After the next day’s rehearsal, Marie stepped out of her dressing room and into Ian’s welcoming hug. With arms linked, they strolled the short distance from the theatre to Smokey Joe’s, a popular West End joint.
Soldiers from the different Allied units jostled near the bar, shouting to one another above the pulsing rhythms from a three-piece combo set up in a corner. Ian snagged a table near the rear of the restaurant. As soon as the waiter took their order, he held out his hand.
Marie smiled her acceptance, and they joined other couples on the narrow dance floor. “It’s nice dancing the evening away with you,” she said as he slipped his arm around her waist.
“You don’t miss Hector?”
“Not at all.” Ian wasn’t especially light on his feet, but his efforts were endearing. The memory of her impromptu waltz with Frost on that dim Hatfield sidewalk wavered before her. Closing her eyes to recapture that elusive moment, her foot collided against Ian’s.
“Is something wrong? I’m supposed to be the clumsy one.”
“It’s nothing.” She buried her face in his shoulder. How could she ever explain her infatuation to him? She barely understood it herself.
When the song ended, Ian guided her to their table as she surreptitiously surveyed the crowd. In a shadowed corner near the bar, a man wearing a tan cap stared at her. He raised his chin in a silent gesture, and she gasped as the lighting above the bar revealed his ice blue eyes.
“What is it?” Ian asked.
Marie glanced at him, then back at Frost. The corner was empty.
“I’ll be back,” she said, pulling her hand from his grasp.
He gripped her arm. “What is it?”
“I only need a minute.”
“Who is he?”
“Please, don’t ask me. Just give me one minute.”
Ian released her, and she graced him with a smile before hurrying toward the door leading into the kitchen. The cooking staff ignored her as she navigated a path between the stoves and prep stations.
When she reached the back door, she paused and took a deep breath before pushing it open.
A narrow alley acted as a tunnel for gusts of spring winds. She wrapped her arms around her chest and stepped outside the circle of light from a fixture above the door. Adjusting to the darkness, she scanned the varying shadows for movement.
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.