Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.
Today we have the next chapter for Wind in White Birch and our word prompt is "Stairs". Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!
Wind in White Birch
It`s amazing how much good a hot dog and a cup of hot chocolate can do. True to his word, Jonah allowed me some time to think while I chewed on a perfectly roasted hot dog with mustard. He and I ambled through the snow sculptures, neither of us saying a word. Our elbows would rub together, as Jonah was inhaling a hot dog as well, but he didn`t place his hand on me in any sort of possessive manner. We stopped to admire swans, bears, and angels carved out of packed snow and ice. I chatted with one artist about her process. Then we tossed our paper hot dog holders into a trash can and climbed some stairs shoveled into the snow to a large frozen pond. There were two couples on the ice. I lifted my steaming cup of cocoa to my lips and blew over the surface.
“Dana, I guess I should apologize,” Jonah began. I glanced to my left. He was stiff as a new pencil, his thumbs hooked in the front pockets of his jeans. “I thought bringing you up and showing you the lodge was the right thing to do.”
“I think it`s sweet that you wanted to share that with me, but I guess I`m just baffled as to why you felt the need to ask me what I thought.” He looked at me with confusion. I sipped, arranging my thoughts as best I could with those black eyes of his on me. “I don`t think that I have the right to tell you what to do with your life. We`ve been on two dates counting this one,” I motioned to the carnival with my cup.
“I thought we had something special here,” he said. I blinked up at him. “I mean, I thought we had feelings that we knew went beyond – I`m really screwing this up, aren`t I?” he asked, his long fingers tapping his thighs. “I`ve only ever been in one serious relationship before us.”
“Are we serious? How can you say that after just two dates?” I asked, thrown completely off balance. He shrugged. I wasn`t willing to let him shrug that comment off though. “Jonah, you can`t just clam up on me. You told me not to shut you out, well, that goes both ways.”
He turned to watch the couples gliding over ice, his breath steamy clouds in front of his proud, handsome profile. I too turned my attention to the skaters to give him time to get his thoughts aligned. A few minutes passed in silence, the smell of hot chocolate and roasting peanuts on the shifting breeze. A man and woman skated past, her hand in his. They had matching green and white striped scarves.
“I`m not sure how to handle you,” the man at my side finally said. I took a good long gulp of cocoa, staring at him while he thumbed some stray strands of black hair from his mouth.
“Why do you feel you have to handle me?” I asked, shifting to stand facing him. He tossed a shoulder into the air then frowned.
“Sorry,” he huffed. “I didn`t mean handle you. I guess – this is hard. I don`t know how to handle this. You and me,” he clarified. “I never thought I`d be in a situation like this with a woman.”
“You mean me being older, divorced, and with a son?”
He turned from the pond and skaters. “No, I meant feeling so much so damned fast. I`ve been with lots of women, Dana.” I tried to maintain a placid expression but it must have slipped. “Not like thousands or anything,” he quickly explained, "But enough to know that what I feel for you isn`t just some ‘I`ll call sometime’ thing.”
I had to swallow some hot chocolate in order to get my eyes unglued from his. I glanced up at the sky. Puffy clouds were blowing in, tiny flakes of snow tumbling from the new arrivals overhead.
I startled when Jonah ran a rough thumb over my cheek. The snowflake rested on his calloused fingertip for just the briefest of moments and then it melted.
“I didn`t mean to push you, Dana,” he said, cupping my face. The skaters, snow, and hot chocolate in my hand disappeared. There was nothing but Jonah Big Deer trying to make amends. “I would never want to push you away.”
“I know,” I murmured, my cocoa held between his chest and mine defensively.
“Bear with me, okay? I`ve never had a woman steal my heart so quickly before.”
“Oh God, why the hell did you have to say that?” I coughed my cocoa falling from my fingers to the ground. It probably splattered over our shoes and pant legs.
“So that was wrong again?” he asked, his chocolate-rich breath fanning across my face.
“No, it was not wrong, It was about as right a thing as I`ve ever heard.” I slapped my hands to his face and tugged him down for a kiss. He was clearly unprepared for my reaction but it took only a second or two for him to get with my program. His fingers danced down my neck to my shoulders. His tongue slid over my bottom lip, asking for permission. I granted it with a groan. He swept my mouth, twirling his tongue around mine. I held his head tightly. His cheeks were soft and hairless even though it was getting late in the day. I wondered if his chest would be bare or if he had a small amount of dark hair peppering his pectorals.
He kissed me repeatedly. Finally, someone skating past giggled. We broke apart grudgingly. My eyelids were lazy with lust. He dropped a kiss to the tip of my nose then placed his forehead to mine. I wanted to stand here forever. I wanted to hold him. I wanted to find a private place and strip off his clothes. Oh yes, I really wanted to get him naked.
“That was pretty nice,” he teased.
“Yeah, very nice,” I sighed like a schoolgirl.
“So . . . we`re okay?” Jonah asked, rubbing his thumbs over my jugular. I nodded absently, my mind lingering on how to get naked and on top of this man. “Okay, good. I can`t remember what we were talking about. Was it me taking you to my place and making love to you all night?”
“I think it was about the lodge.”
“Oh yeah, right, the lodge.” He tipped his head for one last, long taste of my lips. “Why don`t you take tonight to think about it? I don`t want you to tell me what to do, I just want to know if you`re willing to try to have a relationship on one date a month, if that.”
“I might not know by tomorrow at this time, Jonah.”
He kissed me lightly, his palms on my neck warmer than any scarf ever knitted.
“When you know, you tell me, okay? I`ll be waiting for your answer.”
With that he stepped back and offered me a large, work-rough hand to hold. I slid my palm over his and we left the carnival, and the skating lovers, behind.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.
See you next week!