Pinned by the Fence
Several weeks later, after yet another assembly of enduring passes from colleagues, Sarah decided to get some closure about this Steve situation. She needed to understand what went wrong. Everything went south when she was admitted to the hospital. Nothing could explain why.
In an effort to figure things out, Sarah decided to visit the scene of her accident on a weekend. She had reviewed the video footage enough times to know how Steve had saved her. What she didn’t know was just what went on behind the scenes of his dramatic rescue.
As she arrived to the school, her memory drifted fondly to how she had struggled with everything she had to pull his car from the water. She never saw that monster again. It was such a beautiful machine. The days of classic super sport V8 muscle. Was it water damaged? Did he ever fix it? No one knew.
Sarah was proud of how she had saved her hunk. Well, hunk to be. No… hunk that never became. Nevertheless, she would have risked it again and again if she had to.
With a big sigh… she parked her little car and walked her way to the fence where Steve had jumped to save her. While she knew the school campus well, she rarely went to that side of the property. Now she knew why. It was a bit secluded and forgotten. The tall trees hid a lot of potential bad characters. It was not a safe place. The grass was well manicured and the view was amazing. But, secluded.
From the reports, Steve was doing yoga. A great place to do yoga unbothered by anyone. There was a bit of clearance that led to the fencing where he had had to jump. The only place that offered a good enough vantage to see the cars coming and her biking was closer to the school than the fence. The man would have had to have seriously explosive take-off sprinting capabilities to close that gap that fast.
Then there was the matter of the fence. Sarah was wrapping her hands about herself to feel a bit more safe as she approached the fence. It was tall enough to keep nearly everyone out expect the most determined. Even the track and field guys marveled that Steve had cleared that height of a fence in one attempt.
The piece of his shirt that had gotten caught was still tangled at the top. Given the shape of the post, it should have easily gutted him during his jump. Yet, that had not stopped his progress. The grass had long grown and been mowed so there was no way of seeing where he landed.
Sarah imagined it was more of a tumble than a landing. Somehow, Steve had managed to roll himself back up and keep running at full speed towards her, as the area of grass to cover to the curb was impressively far.
By now, leaning against the fence, Sarah was feeling the need to cry. She was very fit herself. She was very fast. She kept up with the best of the school with ease. What kind of energy propels a man to hurl himself so recklessly across the expanse of a football field to save a woman from crashing cars? To her, it was one of two things. He had the gift of vision to see the future or he was madly in love with her. That burst of speed was only powered by a massive fear of loss. The kind a mother has whenever her child is at risk.
Why. Why. Why. Why would he throw that away. She was available. She was scared. But she was willing.
Panic nearly choked her as she felt a strong presence close in on her and pin her to the fence. Unsure why her vocal chords did not scream, she braced herself for the violent assault she most feared. The grip was strong. The size difference was too much for her to overcome.
Closing her eyes, letting her tears slip out, she silently prayed that her superman was close to save her as the strength of arms turned her and pinned her gently against the fence.
Opening her eyes, she found Steve’s eyes burning a hole into her soul inches from her face. She was overwhelmed by his masculinity, confidence, assuredness, and strength of presence.
Her jaw dropped. The pounding of blood in her ears deafened all other sounds. Her legs gave way but she didn’t fall as he had her secured against the fence.
He had done it again. He had closed a huge amount of distance in impossible quick pace. He was superman!
Steve waited until he felt her sense of time and space returned. The panic and fear had slipped by and now curiosity had settled in. She was trying to decide if she should hate him or give him a chance. Not sure how he knew that, Steve wasted no time to make his move.
“I really hope you don’t ask me to let you go, as I’d like to share my heart with you now, but I can quickly give you space. Just say the word”
Now, that was not fair. Sarah was totally disarmed by his gracious smile and confident lean in. They were inches from kissing. He was totally in for the kill. So not fair to throw the choice back in her face like that, not that she’d have accepted anything less from anyone.
Her tough side quickly kicked in and pushed Steve back, or at least attempted. The man did not budge one bit. He was extremely close. She was feeling his pounding chest through the minor gap distance between them. She pushed harder to no avail.
As she kept her eyes fixed on him she realized that her face was not matching her efforts. Her lips were still gapped from her slackened jaw and her eyes were inviting him in.
“OK. You win. Talk”
Steve backed off to give her respectful distance while sliding one hand from the fence to rest very close to her neck. Well, resting on her shoulder ready to cup her neck centimeters away.
So. Not. Fair.
Steve began explaining how he was struggling to understand his attraction to her while addressing the lack of confidence in himself. He had disappeared because he was struggling with guilt. He had come several times to this very spot to review what had taken place and was increasingly more convinced that he had nearly killed her by his stupid desire to appear like a hero to win her over.
Sarah, now snapped awake out of her moment of silly crush mode, was not in critical thinking mode. She put her hand on his chest and solidly pushed him away. He did not resist. He did not protest. He looked like a man who understood that he had coming what was coming.
Saved her a huge amount of effort to chastise her superman.
She needed to better understand his cowardice. Why would he throw away her open invitation and embarrass her in school?
As Steve listened, he understood that he had put her through unnecessary pain. She would have understood. She was willing. He had been too self focused. He had not given her a chance. He had not talked to her.
They both wanted the same thing. An opportunity to get to know, like, and trust each other in love without the eyes of their colleagues. He had not protected her in the aftermath.
Pausing to let him speak and defend himself, to her surprise, he didn’t. He, instead, thanked her and asked to know more about her feelings. Not sure what to make of it, Sarah asked him to pour out his feelings so that the vulnerability balance was kept.
As she listened intently at his short explanation, her heart wept for him. He was a man recovering from years of damage. Those women had dug their talons into his heart and scrambled it. Thankfully, his insights and honesty showed a different Steve than she was familiar with. This man was backing up his depth with character. He was not making any excuses. He was owning his space and speaking from the wholeness of his heart.
He wanted her!
As they continued to talk, Sarah was saddened to note that he was not establishing a new relationship. He was dressing the stage for the path to one, if she accepted. He was taking things very carefully slow. Not much slower than she would have taken things, but she did want to have the assurance that he was going to pick up the pace quickly and soon.
She had to know, and he sensed it. How did he cover that amount of ground so fast? The secret was in the foliage around them. The trees and shrubbery of that very corner of the campus grew exceptionally fast due to being on great soil with amazing water supply and the right amount of sunlight.
When the incident had taken place, he was a lot closer to the fence. Just close enough that he barely had enough runway to jump up and scale the fence.
He laughed when he saw the piece of his shirt still attached at the top. He pulled up his shirt. Her tummy flipped in ecstasy. His really toned abs were flawless. There was a scar line however diagonally across them. The fence.
What helped him close the gap was that as he tumbled over, he had kicked off the fence hard enough to start him in the right direction. After a quick tumble, he was up and at speed quickly. He admitted to not having made it to the sidewalk when he had jumped with all of his might only to realize he was not going to make it.
She felt his pain as he described being violently smacked by the crumbling cars and being tossed over her head as he grabbed at her to move her out of the way.
No wonder he was looking so beat up. Sarah understood why he was shaking so badly in the ambulance and why the EMT’s were so keen on trying to talk him into getting help. Her superman was not made of steel and had really suffered immense damage.
Biting her lip and leaning her head slightly, Sarah wondered how his lips tasted.
Steve chuckled as he looked at her looking at him. She was no longer angry. They were now in a good place. Time to go to plan B.
Mackenzie thought she had caught a glimpse of Steve standing by the school’s fence. She wasn’t sure if she saw him or not and worse if he was alone or not. She’d have to delay meeting him, as she had falsely scheduled a meeting with Steve. She needed to go around the block and verify that she had not seen Steve standing with someone by the very fence he had jumped to save Sarah. That would be horrible if that was the case.
Her plans were to meet him at the school and help him setup his big project for the kids. This would be her moment to make her move on Steve.
As she circled the block, her mind was set at ease. There was the school jock sitting with his girlfriend below a tree outside the fence. Her mind was being a bit too paranoid. There was no Steve and certainly no Sarah in sight.
Being a few minutes late, she’d blame it on traffic. As she pulled into her parking spot, Mackenzie checked her makeup and adjusted her bras. She had to look plain and simple yet effectively seductive. Steve was hers and today was the day she’d make her biggest move and get him.
To be Continued