|Click here for 3WW|
As with any writing, the characters have been surprising me, and I hope surprising the readers as well. If you'd like to catch up and read the previous installments or read a brief summary of the story so far, please stop by my Taking Liberty page.
Somehow we managed to make it out of the parking lot without anyone noticing us. I had a feeling that James had done this before.
He turned his head and looked at me, then laughed. "You can sit up in the seat. We're all clear."
I hadn't noticed I was slouched down, but quickly scooted up. I watched the school slide past as we turned onto the main road.
"First time ditching, huh?"
I looked at him and nodded, then quietly said, "Yeah."
He must have heard the quaver in my voice, because he said kindly, "Don't worry, you're not missing much. Most of the time we just go grab something to eat and then go to someone's house and play video games."
I smiled, "Life in the fast lane."
He nodded, "Something like that." We pulled up to a red light. "So where'd you like to go?"
I shrugged my shoulders. "You're the experienced one here."
He gave me an odd look, and then made a right turn. We sat in silence for the rest of the drive. I didn't know where we were going, but I was glad to be away from everyone. I leaned my head back and closed my eyes for a few moments.
I felt the car stop and opened my eyes. We were at a small cafe on the artsy side of town. It was nowhere I had been before, and didn't look anything like what I had expected James to pick.
Half laughing, I asked, "So what's the occasion? Why the fancy place?"
He blinked at me, and then frowned. "Well, I thought that after we..." his voice trailed off.
I frowned back at him. His face turned red, and he stared into his lap.
"I just thought that after we, you know. Well, I thought I'd take you out on a date." He looked up at me.
Slowly, he reached out a hand and brushed the hair from my face. He leaned in and brushed his lips against mine, gently.
I felt Liberty stirring inside, and I pushed James away, taking a deep breath. I closed my eyes, and forced Liberty back to wherever she had been hiding.
"You don't know me at all, why would you want to take me on a date?"
He stared at me, and I could see the embarrassment replaced with hurt. "Look, you're the one that snuck into my room the night of the funeral. You're the one that said you wanted to thank me. I just thought that maybe..."
Suddenly, I felt Liberty break free from her constraints. My hands and feet started tingling as I felt myself receding into the background.
Before everything faded to black, I could hear myself say, "Of course it meant something to me. I just wasn't sure it meant anything to you."
James leaned toward me, crossing miles of dimming tunnels, and I felt his lips once again.
Distantly in my mind, I could hear Liberty sigh.
Poor James caught in the middle of these two. I have a feeling it's going to turn real ugly here in a while.
So what do you think of the new twist? How do you think Elizabeth will react once she is at the steering wheel once again?