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A New Flame - Chapter Two - Bonding Over Breakfast
 By Moose   •   27th Jun 2014   •   1,175 views   •   0 comments
A New Flame

Jane danced down the mahogany staircase with grace. Her perky blonde curls bounced and slapped against her back until she came to a sudden halt. Her icy blue eyes fixed on the man at their kitchen table.

“Good morning,” Elijah greeted her, noticing Jane’s alarmed appearance. Jane let her bare feet slide slowly off the last step. She glanced down briefly at the bowl of cereal in front of him, and then back up at Elijah’s smile. “Did... Did you want some?” He asked, gesturing towards the box.

Jane made her way into the kitchen with slow, lazy steps. She narrowed her eyes at his somewhat mischievous smile and took a bowl from the cupboard. “Well, I didn’t think I needed permission to have a bowl of cereal in my own house.” She took a spoon from the drawer, sat down across from him, and added, “But... I do love Cheerios.” Jane’s lips curled into a smile.

Elijah slid the cereal box in her direction, his brown eyes fixed on hers. “Me
too.”

As she poured the cereal into her bowl, Jane felt his eyes on her, making her heart beat quicken. She paused before speaking. “What are you doing in my house this early?” Jane stopped pouring the milk and looked up at him, waiting for an answer.

Elijah laughed and looked down at his cereal. “And you thought I was rude...” he murmured.

“Well, I’m sorry but you are sitting in my kitchen, helping yourself to cereal.”

Elijah smiled. “I was working on the barn, we took a break, and our parents were having coffee.”

Jane cringed. “I hate coffee.”

“So do I. That’s why your mother offered me cereal.” He explained as he dropped his spoon into his bowl. “But don’t worry, I was just leaving.” Elijah pushed away from the table slowly, waiting for Jane to stop him.

Her head shot back up, “Wait.” Elijah froze and raised a blonde eyebrow at her. “I mean, you don’t have to leave just because I’m here...” Jane murmured.

“I thought you might want to eat in peace.” Elijah eased back into his chair with a childish grin.

Jane shrugged, “I could use some company.”

Elijah paused, his dark eyes watching Jane take a bite of her cereal. The fact that she wouldn’t admit to wanting him to stay made him even more curious.

They took a few more bites in silence. “Let’s go somewhere.” Elijah blurted out.

Jane glanced up from her bowl and tilted her head. “What?”

“Do you want to go somewhere?” Elijah repeated louder, “Right now?”

Jane started to smile again, “Right now?” she glanced around the empty kitchen, “Where? Aren’t you supposed to be going back to work? What about your dad?”

Elijah laughed and watched Jane’s smile grow. His eyes wandered to her hand and watched her sweep a piece of hair away from her face. Elijah shook his head gently, “We both know I don’t actually word.” His voice had a hint of rebellion.

She looked at Elijah with a crooked grin. The way his honey brown eyes pried into her made her heart beat faster. Elijah stood and all of a sudden, Jane felt feelings of excitement and childishness flood into her. The way her stomach churned and tickled when she stood to follow him was the same way she felt when Andrew was doing something spontaneous. She liked the feeling, but it also made her feel hollow and achy. Elijah headed for the door and paused to wait as she slipped on her old, worn out cowgirl boots then held the door as she stepped past him.

Jane’s boots thudded as they hit the wood deck. The sun was just getting past the line of trees and shooting through the leaves in rays of light, making Jane squint. Elijah was the first off the deck, leading the way. Will, Lewis, Liam, and Gale were all hard at work on the new barn. The sun beat down on their skin, already shining with sweat. Elijah caught Gale’s attention, walked over to him, and started mumbling things into his ear. She watched from the porch steps as they both glanced over simultaneously. Her heart skipped a beat. She felt suddenly self-conscious of her destroyed, blue jean shorts and boots.

With Gale’s hesitant nod of approval, Elijah headed back to Jane and led her to the silver pick up truck. She grabbed the handle of the passenger door and yanked a few times. It stuck. Elijah tried with a little harder yank.

“Um, you’ll have to get in the other side.” He said, stifling laughter. “It’s an old truck.” Jane smiled and shook her head as she followed him to the other side. “I can open this door for you though.” He kept a smirking smile as he opened the driver’s side door in the most elegant way possible. “After you, Miss.” He said, gesturing and bowing slightly.

Jane giggled and crawled into the truck, sliding to the other side.

Jane watched Elijah’s well-built arms cross hand over hand as he turned and backed the truck out of the driveway. His hand naturally grabbed the back of her seat as he turned his head to see. With his face nearer to hers, Jane could see every freckle on his nose and every curly blonde highlight in his golden hair. Then he spun around again, shifting the truck into drive and pulled out of the driveway.

Once the truck reached the wider gravel road, Elijah glanced at Jane out of the corner of his eye. He smiled, knowing that she was watching him.

Jane saw him look and pretended to be looking out his window, “So where are we going?” she asked curiously.

“You’ll see,” Elijah smiled to himself and kept his eyes on the gravel road ahead of him. Jane looked at him, then back at the road.

Suddenly she realized where they were headed. The closer they got, the faster her heart beat. The road began to twist and her stomach did the same. Her smile faded quickly. There it was. The corner where Andrew’s truck was smashed and destroyed and by some miracle Jane survived to be haunted by it. Flashbacks spilled into her mind, and spread like wildfire.

Jane watched the silver grill of the semi truck appear from behind Andrew. Perched at the very top of the grill there was a small silver bird, an eagle, Noah’s favorite bird. The monstrous truck overtook them in a second. She remembered the sound as the loudest noise she had ever heard. It pierced through her ears and made them ring for hours after the accident. She watched the glass begin to shatter, the driver’s window first. She remembered thinking how pretty the broken glass was when it was sparkling and glittering in thousands of tiny pieces. Then the window caved in and she looked away. That was all she remembered of the accident. Those three short seconds that played themselves over and over in her mind.

Elijah noticed her suddenly strange behavior. Her smile had faded and the color had drained from her face and tears had begun to swell in her eyes. He quickly braked. “Jane, what’s wrong?”

She felt tears flooding her eyes, making it impossible to see. Her chest felt tight and achy and all of a sudden she found it hard to breathe.

“Jane?”

Jane crumpled into her hands silently. She let her eyes slip shut and covered her face. Emotions poured out of her without cease. The confused, wide-eyed Elijah watched Jane fold up, not knowing what had happened or how to comfort her.

“Hey, everything is okay.” Elijah whispered, though he had no idea what was going on. Jane continued to sob and shook her head. That was when Elijah did something Jane was not expecting. He pulled her into a hug. Jane’s head hit his chest and Elijah’s arms wrapped around her tiny frame, closing her in tightly. Surprisingly, her body relaxed. She let herself be buried in his arms where she felt better and a little safer. It astounded her that Elijah had tried to comfort her instead of letting her have a breakdown. Elijah didn’t know why Jane was acting like this but he comforted her anyway.

When he finally released her, Jane’s heart was beating slower and she had stopped shaking. Jane could hardly force herself to look at him, wondering what he could possibly be thinking of her. Elijah searched Jane’s face, waiting for her to explain.

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled.

“Don’t be, Jane,” Elijah said quickly.

“I don’t understand... Why did you do that?” Jane said, looking up at him.

Elijah locked eyes with her, “I thought you could use a hug.”

“Thank you,” Jane breathed.

He responded with a silent nod, urging her to continue.

“This is where it happened,” Jane’s voice cracked as tears began rolling down her freckled cheeks. “This is where I lost my best friend.”

Elijah watched Jane’s glassy blue eyes fill with tears again. He could see her swallow hard and force them back.

“It could have been me,” she said louder, with a twinge of anger in her voice. “Maybe if I hadn’t picked that stupid fight with my father he would still be here. Maybe if for once, just once, I had listened to him then Andrew wouldn’t have had to pay for my stupid mistake.”

Elijah exhaled softly and looked down at the small chunks of gravel on the floor of the truck. He felt his heart tugged by Jane’s pain.

“It’s my fault.” She whispered.

Elijah looked up, “No it’s not.” He said firmly. “Jane, nothing is your fault. Everything happens for a reason, you couldn’t have possibly known this was going to happen. You can’t control these things.”

“But I wish I could.” She choked out.

Elijah nodded, “I know,” he breathed. His words melted through her.

Jane inhaled deeply and exhaled with a loud sigh, letting go of the pain that had wrapped itself around her. She wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled, “You must think I’m crazy.”

Elijah’s dimples reappeared, “I don’t think you’re crazy.”

“Really?” She asked in disbelief.

“You must think I’m crazy, I convinced you to get in my truck and I drove you out to the middle of no where.” He replied with a smirking smile. “Didn’t your parents ever teach you about strangers?”

Jane cautiously moved closer to her window.

“I’m kidding,” he replied with his familiar, quirky grin. “Do you still want to know where we are going?”

Jane’s heart fluttered with excitement. “Yes.”
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