First Kiss Friday – Cassidy’s War by Susan Macatee

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Susan Macatee, author of American Victorian romance Cassidy’s War.  Welcome Susan!  Here’s the first kiss between Cassidy Stuart and George Masters.

She collapsed against him, her warm, soft body inviting his embrace. Careful not to alarm her mother, he brushed his hands over Cassidy’s back as she sobbed against his coat, her familiar warmth and scent increased his yearning to have her back in his life again. He turned back to catch Mrs. Stuart’s glance. She mouthed, Thank you, then turned away.

“There, there,” he said to Cassidy. “You can’t blame yourself for what happened.”

 “But I thought I could be a doctor. I’m nothing but a failure.” Her arms tightened around him as if she clung for her life.   

“I heard in town the new doc—Madison, I think his name is—arrived afterward.”

She didn’t speak but didn’t release her hold. After a long moment, she lifted her tear streaked face. “Yes, he was there. Too late to help…and he blamed me for all of it.”

“The bastard!” George gripped her tightly wanting to protect her. “Pardon my language, Cassie, but I can’t abide the man.” He wouldn’t let Madison allow her to take the blame for something not her fault. “What did he say?”

She frowned as if trying to remember his exact words. “Something about…Ned should have called him. He could have saved them both.” She tightened her grip around his waist. “Oh, George! I’ve never felt this horrible in my whole life. Even during the war…”

“I know…” He kissed her forehead. “Life or death…it’s all in God’s hands. You didn’t do anything wrong. All you did was try to help a patient.”

“And I failed.” Her face scrunched up. In all the years he’d known Cassidy, he’d never seen her cry like this. Even when he had left her. But once he was gone for parts unknown, she might have fallen into grief. And of course, it had been less than six months since her father’s death.

He glanced toward the doorway. Although it was open, her mother no longer hovered there. Had she left to allow them privacy? Lifting Cassidy’s chin between his fingers, he tilted her face forcing her to look at him. “Cassie, I know I didn’t do right by you all those years ago, but if you’ll allow me to help…?”

She frowned. “Help? Help how?”

He leaned down and pressed his lips against her soft, warm ones, tasting her sweetness and the salt of her tears. He moved slow, keeping his gaze on the door.

After a moment, she softened in his arms and responded to his kiss, shooting delightful sensations to his groin. But he had to take this easy. He released her and gazed into her eyes.

He wanted to warn her about Madison but couldn’t chance revealing his knowledge about the doctor, even to her. He glanced back at the doorway in case Mrs. Stuart or someone else lingered.

Cassidy drew in a deep breath and wiped her eyes.

*****

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