Andrea blushed slightly as she was pulled from her reverie by the sound of footsteps. The flush deepened as a quick look revealed that which had occupied her mind was coming down the barn aisle. She'd known him three years, could him shaving his facial hair really change that much? He told the same jokes, had always been just as kind, and yet, somehow, it all seemed different now. Andrea forced a smile past her embarrassment as she stood straight and greeted him with a, "Hello there."
"My name is Kurt not "there," surely after all these years you would know my name, Andrea." Kurt grinned boyishly. "Or has shaving my peach fuzz made me unrecognizable?!" Kurt felt at his face as he ducked to see his reflection in the tack room window, feigning alarm with a twinkle in his eyes.
Andrea rolled her brown eyes with a shake of her head. "You can't be Kurt! I know Kurt, scruffy cave-man type," she teased, swinging the halter she had in her hand. Kurt straightened up with a frown, looking over at her. "Scruffy caveman?" Then a twinkle reappeared in his eyes. "So if I'm not Kurt, I guess I am free to reinvent myself! Aha!" He snatched up a lunge whip and cracked it within a foot of Andrea. "Be off with you brat!"
Andrea's eyes widened as the whip snapped the air and she scurried backward. "Don't make me sick Relay on you!" she used her oversized red mare as a threat.
Kurt threw back his head and laughed. "Don't bring the poor horse between you and this whip girl, that is almost animal cruelty!" He emphasized his point with another crack of the whip.
Andrea became rooted to the spot. What the heck was happening? She'd known Kurt for years and all of a sudden he was acting crazy. "Just put the whip down, crazy man."
Kurt's face stiffened into unusually serious lines. "Not yet, you silly chit. First, you must make amends with a formal apology. My dignity and pride has been trampled upon! Apologize for your offense and I shall relinquish this super weapon that strikes fear into equines and fems!" He couldn't keep a twinkle from his grey eyes.
Andrea blinked slowly at Kurt. He was joking but she felt so awkward and a blush emerged on her cheeks. "Relay!" she squeaked under her breath, as if that would somehow cause the horse to barrel through the pasture gate and run between them.
Kurt stepped forward, looking down at the young woman. Then he quickly ducked his head and kissed her.
Andrea blinked again, unsure how to respond. What was happening?
Kurt stepped back. She looked dazed. "Not bad for a scruffy cave man, eh?" He felt oddly pleased with himself. Dazed was good, right?
"Uh..." Andrea stumbled over her words. "You're not scruffy anymore?" Was all she could manage. She rubbed the back of her neck self-consciously.
Kurt grinned, merriment back in his eyes. "Consider yourself forgiven!" He chuckled then turned and began whistling as he headed out of the barn. He didn't
have a clue where he was going or what he was supposed to be doing. The memorial of the first soft kiss had overridden his normal sensibilities. He
felt like a good stroll across cloud nine was just the thing.
~Grace & J. Lindsey Marshall
(Picture from Pixabay)
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