Story Title: Her Lifeline
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Molly heel sunk into a soft spot in the grass, causing her foot and ankle to roll to one side, shifting her balance and causing her to topple to her right side. I was on my feet in moments, taking the dozen steps to where she lay on the grass, quickly enough that I was the first to be next to her.
“Are you alright?” I asked, kneeling next to her and sliding a hand under her back to help her sit upright.
“I think so,” she said softly, reaching for her ankle. “Ouch. Maybe not all the way okay,” she said, rubbing her right ankle as several other people gathered around us.
“Here. Let me,” I said, easily scooping under her and lifting her off the grass.
Greg took the two steps to one of the large round tables and gently set her on it, letting her legs hang over the side as she sat on it.
I stepped back and knelt in front of her, gently lifting her right leg with one hand while I probed her injured ankle with my fingers.
“Ouch.” She grimaced as I pressed on a particularly tender spot.
“I don’t think anything is broken. Just twisted,” I said quietly, lowering her leg to rest her foot on my leg while I remained kneeling in front of her.
I looked up at her, my brain taking long seconds to realize that the sun was shining from behind me, illuminating up under her dress, the crotch of her white panties clearly visible to me. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“I’m sorry,” I said quietly as several more people gathered around us to make sure she was okay.
“For what? You didn’t make me fall,” she said stiffly.
“I sort of did,” I answered, feeling a little conspicuous kneeling on one knee in front of her this way, practically between her legs. I could easily be proposing to her or propositioning her from this position.
She looked at me for long seconds before her stern look softened.
“You kind of did, didn’t you?” she finally said, a slight bit of a smile coming to her face. “You are so naughty,” she added in a playful tone.
I nodded and stood up, stepping over to pick up her shoe and then step back.
“I’ve been called a lot worse,” I said as I stepped in front of her and gently lifted her leg again, this time to slip her high heel back on. “I wouldn’t recommend walking on this for a little while.”
“Well. I can’t very well sit here all night,” she said, looking up at me now that I was standing in front of her again. “Would you mind giving me a hand to my chair?”
“I don’t think I’ll be carrying you anywhere for a little while,” I answered, stepping slightly to her side, reaching my right arm around her back and sliding my left arm under her legs. The bystanders backed away to give me room as I easily scooped her off the table.
“I think you left your drink over there,” I said as I turned to carry her back to where we had been sitting. She wrapped her hands around the back of my neck to help support herself as I carried her towards the still pulled out chair.
She let go of her grasp behind my neck slowly after I’d set her down in the same seat she had vacated only a few minutes earlier, her slow release holding my face near hers for long seconds.
“I thought you just wanted to be left alone,” she said after she let go and I was able to stand upright again.
“And I thought my sister hired you to try and talk me into dating again,” I answered as I sat in the chair in front of her again.
“Dating again? Is that it?” she said with a soft feminine chuckle. “You don’t want to start dating and they’re pushing you to. Let me guess. You also promised your late wife that you would?”
“Yeah,” I said with a shrug and a nod. “But I’ve been avoiding it. My sister and my late wife’s best friend have even been trying to set me up on dates. I just don’t want anything to do with it.”
“I can understand that. I guess I can also see how you might jump to the conclusion you did. I mean, what are the chances that a psychiatrist would just happen to find you and chat you up, right?”
“Something like that.” I agreed a little sheepishly.
“Well, your sister didn’t hire me, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to try and help you.”
“Why?” I asked, cocking my head to one side and looking at her in surprise. “I mean, after what I just said to you.”
She looked at me with a smile. “Because I’m attracted to you,” she answered. “If I were an electrician and I offered to help you fix a broken light, would you be suspicious, or would you just think I was being friendly?”
“Being friendly I guess.”
“Well, just because I don’t fix lights, doesn’t mean that I don’t want to use my talents to help someone I’m interested in.”
“Well. Thank you. For being interested in me I mean. But I think I’m way too old for you. Not that I’m trying to chase you away again, but I need to be honest with myself.”
“There’s nothing wrong with being honest with yourself. It’s healthy. But you should really be at least sure of your facts before you make decisions. What makes you think you’re way too old for me?”
“Molly…I can call you that right?”
“I think I’ll let you…for now,” she said with a little grin.