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Last Girls, Chapter One


  02:03:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 691 words  
Categories: Last Girls

Last Girls, Chapter One

Kelly tightened her grip around the steering wheel, the way she wished she could wrap her fingers around Alan's neck. His taut, muscular neck, which flexed as he laughed from his seat in the back of the Bronco. That he could laugh at a time like this only twisted the knife.
She adjusted her rearview mirror to see what had Alan laughing, as if she didn't know. Lark was splayed across the three boys in the back seat, but her toned, athletic butt was planted on Alan, and she put her arm was around his neck to steady herself. She wriggled into his lap playfully, and Kelly's strangle hold tightened until her knuckles turned white.
?She's harmless; just one of the guys,? Betsy said, giving Kelly a knowing look. ?That's not even flirting for her; I don't know if she can.?
Kelly wasn't interested in the excuse.
?But that's kind of what we're here for, Kel. I know it can suck to see your ex day in and day out... and it's not the first time you two have split...? It wasn't the first time, but so far as she knew it was the first time he cheated on her, and Kelly was determined for it to be the last. ?No one wants a repeat of what happened between Toni and Tami.?
?I think they only started up because their names were similar,? Kelly said.
?Yeah, like they were picturing their too-cute wedding invitations before worrying about things like getting along. But their break-up nearly scattered us to the winds, and by the time the dust settled, somehow they were engaged and we were the bad guys.?
?I promise not to get engaged to Alan,? Kelly said facetiously.
?It's kind of the opposite of that that I'm concerned about, actually.?
?Okay. I won't murder him, either.?
?Cripple or seriously maim??
?Are you suggesting alternatives...?
?Addendums to your list of thou-shalt-nots.?
?Crap. I see why they didn't give this talk to Lark.?
?Nobody gave-? Betsy frowned. ?I'm your best friend. I wanted to sit with you.?
?And you didn't want to sit on Angel's lap??
Kelly's jaw tightened. ?Not in front of people. And for whatever reason that seems to bring out his exhibitionist streak. But this isn't about my relationship. I'm here-?
?To extract concessions under duress while I'm too preoccupied driving to properly argue my case.?
?I'm not asking you to give me the Sudetenland, I'm asking you to give us a chance- give this weekend a chance.?
?So you're wooing me as a group, then? I'm not sure I packed the right me for an orgy.?
?Woo might be strong, but yeah, in a nut shell, I want you to take your head out of your mope-hole long enough to remember why we're all friends- why despite some heart ache it's worth it to keep our little troupe intact.?
?Okay. But I can only make promises so far. If he sticks his tongue in her and I happen to be holding a flaming marshmallow on a stick-?
?That sounds like a justifiable homicide to me,? Betsy said. Kelly raised an eyebrow. ?What? I told you I'm your friend, here. I just want you to be as cool as you can be. If Alan can't even keep it in his pants for a weekend, I couldn't argue against a strategic and timely shish-kebobbing.?
?I think you're verging on enabling.?
?The best friendships usually do,? Betsy said, and Kelly spent a moment too long watching the way her smile creased her cheeks.
Not that any extra time likely would have helped. The log truck from the opposite direction had jack-knifed, its rear end crossing into her lane and smashing the guard rail that would have separated them from a steep ravine on the opposite side. ?Seatbelts!? Kelly yelled as she hit the brakes. The road was slick, and her tires skid even as the anti-lock brakes attempted to stutter their stop.
The bronco slapped against the side of the truck, skidding along its length and barely moving it, funneling the truck off into blackness peppered occasionally with color from the evergreens.

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