"That one... that one is young. See how the branches grow straight, reaching high?"

I nodded, taking a long drag off my clove and watching her as she named the trees, gave them faces and personalities. After a while she trailed off and we stood in companionable silence, looking out on the dark forest that surrounded us, faces burning occasionally with the orange glow of our cigarettes.

Eventually she turned to me and smiled in the starlight, pale elfin face ghosting under her halo of long, thick midnight hair. "I'm glad to know you," she said. "I can't do this with Eric."

I returned her smile, touched her arm gently. "Thank you," I said, and that was all that was needed. We slowly walked out of the forest, desire barely avoided, friendship growing; at peace with one another in the night.