Broken Wings

By Ryleigh Renee All Rights Reserved ©

Drama

Chapter 7

Michelle walked Morgan out to the garage with Eden following. Eden decided she wanted to go shopping. She was going to attempt her first dinner, smoke detectors willing.

As the garage door lifted and sunlight shone in, Eden froze. On the furthest side of the three stall garage sat the most beautiful car she’d ever seen. And, her legs wouldn’t allow her to walk toward it.

“Wow, Noah sure did a nice job replacing your car,” Michelle said, not noticing Eden wasn’t walking with them any longer.

“My car?” Eden’s voice asked from the door of the house.

Michelle turned and saw the stricken look on Eden’s face. “Eden? Are you alright?”

Eden’s eyes remained focused on the latest model Dodge Charger. A rich wine color with grey interior.

“Michelle, take Morgan out of the car,” Eden said, still not removing her eyes from the car.

Michelle did as she asked. “Mommy! Race car!”

“No Morgan, not a race car,” Eden told him. “We’ll take Michelle’s car to the store Honey.”

“Eden?”

Eden now looked at Michelle and saw the concern and confusion in her face. “Morgan can’t get into that car,” Eden said.

“Eden?”

“That’s not my car,” Eden softly said.

“Well, it’s a year or two newer than yours. Noah replaced it as best he could. Same color. Programmed your stereo the same. Everything.”

“Michelle, can we please take your car?”

“Sure,” she agreed. “Let me get Morgan into the car seat.”

“I can do that,” Eden said, grasping Morgan’s hand and walking away from the scariest sight she could remember.

Michelle called Noah while Eden was busy getting Morgan into her car parked at the curb in front of the house.

“Noah, we have a problem.” She continued to relay what had happened.

Noah gave a heavy sigh. “Michelle, why do I keep screwing up?”

“Noah, you had no idea she would react this way.”

“I should have! Dammit, she totaled the car. Almost didn’t pull through. I’m expecting her to be Eden, and she’s not!”

“Honey, stop beating yourself up over this. Give Dr. Miller a call while I take her to the grocery store. See what he has to say.” She saw Eden turn to look her way. “I gotta go!” She closed her phone and walked to her car.


Eden was distracted in the grocery store. A flash of a memory and then nothing. Was it a memory? All she knew was she wasn’t ready to get behind the wheel of that car. Didn’t know if she ever would.

As they stood at the checkout, Eden realized she didn’t know how she was going to pay for the purchase. Her wallet didn’t have a checkbook.

Michelle figured out her quandary and spoke softly, “Use the cash card for your account.”

Eden looked at her then back in her wallet. She removed one of a few plastic cards from her wallet. Eden Carrington in gold letters stared back at her. In the entire time she’d been home, she’d never seen her married name officially. She turned the card over and looked at her signature. It looked like her writing. Of course it was her writing.

As Michelle and Morgan worked on bagging up their food, Eden handed the teenager running the checkout the card. He swiped it through the machine and after a moment asked to see some identification.

“What’s up?” Michelle asked as she stepped next to Eden.

The young cashier had asked a manager over. “I’m sorry, it’s just our policy to verify a person when a card hasn’t been used in a while.”

“Oh!” Eden relaxed. “I was in an accident. Been a while since I’ve shopped I guess.”

“A month or so isn’t usually a problem. This card just hasn’t been used in over two years.”

“Years?” Eden was shocked. “Are you sure?”

“You probably wrote checks before Eden,” Michelle reassured.

“There, glad to have you back in the system Mrs. Carrington,” the manager said as he handed her back her card and license.

Morgan was showing signs of needing lunch and nap as they drove back home.

“Michelle, this doesn’t make sense.”

“What doesn’t?”

“I’m assuming I did all the grocery shopping since I used to be able to cook.” Eden held the cash card in her hands. “It’s not just groceries. This card looks brand new.”

“Were your cards replaced after the accident?” Michelle asked.

“No. My purse and its contents were fine.”

“I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation. Ask Noah.”

Eden kept trying to unravel this mystery within her own mind. It just wasn’t making sense.

Noah’s truck was in the drive as they pulled in. He helped carry in groceries while Eden unbuckled Morgan and took him inside. She barely greeted him, still lost in thought.

Michelle helped tuck Morgan in for nap while Noah and Eden worked on putting groceries away in the kitchen.

“Noah?”

She knew he’d been watching her cautiously since they came home. “Yeah,” he answered while putting frozen vegetables in the freezer.

“How did I pay for things?”

He wasn’t expecting that. He thought she’d talk about the car.

“Cash card I guess.”

“You guess? You don’t know?”

“Eden, you took care of all the finances.”

She slumped back, leaning against the counter, her arms folded at her chest. “You never questioned me?”

Noah now stood before her, cupping her shoulders. “I didn’t have reason to. Why?”

“Noah, I used the cash card to buy groceries.”

“So.”

“According to them, I haven’t used it there in over two years.” She went to her purse and took the card out, handing it to him. “Noah, it doesn’t look like I’ve used it at all. Anywhere.”

“You probably wrote checks.”

“I don’t have checks in my purse Noah.”

“I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation,” he tried to reassure her.

“Great! Something else I can’t remember!” She stormed out of the kitchen and plopped down on the sofa.

While Eden stewed in the living room, Noah made his way to the den. He looked through the check register. She hadn’t written checks for much of anything. Definitely not groceries. Most of the entries in the register were automatic payments she had set up for monthly expenses.

She had reason to be curious. He just didn’t have an answer. Again.

Michelle agreed to stay while Morgan took his nap. Noah wanted to pursue the car issue from earlier.

“I’m not driving Noah,” Eden told him firmly as they stood in the garage.

“It’s not the same car, Eden.”

“I don’t care. I’m not getting in that car!”

Seeing for himself her determination was unsettling. He was using the fall off the horse get back on theory and it wasn’t working. Eden loved cars. It’s where Morgan got his appreciation for them from. He couldn’t imagine her not wanting to drive. It was a part of her. Or was.

Dr. Miller had told him not to push. That left Noah with no choice but to back down.

“When you’re ready,” he told her as he put his arm around her shoulders and they walked back inside.

Eden questioned herself. Would she ever be ready? She felt like such a disappointment to Noah. She just didn’t know how to explain the terror flowing through her at the sight of the car. All she could wonder was what if Morgan had been in the car with her that night? She could have lost so much more than her memory. A chance she wasn’t willing to take right now.

She leaned into Noah’s strength. “Let me see if I can figure out cooking first.”

Noah entered to the sounds of Morgan’s giggles and Eden’s laughter. Home. He caught sight of them sitting together on the sofa, a book in their laps.

Morgan saw him and scooted down, running at him with open arms. “Daddy!”

Noah knelt down to catch the toddler who was leaping at him. As Noah stood, holding his son close, he closed his eyes. He couldn’t explain how good this felt. He was further enveloped in that warmth flowing through him when he opened his eyes and caught the soft smile on her face before she turned away and made her way into the kitchen.

Noah entered the kitchen, still holding Morgan. He rest his hip against the counter as he looked at her. Ever since his chastise kiss in the kitchen, he wanted to pull her to him again. And, when she looked at him out of the corner of her eyes with that smile she was giving him now, he fooled himself into thinking she wanted it as well.

Morgan took on the role of breaking up the silence between the adults. It’s almost like he knew they wanted to talk but didn’t know what to say to one another.

“Mommy’s making crabby patties.”

Noah’s eyebrows rose in question to her. “Crabby patties?”

“It seems if a sponge can cook these things, I shouldn’t have a problem,” she told him.

“A sponge?”

Morgan wiggled to get down. Noah released him and watched him scamper off.

“I think I can even handle cheeseburgers,” she teased.

“Okaaay,” he responded back.

They worked together on a simple meal of cheeseburgers, tater tots in the shapes of the alphabet, and Mommy’s broccoli.

As Noah descended the stairs after settling Morgan in, he found Eden on the sofa with the book she and Morgan had when he came home. As he stepped closer, he saw it was a photo album.

On the table sat more albums. You had to give her credit for trying to spark her memory. But, that was Eden. Determined.

He sat in the corner of the sofa, stretching out his legs, his arm along the back of the sofa. Gathering the album closer, she snuggled closer, draping her legs over his.

“What’s this?” he asked, trying to ignore his body’s reaction to her closeness.

“Look at this!” she said excitedly. She placed a photo of Noah and Morgan at approximately the same age together. “He looks so much like you!”

Without thinking, Noah tapped her nose with his finger. “He has your nose.”

There it was again, that dark flash through her eyes. Taking his breath away.

“What were you like as a kid?” she asked, her eyes lingering with his.

“I was perfect, of course.”

“Noah!” she laughed. “You gave your mom hell, didn’t you?”

“No more than you,” he evasively returned.

She returned to the album. He noticed the album was one of his from childhood, not Morgan’s.

They spent the next hour looking over the photos, her asking him to relive his childhood memories. Going through his life chronologically, from scrawny kid to high schooler.

“Who’s this?” she asked pointing to him with a girl. Both were dressed formally.

He groaned. “She broke my heart. Next picture.”

“Oh no you don’t! You can’t say something like that and think I won’t be curious!”

“You’re always curious.”

“Noah,” she scolded. “Fess up. Who is she?”

“Maryanne Weber.”

“And…”

“Okay, junior prom. I was hopelessly in love with her and she knew it.”

“She’s pretty,” Eden commented.

“Well, let’s just say beauty wasn’t skin deep. She’s a year older, and I asked her to prom. After the dance, in my dad’s car…”

“You made out with her?!”

“More than that. I was convinced she was the one for me. Convinced her to go all the way.”

“Noah!” she feigned shock.

“Yeah, well, she didn’t hesitate to inform me that not only couldn’t I kiss very well, my sexual prowess was way below standard.”

“She didn’t!”

The amusement in her eyes made him chuckle.

“She was my first. Almost my last.”

“Good thing for me,” Eden’s voice huskily answered.

He cleared his throat. “Tried to convince Mom I could finish school at home. Never wanted to walk into that building again. I felt so humiliated.”

“Kids pick on you?”

“Nope. She never said a word.”

“Well, she’d have been spreading lies,” she whispered, her finger caressing down the side of his face.

“Eden, don’t,” he softly pled.

“Noah,” she breathlessly sighed as she kissed his neck near his ear. She smiled at the feel of his shudder.

She pulled back slightly and looked into his eyes, smoldering with desire back at hers.

“You know you want to kiss me Noah,” she kept her voice soft, brushing her lips over his lightly.

“Eden, I…”

“You kissed me in the hospital,” she told him.

He pulled back. “No I didn’t.”

She smiled that seductive smile of hers. “Just before I woke up. I remember.”

He cleared his throat. She was getting to him.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” he reasoned. It wasn’t a good idea. He’d cursed himself for the kiss they shared in the kitchen. Here, now, without Morgan in the way to stop him, he didn’t know what would happen.

“I remember thinking how nice it felt.” She brushed another butterfly kiss to his lips. “And wishing you’d do it again.”

“Eden…”

“It’s just a kiss Noah,” she prodded. Her heart rate was accelerating just at the thought of his lips on hers again. She knew nothing between them would be just anything.

Her lips so close to his, yet not touching. Her hooded eyes giving her a sensuous pull. One kiss, he could do that.

His lips came to hers and softly kissed her.

She knew he was fighting his desires for her. Saw it in his eyes as he looked into hers after his brief contact.

“Is that the best you’ve got tough guy?” she asked.

What was it about her that was getting to him? He knew she knew he wanted her. She was simply asking him to do what he’d been wanting to do for days. Hell, weeks.

“I don’t think you’re ready for my best,” he teased. Bad idea. Eden never backed down from a challenge.

“Try me,” she countered.

They could either argue back and forth about not kissing and end up kissing anyway, or he could just go for it.

“What am I going to do with you,” he whispered.

“Shut up and kiss me Noah,” she ordered softly.

He chuckled until his lips connected with hers. Then, his brain short-circuited. She melted into him as his arm along the back of the sofa came down around her. His other hand sliding at her nape to sift his fingers into her hair. He half expected her to tense up and pull back. Instead, her left hand came up to tangle in his hair.

With little prodding, her lips parted and allowed him inside. She tasted of pure want and desire. Or was that him? Hell, he didn’t know where either ended and the other began at this moment.

Both were breathless when he finally pulled back.

“Oh yeah, Maryanne definitely missed out on something,” she said before pulling his lips back to hers.

She leaned back, pulling him with her. He was powerless to prevent it. When had there been such a strong pull between them like this? Damned if he could remember it. All he knew at this moment in time was Eden was responding to him like she’d never done before and he was savoring every minute of it.

The feel of his mouth on hers was nothing short of pure ecstasy. Just as she knew, or was it remembered, he was gentle and thorough. Butterflies flew wildly within as his lips moved over hers, his tongue dipped in, around, and out, then repeated all over again. His hand the perfect size to hold the back of her head, deepening their kiss.

His right hand cupped her head while his left rest at her hip. She’d always liked kissing. Her hands tangled in his hair, holding him to her. His hand at her hip began caressing along her side. This was gonna lead to something he knew shouldn’t happen. He mustered up the strength to pull free. The hardest damn thing he did, but necessary.

He held her close, waiting for both of them to catch their breath. He saw the face of his watch. Holy crap, they’d been making out like the hormonal teenager in the photo album for half an hour! It didn’t seem nearly that long as he’d have loved to have gone even longer.

For the first time in weeks, she felt complete. Noah filled her in places that had felt so empty since the accident. What was between them was powerful. That much she could comprehend. But, how could she possibly forget something and someone that powerful? She didn’t care. She simply wanted to relish the moment. Cherish what was refound. She wanted to stay in the safeness of his embrace forever.

Her lingering silence began to worry him. He pulled back and noticed she’d fallen asleep. The look of total contentment on her face blew him away.

She was all snuggled up, her hands at his chest. He looked at the gold band on her finger, to her face and back again. Dammit, it belonged there. What had happened to make her think it didn’t?

He wanted to hold her close forever. He swallowed and looked to the ceiling. Praying for strength.

“Eden,” he called to her.

She groaned at being awakened.

“Eden, you need to get some sleep.”

“I was sleeping,” she played.

“Upstairs, Eden.”

“Uh uh.”

He chuckled. Sitting up, she felt the instant chill where his body had just left hers. “C’mon.” He stood and held a hand out to her.

“Will you stay with me?”

Okay, he hadn’t expected that. His body screamed yes! His mind reminded him it wasn’t a good idea. He was getting too used to this new way of life.

“Eden,” he tried reasoning. “I think it’s too soon.” Too soon for me to wish for this.

She slumped back and folded her arms across her chest. “Then, I’m staying here.”

Her determination hadn’t lessoned any with her memory loss, that’s for sure.

Noah stood before her, looking down at her as he would Morgan. “Eden, be realistic. You need rest. You’re still recovering from your accident, trying to take care of a very active toddler…”

She stood and looked him in the eyes. “I am being realistic, Noah,” she said huskily. Her hands flat on his chest as she looked up. “I know I want to be near you,” her soft voice whispered over his senses as she snaked her arms up and around his neck.

“Eden,” his voice scratchy, “you aren’t ready…”

“Noah, I’m not asking you to make love to me. I just want to be with you.”

He stepped away from her. She suddenly had a way of muddling his thoughts. “I can’t,” he softly confessed.

She was taken aback by that. “What do you mean, you can’t?”

He turned and looked at her. God, she wasn’t the Eden she was before. He was just getting to the point where he could deal with that Eden. Sort of. He had no clue how to deal with this one. And, when her memory returned, he’d have hell to pay for not being strong enough now. She’d accuse him of taking advantage of the situation.

His silence was bothering her. She hated this state of limbo they were in. Her mind didn’t remember him. She got that. But her body was remembering something. No, not remembering. Craving. And, one didn’t crave something they hadn’t had before.

“I just think it’s too soon,” he finally told her.

She knew he was using that as an excuse. She also knew she had done something to push him away. She’d learned in these past weeks that Noah locked down tight when he wanted to. Fort Knox didn’t have a thing on this guy right now.

“I’m sorry Noah,” she softly said before making her way upstairs.

He heard the master bath door close. She had just offered him, on a proverbial silver platter, what he’d wanted for the past couple years. And he was too afraid to take it. Was it because he was so used to her rejecting him that he was now doing it for her? Damn this was a mess.


A few days passed since their disagreement. Eden didn’t bring it up. She continued on her quest of trying to recover her memory. Noah’s body on the other hand, was severely reprimanding him. His arms ached to hold her as she had asked. And, when she’d look at him a certain way, he yearned to take her in his arms and kiss away her doubts, his doubts, everything in their past.

He almost felt like he was cheating on his wife. But, she was his wife. Technically anyway. And all this confusion was flowing over into his work life. Site foremen were afraid to approach him on the issues coming up out of nowhere again. It was almost like fate was seeing just how much he could take before breaking.

“Noah?” Lorraine called from his office door.

He looked up. “Please don’t tell me there’s another site problem,” he pleaded.

Lorraine stepped into his office and closed the door partially before walking over and sitting on the leather sofa. “Wanna talk about it?” she asked.

“About what?” Noah answered with another question.

She lifted her eyebrows in a gesture of I know what’s going on, and patted the sofa cushion inviting him away from his desk.

Once he sat on the opposite end of the sofa, she turned to face him. “Noah, you know I care about you.”

Lorraine…” he had a warning tone.

“Has she remembered anything?” Lorraine asked.

Noah slumped back against the cushion and ran his hand down his face. “No. Not consciously anyway.”

“I’m not following you.”

“She says and does some things she used to. Like, remembering she calls Morgan her baby boy and chewing on her bottom lip when she isn’t certain about something.” He stood now and paced. “But, otherwise, it’s like Eden Carrington doesn’t exist.”

“Noah, you know the doctors said it would take some time for her memories to come back.”

If they come back,” he reminded her. He paced more.

“Noah, what aren’t you saying?”

He turned and found she had now stood and was near him. They shared a kind of camaraderie. Lorraine’s marriage to Lawrence was in worse shape than Noah’s had been prior to the accident. Where Noah held hope with Eden, even after the divorce papers, Lorraine felt her marriage to Lawrence beyond repair. Noah knew Lorraine envied Eden. She’d comment how strong she saw Eden. Confident. Capable. All the things Lorraine felt she wasn’t. But, due to circumstances over the years, the friendship Lorraine and Eden once shared was gone. A loss Noah knew Lorraine grieved.

“She’s just different,” Noah answered.

“Of course she’s different. She’s trying to figure out where eight years of her life went.”

“Why eight years Lorraine?”

Her face indicated she wasn’t following.

“Why not forget who she is completely? Why forget her life with me? It wasn’t all bad, was it?”

Lorraine reached for his lower arm. “Noah, you know why things changed. Before all that stuff with Lawrence, you know what you and Eden had…”

“Don’t say it was special!” Noah retorted. He had thought, once upon a time, they did have something special. A fact he couldn’t reconcile with himself now.

“Noah!” Lorraine shot back.

“No! I have too much going on with the here and now. When she gets her memory back, it isn’t going to matter. She’s going to put us right back to where we were. She forgot what it was like when she asked for the divorce.”

“Noah, I think we all forgot how things used to be. If any couple could overcome that, I’d bet on you and Eden.”

“I’d like to believe that, Lorraine. I just can’t.”


The emotional conversation with Lorraine brought forth too many memories. Too much hurt. Why couldn’t he just lock it away?

He entered the house to scents and sounds he longed for. Eden was busy relearning her cooking skills, which, to his delight, were returning quite well. She remembered her love of garlic anyway. Morgan played on the kitchen floor with his cars. Noah stood and watched a familiar scene, unnoticed by the occupants. Eden gracefully working around the playing child. Morgan finding comfort being with Eden.

Eden was the first to notice him as she carried the plate of stuffed chicken breasts to the dining room. As if the most natural thing to do, she approached him and kissed his cheek swiftly before returning to the kitchen for the salad.

Noah’s heart screamed at him. This is what you want you idiot! Take it!

“Daddy!” Morgan squealed when he noticed him. Noah was getting used to catching a leaping toddler when he returned home. His little arms providing hugs he’d only hoped for before.

After Morgan was sound asleep, Noah found Eden going through more albums in the living room. He watched her as she studied each photo. When she noticed him, she looked up and gave him a soft smile. A smile that tore into him.

He stepped further into the room. She silently invited him to join her. As he sat beside her on the sofa, he noticed the album she was looking through this time was of their wedding.

Her hand caressing down the photo of them standing together. She in a lacy white dress that reached her calves, her grandmother’s pearl necklace and earrings, and four-inch heels. Noah was absolutely the most handsome man she’d seen. His navy suit fitting him as though it were made for him. He wasn’t as muscular as he was now, but his eyes still that soft brown.

“We didn’t marry in a church,” she stated softly rather than questioned.

He just looked at her. Taking in the various snapshots of them. He closed his eyes to avoid the photo taken of her and Lawrence on the dance floor. His best man and bride.

“Where did we get married?”

He turned the page before answering. “The Larson estate.”

“We knew someone with an estate?”

She looked up at him with innocent, questioning eyes.

He took in a breath. “Lawrence’s dad. He was out of town and Lawrence opened it up for us.”

She looked at the photo of Noah and Lawrence. Both smiling, their arms around each other’s shoulders. Such contrast to what she’d seen in his office weeks ago. What had driven these two apart?

She stopped at the page with a photo of her with her father. Her hand touching her father’s image.

“Daddy,” she barely whispered. Then, she looked at Noah. “He looks so … frail.”

“He was pretty ill.”

She looked down. “When did he die?”

“Two months after the wedding. He’d been ill with heart problems for a couple of years.”

This lack of memory was so frustrating. The man in the photo didn’t even look like the man she remembered. His hair had turned white, his skin pale. He was smiling in the photo, but all she could see was a shell of the man she’d known.

Another photo. This one of her with her mother. They were both happy and smiling.

Noah watched her examine the photo. He’d heard of their past. Yet, when he’d met her mother, she’d been sober for a year.

“She looks … different,” she said confused.

“She stopped drinking two years before this picture was taken.”

She looked at him, surprised. “She did?”

“James said she stopped shortly after you left for college.”

“Did she and I … get along?”

He gave her such a soft smile she felt her heart melt. “You were close.”

“Really?” She couldn’t believe it.

“After your father died, she’d visit a few times a year. She was here when Morgan was born.”

Her voice cracked with emotion as she asked, “She met her grandson?”

He nodded. “Just like everyone else, she fell in love with him at first sight.”

She’d finally had a relationship with her mother and no memories of it. And her mother was there when she became a mother. Why can’t I remember?

They silently looked for a while, Noah watching her take all of this in. She closed the album that sat in her lap and finally broke the silence. “Where did we meet Noah?”

“College.”

Getting information out of him was almost as difficult as James in the beginning.

“What did I go to school for?”

“Business.”

No, he was much worse.

She turned to face him. “Business what?”

“Economics, I think.”

“You think,” she dead panned.

“Yeah, it was econ.”

“Okay, where in college did we meet?”

“Courtyard.”

“Is there a particular reason you’re being evasive?” she asked.

“I’m not being evasive. I’m answering your questions.”

Without warning, she pushed him down and positioned herself to lie atop him. “Oh, you’re being evasive. I thought we were past all that broad answer crap.”

“What?” he laughed.

She gave him a determined look, making him chuckle more. “Okay, okay,” he surrendered, “you were sitting in the courtyard, wearing a pink shirt and really tight jeans. Under a tree. Your pretty little nose pressed into a book. Had I not fallen in front of you, I’m sure you’d never have noticed me.”

“You fell?” she asked as she sat up, allowing him to do the same.

“On purpose. Hell, you hadn’t noticed me the two months prior to that. I had to do something.”

“You’re a stalker?” she played.

“No!” he countered playfully.

“So, you threw yourself at my feet because…”

“Because I wanted you to notice me.”

“And I actually fell for your falling routine?”

He laughed. “You pretended you did.”

“Okay, then what?”

“You took pity on me and let me study with you.”

“Noah! Seriously.”

“Okay!” He held his hands up in surrender. “You’d spend every afternoon under the oak tree in the courtyard. I’d never seen someone study as much as you did. The only way I could spend time with you was to study under that tree with you.”

“So, I improved your study habits. Is that what you’re saying?”

“My grades got better.”

“Obviously we went beyond the tree.”

“That took a while. Every time I’d ask you out, you turned me down flat.”

“I did?”

“Yeah. It took me a while to realize it wasn’t me.”

She lifted her eyebrows in question.

“You waitressed at a supper club to pay your way through college. Literally, you didn’t have a spare minute.”

“Well, I must’ve come up with some time.”

She hated not remembering this time.

“I convinced you to take a day off. We went to a carnival and fireworks display.”

“And…”

“And, after I drove you back to your apartment off campus in my beat up old pickup truck.”

“How long did it take you to convince me to go on this date with you?”

“Three months.” He was feeling the same as he did that night.

“And, you did all that because…”

“Because I wondered what it would feel like,” his voice going soft.

“How what would feel like?”

“This,” he whispered as his hand slid behind her neck, his fingers sifting into her hair and pulled her lips to his.

When he ran the tip of his tongue along her lips, she opened to him. He caught her sigh as he deepened his kiss.

She could picture herself sitting in the truck doing this. And, then she felt it. A flash of something. So brief. Exhilarating and frightening at the same time.

He pulled free when he felt her lips tremble beneath his. His eyes looked deeply into hers.

“What?” she asked.

She’d done the same thing that night. It’s when he realized she was innocent. It’s when he lost his heart.

“You just…” Okay, how did he explain this?

Her eyes bore into his. Searching. “I think I remembered something,” she whispered.

“What do you remember?”

“I’m not sure. It was just a flash.” She gazed into his warm eyes.

He felt transported back to that night as her hand slid up behind his neck and pulled his lips in for another kiss. “Do that again,” she sighed, just like that night.

He allowed this fantasy a short time longer before pulling free. When she stood, she looked to him. “Good night Noah,” her voice soft as she turned to walk up the stairs. Only in his mind, he saw her at her apartment door. That same soft smile. No regrets. No doubts. Her eyes didn’t show any of that.

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