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"We're going to be late. And everybody's going to know why."
Cindy makes no move to get up though, so Lindsay just tightens her arms and smiles in the dark. "Five minutes," she murmurs.
"That's what you said five minutes ago."
Cindy turns and kisses her, softly, before she sits up and pushes back the covers. "We could leave really early," she suggests. Which is a nice prospect, but all of a sudden Lindsay realizes that if she doesn't get those words out now, she might not dare later, so she takes Cindy's hand, tugging lightly.
"You're insatiable." Cindy shakes her head with a smile, but she knows Lindsay too well; it doesn't take her long to realize that this is serious. "Linds?" There's a hint of alarm in her voice. "What's going on?"
"Nothing bad. I swear."
Wrapping the sheet around her, Cindy waits. It seemed so easy in theory, but now Lindsay is at a loss about what to say. How to say it.
"I've been looking at job offers in... You know, other states." The look of confusion on Cindy's face shows her clearly that she is starting this from the wrong angle.
"Why? Did anything happen?"
"No. Yes. I was just thinking I could live... in Vermont, for example." Could you?
"Okay," Cindy says carefully. "I could see how that would make some things easier."
"Right, wouldn't it? We could do that. It's not as dramatic as going to Europe or anything... it just couldn't hurt to have a little protection from the law... My job can be dangerous at times, things can--"
"Lindsay, what the hell?"
Okay, wrong angle again. Still, they'll have to face this question one time, if hopefully some fifty years from now. Lindsay doesn't have that much hope for change and humanity as a whole. "I'm sorry," she says. "I love you."
I know. I love you too. Cindy silently conveys the message without a single word as she leans close and embraces Lindsay. It's reassuring even if she kind of stumbles through her badly prepared speech.
"I'm not saying we have to do this right away, and it has to work out job-wise. But I'd like to pay my taxes in a state that is not punishing me for who I love."
She reaches over to the nightstand, opening the drawer and takes out the small box. "So this is why... If you don't like it we could always go back and--"
"Lindsay. Stop." Cindy's eyes are very bright as she opens the box. "I love it." She leans in for a slow, gentle kiss. "The answer is 'yes'. And the rest, we'll figure out together. We always do."
They are going to be very late, and everyone will know why by the ring on Cindy's finger.
"Yes," Lindsay whispers, pulling her close again. "We always do."
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