I’m taking part in the StoryADay September 2015 challenge. The main reason being to explore my characters from the Morgan and Fairchild Series. I will endeavour to incorporate the daily prompts, though, as it’s a continued tale, it’s not strictly a story a day. It’s more a story within a story. I’ve given myself a word limit of 600 words (I’m slight over today).
Prompt: Sept 3rd – The Maze (Your character is lost in a maze).
Recap: Justin Chambers, part of the team at Morgan & Fairchild, is approached by a friend who needs a favour. Justin accepts the missing person case, and agrees to look into it in his own time.
The familiar sounds of battle settled around Ellen; the slam of a punch, the ragged breaths, the pounding feet. She could practically feel the accelerated heart rates. JJ was an exceptional boxer, but he’d taught Justin well and the kid had some moves of his own. That the fight was friendly didn’t matter, they went all in.
When JJ staggered back against the ropes, and Justin made no move to attack, Ellen threw a towel at him. “You’re getting old, tough guy,” she said, winking at Justin.
JJ ducked beneath the ropes and jumped to the ground. He made quick work of his gloves and walked to the tall fridge to pull out two bottles of water. He handed one of them to Justin, who was only a few steps behind him.
“I think you might be right. Either that or Justin’s working off one of your moods.” JJ downed a third of his bottle.
Ellen grinned, enjoying her friend’s discomfort. Fact was, she thought of JJ as kin. She enjoyed nothing more than pushing his buttons; it was her duty as kid sister. “Don’t worry. Grace will kiss it better.”
JJ moved quickly, snaking his arm around her neck. She should have anticipated the move, perhaps part of her did, but she didn’t prevent it. “I’m guessing you two have something to discuss,” he said, releasing her on a laugh. “And you’re absolutely right, so I might as well take advantage of that…by telling my beautiful wife how you two ganged up on me.”
“Like she’d believe that for a second,” Justin said, shaking his head. “Plus, you have to put a ring on Gracie’s finger before you can call her your wife.”
JJ was already walking to the showers. “I know what she is, kid, and I don’t need a ring to prove it.”
Ellen stared after him, wondering at the comment.
“Is he right?” Justin asked, reclaiming her attention. “Do you have something for me?”
“Nothing you’re going to like.” She motioned to the bench. “I spoke to Stuart, and he told me about a new organisation helping young people. These missing teenagers, they probably got help by enrolling in the program. Without names, there’s no way of knowing.”
“So it’s a dead end.” Justin hung his head. “Is the organisation legit?”
Ellen reached out to put a hand on his arm. “Listen to yourself, Justin. I understand you want to help your friend, but this isn’t a conspiracy.”
“You’re right.” Standing, he walked over to where he’d put his gloves and pulled them on. “Thanks for checking it out. I owe you one.”
“No, it’s okay, Elle. I just need to work of a little steam. You know?”
She walked to him. “Are you purposely quoting me?” It worried her when he didn’t return the smile. Justin always bounced back. “Do you want to go a few rounds in the ring?”
“I think I’ll finish the night on a high, thanks. I almost had JJ on the ropes, let me enjoy the victory.”
It was both a diversion and a dismissal. Ellen couldn’t argue with the fact he wanted to be alone. She conceded only because she knew JJ was still around. If she knew her friend, she knew he’d picked up on Justin’s mood too.
“Well okay, then. I’ll catch you at the briefing tomorrow.”
Justin nodded, and walked over to one of the punch bags. Their underground training facility was equipped with everything they needed. If the kid needed to work of his mad, it was the perfect place.
Ellen stepped out of the room with the sound of pounding leather at her back. It was so familiar it shouldn’t have bothered her. Yet it did.
I had to go subtle today. Justin is lost, though not strictly in a maze. It’s more an emotional prison he’s caught up in, and looking for Paul’s friend is a little like trying to find a needle in a haystack!
Thanks for visiting.