“Come on, Peaches,” Titian begged for the tenth time.
“No, everyone will laugh, especially my parents since we aren’t the same color.”
“But I love you and it’s Valentine’s Day,” he urged, but she shook her head.
Titian bravely positioned himself between her and the flock, waiting for the right moment when the others had grazed their way across the pond.
“This isn’t safe to be alone with gators around,” Peaches said and ruffled the graceful pale feathers of her wing tips.
“Don’t you trust me?” he asked, lifting off, calling her bluff as a test of her love.
His heart swelled when she followed him into the air, across the stand of trees, and to a tiny hidden inlet off the bay, his secret place he shared with no one, but today was special, she was special. He dipped his bill into the warm, shallow water, scooped a mouthful of brine shrimp, and passed it to his sweetheart.
Through the afternoon, he stood guard, while she dined and the hue of her feathers deepened.
At sunset, they rejoined the flock and the other couples, already positioned beak to beak and neck to neck in perfectly matched hearts.
Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.
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