Prelude 1 (Revised)

“Daddy, Daddy look!”

Jojo was up the tree again, higher than ever before. Aaron smiled at the little fearless, defiant, joyful bundle.

Fiona fretted. “She'll hurt herself.”
“She'll be fine.”
“You always say that.”
“Yes, dear.”

It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon and they were sitting in the garden, about to start grilling. Aaron liked to start the fire early and watch it while sipping a beer or two, sometimes for hours on end, staring into the flickering flames, pondering life or just thinking nothing. The neighbours with their multi-tier, twin cylinder gas deluxe BBQ did not understand that grilling was as much about the process as the result. Life was so hurried, and any time to just stop and reflect was worth its weight in gold. Maggy, their Yorkshire Terrier lay at his feet, glancing upward now and then, waiting hopefully for a titbit.

Fiona lay on the sun lounger reading a novel. Aaron looked at her, his desire stirring – she was a stunning woman, even after two children, and he still wondered why she had picked him when she could have had anyone. She looked back at him and fluttered her eyelids coyly. He smiled.