Duck had always put honey into his tea. It was the way his grandmum had fixed it for him on cold, windswept nights when he'd needed something to chase the chill away; strong Earl Grey with just a hint of sweetness. It was the way his mum had made it for him when he'd come home from school with a black eye and a chip on his shoulder, the cruel words of the other children still echoing in his ears. She would pour chamomile tea, chosen to soothe and calm, and add a spoonful of honey.
He pours the mint tea into china cups passed down through several generations of his family; off-white teacups that looked fragile and awkward when he held them in his large workman's hands.
The wildflower honey was stored in a plain mason jar, taken in trade for handy work done for a local bee keeper. Duck liked the flavor of the honey; if he closed his eyes and concentrated, he could taste Wilby under the sweetness. There were subtle suggestions of the sea, salt and pine in the dark honey. A flavor of home that lingered on his tongue for hours.
Duck hands a cup to Dan, smiling shyly as their hands touch briefly. They sit at the old wooden table in the bright kitchen, neither of them finding words necessary as they drink their tea, savoring the quiet.