Novinha rushed to the door at the doing of his fists against the solid wood. "Libo!" she exclaimed as she swung the door open. She melted inside at the sight of his strong body holding something as delicate as flowers. She leaned up against the open door and smiled sweetly at him; her brown eyes meeting his blue ones. "Come in." Libo walked through the door into her house. On his way in Libo grabbed hold of Novinha's hand; she giggled at his touch and permitted him to pull her into the sitting area. Libo tossed the flowers on the couch and pulled her into his arms. She leaned comfortably on his strong chest staring up at him. "Libo?" "yes?" she stood on tiptoe and kissed him lightly. Libo picked her up bridal style and spun around. Novinha pulled away laughing "Libo! Stop!" she managed through giggles. He sat her down on the couch and continued to kiss her. She felt his smile on her lips, he pulled away and the smile fades from his lips but remained in his eyes. "I love you." Novinha smiled at him; he must have told her he loved her thousands of times -"I love you too." Their eyes stayed locked while Libo's hand found Novinha's. Some of the happiness faded from his eyes and he seemed to be thinking real hard. Novinha stared at him trying to figure it out; she never could- instead she squeezed his hand reassuringly. He shook his head and seemed to return to her. His eyes still filled with thought but at the same time also love and courage and a decision. His hand plunged deep in his pocket while the other remained gripping Novinha's hand. "Close your eyes." "What?" "Just do it." "What are you going to do?" she asked suspiciously "don't worry." He said as he planted a soft kiss on her forehead. Novinha's eyes closed and Libo's voice started to speak to her from the darkness. "I love you, and you love me, right?" she nodded her head "and we've been in love since we were 14?" "10 years." She said. This seemed to tell him everything because his argument ceased "Open your eyes." Novinha hesitantly lifted her eyelids. It took a minute for her brain to register what was before her. Libo, kneeling with a velvet box open to show a diamond ring, the other hand held the flowers across his chest, a hopeful, nervous smiled across Libo's face. As soon as Novinha realized what was happening she gasped and couldn't find her breath again. She began to choke on air. Her chokes turned into sobs and tears streamed out of her eyes. Libo felt suddenly stupid kneeling there; he wiped the smile of his face- this wasn't how it happened on the dramatic ansible programs. He stood up and set down the ring and flowers. As Libo sat down beside her he wrapped his arms around Novinha and she leaned into him. They sat like that for a while- Libo holding Novinha, Novinha crying into him. The sobbing stopped and she pushed herself off him wiping her eyes. She couldn't look at him just yet, so she just sat there staring at the wall opposite them. "Novinha?" She didn't respond. "I'm sorry." He said as he picked up the velvet box and dropped the flowers beside her. Libo walked slowly out of the room leaving the best thing that ever happened to him crying on the couch. "She's the one who said 'no'." he told himself as he opened the door. "Libo wait!" Novinha was standing up in the living room; the light hit her face at such an angle that the water tracks from her tears shimmered. It only took one look at her for Libo to close the door- deep down he had wanted her to stop him. He took a few steps back into her house "Yes?" he asked- a bit of heartbreak in his voice. "I don't know." Novinha sighed, still not breaking eye contact with him. "I love you." He whispered; they were words completely detached from the conversation- like an afterthought of disbelief from her rejection. Novinha looked shocked and her eyes filled with tears "Libo! I love you too! I do, really!" she was almost begging him now "Libo, you have to belie-" "Then why'd you say no! If you love me then marry me!" He was yelling but he wasn't mad. Libo only felt heartbreak- he felt his whole world crash around him and his entire body seemed to be sad. "You know I can't- the file- I can't- I can't lose you Libo, I love you and you're my everything. If you were to die like Pipo I- I couldn't go on." There was a long pause then- "I love you." They said together. Libo walked across the room, he leaned down to hug Novinha and she threw her arms around his shoulders and kissed him. Novinha pulled away smiling. "What?" asked Libo, clearly confused. "Marriage and the file go hand in hand," Libo nodded, still struggling to find her point. "But our relationship can go on without marriage." "What about kids?" Libo asked. Novinha smiled again "I'm sure we'll work something out." She closed her eyes and stood on tiptoe, the smile left her mouth as her lips met Libo's. They were never more at peace. The rest of their life would be a secret- a lie; but they had each other- forever, something they had never had guaranteed before.