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She tried not to notice the snug fit of his t-shirt as they chatted idly for several minutes, catching up on lives and acquaintances.
Finally, she had to ask. "What happened, Trip? Tell me about your accident."
"Car crash went bad on the set." He named one of last fall's big blockbuster action flicks. "They edited it out completely, so you didn't really see me on fire in the theaters."
"On fire?" Her pulse spiked and her voice squeaked. "Oh my God!"
"Yeah." He sounded distant, as if he didn't like even thinking about it. "But they got me out mostly intact. Left leg was pretty much shattered, burns over most of the right, and I don't have a spleen anymore." She watched his chest expand as he took a deep breath. "But it could have been a hell of a lot worse. Here it is a year later and I'm up and walking. That's more than a lot of people can say."
There was a lump the size of a mountain in her throat, so Beth just nodded. She stuck a fried wonton in her mouth so she wouldn't have to speak. How had he survived all that? How awful would it have been if he hadn't? She couldn't afford to let him back into her life, not too far, but she couldn't imagine a world without him.