Sam & Jack
Suitable for all
They walked down the lane, she with more purpose than him; too many lazy days spent lounging around the lake and the occasional sporadic burst of exercise was not a good thing for her waistline. But he insisted on holding her hand as they walked and he wasn’t in any hurry. Not that she minded…they held hands a lot, more than she ever remembered from previous boyfriends or even grade school. He agreed to their walks—but always kept his hand firmly in hers.
Thunder rumbled in the distance; fat drops of rain not too far behind, splashing loudly on the leaves overhead. She felt several splashes in her hair and then one right on her nose. Jack grinned as a raindrop slid down his cheek and said, “I told you so.”
Sam laughed and tugged on his hand; dodging raindrops as they ran the last few yards to Ole’s Bait & Tackle, taking shelter on the old, weathered front porch. Not quite drenched, she ran her fingers through her damp hair, combing it into place. He ignored his, of course.
The rain settled into a steady shower, the patter of drops on the tin roof of the porch a lazy accompaniment to the chittering birds, taking delight in the brief respite from the summer heat. She knew it would be unbearably humid once the rain stopped, but for now she, like the birds, would enjoy the rain.
Long a gathering place for locals, the porch was lined with chairs and benches, the various styles providing a visual history of the store. The aged metal glider on the porch looked questionable, but when she sat down, it moved smoothly and quietly. She sighed softly, rocking gently to the steady patter of the rain. Jack lifted the lid of the bright red and equally antique Coca-Cola cooler, pulling out two bottles of coke. She wondered as she watched Jack expertly pop the bottle caps where Ole—or whoever—still got actual glass bottles to stock the vintage cooler.
“You know I like diet best,” she told him with a smile; never-the-less taking the cold and wet bottle from him. She took a swallow of the sweet and bubbling beverage, rapidly calculating that the calories burned on their walk should outweigh the extra calories in the ‘real’ soda.
“We’ll have to see if Ole can stock some just for you.”
“Since I’m a ‘local’ now?” she asked, the diamond on her left hand glinting brightly in a ray of sunshine that broke through the clouds.
He sat down next to her, the glider creaking for one brief moment before once more resuming its leisurely rhythm. He reached for her hand, grasping it lightly and rubbing his thumb lightly over the gold bands. His dark eyes met hers and the emotion she saw in them still had the power to make her knees go wobbly as that oh-so-familiar flutter of desire unfurled and spread slowly through her.
“You’re an O’Neill now,” he said, as if that explained it all. And maybe it did.