The Letter

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Heathen: C+ | Grade It Now!
The Letter

The ugly bartender, who looks a bit like Anne Heche's ugly husband, flirts with Susan a little. Carter enters at that second, and she greets him warmly. "Hey, Carter, I thought you were going to blow us off," she laughs. Carter squints at the bar and dryly wonders who picked it. "She's outside," Susan smiles. Carter plays dumb, but...

....we cut outside to Abby sitting on the porch, and within seconds, Carter exits the bar and watches her quietly. She knows he's there. "John Carter makes an appearance," she says grandly. "Abigail Lockhart sits alone," he replies. Still facing forward, she giggles that she watched him circle the parking lot twice. "Thanks for yelling out directions," he grins. "I didn't want to encourage you. I don't think you should be hanging out in bars," she says, clearly tipsy. "Great letter, though...I especially enjoyed the surprise ending." Her mood has taken a turn for the glum, and Carter crosses to sit next to her. "Suddenly antisocial?" he asks, peering quizzically at her. She wriggles under his stare and drunkenly cackles, "You just missed my table dance." Awkward pauses. Abby stares off into the distance and puffs on her cigarette. "How many lives do you think he saved?" she asks suddenly. "Hard to say," ponders Carter. "One per shift, on average, five shifts a week for ten years...Two or three thousand." Abby smiles sadly. "Forget Superman," she whispers. "I'll take Mark Greene." Not in tights, though, Abby. Not in tights. And let's ignore the nausea building in my stomach, because it's a tidal wave of vomit that could take out this fine nation. "If I knew you felt that way," Carter says, "I would've shaved my head long ago." Don't even joke about it. Please. You don't want to go there. Plagues live there.

As soon as that pointed, wistful flirtation pops out of his mouth, Carter bites his lip, as if trying to suck the words back inside. He is nervous, staring away from Abby and getting mildly pissed at himself. Abby swings her head around to stare at him warmly, appraisingly, hanging her head down a little as she cocks it and peeks at him. Slowly, she reaches up with one hand and grabs his cheek, turning his face toward herself. Her hand lingers. They gaze at each other with a glint of hunger, a trace of nerves, and a lot of heat. It's the first time I've ever actually seen chemistry between Carter and Abby; it seems to be here in force, and it looks like they're about to kiss each other. But they don't. "Are you okay?" she whispers instead. Carter nods wordlessly and one or both of them leans forward a fraction as if to commence tongue suckage. But again, no. Abby smiles and turns away, then shoots her head back around to look at him again. Carter leaps off the porch and stands in front of her, taking her hands. "Come on," he says. "Let's get out of here." Abby chuckles. "And ditch our friends?" she asks. "They'll get over it," Carter says intensely. Abby slides off the porch and stumbles a bit; he catches her and they start walking to his car, hand in hand. "I have a free Tiki mask in there," she slurs. "I'll buy you another one," he says evenly.

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