20. Blue Sky

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Everywhere I go, it feels like I'm always searching for something - Hanson

10:17 a.m. Saturday, October 9, 2021

Michele hears a sound in the distance, like a ringing of bells, and it's this that brings her back to her senses. Rather than abruptly ripping her mouth from Harry's, she gentles the kiss, her tongue soothing Harry's lips as her hands glide across his broad shoulders in his Hanson t-shirt, down his back, and finally to her sides. Her feet settle flatly on the floor, and she reflects for a moment on how deeply lost she'd been.

Harry's lips are slightly swollen, and she imagines hers are the same. Reaching up, she smudges her finger across the edges of his mouth, recalling how delicious he'd tasted. The perfect breakfast. A smile drifts across her face.

"We probably shouldn't do that in public," she whispers.

Brow furrowing, Harry softly replies, "Why not? I don't care who knows that I kinda like you."

With eyes wide, Michele asks, "Kinda? Gee, thanks. What a compliment." She is quite aware that he's teasing, though, so she lets him off the hook quickly, "I kinda like you too, Harry. But the town...."

"Is going to say whatever they're going to say. It's not possible to keep anything a secret from them, as I'm sure you're aware," Harry patiently responds.

Michele releases a long, drawn-out push of air from her lungs. "Yeah. I know. But..."

Placing a single finger over her lips, Harry shakes his head. "Nope. We're not going to worry about the future or tomorrow or my fans or your reputation or any of that other stuff that just gets in the way. Can we please just enjoy our time together?"

It sounds so simple when he says it that way. Why can't they pretend to be in a bubble? They've tried staying apart. She's had him go out with other people. Yet gossip still has them together. What's the saying? "If you can't beat them, join them"? If the town is going to have a gabfest about them anyway, they might as well have fun with it.

Kissing the tip of his finger, Michele then moves to bite it. "Okay, fine. I'll send you the therapy bill after you've left town."

Wrapping her hand in his, Harry laughs, pulling her along behind him to where Paige is playing skeeball with Patrick while Phoenix and Tam play a vicious game of billiards. Although there are a few glances at Harry and Michele's conjoined hands, no one says anything to either of them.

"Ping pong?" she teases.

"Oh, you think you can beat me again?" Harry scoffs.

"I know I can," brags Michele.

"Really? Game on!" Harry calls, grabbing a paddle from the rack.

The rest of the family gathers round, and Harry winks at Michele. "One game and then we take on partners?"

"Ooooo. One game, eh? Feeling mighty confident there, are you, H?" Quick as a wink, she serves.


11:04 a.m. Saturday, October 9, 2021

"That was fun!" Phoenix hugs Harry, and he has to agree. Playing as her partner against Michele and Patrick had brightened everyone's day. Paige cheered on Michele and Patrick while Tam had encouraged Harry and Phoenix. Seeing the mom of the Ps in this environment helped Harry view her as less of the villain. She clearly loves her current children. Maybe it was merely temporary insanity? Everyone deserves a second chance after all.

The last hour has passed quickly, and Harry notices and relishes the feeling he's experiencing. It's love and acceptance. Gosh, he adores these kids. They bring great joy to his life.

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