Chapter 1.4: The Right Thing (Maybe)


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The next morning, Lilith was surprised when Daniela came over early in the morning. Lilith was still eating breakfast; Daniela had an odd look in her eye.

“Daniel is mine, Lilith,” Daniela whispered, her hands resting on her stomach. “I’m having his baby.”

“Ummm. I’m sorry. I was just messing around the other day, about him being my first kiss. I didn’t know.” Lilith put down her apple.

“He doesn’t know yet either. I know he likes to play. But I don’t want him playing with you,” Daniela said, still whispering.

“No problem. Really. Congrats on the baby.”

“I saw him with you at the beach.” Daniela turned and left Lilith’s camp.

That was weird.

 

 

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Daniel…that had come out of nowhere. Apparently their friendliness of the past several days had given him ideas. And that kiss in the rain…. it had been HOT. But the hotness melted real fast in the raindrops. She wondered if he had used his craft on her that night. At any rate, he had a baby with Kaila Swift, and one on the way with Daniela Haven. She didn’t intend to be another of his toys.

Maybe the familiar was the better course. Which reminded her, she meant to look for Maru this morning to talk with him about what happened and his letter. She’d been thinking.

 

 

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Maru was not in his camp. Lilith sighed. He’d hardly been there for a couple weeks now, since he tried to kiss her at the Community Center.

She wandered in the direction of the Community Center to look for Maru there. That path took her right past Maru’s cousin Shane. She imagined that he leaned closer when she told him hello this morning. It seemed the morning light bent and softened around them.

“Hey there Lilith, where are you off to?”

Surprised, she said “I was actually looking for Maru. Have you seen him?” Shane had rarely asked her any direct questions.

He stepped back and looked away. “He was at Kaila’s last night, you might check there.” He bent to rekindle his campfire.

Lilith felt a little frozen. Not only that Maru was at Kaila Swift’s camp, but at Shane’s sudden disengagement. The light shattered as she turned and headed back to the edge of the village…Kaila’s camp was just up from Maru’s.

Shane’s eyes followed her.

 

 

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As Shane indicated, she found Maru at Kaila’s camp.

“Maru. I got your note,” she said, her voice low.

Maru looked slightly uncomfortable. “Kaila, if you’ll excuse me, I need to talk to Lilith.”

“Absolutely. Nice to see you Lilith.” Kaila picked up her yellow-haired baby and walked off down the path.

 

 

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Maru took her hand. “Let’s go to my camp to talk.” Lilith nodded, squeezing his hand. She was nervous as they walked the short distance to his camp.

“I’ve missed you. I’m glad you came,” he said. He took her in his arms, his face serious. Lilith smiled tentatively.

“I’ve missed you too Maru. I wasn’t expecting this. I do love you but…I’m not sure I feel the same way.” She saw his face fall a little. “I will give this a chance. I will give us a chance,” she finished.

 

 

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And then she kissed him.

His arms tightened around her and he deepened the kiss.

It was soft. Warm. Sweet. Gentle. Firm. Dependable. And comfortable. She pressed against his chest, and could feel his heart racing. Maybe she could do this.

Maybe this was the right thing.

“Whoa,” Maru leaned back, grinning. “Let’s go out tonight. As a couple. See how it goes. What do you think?”

“Ok,” she returned his smile.

 

 

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“Great! I’ll stop by this evening, maybe we can go down to the hot springs by the beach.” He kissed her heartily, and left, whistling as he went.

Lilith touched her lips and shook her head. This is the right thing, she told herself.

 

 

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It was getting late in the afternoon when Maru showed up.

 

 

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“Hey,” he smiled. She couldn’t help but smile back as he stopped just short of her, seemingly uncertain.

He tentatively put his arms around here. “You haven’t changed your mind?”

“Nope. Shall we?”

“We shall!”

Lilith took Maru’s arm and they set off for the beach.

 

 

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As they walked hand in hand past Daniel’s lot, Daniel shot her a wicked grin. Lilith said nothing as Daniel resumed playing with his wand.

 

 

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After they got to the beach, Maru lit the fire. They were both a little unsure what to do next, so Lilith took the lead by sitting in the sand and telling him about her recent attempts at a singing career.

Soon enough they had fallen back into their usual easy camaraderie, just with a little extra sizzle.

 

 

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After a swim in the ocean, Lilith found it surprisingly easy to get into the flow of the moment.

“Gods,” Maru murmured against her neck. “Just to feel you against me…”

 

 

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“Want to stay with me tonight?”

At that point, Maru couldn’t have denied her anything.

 

 

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Back at Lilith’s camp, the camp fire seemed to burn extra bright that night.

 

 

 

 

***the “sound track” song is Gavin DeGraw–Follow Through