HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 94

Genesis seemed to relax a bit. She plucked a flower from her hair and stared at it for a moment. It slipped from her fingers, drifting away on the wind. She turned and pulled Angela into a tight hug.

“That was beautiful,” she said. “Thank you.”

“It was nothing, really,” Angela replied.

Genesis chuckled softly into Angela’s neck. Behind her, Dominick stepped forward to address the crowd.

“We’ll be hosting a reception at our house this evening at six,” he said. “There will be food and, more importantly, drinks. We hope to see you all there.”

Genesis disentangled herself from Angela and stepped over to her family. The crowd converged on them, offering condolences on their way out of the cemetery. Mina slipped away and approached Angela.

“That was you, wasn’t it?” she asked, holding out one of the flowers.

Angela nodded.

“Sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean to interrupt the service. I was just trying to distract Genesis before she….”

“You don’t have to explain,” Mina said. “I understand completely. I’m happy she has someone watching over her.”

“I’m happy to watch,” Angela said. “She’s an amazing girl. More than she even realizes.”

“She certainly is,” Mina said.

Angela smiled. Mina stood beside her and stared down into the grave.

“I wish I’d met your husband,” Angela said. “He sounds like he was pretty great.”

“Well, he wasn’t perfect,” Mina said. “He was moody and stubborn, especially when he drank. And the snoring. Good Lord. But when you love somebody, you accept the things you can’t change—within reason—and you do what you can to bring out the best in them.”

“He was a lucky guy,” Angela said.

Mina chuckled.

“Flatterer,” she said.