Time Thief

Until I am truly able to return, I am offering you a sacrifice. Chapter 2 of my WIP, Time Thief.

I will take any thoughts and or suggestions.

Enjoy the read.

Chapter 2

Destiny Landin sang along to her new favorite song on the radio as she putted along with traffic on the highway in her ancient Subaru. She was happy. She finally had a few days off…in a row! As much as she loved her job as a Hospice nurse and the patients she works with, she needed some time off. She was down to her last pair of clean everything. She knew one of her three days off was going to be solely devoted to laundry, which was the next least favorite task behind vacuuming, which also needed to be done. It was okay. She had some time to devote to herself as well. It was too bad her “weekend” fell in the middle of the week which meant none of her friends would be available to drink too stupid levels and dance until their feet hurt, but Destiny would manage.

It would be her version of a Netflix and chill weekend. With the decision made she pointed her rust bucket in the direction of her local market and created a shopping list in her head. She looked for a parking space that wasn’t a full mile away, and if it was, she could count the distance towards her daily cardio goal, as in get some cardio. If she were to describe herself, she would say, “I’m built like a brick shit house wrapped in a layer of memory foam.” She smiled at her own randomness as she pulled into a spot under a light post.

“Always park under a light, sweetheart. It’s safer.” Her dad would tell her. He worried far more than any dad should, but she knew it was out of love. Destiny glanced up at the sky knowing it would still be daylight when she came back out, but it didn’t matter. Her daddy told her to be safe and that was what she would do. “Love you, dad,” she whispered to the breeze and prayed the message made it to him.

Dennis Landin died recently after an extended illness. Jackie Landin died far earlier in Destiny’s life. She was still a child when she lost her mother under bizarre circumstances. But her father taught her to be strong and independent, but safe.

Destiny swung her purse over her shoulder and closed and locked her door. She snagged a cart that had been abandoned nearby and headed for the store. It was going to be a junk food, wine, and Twilight weekend, nothing serious, just frivolous, and silly. It was all Destiny had the energy for. She scanned the deli for premade salads and meals. She loaded her cart with less than healthy items which would add a bit more jiggle to her walk, but it wasn’t on her worry list so junk it would be.

She spent a bit more time scanning the wine choices. She learned the hard way twist top wine tended to lead to the nastier version of a hangover, but it didn’t have to cost fifty bucks either to be good. She held two bottles of white Moscato trying to decide which one she wanted when a gentleman passed by chuckling, “Just get them both. Treat yourself.”

Destiny looked up to acknowledge the man to only find he had continued his journey down the aisle. “Hm, why not?” she said examining the two bottles. “I don’t have to drink ‘em both. I could set one aside for later.” Given enough motive and time, she could justify anything. In the cart they went along with cheese, crackers, mixed nuts, a few salads to look mildly healthy, and a half gallon of ice cream. Destiny took a moment to look over her cart and scan the signs above each aisle making sure she had everything. Satisfied with her selections she got in line, grabbed the closest entertainment mag, and flipped through the pages. “Bat Boy Found”, “Kim K pregnant with triplets by Aliens!”, “President Trump is a moron!”

“At least one of the headlines is true,” she snickered as she replaced the magazine and began loading her items onto the belt. A few minutes later and a chunk of her paycheck gone she steered her cart toward the exit and to her trunk. As she was settling into the driver’s seat her eyes landed on one of her favorite places to eat. The Talkin’ Wok was just on the other side of the parking area and it was calling her name. Destiny! You need spicy tuna rolls and crab Rangoon. Come, Destiny! Come and get it!

Who was she to deny the Chinese food gods? Twenty minutes later she walked out with spicy tuna rolls, crab Rangoon, a hefty serving of wasabi, and a handful of fortune cookies. A food coma was in her near future and Destiny was good with it.

Next stop, home! Destiny tucked herself back into her car and made a beeline for her driveway. Home was a simple little yellow house, with a simple little porch, with a squeaky old swing, and a weathered picket fence in need of a coat of paint. But it was hers. With what her father left her after all his expenses had been paid, was enough to pay off her little home and all her school debt. It doesn’t sound like much to most, but it was a fortune to her. Knowing she owed no one for the things she had was the greatest gift her father left her. Peace of mind.

She unloaded her groceries from the car to the kitchen and tucked everything into its proper place and poured herself a glass of much deserved wine. She kicked her shoes off in the general direction of the front door, opened the window to allow some fresh air to enter, and plopped down onto her loveseat. She dropped her feet onto the coffee table, laid her head back against the couch and stared at the ceiling. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and let it out slowly.

“In with the butterflies, out with the bees. Be gone Leona,” she sighed, “I am home now, and you can’t annoy me here.” Just as she made her declaration of freedom her cell phone began to ring. “Nooooooo!” she grumbled. She plunked her feet to the floor and begrudgingly went in search of her purse. “Please, hang up. Please, hang up. Please, hang up,” she chanted as she dug through her bag for her phone. Just as she pulled it free from the collection of crap in her purse the ringing stopped, only to be shortly followed by a chirp indicating she had a voice mail.

Destiny closed her eyes and poked the unlock button on her phone. She opened one eye to peek at the caller i.d. to see who had left a message and…it was Leona. “Damn it,” Destiny hissed as she tapped the icon for her voice mail.

“Ms. Landin,” Leona’s voice hissed, “I need you to inform your replacement of the rules before you leave. I should not have to do your job. A job, I might add, that can easily be taken from you. Now, call this twit and tell her she is to do as I say and not what you apparently have written in your notebook. I am in charge here, not you.”

Destiny shook her head at her phone as she looked through her contact list to find Melody’s number.

“Gurl, you just left. Why are you calling me?” asked Melody when she answered her phone.

“Leona.”

“Oh, dear god. What did she want?”

Destiny sighed, “To tell me she is in charge and that I could be fired, and you aren’t doing what she wants.”

“She really is a piece of work, isn’t she?”

Destiny nodded her head even though no one would see, “Yup. So, what does she want you to do?”

“It’s kind of twisted and I told her it was against our training and against the law.”

“Oh, god. What?”

Melody’s voice dropped to a whisper, “Arthur had an accident and she wanted me to leave him to sit in it to teach him to control himself.”

“Jesus, that woman is twisted. Arthur can’t control his body. He had a stroke for Pete’s sake!” Destiny barked. “Make sure you note all of this in the files at work and let the powers that be know what she is doing.”

“On it, sweetie. Now, go enjoy your time off. Oh, and Arthur said to have fun too. It was an order, young lady,” Melody chuckled.

“You tell him I said, ‘Yes, sir.’

“Will do. Later.”

“Bye, Mel. I’m here if you need me,” Destiny offered.

“Gurl, no. I don’t need you. You need to chill. Now, git!”

Destiny smiled at her friend’s antics, “Fiiiine. Later.” She was still smiling when she plugged her phone into the charger and scooped up her neglected wine. “It’s just you, me, sushi, and Twilight tonight.” She tipped the glass to her lips and sighed as she took a healthy gulp. She turned on her TV and slipped her copy of Twilight into the DVD player. She was Team Edward all the way and needed a vampire fix badly. She lit a few candles to set the mood and gathered the sushi and wine. She laid it all out on the coffee table in front of the loveseat where she settled in for her lust-affair with Edward, and admittedly, Jacob.

As Destiny watched the final scene play itself out, she reached out and grabbed a fortune cookie to fill the void. She cracked the crispy, golden brown cookie and tugged out the little slip of paper that was stuffed inside. Destiny flattened it out and read her fortune.

Your love life will soon be happy and harmonious.

Destiny stared at the little strip of paper that danced on her fingertips. “God, I hope it’s true,” she whispered. She then read the fortune out loud, kissed the tiny strip, then slid it into the flame of the candle on the table next to her. An old gypsy woman at a fair told her once many years earlier, if there was something you genuinely wanted with all your heart then put it down on a piece of paper, speak it out loud, and then burn it in offering. So that was what she has done for at least the past ten years now, “If anyone is listening, please, make it so,” she begged as the flames took hold and ate away the words in a swirl of smoke. She couldn’t say it worked, but she also couldn’t say it hadn’t.

It was moments like that reminded her of how alone in the world she truly was. No family to speak of minimal friends due to her work schedule, and no love life at all. The last guy she went on a date with took her out for pizza and a movie. While watching the opening credits he leaned over and asked if he was gonna get lucky later, and she said it would take more than dinner and a movie for that to happen. He got up and walked out. Destiny thought he had gone to the restroom or to get popcorn, but he actually left her at the theater…without a ride home.

She laughed at herself and her silly hopes as she began to clear away the evidence of the calories she had consumed. As she made her way to the kitchen, a random breeze swirled around her, causing her to pause. She watched as it then whipped through the vacated living room, pulling the gray swirl of smoke and ash from her burnt fortune out the window. Destiny tipped her head and watched as her wish was swept away on the breeze.

“Huh, odd,” she said as she resumed her trip to the kitchen. She made quick work of the cleanup and decided her next stop was a warm bath. The idea of soaking in hot, bubble filled water made her so happy she skipped to the bathroom to fill her corner garden tub. She poured in a healthy dose of lavender oil and sat for a moment to enjoy the spreading scent. Destiny stripped down to her full-figured birthday suit and was nearly in the tub when she remembered her wine. She grabbed the robe from the back of the bathroom door and slipped it on. She paused as she tied the belt. I live alone, yet I put on my robe to walk through my house naked. Sad, Destiny. Who are you gonna offend? Geesh. Even after the mental bash, she kept the robe on to make the quick trip into the other room for her wine.

On her return trip she brought with her wine, her cellphone, and a candle from the side table. With her robe back on its hook, the candle flickering on the edge of the sink, music playing from her cell, and the wine safely in her hand, Destiny settled into the tub. A little Harry Connick, Jr. to help her drift and wine to dull her nerves, Destiny thought of her fortune and wondered what it would be like to have a love she had only dreamt of.

He would have run the bath for her as he had for years in her dreams and brought her the wine and lit the candle. He would have chosen soothing music for her to relax by and would have taken her by the hand to assist her as she stepped into the tub and guided her down into the steaming water. Her dream man, with eyes the color of melted chocolate, that looked at her with want and desire. He would sit on the edge of the bath and scoop out one of her feet to massage, working in the oils and out the strain of her day. Her dream man never changed. He wore the same expertly sculpted face, a face devoid of flaw. His large, masculine hands would work her calves, and then he would repeat it on the other leg. He would skim above the knee, but even in her dreams he was a true gentleman. All though she wished he wasn’t so proper all the time. Sometimes all he wanted was to hold her close and talk. Other times he was physical in the most delicious ways. That vision was solely tender caresses, and quiet whispers. She never could sway him to do what she wanted him to do.

He was a stunningly beautiful man. He was dark in many ways, his hair thick and a deep brown slightly touching black that just skimmed his collar. His skin a light umber and his smile quick and stunning. He was tall and athletically built, dwarfing her 5’8” height. She felt feminine and tiny in his presence. She could see him perfectly as if he was standing right in front of her. But her dream man was too perfect to be a reality. If he were, she was not who he would willingly choose.

She remembered her own mental note of memory foam wrapped around brick and frowned. Fantasy ended. Destiny’s own inner demons were so skilled they could ruin a dream. Downing the rest of her wine she hoped it would shut her inner bitch up long enough to enjoy the rest of her quickly cooling bath.

Mere minutes later, giving up she pulled the plug and watched the water form a whirlpool and disappear down the drain, much like her fantasy. She stepped from the tub and buffed a towel over the water droplets that skated across her skin. She bent at the waste to flip her damp honey-colored waves to dangle toward the floor as she wrapped it in a towel. Standing she staggered a step. A combination of being upside down, wine, and a warm bath made her sway as she reached for her all too familiar robe. She tied the belt tightly and blew out the candle, turned off Harry, and gathered her glass.

She was done for the day. She dropped the glass off in the kitchen sink, put the candle back on the end table, and plugged her phone back in to the charger. She stared at it for a moment when she did something she had never done since the moment she got a cell phone. She turned it off. It would not wake her in the middle of the night. It would not chirp with in coming texts or notifications and it would remain silent as her normal rise time came and went. Destiny was going to allow herself to sleep. Peacefully. Hopefully.

She gave a hum of satisfaction as she stripped off the robe and slid into her unmade bed. She pulled the comforter up to tuck beneath her chin and shimmied down into the mattress and closed her eyes. As she began to drift her mind replayed the music she listened to while in her bath. And…he came back. Her dream guy.

Sweet dreams were coming, and Destiny wished, one last time, they were real, before she slipped into his arms and drifted into her fantasy. She sighed as she fell deeper into his arms, “When will you tell me your name?”

“Soon, love, soon.”

Wanna read more? Well, you’ll have to wait until next year, but it is coming. I promise. Until then, check out Sin Full or O-B*tch-uary

Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.

Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.

I’m always looking for new friends!

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Author: Ticia Rani

I am...interesting. I am a writer, dreamer, mom, wife, veteran, friend, villain, and the wearer of many hats, but I don't look good in hats- go figure. I LOVE TO WRITE. I want to tell stories. I want to make you laugh, cry, and scare the crap out of you, and make you ask "why the hell did you do that?" I want to make you cheer my characters on or want to shake the crap out of them for things they say and/or do. I want to bring you along for the ride. Ready? Set?...READ!!!

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