Thursday, October 29, 2015

Unwanted Visitors IV: Arrangements

Jason heard the buzzer go off,‭ ‬and went to check the laundry.‭ ‬Ragged as his guests‭' ‬clothes were,‭ ‬he was sure they'd want them back.‭ ‬The things they were wearing now were outfits he had found in the upstairs closets,‭ ‬items that had been left behind over years of family vacations.‭

He pulled the dry clothes and put them in a basket.‭ ‬Then he moved the next load over,‭ ‬and started the dryer again.‭ ‬When he turned around,‭ ‬the woman was standing the in the doorway.

He realized he was staring at her,‭ ‬and looked away.‭ ‬She was exotically beautiful:‭ ‬curly dark hair,‭ ‬dusky brown skin with undertones that were almost grey,‭ ‬a build that was slender and graceful without being delicate,‭ ‬and soft brown eyes.‭ ‬Her left arm ended just below the elbow,‭ ‬but so far he'd managed not to stare at that,‭ ‬either.‭

"That's half of it,‭" ‬he said,‭ ‬indicating the laundry basket with a tilt of his head.‭ "‬The other half should finish drying in an hour or so.‭"

"Thank you.‭" ‬Her voice was soft,‭ ‬and she looked away as she stepped back.‭ ‬He wondered vaguely if he made her as uncomfortable as she made him.‭ ‬Probably.‭

He carried the basket past her,‭ ‬and she followed him up the short hallway,‭ ‬and across the living area to the longer hallway on the far side.‭ ‬He chose the larger of the two guest bedrooms and set the basket beside the bed.‭

"It's pretty late,‭" ‬he said.‭ "‬If you want to,‭ ‬you can stay here.‭" ‬He hadn't intended to make the offer,‭ ‬but everything had taken longer than he expected.‭ ‬It didn't seem right to send them on their way after they'd been up all night.

"Thank you,‭" ‬she said again.

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