They sat side by side unable to speak.
Overhead birds sung trying to attract suitable mates while others squawked warnings and one really maddening bird chose a repetitive noise that sounded like “wark sak”.
“That’s really annoying, Ara.” Caleb glared up at the dark, lone bird sitting not far from them on a single branch low in the tree. “We’re trying to do something really poignant here.”
Ara debated if throwing something at the bird was a good idea. They were sitting on a warm boulder and there was a small pebble by her left hand. She fingered it. Her other hand was clasped tightly in Caleb’s.
As if reading her thoughts, he chuckled. “They are a protected species.”
“Damn it. What if I—” but he flew away. “Good riddance.” She lifted up her bare legs and wiggled her toes. As tall as they both were neither could reach the gentle stream of clear water below. This was a good part about their love, Caleb knew she wouldn’t hurt the bird so he didn’t lecture her or act shocked. It was her sense of humor and he enjoyed it, often joining in with her dark witty commentaries.
It had been a tough couple of days after she and Caleb suffered a blow to their relationship. But Korbet, Ara’s Planet of Law friend, suggested they go through their childhood memories together to try and mend their broken relationship with a technique taught by counselors specific for Pure-Gens and First-Gens. Ara’s parents suggested that they think about what was good in their relationship.
Both had braided a message in their hair before meeting at the secluded pond on King Delario’s, Caleb’s father, estate grounds. In Ara’s honey colored hair was the message “chocolate” and in Caleb’s long red hair was “strawberry”. Their legs touched and Ara had her arm tucked slightly behind Caleb’s. They were of similar height, both five foot eleven, so they could lean and touch foreheads without bending. Both were lean and fit more so with each trying to find different way to come to terms with what happened. Ara had spent a whole week in bed but managed to start to function a little. A few scratches on her body, a few bruises on his, revealed they both had moments of venting.
Caleb lifted their hands and kissed her knuckles. “Where do you want to start?”
“Baby age of course.”
Ara couldn’t help eye off his smooth bare legs. Even now she itched to run her hands along his pale flesh. Perhaps wearing shorts and tank tops wasn’t such a good idea. But it allowed them to make as much contact as they could without passion overriding what they were trying to achieve.
Ara and Caleb started laughing. This was good and bad. Good that they could laugh, bad because people, or in this case “bird”, just didn’t want to leave them alone. At one hundred and thirty-seven, with Caleb being just one year older, they had a lot of memories to choose from.
“Let’s just start and see if we can drown the twerp out?”
“Good idea.” Ara smiled and closed her eyes.
They both dropped their Inner Guardians, a barrier developed by the Gens to protect their deepest thoughts, and visited Ara’s baby times first.