“Do you remember the night your dad made me come to dinner,” I ask.
She rewards me with a smile. “Yes.”
“What were we doing that got us into trouble?”
Before she can answer, I move forward, which pushes her back. Her hip brushes the side of her truck.
“Where?” I ask again.
“Kind of where we are now,” she finally says.
“Close your eyes.”
“Just do it,” I say.
She lets out a breath and squeezes her eyes shut.
My heart races. I press her back a little more and bring my body to within an inch of hers. We’re not touching, except for the hold I have on her wrist. I lean forward, like I’m going to kiss her, but stop short. I memorize her face instead. The way her eyes move beneath her eyelids, searching in the dark for what I’m going to do next. The way her lashes sit on her cheeks, the way her nose flares as her breathing picks up, and the way her lips part the longer we stand like this. Her pulse quickens beneath my fingertips, and, still, I don’t move.
While she’s gone, I want her to remember. I want her to remember the summer we had all those years ago. I want her to remember this moment: the tension between us, the way spring air feels heavy, and the way her heartbeat matches mine. She needs to know that she can trust me; I’ll never push her, and I’ll never hurt her with actions or words.
Shifting slightly, I bring my mouth to her ear. My cheek grazes hers, stubble against soft skin, and her breath catches. “Do you remember what I was supposed to tell you when I saw you again? The first words you wanted to come out of my mouth?”
She swallows and nods.
“I missed my chance when I saw you at the lake. I had a hard time believing you were real. While you’re gone, will you consider giving me another shot?”
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