“you can make it up to me, you know.”
her voice was clear and steady, sharp as bells ringing out in the cold air. she was no longer boycotting his presence; her anger had dulled into a solid resolve and rounded out her features into softer curves. gone were the jagged lines of disgust marring her smooth forehead and the bloodless thinning of her small lips, replaced now with the definitive air of one who had convinced herself to begrudgingly purchase the bundle of grace necessary for negotiation. he could have sworn he saw traces of bitterness still clinging to her, settling in the tension of her jaw and crooks of her elbows, but he swallowed his provocations and offered half a white flag.
“how so?” he took her bait, marveling at the perfect rosebuds of her winter cheeks against the collar of her coat, whipped by the wayward strands of her dark hair that escaped her ponytail and headed for her eyes.
“i’m partial to diamonds, these days,” she said, looking straight ahead, her heels making little clicks as on the sidewalk as she strode beside him.
there was as great a chance of her being serious as not, and he tried to catch the intonations behind her words with all the precision of a trapeze artist reaching for his airborne counterpart. he never could tell where her facetiousness drew lines, these days, especially not when it came to things like gemstones and fidelity. he loved her, this he was sure she knew.
but she never passed up an opportunity to make him prove it.

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