Mabon returned to the dress shop a few days later to pick up her dress, and found the same man just coming out of the tavern nearby. “Why, hello! Fancy meeting you here again!”
The man smiled at her. “Hello, Mabon. It’s wonderful to see you again.”
She startled at the use of her name, then looked at him again. “Ander? Is.. is that you?” His grin confirmed that he was, indeed, her childhood friend. “Ander!” Mabon threw her arms around her friend, hugging him tightly. “It’s so good to see you! I… I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you before.” Mabon bit her lip in embarrassment.
“That’s alright. I didn’t say anything, in case you didn’t remember me. It’s… been awhile.” He looked her up and down, grinning. “You’ve grown up.”
Mabon blushed deep red. “You have, too, Ander. I like the beard.”
“Are you busy? Would you like to have a drink and catch up on old times?” He looked at her expectantly, afraid she would say no.
The dress forgotten, Mabon nodded. “I’d love that.”
He picked up a box at his feet, and they headed into the tavern. They were laughing over tales of childhood exploits when Mabon noticed an odd scuffling noise from under the table. “What’s that, Ander?”
He looked a bit sheepish. “Poor thing. I’ve been lugging it around, hoping to run into you.” Mabon raised an eyebrow at him as he put the box on the table. “Open it.”
She lifted the latch and peered inside. A pair of bright eyes looked back at her. “OH! A bunny!” she exclaimed. Lifting him out of his hutch, she held him up to her face. “He’s so cute! Ander, this is for me?”
“Yeah, I … uh… yeah.” He stammered, not knowing what to say. “I was so surprised to see you, especially since… well…. “ His voice trailed off and Mabon looked at him quizzically. “I’ve missed you, Mabon. Been thinking a lot about you lately.”
She wasn’t quite sure how to respond, so she merely nuzzled the rabbit’s fur. “Oh, he’s so soft. I can’t wait to show him to Kel.”
“Who is Kel?” Ander asked, as his face fell.
“I am,” came a voice behind him.
Mabon leapt to her feet, dropping the rabbit. “Kel! I wasn’t expecting to see you.”
Kel looked from the man to his wife. “Obviously not.”
“Kel, this is Di’Ander Halloran, a friend of mine from when we were kids. Ander, this is Kel, my – “
“Her husband,” he interrupted pointedly.