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GETTING OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE:
by Barbara James
Todd didn’t even think. He just reached out to hug her. “You feel bad.”
Her voice wobbled. “Yes. But angry too.”
“I’m sure you have had difficult cases before this. But this is different.”
“I don’t know.”
Sitting back, he reached for her hands. “Perhaps you should think about it, perhaps even do a reflection.”
Ayanna looked down at their clasped hands. “I’d be embarrassed to.”
He reached up to touch her face and hair. “It’s hard having to be tough all the time, and you probably hate that you feel vulnerable.”
She didn’t look at him. “Maybe.”
“Beyond that, I can guess. Something about identity, how you feel about where you are in life, your place in the world? You will need to process this anyway.”
“Perhaps.” She nodded. “Yes. But not for the class, though. Too private.”
Todd didn’t know what came over him. He began kissing her.
Ayanna whispered. “Oh . . . what?”
Todd could sense Ayanna’s surprise, but it felt so right. He couldn’t believe how passionately she was kissing him. Before he knew it, he had gotten off his chair and was kneeling in front of her and running his hands all over her as she hugged him, grabbed his hair, traced the tattoo on his upper arm and clutched at his uniform.
Todd felt Ayanna shudder after they came up for air. He hugged her and kissed her hair.
“Todd, I don’t know what came over me.” She put her hands into her face and looked away. “Um, should I apologize?”
Todd burst out laughing as he got up. “Maybe I should be the one to do so. I just felt like comforting you.”
“It was a distraction. I must admit I didn’t mind it.”
“That’s what I hoped. As for apologizing, are you for real? You don’t need to apologize for anything, but we do need to talk.”
“I don’t think so.”
Copyright Barbara James. All rights reserved.
Barbara James loves writing sweet and inspirational contemporary romances. Visit her at www.barbarajames.net.
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