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He side-swipes her arm with his thick pink tongue taking away salt and sweat, and the innumerable scents of her day. Kaitlyn pulls back her arm unconsciously or consciously; he doesn't know.
From her skin he gleams the break of a wave in a jeweled colored sunset (His eyes lack the necessary cones to see reds and violets, but Kaitlyn has described it to him, and he thinks it must be beautiful), washed-up seaweed, and the smell of sunscreen on children as they leave Kaitlyn in their jet streams of play.
"I need to go back to work." Electrodes implanted into the base of Kaitlyn's neck allow her thoughts to flow through to the electrodes implanted in Norm's skull. Newer communication pieces are removable--after so many complaints--but Kaitlyn opted for the first gen model along with all its kinks.
"You work too much." It's all he's willing to say to her. The smell of a warm sunset lingers on her skin. Kaitlyn is a good human--even when she lies about where she's going. Or been.
Before the implants--before Kaitlyn cracked under the weight of Norm's love--they would go to the beach together. There was sun and surf, children and laughter, and Kaitlyn and Norm.
Kaitlyn picks up her purse from the coffee table with a sigh. It takes everything in him not to beg her. She opens the front door. And pauses. Neither speaks the word that has become a dagger in their relationship.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, January 29th, 2015

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