All the while, my kids plus 2 friends are here since school started 2 hours late due to a freak snow storm. Oh, and my hubby's been home all week with a sore back so he was 'back seat building' from the couch, LOL. The topper was stepping on a toy car and getting a big ole cut on my foot. So yeah, writing today would probably mean everyone gets castrated and then killed off. I'll think I'll hold off until tomorrow to get you guys more of The Experiment, lol.
Fortunately . . . I have other flash fiction pieces you haven't seen yet! Below you will find a short piece I've titled 'Connecting'. I hope you enjoy it!!
"Oh my god, I think I killed him."
"Pull over." Ted shoved his door open as soon as the car came to a stop by the curb. He ran over to the dog in the middle of the road. The poor animal was whining and trying to get up.
"Oh, thank god, he's not dead."
Ted glanced up at his date who was standing a few feet away staring at the poor dog.
"She actually. And no, she's not dead but she might be if we don't hurry. Do you have a blanket in your car?
"Uh yeah." Bryce just stood there.
Ted's eyes widened at the man's stupidity. "Well go get it!"
"Oh, okay, sorry." He ran over and popped the trunk, rummaging around.
Ted took the blanket he handed over and put it across his arms. He gingerly scooped up the small animal, shushing it when she whined. "It'll be okay, little lady. We'll get you help."
He walked over to the car, his date trailing after him. "Shut the door for me please." Ted slid into his seat, cradling the panting dog. "I think there is a vet clinic about three blocks back. I saw 24 hours on the sign."
Bryce sniffed as he put the car back in gear. "That dog really stinks. The blanket is probably ruined."
Ted rolled his eyes. Really? The blanket is what he was worried about? "Your blanket would have been fine if you had been driving the speed limit and paying attention, not trying to impress me."
"What? I wasn't--"
"You were. Just save it. You and I both know this date wasn't working out anyway. We're totally different and want completely different things in a partner. I’d been hoping to meet someone I could connect with, but there is no way you and I could have anything in common."
Bryce huffed like he was affronted. Ted just rolled his eyes again. He couldn't believe that Amy set him up with such a tool. "Just drop us off at the clinic. I'll get a cab home." What a way to spend Saturday night.
Dinner had been a bust. A pricey restaurant with small portions of admittedly good tasting food, but not nearly enough of it, and the conversation was stilted and uncomfortable. Sure, they were both lawyers, but Bryce was a corporate lawyer and Ted was an environmental lawyer. Totally opposite ends of the spectrum most of the time. Ted liked burgers, baseball, and beer. Bryce liked chianti, opera, and escargot.
Not a match made in heaven.
Bryce didn't say anything as he got out of the car at the clinic, just opened Ted's door and waited for him to get out.
"Don't worry about her treatment, I'll pay for it," Ted said when Bryce walked to the driver's side. Bryce just shrugged, and Ted knew then that he probably wouldn't have even stopped if Ted hadn't made him.
What an asshole!
He didn't watch as the man drove off, he just hurried over to the clinic door. He couldn't open it with his hands around the dog, so he kicked it a few times, hoping someone would hear him and come open the door.
"Hey! Knock it . . . Oh. Sorry, I thought it was teenagers again. Do you need help?"
A tall, gorgeous man stood in the doorway. He had dark, almost black hair, and stubble across his cheeks. A white coat over his blue scrubs bore the name,
Steve Holbright, DVM. Ted blinked for a minute, a tad awestruck, and then realized he was staring and blushed.
"Yeah, this dog got hit by a car. I don't think she's hurt too bad, but she was whimpering when she tried to get up."
"Well, let's just take a look at her, why don't we?" The vet held open the door and Ted brushed by him, shivering a little at the slight contact.
"So tell me what happened." Steve gestured for Ted to lay her down on an exam table in the main room.Ted gently set the dog down on her side before stepping back.
"My date wasn't watching the road and hit her a few blocks from here. I got out to check her and she was crying a bit and didn't seem to be able to get up, so I picked her up and came here. She doesn't have a collar, so I have no idea if she's someone's pet or not."
Ted was looking at her, listening to her lungs and then he prepped a thermometer. "Well, you're right, she doesn't look like she's at death's door, but her breathing is a little labored and she might have a broken leg. I'll finish checking a few things, and then I think some x-rays on her chest and right leg should be the next move.
"Judging from her appearance I would say she's a stray. I can treat her but . . . ."
"I'll cover the cost of whatever she needs, don't worry about that. I think she's probably pretty cute under all that dirty fur, and I have a house so I can even give her a home if you can fix her up."
Steve looked up and smiled at Ted warmly. "That's very good of you. I'm surprised your date isn't picking up the bill though, if she was driving."
"He, actually." Ted rolled his eyes. "I don't think it even crossed his mind anyway."
Steve grimaced. "I hate people like that. Animals don't know any better, to stay out of the road. Only a selfish asshole would leave an animal to suffer for their mistake."
Ted raised an eyebrow and then snorted. "That's a pretty snap judgement."
Steve blushed. "Sorry. I shouldn't have gone off like that. Just a sensitive subject, I guess. I didn't mean to insult your date."
Shrugging, Ted smiled at him as their eyes met and held. "Don't worry about it. I happen to think you're right and told him something very similar."
Steve smiled back, then looked down at the scruffy dog on the table when she whined. Ted reached over and scratched her head. "It's okay girl, Dr. Steve is going to fix you right up."
The x-rays didn't take long and the fracture of her front leg was minor and just required splinting for a few weeks. Her lungs were bruised, but Steve told Ted he didn't think it would cause permanent damage.
"She should probably be watched for a few hours, but you can handle it if you are prepared to stay up a few more hours. I'd do it but--"
"Hey Steve, I'm ready to take over if you want to head home." A female voice from the reception area startled Ted.
"As you can hear, my shift is over. Umm . . . ."
Ted sighed a little. He had been hoping to offer to stick around the quiet office, keep an eye on her with the handsome vet, but it looked like he was leaving.
"No, no . . . Don’t worry about us. I'll just keep an eye on, uhh, Scruffy at home. I can make some coffee to keep me awake."
A woman's head popped through the door. "Hey Steve, there you are. What do we have here?" She entered the room, her eyes scanning up and down Ted's body before she looked at the dog on the table. Steve was just finishing up bandaging her leg.
Steve glanced up when Ted began fidgeting, the woman's stare making him uncomfortable.
"This is Ted and Scruffy. She got hit by a car, and he brought her in. She's pretty much done, just needs some observation for her breathing but he says he can handle it."
"Oh." She seemed put out. "Well, I'll just go check on the other animals. Don't forget to lock the door behind you guys when you leave." Steve gave her a little wave as she left.
Ted folded up Bryce's blanket and used it to wrap around the filthy dog. "I just need to call a cab. My date was my ride, and he took off."
Steve was drying his hands off. He looked at Ted and then at Scruffy. "I can give you a ride, if you want."
"Oh, you don't have to do that, I'm sure you have better things to do."
"No, not really. Just a TV dinner and the nightly news."
Maybe Ted could salvage a bit of the night. He'd been getting some pretty strong signals from Steve. He decided to take a chance. "I have some leftover lasagna in the fridge. If you like pasta, maybe you could come in for a little bit, help me keep an eye on Scruffy."
Ted nodded and decided to go for it. He was a pretty blunt man and Steve seemed to be the same. "My date didn't exactly pick a place with a robust meal option. I'm starving, and I'm not usually do this with a guy I just met, but I just feel like I want to get to know you better. No hidden agenda, I'm not looking for a one night stand.
"I just thought maybe dinner and a chance to get to know someone who actually seems like a decent person would help redeem my crappy evening." He waited to see what Steve would say. He'd either like Ted's honesty or he wouldn't.
At least Ted would have given it a shot.
"Sounds good to me."
Ted felt a huge smile curve across his face to answer Steve's. It looked like he found someone to connect with tonight after all.