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Julia is a mature professional, doesn't take shit woman. She's not a whiner or brat. She's independent and straightforward.
All three characters are late 20-early 30s
2013-04-18 18:11:24 GMT 2013-04-27 17:00:00 (GMT -05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) Yes (click here to learn more about ) Closed 0 0 0 direct invitation(s) have been sent by the voice seeker resulting in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far. Voice123 SmartCast is seeking 50 auditions and/or proposals for this project (approx.) Invitations sent by SmartCast have resulted in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far.
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After he retreated from the bed and left the room, closing the door behind him, Julia lay there, wet and motionless like a puddle.
When she gathered herself together enough to get up, she hesitated for a while, hoping the men would leave the house for their usual routine. She had been too loud with Ben this morning. There was no denying what had happened, and she wasn’t sure she could face Arden. They didn’t leave, however, and eventually she walked downstairs.
The two men were cheerfully bantering at the kitchen table. When Arden’s eyes met hers, they were sparkling with good spirits.
“We were wondering if you were ever going to grace us with your presence,” he said.
Feeling guilty and ashamed, she dropped her eyes to the floor and made her way to the counter to grab an apple and a knife.
Julia felt terrible. She didn’t want to hurt Arden. She loved him. There was no denying it. So, if she loved him, how could she have just been with Ben?
Arden walked up quietly behind her. “It’s okay, Julia.” He wrapped his arm briefly around her waist as she stayed facing the counter, cutting her apple into slices. “I’m okay, and you should be, too.” He gave her a quick squeeze and returned to the table.
Julia’s stomach twisted.
“We do need to talk to you though. Last night, we made a pretty extensive list of things we need before winter. Ben and I have to leave for a while.”
Julia’s attention was ripped from the apple she was cutting. She turned to face the two men sitting at the table. “The both of you? No!”
“We don’t have a choice, kitten,” Ben said, leveling a serious stare at her. “We need to go so that we can make it through the winter. There are some things are just non-negotiable, and this is one. We need matches, and warm clothes for you, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
“I’ll go with you.”
“No!” both men said in unison.
“Kitten, you’ll be safer here. We can’t protect you as well out in the open.”
Julia’s glance shot over to Ben. “I don’t fucking need protecting.”
“You’re not going,” Ben countered. “Now let’s stop wasting our time discussing it.”
Julia flared with fury then fear. She slammed her knife down and stormed out the door.
“I got this,” she heard Arden say as he stood and followed her.
“Julia, Julia! Stop, damn it!” he yelled as the screen door slammed behind him.
Julia stopped and twirled around in attack mode. “I don’t get a say on what goes on here? I just have to do whatever you two say? Bullshit.”
“It’s not like that, and you know it. You are an equal partner here, and your opinion counts. You walked away last night when we made our list and came to the conclusion that it just wouldn’t be as safe for you out there. Plus, we need to leave somebody behind to defend the farm. Julia, you would have come to the same conclusion if you had been in there with us. We don’t like it either, but it has to be done.” He stepped closer. “Come back in. You have to help us finish our list. I know this is hard, but you need to be on board.”
Julia softened, and she looked at the ground for a moment, taking a deep breath. Then, over Arden’s shoulder, she saw Ben standing behind the screen door in the kitchen, his arms crossed over his chest. Julia nodded in resignation and took Arden’s outstretched hand to walk back to the kitchen.
But instead of walking, he wrapped his arm around her waist, stopped her, and tilted his head down so that his forehead met hers. “Like Ben told you, you have to trust us.” He cupped his palm to her cheek, kissed her, and walked her up the porch stairs where Ben stepped out and held the back door open for them to enter.
“All right, kitten, other than the coat, gloves, hat, and boots for you we already have on the list, is there anything else you need?”
The room was silent. The men looked at her expectantly.
“Tampons or pads are on the top of that list for me,” she mumbled.
The men glanced at each other. “Oh goodie,” Arden said. “Even after the fall of the free world, women are still sending their men out to get them tampons.”
Ben roared with laughter.
Julia joined them, and they laughed together until tears poured from their eyes.
The tense moment was broken and the return of the easy comfort among them was a welcome feeling for Julia. They spent the next hours nailing down their list and timetable for departure.
They would be able to have Julia set up safe and secure for their absence in about a day. They decided to leave the day after next.
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