31. The Morning After

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After three hours of sleep, I dragged my butt to work

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After three hours of sleep, I dragged my butt to work. Once there, I spent most of my energy ferociously focused on avoiding Jake. Like some third-rate cat burglar in a comic strip, I crept along the edges of buildings, hid behind bushels of hay, and skittered away in the opposite direction whenever he came within thirty feet of me.

It was hard work, keeping track of his whereabouts at all times. He patched up some fencing in the morning and took the new stallions out to pasture. Mostly, he stayed in the training pen with Satan, failing miserably at trying to get a saddle on him.

Once lunchtime rolled around, I found a spot beneath a tree in an out-out-the-way area and ate alone. My brain was still at it, replaying the kiss in slow motion, on loop.

His eyes had gone wide with shock as my mouth came crashing down on his, the last thing I saw before I'd squeezed my eyes shut. The rest, I'd felt. His sharp exhale on impact, us stumbling backward, him catching and righting us right before we went down.

The unholy communion of our front teeth clattering together as a result of my overzealous ardor.

The hiss (his) and cry (mine) of pain.

My tongue aimlessly flopping around against his clenched teeth.

Oh God. Why?

Then he'd gone still, with me hanging off his neck like a rabid spider monkey. I froze too- I knew just what he was doing. He was testing me, waiting to see what I would do next. When it became painfully obvious that I had absolutely no clue, he'd laughed against my mouth.

The recovery was impressive - one minute I was on my toes, "kissing" him. Seconds later, I was bent backwards, being kissed.

And boy, did he kiss me.

I sighed. That part had been nice.

I took a bite of my sandwich and chewed. It really was a shame that the rest had been so mortifying.

I really should've wrapped it there, but no, I'd loved his kisses so much that I kept pulling him back for more, ignoring the non stop ringing of his phone and his repeated protests that he had to go.

Laughing my name, he'd jerked his chin up beyond my reach and answered the phone, telling Miguel that he'd overslept but was on his way. All the while, I slobbered all over him, planting kisses all over his neck and jaw, wherever I could manage.

After he'd hung up, he'd kissed me one last time, forcibly pried my fingers from his neck, and pushed me off of him before running off. I'd stood there bouncing on my feet, repeating "no, don't go, don't go, don't go," like a broken record.

It was all nice and romantic in the rosy-pink glow of dawn, but thinking back in broad daylight? Not so much.

Cringey, at best.

Someone shoved a hot pink piece of paper in my face. Blinking against the visual onslaught, I turned. "Oh, hi Beth. What's this?"

Good. A distraction. I needed it.

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