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  • "Here, look. For you..." she said nonchalantly, handing him a single stem.

    What would he see as he peered inside - would he even notice the way the petals tremble? Could he lose himself inside that silky cave, conjure up the things she did and hopefully more?

    "An iris, out of my garden" she added, watching him intently, nearly holding her breath.

    She so hoped her intuition was right - that he wouldn't let her down, wouldn't merely glance and utter something banal like "pretty" or "thanks" and cast it aside, miss the whole point of the offering.

    He regarded the bloom from all angles, taking his time. He put it up to his nose, took in the scent. "Mmm. Nice. Smells kind of like...citrusy sweet tarts" he said.

    Quirky truth. She loved that.

    Moving his eyes languidly across the flower and up to her face, a slow and steady smile crept across his lips, his eyes crinkling at the corners. He met her stare boldly and held it there, looking slightly mischievous, deeply amused.

    Oh yes, she was right about him - he could see. He saw. He was a wonderer, a wanderer too!

    Utterly elated, she wanted to scream, to whoop, to throw herself on him and land in an intertwined heap on the floor. But instead she managed to keep it together, contain herself, breathe out a long exhale (in spite of the gigantic YES! YES! YES! flashing in neon across the insides of her eyelids) and for all of the just mentioned reasons, let out a laugh. A gaspy laugh. Relief and excitement woven into one quick sound escaping her lips.

    And so it was - the moment they would always refer to as the beginning.
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