Choices

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The sun was setting when a muffled thump and a crash drew Dan's attention away from the surfing competition he'd been watching on his big-screen TV. He raced to the bedroom door, surprised when it was almost impossible to open.

"Stop that," Lily's voice called... from the direction of the floor?

"Lily? What's going on in there?"

"I was trying to get to the bathroom, but my leg gave out on me."

He peered through the crack and realized she was the reason the door wouldn't open.

"Can you use your arms to move away from the door a little bit? I'll help you up."

"I'll try."

There was some shuffling and then she called, "Okay!"

He carefully opened the door and peeked inside. She was huddled on the floor in front of the bed, attempting to hide her obvious embarrassment with a smile.

"Thank you for coming, oh gentle knight," she said with an extremely bad British accent. "I seem to have gotten into a spot of trouble again. Could I bother you for a little assistance?"

He grinned and bowed. "But, of course, my lady. Helping distressed damsels is what we knights do, after all."

She rolled her eyes when he knelt down next to her. "Just put your arms around my neck and I'll get you where you need to go so you can, errr, go."

"You don't have to carry me."

"Yes I do."

"I can walk."

He raised an eyebrow at her. "Really?"

Her face flushed a glorious shade of red. "Well, I could if you helped me."

Realizing she had no intention of giving in, Dan decided to take matters into his own hands and scooped her up. Ignoring her flustered squeak, he carried her the short distance to the en-suite bathroom.

Once she was standing on her own two feet again, she glared at him. "I don't like being manhandled."

"I wasn't manhandling you. I was solving the problem the quickest way possible."

"Well I didn't like it."

He shrugged as he turned to leave. "Too bad."

"You always were a bully," Lily practically hissed.

Dan felt his temper snap. "And you always were a stubborn pain in the ass."

Lily's face got even redder. "Oh yeah, well...so were you!"

He snorted. "Is that the best you can do?"

She gaped at him for a second, her mouth opening an closing like a fish out of water. Then something shifted in her expression and she started laughing. "Oh my God," she gasped through peals of laughter, "How old are we? Four? This is ridiculous!"

He had to admit, it was pretty funny when he stopped to think about it. And she looked so adorable leaning against the bathroom counter in nothing but an oversized T-shirt, shaking with laughter, he couldn't help but grin. Soon he was laughing too.

Every time the storm started to die down, they'd catch each other's eyes and hoot, "so were you!" and they'd be off again. Driven by an urge he couldn't control, Dan took her face in his hands and kissed the tip of her nose.

She couldn't quite stop her giggles even as something darker glinted in her eyes. "I think you missed. My lips are a little further down."

Hunger flared to life deep in his belly. He'd been trying to keep things innocent, but far be it from him to disappoint a lady. "Let me try again."

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