Play with me.
They call us the Firework Girls.
I’m Ashley. My music is like a lover, surrounding me. Filling me. Transporting me with its power.
Much like he did … before he broke my heart.
Now he’s back, wanting another duet. Can I play the same old song? Do I even want to?
Eternal Heat Excerpt:
“It’s been a long time since we played together.”
I glance back at the piano. “Uh, yeah. It’s been a bit.”
He gives me a questioning smile.
I sigh and roll my eyes. “Alright then. You first.”
He grins wider and heads to the bench. I can’t help but smile at him. I’ve missed playing with him, too. I drift to the piano and rest my hand on its smooth surface.
His hands hover above the keys, but he doesn’t play. He glances up at me.
He pats the spot on the bench next to him.
I hesitate, then sit down.
He takes a satisfied breath and begins to play. That’s all it takes. We’re caught up in the music again, but that’s not all. Or at least, it isn’t for me. As we take turns playing, and even play a duet together, I’m caught up in all those old feelings of love I had for him. They’ve returned so strongly, I’m not sure they belong entirely to the past.
I feel a little swept out to sea. Erik is next to me and his music is all around me and my defenses are falling. He could walk right into my heart again, if he wanted to.
We finish our duet but don’t say a word.
We don’t look at one another.
We only keep our eyes on the keys and our hands in our laps. I’m breathing a little too hard. He is too.
“Ashley,” he says softly, “I’m really glad you’re here at Hartman.”
I nod, keeping my eyes on the black and white keys in front of me. “I’m glad you’re here, too,” I say. And I am.
I feel him looking at me. I slowly bring my eyes to his face. Everything else falls away. It’s only Erik. And me. And everything between us.
He’s holding my eyes and I can’t look away. But I’m afraid because I think he’s going to kiss me, and what then?