Jump to content

Welcome to Nightly.Net
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

"Scarlett"


36 replies to this topic

#1
Copper

Copper

    I am groot

  • Member
  • 12,595 posts
Scarlett

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Liam watched the rain bead and drip, bead and drip, on the narrow window beside his desk. Despite the double panes, the cold seeped through and he could just make out the relentless droning of the downpour. He scratched his face, realized he forgot to shave this morning. Lately, all he'd wanted to do was get out of the house, away from the white walls, pale wood floors and silvery artwork. He really should have taken a stand on the decorations; he knew even as he gave in that he would grow to hate them. He glanced at the small, framed photo of his wife beside his computer. She smiled, but it was her polite and rather distant smile of obligation, not the increasingly rare genuine smile that he'd been ensnared by. Liam spun around in his chair and faced his worktable; He reached for his notepad and a charcoal pencil. He rubbed his hands together; lately he couldn't seem to get warm.

He heard the chair in the office across the hall squeak. His eyes followed the sound to see Scarlett leaning back in her chair, back arched, hands lifting her heavy chocolate curls from the back of her neck. Liam imagined pressing his lips to the pale exposed skin of her neck, gripping the heavy curtain of hair. She only moved so gracefully, so unconsciously when she thought no one was watching. Deliberately, he relaxed his body; but his mind and his eyes lingered on Scarlett. She was wearing a vibrant aqua button up shirt topped with a charcoal gray sweater. The cuffs and collar peeked out from beneath the soft sweater, and the buttons were undone all the way to the bottom of the sweater V-neck. It was her trademark, whether she knew it or not. Liam wondered briefly when he'd begun to associate sweaters with Scarlett. He imagined she wore something soft and comfortable under those shirts. Abruptly, he closed his eyes, stopped his thoughts.

He heard her chair roll back from her desk, her soft steps across the hall. He saw her shadow fall across his eyelids. He opened his eyes to see hers, pale as spring leaves, smiling into his. "What are you working on?" When did her voice begin to stir him so? He didn't remember; he didn't care. Liam looked down at his notepad and saw the dress he'd been sketching idly while he watched Scarlett. It was a long sweeping dress, designed to lengthen and accent a tall, curvy body. The neckline stopped in a daring V between the breasts and a slit ran up the right side to mid thigh. "I like it," she said, moving to stand behind him.

"It's not bad," Liam acquiesced.

She leaned over and traced along the line of the back, "If you soften the line here," she demonstrated, "and here, it might change the feel a bit-"

"-From harsh and sexy, to soft and sleek," he finished, already reaching for his gum eraser.

"Exactly," she smiled to herself and wandered back to her office. She sat and watched Liam work from the corner of her eye. He was hunched over his worktable, his graceful, long-fingered hands making broad, fevered strokes across the white paper. Over the last few months she'd picked up his rhythm. He drew when he was troubled, distracted, rarely when he was in an average mood. It was all highs or lows for him, and the passion that rode him, that made him draw, sucked the moods from him like a vampire on a lover's neck.

"Scarlett." Their editor stood in front of her, blocking her view of Liam. "I need you and Liam to stay late tonight; we're too close to deadline. I'll need you both do some copy editing as well."

"But," Scarlett began.

"Look honey, you have copy editing experience, right? Well good. Because one of ours just quit and the other is stuck in a hospital in Vegas. Deal with it." She turned to Liam's office.

"Did you hear that? Good. Get to work. We've got a magazine to put out."

Liam cocked an eyebrow and leered at Scarlett, "I guess this means I get to keep you out late tonight," she laughed and blushed, turned so he wouldn't see it.

But he did, and it made him smile. She was an odd assortment of confidence and innocence; but he was beginning to understand her. He looked down at the sketch beneath his hand. It was better because of Scarlett's suggestions. Liam eyed the simple gold band around his finger. It was the same as the gold band that his wife had thrown across the room at him, two weeks ago. Hers was still hiding beneath the sideboard, communing with the dust bunnies.

Liam and Scarlett migrated to and from each other's offices through the night, sometimes working together, other times alone. Scarlett glanced up from her computer, noticed the clock read 9pm. She rubbed her eyes, blinked the mascara out of them, and then reached for her reading glasses. "Uh oh, you must be tired," Liam said.

"Why is that?"

"You hate your glasses,"

"I don't!"

"You do too. It's your only vanity." Liam sat on her worktable, ran his hand over his jaw. She looked up at him and realized, with a jolt, that the funny feeling in her belly that happened around him was, in fact, attraction.

"Don't you need to call your wife?" she asked.

"No." he raised an eyebrow, "Why?"

"It's late. You used to..." she trailed off as she realized that he hadn't called her when he worked late for the last few months.

"Well-"

"You know, I just realized, I don't even know her name," Scarlett turned to face her computer, stared blindly at the monitor.

"She left me Scarlett. Weeks ago." He lowered his hand; it was freezing against his face.

Was she a horrible person because her heart leaped at those words? She wondered.

"I can't get you out of my head. You sneak up on me Scarlett, when I go to sleep at night. When I wake you're the only thing on my mind." He blurted. His skin reddened as he waited. She turned and stared at him, her tired eyes wide, so he continued, "Every time you walk out that door I want to be beside you. Every time you sing that damn song," she blinked, surprised, "I hope it never ends, even though you can't sing worth a damn. I want everything about you, Scarlett." He stopped, stood and paced to the doorway. He felt ill.

"Liam. You're married." She said the rational thing, but inside hope was struggling to unfurl.

"By law, yes I'm married." He turned and stared down at her with amber eyes storming emotions. "But the day you walked into this office with your cute sweater vests and cautious eyes I was yours." He closed his eyes, clenched his jaw. He was sure he was failing.

"Say something!"

"What? I don't know what to say!" She stood and walked toward him, her eyes unpredictable as a river swollen with winter run off.

"Do you want me?" he breathed out, fear turning his voice to a whisper.

"Oh God. Yes. Yes." Scarlett turned, "You were supposed to be safe," she said, almost to herself. She pulled her glasses off and tossed them onto the desk. She whirled back her lip trembling with anger or fear, Liam couldn't tell.

"Dammit, Liam why does it have to be complicated? Why does it have to be you? I didn't ask for this. I don't want these feelings that I have stuck inside my chest. We've been pretending for so long now, why do you have to make it live?" her voice broke on a cry, and she spun away from him, pressed the heels of her hands into the cold windowsill and stared out into the darkness and rain.

"You're the only color in my life." He ran a hand down her hair. She trembled.

"It's wrong. Isn't it Liam? Isn't it wrong for me to want you, when I know you belong to someone else?"

"I can't see it as right or wrong anymore, Scarlett. I only see you. I only want you."

Scarlett turned and faced him. She lifted her hands as if she would cup his face, then hesitated. A tear slid down her cheek, another chased it down. The fat drops slipped off her chin to fall to the floor. Liam reached out, wrapped his hands around hers and brought them to rest on his cheeks. Their fingers entwined, his hands warmed. Slowly Scarlett raised her lips and Liam lowered his. He waited, a breath apart, breathing in the sweet scent that he knew as Scarlett. Then he brushed his lips across hers, delicately, as if she might break. He swept his tongue across her bottom lip, tasted her tears.

She was the only thing that mattered.

Edited by Tank, 18 April 2007 - 03:00 PM.


#2
Richcelt

Richcelt

    Musician, Historian, and Stalker Extraordinaire

  • Members
  • 8,375 posts
Woah! Um... wow. If that office gets any hotter they're liable to set off the fire sprinklers.

That got really... well, HOT in a hurry. In reality, probably too much of a hurry, but given the structure of a short story, that at least could be forgiven.

Very well done. I'm gonna go and turn on the fan now, thanks.

#3
ShadowDog

ShadowDog

    Supra-Awesome Badass PIE Pimp

  • Member
  • 42,592 posts
Man, I really really liked this! It was extremely hot, I agree with that sentiment whole heartedly. I don't necessarily agree with Scarlett's POV, but it is a POV that she is rock solid about so she felt like a really well rounded character.

I really love Liam's "I can't get you outta my head" speech. That was rock solid stuff right there. :thumbsup:

Freaking awesome! Very good job Coppie!

#4
NumberSix

NumberSix

    Content Provider Emeritus

  • Member
  • 29,772 posts
"...I'm a married spud, I'm a married spud, I'm a married spud..."

#5
Richcelt

Richcelt

    Musician, Historian, and Stalker Extraordinaire

  • Members
  • 8,375 posts
LMAO! ^ True, true! :thumbsup: :lol:

#6
Mr. Winch

Mr. Winch

    Be Mad. It Helps.

  • Member
  • 3,225 posts
"Oh Marsha"
"Oh John"
"Oh Marsha!"
"Oh John!"

Blaah !!

#7
Copper

Copper

    I am groot

  • Member
  • 12,595 posts
If you can't be constructive, please vacate my thread Winch.

#8
Mr. Winch

Mr. Winch

    Be Mad. It Helps.

  • Member
  • 3,225 posts
10 bucks says that you don't have the heart to tell NumberSix that. Posted Image

#9
Copper

Copper

    I am groot

  • Member
  • 12,595 posts
Six's reply was funny, and didn't trivialize something that I worked pretty hard on. If he didn't like what I wrote, I'm sure he would have been constructive, or not said anything at all, but that's neither here nor there.

#10
Nixie

Nixie

    showing all my haters love

  • Members
  • 2,166 posts

I don't necessarily agree with Scarlett's POV, but it is a POV that she is rock solid about so she felt like a really well rounded character.


what does that mean? :confused:

i liked this a lot. i agree that it was hot. i was actually uncomfortable with my father reading it over my shoulder. :lol: he said that so far this one should win and i agree. very well written. 'honestly written' as my father said and i agree. :)

#11
Undome Telcontar

Undome Telcontar

    Home.

  • Members
  • 13,400 posts
yeah, i agree with SD. if his wife left him weeks ago, what the hell is she waiting for?

#12
Nixie

Nixie

    showing all my haters love

  • Members
  • 2,166 posts
is that what he meant? i dont know. a couple weeks isnt very long. im not interested in married men theyd have to be divorced before id even think about it because the wife always wins. always. funk that. :lol: so i understand exactly where scarlett is coming from. his wife could come sweeping back next week and theres a great chance he would go back to her. the wife always wins. :(

#13
Undome Telcontar

Undome Telcontar

    Home.

  • Members
  • 13,400 posts
it might be. with SD, who knows? :P

anyway, from the sound of what he says, not very likely. it sounds to me as though he detached himself from his wife some time ago, subconsiously or not.

#14
Good God a Bear

Good God a Bear

    well ****

  • Member
  • 8,428 posts
Slight derail...

I thought is was quite funny that I replied in the Titanic Sequel thread in the Movies that it would be as bad as a sequel to Gone With the Wind. Then I went to the main page and the Last Posted thread in the Book Club was a thread titled, "Scarlett." I thought someone was talking about it in the Book Club... :lol:

Ha ha...get it? The sequel to Gone With the Wind was called Scarlett. Scarlett was the name of the thread.

*crickets chirping*


Derail over...

#15
Kung Fu Jawa

Kung Fu Jawa

    Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins

  • Members
  • 15,241 posts

anyway, from the sound of what he says, not very likely. it sounds to me as though he detached himself from his wife some time ago, subconsiously or not.

Agreed. There are several clues in the story that point us this way. The first of which is the photograph on his desk.

He glanced at the small, framed photo of his wife beside his computer. She smiled, but it was her polite and rather distant smile of obligation, not the increasingly rare genuine smile that he'd been ensnared by.


Secondly, he's been interested in Scarlet for a looong time, and she him. You don't pick up such detailed manerisms just by working alongside someone. You have to have a sincere interest in that person. You must want to watch them, not just be a casual observer.

Lastly, Even though they've only been seperated for a couple of weeks, they had to have been having problems for a long time before that. You don't just suddenly decide to leave your spouse on a whim. Marriage is serious business and you are tied together and you try to work through the bad stuff. WHen you try your hardest, and you're still mired down, then you split as a last resort.

So even though, they've only technically been physically apart for a couple of weeks, there attachment could have been severed years ago.

With that out of the way... Good stuff April.

#16
ShadowDog

ShadowDog

    Supra-Awesome Badass PIE Pimp

  • Member
  • 42,592 posts
The interesting thing is that I've come around since I made my original comment to understand Scarlett's point of view. I asked Copper for clarification and it makes a lot of sense to me now. In fact, I'd go on to say that it makes a great deal of difference to a lot of women that a dude is still married even if it's been years instead of just a few weeks. My exwife kept trying to kill herself every time I filed for divorce so I actually had two girlfriends while being only separated from my wife rather than divorced. And even though it was totally over and there was no ******* chance I was ever getting back with my wife it still mattered to both girlfriends that I was only separated rather than divorced. In my mind I was divorced and was being held hostage to a certain extent, but that didn't matter to the women in question. It was upon remembering this that I did come around to Scarlett's POV.

So when we're just talking about a couple weeks of separation, of course Scarlett is going to be wary. But we also see that she did put aside her concerns so it all worked out. :D

PS. I did finally tire of being held hostage and I did finally divorce the exwife and, lo and behold, she didn't kill herself. :unimpressed: If only I'd had the sack to do it earlier I would have saved myself untold amount of drama.

#17
Undome Telcontar

Undome Telcontar

    Home.

  • Members
  • 13,400 posts
lol. :thumbsup: good for you.

#18
LadyGuinevere

LadyGuinevere

    Taking on the world with an innocent smile

  • Members
  • 1,091 posts
I didn't think it was hurried as far as their relationship went, as the signs were there right from the second paragraph. I thought the attraction was well-written and very plausible :) A little too close to comfort though, I must admit :(

I did like how it had been only two weeks since his wife left him, but when he was telling Scarlett, it became 'weeks ago.' I know technically it is weeks, but usually that phrase implies a longer period. A little white lie ;) Or maybe he wishes it was longer.

Is it a fashion magazine they're working for? I wasn't sure, but otherwise it confused me a little having him sketch a dress on its own.

#19
Undome Telcontar

Undome Telcontar

    Home.

  • Members
  • 13,400 posts
i assumed it was a newspaper at first, but then he sketched the dress, so it must be a fashion magazine. or a fashion supplement of an newspaper.

#20
Copper

Copper

    I am groot

  • Member
  • 12,595 posts
First of all, thanks to Carl for nailing Liam's POV perfectly. Secondly, SD hit the nail on the head with what I was aiming for with Scarlett's perspective on Liam's marriage.

And lastly, Liam and Scarlett are both art editors for a magazine. Liam likes to draw, and draws lots of different things. The reason why he drew a dress was because he was looking at Scarlett. He was subconsciously drawing it for her.

#21
ShadowDog

ShadowDog

    Supra-Awesome Badass PIE Pimp

  • Member
  • 42,592 posts

Liam likes to draw, and draws lots of different things. The reason why he drew a dress was because he was looking at Scarlett. He was subconsciously drawing it for her.


Oooo, that's a clever layer I didn't pick up on the two times I read this! Very subtle. :)

#22
LadyGuinevere

LadyGuinevere

    Taking on the world with an innocent smile

  • Members
  • 1,091 posts
First time I read it I had to go back and re-read it because I thought she was wearing the dress, lol ;)

#23
Nixie

Nixie

    showing all my haters love

  • Members
  • 2,166 posts

Secondly, he's been interested in Scarlet for a looong time, and she him. You don't pick up such detailed manerisms just by working alongside someone. You have to have a sincere interest in that person. You must want to watch them, not just be a casual observer.

Lastly, Even though they've only been seperated for a couple of weeks, they had to have been having problems for a long time before that. You don't just suddenly decide to leave your spouse on a whim. Marriage is serious business and you are tied together and you try to work through the bad stuff. WHen you try your hardest, and you're still mired down, then you split as a last resort.

So even though, they've only technically been physically apart for a couple of weeks, there attachment could have been severed years ago.


i think your last two points contridict each other. if he has been interested in scarlett for a long time and watching her for a long time how seriously was he really working on his marriage? would he have worked harder on it had scarlett not been in the office? if i were her that would alarm me a little because it means he better dealed his wife not that he was over his wife and then discovered his true love. those are two different horses of color. ;)

#24
Kung Fu Jawa

Kung Fu Jawa

    Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins

  • Members
  • 15,241 posts
I can see where you'd interpret it that way. I should have swapped their order.

This is all in defense of the "only two weeks?" concern, mind you. I'm trying to explain how a man doesn't suddenly leave his wife and two weeks later he finds someone else. The two weeks refers only to the legal part of the relationship, not any of the emotions involved. Don't let that time period cloud over the unspoken backstory.
In Liam's timeline, he would have been having marital problems for years. They've reached the point where neither one cares anymore. But the marriage 'knot' keeps them bound to each other. Not in an emotional way, not really physically either, it's more of a culture thing. They still live in the same house, but there's no love. You just go through the motions. Then he meets Scarlet and he starts to feel something for someone again. His fire for his wife has long gone out, but this one for Scarlet is just getting going. Several months of this attraction have gone by before we start the story.


That's just my take on it.

(ps. I wish my stories generated this much discussion)

#25
Good God a Bear

Good God a Bear

    well ****

  • Member
  • 8,428 posts
Copper...this is truly a wonderful piece of writing. You are gifted, there is no doubt. Both you and Doomtrain make me jealous. :)



Reply to this topic