Room for Improvement

To get the fluff out of my system,
since everyone knows that sweets are bad for you.

Years afterward, Jack would say that the best kiss he'd ever had was on that day of the rally. His best work, if he did say so himself. All the kisses after didn't nearly measure up – they weren't even in the same ballpark as that kiss had been.

Their lips touching faintly then harder, her arms around his neck, his hand around her waist and his tongue on her teeth. It had been a truly beautiful work of art and he was sorry someone hadn't gotten it on film.

In some ways, he was grateful that they'd gotten the messy business of the Best Kiss out of the way. He knew after that they couldn't ever get that kiss back and it made him much less nervous about their relationship. He could kick back and not worry about trying to do a knockout job.

On the other hand, it had set an incredibly high standard. All the kisses afterwards had been nice, yet, but none quite so … fiery as the first.

He thought about that.

In all his other relationships – and there had been many – it was shortly after the Best Kiss that he and the girl split. After all, once you'd had a Best Kiss there was nothing else to stay for, was there?

He thought of Sarah, her smile, and the way she had of talking that made each sentence sound like it was the most important sentence in the world. He thought of her eyes, rolling upwards when he'd recited the daily headlines beneath her window as though they were Shakespeare. He remembered the redness of her knuckles after she'd punched Morris in the mouth, and the look on her face when he'd come to the rescue.

He remembered the feeling in his stomach when she smiled at him for the first time. The lack of regret when the train to Santa Fe rolled away.

Jack smiled to himself, tossing the velvet box into the air and tucking it into his pocket.

The thing about kisses, he decided as he swung onto the fire escape, was that there was always room for improvement.