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Fire Inside

Sometimes, the normalest lives are touched by magic. Sometimes, happy endings are possible. Sometimes, we get our fairytales after all. Sometimes, the one person we want more than anyone else sees the fire inside us. Kim's life is a disaster- the bleak and average kind of disaster. She fixates through the mess on one perfect, unattainable goal. And then she gets it. In a way she never would have expected, in her wildest dreams.

In case you couldn't tell from the summary, this is a Jared/Kim chaptered piece. I'm projecting at about seven chapters, but it may end up closer to ten.

3. Chapter 3

Rating 5/5   Word Count 627   Review this Chapter

I’m in class, counting down the time. Nine days, twenty-three hours, eight minutes, and seventeen seconds. Nine days, twenty-three hours, eight mintes, and eighteen seconds. Nine days…

I wish Jared would come back. Staring at him is a lot more satisfying than staring at his empty chair or the clock.

And just then, my wish comes true. Well, part of it, anyway. The rest of it involves him falling hopelessly in love with me, but that’s not exactly going to happen.

The door opens, and I swear I can hear trumpets in the distance.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Jared Tajeva.

He strides in confidently.

Wow, he looks different. Take this from the girl who likes to spend her free time ogling him. His face has lost its roundness, sharpening into defined planes. His body is taller and wider, and his hair, his long, beautiful, hair, is completely cut off, almost shaved. I mourn it for only a split second, and then I’m distracted by his new muscles.

So I’ve been basically in love with this guy for years. I always thought he was gorgeous, not to mention beyond out of my league, but that was before he came back with the body of a professional football player. Only somehow sleeker, faster-looking.

He was always wonderful, but now he’s perfect. Only one thing is missing. His easy smile, white teeth flashing against dark skin, is gone. In its place is a strange expression of complete calm, a total absence of emotion as he hands the teacher a pass. She doesn’t look too happy to see him, since after all he has been gone for nine days and is now eight minutes and thirty-seven seconds late for class. However, he doesn’t even seem to register this fact. His matter is incredibly businesslike as he hands over the yellow slip of paper for her signature, collects his bundle of make-up work, and walks slowly to the seat directly in front of me.

Oh my God.

I listen to the sound my heart makes as it stops beating and then picks up double-speed. He’s close enough to touch, now. It feels like a miracle, that after all this time he’s in hand’s reach. I can see the short hairs bristle on the back of his head. I watch the tendons in his neck bob as he swallows. I notice his fist balling up and uncurling underneath the desk.

That’s weird. Jared never had a temper before.

I shrug it off and go back to my fantasies, pulling out my diary and hiding it in my notebook for this class.

I’m writing, again and again, Missed you so much, Jared, and wondering if I’ll ever have the guts to put it on his desk.

Finally, I swallow deeply, rip out the perfect piece- not too ornately written, but not sloppy, either. It says just, “Glad you’re feeling better, Jared.”

I flick it onto the edge of his desk. For once, I actually aim right. I’m not usually athletically inclined beyond volleyball.

He opens the note almost instantly, without glancing at it, as though he’s heard it land. Is that possible? I couldn’t hear the impact.

The folds are undone quickly by his big, deft hands.

He reads the words. I can see him move his head a little as he scans from left to right on the paper.

His fist clenches.

Is he angry? Why? He seems to have sprouted a temper while he was out. I guess it makes sense he doesn’t want Kim, perpetual failure, stalking him.

I freeze.

And then he turns around.