They conversed for the remainder of the evening. The sun neared the horizon. The sky bruised between wisps of clouds. The doctor watched his wife, ever the gracious host, float among the crowds. Then he glimpsed his daughter seated beside the silent boy. He could not hear their conversation, but he saw his daughter smile and heard her familiar laugh.
Dr. Paula knew it was a proverbial moment. Sophia reminded him of her mother just then. The way she laughed when they first fell in love. Though he knew Sophia was too young to feel the raindrops of love, he felt she was old enough to recognize the mist of trust and friendship.
Sophia and Hadriel remained on the bench in the garden. It was an anomalous beginning; something only written by fate. But what Hadriel could not see whilst he talked with her about everything under the stars, and she captivated him with those piercing green eyes, was that her humble nature and contagious laugh would lead him beyond the boundaries of affection into a realm he never knew existed.
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