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Episode Twelve "Ties That Bind"


"This knife is real sharp, so just calm yourself before you hurt yourself."

Shaun nodded — very slowly.

"Now I'm just gonna grab my shit and get out of here, but first, you are gonna take off those pants and get in the shower," the girl demanded as she unbuttoned Shaun's pants and let them fall to the ground.

"The underwear too."

Shaun gladly dropped his skivvies and didn't stop staring into her eyes until she pulled the knife away from his throat and pulled back the clear, plastic shower curtain. He watched, frozen with excitement and fear as she quickly put on her skirt and a little T-shirt before grabbing the rest of her stuff and putting it in a big, black canvas bag. She never took an eye off him or loosened her fingers from around the knife.

As she turned and started to walk away, it only took Shaun a split-second to recognize the scar on her calf.

"Miranda!"

She spun and threw the bag at him, tossing the shower curtain like a roof in a tornado. By the time Shaun recovered, he opened his eyes to find Miranda and her knife back in his face.

"Why did you say that?" she said. "Don't you dare lie to me."

"Calm down, calm down. Its Shaun Bianco."

"Shaun Bianco, what the hell are you taking about, I don't know no Shaun..."

It clicked for Miranda as it often does — stupefyingly. First, she looked off into her past, then she stepped back, dropped her arm, and smiled all at the same time.

"What the hell are you doing here? Why the hell are you in my shower?"

"Shaun, much has changed. Put your clothes on."

"Yea, yea, right, of course, I'll put my pants on. But what the hell, Miranda?"

She handed him his pants and underwear after he turned off the water, and he waited until he was half dressed before asking again.

"So, what the hell?"

"Can't we just catch up on our families and all of that stuff and just act like this "incident" never happened?" she said, making quote marks with her fingers.

"You had a knife at my throat and you were in my shower and you didn't even know it was me. No, we can't. That cannot happen. That is a theoretical impossibility. Unless aliens come in this room, right now, on a vortex made of light and take me back in time and you knock on the door, we cannot just act like this never happened."

"Come on, Shaun."

"No, and that is it."

"Shaun."

"No. Definitely, no. Positively, no."

She walked out of the bath room and he followed, his head leading his body. Sitting down on the couch, she patted the seat next to her, and he sat down.

"So?"

"Soooo, this is really, really awkward. I wish I could stay, but I really can't."

"No, no fucking way you're getting out of it that easy."

"Listen you little prick, my husband is coming home in a half hour. If I am not there, that would not be good."

"When did you get married?"

"And how the hell would you know? The last time we talked we were, what, 15? It was so long ago I didn't even recognize you but then again, father-time has certainly not been very kind to you."

"So if you are married why the hell are you taking a shower in my bathroom — which is especially wierd because you did not know that it was even my bath room. Or maybe it would have been wierder if you snuck in here and knew it was my bathroom but didn't want me to know."

"Alright, alright. I'm fucking the owner of this hotel."

"You're what?"

"That's right. I am a whore."

"Miraaaanda!"

"Stop."

"I always knew you would be."

"You wish."

"No, really, what were you doing in the shower?"

"I really am fucking the hotel manager."

"You are? Why the hell are you doing that?"

"Because I want to. I like him a lot more than my husband, he's better in bed and he is willing to pay me."

"Pay you? Oh damn. Pay you?"

"Look, I have to go, can we talk tomorrow? Really Shaun."

"This I have to hear. Lunch?"

"Sure, from the way I hear it, that would be 3 p.m."

"Who the hell did you hear that from ... the owner ... what is his name? Juan Carlos or something."

"Esteban."

"Isn't that what I said?"

"He was talking about you to one of the staff at dinner the other night and I assumed taking a shower in the American drunk's shower in the middle of the night might work. They were laughing together about how you slept right through the fire alarm last week. Esteban is traditonal, so even though he knows he is sleeping with another man's wife, he really has a problem with me sleeping with my husband on nights he sleeps with me. So, he never let's me take a shower before I leave. He only wants to be with me when my husband is out of town so I lie to him sometimes ... like when I know he is coming in late at night. And Esteban gets me really sweaty."

"The American drunk, huh?"

"Their words, not mine, but if what they said is true, well, if the shoe fits..."

"I am not a drunk. I might like to drink, but I am not a drunk. But why are you taking money for sleeping with this scum bag?"

"He is not a scum bag!"

"Whatever, whatever."

"Look, Shauny, I have got to go."

"Go, go. I have had about all I can take."

"I'll call you tomorrow," Miranda said as she again began leave. She stopped and swung around again — this time sassily. "It was the scar, huh?"

"Dead giveaway. How many people do you think have a shark-bite scar that looks like a basketball on their calf?"

She kissed him on the cheek, gave him a hug, and said goodbye before walking out the door.

Shaun finally caught his breath and found a bottle.

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