Sammy and Deliosa sat barefoot on the edge of a cliff. She curled up against him. He smiled and put his arm around her. She relaxed in his embrace and fell asleep.
He leaned his face against the top of her head.
This is all that I want.
She sighed in her sleep.
He kissed her head.
You are all that I want.
Somewhere far below, a rock giant shifted in its sleep, creating a small avalanche of pebbles and stones. Two earthen caiths squalled over turf boundaries. A night bird’s liquid, burbled call echoed from the opposite cliff.
And an owl flew overhead on silent, cushioned wings.
Thousands upon thousands of stars pinpointed the night. A shooting star zip-zoomed in and out of sight.
“I’m glad I’m here with you in this moment.” Sammy whispered into her hair. “No matter what Monday will bring. I will treasure this moment forever.”
Red roses bloomed all around them in the dark.
“’How To Kiss A Girl In Fifteen Days’.” Missy rubbed the iridescent kiss prints all over the cover. “That sounds promising.”
“Ah.” Raven said. “That book.”
She looked up at him. “Is there something wrong with it?”
“uh.” He cleared his throat. “It is hardly a proper book for a young lady like you to read.”
She handed the book to him. “Then, you read it to me.”
“If you’re reading it, it’s not the same thing as me reading it. Simple logic.”
“I would call it dubious logic, but I will let it pass for now.” He opened the book and flipped to the first chapter. “Devin Lloyd whipped off his shirt in front of the whole crowd and flexed his pecs. All of the girls screamed with joy. The token gay guys hooted and hollered.”
Missy leaned forward. “Ooo! Do they have any pictures?”
“No, miss. I am afraid they do not.”
“Too bad. But it’s okay. I bet his bare chest couldn’t even begin to compete with yours.” She spread her hand on his chest. “No one ever could, my pretty shirtless Raven.”
Raven set the book down on the bed. “Missy.” He studied the cover, mentally counting how many red kiss prints there were versus pink kiss prints. “When you were still unconscious, I had a dream. You scolded me for letting you go. You said that I did not try hard enough. You said that I would have run faster had you been Miss Farlington. You said I would have pushed myself to the breaking point.”
“It was only a dream.”
“You accused me of putting you in second place.”
“Raven, it was only a dream. It wasn’t real.” She put her hand on top of the book cover. “It wasn’t me.”
“I am aware of that. Yet, I need to know.” He slowly raised his gaze. “Is that what you think of me? Deep inside, when you look at me, is that what you think? Is that what you believe?”
A thoughtful expression came over her face. “Is that what I think? Do I really think so many things about him so many hurtful things about him? Whether I do or don’t are they even true? Does he look at me and see me as Girlfriend #2? Do I really think that he didn’t push himself hard enough when he chased me all the way back to The Institute? Even if I did think that what does it even matter? He ran into the fire for me. He let his nice butler clothes get all burnt and ruined and that is a very big deal to him I know that much about him he isn’t reckless or careless about his clothes. If he ran into the fire after me it means he wasn’t even thinking about his clothes.” She blinked and focused on him again. “It means you were thinking only of me. You weren’t thinking about Miss Farlington. You were thinking only of me. What does any of that other stuff even matter?”
“It does not matter, I suppose. Yet, it does matter. Oh, Missy. It matters to me. I do not want you to think I am still pining for her. I am not. I love you. Missy, I love you. I tried my best to pursue you, but I was hurt by your actions and words. I could not breathe deep enough. I tried. Missy, I tried.”
“I know.” She unbuttoned his gloves and folded her bare hands with his. “And you made it in time.”
He shook his head. “I was not fast enough. I should have arrived there sooner.”
“Maybe. But you could have arrived there a whole lot later. I don’t know what my limits are. Maybe I can’t burn to death. But I’m thinking I could still probably die from smoke inhalation although I seem to be doing pretty good even though my voice is still pretty scratchy feeling but I can still talk as fast as I want so that’s something.”
“Indeed, Missy. That is something.” He leaned forward and kissed her. “It is something to be quite grateful for.”
“Amen to that.”