Little wonder we stumble in life.

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The Ivan Project, #68

“What do you want?”


She looked at him, ignoring the heat scratching at the surface of her skin. She didn’t care. She didn’t like him. “Forget it.” She turned to leave.

“Please,” he said sardonically, and she turned back.

“I mean it.”

“I’m sure you do.”

She looked back, suspicious. “Then what’s the problem?”

“You’re lying to yourself. Your head says no, but your body says yes.”

“Wow,” she said, “You really are arrogant.”


“You wish. Arrogant.”

“If I’m so arrogant,” he said, “why are you blushing?”

“I’m not,” she lied.

“Liar. You’re hot for me.”

“I’m not an idiot.”

“That’s exactly the problem.”

“I’m too smart for you? How is that bad? I mean, for anyone besides you?”

“You always have to do the right thing. For once, why don’t you try being reckless, follow your heart?”

“Because that’s just your way of trying to manipulate me. I don’t have a problem, you have the problem. Don’t try to pass them off on me.”

“Everyone’s got problems –”

“Yeah. Except, yours are worse.”

She finally turned around to leave again. “This isn’t over, you know.”

“It never is.”

“You like me,” he sounded smug.

“No, just stubborn.”

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The Ivan Project, #67

“Well, that escalated quickly…”

She stood frozen, consumed by the sight of blood spattered under the truck. He was dead.

“No kidding,” she muttered back, still in a haze.

He was dead. And she was alive.

She didn’t awake from her haze until the morning after, rising from bed like a zombie from the grave.

She felt like one. Stiff and aching, and not just from the heart.

He was dead. How could she ever live with herself?

“Ooh! She’s awakened from the dead!” her father joked as she trudged from her room. She checked the clock. 11:30. She must’ve slept in.

“Not funny,” she grumbled.

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The Ivan Project, #66

“Whatever problems you have, it’s not from me!” he cried, pinning her against the window of the bus, and she could feel tears floating to the surface. She squeezed her eyes tight against the pain of her feelings and let her tears flow, despite being a public place.

“I don’t know why… I’m so fucking scared! I’ve… always been like this… I don’t know. Even before you. I’m just a… scared little bitch.” She finally broke down. After being victimised by him. After her long ago humiliation…

She confided in the one person she had. Even if he was a bastard. “Why am I so scared?”

He pressed his lips against hers. “I can help you with that.”

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The Ivan Project, #65

Priceless Paper: This link reminded me a lot of one of my characters, who might be led to a document such as this in her journey. Character sketch: Dawn.

Her answers. Brenda had finally come through for her. She smiled at the generic papers in her hand.

This was her one connection to her adopted sister, Belinda, long lost to the night. She still mourned her death bitterly.

Focusing in her eyes to the words laid out before her, she looked over the first page. Interests, education, personality of her real parents. Dawn rolled her eyes at that page; she already knew Brenda’s father well enough. She looked briefly at Brenda’s missing mother before turning the page over.

Daily routines, medical records…

She read over other details, care over Belinda; her parents were barely less lazy than her own had been, half of the care being diverted to their own daughter, just like Dawn’s early childhood.

Ah, but here was the penultimate question… why? ‘Financial gain’ is all it said.

That was it? Dawn felt her infamous temper mounted, ripping holes in the sides of the paper from the pressure she was inflicting upon it. Gently, Brenda removed it from her hands.

Furious eyes landed on her. “Don’t you even care?”

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The Ivan Project, #64

It bothered her.

It messed her around as she tried to calm down her heart every night. She supposed it wasn’t her mother’s fault. She just wondered sometimes if she was enough for her.

She didn’t like guys like her mother did. Her mother was bisexual, so at least she might partly understand…

But the question still looped in her mind. Was she enough? Even her mother admitted she was disappointed that she wasn’t bisexual too. Did it really matter to her, and why?

Asking her wouldn’t alleviate the questions, either. It would only replace the question with another; was she lying?

At least four times a day, the question would appear on the tip of her tongue, but she would push it down. She tried so hard not to care.

Finally, it slipped out. “Am I enough for you?”

“What?” her mother asked, obliviously.

She explained. “You were disappointed when I came out. You wanted me to be bisexual, like you. You were disappointed.”

“Oh honey,” said her mother sadly. “I still love you, no matter what. It doesn’t really matter at all, I just wish I understood you more…”

So that was it, after all. She should’ve just asked.

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The Ivan Project, #63

“Drop your weapons!” he cried.

Despite his attempts at staying his hand, the gun shook as he pointed it at the two kidnappers. Usually, he was so calm. Not only his job, but his life depended on it.

He wasn’t now. These were dangerous men, and any moment some stray bullet, thrown knife, or careening hook could go flying anywhere. Could hit him. Could hit Marcus.

He couldn’t let these assholes kill him or torture him. He couldn’t let them get away with capturing his best friend.

His face was covered in a hood, but he knew it was him. Everything in this dank room made the world shift into ugly territory, but he knew it was him. It was little things; the clothes, the stance. It was him.

Just as he suspected, the captors fought back. A bullet rushed loudly passed his ear, and he got the shooter in the chest. He was already running as he saw the other man draw his gun, and the bullet missed farther from him. He got him in the second nervous shot he knocked off.

All this happened in seconds. He stood by Marcus. He tore the hood off.

It wasn’t him.

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The Ivan Project, #62

Waking up in a new city… there was nothing quite like it.

As she poured her cereal, she smiled as she saw her brother emerge from the bathroom. She had missed having someone to relate to, someone familiar. Not that New York wasn’t spectacular, but it could be lonely.

Millions of people cramped into one small space, no one really alone but everyone isolated. Who’d have thought tight spaces meant loneliness?

She wasn’t lonely anymore. Now she could go about her life in relative peace, at least. She wondered if everyone in New York had someone like that.

Maybe she wasn’t the only lonely one.