Dancing in Starlight

Luke finally pulled his lips away from hers just long enough to catch his breath. Shirley Ann had kissed him so smartly he was certain he was seeing stars, all the stars at once, in a good way. He kept one hand spread across her back and with the other he readjusted his Stetson. It was just one nod away from tumbling to the dirt.  Shirley Ann smiled up at him, her eyes curving downward like dark crescent moons and her cheeks rising like the finest of apples. Man she sure was pretty. He had told her once a few years back, said she was the finest filly he had ever laid his eyes on. She smacked his shoulder then and told him to stop teasing her, but he meant. Luke certainly wasn’t a man to mince words. His Momma had taught him better than that and his Daddy wouldn’t have a son speaking just to hear himself talk. No Sir! God meant for a man to be nothing short of honest and sincere and that was what Luke had been all his life, especially when he managed to build up enough nerve to speak to Shirley Ann.

He felt heat creeping up his pale cheeks and polishing them a shameful shade of red. He never got much of the sun. He was a banker even though his other brothers had taken up ranching. A sun allergy kept him inside most days but boy did he love  a Stetson. It wasn’t the sun, however that made his cheeks burn but the warmth of Shirley Ann’s hands gently moving back and forward against his chest. She had not stopped her smiling and if her beauty had made him tongue-tied the unexpected kiss had made him right dumb. He finally took a step back, careful not to loose hold of her for he feared if he did he would never get the chance to touch her again. He cleared his throat and made his eyes look at least at her face. He hated that he was so shy with her. “Shirley,” Her heard his own voice croak like he was nothing but a boy in transition to manhood. His cheeks fired up again. Shirley grabbed them with a giggle and brushed her lips against his once again.

“Well don’t be shy, Luke.” She ran her thumb across his bottom lip and swiped away the crimson lipstick she had planted on him.

Luke cleared his throat. “Th-that was unexpected.” Was that the best he could do?! The crestfallen look on Shirley Ann’s face made him want to kick himself. Fumbling over his words he tried to repair his error. “What I meant was,” He pulled his Stetson from his head. Shirley had stepped away from him, her own face washing pink. “I just never thought you took a shine to me, is all. Especially since yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I know ladies like to be treated on that day. And you did,” His throat felt like it was full of cotton. He ran his finger under his collar. Shirley had stepped closer again. The heat of her skin pushing away the chill that had suddenly grown between them. “You did tell me no when I asked to take you dancing, yesterday so I just thought…” He hunched his shoulders and managed a sheepish smile.

Shirley cupped her mouth with her hands, her eyes again the shape of crescent moons. “Luke, I told you know because I didn’t want you to think I was only going out with you for the holiday.” She drug her boot tip across the ground, a nervous gesture. That made Luke feel better. At least he wasn’t the only one uncomfortable even if it was in a good way. “I meant to just tell you today, but I couldn’t find the words when I saw you. So I kissed you instead.” She laughed again and Luke found himself laughing to right before he gave her a kiss all his own. He kissed her right and good, just long enough for her eyes to stay closed and her lips to remain in a pucker when he pulled his lips away. Her eyes were still dreamy when she looked up at him and it made his heart drum against his chest. He whispered in to her ear, a smile big as Texas on his face, “How about that dancing, Shirley Ann?”



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