K is for Keeper

Rating: Mature – Language

Jazz sat in her chair and tried not to cry. The party run long, and then she had stayed to keep Elisa on the sofa instead of popping up to help clean up. The painkiller had worn off exactly three minutes ago, and the soft cloudy wall between her and her pain crumbled instantly.

Elisa finally noticed her friend had gone silent. “You okay?”

A twisted smile pushed through. “Sure.” Then Jazz reminded herself this was Elisa, and Elisa had promised to make her watch the entire Twilight trilogy the next time Jazz lied to her about her problems. “As much as always.”

“So, you are crap right now.” The redhead looked concerned, this time for real.

“Crap, flushed, passed through the sewer and eaten by rats.”

“And thank you for that image!” Neil said, leaning on the couch’s high ornate back.

Courtney collapsed in the oversize and overstuffed chaise lounge. “It was brilliant; I’m stealing it for my next screenplay.” She pulled out her phone and tapped herself a note.

“Anything we can do?” Elisa asked.

Jazz shook her head, then stopped a moment before nodding. “I don’t think I can drive myself home.”

“You can crash here.” Neil instantly offered.

“Can’t. I didn’t pack extra pills.” She winced, changing position to get the triad all comfortably within her field of vision. “As much as I love too.”

“Neil and I can drive you home.” Courtney offered as an option. “I’ll follow in the mini; we need to go shopping anyway and restock the fridge. We had emptied it for the party goods and now don’t have anything for next week.”

“I really–”

“Not another word.” Elisa ordered. “They aren’t going out of their way. Not much. Maybe ten minutes and you are worth that.”


Neil interrupted. “Jazz, look, we just had a big party with a lot of friends and not-friends-but-blood. Everyone gave us a few hours of their time, right?”

“Yes, but–”

“Except you.” Courtney continued. “You gave us today, and all of tomorrow. Likely the day following that as well as yesterday. Four days, not four hours. We can drive you ten damn minutes out of our way.”

Elisa smiled. “You think I am worth four days of your life. Let us show how much you mean to us, okay?”

“You’re family more than anyone I am tied to by blood.” Courtney avowed.

“Ditto,” said Neil.

The two looked at Elisa. “What? I got a sane family, and they are cool.”

“Yeah.” “True.” Courtney and Neil agreed at the same time.

Jazz laughed. She had lived at Elisa’s house while they were growing up as much as Elisa had lived at hers. “I give.”

“Speaking of giving, we were wondering…” Courtney started.

Neil rubbed his wrists before dropping a hand to Elisa’s head. “Really, now?”

“Well, we are all together.” Courtney pointed out before turning her attention back to Jazz. “You don’t have to make a decision right now.”

“Really, you don’t.” Elisa inserted. “In fact, I won’t take an answer right now. You need to sleep and recover from this. Ping me on Monday or Tuesday next week.”

“Okay, now you are scaring me guys. Like when you announced the pregnancy with the parasite story.” Jazz sagged backwards, not having any energy left, but also not ready to leave, but then that also required energy.

“My company is sending me overseas for two months, starting about a week after the baby is due.” Neil said from where he stroked Elisa’s hair.

“And my movie is finally ready to film.”

Jazz could see where this was going. “The week after the baby is due.”

“Better.” She grimaced. “On his fucking due date, and the producers are activating the clause which requires me to be on location if I want to have input on rewrites. If I don’t show, the Insipid Karl gets full control.” Courtney wiped her face with her hand. “Did you see what he did with Shadow Stalker? He did that in two week, my story need four weeks of filming.”

Elisa waved her hand encompassing everyone in the room. “And they were kind-of hoping you could stay with me for the duration.”

“I’ll be as much trouble as the baby.” Jazz protested.

Elisa shook her head. “You take care of yourself all the time. If it is a bad day, you can stay in the guest room downstairs. Everything will be downstairs until Courtney comes back anyway since these two are being Nervous Nellies. Please. Think about it.”

“You know Elisa hates to be alone.” Courtney pointed out.

Elisa was a full-on extrovert and being by herself any length of time always had driven her nuts. She was lucky she had two people in love with her. Three if Jazz was counted, and she kind-of thought she did. Not romantic love, but it was a forever-type of love none-the-less.

Jazz agreed, “Yeah, she really does.”

“You can lie in bed, and we can just talk or read or watch movies between me sleeping and feeding the baby. Just be there for me, please?”

“No pressure.” Neil reminded Elisa.

“Fuck that!” Elisa whipped her head around. “I’m pregnant!”

“Can’t wait until I get to start using that excuse.” Courtney scooted forward on the chaise and stood up.

Neil looked at Jazz. “What am I getting myself into again?”

“A house full of people who love you.”

Neil smiled at Jazz. “Yeah.” He rubbed the faded scars marring his wrists. “So let’s get you home, and please send your text at 12:01 am on Monday otherwise Elisa is going to drive us nuts.”


A to Z Short Story List Breakdown

Rainbow Spectrum (A to F)

Marathon Party (G to M)
4/8/2019 – G is for Gobi
4/9/2019 – H is for Horse
4/10/2019 – I is for Sherbet
4/11/2019 – J is for Jazz
4/12/2019 – K is for Keeper
4/13/2019 – L is for Loss
4/15/2019 – M is for Marathon