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Benaru was humming as he and his age-mate, Arefii, rode out to the stand of early plums. It was early, and in between yawns Arefii was munching on a mitten of bread filled with fruit as they rode.Author's Notes
After he finished his breakfast, Arefii commented, “You look happy!”
“I am.” Benaru’s hand went to the large bead at the center of his necklace. A woman didn’t have to give her man a bead, though an exchange was commonplace. And a man didn’t have to put it on his necklace; he could wear it on a bracelet or even put it directly on his dance sash. But Benaru believed—or at least hoped—that Valoi giving him a bead meant she was interested in a longer relationship than just this month.
This came from the "Broken Bead" prompt in the August 2010 Muse Fusion, though the story didn't come to me then. The image stuck with me until the September Muse Fusion, when I finally glimpsed what to do with it.
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