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Hilary Thomson, 26 Aug '12

They couldn’t have found a prettier spot if they’d tried.

The little field Stevie had spotted as they drove was covered in a layer of damp grass cuttings from being recently mown. The fence was only just low enough to vault over without much difficulty, and there was a cluster of three suspicious sheep watching them from the far edge with unnerving stillness as the two boys surveyed their temporary estate.

But the sun was out, there were dozens of birds singing in between daring parabolic swoops over the grass, and the huge beech tree in their corner of the paddock was sheltering them from the worst of the UV rays drifting softly down like nuclear fallout.

So they spread their blanket out on the uneven ground and settled down to drink their thermos of milky, not-quite-hot-enough tea and eat some of the coconut rough biscuits Micah had so valiantly tried not to burn the day before.

They wiled away their afternoon like that; lying on the blanket, talking about music, movies, books, philosophy, all interspersed with comfortable silence as they held each other’s hands and watched the few tiny, fluffy clouds meander along above them.

It was only once the brilliant blue of the sky began sliding into a soft yellow that they packed away their containers, shook out the blanket and made their way back to the car, Stevie throwing his arm around Micah’s shoulders and pressing a tender kiss to his hair.

Though he considered telling Micah that he loved him, right then as the wind began to pick up and lick dust at their legs, Stevie decided that he didn’t really need to; that the entire day seemed to have done it for him, and that all he needed to say was a whispered request for a kiss.