Hello! I am off my hiatus! I took my test, and I get to wait ‘up to 8 weeks’ for them to mail results and tell me whether or not I passed. I feel like I did because I studied very dutifully, but there’s always that seed of doubt that says “You know for sure you got at least ten questions wrong. What if there were MORE, and you were over-confident and read the question wrong and you KNOW the answer but you didn’t MARK the right answer and they decided not to grade the test on a curve and they increased the percentage you have to pass and it’s 90% and you’re SCREWED.”

Yeah. Stuff like that.

But I think I passed.

If you see me crying on Facebook in a few weeks, you’ll know I didn’t.

But! I’m back! I have my life back! My husband has begged to teach me Magic, so I’ve played a few games because I CAN. And I’ve been editing again. I hope you all don’t mind that I still share Spellbound through its editing stages, because I want to be a part of WIPpet, and I haven’t written anything new from my Superman fanfiction story, so… I still want to share Spellbound. In my head, the story is complete, but it is NOT finished.

So I present to you on the 21st of Wednesday twelve shortish paragraphs of Spellbound, because 21 backwards is 12.  From a while back, you may recall that James had an ex-girlfriend, Rachel.  I shared a scene where she came out in telling him she knew he was gay.  Because of your responses, that scene with Rachel was originally very short.  I expanded it and shared with you the full scene.  Well, now I am sharing with you another scene that I felt was needed for their character background: the break-up.

So here it is.

* * * *

James grimaced as a particular memory wormed its way to the surface.

                  “What about him?”

                  Rachel pointed to a blond-haired guy sporting a black fedora.  A checkered black-and-white collar popped up beneath a bright purple V-neck sweater vest and denim jeans with embroidered back pockets. 

                 “He’s probably gay, look at how he walks.”  Rachel tilted her head to the side in contemplation while staring at the retreating form.  “And he’s cute, if you’re into that kind of thing.”

                James sighed and rubbed tiredly at his eyes.  “No, I’m not.  Look, Rach, I know you’re trying to help, but I don’t think I’m there yet, okay?”  He felt like a broken record, repeating the words he knew she would toss aside. 

                “Why not?” Rachel quipped with her usual comeback. “It’s more common than you think.  Nathan’s one of my favorite hair stylists and he’s flaming gay and so open about it.  And there’s three guys in med school who are gay, and they’re the biggest cry-babies in class.  Harper’s Grove is ready for you, James.  Your friends would be, too.”

                James snorted. “I’m not like that guy, Rach,” he said, pointing to the blond-haired man in the fedora.  “There’s no way in hell I’d ever wear an outfit like that, and I’m definitely not attracted to someone who dresses like that.  It’s great that you know people who are openly gay and in touch with their feminine side, but just. . . let me figure this out on my own, okay?  I’ve got it.”

                Rachel stared at him, her mouth creasing in a frown.  “You’re just lying to yourself, James.  You’re lying to me, and any other future woman you go out with.  It’s not who you are.  Who cares if you don’t fit the gay stereotype?  Just come out about it, you’ll feel better—”

                “Will you please stop talking so loudly?!” James hissed under his breath, watching a group of nearby teenagers very closely.  “This isn’t your life you’re messing with.  It’s mine, and I am not ready to go there, all right?” he said crossly.

                “Just tell someone then,” Rachel pleaded, not backing down.  “Anyone!  You know I’m leaving in a few weeks for Boston for my residency there.  I’m not going to be around.  You need someone here who’s on your side—”

                “I’m fine, Rachel,” James cut in, standing abruptly.  “Thanks for all of your help and understanding, but please, please, just leave it there.  Let me handle this on my own.  You’ve been great, but. . .” James blew out a decisive breath and bent down to hug Rachel. “Good luck with everything.  You’ll make a great doctor.  You care about people a lot, so. . . just keep doing your thing.”

                Rachel pulled out of the hug, looking at him with wide eyes.  “Are you saying goodbye?”

                James nodded sadly.  “Yeah, I am.”

* * * *

KL Schwengel, you are da bomb!  Fellow readers, please go visit my fellow WIPpeteers at the link.  They are equally bomb-ish.  *grins*