A Morning to Ourselves
Location: Crow Ranch, Earth
Edra leaned her elbows on the porch railing, overlooking the ranch, mug of raktajino cradled in both hands, and a shaw wrapped around her. She loved catching sunrises at home, and this one had definitely lived up to her expectations. Only a few wispy clouds caught some extra color as Earth's star rose in the sky.
Henry exited the house and dropped into a rocking chair. “You’re up early. Was it too quiet for you with the kids at my sister’s?”
She grinned. Having some time without the kids was nice. But "too quiet" was only a worry when they were around. Shaking her head, she answered, "Nah. I just woke up and realized I could catch the sunrise." She turned fully to face him, and leaned against a nearby porch post. "You just can't get this from the bridge of a starship."
He nodded his head. “Once you see the real thing that little voice in your head tells you even doing it on the holodeck isn’t real or the same. Speaking of which, my view here isn’t too bad either.” Standing, he stepped over to her and put his arm around her. “Prettier than every sunrise known to man.”
He still knew how to make her blush. She put her nearly-empty mug on the railing so she could slip her arms around his neck. "Silver-tongued devil. You always did know just what to say to me." She pulled him down for a long-overdue kiss.
He didn’t rush it. These moments had been too fleeting for too long. Finally when their lips broke he leaned his forehead down to touch the top of her head and spoke in a whisper. “If we don’t go back up to the ship tomorrow, you think anyone would notice?”
She pouted for a moment for the end of their holiday, but that look turned to a pointed one in her husband's direction. "You say that every time we come back. One might think you're not just kidding after a while."
I know I sound like a recording but every time we come here it’s harder and harder to leave. I look around and see things that need fixed or replaced. When am I gonna have the time to do it?”
Edra grinned. "You could have someone do it while we're gone. We could find a caretaker." She expected pushback to that, and considered possible responses already.
“I have a caretaker in mind. He works cheap. It helps that he’s almost six.”
That was not the response she expected, but she did laugh. "Um, no."
“I was his age when I got put to work and learned how to get my hands dirty.” He looked down at her. “Besides he needs to understand that you do for yourself and your family, especially when it’s not fun.”
"First of all, I'm talking about someone of a responsible age, that we trust, taking care of the entire ranch whenever we're not here. Second, you need to go easy on Marcus. Responsibility is good, that type of idealism you're talking about is what got us in trouble a few years ago." By the time she finished, she was very serious.
He knew that look and that tone. “Okay we’ll see about getting some hands together. Someone who can respect the land.” His eyes went to the land he just mentioned. “It’d be nice to see this place alive all the time.”
She smiled. "I think that's a good plan." She looked past him for a moment. "Y'know what else is a good plan?"
“Me picking you up and carrying you upstairs?”
Edra only grinned.
He did as promised and easily scooped her up in his arms. “How long till they’re back?”
She snuggled against his shoulder. "Oh, Michelle isn't bringing them back until tonight."
He nudged their bedroom door open with his foot. “Maybe I could convince her to delay that a week or two.” He slowly lowered her to the bed, laying beside her.
"I could go for that." She whispered that as her thumb brushed across his cheek, searching for a continuation of their earlier kiss. When she closed her eyes, her mind saw another face, and that caused her to back away with a start.
That was not exactly what he was expecting. “Uh…you okay?”
"Yeah, yeah," she said automatically. She wasn't hurt, so she was okay, but the vision had been unexpected. "I just…had a flashback, and I don't know where it came from." She paused, considering the implications. "It was Wyatt." The man had been one of those involved in her brainwashing some years ago. She'd been through counseling to reverse the programing, but she'd always feared there was only one way to find out if it had worked.
“What kind of flashback?” He wanted to comfort her but wasn’t sure if contact would make it worse so he stayed close but not too close.
She shook her head, "It wasn't anything elaborate, just his face. But it reminded me that I had a dream where I was back there." She probed the vague memory to gauge how much she'd dreamed, both wanting, and not wanting, to know how much the dream contained. "Best I can recall, I was just waiting for the next thing to happen."
He set his hand on her upper arm. "Maybe set up a talk with the Counselor when we get back." He didn't like the sound of this at all but didn't want to make it worse on her so he buried it.
She nodded. "Perhaps I'll do that." She looked around her immediate vicinity for anything that could be used as a weapon before leaning into him. Maybe she was overreacting--Prophets knew she hoped so--but she couldn’t take the chance.
Wrapping his arms around her, he rested his chin on the top of her head. "Don't worry, we'll figure it out."