Dandelion Dreams

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Authors: Samantha Garman
dull grass peeping between the cracks. I trailed after Kai up the stairs. Jiggling the key in the lock, he let me inside. The studio was sparse—twin bed in the corner, a rickety circular table with two wire chairs, and a small refrigerator making a faint humming noise, attesting to its age.
    Kai set his mandolin case down as I walked to the window and looked out over the quiet path. I could almost imagine the color of the flowers that would appear in spring. Turning back to him, I smiled.
    “It seems just the sort of place a musician would live.”
    He grinned as we perched on the bed. Holding my hand, he traced the back of it. “Anyone tell you that you have elegant knuckles?”
    I laughed. “No.”
    He brought them to his lips. “This—,” he gestured to the studio, “is just a place out of the rain.”
    “You don’t like being owned by things, do you?”
    He shrugged. “Obligation is a bitch. What about you?”
    I thought of Connor; I had let myself be owned by people. I nodded.
    Kai reached out with his free hand to touch my face. “Where’s your home, Sage?”
    “I don’t have one.” My voice was full of bone-jarring loss, an endless reservoir of sadness.
    Further words were unnecessary as he turned his body towards me. Sinking his fingers into my hair, he pulled my face close to his. His mouth covered my lips in an urgent kiss, and I gave into his need, fueling my own. With gentle insistence, he pushed me back, and his body melted over mine. His hands and lips were everywhere; it was a struggle to breathe and when I did, the scent of sunshine and pine filled my nose.
    Perhaps I didn’t have a home, but in that moment, I felt like I did. In his arms, my aching spirit calmed. He was summoning a feeling I had long thought dead.
    We struggled out of our clothes, and I watched as Kai’s eyes roamed over me in reverence. I touched him, my fingers colliding with an angry scar on his chest. It looked like a burn.
    “What is—”
    “Not yet,” he interrupted. “I’ll tell you, but not right now.” He silenced me with a kiss.
    I swallowed questions as my hands glided over his skin and played with the dark hairs on his chest.
    His fingers tickled their way down my body, and I shivered in delight, not wanting to wait any longer. The aching loneliness disappeared like mist late in the morning as our bodies joined as one.
    I rocked against him, my mouth seeking his. I bit his lip and then soothed the pain with my tongue.
    He groaned, but it wasn’t in despair.
    Everything made sense, and the only thing that mattered was Kai’s mouth on mine and the feeling of his warm, flushed skin against me. We moved in a frenetic pace—a moment too brief in time.
    Our breaths mingled as our hearts beat in a synonymous, steady rhythm. Kai’s face nestled into the crook of my neck, and my hands gripped his hair as we attained the deepest release possible. I was fulfilled and at peace, but when Kai eased out of me I felt empty again.
    “Come on,” he said, taking my hand and leading me towards the tiny bathroom. The narrow shower stall would force us to remain close.
    We showered in easy silence, our hands still finding a reason to touch one another. I pressed a kiss to his scar, which I could now see in the light.
    “It looks like a brand.” A tragic T&R marked forever on his body, remembered by his flesh.
    “It is.”
    I didn’t ask about it again.
    The hot water beat down on us, and I closed my eyes and leaned against his slick shoulder. His arms came around me and squeezed. I fit into him—I belonged. We dried off, and Kai gave me one of his t-shirts.
    “You’re staying.”
    “I am?” I asked, even as I reached for the shirt and pulled it over my head. “You don’t seem the type that spends a whole night with a woman.”
    “I’m not,” he admitted, “but I want to spend tonight with you.”
    I did as I was bid, climbing into his bed and scooting over, making room for him. He slid in next

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