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from Desires of the Heart by Tiffany Doran

Copyright © 2017–2020 Tiffany S. Doran

Chapter Two
The Past in the Present

Her body froze. She couldn't believe it was him. Her eyes were focused on Matt. Her mouth instantly went dry and her heart raced. She thought she may faint for a minute and quickly gathered her composure before walking over to greet him with a hug. She remembered the scent...the smell ran through her veins as it had years ago. A warm, calm feeling rushed over her. She realized she had held on for longer than she probably should have as her dad cleared his throat snapping her out of her trance. "How are you Matt?" Katie asked in a frazzled tone. "I mean have you been doing well, I mean what brings you in to our neck of the woods?" she went on. She was trying so hard to calm down her nerves. "Would you like to sit down?" Randy asked as he cut his eyes at Katie. " Sure, thanks." Matt said as he pulled out a chair at the table. She couldn't help but stare at him. She was leaning up against the refrigerator looking at every curve of his face and taking it all in, not believing that he was actually here again.
She and Matt had a relationship about 4 years ago. She was so in love with him. They were both seventeen going on forty. Some would call it puppy love but she...had plans. She had their wedding all planned as well as their reception. They would be married during the summer months in the barn that her mom and dad had built. The reception would be held in the large fenced in back yard. Instead of having the sign on the bumper that read "Just Married", they would each be on a horse that was tied together with a rope carrying a sign that said "Just Hitched". Oh, it was going to be great!! But then, a horrible fire happened. It had been an unusually dry summer. The hay hadn't been tended to yet and was still setting outside to be transported to the barn. Someone tossed their cigarette out the window and Poof! It was all gone. The barn that her parents had spent months building, was ashes, the fence posts that were carefully placed in the ground by Randy, looked like burnt matchsticks, the fire had ruined it all. Their church had donated a lot of items to help out thankfully. It broke her heart to see Randy stand there and look at the smoke filled farmland. It hurt him almost as much as it did when he lost his wife. Katie thought it was like losing her all over again. A lot of her mom and dad's memories were made in that barn and now, it was a pile of ashes and soot. Matt and his family came out almost every day to help out as much as they could. She loved it when he showed up. She felt so safe and warm in his arms. His scent was her security and she didn't feel as empty with him around. But that day would be different. She ran to greet him as she always did, longing for that safe feeling. After she hugged him he looked into her deep emerald green eyes and her world changed. "We're moving..." Matt said with a lump in his throat. Her heart began to race and she could feel the tears start to form. "Move...where would you move to?" Katie choked back tears as she could see the seriousness in his face. "We're moving to California. Mom got a promotion and it's a mandatory relocation." Matt replied solemnly. She covered her face with her hands as she began to cry. "Don't cry Kat, please don't cry. I didn't know when or how to tell you. With everything going on here there really wasn't a right time." He told her as he held her. " When do you have to go?" Katie said wiping the tears from her face." It'll be a couple months yet, we still have to pack up and sell our home but mom thinks she's already found us a place there." He went on. She wrapped her arms around his waist and held him as tight as she could.

The days went by, the rebuild was taking shape and the day came for him to leave. The day was different. The smell of the air was different. The sun was covered by grey clouds and the wind blew cold. It was almost as if the day felt as her heart did. She held him as tight and for as long as she could. Almost as if the longer she held him, the longer he would be in her life, her heart, her presence. He kissed her long and hard with as much passion as he could muster. "I love you Kat, with every fiber in me, I love you." He said before he left. She stood on her front porch and watched him until she could no longer see the tail lights; until she was sure she wouldn't see brake lights and him running back to her. Then she went inside, up to her room, threw herself acro...

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