Use “Chocolate Cupcakes” in your 1,000 word story this time.
The Girl with the Golden Smile – 2
“Wewe,” Nicholas said when he got out of his car. “Do you have a death wish?”
The woman in the rain didn’t speak. Her face was bruised, and there was blood on her pink blouse. Nicholas frowned, peering into the dark trees on each side of the road.
Had she been mugged?
Lord, was she a decoy?
He’d heard stories of hijackers making a plot to deceive unsuspecting drivers.
“Help me,” she said, before his paranoia could take root.
Nicholas cursed when she started to fall and he reached out to catch her before she hit the muddy ground.
“What the hell are you doing?” Nicholas asked as he drove through the rain.
His clothes were soaked and muddy thanks to the passed out woman in the passenger seat. Instead of driving back to the main road, and a hospital, he was headed to the villa, against his better judgment.
Shaking his head, Nicholas decided it was the rain. The thunder, the mud, the fucking non-visibility…he’d never been happier to see the shadow of a house as he was when he saw looming dark gates ahead.
Nicholas stopped his car, running out in the rain to go open the gates. His loafers slid on the grass, he ran back to the car, double soaked. This night was turning into a shit fest.
Thirty minutes later, Nicholas sat on an old armchair, watching the strange woman he’d saved. He’d found an old faded red blanket in a closet, and covered her with it. She was beautiful, in a rustic sort of way. He was used to women who valued looks: high-end style, down to fake eyelashes. It was interesting to have saved a woman who looked like she didn’t know what lip gloss was. She shivered under the blanket, and gave a soft sigh.
The bruise on her left cheek shone in the light.
His phone buzzed, and he reached for it like it was a lifeline.
“What am I reading?” his best friend asked. “You have a woman in that old creaky house? How is that a bad thing?”
“She jumped out of nowhere, in the rain,” Nicholas said. “She looks beat up. She has a bruise on her cheek.”
“Why didn’t you drive to the hospital?” Eli asked.
“It’s raining.” Nicholas thought that excuse sounded hollow, but it was the truth. He didn’t want to drive in that mess outside. “You’re a doctor, advise me what to do.”
“Ah ha,” Eli said with a chuckle. “You’ve always been impulsive. This falls under shit Nick would do.”
“Stop making fun of me. What do I do now? It’s almost ten o’clock at night.”
Eli sighed on the other end. “I guess you keep her overnight. I’ll drive out there in the morning and check on her if you like.”
“Would you?” Nicholas asked. “You’re the best, Eli.”
“You’ll owe me.”
“Yeah, add it to my tab.” Nicholas sighed. “What do I need to do? She’s shivering.”
“Keep her dry and warm.” Eli laughed. “That shouldn’t be too hard.”
Nicholas ended the call and dropped his cell phone on the table. He hoped Eli was right about keeping the woman dry.
That was all he could do for her, he thought.
Getting up, Nicholas stretched his arms above his head, the muscles on his shoulders protesting. He was tired. The day was too long already. He dropped his hands and looked around the old house. The electricity was on, thank goodness for that. Despite the complication on the couch, he’d managed to purchase a damn good looking house.
Nicholas decided everything would be fine after a shower and a good night’s sleep.
Nalia woke with a start. It was the chirping birds. The last time she’d heard chirping birds, she’d been in her mother’s house in the country. Nostalgia filled her, and she lay still staring at the unfamiliar ceiling.
Clutching the thin blanket over her, Nalia winced at the familiar sting on her left cheek. Malik’s gift last night when she’d tried to explain why there was no meat in his plate. The bastard was obsessed with meat. He didn’t taste anything else, but meat. Nalia sat up to escape her anger.
She’d lost her mind last night.
Crazy, she thought.
She’d taken the stew she’d been cooking and flung it at Malik in anger. When he’d screamed in shock, she’d run outside in the pouring rain and started running.
Right into the angry man with the black pickup truck, Nalia remembered, swinging her feet to the ground.
Nalia shook her head, and rubbed her eyes. She sighed and got up, looking around the elegant living room. It looked straight out of the movies, nice neat chairs, wide windows, everything seemed so…expensive.
Straight out of her dreams, Nalia sighed.
Her gaze dropped to her stained shirt, and her muddy jeans and bare feet. She was seriously out of place. Her insanity had taken her down a rabbit hole she didn’t quite understand.
Smelling her shirt, she decided to wander, and find out if the elegant house had a place to clean up before she met her rescuer.
The sweet scent of baking cake woke Nicholas. His stomach rumbled; reminding him he’d skipped dinner in lieu of travel. He’d eaten one sandwich before he’d gotten on the road. He threw off the sweater he’d used as a blanket and got out of bed.
His clothes were dry and wrinkled. He needed to get his suitcase from the car.
Remembering the woman he’d rescued in the pouring rain, Nicholas left the bedroom and followed the scent of baking. His stomach felt empty, it was humbling, the need to run into the kitchen and get a bite of whatever smelled that good.
He paused in the entrance to the kitchen at the sight that greeted him. Chocolate cupcakes on the counter, the source of the scent, they looked welcoming. Nicholas grinned and walked to the counter, reaching for a cupcake. He stopped when the woman he’d saved last night straightened, closing the electric oven, she was holding a fresh batch of chocolate cupcakes.
She held back a gasp, and he stared at her clean, freshly scrubbed face. A slow smile tugged her lips and she held out the cupcakes she held.
“Morning,” she said. “I’m Nalia. I hope you like chocolate.”
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