Wheels on fire.

She hurried.

She was going to run away.


It was what she did. She ran whenever she got that spark that traveled from ass to neck like ice on a winter morning, clitter-clack and five fingers of shudders creeping crawling. Only it was summer this time, and she couldn’t begin to explain it away, force herself to stay, like she’d promised him she would, like she promised everyone before — men, grandmotherly old ladies, families who’d made her part of their own. She always promised to stay and she always broke that promise, no matter how intent she had been to keep it when it was made.

And here she was. Running. Again.

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Kissing kismet.

Damn it! Where was she?

Steve put his hands on his knees, panting, winded from racing through the main lobby of the library and taking the switchback stairway to the second floor. Of course she’d decided to sit at the opposite end of the vaulted open air space from the stairs, a vast wasted space full of artistic mobiles, abstract primary-colored slabs of steel twirling in the air currents generated by number and the activity of patrons. Of course she’d be still seated at the desk even as he crested those stairs, sprinting and dodging the other people browsing books, people he suspected whose sole purpose was to provide obstacles between him and that woman with the dark hair cascading in ragged curls around her shoulders.

Of course she would disappear as he rounded the stacks of books placed with malign intent of cutting off his view of her for just long enough, as long as it would take to break that hawk-like, laser-focused gaze he’d held her in on that madcap sprint from the entrance below.

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