ALONEMature

     Liz opened the door to her suite and saw at once that Shad was gone.  His neatly made bed looked like it hadn't been slept in at all.  She checked the bathroom; he wasn't in there, either.  He'd cleaned his clothes out of the dresser and his suitcase and travel bag weren't in the closet.  He hadn't left a note on the nightstand.

     He had left the little, gift-wrapped box with the bow on top of it on her bed. 

     Liz sat down on her bed and picked up the box.  She stared at it for quite some time with a dull sense of disbelief, before she yanked the bow from the box, tore away the wrapping, and flipped back the lid.

     Her eyes lit up and she smiled at the sight of a beautiful gold ring with a large, gleaming diamond mounted on top of it.  Her heart started to race and a small moan escaped her trembling lips, as she lifted the ring from the box and slipped it on her finger.

     She extended her arm and raised her hand, and wiggled her fingers back and forth, mesmerized by the way the diamond caught the early morning light and tossed it back at her.

     Just as quickly, her joy turned to despair.  Her heart stopped racing inside her chest.  He shoulders slumped and she left her arm drop to her side.

     "Oh, darling, where are you?" she asked aloud.  The room did not reply.

The End

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