Shelby woke before dawn, stretching against the blankets wrapped around her, with hay in her hair.
Reaching for her top and skirt and careful not to wake Gunnar, she pulled and shimmied, snapped and buttoned her way back into her clothes. But once she was dressed a wave of nostalgia pulled her back to the warm space next to him. She ran her thumb along the length of his cheekbone covered in morning stubble and Gunnar stirred.
His hands sought her, much the same way they had throughout the night. More than once mid-dream she’d felt his fingers gently pull her hip- first to him until with urgent kisses and mumbled devotions he’d rocked them both back into a satisfied sleep.
C’mere Shelb…” he coaxed, throwing the blanket back over both of them.
So she tucked into him. He was the only thing about this life she was going to miss but she wasn’t naïve or stupid enough to think he’d ever leave with her. Not when Tioga County fit him like the worn leather boots now slouched in the corner of the loft.
And she wasn’t willing to stay for him, even when he flipped her stomach with a simple touch. For most of high school she’d waited for the hurried feeling of things passing too quickly that everyone loved to chirp at her: It’s gonna fly by you know; try to enjoy every minute: but that feeling never came and it was finally time to just go before anything, even Gunnar and his kisses, could stop her.
As morning light started to creep across the cinnamon colored bales she rolled over and dropped a kiss on his freckled nose, “I gotta run Gun…”
He reluctantly released her, letting his hand linger on her arm and preventing her from getting up. Propping himself up on his elbow and tugging at stray piece of hay stuck in her curls his eyes searched hers , “don’t you think it’s ’bout time you stopped running beautiful?”, he sighed.
Trifecta this week, the word was FLY