"Mmm, cake." Athen mumbled in her semi-conscious state. "Ow, head." Now awake, she flung her arm over her eyes to block out the sunlight. The bright light only intensified the pounding of her head
"Morning," Ford said. He sat on her bed holding a plate. Ford placed the food, in this case a slice of cake accompanied with a candle, on the side table by Athen’s bed. "Afternoon rather," He corrected himself. It was far into the afternoon, close to three o’clock. He told himself he’d let Athen sleep until then so she could sleep off the hangover he knew she would be feeling. Though without lying to himself he knew he was far too embarrassed to approach her before then.
It took him three hours since he had wakened up to gather the courage to wake Athen. The incident, though to him it was more like a sweet sin, was something he couldn’t get out of his mind. If Athen regretted it, Ford didn’t know what he would do.
"Hi." Her eyes squinted as she removed her arm. It was dreadfully bright. The blood pounded in her ears and her stomach gurgled; it was empty. She sat up, noticing only briefly that she was fully clothed. "Why am I dressed??" She asked, more to herself than to Ford.
"How are you, feeling better?" The gentle question was asked in a whisper. Athen smiled in thanks.
"Was I sick? What happened last night?" As she tried to recall her memories her head gave a violent lurch. Definitely not worth it, she thought to herself.
"Yea, you were really sick. Do you not remember anything at all?"
"No. Not one detail." Athen replied sheepishly. Ford frowned humming to himself.
"Oh wells," His frown morphed into a smile, and he picked up the cupcake offering it to her. "Happy anniversary!" He exclaimed jovially, though he kept the volume down in respect for Athen’s headache.
"Anniversary?" Athen asked confused, there hadn’t been a single moment since she woke where she hadn’t been. "Anniversary, for what?"
"It’s been exactly six months since we’ve met." Athen had the urge to scream ‘aww’ really loudly. She regressed though, thinking it wouldn’t be appreciated by either her nor Ford.
"That’s so cute. Happy anniversary," She smiled and took the cake, breaking off a piece in her hand she offered it to the man.
"Ah-omph!" Ford opened his mouth and was rewarded with Athen shoving the piece she had in her hand right in his mouth. She couldn’t help but to laugh. "Your turn," Ford took some more of the cake and rubbed it on the corner of Athen’s mouth.
They laughed, Athen’s headache and lack of memory forgotten. And, she decided there was actually a good way to waste cake.
It was a normal day at the bakery. Athen was working hard, sweeping and cleaning up for the end of the day. She was unconsciously dancing around to a song no one could hear. She shook her hips as she bounded around the dining area of the bakery. Putting the broom away in the closet, the upbeat song that pulsed in her head shifted into a slower song. She started humming along to her mental music.
"You should let me love you, let me be the one to. Give you everything you want and need." She sang out loud, not quite sure how she even remembered the lyrics to a song she’s never heard before.
"Hey, what’re you singing?" Athen looked over her shoulder as Ford walked into the room. She frowned; the man had been tentative around her lately. Not to mention how he would blush and stutter when she asked what had happened after they left Yaya’s restaurant last Friday.
"I don’t know." The girl mumbled turning full on towards the man. Her face was pulled into a mask of confusion. The bell on top the door alerted the two that a costumer had arrived. Athen smiled preparing a warm greeting for the person when her jaw dropped. "Kiel? Why are you here?" She said. The pink haired teenager in front of her was a lot larger than the projections Athen was used to seeing the Principality in but it was unmistakably her.
"Time’s almost up." She said. The words themselves were a little foreboding but the smile on the girls face cushioned some of the bite. "Oh hello!" The Principality smiled and waved at Ford before grabbing Athen’s hand and dragging her out of the bakery. "I’ll return her shortly!"
Athen stumbled catching up to the running girl. She was beyond confused. It wasn’t time for her checkup yet, and Kiel never came to the shop, she always waited for Athen to be alone.
"Kiel!" Athen exclaimed. "What are you doing?" She complained as she was continually being dragged against her will. As they ran the amount of people decimated and soon they were winding down empty streets.
"Whoa." Before Athen even knew it she was floating in the abyss known as the fourth dimension. She shuddered. If heaven was mostly senseless this place was its counterpart. There was every sense and it felt horrible.
The fourth dimension or what many people called purgatory was…Well it was basically everything inside of nothingness. It was completely dark yet you could see everything. Athen frowned.
"What? In the fourth dimension." She cursed aloud only to herself, so no one heard the irony of her words. Voices weren’t heard in this realm, only thoughts were. 'What's the big idea?' She thought to everyone who was unfortunate enough to be in this place.
'The idea is that the higher ups say you are taking too long. It's already been over six months.' The way Kiel spoke was as if she was hiding her true meaning. ‘They’ve given you an extension. You have until one year is up, so another six months.’ There was something about Kiel’s panicked expression that made Athen wary. Why would Kiel drag Athen to the fourth dimension? She couldn’t think of any logical reason. Athen shrugged.
'I'll try harder.' The angel thought. She wished herself to be removed from the stupid place.
'Don't try too hard. Enjoy your freedom while you can.' She heard fleetingly as she phased out of the place of punishment. She rolled her eyes, walking back towards the bakery. As much as she had slacked off over the last little while she knew it was time to seriously start searching again. Even as she thought this walking back to the bakery freezing in the cool night wind, she knew there was something she had to do first.
"Forgive me, Kiel, Just one more day off." She said to herself. She had an appointment to keep today after all.
"You’re back pretty fast." Ford greeted Athen as she stepped into the bakery.
"Yea, sorry about that, Kiel was sent by my family." Athen mentally cringed at lying to the man’s face. "She said I was wasting too much time."
"Oh, I guess that’s partially my fault." Athen hit the man playfully on his shoulder.
"Oh give it a rest, if I didn’t want to be distracted I would’ve ignored you knocking on my door six months ago. Now go get dressed! I’m taking you out." Athen smiled secretly and ran upstairs to get ready herself. Ford was going to be mad, but he would thank her later. Okay maybe not, but it’s worth a shot. He’d have fun whether he admitted it or not.
"Where are we going?" Ford complained, frowning under his blind fold.
"It’s a secret, and we’re almost there!" Athen lead the blind folded man around down town, not giving him any proper answers. She had let him ride the subway all the way here without inhibiting his sight , but the second they stepped onto the city street she covered his eyes and lead him to on an adventure. "Here we are." She said a large smile on her face. "Now promise me you won’t leave."
"I promise." Ford sighed.
"Great!" The girl giggled removing the blind fold.
Ford’s face dropped. They were just outside a large bowling alley. The tacky sign flickered as it malfunctioned.
"Come on!" The girl pulled him inside and got their shoes. She had done all of her research so she wouldn’t seem completely oblivious to the sport. They were silently tying up their laces, Athen bubbling with anticipation. Ford on the other hand was strangely suspicious. Something didn’t feel right.
"Alas we found the elusive duo!" Ford’s instincts were right. There prancing through the door as if he owned the whole place was Noel.
"Hi, dad." Athen said avoiding Ford’s eyes. The grey eye man was shocked, she knew?
"Hello gorgeous how are you this fine winter afternoon?"
"A little bit cold but good, and yourself?" Athen asked out of politeness, and really just to unnerve Ford. She and Lily had been planning this get together since the angel had met Noel and the rest of Ford’s family.
"Couldn’t ask for a better attendance!" The man rattled on and Ford rolled his eyes at his exuberant father. He ignored the conversation looking at his younger siblings. There was Spence who was, not to the shock of Ford already flirting with the girl at the counter. And Luke who was silently tying up his bowling shoes, pretty much ignoring everyone. Then there was-
"Off." Ford pried his little sister off of him.
"Well aren’t you all sunshine and rainbows today." Lily shot at Ford.
"Shouldn’t you be at a strip club or something?" Ford easily retaliated.
"Original! Go back to making cakes; you’re a lot better at that."
"And you’re a lot better at talking than wearing clothes, are those even legal?" Then there was Lily, and the bickering between the two siblings commenced.
Athen sat there, staring intensely as Spence leaned over preparing to shoot. Athen looked away for a second and noticed the crowd that had formed around them. Everyone was looking on in awe as Spence bowled another strike. So far each one of them had bowled perfect games, except for Athen that is. She was getting the hang of the game though. It was just that it never worked quite right for her.
"Your turn, woman," Athen smiled at Luke and stood up. She was fine with the fact that the man didn’t call her by her name. It was regionally better than what he called anyone else. That is if he even gave them the time of day to begin with.
The ball in her hand was heavy but she was used to it by now. She glared hard down the lane, staring at the ten pins; her opponents. Aiming as much for the center as she could she reeled her arm back. With as much force as her weak human body could manage she rolled the ball down the lane.
"Yes!" She shouted as the ball seemingly went straight on course down the centre. Then it started to veer quite sharply to the left. "Drats." The girl grumbled snapping her fingers. She was so sure it was headed straight for the center. Looking back at least hoping to see she hit one pin she gave a silent cheer as the ball was now back on track.
"Strike! Well done, miraculous! Splendid." Noel cried clapping enthusiastically.
"Heh, not bad woman." Athen glowed at the praise from her teammates. She gave Noel an enthusiastic high five and then sat down. Allowing Ford, her opponent for today prepare for his shot. Like the rest of his family he had been getting nothing but strikes. The ball rolled nicely down the lane in a perfect bowed path headed for the middle pin. Athen sighed, if only his ball veered off course.
The x appeared on the screen brightly and Ford lined up for his second shot. It was his last turn in the game.
"Hey." Luke’s voice called, and brought Athen’s and everyone else’s attention towards him. His arm raised and dropped loosely around Athen’s shoulders. "Good luck." The man smirked and Athen looked from the dark man and then back to Ford.
Ford turned around utterly livid. Pulling the bowling ball closer to his chest he lined up for the shot. His arm swung back and he aimed at the ten pins with deadly intent.
"He looks stressed, doesn’t he Athen?" Ford threw the ball and it went straight towards the gutter. He turned around glaring so hard that his left eye was starting to twitch.
"Very stressed, I’d say." Noel chipped in and Luke removed his arm from Athen’s shoulder. The father and son laughed, and Athen couldn’t help but giggle as well. Ford was cute when he was jealous.
"Your turn again." Luke offered still smirking from the trick they had just played on Ford. Athen lined up and took a swing. She frowned as only two pins fell. She was just getting the hang of it too. She pulled up the ball close to her again. All eight pounds of it rested heavily between her hand and her chest.
"Athen, maybe it was a strand of luck but by chance do you cultivate that snapping your fingers might be your lucky charm?" Athen looked at Noel briefly then shrugged her shoulders. Hey, it was worth a shot.
The ball wobbled down the lane with no exact path. Athen snapped her fingers multiple times, for that pathetic shot Athen would need more than just luck. She would need a miracle. Apparently miracles did happen, the ball had effectively hit down the remaining 8 pins.
"Woooo!!" Athen cried cheerfully. Maybe luck was on her side today.
The day went on well, Ford not hitting another strike all day. The winning team grinned innocently each time they caused a distraction. Athen felt bad but regressed all was fair in love and bowling.
"You cheated!" Spence exclaimed, the six of them now returning their shoes.
"How do you explain that one Spence?" Luke snickered placing his shoes on the table then leaning looking at his sister. She growled at his irritating smirk then threw her hands in the air.
"The distractions, Luke!" The girl whispered venomously. "Not fair, at all."
"It’s not our fault you were to preoccupied to focus dutifully on the task at hand." Athen was holding in her laughter as the family bickered on.
"Besides that fact, you still cheated." Ford mumbled grumpily, handing the girl his shoes.
"Don’t be sore losers guys." Athen couldn’t help it and she cracked up. Laughing at the clearly miffed expressions on Lily’s, Ford’s and Spence’s faces.
"Hey, sorry to bother you," The group looked over from where they were getting ready to leave to the elderly man who had stopped them. "I was just wondering would it at all be possible to get a picture of your family for our bulletin board. Our motto here is ‘a family that bowls together stays together.’ And boy does your family bowl well." Noel of course was enthralled with the idea.
"Delightful!" The man clapped his hands joyously and Athen watched as they all lined up for the picture.
"Woman, what are you doing?" Athen looked up from tying her boot and smiled a small smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes and stared at Luke.
"Athen come on, we’re not going to wait forever." Lily’s tone was teasing.
"Yea you’re part of this family too." Spence called, his foot tapping impatiently.
"I do believe what my verbally ignorant children are trying to say is-" The man was cut off as Ford pushed him aside offering Athen his hand.
"They said a picture of the family right?" Athen looked at all the smiling faces waiting for her and she stood up smiling brightly.
"Say cheese?" She asked lightly, her smile reaching her eyes, her ears and everyone’s heart. Athen smiled wide for the camera, around her the people she would always call family.
When Athen arrived home she was more than tired, she was physically exhausted. Her flimsy human arm lay nearly limp at her side, her feet hurt from the poor excuse for shoes they gave you. She sunk into her bed gratefully. She knew this would be the last time in a while she would allow herself anything that resembled decent sleep. Tomorrow night, after work she restarted the search.
"Where are we?" Athen asked looking up at the large building in front of her.
"Costume store, I want you to pick one out for me. Halloween is coming up, it’s my favourite holiday and I’m taking you out whether you like it or not." Athen just shrugged her shoulders and let him lead her. It had been weeks since they had gone anywhere. The shop had been pretty busy.
"Wow, there’s so many." Athen giggled as she looked at all the masks and outfits. Some were horrifying while some were quite amusing. "I want one too, Ford which one?" The brunet came back holding a costume that nearly had Athen choking. It was a devil costume. She looked at it, and her cheeks went red. It was actually really cute.
"This one for you." Athen just took the costume with no reply.
"Okay, then…" She trailed off looking for a costume. "You get to wear this one." She had picked out an angel costume for him. Well really it was only the wings and the halo but she was sure she could make something to compliment the outfit.
"Somehow I think we have the opposite costumes. You’re definitely an angel." Athen laughed nervously, and hoped Ford didn’t notice.
"Oh, yea I’m good." Athen boasted with a smile on her face. She looked over her creation, pulled at the waist band.
"Ow, stop that. I’ve been through enough torture when you had those pins, remember?!"
"Sorry, I just never worked with a model before. I always just make my clothes, I don’t measure.”
"Sure." Ford gave a big show of rolling his eyes. "I think you just like causing me pain." Athen laughed slightly and pushed him towards a mirror.
"Lily told me once, beauty is pain." Athen laughed but was impressed with her work. Ford was shirtless and the wings that came with shoulder straps where now carefully arranged so that the straps attached to his pants and looked more ‘natural’. For bird feathers anyways. His pants, which Athen had made from scratch, were a light material and gave just enough room so he could wear something underneath if he got cold. It was already October 31st.
"You did good. Now go get ready, Spence is expecting us." Athen nodded and hurried off to put on her costume.
"Uh…" She blushed as she walked in the room. The costume consisted of tight red pants a red halter top along with tail and horns.
"Wow." Was all Ford could say, he was too busy drooling otherwise.
"Are we going?" Athen asked and Ford shook his head and grabbed her hand.
They ended up in a place that seemed vaguely familiar to Athen. The loud bass in the background, the flashing lights broke through the dim lighting and the crowd of people. Only now they were all people in costumes. It was night time and she sighed to herself under the loud music. She had to be on the search now. If she let herself get anymore distracted she would stray off again.
"Where to now?" She yelled at Ford.
"Come, we’re going to the bar for a second then we’re going to have a party upstairs. Spence owns this place." Somehow she knew one of Ford’s family had own this place, it really annoyed her how the fuzzy recognition happened.
"Hey Dae." Athen looked up at the blond bartender. That was a face she recognized, especially his glowing hair.
"Ford, what can I do for you?" The man was dressed as a cop and he even had an id card on his shirt. "Hey Athen you’re back, can I get you a drink?" The man smirked and waved. Athen just stared and looked at Ford in confusion. How did this Dae guy know her name?
"No drinks for her tonight. She can’t remember the last time." Ford replied and Athen started piecing parts of the conversation and her memory together. She had gotten drunk. She had only skimmed over this part of human life but she never thought forgetting everything that happened was possible. Not for her, wouldn’t you remember important stuff? She frowned to herself.
"That’s a bummer eh, don’t worry I’ll make all the drinks virgin tonight. Just for the devil. By the way you two look great." Athen thanked the man and was led off by a grumbling Ford.
"Sit here, don’t move. Five minutes, wait I’ll say fifteen just to be safe." Athen nodded and took a seat at the bar she was determined to not drink anything. There was only one other person at the bar, a girl with brown and pink hair, and green eyes. She was sitting alone bopping her head to the music. She wasn’t in any costume, or at least Athen couldn’t recognize it as a costume.
"Hey, I’m Paris." The girl said. Athen smiled at the girl.
"Hello, I’m Athen." Athen’s voice in comparison with Paris’ was relatively higher. The girl spoke in warm husky tones.
"I haven’t seen you here before." The girl said looking around as if she was searching for someone.
"I’ve only been here twice. My boyfriend dragged me here." The girl laughed, but it didn’t reach her eyes. "Do you come here often?"
"At least once a week," The girl answered. "I like dancing a lot." Athen nodded, the girl seemed to be staring up above Athen’s head with enthusiasm as if she was searching for something. "Well it was nice meeting you Athen. The floor calls me." With that the girl got up and weaved her way easily into the dance floor. It was as if people moved out of her way. She started dancing fluidly to the music. Athen watched in wonder she wished she could move like that.
"Hey, I’m back." Athen stopped staring and looked at Ford. She stood and he led her upstairs to a room. Inside it was the classic halloween-esque decorations. Fake ghosts, ghouls and skeletons hung from doorways and closets. The table was filled with zombie shaped cookies and fake grape eyeballs. Athen started laughing joyously.
"Good evening." The voice spoke in a horrible impression of Dracula and Noel seemingly popped out of nowhere dressed as a vampire. "Why not enjoy a nice glass of blood, a huh huh huh." Athen took the glass of fruit punch with a ridiculous smile; this family was too much fun to even be legal.
"Shall we get the party started?" Lily called dressed in a cat suit and ears. Luke was dressed as the grim reaper and Spence was looking savvy as a pirate.
"Yes let’s!" Athen agreed. This is exactly what she needed.
The party ran on for a long time, and Athen was worn out. She was sitting on a chair staring into space. Spence had disappeared not long ago, as did Ford. Athen couldn’t help but feel like gravity was personally yanking at her eyelids. She just couldn’t fight to keep them open. She shook her head but that only succeeded in making her dizzy. Instead she just folded her arms under her head to make a pillow. From there it was all dreams. Dreams of a night she once couldn’t remember.
Her body was tired, she had denied herself sleep for the past few days and the last outing with Ford she had even fell asleep. Sneaking out at night to look for the gate had taken the health of her human skin away. It was drab and dull, and didn’t have the shine it used to.
She collapsed on to the couch in Ford’s room with a big sigh. The room was larger than hers and consisted of the same small kitchenette and table make up. But his large bed was placed in the middle of his room less than an arm’s reach away from the fridge. Athen had to admit it was ingenious. They had spent the last couple of Sundays lazing around his room, only because it was larger than Athen’s. Today was a Sunday like any other, and today she would sleep.
The destructive pattern she took on had been going on for about a month. She was at the three quarter mark and there was nothing. Nothing at all, no clues, no hints. She debated asking Lily as the girl had a vast knowledge of everything underworld-like but she could never find the elusive girl. Rolling over, Athen sighed, her head was too foggy to think.
"Hey." Ford’s voice had woken her up, but Athen kept her eyes closed ignoring the man. Athen frowned when something poked her cheek. "Hey."
"You’re being ridiculously annoying today." She sat up on the couch she was lounging in and leaned against the arm of it looking at him lazily.
"I wanted to give you something." Ford blushed. Athen realized at that moment he was gorgeous. Well she had realized it many times before but it struck her right then. She smiled at the man, she had no clue what love was, but she was pretty sure she found it.
"What is it?" The man opened his clenched fist revealing a small pendant hanging from a silver chain. The pendent itself was a mix of silver and a darker metal Athen couldn’t recognize. It was in the shape of a crown and had a few tiny stones in it.
Athen had an urge. She was more than sure it wasn’t the first time this urge has sprung up, she got déjà vu. As on instinct alone she leaned in and kissed the man in front of her.
"I-I uh." Ford stuttered, and Athen smiled brighter.
"Put it on please?" She said turning her back towards him. He put the clasp on, proud of himself for being able to still his shaking fingers. "It’s wonderful." She said placing her hand on top of the pendent. She turned around to face him.
"Do you mind if I kiss you?" All Athen could do was shake her head at the shy question.
"I told you it wouldn’t work." The three had met again, this time in dire need of a solution.
"Do you not trust me, my sister?" The woman looked warily at the man. Her mouth tucked into a small frown.
"I do agree with Light. With that Principality in the way our plan, our freedom is at stake. If she…!" The man’s voice rose, he quickly hushed himself. "If she tells the others about what we are doing…" Fire trailed of, not wanting to think about the repercussions of a revolution.
"We just can’t let that happen can we?" Aqua asked. At a snap of his fingers the glowing pink Principality dropped into the chamber. She looked up from her position kneeling, frowning at the three traitorous angels. "What do you have to say for yourself?" His voice was calm and his face was in a maniacal smirk.
The angel resisted the urge to growl. Instead she stood up straight and smiled at the group of high ranked angels.
"Kill me." She said simply, and then caught herself. "Oh wait, you can’t." Her smile widened. "They might start to get suspicious." Her voice was as condescending as she could make it.
"Why you insufferable little-." Fire, as hothead as his name portrayed him stood menacingly towards the fairy like angel.
"Brother! Stop!" The angered angel looked back at his comrade and took a seat. "There is an easy solution to this problem we have in front of us." All occupants of the room turned their eyes to the man.
"There is?" For a split second Kiel’s eyes flickered over to the female with the yellow tipped wings. Just as quickly as she took a peek she looked away.
"Of course, since our friend here likes the fourth dimension so much. She should rejoice in spending the rest of her existence there shouldn’t she." The sadistic angel smiled gleefully as Kiel’s pink eyes burned into him.
"Perfect, brother, it’s absolutely brilliant." Fire, after being reassured of their success in their endeavors, smiled just as gleefully. The Principality shook her head still smiling.
"If you think you’re going to get away with this…"She trailed off, accepting her fate. She was gone at another snap of the Seraphim’s fingers.
"Hmm, seems like we already have, doesn’t it?" Aqua guffawed, soon followed by Fire’s laughter. Light stayed silent, her thoughts a mess of guilt.
Athen couldn’t get enough. She had always, since she had tasted the stuff, had a weakness for chocolate. Ford’s smooth skin was no different. She returned the kiss with relish, melting in the man’s hands. Athen pulled back breathing heavily. She licked her lips looking at the man in front of her. Wondering what he was thinking.
Ford dragged his eyes along the length of Athen’s torso slowly making his way up to her bright green eyes and her blond hair. His body was reacting in ways his heart had been for a while. They were both in agreement. He wanted the woman in front of him.
He brought his hand to the side of her face caressing her cheek. Athen leaned into the touch, her eyes closing. His thumb traced a gentle pattern over Athen’s lips. She opened her eyes slowly, her green eyes boring into Ford’s grey ones. Her eyes clouded over with an emotion she had never felt before. One classified as one of the seven deadly sins. Lust
His hand moved to her shoulder. The touch sent the spot on fire. It wasn’t uncomfortable in the slightest. It gave Athen the same jolt as when she heard Ford’s breathy warm voice in her ear.
"Do you?" Athen knew what he meant when he said that. It was the same every time she had those nightmares, Ford asking if she trusted him. Athen, this late in the game, didn’t even think about the answer anymore. It came naturally.
"Yes." She whispered so quietly she wasn’t sure if Ford had even heard her. He did, she noted as his other hand came to rest on her other shoulder. Slowly Ford lowered the angel onto the couch, their lips once again meeting feverishly. His hands slid the straps of her white tank top off of her shoulders to her arms. His mouth moved from hers to a comfortably spot on the juncture of her neck. Athen inhaled a deep gasp.
Ford’s hands moved freely from there, roaming delicately over any exposed skin. He decided with a quiet growl that there was definitely not enough of her skin exposed. Tugging on the bottom of Athen’s shirt he removed it in one tug, pulling it over her head. He smiled, accomplished. No longer was he the shy stuttering man with a present. He licked his lips, today he was the predator and oh how he planned to play with his prey.
Athen’s bra came next. She sat up only enough to remove it. Her hands on their own accord slipped under Ford’s shirt and explored their way around. Her thoughts mirrored Ford’s previous ones and she tugged at the man’s t-shirt. After the material was completely off, Athen’s hands started roaming again. They landed on his back, pulling him down closer enjoying the feel of his bare skin against her own.
They moved together in the oldest dance known to human kind. The two of them were together in the most primal sense, their bodies and souls aching for each other, and their hearts communicating messages of love. They didn’t need words to confirm their feelings. They showed their feelings where words just weren’t enough.