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VIDEO: Twenty Four Hours in Beijing Part I

I woke up on Friday in an incredible amount of pain. My ankle, which I injured the night before during a particularly vigorous game of trampoline-dodgeball, had swollen the point that it looked like a bruised potato with toes dangling off.

Even the slight pressure of my blankets sent rushes of pain through my foot. I tried to get out of bed, failed amid a cloud of expletives, and got back in bed where I tried to fight off the pain by gritting my teeth and growling.

This was the day I was supposed to go to Tokyo by way of Beijing, where I had a twenty-four hour layover. As much as I had been looking forward to this trip, it occurred to me that I might not be physically capable of making it to the airport.

The Steadfast Blade

On Chasing Serendipity

Jared sat in an armchair, set at angle to the flickering fireplace. As Jamie rose from the sofa that created the rest of the angle, he glanced up, hazel eyes framed by a bare hint of gray in his dark hair. She smiled softly at his inquisitive glance, and shook her head. His lips twitched back, and she moved through the hallway, into the kitchen.

When Jamie returned, Jared had gone back to staring at the crackling fire. She set down a glass of wine onto the table to the right of the armchair, and he looked up at the sound of glass meeting wood.

"You only ever stare at the fire and be silent like that when something's on your mind." Jamie laid a hand on his shoulder for a moment, then raised it to caress his cheek. Jared leaned into the touch, closing his eyes, and they remained there for a silent moment. Then she continued, "What is it, babe?"

The endearment always brought a smile to Jared's face, and it did not fail this time. One side of Jared's mouth lifted. "I don't really know, Jamie."

She glanced at the piece of thick paper he grasped in the gap between two fingers. Jared had not once released it the whole evening, Jamie noticed. He caught her glance, and he gave another crooked expression, one shoulder rising and falling. "You know I never keep anything more serious than planned gifts or vacations a secret from you. This came today."

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