The evening was cool, but damp, and the forest that surrounded them was alive with nocturnal noise. Insects of a dozen different species sang their song into the night, while birds of prey sailed through the trees, screeching their hunting cries. It had rained for only a few minutes, sprinkling their surroundings with moisture and the clean, fresh scent of rain water. A stream about 200 feet from the cabin gurgled over rocks and fallen limbs. They both sat staring into the fire, which was the worst thing anyone could do. If an enemy came up from behind them they would be blind to him because of the brilliant light of the fire etched into their eyes. It had been two hours since they had finished eating, the scraps of two rabbits lay roasting in the fire, with the exception of their carefully skinned furs. The entire time they had been silent, lost in their own thoughts, yet still they sat close. After a time she looked over at him and made her decision.
“Ok,” she simply stated, then looked back into the fire.
Runo jerked his head up, for he had been slowly drifting to sleep leaning up against the old log they had next to the fire as a bench as he sat reclined on the cool ground. “You mean it?” he asked. He really didn’t want to second guess her, but after waiting almost two days for an answer he wasn’t sure that he heard her correctly.
“But not now,” she looked down into her lap, her brows furrowed with thought. “I’m not ready to retire yet, and I don’t think I’m quite ready for marriage.” She hesitated before saying, “you understand, don’t you?”
“Of course I do!” He exclaimed and jumped up from his resting place. He leapt over and took her up in his arms, pulling her quickly off the ground where she sat. “I’m just so glad you didn’t say no! I can wait for you, love, as long as you desire!” She laughed at his silly excitement and returned his hug. They laughed and embraced for a while, just enjoying the moment, swinging merrily in each others arms. Then they banked the fire, and arm in arm went into the cabin to go to sleep.