They were laughing as he parked the car. In fact, she thought, they’d been laughing so much, she wondered if her ribcage would be sore the next day. Once he’d pulled the key out of the ignition, he reached into the back seat to retrieve the sweater she had brought.
“You might need this. There’s a chill after sunset.”
She took it and smiled at him, instinctively reaching for her door handle. however, when he raised an eyebrow, she put her hand back in her lap and waited while he got out of the car and walked around to open her door. She pulled on the sweater, and they walked toward the boardwalk. Silently, they walked side by side, enjoying the view. When she felt his hand brush hers and his fingers twine in between her fingers, she looked away and pretended to gaze at the horizon to hide her blush and that grin she’d tried all evening to contain. It was the second time he’d held her hand, and she remembered the way he had guided her through the crowd earlier, his hand at the small of her back. It was silly, really, keeping unconscious track of these light touches, but she couldn’t deny the effect they had on her.
“Look at that,” he said, stopping and pointing out the effect the rising moon had. It was beautiful and soothing. A breeze blew, and she was glad that she had brought the sweater. His arm slipped around her as they watched the sky and chatted about the evening, mutual acquaintances, nothing. When she turned toward him to make a witty remark, her hair blew in front of her face and refused to be shaken out of the way. He laughed and reached out, brushing the strands aside and stroking her cheek in the process.
Did he notice her blush? She felt it the instant his hand touched her, and she couldn’t resist stealing a glance at him. His wide grin and the mischief in his eyes told her he had noticed, and though she found she didn’t mind, she blushed deeper and started to look down. He laughed.
“Come here,” he said, and he pulled her in.
Ah….there is was. The embrace. His arms went around her waist and she aligned with him perfectly. He was strong and affectionate, and her arms went around his neck. She intended to lay her head on his shoulder and face away from him toward the view, but at the last moment, she couldn’t resist turning her face toward him. He smelled good, and she smiled into his neck.
He laughed again. “I’m glad you like it.”
She responded by holding a little more tightly, hoping he wouldn’t let go right away.