Monday, 3 October 2016

Make Me Stay by Rebecca Brooks


Outside the snow was coming down hard, coating the parking lot in a layer of white. The weather in Seattle was dependably gray. All they'd gotten this winter was rain and more rain and that dreaded wintry mix. Sam stood in the middle of the parking lot and tilted her face to the sky.

Snow clung to her lashes and melted down her cheeks. She could see it coming toward her, illuminated by the outdoor lights from the bar, but higher up where the lights didn't reach everything was darkness. The flakes seemed to emerge straight from a dizzying abyss. She felt Austin come up behind her, the solid weight of him dangerously close. She knew how unfair she was being to him, and how much of her job she was putting at risk.

But she couldn't make herself pull away.

"It's beautiful," she said quietly.

"I know."

He pulled out a strand of hair that had gotten tucked in her scarf.

"Where's your hat?" he asked. But it was more like a whisper, his lips brushing close to her ear.

"I forgot it," she said hoarsely. Her mouth was dry.

He ran a hand over her hair, smoothing out the snow. "Do you want mine?"

Sam turned to face him. Her whole life, her whole career, was spent calculating risk versus reward. How much risk could the company assume when they bought new land? How much would they be rewarded for the chance they took?

She knew not every risk wound up being worth it. But zero risk meant zero gain. Wasn't that the whole philosophy that had gotten her father's company where it was? Knowing when to take the plunge. Damn it, Austin was gorgeous, even with a gray wool hat pulled over his ears. And he was funny, thoughtful, kind-

She wrapped her gloved hands around his scarf and pressed her lips to his.

There was a pause in which he seemed surprised-was she wrong? Surely he wanted this, too. And then his arms were around her and he was kissing her back. The voice in her head stating firmly that this was a very bad idea tasted sweetness and warmth, and for a moment there was only silence. The world, her mind, even the wind itself had gone still.

Then a burst of noise came from behind them. A couple walked out of the bar and headed to their car. It was the reminder Sam needed. Nothing about their situation had changed. She couldn't get caught up in the romance of the falling snow.

No comments:

Post a Comment