Night of Crime

“Isn’t the sky pretty tonight?”

I looked up at the moon, scrubbing my hands over my arms as I watched the twinkling stars. “It is. It makes this idea worth it.”

Daniel tried to work out of his jacket. “You haven’t even given it a chance. You just need to warm up.”

I stopped him. “I’ll be fine. You don’t need an excuse to take your clothes off.”

He paused, gripping his stomach as he fell over laughing. “Just wanted to make sure you didn’t end up freezing over before we got to eat, but fine, be that way.” He stuck his tongue out as he hovered over the firepit, dragging matches. “Here, I’ll turn the heat on.”

He laid a lit match down to start the kindling, and I watched as the flames lapped at the leaves. They flared and flickered, crackling as they reached upward for the twigs, spinning a thread of smoke in the night air.

I crawled over, holding my hands out as I watched Daniel’s breath cloud in front of him. “Okay, boy scout, what’s for dinner?”

He dragged the cooler over, fishing out tin foil-wrapped sandwiches. “Ham and swiss. The only cooking I plan to do is lighting a marshmallow on fire.”

I scoffed as he handed me a sandwich. “We can at least heat them up.” I grabbed the grate and set it over the pit, snatching his sandwich before he could unwrap it. “No way I’m eating cold food.”

He crossed his arms. “I just want to eat.”

“Tell your stomach to wait a few minutes. Or you could light up a marshmallow and try not to burn yourself.”

He gave me a push as I sank down on the blanket. “Dessert first? That’s heresy!” He covered his mouth and laughed when I rolled my eyes. “Fine, I guess I have no choice.”

He laid back with his head in his hands, and hummed while he looked at the stars. I joined him, laying down and tucking my hands under my arms. I watched the moon swim through clouds as the light peaked at us from behind the cover. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Daniel tracing patterns in the air with his fingers.

“What are you doing?”

“Drawing new constellations.”

I rolled over to watch him. “Is that allowed?”

He paused and shrugged. “If there’s a law against it, I’m pretty sure I’m not leaving any evidence.”

I laced my fingers in his, watching his other hand draw out more shapes. “No, but you do have a witness.”

He feigned a gasp. “Ria, you wouldn’t.”

“Maybe, maybe not. I might forget if you tell me one thing.”

He hummed. “What’s that?”

“Why do you insist on calling me that?” I poked him in the chest.

“What? I think it’s cute. Why do you insist on calling me Daniel when everyone else calls me Danny?”

“Daniel sounds more dignified.” I sat up, hovering over the fire as I used a couple sticks to take our sandwiches off the grate.

“Makes me sound pompous.”

I picked the tin foil apart, breathing in the steam. “If you say so.” I stole a bite before handing it to him. “Eat up.”

He stared at the bite mark. “Last time I checked, thievery is a crime.”

“Fine, here.” I offered my sandwich. “Make it even.”

He shook his head, biting the other end to avoid the part I’d chewed off. “And stoop to your level? A dignified person like me? No, ma’am.”

“What if I let you light my marshmallows on fire?”

“The thief is trying to tempt me.” He turned his back, wolfing down the sandwich when I couldn’t see his face.

“Too good to look at me? Fine, then I’m starting dessert without you.” I raced to the cooler, snatching the bag of marshmallows out.

His head whipped around. “Don’t even think about it!” He pointed to my half eaten sandwich. “You’re not done yet.”

I plucked one from the bag and popped it in my mouth, smiling with puffy cheeks. He tried to grab the bag away, but I held it over the grate. Daniel picked me up, lifting me over his shoulder as he carried me away from the fire, setting me down on the blanket.

He hovered over me, grinning. “You are not taking our food hostage.”

I pushed at his chest, trying to squirm out underneath him. “Try to stop me.”

He pinned my shoulders down, lowering himself down for a kiss. His lips locked with mine, and I froze. Daniel laced his fingers with mine as he brought my arms over my head. His tongue swept my bottom lip, and I opened my mouth, letting him taste the subtle sweetness. He explored my mouth, brushing his fingers through my hair as he kissed a trail to my neck, working his way out of his jacket. He tossed it aside and gazed down at me, holding himself up.

“You still wanna try and go for dessert?”

I pulled him down for another kiss. “It can wait.”


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