Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Washed Right Out, Chapter Four

Another Wednesday, another brief! I know this series isn't the usual thing I post on Nagareboshi Reviews, but I hope y'all are enjoying it so far. Anyway, here's the next part!
Washed Right Out, Chapter Four. Prompts used: use fairy dust in some way. Chapter one, two, and three are also up.
Riley had thought nothing could shift his mind away from the disaster of a love life hed left at home, and his boyfriend Jojo, who was probably worried sick over his precious Riley. Perhaps he was pacing the floors of his own apartment, wondering what Riley was doing and where he could be. The thought gave Riley a jolt of pleasure, followed by a low gut reaction of guilt.
Still, even if Jonathan had guessed for a hundred years, he probably wouldn't have guessed that Riley was now spending his evening with Karen, playing video games and making cakes. Hell, even Riley wouldn't have guessed the making cakes part.

"Sam likes cakes," Karen explained. "So I make cakes." She punctuated each 'cakes' with the flick of her spatula.
"Yeah, but this is a bit extreme. We've already made three."
"It's totally normal. Keep scraping."
Riley shrugged and went back to scraping through edible glitter, caked onto a baking tray, with a wooden spoon. "I just... you know... DIY fairy dust? Who does that?"
"I does that. Do that." Karen smoothed out a cowlick of buttercream that had formed on the side of one cake. "Believe me, when it's Pride season, rainbow-colored fairy dust comes in handy. The local LGBT groups have me on their speed dial for rainbow cakes, and those cake pop things everyone keeps eating."
"Yeah, I'm sure cakes are the only place you put edible shiny flakes."
Karen stuck out her tongue. "Sucks to you. All right, gimme." She took the baking tray from Riley and set it aside on a nearby counter, spoon and all. Somehow she found space for it between the several other cakes and plates of cookies shed already made earlier.
"Aren't we gonna make 'em shiny?"
"The fairy dust has to cool, Paolini. Can't put hot flakes on cool buttercream."
"Gotcha, Top Chef." Riley took a long drink from his glass, his second vodka and rum cocktail of the evening. He hadn't seen Karen mix it, but he swore shed mixed in something fruity and bubbly from the fridge that tickled his nose every time he drank. It wasn't the bottle of beer hed expected to be drinking about that time, but it did the job.
For a moment, he examined the bubbles in his glass. This wasn't the normal him, but Riley didn't know what normal him would be from now on. Something heavy dropped in the pit of his stomach. It was a lot like foreboding doomthat or intestinal distress, he could never tell the difference.
A familiar voice intruded his thoughts. Really, Riley? IPA is so 2009. Pick up a nice red wine instead, please.
Riley didn't realize he was frowning until he felt Karen poke him in the brow. "Hey."
He looked up. Karen was holding a slice of pink cake, with white frosting and a fork.
"Eat up," she said. "The power of sugar will cheer you up."
For a second, it did. Plus, it was strawberry-flavored. Then the frown returned. "I guess I'm not feeling it right now."
Karen placed a hand on his shoulder. "Don't take this the wrong way, but you need some time to clear your head. Probably by yourself, without any attachments. Take the weekend for yourself, go on a 'staycation', whatever. You need to take a break from relationships."
Riley swallowed a mouthful of frosting. "I should dump Jonathan?"
"Not dumpa break. Couples do it all the time."
"You and Samantha?"
"No, but have you ever tried to take a break from someone who pays half the rent and is your co-worker?" Riley made an aghast expression and she added, "We've been doing this a lot longer than you boys have. We've been through the bumps. Right now, you need to figure out if this is a bump or the end of the road."
"Or a detour."
"Well, yes, or a detour"
"Or a lane change?"
"Eat your cake and mind the nonsense." She was smiling as she refreshed Riley's glass. "Don't worry, I'll drive you home later."
Hours later, Riley was back in his apartment, and for the first time in a long while, he was glad to be alone. He looked for a note from Jojo, but couldn't find one. His phone had been turned off while he was at Karen's. No new messages, no voice mails, no texts. No nothing.
In the half-darkness of his sitting room, Riley perched himself on the edge of the couch. His phone was heavy in his hand. Karen's words kept swirling around in his head. A bump or the end of the road. Hed been with Jonathan for almost a year now. It had been his longest relationship to dateso what he had to do next hurt more than anything before it.

He sighed and called his Jojo.

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