Arabella had never seen the hills so green.
Picnicking on the grounds of the Strange estate brought back memories- some bitter, some sweet- but when Emma looked out the window that morning and suggested it, Arabella had not been able to say no. How could she, when Emma smiled like that? How could she, when Emma smiled so rarely still?
And how could she regret it, when there was a blanket spread out on the grass, and Emma was spread out on the blanket, her face tilted back towards the late May sunshine?
“What is it?” Emma asked, catching Arabella staring.
“Nothing.” Arabella lowered her eyes, fussed with the basket of strawberries she had picked on the grounds herself to hide her flush. “Would you like one?”
“Please.” Emma watched her, steadily, and kept utterly still until Arabella understood.
Arabella lifted a berry, slowly, to Emma’s mouth. Her fingertips brushed Emma’s lips as she ate it. Arabella felt her flush deepen until she was sure she was as red as the berries, but she didn’t draw her hand away. She let it trace Emma’s smile, let her world narrow to verdant hills, juice stained lips, and hope for the future.