First and Last
What is happening? Katherine thought, mind in a blur as Jack pulled her out of the cellar, up the steps, and into the back alley behind her father’s house. He had his hand wrapped securely around hers, leading her away from the hustle and bustle going on behind them—she almost hated how right it felt to have their hands locked together, but then her thoughts flicked back to the moment they had shared earlier that evening and a smile flitted across her face—however, even such pleasant thoughts could not squash her curiosity.
“Where are we going?” she whispered, but Jack just gave her one of his quirky grins. Then he suddenly stopped at the end of the alley, at a dead end, where a building backed up to the street. Katherine looked around, a little wary, “Are you going to kill me here?” she asked with a slight laugh.
Jack’s grin grew, “Nah,” he relented, “Not quite.” Then, he somehow managed to spin her so that she found herself pressed up against the alley wall, coarse brick scrapping against the delicate material of her blouse and rough against her back, but she could not manage to make herself care, because Jack was hovering over her, hands on either side of her head, his body only centimeters from hers, his eyes pouring over her face like he could devour her in an instant.
One of his hands trailed down her cheek, before gently cupping the back of her neck and Katherine felt herself shiver despite the balmy summer air, “I just thought, ya know, it might be nice, to get some time alone, just the two of us, before our job here is done and everything gets crazy,” he told her, before tenderly pressing his lips to her. Katherine felt her eyes close of their own accord as she was drawn into the kiss that ended much too quickly when Jack abruptly broke away and whispered, his breath ghosting over her lips as he did so, “And before we have to part ways.”
Katherine frowned at that, and desperately wanted to question him on what he meant, but then he was kissing her again and she could not think clearly. Her hands flew up to his waist and tried to make him move closer to her, but he would not budge, so she just gripped him tightly and kissed him back fiercely, trying to will away any wish he might have to run away out west, instead of staying in New York—together, along with the group currently at work in her father’s basement, she just knew they could make a difference, but not if Jack—their leader—abandoned them; abandoned her, just after they had found one another.
By the time he broke away again, to once more stare into her eyes, Katherine could read the pained expression behind his farce of a smile and she knew what he had meant—and the way his hand gripped her hip tightly only confirmed it. She knew then what she had to do, “Jack,” she began, but just then a door banged open from down the alley and they both jumped when they heard Davey yell, “Jack you out here?!”
He sighed, “Yea Davey, I’ll be right there,” he replied, eyes never leaving Katherine. Once they heard the door close again, Jack squeezed his eyes closed tight for a minute before he began running his thumb over her cheek, “Guess wes should be getting back inside huh?”
Katherine did not get a chance to respond nor did she have a chance to tell Jack what she had decided—that if he went to Santa Fe, she would be going as well, although she would try her hardest to make him reconsider—before he had gently kissed her on the forehead and began heading for the door.
She picked up her skirts and followed quickly, mostly unperturbed—there would be time for such declarations later, when the whole business with her father was completed and she was more certain of her decision—the night was still young.