A Little Something Extra
This story is an original work and is copyrighted by the author. This is an alternate uber story. The physical descriptions of the two lead characters may remind you of two others we all know and love, but all characters in the story are from my own imagination. Copyright 2015
Author’s Note: Feedback is welcomed at. Khall828@earthlink.net
White. It was white. Everything was white. The ground was white. The sky was white. The trees were white. It was all well…not to be monotonous, but white. “And I just had to buy a white car,” Tierney said to herself with a silent, nervous laugh.
The blizzard was raging outside. But how had it come up so fast? According to the weather report, she was supposed to have had plenty of time to get into town for supplies, even though it was almost twenty miles away, and get back home long before the first flakes were due to fall.
But that was to be pondered later.
For now she was in trouble, and needed to think of a way out. Her Kia Sole was nose first, down an embankment. Even though she had been driving carefully, a slick spot had sent her car off the road. She didn’t think there was much real damage to the car, and her lights were blinking, but she was sure they were covered with snow by now.
No cell service. No other way to contact anyone for help. Walking away would have been a death sentence. But that was not an option anyway, since her ankle was pinned, and beginning to throb. That seemed to be her only injury though, and for that she was grateful.
The car’s heater was keeping her warm, along with a nice heavy blanket tucked in around her body, but it wouldn’t help her indefinitely.
Glancing at her watch, three hours had already passed. All she could do was wait.
To fill the time, and keep herself alert, Tierney silently sang many of her favorite songs.
Another hour had slipped away, and the darkness outside was quickly settling in, but even with a flashlight by her side, it was starting to seem eerie.
Tierney grabbed another cracker and a piece of sharp cheddar cheese from the bag in the passenger seat, and gobbled it down. Most of the food she had gotten from the store required cooking, but she didn’t fear running out of food.
She chased down her meager snack with a swallow of water. And then another, when her ears detected a sound outside.
The sound got closer and clearer, even beneath the howling wind, finally coalescing into a voice.
“Hello! Hello, is anyone in there?”
“Yes!” Tierney answered excitedly. “Yes, I’m here!” She tried the window, but it was frozen shut. Tierney knocked on the glass to get the stranger’s attention.
Suddenly, a swatch of snow was wiped from her window. “Are you hurt?” the rescuer asked.
“Just a little. My foot is stuck.”
“Okay,” the stranger said with a thumb’s up. “I need to get a shovel so I can get the door open.”
Tierney nodded her response. She watched out the window as strong arms tossed aside shovels full of heavy, wet snow. The hero was bundled up, making them appear probably twice their real size. A scarf was tightly wrapped around the lower face. A pair of goggles covered delicate eyes, and a heavy hat covered the head of hair. But the voice was definitely female.
About fifteen minutes later, the door was pried open by a pair of gloved hands. A gust of wind blew a few thousand frozen flakes into the car and Tierney’s face.
“Sorry,” the stranger said.
“Believe me, it’s okay. I’ve been here for over four hours. And I’m more than ready to leave.”
“I imagine. You said something about being stuck.”
“My right foot,” Tierney explained.
The rescuer tried to reach in, but bulky clothes and a heavy blanket, made it nearly impossible. “I can’t do anything from here,” she said. ” And there’s a boulder on the other side; I’d never get that door open. Besides I don’t have any other tools.”
Tierney pulled the blanket up to her face, leaving only her emerald eyes visible. “I guess there’s nothing else to do then. Can you get to where you were going?” she asked. “And send back help.”
“I was heading home, about three miles from here. But to answer your question, no. I stopped because of a five foot drift in the middle of the road.”
“Well, if you can climb in here, we can try and wait it out together. I’m Tierney, by the way.”
“Devon,” she introduced. “Hold on a minute and let me think.” She gently put the door back to protect the driver as much as she could, without shutting it.
Tierney wondered what was going on, but didn’t have long to wait. The door opened again to more wind and snow. “We can’t stay here,” Devon said loudly, above the rising wind. “You’re going to have to trust me. Close your eyes.”
“Please,” Devon pleaded. “This is the best way.”
The blonde stared into Devon’s blue eyes, finding the reason to trust. Her green eyes slipped shut. Only a few seconds passed before she heard Devon’s voice again.
“You can open your eyes now.”
When Tierney did, she found herself in a room filled with sturdy furniture, rich fabrics and a welcoming fire in a large, stone fireplace.
“Don’t be scared,” Devon said as she shed her hat, gloves, scarf, and then coat.
Tierney watched her hero, blinking with just slight bewilderment… then a dawning realization. “I’m not scared,” she finally mumbled.
“No,” Tierney reassured. She slowly removed her blanket, trying to keep the melting snow gathered inside.
“Here,” Devon said, slowly reaching of the cover. “I’ll take that and get you a dry one.” She continued to move slowly and carefully, thinking the woman might just be in shock.
But on the contrary, Tierney’s face carried relief, and an odd little smile.
Devon soon returned with a beautiful quilt, gently covering the blonde, beautiful blonde, Devon thought. “May I look at your foot?” she asked.
“Yes, thank you.”
With a soft touch, Devon slowly maneuvered the fur lined boot off of the injured appendage. Tierney hissed as the formerly numb area flashed with pain and swelling.
“Sorry,” Devon said. “We need to get some ice on this. I’ll be right back.” She stepped toward the kitchen, worrying about Tierney and her reaction…or lack of one as to what had just happened. She expected the woman to be hysterical. Devon quickly returned with a cold pack and a pillow. “Here we go.” She efficiently set up the injured ankle, starting it on a healing path.
Again, the emerald eyes watched Devon with interest and amusement. “You’re a teleport,” Tierney said quietly, and without question.
Surprised blue eyes looked up. “You know about teleports?”
The blonde nodded. “I do. I think a nice mug of hot chocolate from the finest Swiss chocolate, and topped with fresh vanilla whipped cream, sounds great just about now.”
An addled Devon pointed to the kitchen. “All I have is in…stant.” Before she finished the word, Devon saw that a blue mug, wafting with steam, and piled high with white fluff had appeared in her guest’s hand. She grinned widely. “Very nice,” she said.
“Care for one?” Tierney asked.
They each took a sip, coming away with matching white mustaches.
They spent the next two hours talking about themselves…their special abilities and their normal lives, just barely scratching the surface, but feeling like long lost friends.
“It’s nine o’clock,” Devon announced. “That hot chocolate was great, but I’m hungry, how about you?”
“Yes, I am.”
“How’s the ankle?”
“I’ll get you something to help with the pain. And after we eat, another ice pack.”
The blizzard continued outside, surely to keep the cabin in the woods, isolated by snow for at least a week, or maybe two. But neither occupant was worried. There was plenty of food, water, fuel, wood…and good company to sustain them.
Being so late, Devon couldn’t really fix anything from scratch, so she decided to warm up some soup from the day before, along with a hot ham and cheese sandwich. She carried a big tray filled with the meal for two into the living room. “I hope you like soup and sandwiches,” Devon said as she put the tray down on the coffee table.
Tierney took a glance. “Oh, I love tomato soup…and ham.” The blonde appeared distracted.
Devon had seen her searching in her pocket, when she had stepped into the room. “Did you lose something?” she asked.
“I…ah…some medicine. I thought I had some on me…but it must be in my purse.”
“And that is still in your car.” Devon immediately reached for her winter gear. “I can get that.”
“I can’t ask you to go back into that storm, in the dark,” Tierney said.
“You didn’t ask, I’m volunteering. I’ve got a strong flashlight, and I’ll be right back. Go ahead and eat,” Devon said, before pulling the heavy scarf up over her mouth. Then she was gone.
Tierney stared into the hypnotic flames, not really counting the minutes that her new friend was gone. Before she knew it, a rustling was heard by the front door, and Devon came into the room smiling and waggling the small, black handbag in the air. “Got it.”
“Thank you,” Tierney said. “Was my car buried?”
“Actually no”. Devon looked out the window at the still raging storm. “I think it’s a little better back there. I know it’s ten miles away, but it still seems a little odd.” She shrugged a shoulder. “Oh well.” Devon had a seat next to the sofa. “You didn’t eat?”
Tierney smiled. “No, I wanted to wait for you.”
“Thank you.” Devon returned the smile, and they started in on the still warm meal.
* * *
After dinner, Devon applied another cold pack to the injured ankle. “Will anybody be missing you?” she asked, for a couple of reasons.
“No, no one. I’m on leave from my job and no family nearby.”
Devon nodded. “Well, I’m gonna get the guest room set up.”
The green eyes slipped shut, as Tierney enjoyed the peace and warmth of the cabin in the woods. Just a few hours earlier she had feared the worst nightmare. But now she almost couldn’t imagine a much better dream.
“Looks like you’re ready for a good night’s sleep,” Devon said.
Tierney laughed softly. “I guess I am. It just feels so good being here.”
“I’m glad my hosting skills are up to date. Just let me know when you’re ready, and I’ll help you into the bedroom. I set out some clothes for you to sleep in.” Devon chuckled at herself. “But of course you can wear anything you’d like. And you could have taken care of the cold pack…and anything else you need.”
“Devon, I really appreciate everything you’ve provided me. It is nice to be cared for. And I’m sure the clothes will be fine.”
Devon added more logs to the warming fire, needing to be even more hospitable, but almost dreading the outcome. “Well…uh…I guess I can take you home…tomorrow. If you want to…I mean.”
Tierney picked at imaginary lint on the blanket covering her legs. “Well, if you want your privacy back,” she said, “you can certainly do that. But…I would be there…all alone for days or weeks. I told you I live in a remote area too.”
The kneeling woman turned to face her guest. “But if you stayed…neither one of us would be alone,” she suggested, almost shyly. “I have movies…and books, and games to keep us occupied.”
“There you go,” Tierney said. “I don’t want to be alone…anymore.”
“Neither do I.”
* * *
Devon stood at the professional grade stove, watching over the cooking eggs. A pile of diced veggies and cheese sat on the chopping board next to her, waiting to be added at the right moment. She began flipping the sizzling bacon in another skillet, when she heard a scuffling behind her. Living alone for so long, she should have been a little startled, but surprisingly, her new friend had not been far from her thoughts, and she had been anxiously waiting for her arrival. “Good morning,” she said cheerfully, without turning around.
“Don’t tell me you have eyes in the back of your head too?” Tierney joked.
“No, that was my grandmother,” Devon said, turning toward the table, and the blonde. “She could really keep eight grandkids in line.”
Tierney giggled, a delightful sound, Devon thought. She pulled out a chair for the injured woman. “Have a seat.”
“Thanks. And thanks for the crutches.” Tierney had found them just inside the door to her room, when she woke up.
“I forgot I had them, till about midnight last night. How did you sleep, were you warm enough?” Devon asked, returning to the stove to finish their breakfast.
“I slept wonderfully, considering my injury. And it was very comfortable.”
“I hope you like omelets and bacon,” the cook said. “Help yourself to the coffee, and I’ll be right there.” Devon slipped a stuffed omelet, four slices of bacon and fresh berries onto each plate, before turning back to the table.
Her eyes landed on the beautiful, smiling face, and not for the first time since they met, less than twenty four hours ago, did she feel something tugging at her heart…and her soul. Maybe this time it could work, she thought. I won’t have to keep secrets. I can share my true self with her.
“I love a big breakfast, especially in the cold winter,” Tierney said.
“Me too, but I won’t do it every day, when it’s just me. So, while I wish we had met under less harsh circumstances, thank you for being here to share this meal with me.”
Tierney tipped her glass of orange juice, softly tapping it against Devon’s glass. “To new friendships,” she toasted.
Devon nodded and smiled, in wholehearted agreement.
* * *
The snow had stopped falling sometime over night, but a strong wind was making huge drifts around the cabin. The immediate forecast was for frigid temperatures, day and night, and a prediction of more snow in three days. Devon mentally debated offering to take Tierney someplace out of the bitter weather. But she seems to really want to stay. But if I really want to be a true friend, I have to give her another chance…in a day or two.
After watching a movie, Tierney went to her room to read, which led to a nap. Devon did a little house cleaning, and some preparation for lunch. She also brought in more firewood from the shed out back. There was another source of heat for the cabin, but Devon noticed how much Tierney seemed to enjoy the fire. And Devon was quickly feeling like she wanted to do anything to please her new friend.
Just before noon, a very pleasant smell drew Tierney from her room. She hobbled into the living room, momentarily stopping at the fireplace to appreciate the warmth, before heading into the kitchen.
“You have great timing miss…wow, I forgot to ask your last name,” Devon said.
“I did too,” Tierney chuckled. “Maybe that’s because I felt an instant connection with you. But for full disclosure, it’s Tierney Angeline Paxton
“Nice to meet you, Miss Tierney Angeline Paxton. I’m Devon Murphy McCloud.”
Devon pulled a couple of flat pans from the oven and slid the contents onto plates. She delivered lunch to the table.
“Pizza,” Tierney identified. “What a treat.”
“I took a chance on what you might like.”
Tierney perused the pie and saw sausage, mushrooms, red onion, Roma tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella. “Looks like I ordered it right off the menu.” She tasted a slice. Her eyes widened. “Oh my gosh, this is fantastic. Handmade dough?”
“Made it this morning.”
“I have a little garden in the sunroom out back,” Devon said.
Tierney dabbed at her mouth with a napkin, and took a sip of her iced tea. “I’ve had three meals here, each one better than the last. Are you a professional chef?”
“I used to be. But I still like to experiment.” Devon took a few more bites. “Do you know the Golden Grizzly Inn, over by the state park?”
“Yes! A friend took me to the spa there for my birthday, year before last. It’s a beautiful place.”
“I started out as the head chef in the restaurant there, but I gave that up last year,” Devon said.
“Do you mind if I ask why you quit?”
“I wanted a little more free time. So I bought the inn, and hired a general manager. I go over there just a few hours a day.” Devon put on a huge grin. “No drive time.”
Tierney chuckled. “Our special talents can sometimes make life a little easier,” she said. “Again, if I’m not being too nosey, did you need the free time for something specific?”
Devon hesitated. “When we’re done here,” she finally said, “I’ll show you.”
Tierney was certainly interested in the mystery. And she was becoming more and more attracted to Devon McCloud by the minute.
* * *
Tierney stood, on crutches, inside the big room. She could tell it had been built, and once used as a garage. But there was no car in sight, and the only tools here now belonged to an artist. A true artist. She stared in awe at the pieces of art displayed on shelf after shelf. They were all wood carvings. Some were big, most were small, but all depicting facets of the natural world. Many were animals of the forest or the oceans.
“Is your silence a good thing, or a bad thing?” Devon asked with a smile.
“Oh, a very good thing,” Tierney said, before pausing again. “These are just so gorgeous, I was dumb struck.”
Devon nodded. “Well, thank you.”
“You do sell these right.”
“I do.” Devon pulled on her ear, a little reluctant to toot her own horn. “I…ah… just got a commission to do a life sized mother bear and cubs.”
“That’s great,” Tierney said happily. She carefully hobbled over to bench with a half completed sculpture. It was the top half of a river otter that appeared to be floating on its back. “What woods do you use?” she asked interestedly.
“All kinds. Most local. Some exotic, but all from eco-friendly sources. I even find uses for the shavings.”
Tierney turned and flashed a brilliant smile. “You are an absolute wonder, Miss McCloud.” She looked all around the room again. “This is a great work space,” she said. “I have a friend who paints, and he always complains about the size of his studio, and the lighting.”
Devon walked to the center of the room and pointed up. “I had to have the skylight put in right away. Sometimes, I wish I painted so there would be a little more color in the room.” She picked up a carved chipmunk, done in a natural pale yellowish hue. “I really love the woods, but it’s all so monotone.”
* * *
That evening, after another great meal, Tierney and Devon had their first serious conversation about their unique lives. In front of the fire, sharing a bottle of wine, they also shared things that could only be understood and appreciated by a select group of humans.
“I have relatives on both sides, going back more than a hundred years…that we know of,” Tierney said.
“Wow!” Devon exclaimed. “I’m the first in four generations. Maybe the gene went temporarily dormant.” Devon’s face turned profoundly sad.
“I thought you said that your grandmother…”
“That was a joke,” Devon said. “I was eight, before I could teleport. Even though my mother always knew it was a possibility of having a child like me, my brother and sister didn’t show any signs, so she thought it skipped again. When it happened, of course she was absolutely fine with it. But it…I terrified my father.” Devon took a drink of her wine to wash down the lump that still formed when she thought about that early time in her life. “I was the reason they broke up. My mom always insisted that it was her, that it was because she had kept it a secret. And I did come to accept that it was part of it…but not all. He came to begrudgingly accept me. But while he tried not to, he always treated me differently than he did my siblings. Even now, we barely speak. He always claims he’s just busy. But he always has time for Harper and Weston. It still hurts, but not as much as it used to.”
A silent moment passed, each woman deep in thought. “Did that ever make you hate yourself?” Tierney asked quietly.
Devon gave a dry chuckle. “Oh, yeah. I considered suicide once. But then my mom gave me a letter that one of my ancestors, who was like us, I think she could influence the weather, had written. It talked, not just about pride, but our true place in this world. We were all made by the same creator, so there had to be a good reason. And it said not to ever let anyone else judge what’s normal or not.”
Tierney took a deep breath. “We are normal,” she said. “In generally every way, we are just like everyone else. We just have a little something extra.”
“I like that,” Devon agreed with a big grin. “And I have pride in myself, but as you surely know, it is so hard for others to accept something they never even imagined existed. It is so hard to have to try not to use your ability when it comes so naturally. It has made relationships almost impossible.”
Tierney took a sip of wine and stared into the hypnotically dancing flame. “Is that why you hid yourself out here all alone?”
“No,” Devon said with conviction. “I came out here because it was always a dream. I’ve always had a strong connection to nature. How can you look out that window and not be awed. How can you not know that the greatest power in the universe is out there. I know not everybody feels as strongly as I do.”
“I do,” Tierney staunchly said. “I think maybe our kind does tend to feel more comfortable in nature. I have friends who have made comments to that effect.”
Devon nodded, considering the thought. “Is there a limit to your talents?” she asked.
“I can’t create anything that I can’t easily carry, so I am limited to under a hundred pounds.”
A devilish grin covered Devon’s face. “I guess, I can’t put in that order for an elephant then.”
Tierney laughed. “Not even a baby. How about you, any limits to the distance you can travel?”
“Well, I can’t go to the moon, but anywhere earth bound.”
Tierney got a glint in her eye. “Ever been to Tahiti?”
“You know, I’ve never used it to go on a vacation. I always tried to take my mother somewhere, but she was a very honest person, and said it felt like she was cheating. She was always proud of me, and let me make my own decisions, but she only wanted to benefit from it if it was an emergency. So, I guess that made an impression on me a little. But I think I’d like to get passed that.”
“You should,” Tierney insisted. “We have gifts. Gifts that shouldn’t be exploited, but should be used to help others when we can. But it’s not selfish or wrong to benefit ourselves also.”
“Perhaps you can help me with that philosophy.”
“That would be my pleasure.” After a little more wine, Tierney moved back to the previous conversation. “How was your relationship with your siblings at first?”
Devon let out a genuine laugh. “They actually envied me. They were upset because they were just “normal”. No it was fine.” She smiled evilly. “They could never beat me at hide and seek though. We talk on the phone all the time. My sister is about to have her first baby. I made sure she told her husband about our family heritage, even before they got married. She had even asked me to be there when she did. And she told him she was proud of me.” Devon’s expression warmed with delight, remembering that afternoon. “That was actually one of the best moments of my life.” She leaned over and took the blonde’s hand. “And just so you know, I am no longer lonely.”
* * *
After a late movie, Devon escorted her new friend down the hall. “I hope you sleep well tonight,” she said, stopping at the guest room door.
“I have a feeling I will.” Tierney’s hand appeared from behind her back, presenting the taller woman with a gift.
Devon smiled, and delicately sniffed the single red rose. “Thank you.”
“I think maybe we’ve been doing a little dance since we met,” Tierney said. “But I want you to know Devon that I really like you, and I find you very, very attractive. And I would very much like to know you much better.”
“Me too,” Devon agreed.
“Good. But…I am not ready for a physical relationship, just yet. I have never taken that casually. It’s always been reserved for very special people in my life.”
“I understand,” Devon said, compassionately. “And I certainly agree.”
“But Devon…” Tierney brushed her fingers across the beautiful face. She closed the short distance between them, and kissed the lovely lips, exploring and tasting, enjoying…and knowing. “…you are going to be one of those special people in my life.”
* * *
The winter weather continued to alternately melt a little, but then add back a few more inches. But neither woman seemed to care or even realize. One morning, Devon had noticed that they had been together almost two weeks. Tierney had smiled and shrugged. They were in no hurry to return to the rest of the world. Tierney had kept their food supplies stocked, often bringing in exotic specialties and out of season edibles. She saw to their romantic moments with candles and fine wine. They missed out on no material possessions. But there desire for each other, grew steadily.
The duo had developed a nice, daily routine. After sharing breakfast, Tierney would read or binge watch something on the computer. Devon would slip off to her studio, and create her beautiful works of art. A couple of days a week, she would zip over to her inn, to check up on things. On one of those days, she had whisked her new friend off for a day at the spa. Business there had returned to normal just days after the main storm. Oddly, the travel difficulties only seemed to remain just right around Devon’s home. But she wasn’t going to complain at all.
They would have a gourmet dinner, provided by Devon or Tierney, and then spend the cozy evenings playing games or just talking, and on more than one night, enjoying lots of laughter.
* * *
The sun streamed in through the window, something that hadn’t happened a lot in the past weeks. A pair of sleepy blues eyes blinked open. Devon lay there very quietly for about ten minutes. She just stared at the tree line, noticing the patterns of snow clinging to the sturdy trunks and fingerling branches. Everything was so much more beautiful to her now. Food tasted much richer, and musical melodies much more pleasant to her ears. Her heart and mind were full of hope and love like never before.
Devon smiled and said, “It is going to be a beautiful day today.”
“Every day, here with you, has been beautiful, regardless of the weather outside.” The drowsy, but lovely voice, had drifted up from behind her.
An arm circled around her middle, and a kiss was planted between her bare shoulder blades. Devon brought the hand to her lips, returning a diminutive, but loving kiss. She turned her long body one hundred and eighty degrees, coming face to face with her blonde lover. “Good morning gorgeous,” Devon said.
“Morning,” was the returned greeting as the two gloriously naked bodies wiggled even closer together. A little intimate conversation followed, intermingled with a few light kisses.
“Have you checked the date on the calendar?” Devon asked.
The blonde pretended to think hard. “I do believe it’s around the middle of February,” she said.
Devon nodded. “The fourteenth to be exact.”
“Nice to know,” Tierney said, with a wink. With nothing to add, she moved from the bed, slipped on a robe, and headed toward the bathroom.
Devon flopped back onto the bed with a silent giggle. She loved that woman, and planned to tell her for the first time, later in the day. She indulged in a little daydream, and didn’t hear her lover shuffle back into the room about ten minutes later.
“Breakfast is on me this morning,” Tierney said with a cheery voice. There was a happy bounce in her step, with her previously injured ankle now totally healed. She placed a large tray on the little side table, by the bright window. She began to set out the morning repast, but started with a vase of spring flowers. “Put on a robe, before you come over here,” she said, “or we’ll never get this food eaten.”
A properly robed Devon sauntered up behind the small blonde, wrapped long arms around her and began placing kisses on her neck. “You were saying something about eating.”
Tierney soaked in the attention, but kept herself in the moment. “Let’s start with breakfast, shall we.” She picked up a delicious, French pastry, and offered the tall woman a bite.
“Ummm.” Devon savored the tasty treat, intentionally leaving some sweet cream on her mouth. “Ooops, no napkins,” she said with a messy grin. “Could you lend me a hand…or more precisely your set of luscious lips?”
Breakfast was delayed just a bit, but with full stomachs, the couple set off to a return to childhood. They dressed in their warmest clothes and coats, and headed outside to play in the snow. They built an entire snow family, and, of course, engaged in a strategic snowball fight. But Tierney quickly discovered that a snowball fight against a teleport was exhausting.
In their vigorous play, they had managed to drift quite far away from the house. But Devon swept her lover up into her arms, and they were instantly back inside, where the fire soon warmed their chilled bodies.
Because of the late breakfast, it would be a late lunch, so it was the perfect time for a little exchange.
Each woman walked into the room with a wrapped package in their hands. Simultaneous, joyous laughter bounced off the walls. Tierney had placed a couple of big, floor pillows in front of the sofa, and invited Devon to join her.
“Have I mentioned how much I love snow?” Tierney asked.
“I believe so, yes. And I feel the same.” Devon took Tierney’s hand in her own. “These weeks will always be very precious memories to me,” she said with an easy smile. “And because of snow, I came to know, the most beautiful, caring and loving soul I have ever known. I don’t know if our meeting was coincidental or fate, but I know that I bless whatever it was. I love you Tierney Paxton.” A little tear of happiness slid down her cheek.
Wearing a tender smile, Tierney caught the drop, bringing the wet fingertip to her lips. “I love you Devon.” The emotional catch in her voice brought another tear to Devon. “You are my hero,” Tierney continued, “but so much, much more. And being able to share my entire soul with you, for the first time in my life is priceless, and precious. I want this to be the beginning of a lifetime together.”
They sealed their declaration with a gentle kiss and a hug.
“And now,” Devon said, “to commemorate the day and the date, Happy Valentine’s Day.”
Tierney took the brightly wrapped box, and handed over another smaller, but just as smartly decorated gift. She quickly unwrapped her present and lifted the lid. Nestled inside, on a bed of satin was a hand carved treasure. Cradling the artwork in both hands, Tierney’s awe filled eyes inspected every intricate detail. She had been given a ten inch tall hand carved tree, complete with tiny carved leaves and a pair of lovebirds on a branch. On the sturdy trunk was fashioned a heart, enclosing their initials. “It is beautiful,” she said. “I absolutely love it.” She took Devon’s long fingered hand. “These are so talented,” adding with a wink, “in so many ways. Thank you.” Taking another look at the sculpture, she asked, “What kind of wood is this?”
“It’s native to Southeast Asia.”
Tierney’s green eyes widened. “You went all the way to Southeast Asia for this?”
Devon nodded. “Sure did. I had an orangutan hanging right over my head. Took me a little while to find the right sized piece on the ground. Didn’t want to take it from a living tree.”
“Another reason to love you,” Tierney said. “You care about so many things. Before you open yours, I want you to know that I thought, long and hard about this. And I didn’t create with my hands.”
“But you did create it with your mind…and your heart,” Devon said. “That already makes it very special to me.” At the blonde’s smile, Devon removed the lid, and pulled out a piece of glass, secured to a strong length of leather cord. She held it up to the sunny window, and suddenly her face was bathed in patches of color. The sun catcher began to twirl, creating a light show that had the blue eyes mesmerized. “This is…enchanting,” she finally said, reaching for the right word. Managing to pry her gaze away, she met the green eyes and smiled. “Thank you. I really love it.”
“I thought it would work nicely hanging near the skylight in your workshop, and add some of that color you’re missing.”
“That’s perfect. But if you don’t mind, right now I’d just like to sit here with you in my arms, and enjoy a few minutes, hours…or a lifetime.”
“Are you sure you’re not a poet?” Tierney asked as they snuggled into the corner of the sofa.
Devon giggled. “Maybe you bring out my latent tendencies.”
“I think we bring out the best in each other.”
Devon snuggled a little tighter. “I know you bring out a love like I have never felt before.”
Tierney reached up and kissed Devon. “And a love like I’ll never feel again.”
The sun continued to brighten the snowy land, but a strange wind suddenly blew in from the woods. It whirled silently and stealthily around the house. The short dance soon ended, and it disappeared, leaving behind an etched design in the last of the frost on one window pane. Surrounded by swirls were the words, ‘Happy life, my child’.