Wallflower Girl (Chapter 8, page 2 of 4)

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The next booth was full of beaded jewellery, and sure enough, when they looked up, there was Ethel, sipping a little shot glass of wheat grass juice. Off to one side of the display was a bed of the stuff, next to a battery operated juicer.

"Hi, guys!" Ethel gushed. "Here." Before they could protest, she snipped off some of the intense green plant and fed it into the little humming machine, pressing the juice into two clean shot glasses. They graciously downed the shots, trying not to shudder at the vile flavor. She normally charged for wheat grass.

"So, how's married life?" she asked them.

"Wonderful," Anne said enthusiastically. Nick squeezed her hand and she frowned at him.

"I've just gotten a new book about reading auras," Ethel said. "Stand still and let me see yours." She hurried out from behind the counter and ran her hands about four inches above Anne's body. She paused over her friend's belly.


"What?" Anne asked, and Nick squeezed her hand again.

"Well, you're not pregnant yet, but I think, if you try tonight, you will be."

She glanced at Nick. His expression didn't look too promising. "That's great, Ethel, thanks. We have to move on. Come on, honey."

She led her husband away.

As soon as they were out of earshot, he began muttering. "Who does she think she is? None of her business. Silly woman."

"Nick," Anne said soothingly, "she was only trying to help. Don't take it the wrong way."

He shook his head. "That is one strange woman."

"I know. I love her though. So, will we be trying tonight?"

"Oh yeah, baby. Of course. Just not because she said so."

"Of course not." But when Nick wasn't looking, she touched the necklace again, considering.

They spent another couple of hours at the swap meet, but by the time the sun began to set, a swarm of mosquitos came up from the creek and drove shoppers and vendors alike to their vehicles, ending the evening earlier than expected.

Unlike in town, back at the farm, the only insects were cicadas, serenading with their croaking buzz in the heat. Summer was heating up, taking hold. The crickets added their soprano chirp to the music of the evening. A soft wind sighed through the branches of the trees and the summer flowers, perfuming the evening. Reluctant to head inside, they strolled through the yard, hand in hand, eventually ending up at the tractor. Anne leaned against the metal frame and Nick stepped close, taking her in his arms for a long wet kiss. There was no hiding or playing tonight. They wanted each other with a passion that would not countenance such silliness. Knowing they would never make it into the house, Nick took a clean towel from the line strung between two trees and spread it on the ground. Then he sat, pulling his wife onto his lap. She wrapped her legs around his waist, aligning their bodies. They embraced again, groin to groin, tongue to tongue, heart to heart, pouring their love into each other.

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