Author’s Note: So… I think I found a good way to end this. Ties things up a bit, leaves enough open for later, incorporates the title a bit… All good things for endings. Here it is, then, the last entry for this one.
“That is what you are.”
Luna snorted, turning away from the sign on the store, one she’d changed to include Alvin, the “official” mascot of Blue Bug Books. She’d altered the name as well, and Tynan thought it almost suited things—other than the assumption that Alvin was a bug, which was inaccurate. He was not a bug. The world just thought he was. Luna encouraged them to think so, and whenever he tried to correct them, they laughed at him.
Apparently, Tynan was adorable when he did that. He did not understand why, but since it made Luna smile, he had stopped arguing with her about it.
“I am glad your father was willing to turn the store over to you.”
“Well, I think the delegation from the intergalactic government helped, that and having me back. I think he thought I’d died after the fire.”
Tynan sighed. “I wish you had not been forced to—”
“Shh,” she said, putting a finger over his lips. “That is the past, and we agreed that we were not going to let it spoil our future. We have our forever, and we get to spend it where we want. They may try and take it from us, but we’ll deal with that when it comes.”
He nodded. This was their home, the bookstore, and they had it to come home to whenever they roamed. Since the matron and the council wanted to be certain that he would not have any reason to wander beyond earth or to consume it, they had ensured that they had everything they needed to travel, and they had intervened with her father as well. He no longer believed Luna was insane, though Tynan would never be his favorite person no matter how many years he proved faithful to his wife.
That had not helped—having been denied their ceremony, such as it was, the man had not believed it when he heard his daughter had married the man he thought was no good for her. He did not like it, either. He expect Tynan to leave, but he would never abandon his Luna.
He reached for her hand. “What are you planning on reading today? Or am I to read? The children seem to laugh at me more than they do you.”
She smiled. “It is because you still don’t understand the straight man concept. You’re so earnest, and they just can’t help smiling like I do. It’s adorable.”
“I think I shall tire of that word.”
She laughed. “Perhaps, but you will still love me and forgive me for using it long after it has begun to annoy you.”
“Yes.” All she had to do was smile, and he would forget how annoyed he might have been. This love thing was strange that way. He did not know why it always happened like that, but he didn’t know that he wanted to know because he never wanted to stop loving her. “I think we should read more about Oz. I have enjoyed that so far, and the kids seem to like it as well.”
He frowned. “Is something wrong? It is not Alvin, is it? He is doing much better. He was flying again earlier, and that is an improvement.”
“Alvin is fine. You know that. No, I was just thinking we might not have a story time today. I know the kids love it, but we’re allowed days off.”
“True. Do you have somewhere you’d like to go? The museum? The library? Or would you like to do more painting, perhaps in the park? We could see a gallery show or—”
“I think I should work on my language skills again so that we can travel abroad for a while. I think we need… a honeymoon.”
“What is a honeymoon?”
She grinned. “Well, it’s something married people, usually right after their wedding, and it involves a trip, most of the time, but not always. See, sometimes all they want is to be alone together. They never leave their bedrooms. Still, for us, I thought we’d—”
“Why would they never leave their rooms?”
“Um…” She turned as red as the paint in her hair, shaking her head. “That’s… well, like kissing only a bit more involved—”
“There is more to kissing, and you did not tell me about it?”
She bit her lip. “We’re two very different species, remember? I’m not so sure it will work the same way with us, so I didn’t bring it up. I only mentioned the honeymoon thing because I know we both like to travel, and since we do, I think we should. We have so much to see and experience…”
“Yes, we do. Including this more than kissing thing. Is it kissing you other places? I think that should be interesting. I want to compare tastes and feels.”
She swallowed. “Uh…”
“I think you look very adorable like that.”
“When you’ve stunned me into incoherency, you mean? I just… Well, you’re—I know you mean what you say, and that’s what is so disconcerting. You would really do that, sit there and compare how it felt and tasted to kiss me in different places?”
“Do you think that qualifies as consumption? Is that why it bothers you?”
“I never said it bothered me,” she said, giving him a smile as she took his hand and pulled him into the store. “I don’t mind being consumed by you. I believe I signed on to do that forever, didn’t I?”
“Yes,” he agreed, though he was almost certain that she was using the word in a different way than he was. He wasn’t even sure he knew what her meaning was, but he did not care. He had forever—or close to it—to figure out what she meant, and he did believe he would enjoy every minute of it.