Ava walked into the other room. Shampoo stung my eyes. I heard her singing and murmuring to herself.

“When did the fevers come back?”

I rinsed and realized Ava made the bed.

“Today is the first one since you put the magnet inside me. I’ve had pains in my chest, arms, and shoulders for about a week.”

She reappeared silouetted in the doorway.

“I like the boxer briefs, especially the red ones.  I think I was the girl who turned you on to those. Glad to know my fashion sense stuck.”

Her figure turned toward the mirror and she stared at herself.

“I knew you weren’t feeling well so I got standby on an earlier flight. I’m checked in, on the second floor. You left your door open. I saw the sheets and got housecleaning to change them.”

An odd silence joined the bathroom. For the first time since meeting Ava 19 years earlier as a college junior, I was scared of her.

“Caleb, after January, you will own your physical beauty. Do you know how powerful you will be? I can’t believe I’m helping you do that.”

I turned the shower off but hesitated to reach for my towel.

“You need to leave for a while, Ava.”

I heard her sigh, walk into the next room and pick up her keys.

“You’re welcome for the hundredth time Caleb Runson. Call me when you’re done  with your internet sewing circle. Tell the amateur detectives their doctors say hello.  You and I have a lot to talk about before the surgery. I’ll be reviewing metal heart valves and sensory connectivity with doctors Oliver Wicks and Gavin Todd. We thought it would be cute to meet at the same time as you all since we are saving your lives.”

I dried off and wrapped up quickly. Ava knew how to make me feel guilty. I walked slowly to the door, clutching my towel to my waist. Ava turned and faced me with a suspicious grin.

“Av, I do appreciate everything you’ve done. I hope there’s an amazing payoff for you. You deserve it. This is an issue of boundaries between us. I have them. You….

She threw her keys into her large, white handbag and put her black sunglasses on her blonde hair. She reached out with her open right hand and flattened it over my bare chest, interrupting me.

“All I care about is this robotic heart of yours.”

The light of the hallway caught her weird smile. For a moment, I believed her.

I closed the door, looked at my hands as they shook. Pain filled my chest. I dropped to my knees and the room turned black.

*blogger’s note* – This is another story episode based on prompt from The Red Dress Club  PHYSICAL BEAUTY and one from Studiothirtyplus –  “THE AMATEUR” . The other episodes are here:

1) Synchronicity

2) Personality Crisis

3) Serendipity 6

10) Drown
11)  Toyed
12) Fever
17) Numb
18) Cage

27) Running –

28) Crush with Eyeliner –

29) One Headlight

30) Dreams So Real –

Today’s song is one of two Toto songs I like. Rosanna is the other. Hold the Line is the song that plays sometimes in Ava’s head while Devil Woman plays in Caleb’s.

Here’s Toto’s Hold the Line:

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11 responses to “Boundaries

  1. Pingback: Shock Me « My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

  2. Love this- dark, twisted, not sure who to feel empathy for.

    I like how strong and evil she is {What does that say about me?!}.

    And the leave-you-hanging ending? Perfect!

  3. you know, you have enough pieces, if they flow together, you should think about sticking it all in one post and making it a page :) Much easier to read and get caught up with.

    Loving the mystery! What will happen? Is Ava all she appears…is Caleb :)

    visiting from RDC

  4. Enjoyed this part of the story. I like Ava’s character, very mysterious and from what I read in the other comments she must be evil. She masks it well on the outside but obviously Caleb knows. I’ll have to read more. Good stuff.

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