Here's a flash fiction piece I wrote based on my Jacob Schmidt character (and his partner Dinah). They're former police officers turned private investigators. The idea came from a writing prompt, which I use frequently to foster creativity.
"The Pleasure of Doing Business"
The kiss reminded him of chemistry lessons in school. If the right two elements were put together, they’d explode. Just like Jacob’s endorphins had at that very moment. He pulled away. Not from displeasure but from shock and awkwardness. So much that he refused to look Dinah in the eye.
“You don’t need to say anything,” she said.
“Saying that only makes me feel more obligated.”
“I put you in an uncomfortable situation.”
Due to conflicting emotions, Jacob had a difficult time focusing. “No. It was a surprise. That’s all.”
“I warned you.”
“I thought you were kidding.”
“We looked suspicious. I had to make a quick decision.”
“It’s normal for people to walk down the street.”
“We were standing in front of his driveway.”
“Then why the kiss?”
“People tend to look away when witnessing a public display of affection.”
Jacob managed a smirk, but he was still flabbergasted. “I guess I have a more pressing question then.”
“Did I just cheat on my wife?”
Dinah smiled. “You can tell Gabby if you feel that guilty about it.”
Jacob scratched the stubble on his neck, giving serious thought to Dinah’s comment.
“Did you get a good look at him?” Dinah said.
“No. I was too distracted. What about you?”
“I only caught the back of him on the way in. Not enough to ID to him.”
Jacob tried not to stare at the house, a generic, mid-sized suburban home with white siding and black shutters. Instead, he lowered his gaze, glancing down at the street. The smell of asphalt from the freshly paved driveway tickled his nose. He sneezed.
“You OK?” Dinah said.
“Must have been the kiss,” he said. “Another reason it would never work between us.”
Jacob watched as Dinah stepped forward with both arms extended, her hands flat with palms exposed. She pushed him backwards, Jacob’s back hitting metal a second or two later. He winced.
“Oh, my God,” Dinah said. “I’m so sorry. I was just playing around.”
He rubbed the middle of his back and turned around. A mailbox. Previously closed. Now open. The impact must have jarred the door loose.
“I love you,” Jacob said.
Without touching anything, Jacob peeked inside the mailbox.
“You can’t do that,” Dinah said, her tone more serious.
“As far as I know, it’s only illegal to tamper with mail. If a mailbox is already open, anything within view is fair game.”
“But you hit it.”
“And whose fault is that?”
“I didn’t mean to.”
“Exactly. It was an accident.”
“You’re going down a slippery slope here.”
Jacob nodded. “Maybe, but I’m confident we’re within our rights.”
Silence. He bent over and tilted his head.
“And?” Dinah said.
“It’s our lucky day.” He turned to look at her. “The top piece of mail has his name on it. He lives here.”