Blog Tour: If the Fates Allow by Rainbow Rowell
After a long, lonely year, two people stumble toward each other in If the Fates Allow a holiday short story by Rainbow Rowell the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl.
Reagan crept to the side to get a closer look. It looked like the deer had managed to snag its foot between two crossbars and a small tree that was growing right next to the fence.
Mason was still inching toward it, with his hands out.
“What are you doing?” Reagan asked again.
“I’m going to help it get free.”
“It’ll get itself free.”
“I don’t think it will. It’s wedged pretty good.”
The deer broke into frantic movement, struggling against the fence. “It’s going to injure itself,” Mason said.
“It’s going to injure you.”
This wasn’t a fawn or a hungry little doe; the deer was as long as Reagan was tall—it must have weighed two hundred pounds.
“Shhhh,” Mason was saying. Maybe to the deer, maybe to Reagan. He was crouching behind it, which seemed like the dumbest decision in the world.
“Mason,” Reagan whispered.
“It’s all right,” he said, reaching for the trapped hoof. “Her other legs are on the other side of the fence.”
“I think that’s a buck.”
“She’s not a buck, look at her head.”
The deer struggled again. Mason froze. Reagan took another anxious step toward them.
When the deer stilled, Mason shot forward. He bent the tree back and grabbed the trapped hoof, lifting it free.
The deer pulled the leg forward—and in the same motion, kicked its other hind leg through the fence, catching Mason in the chest.
“Oof,” he said, falling backward.
The deer ran away, and Reagan ran to Mason. “Jesus Christ!” she shouted. “I told you!”
Mason was lying on his back in the snow. Reagan went down on her knees beside him. “Are you okay?” she asked, touching his arm.
His eyes were wide. “I’m fine,” he said. “Just surprised. Is she okay?”
“She’s fine,” Reagan said. “She’ll live to spread ticks and disease, and destroy crops. Where’d she get you?”
He pointed to his shoulder.
“Can you move it?”
He rotated his shoulder. He was broader than he looked from a distance. Broad even under his coat. His neck was thick, and one of his ears was partly inverted, probably from an old injury. He had snow in his ears and his hair. His hair was much darker than Reagan’s, almost black.
“Did you hit your head?” she asked.
“No. I think I’m okay.”
“That was so stupid, Mason—that could have been your face.”
“I think I’m okay,” he repeated. He lifted his head up out of the snow and pushed up onto his elbows.
Reagan moved away from him.
He stood up, so she stood up, too.
“That could have been your neck,” she said. “That was so stupid.”
“Okay,” he said, nodding. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”
Reagan’s heart was still pounding. Mason looked worried. There was snow on his glasses, and his mask had fallen below his nose. He was holding her arm. “I’m sorry, okay? Are you hurt?”
“No,” Reagan said. “I’m just . . .”
Mason was holding her arm. He was standing right next to her.
Reagan made a fist in the suede collar of his coat and pulled herself closer to him.
His head dipped forward, more fiercely than she was expecting, to kiss her.
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