Chapter 34: Flaws and All

Summary: After analyzing the potholes in their dilemma, Steve and Laura make amends and decide to give their relationship a try… much to Myra's dismay.


'Screwing the pooch' was a talent Steve employed many times during his twenty years on Earth. But he was convinced that the stars had never been more out of alignment before in his life. His one and only chance to sweep Laura Winslow off her feet had vanished in the blink of a sucker-punch… and a sucker-kiss.

The look on her face when she caught him in throes of Myra's cunning lechery haunted him as his biggest regret to date. To add insult to injury, he also had to stomach the embarrassment of being whupped like a lame mule in front of his lady love — by her own boyfriend, no less — only to reject her in a belligerent frenzy of frustration when she tried to help peel him off the floor. He felt like such a pansy.

Standing before the bathroom mirror in his pajamas, he leaned over the sink to inspect a phantom cut hidden in the crevice of his gums. Peeling down his bottom lip revealed the battle wound carved in his inner lip where he accidentally bit into the sensitive flesh. It was tiny and barely noticeable, but his jaw felt like it was on fire. Leave it to the smallest scars to be the most painful. At least his face hadn't bruised up like a rotten peach. Unfortunately, he couldn't say the same about his mangled dignity.

In spite of the outrage he should've felt for being battered by Stefan's iron fist, there was an ache of humiliation in his heart that stung far worse. Tonight was the night he and lady love were supposed to be winding down the road to Cupid's Wonderland once and for all. He'd spent the better half of a week tummy-tickled with butterflies whenever he thought about their friendship budding into the picture-perfect romance he always fantasized about. In fact, he was supposed to be ever so lovingly guiding the woman of his dreams into his arms right now.

But noooo… As always, his bone-headed ideas were squandered by a force of bad luck that seemed to follow him closer than his own shadow. It served him right for allowing his heart to blindly guide him into one dead-end after another. Besides, he was willing to bet his entire fossilized bug collection that she would rather eat garbage than go out with him after this monstrosity. Dang it, he just couldn't win.

Dejected and encumbered by his self-loathing, he turned away from his reflection with a defeated shake of his head and dragged himself out of the bathroom with slumped shoulders and a sunken spirit. He sauntered through the corridor towards the staircase that spiraled into the kitchen to fetch a glass of warm milk, hoping it would be the remedy for what he expected to be another sleepless night. Descending the stairs in a contemplative daze, he wistfully mulled over this miraculously destructive force of nature called love.

Laura stood in a daze by the kitchen counter, stirring a spoon into the teacup in front of her, hoping that she could find solace for her dejection somewhere in the steaming amber liquid. If Steve thought he was having a difficult time processing the nightmare that transpired last night, then the buckets of shame she had been drowning herself in were abysmal. Even though she couldn't help but miss Stefan, she was far too pissed at him to care about how he was handling their breakup. It hardly mattered anymore. The only thing she cared about was that her recklessness had caused her best friend to get hurt.

Her chickens had definitely come home to roost in light of her decision to date both of them at the same time. It didn't help that her date with Steve seemed to have gone up in smoke, mainly because every attempt at seeking him out that day was met with failure. She suspected that he stood her up because of the embarrassment she'd caused him. It meant that not only was she now single and dateless on a Saturday night, but she was also fearful that the friendship she valued the most was unsalvageable. In the end, all of her heart-juggling had been for naught.

Steve balked tentatively as he cleared the bottom step into the kitchen, caught off guard by the sight of his lady love as their paths crossed for the first time all day. For a moment, he didn't know whether to flee back upstairs or fall at her feet in a pleading pile of regret. But he did know one thing: she was absolutely breathtaking. Even in her bathrobe, she appeared as angelic as an ice statue.

It seemed that no amount of discord was enough to disrupt the all-consuming awe that afflicted him whenever he laid eyes on her. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to dull the ache of guilt that riddled him from head to toe. "Oh… hi," he greeted her timidly, his entire demeanor raw with ambivalence.

Pulled out of her daze, she caught a brief glimpse of him over her shoulder… and the awkward tension from the previous night returned with a vengeance. It filled the room like a dense fog, so much so that she found it difficult to look at him. "Hey, Steve..." she replied somberly and turned back to her teacup. She really wanted to ask him if he was okay. In fact, there was an overwhelming urge to just reach out and gather him in her arms but the last time she tried that, she was left to simmer in disgrace. She'd never felt this uncertain about what to do or say to him before... it was extremely unsettling.

The elephant in the room had become more bothersome than ever before and Steve wanted nothing more than to unknot the strings of tension tied between them. As disillusioned he was about their rocky road to becoming lovers… he just wanted his friend back first and foremost. Now that she was right in front of him, he was anxious to clear the air. Approaching her, he hesitantly extended the olive branch. "Uh, Laura... can we talk about what happened last night?"

Laura's nerves teetered somewhere between shame and relief that he still wanted to talk to her. Then she remembered that Steve Urkel was unlike any other man she'd ever known. Of course he would try to work things out with her. His loyalty to her had been one of the only consistencies in this entire dilemma. She just wished she could say the same about her loyalty to him. "Sure, Steve," she conceded softly before grabbing the cup and saucer and stepping to the kitchen table to set it down and take a seat in the nearest chair.

Nervously taking off his glasses, he quickly huffed fog onto the lens and wiped them with the sleeve of his robe a few times… little did he know, doing so meant that he was staring directly into his stalker's eyes. But in such a vulnerable moment, it was a blessing in disguise that he was clueless to the fact that they weren't the only witnesses to this delicate conversation.

Placing his glasses back on his face, he regarded her contritely as he delicately explained himself, "Laura...I always thought I was a strong person but when Myra showed up in that… sexy lederhosen…" Twitch. For the life of him, he couldn't tame the ants in his pants and his hips jerked as if a string in his back had been tugged. His ex may have been insane but sometimes it felt as if that little minx had a play-by-play manual to all of his triggers. Just reliving the memory was enough to awaken temptation. "...polka music, and-and ...string cheese..." No, Steve! Be strong, man! Shaking off the voodoo, he was finally able to finish his trailing thought, "Well... I just lost all control! I went totally hormonal!"

Laura frowned with confusion as he started twitching again only to soften as she was humbled by the way he brought up his alleged 'betrayal'. She honestly wasn't expecting that to be his main concern. The thing was, she didn't even care that he kissed Myra anymore. Nor did she care that her and Stefan's Pinky-and-the-Hair-Brained scheme imploded in on her. What did she really expect after sending them all through the ringer over and over again?

Then again, he never failed to find a way to blame himself, no matter how far removed he was from being the culprit. But she knew that all of the responsibility rested on her shoulders and she didn't hesitate to absolve him of his guilt. "Well… Steve, I can understand why you would want to be with Myra. I mean, let's face it, she's a very pretty girl." …And that was about all the credit she was going to give her. She was surprised she could actually say it with a straight face.

But in that moment, she realized that had Myra never pulled this stunt in the first place, she may have never been able to interpret the depth of her feelings. In a strange, twisted sort of way... she felt slightly grateful to Myra for inadvertently blessing her with insight. "And I realized something, too. When I saw you kissing Myra, I felt... well, I felt a little jealous," she admitted sheepishly... but there was no shame in her game. It was the honest truth.

"What?" Steve said incredulously, his brows perking in disbelief. Even though he saw her envy plain as day, he never expected her to admit it.

Actually, 'jealous' was an understatement. She never wanted to rip that prissy parasite's head off so bad before. And considering the many opportunities afforded to her thus far, she felt like she deserved an award for her iron-clad composure. "For a moment, I was afraid that you had gone back to Myra forever," she continued pensively, unabashed about her deepening feelings for the first time since they plagued her, "And it made me realize that I wanted to give our relationship a chance."

...Well, well, well. He hadn't seen that coming at all. He had gotten pretty used to the constant string of rejection dished to him over a lifetime. Even so, it looked as if this triangle of theirs still had the potential to be rounded out. Every residual ache in his body vanished as a wave of blissful hope washed over him. "S-so you're saying you'll still go out with me?"

Laura couldn't help but break into a smile of relief as his renewed optimism warmed the air between them. "You bet. Next Saturday night," she said as her grin brightened, tickled with anticipation.

Just like that, the storm clouds lifted and the sweet breezes of triumph swept through the kitchen, revitalizing Steve from head to toe. "...Yesss!" he proclaimed with a victorious fist-pump. As far as he was concerned, all was officially forgotten and forgiven. "Saturday Night, it is," he confirmed with a wry smirk of his own.

"I'll be ready," she replied with a sheepish smirk, standing to her feet as their eyes met, succumbing to the tingle of adoration in her gut that was becoming harder and harder to deny. It always amazed her how open he was to new beginnings with her, no matter how far down the beaten path of defeat they wandered. There were a lot of things about him that amazed her and that list seemed to lengthen day by day. By virtue alone, his patience with her deserved a long overdue reward. "And Steve?"

"Yeah?" he asked, having long lost himself in the depths her piercing gaze, hypnotized as her flowery aroma filled his nostrils.

"Here's a sneak preview…" she purred as she slowly leaned into him, electricity sparking the air between them until their lips met in a gentle kiss. The feathery sensation of his lips pressing against hers reminded her of a soft, familiar pillow — warm and inviting. So inviting, in fact, that she could have stayed there all night… but as tempted as she was to slip him the tongue, it was only a sneak preview and she didn't want him to pass out again.

Steve could've melted right there. Fortunately, he was getting better at clinging to his consciousness, even though her lips always had him feeling like he'd been abusing opiates. Stupefied by her affection, a hot flash of pure ecstasy shot through his veins, goosebumps surfacing all over his body. It didn't matter how brief the 'preview' was, there was absolutely nothing in the world as satisfying and soul-soothing as her kisses. There wasn't another set of lips in the world he'd rather be attached to.

"…Humina-humina…" he babbled once their lips parted, slack-jawed with arousal as he stared at her lovingly, heavy-lidded and light-headed. It took a moment to land back on his feet and overcome his dizziness, but when he did, he was more determined than ever to turn Laura Winslow into Mrs. Urkel. "Well, then…in that case…" he crooned with an impish smirk, poised with a sway of pride as he wiggled his brows at her. "I'm lookin' forward to the encore, my luscious little love drop."

"Me too," she replied softly as she caught herself nibbling on her bottom lip if only to keep herself from grinning like an idiot. She'd never been more excited to explore what it would really be like to be on the arm of the sweetest, funniest, most considerate and romantic guy she'd ever known. It almost made her want to beat herself over the head — she couldn't even remember what she had been so afraid of.

...Oh, yeah. That. When the cause of her indecisiveness crept back into her mind, her satisfaction was benumbed by the sting of guilt still pulsing in the pit of her stomach. Even though she was overjoyed that they managed to work things out, she still felt like she owed him a huge apology for being so wishy-washy. With a heavy sigh, she gently took his hands in hers and trained her eyes on him again, becoming solemn as she overflowed with sincere, heartfelt remorse. "Listen, about what Stefan did… I'm really sorry about that."

Oooh, her hands were so soft. Steve couldn't help but shudder as he gently gripped them in return, grazing her knuckles with his thumbs. She would never know how a gesture as simple as her touch had the power to make his heart flutter a million beats a second. It was moments like this that made this entire ordeal totally worth it. But why she would blame herself for Stefan's hoodlum behavior was beyond him — he was hardly surprised that the poor bloke finally blew his cap.

"But why, turtledove? I'm perfectly fine!" At least… now he was. It was almost as if her very presence had magical healing powers that made him forget all about his aching jaw and the soreness in his abdominals. The bloodshed she witnessed was hardly worth mentioning but he wanted to assuage her concern. "It looked more brutal than it felt. Besides, I bleed when the wind blows too hard —"

"No, I mean…" she protested with a firm shake of her head, determined to be accountable for her selfishness. Her shoulders sunk as the reality of her role in this madness became even more pronounced the more she stood here with him, relishing the peace she felt just being in his presence. She almost felt unworthy of it. "I told you that I wasn't available when you asked me out but I didn't tell you why. Here I am, jealous over Myra, and it didn't even cross my mind how you would feel that I was with Stefan," she explained with a heavy sigh of regret, "If I'd never gone out with him, none of this would've happened."

Gosh, what a gal. She never failed to find new ways to make him fall even deeper in love with her if that were even possible. She'd been apologizing to him a lot lately and maybe he just wasn't used to it but each time, he felt compelled to relinquish her discomfort. Even if he had blamed her, they both knew from experience that it was impossible for him to stay upset with her for very long.

"Au contraire, babycakes. That steam pipe was bound to burst sooner or later," he reassured her wryly, once again redirecting the spotlight of shame on himself, "The fact is, I was so entranced by the idea that you liked me that… well, I didn't even take heed to the fact that you weren't even on the market. Let's face it, I had it coming." He was just grateful that she didn't see him as a spineless punk for letting Stefan turn him into a punching bag.

But Laura refused to allow him to continue to blame himself for being violated. She wanted to shudder with fury whenever she thought about how instrumental his troubling past had been in his disjointed self-esteem. But things were going to change around here if she had anything to do with it. "Steve, that wasn't your fault," she persisted as her hands earnestly tightened around his, "I don't care how mad he was, he had no right to hit you."

To Steve's dismay, whenever he felt compelled to seethe with vitriol at his counterpart, he was humbled by the realization that the man's rage was justified. As his creator, he knew for a fact that Stefan would have never crossed that line without a reasonable doubt. No amount of delusion could've shielded him from the reality that the man would never be wrong for trying to save his own relationship, clone or no clone.

"But, Laura, he had every right!" he insisted adamantly, ever true to his moral principles despite how blurry the lines had become. "If it were me, I would've done the same thing! In fact… I'm kinda shocked that he didn't smash my head in with a mallet! I should have respected the fact that you've always been his girl." It was painfully sobering to say, but in his scientist's heart, he knew that running from the truth was counterproductive.

Laura wanted to scoff at that. She knew he was only saying this because Stefan tried to beat into everyone's heads that her choices weren't hers the whole time. She'd told him a while ago that they weren't exclusive — he just chose not to hear it. "Why? Because he said so?" she challenged with a haughty quirk of her brow, pursing her lips dubiously.

"More like snarled…" he corrected her matter-of-factly, recalling the many times the man had given him plenty of advance warning. He may have won her over for the time being but history showed just how realistic his chances were at having her for good. He knew it would only be a matter of time before Stefan's magnetism would find her again and suck her dry. If nothing else, her loyalty to Stefan for the last three years said it all. "And well, because you love him… right?" he asked reluctantly, grimacing as if awaiting another gut-punch. He didn't even wanna think about it — especially when he realized he was making the exact same mistake by ignoring his intuition again — but he had a point to make here.

Sigh. Okay, it was going to harder than she thought it would be to convince him. Ironically, Stefan's stubbornness mirrored Steve's tenacity and she was reminded at every turn why it had been so difficult to choose between them — they were the same in just as many ways as they were different. But then she realized that she had failed to mention one little thing that was sure to turn him into a believer. "Steve… we broke up," she revealed succinctly, taking a step closer to him and lacing her fingers through his as if to confirm her resolve.

…His brows just shot up in surprise as he momentarily thought back on the moment she kicked Stefan out of the house. He hadn't been able to tell if the exile was a figment of his imagination with the way his head had been spinning at the time. But it didn't hurt to verify. "Wait, you're saying that you… officially called it quits?" he squeaked hopefully. And when the sweet reality of it hit him, he became steadily motivated, the cadence of his nasal falsetto rambling with excitement, "Dropped the bomb?! Kicked the can?! Killed the weasel?!"

"…In so many words, yes." And that was a lot of words, but they were accurate enough. Laura just snickered softly, tickled by his overzealous reaction, nodded to confirm his suspicions, and reiterated, "It's over between us."

Cowabunga. Steve just froze and stared at her with perked brows, beams of renewed hope shining through his wide eyes. This day was certainly a long time coming. Honestly, sometimes he feared that he had created Stefan to be… too perfect. He was beginning to suspect Laura would never be able to break away from his mastery of seduction. He could only hope that this wasn't a lapse of judgment that she would later renege on. But no worries. He came prepared this time.

"Hold that thought, please…" he requested politely after a beat of pensive silence and quickly unraveled his hands from hers to reach into the lapels of his robe to fish around in one of the inside pockets. After unearthing many arbitrary items and placing them on the kitchen table — a paddle-ball, a slice of swiss cheese, and a horseshoe to name a few — he finally sifted out a small cassette recorder.

The hell? Bewildered by the way he abruptly peeled away from her to empty his pockets, she just quirked a brow at him, slightly disappointed by the sudden lack of warmth from his hands. And the knit in her brow deepened the longer she watched him unload item after item as if his robe were a portal to another dimension. How the heck did he and Myra know how to fit so many things in such a small space? She was surprised he hadn't pulled the kitchen sink out of there. But when he finally found what he was looking for, she was no closer to an explanation for why he needed it and she just shot him a dumbfounded stare. "What's that for?"

"Documentation. Just a tiny precaution. Don't worry, it's strictly confidential," he disclosed candidly, as if it was the most normal thing in the world to walk around with recording devices. But he'd learned from his recent court case with Myra that it came in handy… might as well make doubly sure that there was no chance of further confusion. How ironic it was that he had no idea Myra was about ten steps ahead of him in the surveillance game anyway. "Now! Repeat that for the record… and try to enunciate," he insisted as he leaned toward her with the recorder like an eager journalist drooling for a scoop.

And Laura's blank stare persisted. She didn't know whether to fall on the ground laughing or bop him over the head. All she could do was give a rueful shake of her head as she watched him, oddly fascinated by his quirky gimmicks. One thing was for certain: there was never a dull moment in his presence and she couldn't stop herself from cracking a smile if her life depended on it, even though she knew he was dead serious. "…You don't believe me, do you?"

"Ohhh, of course I do! I'm so excited, I could tinkle in my knickers!" Steve insisted brightly, genuinely gleeful that his chances with her had been better than he realized. Then again, believing her hadn't exactly been the most reliable way to stay tethered to reality. "It's just, uh… no offense, honey mustard, but I also believed that the last time. And the time before that, too," he explained delicately, hoping that being transparent would help them prevent another flubbed attempt at romance in the future. "One minute I'm smelling the roses and then the next minute — BOOM! I'm curled in a dark corner sucking my thumb, hugging compost!"

Yup, sounds about right. It was in that moment that her mother's voice rang in the back of her mind to remind her of the many times she had the power to the stop this madness before it ever began. Despite her deflections, she knew that she'd been ignoring how her actions were affecting him. She was actually amazed he was this receptive. But she couldn't remember the last time he flat-out admitted that he was suspicious of her intent and the thought of him distrusting her was just disturbing. It was enough to ignite the determination to prove him wrong.

"See, that's whole my point, Steve. I never meant to make you feel that way," she said pensively, growing solemn as it became clear just how empty her words must've sounded to him. And it was a shame because it was first time she actually believed them herself. "But I did. So I understand if you can't trust me. I guess I was just afraid that if I acted on how I felt, too many things would change. I see now that things were supposed to change. And believe it or not, the person I am today is very excited to finally have you all to myself," she yielded as she stepped to him to close the gap between them yet again, gingerly plucking the cassette recorder from his hands and dismissively setting it aside on the table.

And then, as if fearlessly signaling her willingness to surrender to her feelings, her palms pressed against his chest and slowly slinked their way up his shoulders until they looped around his neck. Doing so instantly destroyed Steve's ability to think as his mind scrambled to mush, left with only his impulses to guide his arms around her waist gently in return. "I really, really like you, Steve," she reassured him, the sultry dip in her voice barely above a whisper, peering at him with a suggestive twinkle in her eye, "And this Saturday… I'm gonna prove it to you."

Oh, blessed stars... There she went again, throwing a wrench in his futile attempt to be objective. It would've been right around now that she usually rallied for resistance and found a way to slither right through his fingers with a litany of excuses. A tiny part of him was still waiting for the punchline. But the other part of him was eager for his ticket to the Promised Land, which eventually came in the form of her hankering embrace… and he was instantly infected with a vicious love fever the second she was in his arms again.

The resolve in her eyes and the sincerity of her words blasted him off for another trip to the heavens. He hoped that government authorities never got wind of how intoxicating she was; she probably would have been arrested for being a walking gateway drug. "Uhh-uhhh… w-well…" he stammered breathlessly, struggling to untie his tongue long enough to form actual words. "…Perhaps another preview… is all it'll take to make that case, angel lips," he suggested with an impish wiggle of his brows.

"I know," she replied with a coy smirk but as much as she wanted to kiss him at that moment, she just leaned a little closer to whisper suggestively in his ear instead, "But I'd rather save the good stuff for the encore…" And her smile widened to a grin of satisfaction when she felt him shudder against her, hoping she was doing enough to convince him that their uphill journey would be worth the wait.

It still felt a little strange to connect with him so intimately but it was the first time she actually relished in the relief of doing so. It was like taking a deep breath after drowning in an ocean of skepticism all year. Being in his arms felt like the remedy to all of her woes but she couldn't stay there all night the way she wanted. Gently unraveling herself from his embrace, she landed a parting kiss on his cheek before reluctantly backing away from him until he was no longer within arm's reach, slowly retreating to the staircase. "Well… good night."

Got that right. More like a fabulous, amazing, life-changing night. Steve's bones ached with yearning and his head might as well have floated right off his shoulders as the world around him phased out of his awareness. Laura Winslow was hugging him and whispering sweet nothings to him… and he didn't need the reassurance of her sincerity as much as he needed convincing that he hadn't died standing up.

Swooning like a drunkard, he couldn't help but reach out to her as if impoverished of his life force as she slinked out of his arms. The chill of deprivation that riddled him made him want to rush to bed himself if only to make the next morning come quickly so that he could see her again. "Nighty-night, sweetums. I promise I'll dream about you," he crooned adoringly as he watched her depart. He should get his butt kicked in the name of love more often — it was a tiny price to pay for her affection. But the best part was, he was finally starting to feel as though he would never have to put up a fight for her love again. And after fifteen years of practice, that was nothing short of a miracle in his book.

Meanwhile, back at the Monkhouse Manor, Myra was in her bedroom quivering with ire, gaping at the surveillance footage from her vanity desk in absolute horror. She couldn't believe it. She was not only losing a grip on the tiny slither of sanity she had left… but from the looks of it, she had lost yet another battle against her nemesis, who was unknowingly besting the evil genius in her at every turn. Witnessing the scene through Steve's perspective was even more unsettling… her snugglebuns was still breaking their imaginary holy covenant without a second thought for his gorgeous wife-to-be. It was as if someone had yanked out her heart, ground it to dust, and politely handed it back to her as a gift-wrapped curse.

"That's sweet but if you ask me… I'd say you've been dreaming long enough," Laura's voice floated from the monitor and listening to the sultry tones of her voice was as bad as listening to a cat choke up a hairball.

It just didn't make sense! This is not how this was supposed to happen! Instead of succumbing to her jealousy and telling Steve to get lost, Laura was reeling him into her black widow's web with little to no effort. To think that he still wanted this little tramp after she got him beat up was maddening. Not that it was possible to become even more crazed than she was. Her right eye had been twitching for the last five minutes.

"Ohh… ohhh… OHHHH!" she gasped with unadulterated dread, trembling as she scrambled to grab the remote to quickly turn off the monitor just as Laura shot the camera flirtatious wink… she couldn't stand to watch this train wreck any further. It sent her over the edge and she began to unravel into a good ol' fashioned manic tantrum as she stared at the black screen with wide-eyed grief. "My ears! My eyes! MY INNOCENCE!" she squealed with tearless sobs of torment as her hands smashed against her cheeks until she looked like the figure from 'The Scream' painting, completely undone by such a soul-snatching regression in her plans to make Steve Urkel hers for all eternity.

Undone, but not defeated. Because she was Myra Monkhouse. There was no such thing as failure in her world. Just tiny little setbacks. It just meant she would have to recalibrate her plans accordingly. As quickly as she erupted into flying sparks of disgust, she descended back onto her maleficent throne with the grace of a debutante. Breaking into a wicked grin, she calmly stood from the stool and crossed her room to grab one of the large portraits of Steve hanging on her wall and casually pulled it until it opened on hidden hinges attached to the wall. Behind it hung another smaller portrait of Laura… or rather, it used to be. Now it resembled Myra's personal canvas of resentment with graffiti scattered all over her nemesis face, defiled with push-pins, darts, ink mustaches, painted devil-horns, and words like 'PUBLIC ENEMY #1' sprawled across it in pink permanent marker.

Her jaw stiffened as she pensively stared her enemy in the eyes and wondered: what did this floozy have that she didn't have?! She knew it couldn't have been because of intelligence — anybody who would reject a sexy buttercup like Steve Urkel for so long couldn't have been that smart. And as far as she was concerned, it definitely wasn't good looks. As delusion would have it, she wouldn't even consider that it was her overbearing, obsessive nature that pushed him away in the first place.

So what was it? Why was the man she loved so desperately smitten by this trash bag? As she scrutinized the photo, her eyes darkening with mischief, she knew exactly what she had to do next. "Okay, missy!" she hissed at the picture as her eye continued to twitch madly, seething with the breathless passion of a lover scorned, "You wanna play dirty?! Just you wait! Redemption is rolling on the horizon like the ten plagues, you man-thieving twit!"

"…Oh, but first!" she chirped sweetly before calmly grabbing a hammer that just happened to be on her dresser and turning back to Laura's desecrated portrait. She shot it an eerie smirk before swinging the tool at the frame with all of her might until was beaten right off the wall, shattering into mulch when it fell at her feet. Satisfied, she took a deep breath and smiled radiantly as relief washed over her. "Ahhh. Much better!" And with that, she lifted a closed fist of determination into the air, flicking her chin to the ceiling and declaring with Scarlet O'Hara fervor, "As God is my witness, I will never go hungry for my Stevie's love again!" She could hear the trumpets of victory now. She shall be avenged.


A/N: So you know how real life gets in the way of your creativity? Clear cut case right here. It's been a long time so forgive me for the lack of updates. When I get a chance to get back into the story I will and I am considering ending this story here and creating a sequel instead as I already have many more chapters brainstormed. When the motivation strikes, I will return will new chapters! Thank you all for reading, reviewing, and following my work.