Before The Fall - Chapter One
Summer Wind


Sun filtered through the open blinds of the two long windows, brightening the entire room in a lambent summer light. Both windows were raised open to let in the occasional and much welcomed cool breeze, along with the songs of summer. Every blooming and blossoming tree rustled in the wind, its leaves making a rustic wind-chime. Cicadas filled the area with the sounds of their humming from their nests in the trees and grass, their insect murmurs rising and falling like a slow steady heartbeat. Small brown sparrows hopped from branch to branch, leaf to twig, chasing after ants and elusive worms, making a grassy sway as they moved. Every now and then they would stop the hunt to join in bird song, calling to each other from high and low.

Against the open windows was an old and worn chocolate couch, slowly warming in the direct sunlight. One young woman lay sprawled out across the sofa, lounging comfortably on her back. Her head, curtained by her curly brown locks, rested on one arm rest. Her legs, long, limber and exposed to just above her knees by her jean shorts, stretched out across the opposite arm rest. Her arms seemed equally as long as her legs. One dangled over the edge of the sofa as she rested, her fingertips brushing against the feathery pages of a book that lay open on the floor. The edges of the pages lifted and rustled whenever a breeze presented itself strong enough to move them. But the young woman's hand kept the page from turning. Instead the book made a light ruffling in meager relents, sounding like wings of a baby bird flapping for the first time.

The woman's other arm lay curled around the back of her companion who rested on the sofa with her, their bodies pressed genially against one another despite the warm summer air. Her fingers found themselves tangled in one of the straps of the other woman's baby-blue tank top. The other woman, a bit older and with a ravishing black mane, lay atop the brunette in an equally quiet slumber. Her face rested comfortably against the long-limbed woman's chest, silently nuzzling her breasts. Her arms were folded at her sides, with her hands loosely clutching the white T-shirt of the woman beneath her, halfway up her torso. Their legs mixed and mingled at the further end of the sofa, with bare legs rubbing against the raven-haired woman's jeaned legs.

Across from the resting women on the cushioned polyester sofa was a low wooden, mahogany coffee table. Try as the inn keeper might, she could never manage to keep it completely clean and free of the nick-knacks that the residents always seemed to leave on it. Right now it was decorated with a few miscellaneous wires and the bronze outter casing of a Farnsworth. No doubt they belonged to the resident wiz kid, Claudia Donovan. Underneath some of the wires were two comic books, the covers full of flashy colors and buff superheroes dressed shameless with their underwear on the outside. No-one had to guess that those belonged to the comic-obsessed and fun loving Pete Lattimer.

Somehow, a small serving platter found room on the corner of the table closest to the sleeping women. There was a half-empty clear pitcher of ice tea on it, next to two glasses with hardly any tea and a few cubes of slow melting ice. In front of the two glasses was a small plate filled with mostly crumbs, and the last bites of a light tan coffee cake pastry

Little did either of the women know, nor were they even slightly aware of the fact that they were being watched by the inn keeper. Standing in the open doorway of the living room and leaning against the wooden frame, Leena did not bother fighting the smile that she wore as she watched the two women, Myka Bering and H.G Wells, napping so peacefully together. Her smile grew even wider - were it possible - when H.G shifted ever so slightly on top of Myka, and in turn Myka squeezed H.G closer with the one arm that was wrapped about her. Leena saw it as a treat, being able to see the two of them relaxed and finally being able to do what they craved all the time: be together.

No, neither had admitted to the feelings they had for one another, the feelings that Leena watched swell and grow with each passing day. But it was simple, a quality they definitely needed considering the complexities of their daily lives. There weren't any complicated rules to their relationship, or constant needs from one or the other to prove their feelings and intentions. They just were. When they were together they shared a sort of hushed felicity from their companionship.

Leena thought, with a pure fondness, how perfect the two of them looked, set in the early noon summer light. She didn't have the heart to disturb them, even if it meant risking them being seen like this. But the day was warm and still, and nature was making such a hypnotizing music that it was even making Leena think about taking a nap. Everyone else was sleeping in, even Artie for a change. So she was sure that nobody else would discover them cuddled on the sofa.

"Sweet dreams," Leena whispered from her perch in the doorway before turning to head for the kitchen to make a light lunch. She decided to leave Myka and H.G to their peace, and to each other.