Rants With Plot (stories)

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One Quiet Night

"When we fuck, what do you feel?"

Her question hangs in the air. She watches as his face draws into an expression of astonishment.

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Severed All Ties

< AZ's note: This is the kind of stuff that comes out of my head when I'm hurting and can't think straight. I tend to write to attempt not thinking about the pain. I've been suffering from a low grade sinus headache for the last three days. I feel like I'm going insane. So... this is what it produces. It's fictional, so don't read more into than you should. >

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Building Friction (Part 39- Conclusion)

"I don't like the ending."

I was sitting in Nelson's office. The lawyers had finished up their negotiating on my first book, the collection of my articles that I'd written for the website. We'd come to the agreement that I would be paid $100,000 up front and earn 1% on the back end after costs. It sounded good enough to my and my lawyer had nodded reassuringly, so I signed the papers and shook the appropriate hands.

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Building Friction (Part 38)

Over the course of the 3 weeks, there were only 3 people who saw me on a regular basis. Monique was the first, the secretary at my new publisher's office, as I returned several times to hand over contractual paperwork only to be given more to sign. The delivery boy from the Thai restaurant that I ate most of my meals from was the second.

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Building Friction (Part 37)

Geoff was nuzzling at my neck and trying to work a hand under my shirt as we sat on my couch. It was Tuesday and he'd called asking to see if I wanted to get something to eat. We hadn't really talked in a week, other than his e-mail asking me how my meeting had gone with Nelson. I wasn't purposefully ignoring him like I had been doing with Matt, and Geoff wasn't the type to care. He knew the basics and waited the unspoken amount of time before calling me.

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Building Friction (Part 36)

I wasn't expecting him to pick up when I called. It had been 5 days since I'd last spoken with Matt, and if I had been put in that position, I wouldn't have wanted to ever hear again from the person who felt I wasn't even worthy of an explanation over the ignoring. But Matt picked up after the first ring.

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Building Friction (Part 35)

Sitting nervously in the cool air-conditioned office of the Webber & Nelson Publishing Company, I felt as if I were going to vomit. I chewed on my gum, trying not to chomp at it like an empty headed cow, and shifted my eyes from the clock on the wall, to my sensible shoes to the secretary Monique who didn't seem to register my presence. I'd been waiting only ten minutes, but I was ready to give up the ghost and bolt.

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Building Friction (Part 34)

I barely was aware of the goings on around me on Monday, as I sipped at coffee and nodded politely to whatever was said to me by the students. They sensed that something was up and decided to keep their distance. At lunch my cell rang repeatedly. Once was from Steph. Once was from Sean. And once was from Matt. I answered none of them.

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Building Friction (Part 33)

The ride home was awkwardly silent. After the kiss, we'd pulled back from each other, stood quietly for a minute and then headed to the car wordlessly. Geoff proceeded to drive me home, and I shifted nervously in my seat until we got there.

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Building Friction (Part 32)

As the movie played, we both sat straight in our seats and watched the action. It was a mystery thriller, or at least it was supposed to be, and some of the scenes were positively ludicrous. I had to force myself to keep from laughing at some of the implausibility. Geoff filled in the blanks with bitingly sarcastic remarks.

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Building Friction (Part 31)

The faces were all staring at me intently, their eyes unshifting. Lilly had posed the question of why I was so quiet with a perma-grin on my face. Steph's eyes had widened. Malory had almost burned herself while lighting her cigarette. Sean, not surprisingly, looked unimpressed.

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Building Friction (Part 30)

Matt called me a short time before my lunch break on Friday, so my phone went to voicemail. I listened to the message when I was sitting at my desk, unwrapping the deli sandwich I'd brought with me. His voice sounded extremely sexy and I pressed the receiver to my ear tightly to take it in.

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Building Friction (Part 29)

I went back inside and walked up to the small group around the dart boards, hugging Matt from behind. He smiled at me and threw the last dart that was in his hand, hitting the bullseye, then turned toward me and leaned down for a kiss.

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Building Friction (Part 28)

"You always manage to outshine my moments, don't you?"

Sean was angrily swigging away at this bottle of beer, barely looking at me. It was Wednesday night, and Malory and Claude had managed to get the word out about my phone call before I could. I had intended on meeting Sean for a drink to give him my congrats about his acting offer. The night had morphed from a quiet evening between the two of us into a loud party with everyone present.

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Building Friction (Part 27)

"Where were you last night?" Steph called me early on Sunday, odd for her.

"I went to see a movie," I said, sighing. I started to mentally prepare myself for the inquisition.

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Building Friction (Part 26)

"What are you doing later?"

The screen popped up just as I was about to click on the send button and forward a new article to my webwaster. It was Geoff's screen. I stared at it in a wide-eyed wonder as it glowed back at me. I had no idea how to respond.

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Building Friction (Part 25)

"So wait, let me get this straight. You're saying that Stripes was a better movie than Lost in Translation?" I paused between sips of my iced mocha to pose a question that I never thought I'd be asking.

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Building Friction (Part 24)

Sean returned on Sunday from seeing his parents back East, and filled us in on the status of his family. He was signed on to do a show the Monday after returning, a minor gig at a small venue that ended up only being attended by me. We sat around outside of the place, smoking cigarettes and talking. I told him about the fight between Matt and Geoff.

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Building Friction (Part 23)

"So, he hasn't been around anymore?" It was Saturday and we were back in our normal spots, sitting in Steph's backyard and kicking back. I was asking about whether Geoff had continued to grace the house with his presence.

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Building Friction (Part 22)

Over the course of the next week, I threw myself into work. I had always had a laid back approach to substitute teaching, taking the materials that were left for me (if there even were any) and rolling with the punches, knowing that I would be able to walk away and not necessarily return after the last bell was rung. There were enough classes and enough schools in the county to keep me busy without too many repeats. It was essentially the perfect job for the girl that everyone kept saying was a commitment-phobe.

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Building Friction (Part 21)

Matt sat quietly as I drove his car back to my apartment. He pressed his forehead against the glass of the passenger side window and looked out at the street as it passed by us. I could see the reflection of his face in the glass. He'd closed his eyes. His mouth was formed into a tight line. I just hoped that it was his expression of deep thought.

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Building Friction (Part 20)

"You did what??" Steph was in the middle of pouring Red Bull into a glass and almost spilled it after my revelation.

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Building Friction (Part 19)

"I was thinking that I could rent a movie and bring it over to your place. How does that sound?"

It was Friday and Matt had called me to see if I was up for hanging out. I knew that there would be something going on at Steph's house, but didn't know if I would be in the mood to deal with the questions that everyone seemed to be asking these days. Everyone had figured out that something was still going on between me and Geoff but also knew about Matt. It felt as if they were all waiting to see what my next move was going to be and wanted to be around when the drama reached its pinnacle.

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Building Friction (Part 18)

The next day during my lunch hour, I decided to call Alex's office and see if I could get a hold of Geoff. The receptionist who answered was perky, announcing the company name in a clip of a voice then asking how she could direct my call.

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Building Friction (Part 17)

My week went by quicker than I would have thought. The article on the rapid dating drew negative responses in the droves, far more than I could have hoped for. Most readers were offended that I classified the participants as being too old to be casually dating. There were several comments about me waiting until I got a little older and then seeing if I still held the same opinion. The men were upset that I disparaged them for waiting too long and then assuming that money would buy youth. The women were angry that I suggested that middle age brought out the slut in even the previously most demure. I was ecstatic. I'd always wanted my readers to argue with me more. The only person to regularly do that before had been Geoff.

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Building Friction (Part 16)

When Matt called in the middle of the afternoon the next day, I was writing the piece on the rapid dating event, trying my hardest not to think about what occurred in the restroom. I managed to make it most of the way through until the phone call. Matt was reminding me about meeting him for coffee at the bookstore later that night, after he'd gotten off of work. Suddenly my stomach sank.

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Building Friction (Part 15)

Almost 7 hours later I was sitting in Steph's backyard, watching Casey make BBQ'ed chicken and burgers. People were slowly filtering in, although the majority were sticking to the garage, where there was a pool table and dart board. Out in back, I sat in a circle surrounded by Sean, Steph, Lilly, Malory and Kelly, who was strumming a guitar and singing a melody.

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Building Friction (Part 14)

I chain smoked on the drive home, ignoring my ringing cell phone and trying to keep the car steered in a straight line. When I made it back to my apartment, I rushed into a hot shower, scrubbing at my skin to get the smell of Geoff off of me. I collapsed to the bottom of the tub in a torrent of sobs. What I was most upset about, I couldn't put my finger on.

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Building Friction (Part 13)

After a hitching sob, I heard the door to the restroom creak open. The footsteps on the tile floor echoed off the wall. They didn't sound like the high heels of a woman, but rather the flat soles of a men's pair of dress shoes. I heard his voice tentatively say my name.

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Building Friction (Part 12)

The day at school dragged. The students were in a state of restlessness that goes hand in hand with a typical Friday, and were even less cooperative than the first day I arrived. As the day wore on, my enthusiasm over the impending evening at the rapid dating event dwindled. I had purchased an awesome dress, one that Steph referred to as "The Morticia Addams dress" and I was looking forward to wearing that, if nothing else.

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