“Was that good?” Julie asked Tom, as he finished the last drop of a second bowl of stew. Tom dabbed the left corner of his mouth with a green cloth napkin.
“It was delicious. Thank you, Julie.” Tom's face was close to her own and she looked into his amber eyes. Almost golden, she thought to herself. Pupils visible, eyes that sometimes seemed darker from Tom's left side when the light cast onto it. Now Julie smiled, her lips parted slightly, dropped a tiny kiss on his forehead. All of a sudden she forgot what happened over an hour ago, and started to fall into Tom. A warmth spread over her and it wasn't from the campfire; it melted away her worries, her troubles.
“You're welcome, Tom.” Julie picked up the other end of the blanket Tom left unused, and wrapped it around her shoulder. Tom's eyes widened and he smiled at her. “Do you have any idea how good you are for me?” she asked him.
Julie thought to her herself, 'There is just no way I am in love with a man like Tom. It's impossible. It cannot happen. It cannot happen to me. Why? HOW do these things happen?' Her eyes remained closed. “If you only knew...” she began, her soft words trailing off into the dark of night.
Tom raised his eyebrows before producing a closed-lip smile. His eyes studied her face, taking in her translucent skin and pale pink lips. “I care about you too, Julie. You're just like a sister to me.” At that moment Julie's eyes opened wide before she burst out laughing, loud enough for the men outside the wagon to hear her, also startling Tom.
“Goodnight Julie,” Tom softy called to her. He wanted to say something about her drinking before bedtime but figured it was useless. His only hope was that she was sober by the time they arrived at their destination. The distant whirring of cicadas lulled Tom to sleep but kept Julie awake. She finally got up, as tipsy as she was, climbed out of the back of the wagon and started walking away from the camp. Joe and the other two men were asleep in their sleeping bags under the stars in front of the wagon, so she did not have to
To be continued...