Verse 7: Book of Hearts
An old wooden door. Ornate glass. A gentle creaking. The ring of an old bell. The busy hectic world retreating for a time. The scent of old paper.
A greeting. An offer. The clerk smiles gently. She mumbles a reply. Something about just looking and coming in from the cold and rain.
She begins to wander. Eyes exploring this new strange environment. Fingers tracing titles upon paper spines. Each a world onto their own.
Searching. For a thing unfamiliar. Reading the words of others. Wondering. Is there more?
The distant sound of an old bell. The clerk’s greeting. A reply. That voice. Calm. Kind. Subtlety demanding.
She turns. A swoosh of butterflies in her stomach. Like driving too fast over a hill. Him.
The sound of footsteps. An end to anticipation. A moment. Brief. Heart pounding. A simple and complicated thing.
Deep blue eyes. Depth. Regarding her quietly. She backs up a step. Places her hand on the shelf behind her. A subtle. Secret. Plea for support.
Slowly. He walks towards her. Long measured strides. Heart beats. Mere moments. A quickening of breath.
He stops in front of her. Deep blues look directly into hers. The world fades away. She feels a pressure on her skin. A craving. No. A need. For his touch.
He leans in closer. His right hand gently runs along the woolen grey and white leaves around her neck. He smiles gently. Grabs hold of it. Pulls her towards him.
Her skin tingles. Her leg touches his. A warm sort of itch spreads along her skin there. Her neck heats. As he touches it. With his other hand. Sending a warm pulsation through her. His hand settles upon holding her chin.
He stares into her. Deeply. Like before. She can’t look away. She wants to. But also doesn’t. Emotion. Physical demand. Confusion. A play of contradictions.
She looks into his eyes. Sees in them a hunger. Something primal. He wants her. All that she is. This scares her. Thrills her. Dare she say no to this man?
He leans in even closer. She can feel his breath again her neck. Against her ear. She feels a warm wetness between her legs. He whispers. Ever so softly. “Not yet.”
He pulls away. No. She thinks. I want you. He’s already turned. Walks away from her.
A weakness betrays her. She sighs. Leans against the solid wooden shelf for support.
Deep. Measured breathing. An eventual regaining of composure. She rises. Finally. Slowly walks to leave.
A sympathetic and friendly smile. The clerk holds out a small paper back book. “He left this for you.”
She takes it. Turns it over in her hands. Reads the title.
Book of Hearts.