Welcome to the fourth edition of Guess the Author. I am your humble host, Jason "Zaratan" Jones, and I come to you 11 tales from a wide variety of authors to dazzle your senses.

Yvj won last time, oh so long ago, so this intriguing topic, soap opera, is all his doing. On the other hand, it looks like a LOT of people had a lot of fun with this one.

The rules are simple. Read through all the stories, and then try to guess which of our amazing authors wrote that particular story. Write out your responses to me, Zaratan, by either PM or by email at zaratan4 at hotmail dot com, and the one closest, getting the most correct, wins and gets to select our next contest topic.

And now, for our list of authors, in alphabetical order;

Cesudo

Cpneb

FatherFigure1

Gray Cardinal

Joe Stoppinghem

Mangafangirl

Noobfish

RonHeartbreaker

Scoutcraft Piratess

Whitem

Zaratan

Remember, match as many stories as you can with these authors, happy reading, and good luck to you all!

…x x x x…

Tampered Skies

…x x x x…

6:28 PM

It was early evening when Ron rushed out of the building in a fury, his briefcase swinging wildly at his side. That conversation...

What he had just heard. It was impossible! Kim would never...

But then again, she was. And she did.

Kim was definitely cheating on him.

But with whom? That part, he hadn't heard. No name was mentioned, no possible identity given to help him figure it all out. But even though this frustrated him, he at least knew the truth now. He had enough proof to confront her.

…x x x x…

6:24 PM

Ron was just leaving as he picked up his briefcase and headed out his office, located right next to Kim's. Working for a corporation owned by Kim's father, who had just years before acquired his own company in building rockets, gave the 25 year old couple more time to spend together, aside from the apartment that they shared.

He had just given Kimberly Anne Possible a kiss, telling her how much he loved her. Clad in her white blouse and knee length black skirt, she looked gorgeous in his eyes. He had a surprise for her later on in the week, when it would be the anniversary of their first date. The ring was still tucked away tightly in his pocket, as he carried it with him for good luck when he would pop the question.
"I just can't wait..." was all he could think all that day.

He was only a few feet down the hallway when he heard Kim's cell phone ringing, loud and clear back in her office. Pressing the button to go down on the elevator, he listened to her voice for pure joy of it as he heard her ask "Hello?" after she had picked up the call. The door 'dinged' and opened up, but it only took two words to stop Ron in his tracks . It was distinctly Kim's own voice he heard.

"Hey, baby!"

His heart raced as he contemplated what this could possibly mean. Was she really...? He listened as Kim continued to speak over the phone, talking to this unknown 'lover'; she was completely oblivious to the fact that he was still in the building.

After he had finally heard enough, Ron huffed deeply and got onto the escalator, riding down as silently as he could all the way, trying to keep from screaming.

…x x x x…

When he reached his car, blue and pink hues were beginning to stain the sky above him. He set his briefcase down in the car roof, and pulled out his keys. He had them in the door, but suddenly pulled his hand away and held it clenched tightly at his side. He was still for a few moments, breathing deeply. Still trying to believe.

He then yanked his hand upward and slammed his fist on the car roof. A sharp pain surged throughout his arm, and Ron swore, his words cutting through the beauty of sunset. A tear fell onto the roof, and Ron slowly took his briefcase, climbed into the car, and drove off down the street, his hands tightly gripping the steering wheel.

He just needed to think, to figure it all out.

…x x x x…

7:02 PM

Kim entered the apartment, which she just happened to share with Ronald. She was full of bliss after work that day, and her entire world was running smoothly. To have someone who loves you, who cherishes you, who makes you feel your best. And then there was the romantic, who sympathized with your needs, and wants. The perfect person to take you away when you needed it, who was always there and ready.

There was always Eric.

She was still thinking of him as she heard the door click, waking her from her train of thought. Ron walked inside, looking tired and run down. Kim wondered what was wrong, but thought better, thought that she could be the one to make it all right for him.

He tossed his briefcase onto the couch and before he even had a chance to sit down, she had wrapped her arms around him and pulled him in, trying to coax a smile from his stolid face.

"Hey there, baby! Where have you been?

"Just out... thinking." He answered.

"What's with the sad look- "

"I know, Kim."

Kim started as his response, felling exposed at the moment. He couldn't possible have...

"I know all about it."

Oh my God! Kim thought. He really knew!

She stammered for a response to this, but before she had a chance to even think, Ron had pushed her way from him and proceeded to walk into the bedroom, shutting the door behind him. There was a click; the lock was turning. Kim was left alone in the living room, looking helplessly at the spot where he had last been standing. His warmth still radiated in the room near her, but soon enough faded away.

…x x x x…

7:30 PM

"But I just don't understand it!" Kim wined as she rested her head on his chest. Eric looked down at her, moving loose strands of hair from her face. She had gone over to his house after half an hour of trying to talk to Ron, deciding that he would be better off alone for a while. She was comfortable near her other, but couldn't help but feel her conscience wracking her every nerve. "How did he find out?"

Eric just sighed and pulled the woman in closer, kissing her forehead, smiling when he had elicited a giggle from her worries. "Don't worry about it; he was going to figure it out sooner or later. But now, your free, to love, to feel…" he said as he gave her a kiss, and after she sighed heavily with bliss continued, "And we can finally be together."

"Well, that is a great thing… but Ron was one of my best friends. I didn't mean to loose him."

"Well," Eric said, "Would a true friend leave you because of a little thing like this?" When she didn't answer he concluded, "I think not."

Kim sat back, snug, and mused over the situation. Ron wouldn't just forget her because of this, would he? It could not have been that big of a deal…

"I should get back to the apartment. I think I should talk to him." Kim sat up, but before she could stand completely, Eric grabbed her arm. She looked back, sadness clear behind her eyes.

"Don't leave, Kim! Why don't you just stay here for a while until this whole thing blows over? In a few days, Ron will be talking to you like the best friend he knows he should be. He'll be glad for you. I mean, if you're happy, he's pleased. Right?"

Kim wanted to go see Ron, to make sure that he was okay. She sat down again, and straight looked into Eric's eyes. "I need to go and check up on him. I'm sorry, baby. But I'll be back, I promise!" Without another word she gave him a peck on the cheek, stood up, and walked out the door.

Eric sat back on the couch and stared at a picture of him and Kim from the cocktail party they had met at just months before. She looked blissful and cheery, caught in a moment of her laughter as her blue dress blended in with the night sky behind them. The man smiled to himself, but soon a frown washed over his face. His thoughts repeated only one thing.

She can't possibly give me up. I just know it. And in any case, I won't let her.

…x x x x…

8:22 PM

The door clicked, and Kim walked into the apartment. Shutting the door behind her, she threw her purse onto the floor and walked straight for the bedroom. She reached out and yanked the knob. After a few good pulls she realized that it was still locked.

"Ron!" she called. "Ron! Open the door!" Knocking had no effect either, and the man remained silent. She was beginning to worry. Why wouldn't he answer her?

But it was then that the door clicked, and opened to expose a very disheveled Ron. Kim couldn't help but stare, and was tempted enough to ask him, "What happened to you?" He pushed past her without a word into the hallway, and rolled up his sleeves a bit. He appeared hot and fatigued. And then he spoke.

"What happened to me?" He took a few steps towards Kim, and continued. "What happened to me? How the hell can you even ask that question!" Kim flinched, at the sentence. He hardly spoke like that, especially in front of her. But this rage, this anger… it was so unfamiliar. So unlike Ron.

"I find out that you've been messing with someone else and you expect me to be fine with it? How could you ever think that!" He was mere inches in front of her face now; his breath was hot on her skin. Kim could only think of one way to respond.

"But how did you find out?'

Ron sighed and simply answered, "Does it really matter?"

Kim did not reply, but merely stood in front of him, convicted. She couldn't run away. Ronald started to head back towards the bedroom, and Kim could tell that he would just be going in to think, and beat himself up over the situation again. But she couldn't allow that. Just as the door was about to close over the blond man, she intercepted and held it open. Ron just stared at her.

"Please," she pleaded, "Please, just tell me how to make this right. I'll do whatever I can to-"

"Fix this?"

Kim looked up at him, determined. "Yes."

He had a look of pity in his eyes, which seemed very ironic to Kimberly. But at last he spoke up. "If you really want to fix this, then… Break it off with them. I may not know who they are, but I do know that we can't co-exist like this. They have to be taken out of the picture." The woman instantly got a shocked, angry look in her eyes.

"Give him up?" Her tone was small, yet unyielding. Ron just looked at her, sadly. "I knew that you wouldn't be able to give up your little-"

"No, no. I'll… I'll do it. For us." She sounded unsure, but tried her best to seem confident. She took Ron's hands from his sides and held them in hers. "I'll take care of it. It will all go back to normal, I promise." Ron wasn't completely convinced, but gave a small smile. Kim could pretty much do anything she set her mind to.

Though this time he wasn't very sure about that.

…x x x x…

8:45 PM

Kim rang the doorbell rang, and heard the knob turning. Soon enough Eric stood before her clad in his black bathrobe; his hair still wet and scented from a shower.

"Oh, you're back!" he said as he playfully ran his fingers through his hair, "And just in time to party!". But Kimberly wasn't laughing. That had to mean that something was up. When she didn't say anything to him, but stood staring at her feet, he said, "Coming in?" She looked up and nodded affirmatively, shuffling inside.

"Care for some wine, Miss Possible?" he offered as he waltzed into the kitchen and started to rummage through his cabinets. "I know I've some white, red, maybe a bit of-"

"We need to talk."

He stopped right in his tracks, looking at her, surprised. "Well, uh… okay," he answered, and walked over to where Kim stood, looking guilty and somewhat depressed. "What is it?"

She took a deep breath and as plainly as she could, said, "We need to stop this. All of this." At hearing this he narrowed his eyes, simply answering, "What?"

"I said that we need to-"

"I heard that!" he shouted back at her, "But...why me?"

When Kim failed to answer him, he advanced towards her, nostrils flaring, yelling. "You can't give me up! I'm too good for that! Much better than that kid you used to mess around with!"

Kim's temper began to rise, anger swelling up within her. "That kid is my best friend; he always has been! And he always will be, you crude, selfish, son of a-"

Slap.

Kim rubbed her cheek, and stared up in disbelief. Eric's handprint was freshly planted onto her face, the area still stinging, and her delicate skin burning from the impact.

"How could you?" she asked, trembling, as tears started to roll down her face. But the man showed no signs of regret. On the contrary; he looked even madder than before, hoping for revenge. "You can't just throw me away like this! I'm better, and I'm the one you know you want. You can't get rid of me. There is no way in hell that I'll let you leave me."

He then walked quickly towards Kim, too quickly for her to run away, and grabbed her right wrist. He twisted it, and smiled to himself when Kim shrieked in pain and terror, struggling to break free. But he would never let her go. He would hold onto her forever.

…x x x x…

8:50 PM

Ronald parked his car by the illuminated house. He could see Kim's vehicle just a few feet away. He had followed her for a while in hopes of figuring out the identity of Kim's mystery lover. But now he was ready, and he would go in and stop the whole affair himself if he had to.

He was just staring out of the wing-shield when he heard Kim's voice carry over to his location. But they weren't laughs or any sign of joy at all. They seemed filled with horror, terror. His instincts acted before his mind, and without thinking of the possibilities Ron dashed out of his car, not caring to shut the door behind him as he ran to the front door of the house.

He prayed as he turned the knob; the door was unlocked. He pulled it open and dashed inside, freezing at what he saw.

…x x x x…

Ron was frozen in time. Suspended in midair, looking down upon some hell that was laid out before him.

He found Kim under Eric's grip, apparently being forced onto the couch. Dry and fresh tears stained her pleading, frightened face. Ron's temper soared, and every second longer that he looked at Kim hurt and pained his already aching heart.

"Leave her alone." He said to Eric in a low, even tone. The man merely sneered at him and gripped Kim tighter, defiant. She shrieked again in pain, and Ron had had enough. "I said leave her alone!" He charged forward, and tackled Kim's attacker before the goon could see it coming. Both men crashed to the floor, and immediately started to wrestle for victory.

As Ron was fighting to protect his face from the very possible damage he might have received, Kim noticed something fall out of his pocket. It was petite in size, and since the men were so distracted she quickly picked it up from where it had been left, putting it into her skirt pocket. After all, Ron might have wanted it have it back later after he realized that it was missing.

Kim then watched in sheer horror at their behavior, and tried to stop the madness as best as she could. "Ron, please stop! This isn't like you!" He seemed to ignore her, and managed to land a good blow to Eric's head. Standing up in victory, he grabbed Kim's hand and started to lead them towards the door before the other could gain his footing again.

"Don't you dare move!" they heard the badly tempered man behind them hiss. The couple looked back slowly, and turned around to face nothing other than the front of a gun, aimed high at Ron's head. Kim looked to the side of the room to notice an ivory box, which had apparently housed the weapon. She had seen him with the box a few times before; he told her it was nothing but silverware he had received from his family. She cursed herself for not having looked in it the many times that she had seen it before, but even she knew that there was no way she would have noticed such an item in the house.

"You, against the wall!" he demanded of Ronald, and moved slowly, keeping his gun aligned with the man's figure as they moved. "And you," he said to Kimberly, "come over here." She slowly and reluctantly obeyed, walking over to his side. Eric wrapped his arm around her, and she felt him tighten his grip after she tried to shrug him off.

"Now, you will get out of my house this instant. Unless you prefer to for me to show you how a woman should really be handled!" he said with an evil grin to Stoppable. Ron just sneered at him, filled with hatred beyond anything he's experienced before. He then said in an almost growling voice, "Let her go."

Eric laughed, and held the woman even closer to him. "Or what?"

But there was no answer to the question. Ron dashed ahead as quickly as he could towards Eric, tackling the man in the stomach. Kim was knocked to the ground, just in time to hear a banging on the front door. The other two men ignored it, oblivious as Ron tried to grab the gun.

"Open up! This is the police! We've received a call about disturbance in the neighborhood." Eric, at that moment, managed to kick Ron off of him and scramble for the door. Ron grabbed his ankle, and pulled down the maniac with all of the strength that he could. Kim got up and headed for the door. She pounded it from the inside and yelled, "It's unlocked!" to the authorities on the other side.

And then it happened.

Bang.

Kim heard the shot first, and stood frozen in her place. She did not dare to look behind her, but instantly her world tumbled downwards. The door busted open, and padded policemen spilled inside the house. All Kim could hear was the clack of the gun as it was dropped into the carpet, and then the clicking of handcuffs, freshly locked. She could see Ron for a moment out of the corner of her eye, falling to the ground, grasping his shoulder, bloody and shattered. A passing paramedic strayed from his crew to escort Kim out of the house, and as he led her outside by her arm, she did not feel his touch. She could not feel much of anything at the moment.

She remembered something suddenly, and her free arm shot into the pocket of her skirt. She pulled out the box Ron had dropped, small and velvet covered. Once the paramedic let her go, she wandered over by a street light in front of the house and stared at the small object. Her hands moved to open it, and she looked inside. Staring back up at her was a silver and gold ring, embedded with diamonds. She took it out and stood agape at its beauty. She noticed it gleaming inside the band, and turned it over. There were a few words engraved on it. Kim read them, her mouth silently forming words to whisper them aloud.

I shall always love you, Kim. Always. Ron

Kim raised a trembling hand to her mouth, tears beginning to run down her face. She slid the ring onto her finger, and held onto the street light pole as she fell downward, crying aloud in the night, glancing at the engagement ring. "Oh, God..." she cried upward to the night sky as she closed her eyes.

But for a moment as Kim looked up, thought that she could see Ron being loaded into the small paramedic ambulance, surrounded by medical staff. His expression was sobering, a slight grimace of pain left among his face. Kim's heart instantly filled with remorse and ripped into two, one piece hoping to move onward, the other just as willing to die.