Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Stagnant muscles had been in need of stretching. After returning from their swim, Mireille and Thierry walked along the river’s sandy bank. He was experiencing the moment, splashing at the ankle-deep water.
For her part, she was traveling with faraway thoughts.
“You know,” he mused, “this water didn’t feel the least bit cold.”
“There are thermally heated pools just up from here,” she said, automatically. “The hot spring flows into the river.”
A moment later, she realized she had fallen for an intentionally silly observation. A slap was driven against his ass, connecting. “You!” she exclaimed. “Come on! I’ll show ya!” and sprinted ahead.
Seeing he remained too poky for her new enthusiasm, she play-jogged back in enticingly slow motion.
Taking his hand, she said, “Come. You wanted to know details. In the Lobster Pot I have to tell all. It is the tradition.”
“Then I won’t ask anything concerning the mysterious fourth person.”
Without a pause, she said, “Good man,” and tightened her grip to control that he wouldn’t float away.
They ran hand in hand veering away from the river. After a distance, the earthen hillside ended against a single massive rock—a pluton of granite. The peak above disappeared out of sight; it continued down the slope to end beneath the river. There was a slot divide in the rock. Within it a series of pools were eroded. Large boulders had been flood-worn into smooth shapes of fancy. Water flowed gently, cascading from pool to pool.
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