Corey relaxed, releasing his hand. She reluctantly returned her gaze to the game proceeding before her. She was vaguely aware of the motion of the children and the noise around her. The man beside her still maintained his hold on her concentration. She couldn’t piece together what just happened. The natural distrust she felt around anybody, had evaporated after a few simple words. The feel of his skin against hers made her ache in a way she had never felt before. More intense. It didn’t seem real as if she fallen through the looking glass and found herself in some alternate reality.
“Mom, where’s my water bottle?” A small voice piped up, muffled by the canvas of her equipment bag.
Corey shook herself realizing that some how it was half time and the kids had stopped playing for a moment.
“Oh, here you go, Alli.” Corey reached around the over sized hot pink bag to grab the matching water bottle. Handing it to her daughter she tried hiding her confusion. “Are you having fun? You’re doing great out there.”
“Yeah, it’s okay. Can we get ice cream on the way home?” She asked with casual indifference. It was as if a switch had been flipped and she was detached from the activity she would be returning to in a few minutes.
“We’ll see, honey.” A shrill whistle interrupted her break and Allison set her drink aside. Without a backward glance she ran out on the field and back into the fray.
Corey tried concentrating on the game. Her small daughter stealing the ball, running across the grass, her thin legs pumping. But she couldn't ignore the tingling along her spine. He was staring at her.
"Do you make it a habit to stare at women at soccer games?" she asked her back still turned to him. There was something different about this man.
"Not really. I guess I am more of a people watcher." Came his soft reply. The tiny hairs on the back of her neck lifted causing her to shiver.
A scream yanked her attention back to the field. "Oh, mygod." Corey sprinted to the crowd surrounding the prone figure of her daughter lying on the ground. "What happened? Baby, are you okay?"
Corey dropped beside her daughter, her hands hovering over her body as if she could heal her just by will alone. Alison's left leg was bent at an unnatural angle, her face pale and clammy.
"Let me help." Langdon's warm breath caressed her ear. Her shoulders relaxed as she moved aside for him to kneel beside her daughter.
"Are you a doctor?" She asked, dazed.
"I am many things." came his cryptic reply.