Alma opened Richard’s hand and ran her thumb over the lines on his palm. “Look at that,” she said with a smile. “Your life line is long, Richard Spier, but you’re already so old it’s started to –”
Richard growled and rolled her over, pinning her beneath him. She shrieked and started to laugh.
“I didn’t mean anything by it,” she said, smiling up at him.
“Sure you didn’t.”
She grinned and spread her hand beneath his. “Tell me my future.”
Richard traced his thumb over the new gold band on Alma’s finger, down to the lines on her palm. “Here’s the part where you marry a handsome man,” he said, dotting his finger against her skin. “And here’s a honeymoon...”
Alma laughed again and wrapped her arms around him. “That’s past and present,” she said. “I already know that bit.”
“Guess I’m no good at predicting futures, then,” Richard said with a shrug. He smiled and kissed her gently.
Alma smiled and sighed. “Well, let me up, because I am.”
Richard chuckled and rolled away from her, the sheets dragging across their bodies and the mattress sinking as he shifted his weight.
Outside, afternoon crowds walked in the warm sunlight. Noises from the street filtered up to Richard and Alma’s window, which was ajar to the light breeze. The world was passing them by and neither of them cared.
“This is your love line,” Alma said, pressing a kiss against Richard’s open palm. She traced her finger over the crease in his skin.
“You said that was my life line.”
She rolled her eyes. “You don’t listen to me at all, do you?”
He laughed and laced his fingers with hers. “What does my love line say?”
Alma paused to think for a moment. She looked towards the window, the curtains shifting slightly as the summer air billowed in.
“Come on,” he prompted, squeezing her hand.
Alma opened his palm again and pretended to study it carefully. “You’re very in love,” she said confidently.
Richard smiled. “Yes.”
“With a beautiful woman far out of your league.”
Richard gave a theatrical sigh, and Alma laughed and rolled onto her side, stretching out beside him. She watched him close his eyes and breathe deeply and contentedly.
“I love you,” she whispered after a moment. She leaned over to kiss him before he could respond. She didn’t want him to; she wanted her words to hang in the air between them.
“Let me explain my hands,” she said, rolling closer to him again. Her hair curtained down and Richard caught the ends of it in his fingers.
Alma held her hand up between them. “Love line,” she said.
“Mm.” She smiled down at him as he dotted his finger against her hand again. “I think technically it’s called the heart line, but I prefer love.”
“I don’t think there’s anything technical about this,” Richard teased, but he smiled at her again.
“Well, fine,” Alma sniffed. “I won’t tell you.”
Richard chuckled and tucked Alma’s hair behind her ear. “Tell me.”
“Okay.” She wriggled closer to him and he lifted his head so she could wrap her arms around his neck. She was pleasantly conscious of how naked they were and how comfortable she was becoming with it. “I read all about it in a magazine,” she said. She paused, and then looked down at him with a small smile. “There’s not much to do in Maynard.”
“My love line says I’m a very loving sort of person,” Alma said.
“It doesn’t tell you the future, then?” Richard asked.
“I guess not,” Alma admitted, leaning over him and pressing her brow against his. “My love line says I take love seriously and it’s important to me and...” She trailed off and looked at her hand again, frowning a little. “And I’m sincere,” she said after a moment.
“You are,” Richard agreed. “But I knew that without looking at your hands.” He smiled. “What does my love line say about me?”
She didn’t bother looking at his hands. She propped herself up on her elbows above him. “You’re sincere,” she said. “And you worry a little bit too much, sometimes.” She ran her thumb across the slight crease already marking itself on his brow. “You’re a very serious person.”
“You’re making me sound quite boring, you know.”
“Oh, no,” Alma said in dismay. “These are all the things I love about you. They’re not boring.” She traced the end of her nose against his skin.“There are other things. Like when you laugh...”
“I always love it when you laugh,” Alma said softly. “Like I know a little secret about you no one else does.”
“I do laugh in front of other people, you know,” Richard said, looking amused.
“Not like you laugh with me,” Alma said, smiling down at him. “It’s different.” She felt Richard’s fingers splay out gently against the bare swell of her hip. “I like that you’re different with me,” she whispered. “It makes me feel important.”
“You are important,” Richard murmured.
“Well,” Alma said softly, “I like being able to make you smile like no one else can.”
He smiled at her again and she watched the corners of his eyes crease. She traced her fingers over his face.
“Anyway,” she said after a quiet moment. “Getting back to the subject at hand...” She pressed her palm against his again. “Life lines.”
“Hm,” he sighed.
“Yours is a little bit longer.”
“Naturally,” Richard said with another smile, rolling his eyes. “Because I’m so old.”
Alma laughed. “Uh-huh.” She kissed him. “But mine’s not far behind,” she said. “I’ll grow old with you, Richard.”