His lawn was immaculate, framed in old trees with moss crawling up the bark. Helicopter seeds fluttered down from the maples, catapulting from their mothers in a spiraling, passionate leap, hitting the pavement with a thwack.
It would be hard not to fall for the man who saved her life, rushing to her aid before she fell in the turbulent river. This man so at home with kisses of the wild, like the unexpected thrill of a snake in the grass, and a bunny darting across the road, white bouncing warning flashing from her tail.
“You know, maybe I should mention, the first time I saw you wasn’t in person. Perhaps it doesn’t count.” She seemed confused, but he clarified quickly. “The paper. When you organized the river clean up.”
She looked relieved. “Didn’t realize you knew who I was.” The kitten’s fur was soothing after the trauma, they were both lucky he was near.
“Didn’t want to appear to be a crazed fan.”
“Oh, I don’t get those. Not many people care about the river”
He smiled. “Yes, you can count on always being alone on the bridge.”
“What were you doing there, anyway?”
“Waiting for you.” He paused briefly, and shrugged at her shock. “I know. I didn’t want to seem creepy, that’s why I didn’t mention it earlier. I saw you when I was hiking, knew you from the paper, thought maybe I’d catch a chance to say hi. It’s lucky I did.” He winked. “Fate was telling me I had to be there to save you.”
She laughed. “I swear that beam shouldn’t have been so slippery. I’ve gone up there before to take photos, maybe that’s why the kitten got stuck. Maybe it was a better foothold when he crawled out there and the morning dew made it slippery.”
“Yes, maybe. Or something else. Very exciting.”
“Not the word I would use. The river’s pretty rough right there.”
“I just mean if you had drowned or hit your head, I never would have had the chance to lead you here.”
Concern furrowed her brow, she seemed uncomfortable at passing through the threshold of a man she knew so little of, and she clutched the kitten to her chest as he turned to her. She realized the sound she just heard was the lock sliding in place, and the kitten hissed at his smile.