Feel free to introduce yourself to these characters by reviewing previous prompts they appeared in when you click here: Story.
The coffee warmed my insides, but something seemed wrong. I rolled it around my tongue and swallowed. It had a metallic taste. Coffee tastes like metal? Maybe something really was wrong with me. Isn't metal tasting an issue when you have problems with iron? I shook my head. Not another tirade of the 'what's wrong with me' kind. I was fine.
I looked down into the mug to see what was missing.
"Did you put milk in this?" I asked. Matty looked up at me from across the kitchen table and nodded. "Sugar?"
"Yep. Why? What's wrong?" I shrugged. "I may not know how to make coffee, but I know how to treat it." I laughed.
"I know. I know." He lifted his mug to his lips. Ah, those lips. I missed those lips. I made myself shift my focus to the mug in his hand. I started to laugh. He looked to see what I was laughing at.
"Oh, man. I can't believe you still have this."
"I know. I guess I just don't let go of things that easily," I heard my voice go soft.
"Yeah," he whispered. Not much of a response, but what did I expect him to say?
"Remember when your mom ..." I trailed off.
"Yeah," he whispered again.
We were cleaning up after that morning's brunch. Dishes in the sink, on the table, in the dishwasher. Where to begin.
"I'll wash, you dry?" Matt walked around the house, dancing to whatever song was stuck in his head at the moment. "Matt?" Dance, dance. Hum. Hum. "Matt? Hello? Matt?" He looked over at me. "Can you help me with these?"
"Sure." He came up behind me as I stood at the sink. "Got enough soap?" I rolled my eyes, my hands submerged beneath a layer of bubbles. He stood close enough that I could feel his breath on the back of my neck. His lips brushed against me. My skin tingled at his touch.
"Matt, come on. We'll never get this place cleaned up ..." I moaned in spite of myself. "Matthew. Seriously. You need to stop that right nowwww ..." I sighed.
"You were saying?" He lifted my arms and turned me to face him. We were eye to eye, mouth to mouth. Breathing together for a few minutes. It was me who broke our focus.
"I'll tell you what, as soon as we clean up this disaster area, we'll take care of business, okay?"
"Oh, business. Is that what I am to you now?" I laughed. "Fine."
"Great, go get me the coffee mugs, would you?" I splashed a handful of bubbles at him. He swatted my behind with a dishtowel. "Be careful with those!" I ordered, as he piled them up in his arms, one on top of the other. He handed me one at a time, slowly, carefully. I placed them in the sink. I'd be happy to just let them soak if it meant getting back into his arms more quickly. I counted as I placed them in the sudsy water. "One is missing."
"One is missing."
"How could you possibly know that?"
"I just counted. One of them is missing."
"Which one?" I went through the dirty water thoroughly. "The one you made for me. The one with the crooked handle, the painted ceramic one. The one ..." my voice trailed off. I sighed.
"The one your mother was drinking out of." He heard the exasperation in my voice.
"You can't mean to tell me that you think my mom stole our coffee mug?"
"MY coffee mug. And yeah, I'm going to go out on a limb and say she did."
"Seriously? A coffee mug. Why would she take it?"
"Why? Why does your mom do anything? She wanted it, she took it. We have to call her, Matty. It's mine, I want it back."
"Seriously, babe. Come on." I wouldn't budge. "I'll call her first thing in the morning. Let's enjoy the rest of our Sunday." I shook my head, moved towards the phone. "Baby, please."
"Matt, come on, I want it back."
"I'm sure she's taking good care of it, IF she has it."
"If?" His gaze drifted. "If? Do you really think she doesn't have it, hon?"
He shook his head. "She has it. I'm as sure as you are." He sunk down to the floor. Head into his hands. "I don't know why she does these kinds of things. I don't know how to stop her."
"You can't. You don't have to stop her, you can't. You've tried. But we have to get that back. We have to, Matt. I'm sorry." I lifted his face from his hands. "Do you want me to call her?" He shook his head. "Okay."
"Just give me a few minutes, alright?" I nodded. Leaned in, kissed his forehead, his cheeks, made my way to his mouth.
"You'll get it back for me?" I whispered. He smiled, nodded. "You can have more than a few minutes."
This post was written in response to this week's Red Dress Club Prompt: Someone has stolen something from you (or your character). Something of tremendous value. What will you do to get it back? Or will you give up? As always, constructive criticism is welcome!