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Light My Fire by Elle Druskin

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Her lower lip trembled and without thinking, Woody slid his arms around her waist and pulled her against his chest. She snuggled closer, and a zing shot through his center and straight to parts south.

“It’s okay, Kara. I’ll take care of things.” Woody soothed her.

Kara sniffed. “Sorry. I’m not usually a crybaby, but it’s an awful mess at home, and I can’t get any time off. Judge Finster is usually very understanding. He lets me off early to get Phoebe from school, but he’s got a full docket after the summer vacation, and there’s nobody to take my place at court.”

A big tear trickled down Kara’s cheek, and Woody couldn’t help thinking how much he wanted to catch that tear in his mouth and proceed to those pouty lips. Without thinking, Woody pressed his lips to Kara’s head. Not a real kiss, just a friendly sign of affection. Her long hair that matched her eyes smelled of apples and cinnamon. Kind of like home. Like the way he remembered running into the kitchen after school when he was a kid. Homey. Comforting. The place you always wanted to return to where you felt safe and loved.

“This whole thing was my fault,” Woody said. Guilt overwhelmed him again. Hadn’t he promised Brian if anything happened he’d take care of Kara and Phoebe? “I should have been taking better care of you.”

Kara leaned back. Her eyes narrowed.

“Brian. That’s what’s bothering you, isn’t it? Do you ever see me? Kara. A person. Do you know anything about me? My favorite color? My favorite flower? Why does this always have to come back to Brian?”

She wrenched away from him, stomped inside, and slammed the door.

Woody stared at the brass knocker on the door. What the heck got into Kara? Didn’t he know everything about her? That she loved romantic movies, Italian food, and the smell of the ocean. Kara loved flowers and puppies and ice-skating on the lake in the winter. How could she think he didn’t know everything about her?

What did he do wrong? One minute she was melting into him which felt more than pretty good. Heck, it was dynamite. He’d been ready to kiss that pouty mouth. Good thing he knew how to practice restraint. The next thing, Kara all but spit in his face. Women. Who could figure them out?

 

©2013 Elle Druskin

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