“But Dad, I’m tired! Can we stop, please?”
“No honey, we are still on the Lorax’s property. We will be able to stop soon enough.” It wasn’t a lie, but he had left off some very important details. When the Lorax had sent the Brown clan of Bar-ba-loots away, it wasn’t an act of compassion; it was a threat.
Jack glanced down at the timer wrapped around his wrist: 4:59 and dropping fast. “Shit.” He was in a full on sprint down the trail, leaping from rock to rock while bracing against the scattered trees along the sides of the path. His hands were covered in sap and dirt and a few small cuts from the dried bark of the trees, but Jack was ignoring the pain and focusing on staying upright as he descended.
Natalie sneaked up behind Matthew and wrapped her hands gently around his head, covering his eyes. “Guess who,” she said with a flirtation tone as she pressed her body against his back. A smile crept along Matthew’s lips, “I don’t know, but I’m going to call the police and report you for assault.”
Natalie pulled her hands away and slid her body around him, looking up into his eyes with a demure look. “You wouldn’t do that… would you?” She raised her hands to his chest as she spoke, walking her fingers up towards his face slowly with each word. Matthew looked at her, trying to stay serious as Natalie’s fingers bopped him on the tip of his nose.
“And then he says to me, so when do you want to go out again?” The table exploded in laughter, with Fiona doubling over, arms clutched around her stomach, her face turning a bright shade of red. Shayna continued as her eyes welled up, “I must have had the biggest shock on my face, because he immediately looked like a puppy that I had just scolded.” She could barely hold in her laughter, but reached for her glass of red wine to attempt to wash it down her throat.
After a few seconds, Marcy looked up at Shayna with a dead serious look and said, “So did you go out with him again?”
The night air was cool, flowing gently around Julie’s bare legs as she strolled down the narrow side street. The sound of her heels echoed off the cobblestone street and brick walls as she kept a relaxed walking tempo. Her dress was loose and flowing from the waist down, the fabric moving with her shape and rising and falling from mid-thigh to her knees as her arms brushed along the fabric. Usually she would have walked down main street on her way back to her flat, but a rowdy group of boys were spilling out into the street in front of Lollipop night club, and she had no desire to deal with that lot.
The street lights were mounted on the rooftops as opposed to independent poles, casting circles of light separated by 20 feet of darkness. Each light was placed on alternate sides of the street, creating a zig-zag pattern of light which Julie followed with her footsteps. Each time she stepped into the light from a dark spot, she hopped over the edge and directly into the light, making a loud clang with her shoes.
Daniel gently lifted the edge and took a peek at the markings on the face of the cards. Pocket Aces, he thought to himself. He knew this was the best possible starting hand in a game of Texas Hold ’em poker, but kept his face from giving any indication of his excitement. He repeated his usual routine, placing a stack of five $10 chips on top of his hole cards, before looking around at the rest of the table.
Annie was sitting immediately to his left, short hair pulled back behind her ears. She never wore sunglasses, but her eyes were always cold and fixed on an invisible point beyond the dealer, unless she was placing a bet. When she was serious about placing her bet, she would look intently down at her chips, her eyes shifting between the stacks to get a rough count. Daniel had noticed that if she was bluffing, this procedure would take slightly less time: her tell.
Meghan and Jessica jumped up and down on the pair of twin beds, feathers flying everywhere on each impact. “Go Jessica,” yelled one of the on-lookers as Jessica swung her pillow wide and caught Meghan off balance, sending her to the mattress, giggling. “Yeah!” Jessica stood proudly, still bouncing slightly on the bed and causing her chest to heave against the bra with each bounce. “Who’s next?”
Maggie quickly volunteered, grabbing the pillow from Meghan’s hands and hopping up on the bed. She was wearing pink boy shorts and a tank top over an equally vibrant pink bra, visible through the thin cotton. “You’re so going down,” she said through a smile as she tossed the pillow over her shoulder, ready to strike.