To Protect & Serve
~The Courage Series ~
“I won’t let you fly away.” Jeff stepped over to Lisa, careful to keep the kite in the air as he reached down for her hand. One second of hesitation, and her slim, smooth hand latched onto his. She stood, and he didn’t miss the brush she did to the backside of her jeans. Gently he pulled her farther away from the tree, and out into the open field where he transferred control of the kite to her. “It’s not hard.”
However, the second she took control, her face set as if she was working on a micro-chemical component in a laboratory that might explode at any moment. His gaze chanced over her.
“Hey, this is supposed to be fun, remember?” he asked, but with only inches separating them, even he was having trouble remembering that.
“I’m not very good at fun,” she said, and he noticed how her whole body set to alert at the very word.
“Well, then we need to work on that.” Carefully he reached around her, and although the curve of her arm was only a breath from his, he managed to keep just that much distance between them. “Roll some out.” His hand helped hers without touching it.
“Aren’t you worried about highline wires?” she asked.
He laughed. “Look around you, do you see any highline wires?”
She brushed the hair out of her face from the breeze. “Well, no.”
“Here, let’s sit.” He folded himself onto the grass.
Her gaze jumped down to him nervously. “What?”
Reaching up, he took her hand, and his brain said that highline wires weren’t the only electricity conductors in the area. “It’s okay.” He pulled her down next to him. However, she sat like a rod, and the inches she put between them felt like miles. “Here. Man, you’re using way too much energy.” Gently he took her shoulders and pulled her back until her head was resting on the top of his thigh. “Now relax.”
“Relax,” she said as though she was having to tell herself how to do that.
“You don’t do this much, do you?”
“What? Fly kites?”
“Not work.” The middle of his chest filled as he looked down at her, the breeze blowing the loose strands of hair across her face. Softly he reached down, caught them, and wound them back around her ear.
“No,” she said, and her eyes turned liquid when her gaze caught his. After a moment, her gaze traveled back up to the kite. “No time.”
“There’s always time for the things that are really important.”
She squirmed. “Work is important.”
“So is this.”
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