A New Flame - Chapter Eight - Uncovering Old Feelings
 By Moose   •   14th Jul 2014   •   1,394 views   •   0 comments
A New Flame

A few moments passed before Jane glanced up at the stairs. She heard the familiar creak of the shower as the water turned on. Her heart pounded a little quicker in her chest. She found herself standing and heading towards the door. Her bare feet hit the weathered wood of the porch as she stepped out into the chilling night. Jane’s pale blue eyes squinted into the darkness, scanning the yard for that familiar figure of Elijah’s. Her feet padded against the steps and into the cold grass.

She looked to the sky. A distant, soft orange glow peeked over the trees. The smell of smoke lingered in the air, making Jane cringe.

Goosebumps shot up her bare arms as the light of the house became farther away and she neared the barn. One square of light on the ground came through the small window of the barn office. The faint sounds of men’s voices were muffled out by the thin door between them and her. She stepped into the light and peered into the window, where she observed Gale and her father, deep in conversation.

Suddenly, a hand touched her shoulder, making her jump and gasp quickly. She spun around with wide eyes to find Elijah’s tall, gentle figure standing over her. Her heart skipped a beat and started up again so loud that she could hear it pounding in her ears.

“What are you doing out here?” Elijah whispered, stepping out of view of the barn office. Jane followed him out of the light and gazed up, still shocked and speechless from his sudden approach.

“I-” Jane began to speak, but found no excuse. “I don’t know.”

Elijah read Jane’s mind. He knew she had left the house to look for him. But his lips stayed sealed and his eyes stayed glued on her sparkling blue eyes. His hand took a daring leap forward and ever-so-gently brushed her bare arm. He ran his hand down her arm to the tips of her fingers and began to lead her.

Jane’s heart was now pounding out of her chest. His touch was so soft, so careful, so romantic. She watched him as he took a step back, tugging her along gently. Something urged her to let him lead her as he walked backwards around the corner of the barn. Once they were in the shadow of the barn, she felt butterflies hit the sides of her stomach.

He took a step towards her. She leaned back until she felt her back against the barn siding. She kept her eyes locked on his, watching his every move. Elijah’s hands grazed her sides, sending chills up her spine. Jane’s head tipped back slowly.

Elijah’s hand brushed her neck, and then her jaw, and then her cheek. Jane let herself relax in his hand and felt her mind slip away. Her heart skipped a beat as his nose tickled her cheek. Her eyes slipped shut and her lips grazed his. She felt the tingle of his hot breath on her mouth, making her heart beat even faster, until finally, he kissed her. His lips locked with hers so perfectly it gave her chills. Jane’s mind slipped away.

“My behavior. My behavior was outrageous?” Andrew laughed again and threw the pieces of the old post into the back of the truck one by one.

“What is so funny?” Jane was becoming frustrated.

“You!” he shouted, ripping his gloves off his hands and throwing them into the back of the truck. “You are impossible!” Andrew turned away in defeat.

“I’m not the one being difficult here! You went and-”

Suddenly, Andrew did the unthinkable. He turned back, grabbed Jane’s angry little face and kissed her. In all of Jane’s anger, frustration, and hate she felt a completely new passion as Andrew kissed her. In the same moment, instantaneously, they connected. Before she realized it, she was wrapping her arms around his neck. He ran his fingers through her hair, around her ear, making her forget everything else. She tipped her head back into his hand and let herself take in this new and different feeling.

A loud, booming voice came from what sounded like a distant place. “JANE!”

Suddenly, Jane pulled back and turned away.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered through her teeth.

Elijah took a step back. “No, I’m sorry. I crossed a line,” he admitted softly.

“No,” Jane said quickly, looking up to meet his gentle, honey brown eyes. “No, I-” Jane felt her heart begin to ache for the right words to describe her feelings. “I don’t know why I did that.”

Elijah tore his gaze away and nodded gently, “I think I do.”

Jane tipped her head to one side, sending all of her loose blonde curls toppling over her small shoulder. Her light brown eyebrows crinkled into a frown. “What?”

“It’s Andrew.” He whispered. Jane’s heart began to beat faster. The sound of his name made the backs of her eyes sting. She felt a strong tugging at her heart when she thought about him, making her want to shut her eyes and cry. “You haven’t felt this way since Andrew, and by kissing you I’ve brought back those feelings.”

Jane swallowed hard and studied the hem of Elijah’s t-shirt. “You’re right.” She choked out. Her eyes slipped shut, pressing back hot tears. “I’m so tired of feeling this way,” she whispered. Her barely audible voice broke as she spoke. “I don’t want it to keep hurting.”

Elijah lifted his hand slowly. He brought his hand to her face with such sincere softness, as though she were made of glass. “It won’t hurt forever,” he whispered back gently. “I promise.”

Jane’s pale blue eyes flicked up ever-so-slowly to meet his for one beautiful, sparkling moment and Elijah stared back at her with complete understanding. Then he drew her into a hug.

Elijah wrapped his arms around Jane’s small, fragile body and held her tightly. He felt her body sigh as she relaxed in his arms. Jane felt something swell in her heart, replacing the achy pain that had paralyzed her for so long. She was suddenly lost in him. The way he held her in his arms so tightly made Jane want to cry. The sting of her past felt like it was soothed by his presence. Finally Jane felt like she could accept everything that she had endured through the past year. It didn’t hurt any more. She felt she had finally found peace.

Liam came down the stairs refreshed after his long shower. He reached the bottom of the mahogany staircase and entered the kitchen to apologize to Jane for the way he yelled. But when he entered the kitchen, there was a soft breeze blowing through the room. The storm door was wide open and a wet washcloth and ice were left on the dining room table. “Jane,” Liam sighed in frustration. He slid on his tennis shoes and stepped out onto the porch, squinting towards the barn. The first thought in Liam’s mind was that Jane had tried to go back out in the woods.

As Liam hurried through the yard and towards the light in the barn office, something on the other side of the barn caught his eye. A strand of blonde hair blew in the breeze from around the corner. Liam took a step closer, “Jane?” he called out.

Elijah released Jane and looked down at her soft face in the dim light. The voice belonged to Liam and they both knew it. Elijah started to peek over Jane and around the corner of the barn. “Wait,” Jane whispered, grabbing his shirt and pulling him back. “He’ll see you.”

Jane squeezed her eyes shut and held her breath. They stayed completely silent for what seemed like an eternity.

“Jane, I know you’re there.” Liam called out again.

She let her breath out with a sigh, making her small shoulders sink. Elijah smiled down at Jane and shook his head. “He knows.” Elijah mumbled under his breath.

“Come out now and I won’t tell dad.” Liam offered, knowing that he had her attention.

Jane hesitantly bent around the corner of the barn and stepped out into the dim light of the moon. Liam shook his head as he watched Elijah follow her around the corner and stand silently behind her.

“What were you two doing behind the barn?” Liam asked with a cunning smile.

“Liam, that’s not funny.” Jane shot back, coming closer and hushing her voice to a whisper. “Please do not tell dad.”

“Fine.” Liam groaned, turning away. He took a few steps and paused momentarily. “But you,” He glanced back, shooting a stern gaze directly at Elijah. “Don’t you dare try anything on my little sister. I can make sure you’re never allowed back here again.”

Jane’s eyes narrowed into a glare as she shoved Liam with her elbow.

Elijah leaned back at Liam’s protective threat, “I wouldn’t.” he answered respectfully.

“Good.” Liam said with a nod and continued walking. “It’s late, you should be going home.” He opened the door to the office and stepped inside.

Jane heard her father’s voice from inside and leaned in to listen.

“They’ve created a firebreak all along Silverstone Creek.”

“How bad is it spreading?”

“Once it has burned everything up to the river it will die. There’s no fuel left for it to feed off of. But they are going to remain on firewatch until tomorrow morning. A helicopter will come by tomorrow morning when the fire dies to spray everything down.”

“Where do they think it started?”

“They think the spark came off of the railroad tracks a few miles from the river.”

Jane flattened her body against the side of the barn and turned to Elijah. “I’m sorry about Liam.” She whispered.

“He’s just being an older brother.” Elijah replied softly.

“Sometimes I wish he wouldn’t.” Jane sighed. “Sometimes it’s like he’s pretending to be my father… or Noah.”

“That’s his job.” He whispered.

“I know,” she breathed. “At least the fire is under control now.” She said after a long pause. “So you’ll probably have to go home now…”

“Don’t even think about going back out there.”

“Why not? It’s safe now.” Jane argued.

“It is not safe, you could step in an ash pit, weak trees could fall on you, fire can still spark days after it has died out.” Elijah’s soft voice became stern.

“I’ll be careful-”

Suddenly, the door to the office opened making Jane jump. Her eyes widened as the light from inside the office lit her face. Her father stepped out of the office and looked down at Jane. “What are you doing out here, I thought you went inside.”

“I did-” She paused and her mind raced for an explanation.

“It’s almost 3 a.m.” Will added, glancing from Jane to Elijah.

Gale stepped out of the office from behind Will. “Eli, you should go home and check on your sister. You know how difficult Benjamin is to get to bed when we’re not home. I’ll get a ride home from Will.”

Elijah nodded and watched the three men pass him and head towards the house. When the door behind them was closed, he turned to Jane. “Please don’t go out there,” he ordered.

Jane glanced down, “I won’t,” she said softly.

“Good night, Jane,” Elijah whispered with a smirking smile.

Jane glanced up, meeting Elijah’s big, devouring brown eyes. She smiled back and let herself take a step closer. “Good night, Eli.”

Elijah leaned in and kissed Jane’s soft, freckled cheek. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” he said before walking back to his truck and driving home.
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