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Rated: E · Fiction · Contest Entry · #1892057
You sure you know what you're doing?
“I’m tired of your games,” Chloe pronounced. Ethan winced. Chloe had thrown down the gauntlet, he knew, and everything was going to come to a halt until he dealt with it. Everything. And just when he was so ready to take the next step, to move on, to plunge ahead. He really was.

Ethan sighed. “What is it this time?” he said, and he knew right away that was a mistake. Wrong tone, and it would only prolong the discussion, slow everything down, make it worse for him.

“This time?” Chloe retorted. Her eyes flashed, blue lightning in a bank of advancing thunderclouds. “This time? It’s the same as every other time! You sneak around. You hide your agenda. I never know what you’re thinking. I never know where you’re going.”

On one level, she was right, he had to admit. But he couldn’t say it. The situation was more complicated than that. Declarations required unhurried, careful, consideration. Detailed analysis. Strategy. When do you open the kimono? He said, “I do want to be more honest. I do. But can’t I do anything my way? Will you let me have my own view?”

“What is that view?” Chloe asked, leaning forward and flopping her hands in her lap. “What do you want here?”

Ethan caved. Head down, he said, “All right, here’s what I want. I want Boardwalk.” He looked up at her. “That’s what I want.”

“All right, then,” Chloe said evenly. “You’re sitting on it, so buy it.” Ethan didn’t see Chloe’s smile as he reached for his money stash. He was draining his cash and she already had St. James, Tennessee, and New York. The three oranges, and they were the key to everything, as only the best Monopoly players knew. She was way ahead of him.

(Word count: 300)
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