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Pen Your Pride

Alice had managed to burn the second batch of cookies, but the original batch was cool enough to eat when Malcolm had finally let her go stop the cookies from bursting into flames. He had chased her, and he had caught her. Alice was wearing a hand print to one butt cheek as proof, though that only occured after she had flicked him in the forehead then running away. He hadn't done it to hurt her, actually it was only stinging slightly compared to what she normally received, but this slight pain was making her blush, not cringe.

As frustrated as Alice was by their playful flirting, she was also greatful that Malcolm was taking his time with her. Even though they'd seen each other almost naked last night, today she was a little more cautious and controlled. She trusted him but....she needed time. So when Alice felt that things were getting a little too hot, she reminded him about the cookies and he let her go. It made her feel guilty, he left a girlfriend that was more than willing to do those things for her and she was choking up at game time. But the smile he gave her as she tried to salvage the burned cookies made the warm glow in her stomach flare up. It wasn't fair to him but she hoped he'd stay anyways.

"I like a crunchy cookie, but I think these ones could break atmosphere if hurtled right." Malcolm teased. Alice stuck her tongue out and went to his fridge grabbing the milk.

"Problem solved smarta**." she retorted.

"Ouch, I'm wounded. Now do you know where the cookies and milk glasses are kept?" Malcolm asked, eyebrows raised in challenge.

Alice narrowed her eyes, studying him. It could be a trick question, but he was just oddball enough to honestly have cookies and milk glasses. It was one of the reasons she liked him. He was a secret screwball. Subtle things like funky belt buckles and the racing jacket gave it away. She faced his cupboards and thought, where would I keep my cookies and milk glasses. She hesitated for a moment more, then strode forward and opened a cupboard. But as she opened it up, the lights went out.

"Mal? That's not fair." Alice stated, standing in pitch black, no longer sure how far away the counter was or if there was a corner she might kill herself on.

"I didn't do it Ace. I think the power just killed out." Malcolm replied, still on the other side of the counter.

"S***." Alice replied, and could almost feel Malcolm roll his eyes at her bad language. Face of an angel, swears like a sailor.

"Hang on, reach to the drawer on your right, there should be a flashlight in there, candles and matches." Malcolm instructed.

Alice pulled them all out, embarassed to be so relieved to have light again. Her hands shook slightly and it horrified her that he might see that she was freaking out over a little darkness. But it made her afraid that someone might be about to grab her, and she couldn't see to fight back. It reminded her too forcably of the nightmares lately and of Stuart's many midnight visits.

"You ok?" Malcolm asked, picking up on her tension.

Alice stiffened up a little and blurted out the first excuse she could think of, "If the power's off everywhere, what'll happen to the animals?" Perfect distraction! Alice cheered to herself as she saw Malcolm's concern for her get supplanted with a good fear for the cute beasties in an ice box without their heat.

They both hussled towards the master bedroom without another word. Alice was about to pull on her useless kilt and uniform when Malcolm chucked a pile of clothes at her. "It'll be big but it's warmer than that thing." he suggested. Alice nodded quickly and hussled to the bathroom to yank it on. There were a pair of brand new jeans she tore the tag off of, an old tattered belt that she had to use to hold the pants on, a long john style jersey shirt and a turquoise blue dress shirt. She used her own socks and shoes, grateful for her practical flats. They were out the door within ten minutes of thinking about those animals, and the power was still out.

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