Sammy kept his emotions pushed far down as he said, “Will we be okay, Lee?” His voice was calm and almost flat. “Will you be okay if she does not accept us as a pairing?”
She didn’t reply right away. When she did speak, her voice was soft as an embrace. “We aren’t meeting her until duskfall. Do we need to go anywhere right now? Do we need to return to PInkerlee at this moment? Do we need to go have breakfast? Can we just stay together? Right here. Until it is time.”
He sighed and shook his head. “I don’t know if I’ll be okay either.” He fixated on the separating line between light and dark, night and dawn. “I have never let myself give in to my heart before. I’ve never confessed my feelings to another woman, not even Miss Addleston. I mean, Mrs. Smith. Barbara. I’ve never kissed anyone before you. Never lay with a woman before. You are the first woman I’ve felt safe to do all of that with. The first woman I felt I could share my love with. If we cannot be together after today…” His emotions found a crack and seeped through. The ground trembled.
High banks of new snow. Crystal clear lakes. Kittens and puppies lying exhausted among Christmas presents….
Deliosa. Flying with Deliosa. Being with her. Talking with her.
The ground went still.
“I want to stay with you, Lee.”
She smiled ruefully. “But…?”
He looked at her in subdued surprise.
“I’m assuming there’s a ‘But…’ statement waiting to be said.”
“You aren’t wrong.” He sighed. “I have to go back to work.”
“Can’t it wait until later? Can’t you call in sick? Tell your employees that you had far too much to drink at the wedding and you’re not even close to sober enough to work?”
Red tulips blossomed all around as Sammy smiled a genuine smile. “I would love to do that.”
“I have several meetings scheduled throughout the day I must attend to. I’ve already had to cancel the one a couple of times already. And I need to get payroll done.”
“I understand.” she said. “But can we have just one more hour together? Just one more? Please?”
He kissed her.
Red roses burst into life, mingling joyfully with the tulips.
There was a time when I was free. And alone. No family. No kaandelinao. No lover. Just me. I was free and fine. I can be that way again. Can’t I? If she will not accept us, I can go back to who I used to be. Can’t I?
Deliosa didn’t need to project her thoughts to Sammy. Nor did she need to go find someone else to ask their advice. She knew the answers.
The answers were written on her heart.
She dug her fingers into his hair and returned every kiss he gave her.
The roses and tulips crystallized. The rising sun shined through their petals, filling them with warmth and light. The light made the crystallized flowers sheen so brilliantly.
Sammy held Deliosa’s face in between his hands as he ended the kiss. He looked into her eyes. Her beautiful, shining eyes. “I can stay for an hour more with you.”