It Happened in Paris…

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They moved slowly down a tree-lined path by the river, and he felt the most absurd urge to hold her hand again. As though they’d known each other a lot longer than an hour or two. Which reminded him he still hardly knew anything about her at all. “Do you live here? You obviously speak French well,” he said.

“My parents both worked in France for a while, and I went to school here in Paris for two years. You tend to learn a language fast that way. I’m just here for a month or so this time.”

“What do you do?”

“I–Oh!” As thought they’d stepped out from beneath a shelter, heavy sheets of rain mixed with thick, wet snowflakes suddenly poured on their heads, and Avery fumbled with her umbrella to get it open. It was small, barely covering both their heads. Jack had to hunch over since she was so much shorter than he as, laughing, they pressed against one another to try to stay dry.

He maneuvered the two of them under a canopy of tress lining the river and had to grin. The Fates were handing him everything today, including a storm that brought him into very close contact with Avery. Exactly where he wanted to be.

He lifted his finger to slip a melting snowflake from her long lashes. “And here I’d pictured Paris as sunny, with beautiful flowers everywhere. I didn’t even know it snowed here.”

“You can’t have done your homework.” Her voice was breathy, her mouth so close to his he got a little breathless, too. “It rains and snows here a lot. Parisians despise winter with a very French passion.”

He didn’t know about French passion. But hadn’t Avery said when in France, do as the French do? He more than liked the idea of sharing some passion with Avery. “I’m not a big fan of winter, either, when snow and ice make it harder getting to and from work.”

“Ah, that sounds like you must be a workaholic.” She smiled, her words vying for attention with the pounding rain on the nylon above them.

“That accusation would probably be accurate. I spend pretty much all my time at work.”

“I must have caught you at a good moment, then, since you’re sightseeing right now. Or, at least, we were sightseeing before we got stuck in this.”

“You did catch me at a good moment.” Maybe the romantic reputation of Paris was doing something to him, because he lifted his hands to cup her cheeks. Let his fingers slip into her hair that cascaded from beneath her hat. After all, what better place to kiss a beautiful woman than under an umbrella by the Seine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower? “I’m enjoying this very good moment.”

Her eyes locked with his. He watched her lips part, took that as the invitation he was looking for and lowered his mouth to hers.