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    “A few,” he agrees. His body melts against me and our lips meet again—a warm, building kiss that causes me to arch into him. Beneath his massive body, I feel small, fragile and protected. I’ve never felt so feminine, so in tune with another.

    Our movements are soft and deliberate. Fingers exploring skin, lips moving in time, feet rubbing against each other. Until it becomes time for one last kiss. One that will be singed into my memory and will carry over until I can be in his arms again.

    Lincoln places his forehead on mine and caresses my cheek. My fingers trace the hollow of his neck, and I enjoy the beat of his heart against my chest.

    “We should sleep,” he says.

    Unable to speak, I nod. Lincoln rolls onto his back and pulls me so that I’m cradled against him. He kisses the top of my head and combs his fingers through my hair. “Thank you, Lila.”

    Words are still hard, but I find the energy to ask, “For what?”

    “For helping me find me again.”

    I mold myself around him and wonder what our future will look like. Someday distance will no longer be an issue and we’ll have more than just letters—we’ll be together. Who knows...maybe forever.

    “You were always in there. You just weren’t looking in the right place.” I pause. He’s not the only one who rediscovered himself this weekend. “Neither one of us were.”

    “True,” he agrees and gathers me closer. “But we figured it out.”

    I close my eyes and hug my body to his. Two years of letters, two years of redefining myself and two years of falling for my best friend. As I cuddle into Lincoln, I know that I would relive it all in order to experience this moment again.

    Lincoln

    I think sometimes things we don’t like happen so we can appreciate the good. Like, can I really enjoy a sunrise if I didn’t experience the darkness of night? Without her past, Echo would never have met Noah, and without her losing Aires, I would never have met you. So, yeah, I do mean what I said in the last letter. You are like a sunrise in my life.

    ~ Lila

    Stretched out on her stomach with her face toward me, Lila sleeps. Her tousled hair falls over her shoulder, onto her cheek. I’ve been awake for an hour, watching her. She smiles when she dreams. Twice, little lines formed between her eyebrows and I had to stop myself from smoothing them out. She’s too beautiful to wear worry. I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure her happiness.

    Birds begin to chirp outside Lila’s window—a warning of the impending moment. Soon, I’ll have to say goodbye.

    I’ve got a long drive and a lot of work in front of me in order to catch up with Lila. After spending time with her, going back to letters will be difficult, but we also agreed to phone calls and Skype and weekend visits.

    I skim my finger against the soft skin of her cheek, and her head angles toward my touch. Her eyes flutter open and her lips edge up when she sees me. “Hi.”

    “Hi,” I respond.

    Someday I’ll teach her how to climb a rock wall, I’ll introduce her to my parents, let her hold my nephew and I’ll confess my love.

    Lila reaches up and smooths the hair near my ear. “I feel like I’ve known you forever.”

    “Same here.”

    “I really like you,” she says in a low, sexy tone. And I recognize it, the spark in her eyes. It’s more than like, more than attraction.

    “Me too.”

    Her hand glides down to my chest and pauses over my heart. When our eyes meet, I know she notices the spark within me too. I capture her hand and keep it against my chest as I lean in for a kiss.

    “I still expect two letters a week,” she whispers.

    Our lips move against each other’s, and in between breaths I say to her, “I’ll send you three.”

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