Unedited, subject to change.

“I told you that you didn’t have to stay.”
Silas looked up and found Karen staring at him.
Thirty minutes had gone by since they’d arrived.
“Wow,” he said as he stood and looked at the bedroom. Karen had set it up beautifully for Boomer and Trish to enjoy their first night as husband and wife. “This is real nice, Doc.”
“Thanks. I’m gonna head out now. I’m sure Amanda is waiting to meet up with you...somewhere more private.”
“I highly doubt that,” Silas said, watching as Karen walked right past the car towards the path along the beach that led back to the main resort where the reception was being held. “I’ll drive us back.”
“I’d rather walk.”
“That’s not happening,” Silas said. “I’m not letting you walk out here and night alone.”
“I’m fine, Silas,” Karen griped. “I’m not your client anymore. I’m not...anything to you.”
“What does that mean?”
“I was so stupid,” she huffed, more to herself than him. “Letting Trish get in my head about what happened last year.”
“What happened last year?” Silas repeated.
“Between us.”
“But nothing happened between us last year.”
Karen whirled around to face him so fast he had to take a step back.
Exactly!” she exclaimed. “Nothing happened. But somehow I let myself believe that maybe, just maybe there was this attraction between us. And we weren’t acting on it because I was your client and it was just your job to protect me. But then the job ended...and nothing! So, I figured that was just a figment of my imagination because it was a highly emotional time.”
“And then we got here and I let my sister get in my head about there being a thing between us...a vibe...”
“A vibe?”
“But then Amanda...” Karen finally paused and took a breath and shook her head. “I have to go.”
Karen turned to leave, but Silas reached out and wrapped his hand around her wrist.
Her skin was felt so damn soft.
Silas felt the way she slightly trembled when he gently squeezed her a little tighter. His pulse began to speed up as she turned back towards him. Her gaze went to his hand on her wrist and then slowly trekked its way up to his face.
Silas wasn’t a man who was surprised by many things.
But when Karen suddenly closed the distance between them and pressed her lips against his, he was definitely taken by surprise for the first time in a long time.


Karen tore her mouth away from Silas on a gasp and covered her lips.
They stood in silence for a moment before she spoke. “I–that was out of line. I’m sor–”
Before she could finish apologizing, Silas yanked her back against his body and kissed her again. This time she sank into his body, letting her arms snake up and wrap around his neck while his hand went to grip her waist as his tongue dove into her mouth.
It wasn’t until she let out a little moan that they broke off the kiss.
Keeping his hands on her waist, Silas let his forehead drop to down press against Karen’s.
“You weren’t just imagining things,” he whispered. Squeezing his eyes shut, he added, “That’s why I’ve been trying to avoid you as much as possible over the last year.”
“What?” Karen asked, confused. “Why?”
Silas finally released her and ran a hand over his head.
She could tell he was struggling with something.
“Because this...shouldn’t happen.”
“Why?” she asked again.
“I’m no good for you, Doc,” Silas said.
“What do you mean you’re no good for me?”
“My life...my job. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but it can still get dangerous. You know that, Karen. You’ve seen it first-hand.”
“You don’t have to remind me,” Karen said. “I was the one who climbed on top of you on your stretcher to make sure you didn’t bleed out as the paramedics rushed you to the ambulance. The one who got your heart beating again when it stopped.”
“I know that.”
“I’m completely aware of how dangerous your job can get.”
“And you’re aware of how this line of work can affect a relationship. Look at the toll it took on Boomer and Trish.”
“Yet, here were are,” Karen said, splaying her arms out wide. “At their fucking wedding. What else ya got?”
“You wouldn’t be able to handle it, Karen.”
You don’t get to decide that for me, Silas!” Karen shouted. 
She ran her hands through her hair and turned away from him, trying to process everything she’d just discovered. She stared out at the beach for several moments, before turning back to him. “We should get back to the reception to make sure we see Boomer and Trish off.”
“I...I don’t know what you want from me, Silas. You made it clear that even though there is obviously something between us, you’re too much of a coward to act on it. So just...take me back to the reception,” she said, brushing past him to head back to the car.