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Friday Flash: "Taxes"

It's time for Friday flash! Today's bi-weekly flash feature was originally posted on the now-defunct storypraxis, and after seeing people start to post about taxes this past week (ugh!) I thought this one was timely.

Flustered and frustrated and annoyed, Cassie pushed through the doors of H&R Block. The pile of papers in her arms rippled as the breeze slipped through the closing door behind her, and she marched forward with a singular purpose.

All the desks in the room were occupied with clients, except for one in the far back corner.

Target acquired, she thought.

The employee had his back to the room, phone cord wrapped around his shoulder as he faced away from everyone else. Having a private conversation on company time? Cassie’s jaw clenched and she marched forward, determined to interrupt him. She needed service and she needed it now.

She dropped the pile of papers onto his desk from a height of several feet – guaranteed to make a noise and shock the phone-occupied employee back into doing his job.

The papers hit the desk with a bang. The man jumped in his seat, and swiveled around just fast enough for Cassie to wipe the satisfied smile off her face. Without making eye contact, she sat down in the ‘client’ seat, and picked up a folder from the top of her stack.

"I’m here because I need my taxes done for the last three years. My ex had told me he was doing my taxes for me, but apparently not, because I owe the government a pile of money and I need to pay it or else--”

"I can help with that,” he said, drawing out each syllable like he’d just stepped off the ranch.

Cassie’s gaze shot up, and her breath caught in her throat. Two feet away, on the other side of the desk, sat the furthest thing from an accountant she could have expected: Light, sandy-brown hair, hazel-flecked eyes, and cheekbones that she felt a bizarre urge to cover in tiny kisses…

"I… my taxes… these…” Heat rushed to her cheeks and she clamped her lips shut. I need to stop talking, now.

He grinned, as if he knew exactly what kind of reaction he’d inspired. "Then, you’ve come to the right place, miss.”

He extended a hand to her. She stared at it, drawing a complete blank.

"Carver Lee. And you are?”

Right. Handshake. Of course.

Cassie’s voice shook as she extended her own hand. "Cassie. Walker, I mean. Cassie Walker.”

Tension eased from her shoulders as Carver’s grin slipped into a smile that could have put the world at ease. "Good to meet you, Miss. Walker. Like I said, if it’s tax help you need, you’ve come to the right place today.”

Cassie glanced down at the stack of papers, a reminder of her ex’s incompetence. A flutter in her stomach reminded her that this moment, right now, could make all the difference between moving on and staying stuck in that horrible, dark, angst-ridden rut he’d left her in.

She returned the smile and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear, allowing her hand to trail delicately along her neck and collarbone before coming to rest just at the top button of her blouse.

"Yes, I suppose I have.”



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