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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ohhh…. (02/04/10)

TITLE: To Top it All
By Sharon Laughter


Indentations of quarter moon crescents appeared under Bradley Ryan’s fingernails as he tightly clutched his hands. He smiled at the tawny-haired woman sitting across from him appreciatively. “Oh, Lord, if only….having her as my wife would be more than I could ever dream.”

Skye twirled her fork thoughtfully and shifted in her seat. The decision to end her relationship and job with Bradley after almost three years was practically more than she could bear. He was so thoughtful and sweet. The light freckles sprinkled across his face gave him a boyish look and she had fallen for him at first glance. And, he sure did love God. But it was evident that he did not share her love. She felt like such a fool. She had to quit now and spare herself further heartache.

Bradley flicked his eyes across the restaurant, looking for the tuxedo-clad waiter whose badge declared, “Rodney – At Your Service.” He spied the pole-thin man fussing a silver-haired couple loaded with bling, seated next to the window. Hopefully the hefty wad that padded the waiter’s pockets would still ensure precise execution of Bradley’s intricate plan.

Skye sighed inwardly and looked up with a feeble smile. The time had come to tell Bradley about accepting the position at KVMA in Greeley,"manure-for-sure" Colorado. Oh, she'd never love again, but a girl at some point had to sweep the cards off the table.

“I have some news,” she announced softly.

Bradley arched an eyebrow. Since their first meeting, Skye had been the only woman capable of causing his heart to pound in wild and erratic rhythm. He may be the owner of RyanSource, Inc. a successful public relations firm, but this vision in jade owned his heart. Of course, his success was due in large part to her talents as well. But now, he couldn't disguise his true feelings any longer. He had to take a leap of faith, and see if there was hope for his dreams to come true – all with the help of Rodney-At-Your-Service.

Skye would unfurl her napkin and discover a document inside making her the recipient of a full partnership in RyansSource, Inc. The bottom signature declared, “Skye Marie Ryan.” A silver platter then would arrive along with their prime rib dinner containing an 8x10 glossy of their future home. Chef Proviel himself was to provide the evening’s grand finale – a dessert of flaming Crème Brule topped with a sparkling diamond ring.

“I’ve decided to accept the job in Greeley.”

Bradley’s heart lurched. “No Lord, NO!” he screamed silently, striving to mask horror and disappointment. Pictures in his mind concerning the future broke apart like ice flows and disappated. Rodney suddenly chose the moment to appear, almost ghost-like, and place the maroon and gold trimmed cloth by Skye's plate, then scamper off.

Mortified at the realization, Bradley lunged for the napkin. “Let me have that!” NO! This was not happening!

Skye startled but snatched the napkin out of Bradley’s grasp. “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?” she hissed. He was acting possessed! In addition, the napkin in her hand crackled.

“It’s nothing! Bradley’s hand lunged again but missed.

With crinkled brows, Skye unfurled the cloth. She widened her eyes at the sight of the document and began to read. Reaching the bottom, she gasped.

Bradley hunkered down, raking his fingers through his chestnut hair, eyes glazed.

Skye blinked in amazement and with lashes fluttering, and studied the writhing creature across from her.

“I just wanted to spare us both the embarrassment, ” the tormented one grumbled. I should have known better to think you could—“

“I don’t believe, this,” Skye stammered. A flush on her cheeks was deepening. “Does this mean what I think it does?”

Bradley, cowering like a rat in a hole, nodded.

“I was only leaving because I felt like a fool for loving you!” Skye practically yelped, her jade earrings swinging emphatically in large circles.

Both stared dumbfounded at each other, then burst into gales of laughter.


Rodney materialized again at the table. “Your dinner will arrive shortly,” he announced. “Anything else I can get for you?” he asked, waggling his forehead but standing stiffly.

Bradley sighed, attempting recovery from his near collapse. “No, Rodney, I think we have it all.”

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This article has been read 413 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 02/15/10
Phew! I was relieved.. thought it would turn out differently. :) You had my full attention as your story unfolded. I like your use of detail!
Dana McReynolds02/17/10
I enjoyed this. I was on the edge of my seat.
Brenda Shipman 02/17/10
Courtships can be the darndest things, can't they? The misunderstandings, guessing games, insecurities - you captured it all in this nicely developed story. Needs a bit of fine tuning with punctuation; otherwise, a very enjoyable read! Well done.
Sarah Elisabeth 02/18/10
Hey Sharon, congrats on placing 10th in the Level 3 with this entry! There are so many talented writers here, so great job! If you haven't already, be sure to check out the Highest Rankings on the boards: