Welcome to November. God, that means Christmas is right around the corner. It also means days are getting shorter and it’s raining like the biblical flood out here on the island. While I don’t need the sunshine as much as I used to, a day here and there would be nice, Mother Nature. Just saying.

Anyway, it’s time for Promptly Penned again, and, as per usual, I’m sitting here staring at the computer thinking… I got nothing. And I’m actually a bit surprised as this is up my alley. It’s the kind of dialogue I love… but. Yeah. Anyway, here is what I’ve managed to bleed onto the virtual paper for this prompt…which I might change every so slightly as my first person isn’t female. But I’ll keep the dialogue the same. And no, it’s not cheating… not really. Okay, maybe but I’m a rebel!!!! And it’s another little bit with Casey from the last music flash fiction in September which you can read here.

Person A: She smiled a little. “You’re a manipulator.”

Person B: “I like to think of myself as an outcome engineer.”

Promptly Penned

Casey O’Toole clenched his jaw, staring at the woman sitting in front of him. Dr. Felicity Granger. A contract psychiatrist and the woman he’d spent his teenage years lusting after. Though, she’d been his best friend’s girlfriend back then. And just as untouchable as she was now.

He gave her a long slow sweep. Her dark brown hair had been piled on top of her head in some kind of intricate knot, and her legs were crossed at the knees. Deep blue eyes watched him from behind a pair of stylish glasses, a hint of a smile creasing the fine lines around her mouth.

He glanced at the blue folder sitting in her lap beneath her clasped hands, his name in black marker along one edge. He crossed his arms on his chest, reminding himself not to yell. “You’re a manipulator.”

He cringed at the noticeable harshness in his voice, the tone conveying far more than he’d wanted to. He was supposed to be impassive. Fake his way through like he had before, except… Fuck. Their personal history aside, he could tell by the way she arched one perfectly sculpted brow that she wasn’t going to be as easy to fool as the others he’d seen.

Felicity smiled. “I like to think of myself as an outcome engineer.”

“I see. And what outcome are you hoping to engineer? Other than putting a witness in jeopardy.”

The smile faded, but she didn’t look upset. In fact, she seemed more determined than angry. “Let’s start with keeping you alive, and we’ll go from there.”

“Me? That’s where you’re wrong. I’m fine, Doc. But the man who just agreed to testify against the Black Tigers…” Casey shrugged. “He’s going to be dead inside of twenty-four hours if I don’t get his ass to a safe house before Kim Leu discovers the guy’s ratting him out.” He pointed at the file. “I already cleared more than my share of psych evals. As you’re undoubtedly aware of, so…”

She laughed, the rich tone making him shift uncomfortably on his feet. A fluttery feeling trembled in his stomach, and he hoped it was simply the shitty cup of coffee he’d drank and not something else. Something familiar and far more dangerous.

She held up the folder. “You mean this?” Another laugh that dropped his damn stomach this time. “Please tell me you lie so much better than what you did in here because this…my five-year-old niece could spin a better tale than what’s in these pages.” She motioned to the chair opposite her. “Sit.”

He glanced at his watch, then back to her. “I’m on the clock in thirty minutes. And regardless of what you think I ‘spun’ in those pages, I already got my clearance.”

“I know. Which is why I had to practically blackmail your boss to get your ass in here.” She leaned forward. “He was quite happy to sweep this all under the proverbial rug. So sit.” She snorted when he merely stood there. “Seriously, Casey? Overlooking the fact that you’ve been ordered to talk to me, I’d like to think having grown up together, you’d show me some professional courtesy. I’m not here to get you suspended or put on medical leave.”

She pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. “But I’ll sure as shit pull rank if you push me. So sit your ass down before I decide it needs another six weeks to heal.”

Casey chuckled. “Christ, when did you get all alpha male?”

“I grew up with four brothers. I can hold my own against any man.” She motioned to the chair again.

He sighed, then sank into it. “Fine. You’ve got twenty-eight minutes.”

“Were you always this annoying growing up?”

He winked at her. “Pretty sure that was your super power, Felicity, not mine.”

She arched her brow again, offering him a glass of water. He accepted, taking a sip.

Felicity leaned back in her chair. “And to think I had a massive crush on you way back when.”

Casey coughed, covering his mouth with the back of his hand as he tried not to spit the water across at her. “Excuse me?”

A light blush coloured her cheeks, but the gleam in her eyes suggested she was anything but embarrassed. “I said…I was head over heels for you when I was seventeen. And I’m wondering why I never noticed your stubborn side. Though, I suppose the fact you became a U.S. Marshal is all the proof I needed that it was always there.”

“But…you were dating Jack. He practically lived at your house.”

She made a weird face. “Actually, it was all a cover. Jack was dating one of my brothers, but…they weren’t ready to come out, and it made him being at our house all the time easy, so…” She sighed. “Looking back, it was probably a colossal mistake. But seeing as they’re still together, I’m thinking it was worth it.”

He furrowed his brow, then shook his head. “And this all ties in to why I’m here, how?”

“It’s called honesty. Coming clean. Something you could benefit from because these evaluations… Sweetie, you’ve got denial shoved so far up your ass it’s no surprise you’re choking on it.” She waved at him when he thought about rising. “I already told you. I’m not here to stand in your way of doing your job.”

“Then why am I here?”

“I was hoping that, because of our history, you might agree to come here. Talk to me.”

He pushed to his feet this time. “I already talked to a whole room full of shrinks. I’m fine.”

He turned, heading purposefully toward the door. The floor creaked behind him as he fisted the handle.

“I still have twenty-five minutes left.”

He paused but didn’t look at her. “I think we’re done. Say hi to Jack for me.”

“I know you didn’t get those scars on your shoulder the way you say you did. That it wasn’t a suspect that shot you.”

He froze, a cold sweat beading along his forehead. He forced himself to swallow, then glanced at Felicity over his shoulder. She stood a few feet away, the nervous twitch of her hands betraying the calm expression she’d plastered on her face.

He cocked his head to the side. “I don’t know—”

“Your partner Greg Cavenaugh was the one who shot you. With the gun you planted on the suspect before you passed out. You didn’t want his name tarnished, seeing as he was already dead.”

He pursed his lips. “Felicity…”

“If you’re going to lie to my face, Casey, you’d better do a damn good job of it.”

He glanced away, knowing he wasn’t nearly pulled together enough to lie. Memories flickered through his head and for a moment, he thought he might pass out. Her hand landed on his arm, drawing him back.

He looked at her again. “How?”

“If you want to know that, then you’ll agree to see me. Otherwise…” She shrugged, then turned, returning to her chair. “It’s your play, Casey. But it you want to unearth what Greg was really up to—solve the case you’ve secretly been working on since you regained consciousness—you’ll meet me back here on Friday. After hours. Your protective services should be wrapped up by then.”

He frowned, then opened the door, leaning against it once he’d shut the damn thing. He glanced at the slab over his shoulder, picturing her reclaiming her seat. He reran her words, wishing he could just walk away. But if Felicity had any information on what Greg had been involved in—what he’d died over—Casey couldn’t simply let it go.

He cursed, walking back along the hallway. Felicity had better be ready because the woman had just gotten far more than she’d bargained for. And the truth was only a small part of it.


And that’s it for me. I know, but… damn it these things are hard. Go check out the other ladies…

Bronwyn Green  |  Deelylah Mullin  |  Paige Prince


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *