Prompt: the reason Norma had "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" stuck in her head


"You really think so? You think it's all gonna be okay?" When Norma's eyes locked on her husband's, she marveled at the sparkle of the twinkling lights mirrored in his eyes.

Alex briefly skirted her gaze, almost sheepish to be caught hoping. "Kind of. Yeah, I do."

Norma beamed up at him as he rubbed the backs of her fingers and leaned in, the promise of a kiss in his expression. But as they swayed to a stop at the end of the song, the familiarity of the next tune distracted her. She leaned back suddenly and gasped, so Alex's arm flexed around her as he tensed.

"What's wrong?"

"This song!" Norma gasped, smiling now. "Oh, I love this song."

"I've never heard it."

Norma gasped. "Alex! It's Judy Garland!" She stepped away from him but held tight to his hand. "Come on, spin me."

Alex laughed incredulously at her—she couldn't believe how long she'd known him without ever hearing him laugh—but complied. Norma hummed along and surprised Alex by circling for another few spins. Tripping over her heels, she giggled and stumbled into Alex's arms.

He slid his arm around her and reached for her hand, lacing his fingers through hers, and Norma reveled in their renewed proximity. "And you didn't even finish your whiskey, Mrs. Sheriff."

"What can I say? You married a klutz."

Instead of the quick-witted response Norma expected, Alex opened and closed his mouth a few times like he wanted to speak, but in the end, he only kissed her forehead.

When Norma reached up to cup his cheek, Alex intercepted her hand and kissed her palm. With his thumb pressed against her wrist, she worried he could feel her fluttering pulse, feel the effect he had on her. Even after everything they shared last night, such intimacy petrified her.

Then again, he seemed more than willing to share his feelings with her—not more than she could handle, as their breakfast together proved, but enough to make her feel valued and wanted. For the first time, her partner wanted to know her, not just what she could do for him. If only she harbored fewer secrets for him to be disappointed in.

"What is it?"

Alex shook his head and smiled at her like he had all night, like he held a living dream in his arms, and for a moment, Norma heard a melody, different from the one everyone else heard. "Nothing."

But his eyes said, Everything.