By: L.A. Casey

"For the love of God!" Darcy's high-pitched cry was all that sounded when we fell... Well, that and the loud thud of his body smacking against tiled floor.

He sounded like he was in pain, but I was perfectly fine, which was all that mattered, because his hard, chiselled body broke my fall.



Darcy was chiselled?


I pushed myself upright, ignoring the tempting muscles of Darcy's back under my palms, then jumped up to my feet and hopped onto the empty spot in front of the now terrified looking young man.

"Thanks," I beamed to the lad.

He swallowed. “It’s the last one in stock. I’m sorry.”

I paused to read the lad's nametag, "Mark. No worries, this is exactly the doll I was look-"

"Oh, no you don't."

I yelped when I was suddenly lifted up from behind and violently swung around to face the empty doll aisle I stood alone in a few minutes ago. Darcy set me down on the ground then gave me a little shove making me stumble forward.

"Thanks, Mark was it? Nice one, man."


That was what Darcy just asked for.

I turned around, and in a primal manner much like a lioness hunting a gazelle on the Serengeti, I jumped onto his back and locked my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist.

"Drop the doll!" I demanded.

Darcy wheezed as he swung around in a circle.

"Ne-" I tightened my arm around his neck cutting his speech and oxygen off.

My victory was short lived though because Darcy quickly gripped onto my life-threatening arm that was wrapped around his throat with both of his large hands and pulled. Like I said before, Darcy was all man now so he easily - it was embarrassing how easily - pulled by arm away from his neck which allowed him to breathe once more. I wasn't bothered that he did this because he did as I asked by grabbing me with both of his hands. He dropped the doll box to the floor.

I lowered my legs to the floor and pushed away from Darcy causing him to stumble. I quickly scooped up the doll box, turned and sprinted up the aisle away from a wide-eyed Mark - who was on his phone undoubtedly to security - and a fast recovering and fuming mad Darcy.

"Neala!" he shouted.

I did a stupid thing. I looked over my shoulder to see how far away Darcy was from me, and when I seen he was hot on my heels I panicked. I tripped over my feet and screamed as I fell to the floor.


That was all I felt radiate throughout my body. Hot burning pain. My knees were on fire, my shoulder hurt and my cheek slightly stung. I was hurting, but apart from my sudden scream I didn't whimper or make any sound of pain, Darcy would have enjoyed that too much.

I heard him sigh as he stood over me. "Are you okay, clumsy arse?"


"I'm grand," I rasped.

I painfully pushed myself up until I was standing upright. I was a little wobbly on my feet, but I was standing, and that was the main thing.

Sure I was in pain, but at least I was up.

"Give me the doll, Neala."

I held the now slightly damaged box to my chest. "No way, this is Charli's doll."

Darcy glared at me. "No, its Dustin's. Now give it here."

Dustin, was Darcy's six year old nephew, he was a sweet kid, but right now, he was my enemy too.

"Dustin? Dustin is a boy, Darcy."

"Thank you for pointing that out, sweetheart. We would have never known he was a lad otherwise."


"Cut the smartarse replies." I growled.

Darcy grinned. "I can't seem to help it around you. You bring it out in me."

I bring out the smartarse in him? Fantastic.

"Whatever, this doll is going to Charli. Go get an action figure or something for Dustin."

I took a few steps back away from Darcy, but he quickly closed the space by advancing forward.

"No. Dustin specifically asked for the Fire Princess doll, so that is exactly what I am getting him."

I furrowed my eyebrows. "Your six year old nephew wants a princess doll... Really?"

Darcy glared at me. "He is a kid, Neala - it's princess toys this week and next week it could be man eating dinosaurs. I don't expect judgemental people like you to understand that children like to play with all kinds of toys."

Judgemental people like me?

The nerve of him!

"I'm not judgemental! I just don't think Dustin would really have any fun with this doll or any doll for that matter. I mean, the kid cut the head off all of Charli's toys last week for his own sick and twisted amusement. He is a serial doll killer, Darcy."

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