I should have known, from that mischievous twinkle in her eye, that she was up to something. I gave her the umbrella anyway, just because she wanted it, and because she gave me this look. Now there she goes, hotfooting it down the street, blonde hair, trench coat, and giggles trailing behind her.
All I can do is stand there slack-jawed, watching her scamper away, albeit not very fast, thanks to those ridiculous heels. A young couple exiting the Robber brings me out of my reverie, and I decide to allow her the head start—if I really tried, I could catch up in less than half a block. Instead, I pull my hair back into a ponytail, then take off in a jog, hoping that neither of us slips in the rain.
"Maura!" She looks back over her shoulder and I feign annoyance, "I'm getting wet, Maur!" More giggling.
It's a good thing my apartment is just two and a half blocks away. I speed up with half a block to go and close in just as she reaches my front stoop. My tackle isn't exactly like a linebacker, but I do manage to unbalance her, my arms around her middle as I come to an abrupt stop, rain dripping from my forehead. She's still laughing when she looks up at me, both of us now under the umbrella, the second glass of wine smiling in her eyes.
She's recovered her balance and I think maybe I'm holding onto her too long, but she just keeps leering at me and smiling, like there's no place she'd rather be than standing in the rain, on my street, in my arms.
I feel my eyes dart to her lips, but before my brain can catch up, her head shakes almost imperceptibly, the moment over. My arms slacken and she uses her free hand to straighten her coat. Suddenly subdued, she says, "You must be cold." She looks up at me and tilts her head toward the door, "Let's go warm you up."