To kiss a Marine...

I began something new on my Facebook fan page - Friday Picture Stories.They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and each one tells a story. I began writing short tales inspired by images. This is the result.

He turned, staring deeply into her eyes. The gray at his temples glinted in the sun. He tossed a wink her way before focusing once again on his fishing pole angling over the side of the boat. He tugged his cap down to better shade his eyes from the glare off the water. She felt again that weakness in her knees, the butterflies in her stomach. She remembered taking another hat of his once and putting it on, flirting over funnel cake at that small-town fair where he was home on leave. He told her that the Marines had a tradition. When a girl takes a Marine's hat, he has to kiss her to get it back.

"Oh," she said. "Really?"

He smiled, slow as molasses and twice as sweet. "Yes, ma'am. Really. You wouldn't want me to flout tradition now would you?"

She bit her lip and glanced down, coy, but nervous inside...or was that anticipation? He gently lifted her chin, turning her to face him. She blushed deeply, and his grin widened. "May I?"

She was touched he would ask so politely. "You may." And he kissed her. Slowly, softly, and with exquisite tenderness. She wanted so much more, but he teased her instead. As she sighed, he lifted the hat off her head and put it back on his own, pulling it down and shading his eyes. He stood back, tilted his head up and winked. "Ma'am." He left her standing there, flustered, flushed, and utterly smitten.

That was thirty years ago, and she realized she still felt as giddy in love today as she did on that warm summer evening so long ago...when she stole a Marine's hat, and his kiss stole her heart. She really didn't have any choice in the matter. It was always meant to be that she would say "I do."

(More short stories on the blog from Michele E. Gwynn HERE)


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