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His dark hair ruffled in the billowing wind with a single lock falling forward on his forehead. For the first time in a long time, Kari forgot about her heartache. A sudden shiver skittered down her back. She wasn't sure if it was caused by her soaked condition or the man who somehow sent her senses spinning.
She pushed her wet tawny hair back from her face before accepting her waterlogged book from him. "I'm so sorry," she finally said after releasing the breath she hadn't known she'd been holding. "It's just this rain ... and I'm late." Her voice wavered. "I can't seem to find the place I'm supposed to be. I'm in a wedding this afternoon." She tried to hide how awkward and strange she felt standing a few inches away from a stranger.
He smiled teasingly as he looked over her outfit of Capri pants and tennis shoes. She'd never seen such an authentic smile. It was as if it started in his eyes and traveled down to his genial mouth. "And that's what you're wearing?" he asked as his eyes returned to her own.
"No, of course not. I..." She shivered again.
"Well, maybe I can help you out with directions."
She replied with the name of the church and he provided her with yet another devastating smile. "Sure I know the place. You passed it at the beginning of this block. Just turn down the street and you'll see it. If you don't mind, I could come along with you. It's on my way."
"No need and I'm really in a hurry. Thanks." She started to head off when he stopped her, causing her to jump at the gentle touch of his hand on her arm.
"Here take my umbrella," he offered.
She faced him again, taking the handle of the umbrella. "Are you sure? You'll get soaked.I don't want to impose and I won't even know where to return it."
"Consider it a gift then. And who knows, we just might bump into each other again sometime."
"Yes, but hopefully it will be less jarring in the future," she said with the hint of a smile on her lips, trying to be just as witty.