Beginning January 1, 2013
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Saturday, January 29, 2011
Love Happens by Celia Yeary
The little house on Spring Street looked almost dark. One lamp shone through the front window curtains. Matt felt certain Lauren was home, because her finals were over and she said she would be wiped out. He sat in the truck, procrastinating, wiping his palms down his jeans legs, drying the dampness from them. The yearning to see her almost made him feel sick. His subconscious mind barely registered his actions and his true feelings. Instinct and desire propelled him forward without a clear thought in his head. He ran on gut feeling, and that was to see Lauren.
Laying his cap on the seat, he stepped out of the truck and walked up the flower-lined flagstone walkway. He knocked softly and waited. The porch light came on, he squinted, feeling exposed. Then it went off and the door opened.
Very softly, like a sigh, she said, “It’s you. Did I blind you?”
Shaking his head “no,” he slowly walked forward, backing her into the tiny, dim foyer.
“Lauren.” His voice came out, barely audible, almost pleading.
“Matt.” A whisper, a siren call.
Cupping her small face in his big hands, he leaned forward without touching her elsewhere and gently kissed her full, sweet lips. She leaned toward him with closed eyes and returned the kiss with a murmur in her throat.
Now, he slowly gathered her up, fully against his body, widened his stance, and pulled her between his legs. He poured every bit of passion and heat he felt into the next kiss. Lauren sounded short of breath, as if the emotion choked her.
He turned in a slow circle, a dance of seduction, keeping them molded to each other. His fullness bulged into her stomach and she pressed forward, letting him know she wanted his kisses and wanted...him. He moved her against the wall and began kissing anew.
After several heated minutes, he lifted his head and took a deep breath. “Hey,” he said. “How are you, darlin’?”
Tipping her head back, Lauren smiled and gazed at him. “Fine, just wonderful. Oh, by the way, would you like to come in?” She laughed softly.
She reached for his hand and turned toward the small living room, tugging him behind.
By the low light of the lamp, Matt had his first look at her home. Photographs. Photographs everywhere. He pulled away and stared at the dozen or so framed pictures, some snapshots, and some studio portraits. A young man in an Army uniform. Lauren and said man. More of the man in jeans, in shorts, with her, everywhere. Lovingly displayed.
She stepped back. “My fiancé, Matt. David.”
The sight stunned him. Jealousy and anger rose in his chest, burning from his gut up to his brain. And he had no right to feel any of those things.
“Don’t you have a girl, Matt? Isn’t that why you’re going back to Dallas? To see her?” She sounded a little angry.
He couldn’t speak but stood in the middle of the floor, staring at her, almost in a stupor.
She turned and walked to a love seat. “Let’s sit down, Matt, and talk. Shall we?”
All he could do was nod.
“Matt,” she began when they were seated on the small, worn sofa. “I’m not sorry. I am confused, though. I don’t know what we’re doing. Do you?” Lauren gazed into his eyes, sad and depressed. Her eyes glittered with unshed tears.
“No,” he said as he hung his head and ran his hand down his face. “I’ve wondered since the first time I met you. I told myself I was just looking for a friend. But now…Lauren, I don’t know.”
They sat in silence, listening to the air conditioner hum and send out its cool air in a whooshing sound, surrounding them with comfort.
He clasped his hands in his lap and stared at his thumbs. With great effort and a deep breath, he said, “It’s good, I guess, that I’m going back tomorrow, back to reality.” Turning slightly sideways, his gaze roamed over her beautiful, sweet face, so honest, yet…so secretive. “But I couldn’t leave until I found out.”
“Found out what?” she whispered, gazing at him.
“If I really felt what I thought or if it was a fantasy made up to fill lonely hours.”
Matt couldn’t formulate his words, couldn’t say what was in his heart. The truth? He was afraid, damned near scared to death. Now, he feared he was making a big mistake and it waited for him in Dallas. On the other hand, Lauren had committed herself to another man, a soldier, no less. That made the situation even more difficult. He hated going against a fellow military man.
How did they become mired in this mess?
He said, “I guess, I think...maybe we each have our own lives. But we’ll see each other around for a few more weeks.”
“Yes, okay.” She agreed, as she looked down and twisted a loose thread on her sofa.
He asked, “Do you know there’s a big storm coming? A hurricane?”
Without looking up, she answered, “Yes, I know all about it.”
He lifted her chin with one finger, and looked directly into her eyes. “I’ll need to get back earlier than I planned to protect Gran.”
For several minutes, they stared into each other’s faces, scanning, studying, searching. Both sighed deeply.
Slowly, Lauren took his hand in both of hers and stroked it gently. “You take care, Matt. Be careful on the Interstate.”
He placed his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, leaned down and kissed her gently. “I will.”
“Matt? Are you coming back?”
“You bet, darlin’. Come hell or high water.”
About the Author: Celia Yeary, a former science teacher, writes Historical Western and Contemporary romance novels and short stories. She resides in Texas, her native state, and lives in the Hill Country with her husband, a retired university professor. Her family is the most important thing in her life, and she cherishes special friendships. http://www.celiayeary.com