come on.” He touched her shoulder like she was made of glass and steered her gently toward the stairs.
Walking helped; the pain and pressure were coiled so tight that it felt like she needed an outlet, and moving seemed to dispel some of the tension. Still, the stairs were a challenge. Jinx slid his arm across her shoulders, and she was grateful for the chance to lean against his side.
At the top of the stairs, he leaned over and told the hostess someone needed to get a mop down to clean up on the main floor. Her name was Eliza, and she was mid-forties, competent and young-faced, a hell of a hire. She took one look at Michelle’s expression and said, “We’ve got this. You go.” And gave Michelle an encouraging smile.
They were at the front door – one of the bouncers was holding it open for them, in fact – when one of their servers came barreling up, eyes wild. “Jinx!” she gasped. “Oh God, there you are. We’ve got a major situation in the back.”
His arm tightened around Michelle’s shoulders. “I can’t deal with it right now.”
The girl made a distressed sound in her throat. “Two guys got in this huge fight, I think maybe they were betting, I don’t know. Anyway, they started hitting each other, and their friends joined in, and Niko’s trying to break them up, but he needs help, and–”
“Shit,” Jinx swore.
A shadow detached itself from the wall and slid into view, liquid as something out of a horror movie. Fox smiled in a way that made Michelle groan. “Don’t worry,” he said. “You handle it. I’ll take Chelley to the hospital.”
Jinx was already too distracted to protest. “Yeah, thanks. I’ll call and check on you guys in a bit.”
When he stepped away, Fox took his place, arm going around Michelle’s shoulders. “Come on, niece, let’s go have a baby.”