Snippet of the Day
“This one’s first.” He handed her a box wrapped in silver paper with a bright red bow. Jake set the other box next to her. “By the way, you look beautiful.” He placed his hand over hers, rubbing her soft fingers.
“Thank you.” Sara fingered the paper, tearing the package open. She held up the pair of thick light gray socks with a soft fleece hat to match. Shapely brows knitted above her eyes, holding the two packages of hand and feet warmers. Jake had also gotten her a scarf and a stainless steel thermos, hoping she’d be agreeable to the jaunt he had planned.
“These are great.” She rubbed the pile of soft fabric against her face.
“Wait.” Jake got up and stepped down into the kitchen, retrieving the backpack. Jake set the pack down in her lap. Her eyes gleamed, holding tiny glares of light that radiated off the Christmas tree. “This is the star of the show.” He laughed, her face a mixture of expressions.
“This is fantastic.” She turned to him, canting her head. “Are we going somewhere?”
“You said you had the week off, so I took a few days off myself.” He smiled, reaching for her, running his fingers through the satiny strands of her loose hair, resting his elbow on the back of the couch. “We are going winter camping,” he announced.
Her eyes flew open. “Winter camping?”
“That’s right. We’ve got all the gear. Are you game?”
He watched her face process his request. Her words were hesitant. “I like to camp, but it seems so much more appealing on a hot,
steamy July night.” She turned the pack on its side, zipping open all the compartments.
“Where’re we going?” she asked.
“I hope I don’t slow you down on the trail.” She glanced back at him, her tone unsure. “I’ve never camped in those kinds of conditions.”
Jake slid closer to her on the couch, stroking his fingers over her arm. “You’ll do fine. You’re tough, in great shape, too.” He waggled his brows.
“It’s the cold I’m worried about.” Her smile faded.
His eyes lowered to her lips. He steered her chin, kissing her lightly and slowly, her sweetness seeping into him. His stomach fell to his feet, his heart rate soaring. Sara did things to him that he couldn’t put into words. It was unfamiliar yet thrilling, laced with a hint of fear, a fear that grew a bit more intense every time he saw her, every time his body possessed hers. He kept his thoughts on the surface. He refused to allow them to sink in too deep. He didn’t want to spoil these next few days being preoccupied with all the crap that often raged inside his head when he wasn’t with her.
“I’ll make sure you’re warm. We’ll have all the necessary gear. Please come.”
“Okay.” She leaned into him, her lips grazing his cheek. “I’ll do my best.”
Jake had her stand up and try on the backpack, adjusting all the belts and straps to fit her.
“When are we going?” Sara shifted her pack, glancing back at him.
“I’ve been watching the weather, and I think Christmas Day is our best bet. It’s supposed to be a high of twenty-nine and a low of fifteen.”
“Jesus, Jake, don’t tell me that.” She laughed. “It’ll work on me like a placebo.” Sara set the pack down and crawled under the tree, retrieving his gifts.
OPEN SPACES- PARA/NORMAL
JC Szot- Author