Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

A Change in Fortune – IV

Maria’s blue dress flowed like water, tracing its source to a knot tied around the back of her neck and cascading down to her knees. Her long brown hair was down, and while it fell to her shoulders, the necklace he had given her as a birthday gift was still visible.

Jeff smiled and put his arms around her waist. Her back remained stiff. Jeff looked into her eyes, but she looked down.

“He didn’t take it well, did he?” Jeff was smiling. He was referring to the Freeloader, of course. The Freeloader had postponed their plans, and Jeff’s lease was set to expire in a couple weeks.

Jeff brought his right hand up to Maria’s cheek. He tried looking her in the eyes again, but she averted them. The smile wiped off Jeff’s face.

It was at that moment that the Freeloader waltzed into the room, wearing a black blazer and purple collared shirt with light khaki slacks over his five-foot-four frame. With his curly black hair, the Freeloader just needed a red rubber nose and white gloves to complete the ensemble. Jeff kept that thought to himself.

“Why is it so quiet in here?” asked the Freeloader as he finished his waltz. “Am I interrupting something?”

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