From "The Golden Hours"


Jack was still limping as they turned onto G Street. His hand rested on her shoulder, with his fingers stroking invisible lines across her collarbone. She shivered and he pulled her a little closer, which just made her shiver again. He smelled so good that she wanted to inhale him.

Since when had she ever been so affected by him? She'd always liked him, trusted him; she'd relied on his friendship after her world had fallen apart on December 7, 1941; and yes, maybe she'd come to lean on his presence in her life too much. But now it was his turn to lean on her. And she was thinking thoughts no nice girl should. She slipped an arm around his waist, just to offer him a bit more support. Her boardinghouse was half a block down, saving her from her delinquent thoughts.


"Come in--"

He stopped her words with a hand on her cheek, gentle as a whisper. Even in the near-total darkness, his smoky brown eyes held her gaze. Her face turned up to meet his. She could almost feel his lips on hers. She could almost taste him, whiskey-flavored and warm, asking her without words to open up to him and everything that came with him.

But she didn't want everything that came with him or anyone like him. She didn't want the war intruding on her life again.


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