"I believe the problem stems from her bio-lights," Yul said.
Sean pictured the small lavender dots of the intra-tattoo swirling under the skin of her arm. It had been too long since just his touch could send them racing and pulsing. Their mesmerizing effects had been as good as a drug during the one night they were intimate. He thought about that night ever since, wondering when they would have the opportunity to be that close again. Fear of losing her twisted his insides like no amount of torture ever could…or had. He pushed the terrors of Palomin out of his mind. They'd just revisit him tonight anyway.
"How can you know for sure that it's her bio-lights?" Sean asked.
"I'm running some tests, but I have to be careful. She's almost coded twice. Her heart rate and respiration blast through the roof without warning. I only made the connection with the bio-lights because they flashed in the same pattern each time," Yul said.
"Couldn't the flashing be a result of the high heart rate and not the other way around? I've seen that happen myself." Sean didn't go into details. Unlike the rest of this voyeuristic society, what he did and who he did it with was his private concern, not meant to be shared by the telescoping cameras and direct Media feeds of hovering voyeurs. Not that any were near this forsaken jungle beach. Still, he didn't even feel comfortable telling an old friend like Yul what could make Sara's lights flash.
"You're beautiful, Mari."
The compliment left her silent. He took the opportunity to bend down and kiss her. The wonderful citrusy notes of her scentbots mixed with the sweet smell of chocolate and strawberry layer cake and night-blooming water lilies on the edge of Carrey Bay. He moved his mouth over hers gently, testing her reaction. She responded a little shyly, barely parting her lips, but her hand slid up his chest to caress his face.
The innocence of the moment impacted David more than he expected. The way she slowly explored his mouth, first with her lips, then small darts with the tip of her tongue revealed how much this pleasant action meant to her. His heart pounded faster with the realization. After all these years, all the women he'd touched, none took the time to enjoy a simple kiss as much as Mari did. He, too, had taken the intimacy for granted until this instant.
The shrill and boom of fireworks filled the night air as if celebrating David and Mari's moment. He felt Mari smile beneath his lips and opened his eyes to see her peeking up at a golden flower of sparks lighting the blue-black sky above them.
"Perfect timing," he said against her mouth.
"Perfect," was all she said before slipping back into their kiss, not quite as shy this time.