Updated: Jan 6
(Hi loves! Welcome back to another Fiction Friday! Today is the first part of my new short story: Nothing Much Happens in Sommerville. I'll be updating it every week on Friday, and I hope y'all like it!)
Mallory Haynes smiled as she woke up to the sound of birds chirping and soft sunlight gently streaming in through her window. In the distance, she could hear the relaxed chatter and bustle of Sommerville residents waking up and beginning their day. With a quiet yawn, Mallory slowly sat up, pale freckled hands immediately going to her stomach where a new, small life was beginning to form.
It was too early for her to feel the baby, she knew that logically. But sometimes both she and her husband, Bennet, imagined they could feel their growing bundle of joy kicking with health and energy.
She sighed with contentment and looked out the window to see a bright, cloudless blue sky. Treetops gently swayed with the light breeze and a flock of birds flew through the air before disappearing behind the large, prominent billboard that displayed a smiling family and the words "Sommerville: YOU ARE SAFE".
It would be another perfect, summer day.
Mallory absently glanced at the rumpled, empty space in the bed next to her. The sound of clinking cups and a shrieking teapot drifted into the room from the direction of the kitchen. Unlike Mallory, Bennet had always been a morning person. Being ready bright and early had given him an advantage at his job where staying clearheaded was essential; not just for his career but for all of Sommerville.
"Look who's finally up," A smooth, deep voice teasingly interrupted the silence.
Speak of the devil, Mallory thought fondly as she looked at the figure in the doorway.
Bennet leaned against the bedroom door with a steaming cup of tea in his hands. Mallory automatically felt herself relaxing as the scent of peppermint filled the air. She sleepily mumbled out a thanks as her husband sat on the bed next to her and handed her the warm drink. He gently tucked her long, strawberry blonde hair behind her ear before his large, calloused hands massaged her shoulders as he pressed a good morning kiss to her cheek.
Mallory wasn't surprised to find Bennet already dressed for work. His crisp white shirt was neatly pressed and tucked into his black slacks, with not a wrinkle out of place. His dark brown hair was styled into its usual, businesslike look, but Mallory noticed the length was getting slightly longer than he liked to keep it. As her eyes darted over his lightly tanned face, she spotted the beginning of stubble.
"Trying a new look today," She asked, gently stroking his cheek before straightening his maroon colored tie.
Her grin faltered at the unexpected flash of worry in Bennet's bright green eyes before he laughed it off.
"Yeah, just thought I'd do something different." Mallory could tell by his tone and forced smile that he was lying. "Tye thought it would be good to conserve some... resources--"
Mallory's stomach dropped. "What?"
"It's nothing to worry about," Bennet said quickly. "During the meeting last night, we all agreed it would make sense to save metal just in case we need it for something more important than like, I don't know, razors and stuff." He took Mallory's hands in his and gave her a reassuring squeeze. "It's all fine. I swear."
She narrowed her eyes at him for a moment, before sighing with relief. "Alright. But if something were wrong, you promise you would tell me, right?"
Bennet's smile was genuine this time. "You know I would." He tipped her face up to meet his in a slow, loving kiss before gently pulling back to add, "But nothing's wrong. You know we're safe in Sommerville."
"I know, I know." She flashed him a sheepish grin. "I think I'm just worried about the baby coming. Everything seems to have me on edge lately."
"There's nothing wrong with being over-prepared," Bennet said as he rose from the bed.
Mallory watched as he rummaged through their closet, silently convincing herself that he was right. Nothing ever happened in Sommerville-- it was the safest place in the world. Moving resources from one unnecessary item to something more valuable wasn't a bad sign. If anything it meant they would be more secure in the future.
She pulled the covers back as Bennet returned and knelt on the floor in front of her. She bit back a sigh as he ran one hand up her bare, left leg and pressed a reverent kiss to her skin, before fixing his gaze on her right knee. With familiar movements, Bennet carefully secured Mallory's smooth, wooden prosthetic to her leg. His eyes didn't leave his work even as he and Mallory chatted about the upcoming day.
"I'll be late for dinner again tonight. Tye wants to hold another meeting with A.J., Willen and me."
"That's fine, I've made plans with Tara and Eleanor anyways," Mallory said with a shrug. "I also promised your parents that I would come by after the bakery to bring them some fresh bread."
Bennet's mouth twisted into a wry smirk. "You know they only ask for that as an excuse to see how the pregnancy is gong."
"Well I figured," Mallory laughingly admitted. "I doubted they were eating an entire loaf of bread in two days. I don't mind though." She gently pushed some of his hair back from his forehead. "It's something to do while you're working the longer shifts."
"I told you, you're welcome to visit me at the Wall." Bennet checked the straps of Mallory's leg once more before leaning back on his heels to smile up at her. "You just never seem to take me up on the offer."
"You know just telling me about your day pushes my morning sickness as it is."
"Oh, speaking of, did I tell you that yesterday, Willen and I--"
"Stop, stop, stop!" Mallory firmly clamped a hand over his lips. "I don't want to know."
Bennet tried and failed to hide a rumbling laugh as he rose to his feet and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "Alright, alright. I'll see you tonight."
Mallory took one of his hands firmly and gazed into his eyes. "Be safe."
"You got it boss," Bennet's low, grave voice contrasted with the loving smile on his face.
After another quick kiss, Mallory watched as Bennet paused at the dresser to snap on his thick, black belt and holster. He slid a nearby gun into place, before adding one more to the holster on his upper thigh. Bennet snatched the padded, navy blue vest hanging on the door and waved goodbye. As he left, Mallory could still see in her mind the vest's prominent white letters: F B I.
Knowing she couldn't put off getting ready to open the bakery any longer, Mallory reluctantly left her warm bed and got dressed. She threw on a simple black top, some wide leg pants and hastily secured a sheathed knife to her belt before securing her long, wavy hair into a loose ponytail. She studied her reflection in the mirror, hoping the worry in her dark brown eyes would be less evident. With a determined nod, Mallory protectively placed one hand over her stomach again as the other automatically clutched the hilt of her knife.
Today would be a great day, she was certain of it.
Nothing ever happened in Sommerville.