Marie melted into his embrace, closing her eyes to capture every essence of this moment. The tiny prickling of his stubbled cheek against her own. The firmness of his collar bone against her chin. The woodsy notes of his aftershave.
Too soon he pulled away, his hands grasping her arms, his eyes searching hers. “This soldier you’re with,” he took a deep breath, “he is your lover?”
“No.” Marie shook her head. Live the cover. “Yes.” Hot tears stung, and she bit the inside of her mouth. How could she lie to him? But she didn’t dare tell him the truth. “I . . . I don’t love him.”
“And de la Rivera? Does your heart belong to him?”
Marie stepped backward, her face flushed. “How do you . . .” She swallowed, her mind racing. Frost was German. He was the enemy. No matter what her heart told her, she couldn’t forget that they were on opposite sides in this war. There was too much at stake to trust him.
Frost let his hands slide down her arms until he was gently holding the tips of her fingers. “Your hands are cold. And I have frightened you. My little Sparrow.”
Marie pulled back in alarm at his use of her code name.
“Do not be frightened. I’m not here to harm you.”
“Why are you here?”
Frost chuckled as he teased. “You stole my jacket.”
“You left it with me.”
“I needed it.”
“It’s at my apartment. I mean, my flat.”
“I know.” He gazed upward as if searching the night sky for the answer to an unspoken question. “I have been to your ‘apartment.’ I waited as long as I could, but you did not return.”
“You broke in?”
“Only from necessity.”
Marie skimmed his attire. Frost wore a knitted pullover over a buttoned-down shirt. But no jacket. “It’s hanging in my wardrobe. Didn’t you find it?”
“I did.” He gave her a sheepish grin. “I could smell your perfume on it. As if, perhaps, you had held it close.”
Heat flushed her cheeks, and his grin widened. “I thought, I hoped, you might want to keep it. A warm memory in the midst of a cold, barren time.”
In the shadowy darkness, his enlarged pupils almost completely covered his light irises. Still holding her hand, he raised one arm and guided her through a twirling dance step, then pulled her close. “Remember me,” he whispered.
The restaurant door creaked opened, and a shaft of light cut across the alley. Marie startled, then laughed nervously. She turned toward Frost, only to see him sprint toward the alley’s open end and disappear around a corner. He never looked back.
Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current works in progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman. Click here for a full list of rules and suggestions.