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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.

7. Chapter 7

Rating 5/5   Word Count 555   Review this Chapter

“Mom?” I call out. She tumbles down the stairs, laundry spilling from her hands, a lecture on her lips.

“You’re six minutes late, Kim. I was worried abou…”

She cuts off abruptly. There’s a dull thud as she drops the laundry, letting it fall to the ground.

Obviously, she’s noticed I’m not alone.

“Aren’t you going to introduce me?” she demands.

“Jared, this is my mom.”

“Call me Jen. All Kim’s friends do.”

All my friends? Since when do I have friends?

“Nice to meet you, Jen.” He extends his hand and smiles. It’s a very winning expression. His teeth shine like pearls against his skin. “I’m Jared Tajeva. I’m Kim’s boyfriend.”

I choke. Okay, so I like the idea of it. I really like the idea of it. That particular statement may have featured heavily in more than one daydream in the past, but still. He can’t just say it like that. In front of my mother. I’m tempted to clamp my hand over his mouth and whisk him from the room.

Mom smiles. “I’ve never heard of you before.” She raises an eyebrow and looks over at me. “Kim, darling, why didn’t you tell me about this boy?” The emphasis on the words ‘this boy’ is promising. She sounds approving. I almost forgive Jared when I realize that.

“Um, because he asked me out this morning?”

Jared winces. And then plasters the smile back on his face. He’s obviously trying very, very hard to win my mom over. “I wanted to come meet you. I asked Kim to go out with me this Friday. We were going to go have dinner down in Port Angeles. Is that all right with you?”

Crap. He’s good at this. I can’t handle my mother half this skillfully, and I’ve lived with her for almost eighteen years.

Mom smiles again, trying to hide the abject shock on her face. Oh, that’s flattering. Yes, I actually have a date. Don’t look so surprised. Aren’t you supposed to believe in me or something along those lines?

I sigh.

“Of course, Jared. Should I drop her off at your house?”

Yes, thanks, Mom. Let’s rub in the fact that you said yesterday that I’m ‘not mature enough to get my license yet’ and that you’re going to have to ferry me to my date. My first date with the guy I’m completely in love with. My first date ever, as a matter of fact.

“I’ll come pick her up, if that’s okay.”

“It’s fine,” I agree quickly. I don’t look over at Mom for confirmation, because I’m starting to feel slightly objectified here. I don’t really want my mom and my boyfriend (I’ll flail all over that concept later, trust me) haggling over the terms of my date. I’d like to get some input, if it’s all the same to everyone else.

“All right. I should probably head home, Jen.” He takes my hand for one second. “Goodbye, Kim. See you tomorrow.” Then he lifts the hand and presses it to his lips before he lets me go, disappearing out the door with almost chilling speed.

A slow smile spreads across my face as I watch him walk away.