"I don't do deadlines." I glared across the long, shiny pine table and knew which one of the two of us was more intimidating. Me, the six-foot-two former sorceress knight, he the five-foot-three pudgy businessman…
Harry Shrewman, my Editor, seemed to sink a few inches into his oversized leather chair. "Seifer… but-"
"No `buts'." I stood up, grabbing my jacket. "I didn't drive all the way here just to hear you complain to me that I'm not writing fast enough. You'll get your damned book when I'm damned well done with it. And if you can't settle for that then I'll just go somewhere else."
"Oh, not THAT again…" Harry sighed. "Fine, I don't need the whole thing, but you GOTTA give me SOMETHING soon. A prologue, a Chapter, a PAGE, I don't CARE. I need something to show the guys upstairs to keep your contract going."
"Tell them I'll kick their asses if they DON'T." I slid my sunglasses in place and turned, heading for the door. "Have a nice day Harry."
"You'll bring me SOMETHING right?"
"I'll get you the first thirty pages by Monday." I waved my hand without turning to look at him. "Don't sweat over it."
Half the day. I'd wasted half the day at that stupid place. The drive there wasn't so bad because the scenery was nice and I could speed as much as I wanted without fear of seeing another car.
But I just wanted to be home, even with the monster there. Anything was better than dealing with suits. As I headed up the stairs to the front porch after everything was done, all I wanted to do was curl up someplace near Squall and sleep, or pretend to sleep, knowing I'd probably get more kisses that way.
I stopped halfway in the doorway and gasped. The house was a mess.
My eyes narrowed until I heard noises coming from the kitchen. Cabinets being slammed, pans rattling. I walked into the room, finding, it too, was in shambles.
Squall stood in the midst of this, clattering things around, a grim expression on his face.
But his eyes.
His eyes were clouded with pain and anger.
"What happened?" I asked, watching him.
"They took him." I blinked, the words not registering. "Who took who?"
"Child Protective Services. They took Anthony."
My mind went blank for a moment and I could only watch as Squall moved around the room, his body language screaming in anger.
It was only when I saw water droplets staining the floor did I realize he was crying.
I went to him, wrapping my arms around his waist. And froze as he pulled away.
"I suppose you're happy?"
My blood ran cold. "I didn't say-"
"You didn't have to. You never wanted him here to begin with." He glared at me. I knew he wasn't REALLY mad at me, his eyes have a way of saying what his mouth couldn't.
But what he'd said hit a nerve and I looked down, sighing. "I'm sorry."
"I...I didn't mean it that way...I'm not trying to blame you..." He leaned against the counter, his back to me. "They thought this was a bad environment for him....that it was innapropriate....because we're together....they took him to an orphanage...." his voice broke. "They took him to a building full of STRANGERS. He was so scared... I couldn't stop- they wouldn't let-...."
My blood thawed and was instantly boiling. How DARE they hurt MY Squall. How DARE they come into OUR home and take OUR child.
I wasn't going to let them.
I turned heel and walked out of the room, out of the house, toward my car.
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