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Authors: JT Schultz

Frog Tale (4 page)

BOOK: Frog Tale
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“You should've done something!” Was he having a froggy panic attack?

“Quit whining, man you bitch and complain a lot.” She walked over to her bedroom door and opened the white wood.

“I am not whining, bitching or complaining, just merely expressing concern for my life.” His tone held a certain snobbishness that caught her off guard. She wondered for a moment where the attitude had come from.

“Don’t be a cry baby or in your case a croak baby.”

“You open this car door and I think we need to discuss that sassy disposition of yours.” Luc paused. “Wait! Why is the bedroom door open?”

“We need more room to operate.” She laughed. This was exactly what she needed. A little fun.

“No, no we don’t
!” He yelled at her and she became glad no one was home except the two of them. Explaining to her evil sisters the man’s voice with the sexy accent could prove to be difficult. “We don’t need more room, Chloe!”

She giggled and slammed the stick forward on the remote. “Sure we do.” The plastic red Porsche with rubber wheels took off over the threshold and she hurried behind.

“Chloooooooooooooeeeeeee!”

She ignored the sound of terror from the interior of the vehicle and stepped into the hallway. “Oh dear, ficus ahead.” Her fingers gripped the stick on the remote and swung
the metal rod to the right to avoid the large potted tree. The car over compensated and lurched for a fraction of a second to the passenger side. “Sorry!” she called and figured she had better be a bit more careful.

Her gaze rested on the remote and wondered if there was a way to slow the speed down. She slid the button that said low, medium and high up and down. The vehicle slow
ed. The thought of maybe she needed to push the lever and the button at the same time crossed her mind. Her fingers inched the stick ahead and her other hand went to shift the speed when she noticed she had left the little silver rod sitting on high. “Oh dear.”

“Stairs!” Luc’s terror filled voice called and she glanced up at the same time her finger adjusted the speed to slow. She released her hand off the lever but the action
came too late. The car edged out of the hall and descended the stairs. A small scream echoed through the house and she realized the sound came from her mouth. She raced down the staircase and even though she wasn’t touching anything on the remote, the car still proceeded onward.

Chloe’s heart raced with adrenaline. For a frog of many words, Luc was silent and if she’d hurt him she never would forgive herself. The Porsche bounced and jolted down each of the marble steps then came to a stop against a brown leather dress shoe.

“Oh dear!” She whispered and stared at her father’s disapproving glare.


Chloe, what are you doing?”

A croak of a groan left the interior of the car. “She’s trying to kill me.”

The most horrified expression she’d ever seen crossed her dad’s face and he bent down toward the car. “For the love of God! Please don’t tell me you put Luc in this contraption.”

Her brows furrowed as he straightened. “Since he just groaned, it would be pointless for me to tell you something you already know the answer to.”

Her father continued to shake his head in disapproval. “I’m not impressed by this. I always considered you the one with a head on her shoulders.”

Okay,
Dad is mad.

“I just wanted to do something nice for Luc, and he always talked about wanting a Porsche. So my drivi
ng was a little out of control.“ She finished descending the steps and paused. “Is he okay?”

Her father opened the door of the red car
, Luc hopped out and scowled at her. “By some miracle I’m fine.” He stared up at her father. “She had good intentions. She wanted me to have fun.”

“She could have hurt you.” He sounded more than displeased, bordering on angry, actually.


She’s sixteen and despite how that was the scariest experience of my life…” He stole a glance to Chloe. “It wasn’t the worst. I’m fine, a little dazed, but fine.”

Her heart lightened slightly and despite Luc’s reassuring words, her heart tightened again and she wanted to cry. She never thought for a moment he could
―get killed. “Sorry.” Her voice came out so soft it barely reached her own ears. Fierce pricks attacked from behind her eyes as the reality of the situation, and what could have gone wrong, filled her mind with nasty and scary images.

“Take the car, take L
uc and I don’t want to see you attempt this again anywhere but in the garden.” Her father shook his head. “You two are unbelievable and need to think things through better.”

She smiled and took the car and tucked it under her arm then held out her palm so her dad could place Luc in the safety of her hand. “Thanks.”

Her father just shook his head again as she walked up the stairs with the remote, Porsche and frog in tote. She still wanted to cry and she glanced down at Luc as she reached the upstairs hall. “I didn’t mean to scare you or drive so bad.”

His
gaze met hers and his chin nodded. “I know Chloe, we were completely reckless and you're dangerous with that remote.”


I’m really sorry.”

His expression turned to worry. “Don’t even think about crying, because as scary as those stairs were, I had the best time and a lot of fun. I mean I didn't during the parts when I thought my heart was going to explode from the terror or my life was flashing before my eyes.”

A laugh escaped her and she hurried into her room and shut the door. She held her palm down, Luc jumped onto the bed and she sat everything else onto the floor then scooped him off the bed placing him on her pillow. Chloe’s fear started to subside and she realized she had been genuinely terrified. She stretched on her soft comforter and stared at her friend. “I was scared.”

“Me too, I’m okay though maybe next time we should take your father’s advice and try the garden. It’s pretty level; just make sure to stay clear of the pool.”


You actually trust me enough to get in the car again with me at the remote?”

An odd look crossed Luc’s face. “Chloe, I’ve taken some really stupid chances in my life and done some even more reckless things than what just happened.”

His words surprised her. “What kind of stupid things?”

“You actually want to know? I might corrupt you.”


Right, I live with Stella and Georgina and we both know neither of them is shy with boys.”


Good point.” He paused and swallowed. “All right, I‘ll tell you some of the stuff I used to do, but for the record there is something you need to know.”

He sounded so serious. However, her urge to cry had slowly eased away. “What?”

He cast what she had come to call his ‘froggy grin’. “I trust you with my life.”

For some odd reason she couldn’t explain, somewhere inside her head an alarm went off and realized he meant those words for all their worth.

Maybe there is more to Luc than I know. A lot more.

 

Luc was stunned. More so than he had been the week prior with the car ride down the stairs. He wanted to yelp but instead remained quiet. He had heard the noise, yelling and crying earlier and though it had sounded like Chloe he didn’t want to think of the possibility. Now as she stood in the room leaning against her bedroom door he knew the commotion below had indeed been in relation to her.

“Don’t say a word!” She sniffled and stepped away from the door.  Her heavy steps crossed the floor and she sat on the edge of her bed. She looked like hell. Her eyes were puffy and red from crying, her cheeks rosy from the tears shed and her…


What did you do to your hair?”

She covered her face in her hands and started to cry again. “I asked you not to say anything.”

“Chloe, how can I not say anything? You were supposed to get home from school five hours ago. Not only are you past very late, and have me worried but your hair is the color of a road construction pylon.”

Her tears came harder and faster
then he registered she wasn’t wearing her glasses. With the amount of tears she currently shed, he shouldn’t be surprised. His heart picked up speed and he knew he’d been harsh. However, since he’d started living with Chloe, he fully understood the concern over being tardy and owed his parents a huge sorry for all the worry he’d put them through over the years. He would make sure he made his apologies shortly after arriving home.

“Let me have a look at you!” He couldn’t explain why he was reacting like this
but he cared about the teenage girl who had been so good to him.

She lifted her head and peered over her fingers. “Why?  So you can lecture me?”

He sighed and wished for the love of God he knew what had crossed through that pretty head of hers to do something like this. “No, just bring me closer to you.”

She sniffled, wiped her tears on the back of her hand and stood. With another shoulder-moving sniffle, she walked over to his glass castle and lifted him up then walked them over to the bed. He hopped down and made his way to her pillow while she stretched out, buried her face in the other one and again started to cry. He glanced to the clock and knew it was late. Where had she been? Apparently
she had been experimenting with hair colors.

A grief filled sob filled the room and his heart broke. Seeing her so distraught, bothered him immensely. “
Il mio cuore
, please don’t cry.”


Why did you call me that? What does it mean?”


It’s Italian, it means
my heart
.”

She sniffled and her long black lashes blinked at him, still wet from her tears. “That’s really sweet Luc.”

“Well, you’re a pretty sweet kid, don’t cry. What on earth possessed you to do
that
to your hair?”


I just wanted to be pretty like my sisters.”

She couldn’t be serious
, then again she did talk to a frog. Didn’t she realize or see just… “You
are
pretty Chloe.”

She sniffled again and fresh tears ran down her cheeks. “No, I’m not super thin with blonde hair and blue eyes. I’m chunky with dark hair and eyes.” Heavy sobs echoed as she buried her face in her pillow.

He could honestly say it made him sad to the root of him to see her so upset and he hated when she cried. Over the last few months he had grown to adore her. She was sweet, funny and had taught him what it was like to have a true friend.


Chloe, please don’t cry.” His voice was a low whisper and his heart tightened. “You aren’t chunky, you’re curvy. Some women are shaped like sticks, others curvy. You fall into the latter, but are far from fat or chunky. Your sisters are sticks. Besides, Georgina is flat-chested and Stella’s hair reminds me of a scarecrow, I highly doubt that the curtains match the carpet.”

Okay, maybe not the best choice of words.

She looked up from her pillow and sniffled. “I think I understand what that comment means.”

A ha! Progress.

“Her hair is actually a dark blonde, she uses some spray stuff and a hairdryer to keep it a paler shade. Georgina’s was white when she was a baby from what I’ve been told.”

“So they’re both blonde?” He sighed. “They also both have personalities as deep as a mud puddle. They’re shallow and that gets boring.”


Maybe to a frog. Guys like it, they prefer beauty to brains.” She smiled and more tears bounced down her cheeks. For a brief moment he wished he had hands to wipe them away.


Even to men, Chloe. Please, trust me. A pretty face gets boring.”

I
’ve dated more than my share.

His
darted a glance to her hair. “On the bright side, you no longer have boring dark hair. However, I preferred the brunette to this new shade of orange―and the color matched your eyes.”

“Oh Luc―”


No
, Il mio cuore
, don’t fret. You’re pretty and the sooner you see it, everyone else will too. Now, go change into your pajamas and tomorrow you can call a hairdresser to fix it.”

She sniffled and struggled for a deep breath. “My mom already made an appointment.”

“There you go. Now go dry your eyes.”

She nodded and scurried across the bed. She emerged in a new set of pajamas with frogs on them, he wanted to laugh. He may be a
n amphibian, but he was the center of her universe. What more could a man―or frog, want?

For her to be legal and me not rib-bit when I laugh.

Neither was happening anytime soon. He took in the blue flannel with the green cartoon frogs. “I like the new sleep wear. Good looking frog, kind of resembles me.”

She giggled and climbed under her covers. “
You’re so vain.”

“And you make it so easy. I always like you in blue even
with the current hair color.”

Another laugh left her and she sighed. “Did you want me to put you in your castle?”

BOOK: Frog Tale
7.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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