It started with a book. No, that wasn't true. It started with a speeding ticket, but who's keeping track? It was a book. A book that she was reading. A book that he'd already read. A book that happened to be his favorite, one that he wanted to read again. That book went missing from her collection for three weeks. Then one day, she found it on her bed, with a carrier bird perched beside it, with a note.
That note turned into a meeting. That meeting turned out to be a work out together. Just a jog around the cove together. Jokes back and forth, questions about each other. It ended too soon for either of them, but they both had a job to do. Before he left, he asked her a question.
That question turned out to be dinner at a small restaurant. That dinner was filled with wonderful company and laughter. That dinner ended late, but neither of them cared. She slept in late and he missed his alarm for work.
Her friends knew something was going on. They tried to get her to tell them everything, but she wouldn't. She was teased, bribed, and interrogated for information. His friend tried to embarrass him to get him to talk, but he wouldn't cave. They kept their secret between them.
Dinner turned into lunch. It was short, but it was special and public. And it came with another lunch and another dinner. Another jog around the cove together. Another minute to spend with each other.
A minute turned into an hour. An hour turned into a day. A day turned into a week. A week then turned into a month. And that month turned into a year. Time well spent, in their opinion.
On her darkest day, he couldn't be there for her. He knew this was her fight and the fight of her friends. It wasn't his, no matter how badly he wanted to help her, but his town needed him more than she did. At least, that's what he told himself. And as the sun broke through those clouds, he knew that she was alright. She had won her war.
He was there for her the day she was no longer needed as a ranger. He was there the way no one had ever been there for her.
That day she returned to the Air Force, she didn't mention her return to him. But he was there nonetheless when her day was over and took her to dinner. She tried to hide her surprise, but he could read her like a book.
That dinner turned out to be more than what she had expected. She had left at one point in the meal to take a call from her superior officer and when she came back, there was a small box on her plate. He acted like nothing was different.
Inside that small box, was a gold ring. He took that gold ring, and slipped on her finger. And the feel of that ring on her finger, gave her such a feeling of completion that she hadn't felt since she became a ranger.
So many events came from that day. The day she sat beneath a tree, reading her book. That same book he stole from her. That book that became her favorite book. Or did this all come from a speeding ticket?