Love and Biscuits

Chapter One

It was the Banty Ages. The age of space travel, new frontiers and endless possibilities. The age of freedom. When everyone had a chance to make something of themselves and fulfil their dreams. Everyone except a poor Humanian farm girl named Enna.

Humania was a farming planet. Unless you were exceedingly wealthy, you were a biscuit farmer if you lived on Humania. If you were exceedingly wealthy, people wondered why you had come to this backwards planet. It was a very infrequent event if you made your fortunes selling biscuits, because who was there to buy them? Everyone you knew grew their own. This is why Enna could never leave and fulfil her dream of Space Travel. She was just another biscuit farmer.

Enna had a twin sister, named Anne. But Anne, unlike Enna, adored it on Humania. Not because of the weather, not because of the people, but because of their Grandfather's farm. Anne and Enna's parent's had died in a freak biscuit farming accident when they were just learning to walk. They had been raised by their Grandmother and Grandfather until they were nineteen and their Grandmother had died. Then, for the next three years, it had just been their Grandfather. Truth be told he shouldn't have much left in him and Anne had been waiting for his death ever since Grandmother's. It wasn't spiteful per say, she was just waiting to be able to take the farm and fix it up. Even at ninety-three, Grandfather liked to be in control, and so the farm was slowly falling to pieces, which just broke Anne's heart.

Enna, on the other hand, couldn't care less, one way or the other. She was fond of her grandfather, as much as she could be. Enna seemed to lack emotional depth. It didn't mean she was superficial, just that she had one passion in her life, to see the universe, and she didn't have room for other emotions. As a child, her grandparents had found that a huge relief. Raising two small children is not something people look forward to do in their twilight years, so Enna's disposition was perfect. She never argued back, she didn't have time to worry about having to make peace later, she was extraordinarily peaceful, content to sit by herself and stare up at the stars for hours on end.

Anne, on the other hand, was not the Perfect Child, in hergrandparents view. She was constantly wanting to fight with everyone, her Grandpa in particular. If she wasn't happy, she let everyone know. Even when she was being quiet, a rare occasion, if she was unhappy, you could still tell. It was because she was so different from her sister that made her look even worse, when you had the two together. People used to say, 'That Enna, such a sweet little girl, never fights, never fusses, she must have so much love in her heart. But Anne, well, she's a wildcat. I don't think she knows any real emotions.'

The funny thing about that was, it was entirely wrong. Yes, Enna didn't fight or fuss. But it wasn't love she was feeling, she just didn't care, that was all. Whereas Anne, poor sweet Anne. All of her fussing and feuding was stemmed by her bottomless heart being battered around. She couldn't stand to see her family's name being bandied about, the stories she heard about her Father and Mother, it made her cry. But more than that, she hated, she loathed, she abhorred seeing her farm (for it was hers really, she reasoned, she was the only one who really loved it) being slowly ruined because her Grandpa was old. She was yell at him and try to fix the problems. Sometimes, if Anne was in a good mood, she would try to reason with her Grandfather, but nothing worked. It was falling about in front of her eyes.

Oddly enough, it was always Enna who ended up being the one to console Anne. It was probably because she didn't really have a vested interest in the farm and she didn't like, or as far as she could dislike, seeing her sister upset. At least that's the way it was when they were younger and Grandma was still with them. Grandma always saw Enna as being herself when she was younger, and told her about how much she had always wanted a sister, so Enna should love (or in Enna's case, like) her sister. Enna carried these instructions out dutifully, or at least without complaint, because she couldn't really see a downside to it. Anne had taken this for a blossom of their friendship and had come to her every time she had an argument every since. Nowadays Enna continued to comfort not out of love, but because it was easier than trying to explain that she didn't really see the point anymore now that Grandma was gone.

Around a month ago, Grandpa had hurt himself doing some of the work on the farm, not particularly surprising at his age, so he had to be taken care of by a doctor. To Anne's horror, she wasn't allowed to take care of the farm in his absence, he was just going to let it fall to ruins. To Anne's way of thinking, there was no greater crime, and she told her Grandpa, and told him often. Usually with some sort of fight involved.

It was after a particularly big fight with Grandpa, that Enna found herself hugging her sister and murmuring appropriate words of comfort, or at least she had hoped so, she wasn't really paying attention, that they heard the news. Anne had come running into Enna's room, tears streaking through the dirt on her face, or more accurately, the tears were trekking their way through the layers of mud on Anne's face. Enna had looked up at her, a little bit startled. She had been staring up into the dark, star streaked sky, and trying to resign herself to the fact that she could never really leave. So in an odd way, when Enna and Anne hugged, and Anne sobbed on her shoulder, Enna felt that she needed comfort and for once in her life, Enna felt truly grateful to have her sister. This emotion passed quickly, for Enna didn't really know how to make them stay, and went back to comforting her sister. Just as Anne had finally calmed down, they heard a loud knocking at the front of the house. Anne and Enna looked at each other curiously and Anne headed down to answer it. Enna wasn't particularly interested in who the guest was, and wondered if she ought to visit her grandfather again. It was something she did frequently, much to his pleasure. He found it refreshing after Anne. It didn't really take that much effort and it filled in time. Time was something Enna had far too much of. She didn't exactly have friends or boyfriends to fill the time in with. The only job she could really get was to do with running errands, something not, to Enna's way of thinking, a particularly worthwhile job. She was quite directionless.

A shout came from downstairs that dragged Enna away from these morbid thoughts, and Enna peered interestedly out of her room to where Anne was. A flash of red notified Enna of Anne's presence, because Anne always wore bright red overalls, and Enna raised an eyebrow at Anne.

"Well, who was the guest?" Enna asked far too mildly to Anne's way of thinking, especially considering the news she had to impart. "I can't work out who would you so flushed. Is it that Jones boy?" Enna said, smiling indulgently, though she wasn't much interested in Anne's answer.

"No, something much more exciting than that." Anne said, dismissing the "Jones boy" remark from her mind to make way for the news. "Except I don't know whether to tell it to you joyfully or sorrowfully. I have all of these emotions surging through me." Enna looked at her bewilderedly, she had a hard enough time feeling one emotion, let alone two or three. "Well, I suppose it's more fitting to be sad, (though you'll know how happy I am, even though it is wrong to rejoice). But our sweet grandfather, the last member of our family really, has just died peacefully in his sleep."

"Oh?" Again, Enna was mild. She found it hard to be anything else. "I was just thinking of going to visit him."

"Well you can't now, except for the funeral of course. But don't you realise what this means? The farm is mine! Oh do try to at least pretend to be interested." Anne said exasperated by her sister's lack of interest. This news changed Anne's life, it was all she had ever wanted, from the first moment she saw the farm, from her father's arms.

"I'm sorry Anne. I'm so pleased for you, but I'm also sorry for your loss, and excited for your future." Enna said, not meaning a word of it. Anne might be able to feel all of those things at once, but Enna certainly couldn't. Anne nodded, agreeing with all of her sister's emotions.

The funeral was simple, basically the same as Grandma's, but of course, this time Grampa wasn't doing the eulogy. Enna, even dressed in black and mourning as best she could for her Grandfather, couldn't help but look pretty as she told the congregation about Grandpa's life. Most of Grandpa's friends had long since died themselves, and their children or children's children where the ones in attendance. Judging by the admiring looks a lot of the boys were giving Enna, Anne felt that Enna would surely marry well and probably soon, which was good, as it meant that Anne got free reign of the farm. Enna would always be welcome there, and she could live there until she married of course, but Anne was pleased that would be soon. Not that Enna would interfere, but Anne was sick of having to share her beloved farm, especially considering that Enna never once stood up for it. After the funeral, Anne and Enna attended the reading of the will. To Anne's great annoyance, the farm was not at the start as she had assumed. The lawyer instead read out pages and pages of nonsense. Anne hadn't realised that people were allowed to leave things like advice and decided firmly that when she died, she would have the lawyer read out the good bits first. It made more sense really, people were more inclined to listen to this other nonsense once they had received their fortune.

Enna, however, didn't seem to care much. She only really listened with half an ear. The rest of her concentration was, and she thought it fitting, thinking over the things that her grandfather had told her over the years. Enna hadn't realised she had listened to it all so well. Her grandmother had shown her a trick, one that she claimed was used by women through the ages. It was simply a case of looking like you were interested in what the other person had to do, and pay enough attention to give replies, but let the person (usually one's husband) waffle on to their heart's content. Enna's Grandfather had never realised this, and even once commented that she was as good a listener as her grandmother, and he could give her no higher praise than that. Nevertheless, Enna must have listened a good deal better than she thought, for she remembered word for word something her grandfather had told her about her sister Anne. "She's a sweet child," he had said, "And I know she'll lose her heart one day. You, well it's plain to see that all manner of menfolk will fall about your feet. But when Anne falls in love, it will be better than anything you'll have, but I'm worried that she'll always be jealous of you anyway." It was said without offence, not that it was easy to offend Enna, but Enna thought it oddly true as she gazed at her sister, sitting wide-eyed and nervous, tears welling up in her big green eyes. She was so full of love, Enna almost envied her. Until Anne turned to her, fists clenched and swore at her.

"Bitch!" She said, before running out of the room crying. Enna was confused and looked at the lawyer for answers.

"Enna!" He cried impatiently, having known her his whole life he felt entitled to some exasperation at her little ways. "Weren't you listening? He left the farm to you!"

Chapter Two

Enna sat staring at the lawyer, dumfounded. Well, more turning over these new events systematically in her mind, but she thought it might save some face if she looked appropriately surprised. Besides, it was either that or making small talk with the lawyer.

The farm. Her farm. Enna's farm. The words didn't quite make sense to Enna yet, but she liked the sound of them. Enna Price: Farmowner. Definitely had a good ring to it. Enna decided then and there that having the farm left to her definitely constituted as a Good Thing, and thus a tick was placed in her mind in that column. Now Anne. Anne might be a problem, something she could confidently refer to as a Bad Thing. This was her conundrum. Was her sister's happiness more important than her own? The clear answer was of course, No. But was having the farm worth having a bereft sister on her hands? Enna didn't think so. This was the first time in Enna's life when a decision did not come quickly, easily and logically.

Legally speaking, the farm was hers. And for all Enna knew, she couldn't just give it up for Anne. That would solve the problem very satisfactorily. Enna grabbed the will out of the Lawyer's hand, ignoring the shout of surprise he gave, and scanned quickly through it. Alas no, "...we leave to Enna, to do with as she wishes." There was no easy way out.

Enna straightened her shoulders decisively. There was no reason why she shouldn't keep the farm, it had been her grandfather's last wish. Her grandmother's too, she suspected. And it wasn't her fault she had been the favourite. She had, after all, spent her whole life stopping Anne from fighting too much. Besides which, Enna had resigned herself to being stuck on this planet her whole life, so why shouldn't she have something to look forward to doing?

It was Enna's way to deal with problems immediately as they arrived, so she stood up and kissed the Lawyer on the cheek as she left to make him forget her earlier insolences, as well as everything else he knew. This Lawyer had just hit thirty to his surprise and was still having his life run by his mother to his horror. A kiss, even just a friendly one, from a girl as pretty as Enna was enough to make his day and he sat there, sighing like a school boy, as she ran out of the office building.

It took Enna nearly half-an-hour to find Anne as she had retreated to the fence at the back of their (well Enna's now) property. She was leaning on the fence and staring out, her tears had washed her face. And about time too, to Enna's way of thinking. Enna tapped Anne on the shoulder and Anne jumped. The two sisters stared at each other. Anne's green eyes blazing with rage and Enna's blue ones looking oddly tranquil and carefree, infuriating Anne further. Anne's fists were clenched and her whole body was shaking, but when a noise escaped from her, Enna realised she was wracked with sobs, not anger. It was so hard to work out this emotion thing, and Enna felt that Anne was really overreacting. The simplest tactics, at least to Enna's way of thinking, would be to comfort Anne as though it were just an ordinary fight and then give Anne time to deal with the loss of the farm. So Enna reached out to embrace Anne tightly, but to her surprise, Anne punched her in the face, instead of weeping gently.

Bloody emotions! Enna thought to herself. It was so difficult to work out what Anne might do next. Of course, thinking is made about ten times harder when you're seeing little dots flash in front of your eyes. Anne was looking surly and was glaring at her, though it was pretty obvious she was feeling bad about what she did. At least that's what Enna would have assumed, after being punched in the face by someone you thought needed a hug, it left her feeling a little less sure of her perceptive skills.

"Well come on," Anne yelled at her. "Hit me! Yell at me! Hate me, love me, hurt me help me. I don't care, just do something." Ahh, Enna thought, primitive emotion, that's what she wants. Enna could deal with this. Enna grabbed at her hair and willed herself to cry.

"What did you hit me for, you jerk?" Enna said, with what she thought to be impressive realism. Anne merely shook her head and sighed.

"Never mind. I thought... I thought for a second you might... but never mind." Anne said. What Anne had thought, Enna wasn't sure, and she didn't much care. All that mattered was that it hadn't worked. For the first time in her life Anne had seen through Enna's tricks. Or maybe she always knew, Enna was finding herself in unfamiliar territory. Emotions, as you might have guessed, were not her thing.

"Well, I suppose we had better get down to business." Anne said matter o' factly. Enna raised an eyebrow, she found it the simplest way of expressing confusion, and she was indeed confused.

"Business? What are you talking about?"

"Don't you know?" Anne asked incredulously. Enna shook her head. "The farm, you dope! What else could there be to talk about?" With all of the emotions and punches and black eyes, Enna had put the farm, the reason for her visit, out of her mind. Anne had thought her very single-minded, now she wondered if she was just an idiot.

"Of course, it's not every day you inherit a farm." Enna tried to smile naturally and cheerfully. Anne just shook her head and mumbled darkly about the lack of times she herself had inherited a farm. "I don't really see what there is to talk about."

"But you don't intend to keep it surely? You can feel all very clever about weaselling your way into Grandpa's affections to one up me, but the fact of the matter is: you don't want the farm. And I do." Enna rose her eyebrow, the other one this time. It was a pet trick of hers.

"You don't honestly think I would do something like that?" Enna asked seriously. Anne mouth twisted into a bitter smile, and then relaxed tiredly.

"No, of course not. You don't really care that much about being better than or getting something better than me. I suppose it's just because that's how I've felt about... Anyway, it doesn't matter." Enna could tell what Anne was about to say and supposed she ought to try and console her, but to be honest, Enna was just relieved that Anne had stopped when she had. She didn't feel up to the task of the onslaught of more emotions. She was exhausted as it was.

"You do admit that you don't want the farm, don't you?" Obviously all of the emotions had taken their toll on Anne too, as she was looking pathetically eager.

"I know that I've never shown as much... enthusiasm as you," Anne smiled weakly at Enna's disparaging remark, "But why shouldn't I want the farm? It's been my home for as long as it's been yours." Anne thought about this, she almost seemed to be chewing it over in her mind. Seeing if she liked the flavour of it. Enna thought she had gotten her.

"But you never... get attached to things. Besides, I thought all that you ever wanted was to leave here?"

"Well, I think we both know that's impossible. It's not as if we're running at a profit. Or with any money. It's what I would call a hopeless case. And I've accepted that, I think I accepted that long ago. And you seem to like farming, who says I can't ? It would give me a nice sense of direction." Enna said, thinking her logical reasonable argument was the only way to deal with Anne. She was a sensible girl, she'd come around. She didn't. Anne simply gave a long exasperated groan that scared Enna half to death.

"You're just so clever and reasonable, aren't you?" She snapped at Enna. Enna nodded thoughtfully, it was something she always prided herself on and was pleased to see that Anne was learning to appreciate it. Of course, her tone of voice did confuse Enna somewhat. "I know that my reasoning will never be as logical or as reasonable as yours," Enna nodded, what she said was true. You couldn't outreason Enna. "But I think my reason are just as important. I love this farm, I love it!" Anne ran her hands through the dirt and pulled out some small wild biscuits. "I love everything that grows here, whether I want it to or not! My whole life is wrapped up in this farm, it's a part of me. And all you can do is list of pros and cons of owning the farm, and decide that the pros outweigh the cons. Well I don't have any lists, I don't have any logical deductions, all I have is my heart. That's all." Anne stared bitterly at Enna once more and stalked off back to their house. Anne did have a point, Enna thought. She couldn't expect to win arguments on an emotional basis. It just wasn't practical. If Anne loved farming as much as she seemed to, she could easily get another farm plot, there were dozens going begging on Humania. More to the point, this farm was a bit run down, and Enna assumed there were lots of bad memories here for Anne. All of those fights with Grandpa, someone like Anne was bound to be always remembering them. And finally, the farm was already Enna's. It would be a hassel, and seen as a insult to Grandpa's memory if she just gave it away and bought another one. What would the neighbours say?

Chapter Three

Sighing thoughtfully, Enna crouched down and ran her hands through the dirt where Anne had pulled up the wild biscuits. It surprised Enna to find that they had this sort of weed, but more so that Anne had known about it. She had been able to find them without batting an eyelid, no faltering, no second thoughts. It was an impressive talent. And one that Enna hoped she would be able to exploit to the full before Anne felt she had to leave or found her own place. With Anne on the job, it would be ten times faster to clean up the farm. She was better than an expert, easily. And maybe it would make her feel involved and console her for her loss. And it would show Anne that Enna had some emotions. In fact, Enna was feeling so proud of herself for being able to display such emotional initiative, that Enna allowed herself a little bit of strut as she walked back up to their (that is to say Enna's) house.

An odd wail greeted Enna as she strutted her way back into the house. Mild concern encouraged Enna to strut quickly upstairs to the source of the wail. Anne's door was slightly ajar, and a telltale chunk of missing paint told Enna that she had slammed it so hard it had bounced open again. This amused Enna, she found it mildly interesting to see how Anne was still very much a child, throwing tantrum. Enna, when she was angry (or at least wanting to seem so), she would stalk around, speaking coolly or dryly and would try the whole moral or intellectual superiority. It was much more effective.

From her position peering in through the door, Anne seemed to be doing something very strange. She was tearing down all of the scrolls she had pinned around the room. These scrolls had been there since Anne could write. It was where Anne drew up her farm plans, drawings and ideas generally. In their childhood, Anne would sit in her room for hours staring up at these scrolls thoughtfully, occasionally making a correction or adding ideas when inspiration struck. When Enna was learning the art of preparation of biscuits, particularly the baking, and understanding why these were tastier these were when made with Grandma, Anne had sat upstairs, accepting absently the tasty treat grandma would send her up to hand out. Enna had found it odd, but sort of nice. Without Anne downstairs causing a fuss, Enna could really get down to business and by making Anne biscuits she had something to hold over her head, for emergencies. So all in all, she didn't think it was a bad thing that Anne was so dedicated (or at least she didn't back then, now it raised more of a problem), but even at the age of five and six Enna had known it was a little odd. Of course, it took another ten years before Enna realised the way she thought was different from Anne, so she couldn't really reprimand Anne for being an odd child. Except, of course, if it was to her advantage.

With something like a final flourish, Anne tossed the last of her torn scrolls into the bin. Then with a sob, she collapsed on the ground and sobbed into her hands. Enna looked on, feeling like an observer watching a Mississippi. Not a particularly interesting thing to watch. All they did was eat and occasionally sleep, the only interesting thing you could do was count them and that would send you to sleep. But it was oddly compelling, to see Anne sitting there rocking gently back and forth. Ordinarily, Enna would have walked over uninhibited and hugged her until she was soothed. But if getting punched wasn't enough of a warning, her swollen cheek was throbbing just enough to let her know to proceed with caution.

In the end, Enna just watched as Anne rocked herself to sleep.

That night over dinner Anne was droopy eyed and cranky. She hadn't slept well on the floor apparently, but more to the point, she was still upset about the farm and angry at Enna and angry at Grandpa, but at the same time upset that he had died, so she also felt guilty, but somehow, relieved to finally know what was going to happen to the farm as she'd always had a worry deep down, yet she still felt hopeful about the future and also apprehensive. In short, she was experiencing a whole heap of mixed up emotions, and thankfully for Enna, she only expressed them as rage. That Enna could deal with. Just like dealing with someone hurt or a scared child, Enna decided to go for the calm approach to soothe her.

"Anne dear, could you please pass the salt?" Enna asked brightly and distinctly patronisingly. There was no answer from the other end of the table. "Anne, I need the salt, please." Same tone, but slightly louder and still no answer from Anne, who was picking at her food sulkily. Enna smiled serenely and reached for the salt herself, winking at Anne as she returned it. Silence, apart from the clattering of folks on plates and a soft 'tutting' from Anne.

Well, if Anne was happier in silence, with just her thoughts for company, so be it. Enna could entertain herself for hours. Or at least ordinarily she could. It was difficult to think deep and meaningful thoughts, or reorder your life and loved ones, when two green eyes stared right through you. For once, Enna wanted to make small talk. It was one of her least favourite things to do: unnecessary chatter just took valuable time from thinking or planning. But tonight she felt as though she needed someone else's thoughts and views.

"It was a beautiful service today, don't you think?" Enna asked conversationally.

"Did you say something?" Anne said, after a calculated few seconds of awkwardness. Enna grinned at her, thinking she had made great progress on the silence. Anne rolled her eyes and clenched her fists and teeth.

"Enjoying your meal? I am!"

"I can tell." Anne said meanly, "You've spilt it all down your front." Enna looked down and saw there were a few streaks of soup.

"Well thank you Anne. Boy, it would have been embarrassing to go on all night like that!" Enna smiled broadly again and mopped up her shirt. Truth be told, Enna was enjoying patronising Anne and found a weird sort of pleasure in seeing her get mad, while Enna kept her composure.

A few more minutes of silence, a few more patronising comments and Anne looked ready to murder Enna. As the last bites of dinner were swallowed, Enna began collecting the plates. Anne stopped her immediately.

"Look, Enna. This isn't over, I will find a way to sort this out. I will get my farm back. Don't think you can sweet talk, or rationalise or logic this all to suit what you want. I love this farm more than anything. I will have my way." And with that, Anne threw a plate onto the ground.

She was Enna's twin sister, she was twenty two, but to Enna's mind, she was little girl throwing her little tantrum and she had made a mistake in threatening Enna. Enna mightn't know from emotions, but when it came to fights and arguments, Enna always came out on top.

Chapter Four

"Good morning sunshine!" Anne's voice rang out over Enna's bed. Enna squinted open an eye to find Anne's face about a hair's breadth away from hers.

"What do you want?" She croaked. Enna didn't like being woken early, and assumed this was Anne's attempt at punishing Enna for yesterday. Morning, as Anne well knew, was when Enna's brain had to be coaxed into to motion, and occasionally, real irritation could escape from depths Enna wasn't aware of, nor wanted to find out about.

"It's time to get up, stinky breath." Anne said, smiling down maliciously at Enna. No, wait, genuinely. Great, now Enna had to get up or Anne's feelings might be hurt. Ah well, at least she wasn't ignoring and hating Enna anymore.

Grudgingly Enna got and stumbled into have her shower. Once out, she dragged on some of her scummier clothes, she owned a farm now, didn't she? She had to work it and judging by Anne, you really needed clothes that could be tossed on the fire at the end. But the shower had woken Enna up and she was in better spirits.

"Tada..." Enna said, smiling as she showed off her overalls. "Do I look like I'm ready for a hard day's work?" Anne grinned at her and shook her head.

"We're not farming today. I'm taking you out to celebrate. You should dress more like me." Anne showed off her dress. Yeah right, Enna thought, I don't do peasant in public.

"I see what you mean." Enna wasn't lying, she knew that that dress was Anne's favourite, with the record low three biscuit stains. Obviously they were going somewhere special.

Once Enna had changed and brushed her hair and teeth, she was looking stunning. When Anne saw her, she looked her up and down with approval. Which was odd, whenever Enna looked pretty, Anne seemed to go green with envy. Maybe she was finally maturing or feeling guilty. Or maybe she was just planning something. Enna didn't really care, as long as it meant that Anne wasn't going to make Enna's day difficult. They walked down to the local park, with Anne chattering all the way. Things like: "Oh, isn't that a lovely clear sky." Or "Wow, did you see that cloud? It was so big!" Enna made nondescript replies that seemed to keep Anne happy. Well, at least as overly cheerful as she was. It was obvious to Enna (and anyone who had half a brain) that Anne was faking all of this happiness, and she was doing for some reason, though what Enna couldn't fathom. Nor did she care, truth be told. Ordinarily Enna would make mental lists and work out reasoning and plot ways to get the answers. But today, Enna was just happy to have Anne not punching her.

The park was nothing special, just an average Humanian park. Anne and Enna had come here as children, and Enna had been brought here by her teenage beaus. But today, Anne seemed to be fascinated by it. She inspected all of the trees, she collected wild edible biscuits, and generally danced and pranced around the place. Enna was bored by the first hour, nearly asleep by the second, and napping soundly by the third, dreaming of burning down the park so Anne couldn't drag her back here, ever again.

A shadow over Enna's face alerted her to someone's presence and she mumbled for Anne to go away. This was met with a most un-Anne like laugh. A very manly, and pleasant laugh to Enna's way of thinking. She opened her eyes. Yes, manly and pleasing, that was what this man was. Tall, about a head taller than Enna. Well built and with a head of hair you could lose a hand in. He looked like a Space Adventurer or at least a Hero. Though what he was doing on Humania was a mystery to Enna.

"Hello." He said, then laughed that laugh again. "It's just, your friend asked me to check on you." He gestured over to Anne.

"Oh, you know Anne? She's my sister." Enna was trying to summarise this man, but it was very difficult, he kept on staring at her, with eyes that seem to bore into her very soul. He really should get that looked at.

"Yes, I've seen Anne around a couple of times, but you, not so much. I'm Vincent." He extended a hand. Enna went to shake it, but to her surprise he placed a kiss on the back of it. Enna blushed against her will, and silently cursed herself for doing so. Although what did it matter is she blushed in front of Vincent, he obviously wasn't around here, she wouldn't be seeing him again. Enna smiled satisfactorily and Vincent laughed again. Damn that laugh, Enna thought. It was very difficult to resist his easy charm and Enna liked having her wits about her.

"Now is the time you tell me your name." Vincent said teasingly. Enna blushed again. Kurses!

"It's Enna. Sorry, I thought you knew, since you know Anne." Enna said, regaining her composure. And at long last really, she didn't like people thinking she had deep emotions like Anne. Obviously she had built up an immune system to his laughing, yet penetrating eyes, his charming laugh, his bulging muscles, his... Okay so maybe she wasn't fully cured. That would come soon. It bloody well better.

"Well, it was a pleasure to meed you." Vincent smiled and kissed her hand and he walked off. At least this time I didn't blush, Enna thought as she watched him walk off, deciding he looked quite good from the back too.

Seeing Enna staring at Vincent's behind, Anne grinned and walked over to her. "It's been a wonderful visit to the park, hasn't it?" Anne chattered cheerfully.

"It certainly has." Enna grinned. Okay, so she had hated the first three and a half hours, but that last ten minutes seemed to have wiped that out of her mind. Enna managed to return Anne's light chatter all the way home, although to Enna's shock, she was genuinely cheerful. And so it seemed, was Anne.

Once home, Anne hung up their coats and Enna put on the kettle for tea. She was turning over Anne's motives in her mind and decided that the reason for that visit was for Enna to meet Vincent. The reason and motives, she still had to fine tune, but Anne would give it all away. She couldn't do subtle.

"It's nice to get out of the house while the weather's still nice, isn't it?" Enna asked cautiously. It was important for her to let Anne think she had control over the conversation, while Enna directed it. It was a tip she had learnt from her grandmother too. She was full of great bits of advice like that, she got it out of an old scroll, called "Ways to Control Your Husband While He Natters On and Won't Twig to What You Are Doing". Apparently it had been handed down Grandma's family for generations. Well, Enna wasn't married, but it sure proved useful.

"Oh yes. I had a wonderful time. I hope you didn't get too bored." Anne said, thinking herself as subtle as a Peedling(?), whereas she was really about as subtle as an Orc(?). Ah well, it was her game and Enna was quite willing to play along.

"Oh no, I got to talk to one of your friends."

"Oh who?" Anne asked casually. As if she hadn't watched us the whole time, Enna thought, grinning to herself. Her sister really was predictable.

"Um, I think his name was Vector..." Enna said. She was having a great time. There was nothing more fun that watching someone trying to wheedle things out of you, when you knew what they were doing. Especially as all of this was telling Enna more than it was Anne.

"Oh Vincent! Yes, he is nice. Did you like him?" Anne asked innocently. Oh stuff it, Enna thought, I can't drag this on all day.

"Yes. He was very charming. And not a bad looker either." Enna winked roguishly at Anne. Anne smiled happily to herself. "He looked like a Hero, so the name definitely suits him." Enna said, nodding in such a way that Anne would have to interpret it as thoughtful. Anne seized on this.

"Oh, he's not a hero! But you were very close. He's a Space Adventurer." Enna looked suitably impressed. No, she was impressed, with a little bit of envy thrown in. Either way, it was effective. Anne hastened on. "Yes, I hear he's frightfully good. And he definitely looks the part, as you said, yet handsome, charming, fit, a snappy dresser. And he is such a sweetie. He was telling me about his travels through space, it was very impressive. I was impressed. He's rescued princesses, but they never managed to rescue his heart, don't you worry!" Anne attempted Enna's roguish wink, but it failed miserably. Enna laughed anyway, Anne could be endearingly naive sometimes. And now she looked a little lost.

"I suppose he's done lots of heroics too? After all, who could be named Vincent and not be a Hero?" Anne straightened up and worked out where to resume her tale.

"Oh yes. Little Timmys down Wells, helpless Damsels, all of your basic Hero stuff. Bu he's done so much more on top. He's stopped avalanches, and put out fires and saved cities. But I think Heroing is just an on the side for him. He's real passion is travelling. A bit like you really."

"Yes, I suppose it is. Of course he must have the means to do it, not like me." Enna didn't make herself look sad, she just said it matter o' factly.

"Oh yes. His family is rather well to do, that's what got him started. But don't think he just bludges off his parents. Heroing pays well, when you know who to rescue of course!" Another roguish wink. Better this time, but Enna wished she wouldn't try, it was just embarrassing herself.

"Yes, I dare say he's rescued some wealthy people." Anne continued. "Because now he can do it, Space Adventuring that is, full time now. And make a bit of money. But it's nice to know he's got something to fall back on. Makes a girl feel secure, you know?" Enna nodded wisely. But it was hard not to smile.

"So why is he back here on Humania?" Enna asked, sensing Anne had forgotten where she was going.

"Oh, it's where his mother was born, did you know? Yes, his father was a Space Adventurer too, and on one of his travel's, he stopped here. I'm not sure why, but I suppose they can go wherever they want to. Anyway, poor Vincent, he's not married." Enna murmured something appropriate about poor unmarried Vincent. "And he finds it awfully lonely, travelling the universe all by his lonesome. So he decided to go where his roots were and find a wife. And his father's planet didn't exactly wield any results. So here he is." Anne decided that Enna needed some thoughtful silence and sipped her tea meaningfully. Enna appreciated it, silence was indeed golden.

So that was Anne's game. Set Enna up with someone who travelled the universe, and wanted a wife. A fine plan, through and through, to Enna's way of thinking. She didn't care if Anne was trying to set her up, she would fall right into the trap. Somehow or another, Anne wanted Enna off of the planet, so she could be left alone with her farm. And Enna thought that was a splendid idea. She wanted to get off the plant as much as Anne wanted her gone. And now there was an easy way to do it. Vincent. That was Enna's plan, marry Vincent.

Chapter Five

Few people in the world have Enna's single mindness, and a good thing too, truth be told. But there is something very inspiring and positive about someone who is capable of working out what they want to do, and then go about doing it effectively. That was what Enna was mulling over as she thought about her claim to marry Vincent. It was a good one, a marvellous idea and would solve so many problems. It was a bit cold hearted, but that was okay, Enna didn't care much for mushy feelings, they just got in the way of good plans. Anne definitely agreed with her, though of course Anne's intentions were bound to be something more romantic. Like their common interest would help them to fall in love. And Vincent was s attractive, it would be a skill for most girls to manage to keep their wits about them when he was around. At least, that's what Anne would be thinking. But Enna, she was pretty too, she knew how to keep control of a situation.

The first step, Enna decided, would have to be made pretty quickly, or he would forget her, just as she would forget him. Even the pretties of girls fades from a man's mind if they're not part of his life. So Enna had to contact him, and organise for them to meet and... and then flirt with him like mad until he fell in love with her. It sounded all very fine in Enna's mind, but she was having trouble concentrating, those penetrating eyes kept on penetrating (as they do) Enna, even just in her mind. Oh dear, she thought to herself, he's going to be a formidable opponent. She was going to have to pull out the big guns: Grandma's scroll- "There's More Than One Way to Win a Man- There's' Thirty-Eight, and This Is the Comprehensive Guide of All Thirty-Eight Ways".

Enna's approach was always getting it done so you could progress to the next ster and reach your goals, mindless of other people's feeling, social and legal commitments, as well as anything you deemed as boring, mindless or difficult and time consuming. So the first thing to do was to ring Vincent and see him again quickly, so he doesn't forget who you are. Enna wasn't sure if this was a trait common to everyone, but it was how Enna operated. Countless boys had taken her out on dates, only to be forgotten when they saw you two days later. Clearly they weren't keen on Enna if they rated things like doctor's appointments and funerals over Enna.

Conviently, or maybe more "conviently", Anne had left Vincent's phone number lying around and Enna smirked to herself as she dialled the number in. At least she had an ally in this, that was considered an important tool in the dating game. Also Anne wouldn't mind if Enna wasn't home much and they didn't do anything together. Anne would be supportive. Even if Enna was only home long enough for dinner, Anne would be grateful for the company, but support her decision to go out with Vincent and do the washing up for her. Everyday household chores, Enna would never make time for them, but Anne, Anne would be her rock. And do all of her work. After all, who wanted to see Enna married off more than Anne?

"Hello?" Vincent's voice was light and cheery.

"Hello, this is Enna. You met me in the park yesterday?" There was a pause. Damn, Enna had left it too late, he'd forgotten her.

"Oh! Enna! It's lovely to hear from you again." Vincent said, suddenly much warmer. Success, evidently Enna had made an impression on him.

"Thanks." Enna said with a bit of a giggle. One of the more common, and distinctly more successful methods in "There's More Than One Way to Win a Man- There's' Thirty-Eight, and This Is the Comprehensive Guide of All Thirty-Eight Ways" (The Guide), was seeming flattered and acting flirty. The SF, AF technique. It really got to a man, especially those with really high or really low ego's. As requirement, albeit an informal one, of being a Space Adventurer or a Hero was an Ego. A Big Ego.

"Listen, Enna, it was great to hear from you, but I really have to go now." Enna had let the silence sit too long. To use the SF, AF technique, the man had to make all of the moves. Ah well. It might work better in person.


"Yes?" Vincent sounded hopeful, this was a good sign.

"I was ringing to see if you wanted to come to dinner?" Enna missed flirty and instead came off as desperate. Ah well, it could work.

"Um, what night?" Stupid phone, it was really hard for Enna to try and work out what Vincent was thinking.

"Oh, any night, really." A more casual, less desperate reply. Enna was coming into form. It was harder than she'd thought. All her life, Enna had been the pursued and had assumed it was easy to reverse the situation, but no such luck.

"This might be a bit of an imposition, but tonight's the only night I have free this week."

"Oh, that'll be fine! Just fine."

"Wonderful. I'll see you at six?" Vincent sounded very pleased and Enna wondered what it was he had on the other night's that couldn't be cancelled for her, but she couldn't be annoyed. She wanted him, so why complain that he wasn't quite so keen yet. It was no where nearly as fun doing all of the asking. Oh well, it would all be better once she was roaming the galaxy. Yes, there was always a reward, otherwise why would anyone bother with all of this nonsense?

"Great. See you then. Um, bye."

"Bye!" And the phone went dead. But the first move had been made, and the first step taken, and other such inspirational things. Whatever, Enna didn't dwell on her little victory, she had other things to organise. Like what on Humania they were going to have for dinner.

"Anne?" Enna peeked her head round the door into Anne's room. She tried to make her voice as warm and nice as possible. "You busy?" Anne looked up to her and sighed. It didn't matter what she was doing, Enna would find a way to make her give it up. Anne was doing her homework, pah! Enna needed her to fetch something from the shops. Writing a controversial essay on Geoffism {Geoff: god of biscuits, Humanian god, last in the universe}, it could wait, Enna wanted a shirt ironed. And it wasn't even as though Anne wanted to begrudge her, Enna seemed to just have a knack with words. Especially against Anne.

"What did you want?" Anne asked resignedly. Enna smiled broadly.

"I wasn't sure if I mentioned it, but you do remember that Vincent in coming to tea tonight? It's just that you promised to cook, I wanted to go and get a new dress, you know, look nice for our new friend?" Anne knew full well that the dinner had just been organised, it was a small house and she liked to know what Enna was doing, and she knew that she had just been shanghaied into organising and cooking for a small dinner party, but she was thrilled. Enna had taken her bait hook line and sinker. So whatever she could do for her, him, them, she would.

"Oh yes. I remember. Thanks for mentioning it, I probably should get started." And she skipped out of the room with a little whistle. Yes, Enna had been right; Anne would do anything for Enna if it was to do with Vincent.

She decided to have a little sit down and read some more of the Guide before she went shopping. In Anne's room, to Enna's surprised, sprawled all over the floor was Anne's farm scroll, being meticulously placed back together. She sure was an optimist. Enna wasn't even engaged yet. Though perhaps that was a trait they shared, Enna had known Vincent mere hours and she was already planning marriage. Huh, Enna had never really considered herself as having anything in common with her sister, though of course even these traits came out differently for each sister. Maybe this would be something Enna could exploit later. She would look into it.

Chapter Six

It was going to be an informal dinner, with Anne's less than marvellous cooking skills, no good china or silver or the like and in her old battered house, on their old tired dinner table, but Enna was determined to make the most of it. She wanted to dazzle Vincent and saw all of these things as a help, rather than hindrance. Compared to them, Enna was going to look stunning. And Enna wanted to win Vincent's heart and leave this planet. Or at least make sure that he was wealthy and was keeping Enna on his radar.

The dress was pretty and made Enna look gorgeous in it. Grandma, ever faithful and useful Grandma, had made dresses all of her life, and she had dozens that were made for Enna, all of them to her taste, and Humania didn't really have a fashion trend, or fashion so to speak, so they were all fashionable to Enna's eyes. Of course, once Enna was married, she would have dresses like they wore on Planet Hollywood, where the fashions came from (though they never reached Humania). But until then, Enna had to make do, and made do look fabulous. Or else "until then" would never become "now".

Anne, sweet Anne, looked a little like the maid, especially when she was standing next to Enna with her hair lank and greasy and food all over her apron. She had slaved for hours over their old fashioned stove with one of Grandma's recipes. And it was a tribute to old infallible Grandma's memory, because she had finally managed to teach Anne to cook something edible (even if she wasn't alive to see it. Or teach it for that matter). Even Enna gave her a long-awaited nod of approval, though when Anne saw how pretty Enna looked, she forgot that the Biscuit quiche had started out as a soufflé, and that for once Enna had approved of her, and thought only of her beloved farm.

"Enna, could you just put out a table cloth, I have to go and get changed." Anne said, thinking not about her clothes, but about her scrolls upstairs. Enna nodded as Anne raced off and pulled out one of their prettier tablecloths and starting putting out cutlery. It would be better if when Vincent arrived she could claim with some truth that she had done most of the work, and Anne had just helped with the cooking (or cooked if the food was inedible). Men like Vincent loved the domestic touch swirled in with family values and just a hint of the exotic. Unless Vincent mother was excessively domestic or attached to her home planet - unlikely considering she had married an Space Adventurer Hero(who would want to remind themselves of a dull rock like Humania and spend all day cooking when they had the whole universe at their fingertips), the odds were that Vincent hadn't tasted Biscuit. It wasn't considered a delicacy, or a run of the mill food, in point of fact it generally wasn't considered outside of Humania, so at least they could surprise him. And if it was inedible, they could pretend it was an acquired taste and if he admitted he didn't like it, it would make him seem uncultured. So no fears from the food front.

Conversation, on the other hand, was something Enna wasn't so sure of. She could make excellent informative conversation (Hello, you needed to know this information, goodbye), could small talk well (a subsidiary of this skill was the handy ability of being able to force people into silence so she could think and not have to make small talk) and could patiently to the elderly, hard of hearing or thick community. You could say she was good at talking, but she didn't want to mess this first meeting up, and doubted Anne's skills in such a matter (Anne had the unfortunate habit of going "Um" and "Well" where natural conversation should lapse into silence). Ah well, she had reread the chapter on conversation in the Guide and hoped she could take it as it came.

When Anne finally came back downstairs, she was laden with half a dozen scrolls and had pulled on a very... simple would be the most flattering word one could use for it, dress that looked like it already needed a wash. Anne was hopeless. She dumped the scrolls on her end of the table, spoiling the whole effect Enna had created, sat down and being scribbling, sending ink all over her dress. At least she wasn't staining the table cloth, Enna thought wryly. A knock at the door took Enna's mind off Anne and she pranced over to open it. Vincent was looking what he thought was casual, but to Enna, a Humanian farm girl, he almost looked overdressed in a neatly worn polo shirt that looked new and ironed pants. It was in some ways better than what some of the boys had worn to Grandpa's funeral. And to Enna's delight he had brought her flowers. Real flowers, like you read in books or see in movies, not like the ones biscuit plants sprout. There were pink and soft with a sweet sent. Enna reached for the flowers eagerly, but recoiled in horror as her hand started bleeding. Vincent just laughed and mopped up her hand and she stared at him sulkily.

"They're called roses." He said, and kissed her finger softly. Enna was taken aback at his forwardness, and, resisting the urge to slap him for being forward, giggled flirtingly. This could be her opportunity to progress their relationship quickly.

"They're beautiful." Enna cooed softly. Vincent grinned.

"You must have a beautiful disposition to forgive them for stabbing you." Enna rolled her eyes.

"Many things that are beautiful are deadly." Enna had a beautifully pitched voice for philosophy. But Vincent wasn't in the mood for discussing philosophy.

"Are you deadly then?" His eyes did their penetration business and he leaned in to Enna. She could feel his breath on her throat and willed herself to blush at the implied compliment. Bingo, her face grew hot in the way that Vincent had indicated he liked. Yup, she was right on the money, he placed a soft kiss on Enna's hot cheek. Ah men, so easy to understand, especially after reading all of Grandma's ancient scrolls on men.

Anne coughed impatiently as Vincent went to kiss her on the lips. Damn, Enna knew she was a good kisser. How could she not, after all of the practice she had had? Ah well, there would be opportunities later. After all she planned on spending her life with the guy. Anne on the other hand... She would have to be killed soon. Enna added it to her list of Things To Do and headed in to dinner. Vincent looked after her thoughtfully for a few seconds, but shrugged his shoulders and followed suit.

Anne hadn't bothered to cut the quiche soufflé thing, and Enna thought that was pretty rude, considering she could have fitted in a three great kisses before she had to come in, but couldn't yell at her in front of Vincent. That too she stored away in her mind, thinking that yelling at her was a good lead in to killing her, because it would be pretty pointless to do it the other way. Ah well, she would just show off her domestic skills to Vincent, assuming as Enna always did, that this was another thing she would excel at.

She didn't. She really didn't. You would think slicing a circle into eight slices would be easy, but somehow she ended up with five pieces and another hole in her finger. Anne meanwhile, was making a complete fool of herself, going on and on about Enna's amazing domestic skills. She wasn't even looking at Vincent as she told her enthusiastic tales, because she was busy scribbling on her scrolls. Had she been looking, she might had stopped, to save herself and her sister from shame, because Vincent was watching Enna going mano-a-mano with the dinner, and losing. Of course, Vincent didn't say anything, but had Enna looked at him, not only would she have lost a finger, but she would have seen Vincent's eyes, not penetrating this time, but laughing at her, with his shoulders shaking.

Once the odd-sized dinner proportions had been handed out, everything ran much more smoothly, and much more to Enna's taste. Not the food of course, that was fairly awful, but the atmosphere and conversation. Enna was sitting snugly close to Vincent and Anne was at the other end of the table. The biscuit wine was creating a relaxing atmosphere, and Enna give the impression of being tipsy. She couldn't risk actually becoming drunk, otherwise she'd risk exposing her plan, but tispyness, that Vincent found cute. Cold-hearted and calculating, not so much.

"I like your eyes, they're just so... green, you know?" Enna giggled. Vincent tweaked her nose playfully. His eyes were brown, straight and plain, but apparently green was a compliment from Enna, so who was he to complain?

"Your eyes are pretty nice too." Vincent said kindly. Enna stuck out her bottom lip and contrived to look sulky, but vulnerable. Thank goodness she wasn't tipsy, she'd never manage this without full concentration.

"Just nice?" Enna thought she'd managed hurt with a hint of fishing for praise. Vincent pondered over this, and Enna slapped him playfully on the arm.

"All right," he conceded. "I like your eyes." Anne looked up briefly from the other end of the table and rolled her eyes, allowing herself a small smirk before returning to the scrolls.

"Do you like anything else about me?" Oops, Enna thought, I sound like I'm sobering up! So she reached for another glass and pretended to take a sip. Vincent, to her surprise, kissed her full on the mouth. He was good. Enna had had some awful kisses in her time, but he definitely had skill. Very naive still, but he could be taught.

"I think you kiss well." He said matter o' factly. Enna blushed.

"Wow. That was amazing." It wasn't really amazing, but she thought he ought to think she thought that. Besides he clearly showed potential, why shouldn't he be made to feel good about himself? Anne had clearly watched the kiss. She looked pleased, but a little bit envious. Why couldn't she make up her mind, it made Enna's job a lot harder. At least these emotions Enna could work out the meanings of. It was pretty simple. She was clearly pleased that Enna was making progress with Vincent, which meant progress towards the farm. But Anne was not the kind of girl who would have had many kisses. So there was the envy part. Enna gave up on concentrating on Anne, and went back to flirting with Vincent. Anne could wait, Vincent couldn't. What kind of girl stops smooching a freaking Space Adventurer to study the emotions of their sister? Not Enna.

Chapter Seven

When Enna finally woke up the next morning, and came downstairs for a cup of hot caffeinated Biscuit, she found Anne once again pouring over her scrolls. Enna and Vincent had stayed up into the late hours of the evening before Vincent left and Enna retired to her bed, but Anne had stayed up even later. Actually, judging by the circles under her eyes, and her periodic twitching, she hadn't gone to bed.

"Anne." Enna said softly. She reached out and touched Anne gently on the shoulder. Anne jumped and turned around, looking surprised to see Enna.

"Enna!" Okay surprised wasn't the word. Absolutely incredulous was a bit more accurate. "Why, fancy seeing you here!"

"Anne, I live here." Enna said, raising her eyebrow in her favourite way.

"Oh. Yes! Yes I knew that!" Anne's eyes brows were jumping up and down too, but she widened her eyes to create that madman effect. Or she was really tired and was a little crazed. Yes that made more sense. Not everyone planned facial movements to create effects like Enna, some just came out naturally. A good thing too, or Enna wouldn't have anyone to copy. "What I meant was, what are you still doing up? Surely Vincent's gone home by now?"

"He went home last night. Anne, you've been up all night, haven't you?"

"Me? It must be, there aren't any other Anne's here. So much work to do, so much to fix up. Do you realise that when I mistakenly placed them in the bin, I ruined a lot of my hard work and planning? I hadn't realise then, that I was getting the farm, so I was very rough with them. But now..." Anne went back to writing with a contented sigh. Enna rolled her eyes and was just about to drag her back upstairs when the phone rang.

"Yes?" She sighed irritably into the phone.

"Oh. Sorry. It's Vincent, but if this is a bad time, then I'll ring back later." Enna looked at Anne scribbling on the table, but decided that talking to Vincent was more important that convincing Anne to sleep. Also more enjoyable.

"Oh! Vincent, hi." Enna gushed into the phone. Or at least she hoped she was gushing, not just sounding guilty for being rude.

"It's okay," Vincent said. Damn, she had missed gushing. Pause. Longer pause. Could Enna ask what he wanted without sounding rude? It was so much harder to maintain a conversation over the phone.

"It's lovely to hear from you again." Now that was inspired, Enna was a genius.

"Yeah. I guess I'll hear from you again soon." Oh no, he had taken it as a goodbye statement. No, no, no. What to do, what to do.

"I really hope it's soon. I had a great time last night." Come on, come on. She had to keep this conversation going. Before he hung up, which was likely to happen any moment now, she had to get him to ask her out again without seeming desperate. If only she could ask him out! But she asked him last night. If she had to be the one to ask again it meant it was all one sided. Thank goodness for the Guide, or Enna would have ended up clinging onto Vincent and losing him. Although she might lose him now. Why wasn't he saying anything?

"I'm free all day every day." Enna had taken the desperate approach. This had better work or she was a goner, a no hoper. Some poor loser who couldn't get a date with a Space Adventurer and leave this little planet. Say something Vincent, she willed him, say something, anything! This silence was driving her mad. Vincent!

"Would you like to go out with me today?" Vincent's words came out in a jumbled rush, and he sounded tongue tied. Oh thank goodness, he was just nervous. Enna could have laughed, heck, she did. She was so relieved. Everything was back one track. "Oh! Not just you, you and your sister I guess. Yeah, it wouldn't have to be a date." Ah the old "not a date" speech. Enna knew it well. Her laugh had scared him off. She almost laughed again at the irony of it, but this time she managed to keep herself back. Enna could hear Vincent's breathing getting loud. Oh dear, what she had taken for comfortable silence he had confused with awkward, "how to reject the guy" silence. Enna really hated phones.

"I would love to come out today, but Anne's a little tired from last night, so she won't be able to join us. Right Anne?" Enna's voice had woken Anne up and she looked up and began shaking her head in unison with her.

"No." Anne said slowly.

"Yeah, she's really sorry, but she can't come. I guess you're stuck with little ol' me." Enna grinned to herself. She loved fishing for praise.

"Well that's just fine by me!" Clearly Vincent didn't really mind Anne not coming. But then again, why would he? With just Enna, this had far more date possibilities. After all, that's what he meant when he made the "not a date" speech. Everyone knew that. "I'll pick you up around one?"

"Absolutely, I'll be ready."

"Um, goodbye then." Ah the awkward goodbye. It was good to be dating someone she hadn't grown up with. It made a nice change.

"'Bye then!" And Enna hung up. She wasn't going to play the awkward "Who's going to hang up first?" game. It wouldn't progress their relationship, so why bother? Enna looked at Anne, sprawled over the table sleeping. She was such an idiot sometimes.

"Up! Up!" Enna shouted at Anne. She was getting no sympathy from Enna. Poke, poke, jab, jab. "Wakey wakey!" Anne groaned and rolled over. But she was getting no sympathy from Enna. Arms around her waist, forcing her to sit up.

"Enna, what are you doing? I'm busy." Anne grumbled at Enna.

"It's your own fault and I have things to do. Get up and go to bed." Enna really didn't have all day. She scooped up the scrolls and carried them upstairs. Anne looked despairingly at her, but followed. She couldn't risk her scrolls and Enna knew it. Finally Anne was sleeping in bed and Enna could start all of those important things she had to do today.

First, she had to make a list. After last night there were some things that needed doing, like washing up etc. And Anne had to know the order in which Enna wanted them done. And it would serve her right for losing today, if she hadn't been spending all of that time with her scrolls, she wouldn't be stuck doing all of the chores today. She would have done them last night. It should teach her a lesson. Then of course, she had to think of all of the best places to go for romantic outings. She had learnt during her teen years that the girl always had to be the one to decide where they would go. Otherwise she could get dragged off to the most boring place imaginable and be forced to dump the guy for being a jerk. And Enna did not want to have to lose Vincent over a technicality. Besides, if she pretended she was interested in stamping Biscuits now, she might end up being stuck doing that for the rest of her life. Planet to planet stamping tours. That's not what she had in mind when she decided to marry a Space Adventurer.

All of this hard exhausting work made the hours just fly by for Enna, and before she knew it, it was almost one. As was her custom, Enna dressed up as nicely as she could, knowing that she could pull it off. Enna was the only girl who could wear a wedding dress to a farm conference discussing biscuit manure. And don't ever ask Enna how she knew that. But with Vincent, Enna feared she would always feel underdressed. And underdressed she just didn't do. She would always be the bell of the ball, regardless of whether people realised it or not, and it Vincent took that away from her, well. He would pay. After they were married, otherwise he might not ask her. It was really hard trying to work out plans around that premise. Everything had to be happy until she had a ring on her finger, then she would be nice when he was good, and punish him when he was naughty. Otherwise how would he learn?

Vincent knocked on the door and Enna raced to open it. She was faintly breathless therefore to open the door. Some people thought it was best to let men wait, but that could be risky. Ordinarily Enna could pull it off, not like some poor girls who when they went to open the door found it empty and found out the next day they were seeing someone else. But with Vincent, she had to make it absolutely clear that she was head over heels keen for him. At least until they were married. Then she would make sure he knew she wouldn't stay up all night keeping dinner warm. It was to be a marriage of equals, just with Enna being equaler.

Vincent seemed pleased to see her faintly flushed cheeks, to him it make her look just that must prettier. Especially with her looking up at her with those soft blue eyes. It was all he could do not to kiss her. Oh hell, why not? Excellent. She was pleased, she must be falling for him.

Excellent, he had kissed her. He was keen, and she hoped to train him up before their wedding day. When the guy in charge said he could kiss her, everyone as going to be impressed. But he wasn't up to that stage just yet. Enna twirled around in her dress.

"Am I dressed up enough?" Enna asked, going for endearing.

"Don't panic, we're just going on a picnic. And you look lovely, nice enough to go anywhere. You always do." Right on the nail with that one, clearly endearing was something she could do. Enna took a note of that, before doing her blushing trick.

"Thanks. Sounds like fun, I love picnics." Wait, picnic? Damn, she hadn't been paying attention, falling back on the habits she had developed from reading "Ways to Control Your Husband While He Natters On and Won't Twig to What You Are Doing", the chapter entitled "Listening is for Amateurs." But now she was stuck going to a picnic. It would seem a bit contradictory for her to refuse to go now that she had proclaimed her great love for them. That's the sort of thing that emotion-filled people like Anne could get away with. Depending on how awful the picnic was, Enna decided to pretend she had some bad memory that was evoked when she went on the picnic and could never go on one again. Vincent would understand without being hurt, heck, he might even feel guilty and she'd get some presents off him. And she'd never have to go on another picnic.

"Great! I was a little bit worried you wouldn't want to go, and then we'd have to do something boring like biscuit wine testing. But now we get to spend some quality time together... and with nature." She could have been wine testing, now that's something she liked doing.

"I don't mind wine testing either!" Enna said quickly.

"You're so beautifully agreeable." Vincent said naively. Enna nodded bashfully and they headed out.

The weather couldn't have been better if it had been planned. It seemed to reflect Enna's little romantic heart, pounding in excitement and joy as she walked along side Vincent. Or at least the

heart-pounding she was trying to convey to Vincent. A task made easier by Vincent's beautiful reactions. Out in the sunlight, Vincent's hair seemed almost boyishly light and his smile was one that Enna thought any girl could fall in love with and she felt a small pang of guilt.

"Why so quiet? Not feeling bored?" Vincent seemed so earnest, his eyebrows knitted (a technique Enna subconsciously took note of) that Enna laughed, freely and honesty this time, not coyly or out of shock. It was a curiously lighter sound than Vincent had expected and when he turned to her in surprised, she kissed him tenderly on the cheek.

"I'm having a marvellous time." Enna said softly. She forced back the pang of guilt she had felt and grabbing Vincent's hand, they ran to the park. Girlish pleasure was something of a novelty to Vincent and Enna planned to use this to her advantage. And she was afraid some real feelings were surfacing in her as they walked slowly. Better to outrun them and go back to having fun with Vincent. Real emotions were apt to ruin any relationship.

Chapter Eight

Picnic lunches. Something most people have had in their life, generally when they are younger. It's nice. Your whole family, stuffing themselves with an assortment of biscuits, then parents would doze off to sleep, growing ever fatter, while the kids ran around and kept slim. But it was definitely a different experience being there with Vincent.

Enna started very enthusiastically with the traditional biscuit scoffing, assuming that as Vincent was larger than her, he would be able to eat more. So it was important to make sure she didn't miss out. But as Enna was hastily swallowing her sixth serve, she realised that Vincent was giving her a strange look with his fork hovering near his mouth, and a tiny portion of biscuit loaded up on it. He clearly though she was mad, but she thought he was a bit of an idiot. How on Humania could he expect to eat his fill of biscuit if he ate it from a fork? He'd stab himself in the back of the throat trying to match Enna's speed when he was eating smaller portions at a time.

"Have you never been on a picnic before?" Enna asked, showing off her raised eyebrow, though this time her confusion was genuine.

"Well, yes. I went on the all the time when I was little." Vincent copied her eyebrow trick

"Did your mother come? Anne told me she was the Humanian relation. She'd have known how picnics are supposed to go." Enna cleverly swapped eyebrows, so fast you wouldn't notice, until you saw the wrong one was raised.

"No." Vincent said shortly, lowering his eyebrow. Enna grinned at this little victory, but only briefly because Vincent's eyes were watering. "I never had much to do with my mother."

"Oh dear. Is she... has she passed on?" Oddly enough this thought gave comfort to Enna, rather than repulsion. It would be nice to have someone who understood where she came from, having no parents. People like Anne would hope the answer is no, but Enna, she must have managed to outrun those pesky emotions.

Vincent looked up at her, startled, as though he had just realised she was still there. He gave a watery smile. At least Enna assume it was watery, he did look like he was about to cry. But there were some definite bitter edges to his mouth. Men, why couldn't they show expression better, like Anne. No, wait, Anne was just as bad, Enna's soft and painfully squishy red cheek was proof enough of that. They could at least learn to fake them like Enna. Or would that confuse her further?

"No, she's not dead and my parents aren't divorced. I suppose she just didn't have time for me, like my father does." Vincent said either bitterly or tearfully. Enna leaned in to kiss him, softly and tenderly. Why? , she had no idea. It had just sort of come over her. But Vincent was responding beautifully, so why worry about it.

"I'm sorry. But I do sort of know how you feel. My parents are dead. I don't remember them." Enna said, real tears springing into her eyes. What was her body doing to her? She had never met them, or at least not properly, so how could she miss them? She was being ridiculous and brushed them angrily out of her eyes. Vincent leant over and wrapped his arms around her, kissing her hair softly. Enna wept into Vincent's shoulder, not sure what she was feeling, but deciding she wanted to get it over with so it was all out. Surprisingly she felt better when the tears stopped flowing Enna felt curiously lighter and pulling herself gently, but firmly out of Vincent's arms, she smiled cheerfully.

"I thought you were busy all week?" Enna asked teasingly.

"I was." Vincent said casually.

"What were you going to be doing?" Enna imitated his casualness

"I was leaving Humania." It was as simple as that to Vincent, it just showed Enna how different life was as a Space Adventurer. Those words would never leave Enna's mouth so casually.

"What happened? To make you stay, I mean." Enna asked, so earnest she forgot what emotion she was meant to be conveying and just looked grave.

"You." Again, Vincent was casual and simple, but this time it was touchingly simple. He couldn't leave her.

"But you've only known me a day." Enna said incredulously.

"But haven't you known me the same amount of time?" Vincent said teasingly. Oh, right! Love, that's what she was meant to be feeling, or at least approaching love. "How would you feel if I'd left, could you leave?" This was her moment; this was what was going to seal the deal for Vincent. But it was hard. Enna wanted to leave more than anything, she wanted to scream "Of course I'd leave!". But Enna was tough. She could say "no" and remember that if she said "yes" she'd never leave. Enna leant right in close to Vincent, their noses almost touching. Enna had made her eyes water beautifully, which was pretty hard considering all of the crying she had just done.

"I could never leave you." She whispered softly, knitting her eyebrows like Vincent had done earlier. "I think I'm falling in love with you." The words hung in the air and Enna and Vincent stared at each other for what could have been hours. Then Vincent smiled reassuringly and Enna relaxed and they touched foreheads, leaning in to each other. Vincent, thinking romantic thoughts about Enna, Enna wondering when was too soon to hint about marriage. Love and forever went hand-in-hand, but marriage and children always trailed. Ah well, phase one (making contact) was distinctly over and phase two (love and forever)was well underway, and much sooner than Enna could have ever hoped, that is, allowed herself to hope.

The two or three emotional scene that had just taken place had left Enna feeling slightly awkward, as emotional inevitably did, regardless of the fact that they weren't all genuine from Enna. None of them were genuine, Enna corrected herself firmly. Then she smiled. She was the one prompting Vincent, so why should she feel uncomfortable? It was all a part of her plan. She was leaving Humania soon, she might as well enjoy herself. This was her life she was fixing, it was all smiles, laughter, rings and kisses from here.

Vincent was in top form, he was evidently very pleased with what had just happened, and was more than happy to show her a wonderful day. The romantic, clichéd day he had planned. He pushed her on the swings, laughing as she screamed at the top. Enna had learnt from the Guide men like Vincent liked to feel manlier than their wives or

girlfriends. They sat making chains out of wild biscuit flowers, Enna covering Vincent in necklaces and bracelets and anklets. Most girls knew even the manliest of men liked to wear jewellery, even if they never admitted it. They fed biscuits to the lake-dwelling creatures, laughing as they raced around madly. It was a funny site, one that you could only really get away with as kids when your parents were sleeping. In short, they did all of the things most Humanian children growing up doing, but to Enna, it felt like a brand new experience.

Chapter Nine

Love was something Enna had always believed she couldn't feel. When she was little, she thought it was something that didn't exist or had died out like the legendary Orcs. When she had been asked if she loved someone or something, Enna would just laugh and show that she wasn't fool enough to fall for that question. It had once made Grandma cry for her. Soon enough though, Enna found out that Grandma loved Grandpa and they had loved Anne and Enna and Anne loved them. To Enna surprise, they had assumed that Enna loved them all too. She had never said anything like that; indeed she used to deny it profusely. But somehow, the assumption had arisen and Enna had stopped denying it, pretending to understand it and feel it when she needed to and she never made her Grandmas cry again.

This emotion Enna felt about Vincent, she likened it to love. He was going to give her freedom, take her off Humania. It was clear he had fallen in love with her, or was on the verge of doing so, and Anne said he was looking for a wife, so what was the inevitable apart from marriage and freedom? Yes, this must be like love.

And so, she danced into the kitchen, light hearted and cheerful after the picnic. Anne, who had been scrubbing dishes, stopped and looked her up and down. Then she smiled and clapped her hands together. "Had a nice time then? You look like you've just been told you can leave the planet with unlimited funds."

"I have, sort of." Anne clapped her hands to her mouth.

"He didn't propose? Already?" Enna shook her head, rolling her eyes.

"No, of course not. He's not that sort of a guy. He's going to do it properly. No, we're now all in love. It official, and what's to come next but a proposal? I'll start dropping hints." Enna grinned.

"You mean to say you managed to convince him you were in love? Boy, that's going to sting when he finds out you can't love." Anne said, laughing. Enna shot her a pointed look.

"He's not going to find out, ever. And that's that." Enna said sharply.

"But how are you going to pull that one off?" Anne asked incredulously.

"Well, it can't be that hard, I mean I convinced Grandma and Grandpa I loved them."

"That's different. They already assumed that. And you did rather like them, it was pretty close. No one's expected to love their family that much, or admit it. But boyfriends expect deep eternal soul striking love."

"He's giving me my freedom, letting me travel the universe with him, what more could I want for a basis of soul striking love?"

Anne shook her head. "That's not love, soul striking or otherwise, that's gratitude, or joy." She looked over Enna again, from the softly curling light brown hair, to her smile to her feet ready for dancing. "But you do look happy. If I didn't know better I'd think you were in love. I guess Vincent just doesn't know you like I do. And all the better for him!" Anne laughed and went back to scrubbing. Enna decided to go upstairs before she got stuck helping her wipe up.

"Enna," Anne's voice whispered through the dark of Enna's room. Enna groaned and rolled over. "Enna, come on, time to wake up! The movie starts in fifteen minutes." Enna sat bolt upright at this, but then collapsed back down as all of the blood rushed to her head. Fifteen minutes to the movie. That meant it must be nearly eleven. Why did she agree to go to the movies again? Eleven was too early for any sane person to get up, unless they had to.

"Vincent's waiting outside." Enna groaned and inched herself up to look at Anne.

"Why did I agree to go?" Enna asked Anne, rubbing her eyes tiredly.

"Because you want to marry him and move out of here, remember? So up, up!" Anne yanked back the quilt on Enna's bed and Enna shrieked.

"All right, all right, I get the point!" Enna stumbled off to wash her face and hopefully wake herself up a bit. Anne giggled and went downstairs to keep Vincent amused.

When Enna came downstairs, Vincent forgot what Anne was saying and stared at Enna admiringly. Anne looked a little hurt and confused, she had been halfway through telling Vincent an amusing anecdote about biscuit farming and until then he had been laughing eagerly and listening intently. Now she was just dismissed out of hand. Anne reminded herself that Vincent was supposed to be paying attention to Enna, and that he was going to be taking Enna away and leaving her with the farm. But what girl doesn't get hurt when she's dismissed out of hand like that? So when the time came for Vincent and Enna to head off, Anne was very cool to Vincent and a little rude to Enna. Not that they noticed, they were very much so wrapped in each other.

The movie theatre was old and rather run down, but Enna didn't really know that movie theatres were not normally like this, and still found it a novel experience. Vincent on the other hand found it hard pressed to not stick up his nose and drag Enna out of there, and disappointing her severely. It wasn't that the movies was something she had never been too, or that the movies they showed were anything special. It was all about seeing movies with other people, that's where the fun came in. There were movies of every genre, yet the selection was very limited. Titles like, 'When Biscuits Attack Back', and 'When the Biscuit Baby Made It Big', gave you an idea of the type of film you were likely to see. 'Biscuits and Love' was the romance film and Enna had seen it at least with each of her boyfriends and a few times with her sister and Grandma. Each time she saw it though, was a new experience. Seeing what people got out of the movie, that was what kept Enna coming back.

She grinned eagerly at Vincent and dragged him inside. He had been tossing over ideas of ways to get out of this mess, but seeing Enna look so childishly excited made him feel guilty at trying to ruin her fun. This must have been a new film for Enna to look so keen. Poor kid, Vincent thought and longed to take her to see real classy films with plots and titles that didn't revolve around biscuits.

"Two tickets to see 'Biscuits and Love' please." Vincent told the boy working behind the counter. The boy gave Vincent a knowing wink; he'd been to see it with his girlfriend and was now engaged. It was a magical film. Vincent ignored him, though Enna gave a nervous grin, and placed some money on the counter. The boy, whose name badge proclaimed him as Simon, stared at it in surprise.

"You're paying with money?" Vincent nodded.

"Of course, what else?" Simon shook his head.

"Well, normally we barter biscuits, I mean if we got money, we'd use it to buy biscuits. If I'm working all day, there's no time to grow my own." He said as though it were the most simple thing in the world. Enna rolled her eyes at Vincent and pulled out some biscuits and began bartering, with a touch of flirting to get cheap entry. Not that she couldn't afford a generous tip on top of it (nearly everyone had a surplus of biscuits), Enna just liked to see what she could get away with and to see Vincent get annoyed.

Biscuits and Love had a basic romance plot, Humania was in a biscuit plague, and one girl was almost bankrupt because of it. She was too proud to accept anyone's help. But in the end it turned out in the end, everyone was offering help because they needed to pool everyone's resources together to save the biscuits, and with the help of a plucky young Hero, the girl overcomes her pride, falls in love and Humania is saved from the biscuit plague. It was a timeless tale, in Enna's opinion, and having seen it so many times, she knew the ideal snuggling moments and when to hide her head against Vincent's chest and when they could giggle together.

' "Who are you?" the heroine exclaimed at the sight of the Hero. "I'm a Hero." said the Hero, standing heroically.' Enna snuggled up to Vincent.

' "I don't think we're going to be able to make it without her help!" "Then we're doomed! She'll never give in and agree to work with us. She's too proud." "Little Timmy, down the well, we think he's...dead. He starved to death. Inform the orphanage."' Enna gave a small sob and buried her face in Vincent's shoulder, feeling a few of Vincent's tears falling on her hair.

' "You mean to say you've been trying to get me to help you all along? You were too proud to ask right out? Wow, what a coincidence, I was too proud to ask you for help!"' Enna and Vincent giggled at her foolish mistake.

' "And all along, you loved me?" the heroine asked the Hero. "Of course! I love every part of you." The heroine laughed. The Hero looked abashed. "What?" He asked. "It's funny, but I think I loved you all along too!" And the two laughed and laughed and kissed and dramatic ending music played.' Enna and Vincent copied their kissing enthusiastically. It was a great movie for relationships.

"Are you going to the Biscuit show while you're on Humania?" Enna asked Vincent as they walked home.

"Biscuit show? What's a biscuit show?" Vincent asked curiously.

"Oh it's great! Every year we all get together, everyone going to the closest one to their farm, and you show off your produce. There's all kinds of competitions, biggest, smallest, prettiest, best dressed. And there's cooking sections, and speed eating. It's the highlight of the Humanian year, everyone goes." Enna said, acting more enthusiastic than she was. It was an alright day normally, the size of the biggest biscuit tended to be pretty impressive, and Enna loved gorging in the speed eating, but other than that, she normally just went because Anne and Grandpa were showing something, and when Grandma was alive, she had some killer recipes and the taste of the free samples made Enna proud to be related to her and more to the point, she'd be eating leftovers for weeks. This year, Anne wasn't entering anything to Enna's knowledge and Grandpa and Grandma wouldn't be going of course. So ordinarily Enna wouldn't be going, but with Vincent here... everything seemed just that bit newer.

"Sounds like fun." Vincent nodded. Enna smiled at him, suddenly quite enthusiastic about the show.

Chapter Ten

The show was the highlight of Anne's year. She loved showing off her current pride and joy. When she was three, this was the first show she could remember going to and the first show she ever entered, she had slaved for months on the biscuit her Grandpa had helped her plant. She watered it, talked to it, watered it some more, and screamed for her Grandpa when she drowned it. Then when it had grown, she made it little clothes and did it's makeup to enter it in the Best-Dressed Biscuit. She hadn't won, she had been competing against five and six-year olds, but she had framed her little competitors certificate with stickers her Grandma had added because she was so proud of her. After that year she had competed in every junior section, eventually winning some once she got to five and six. Then she had moved up into another age group and it started again, with her eventually winning at fourteen. Then she was allowed to enter with the adults, the pride of which made up for the fact she might not win until she was Grandpa's age. This year, she had the responsibility of showing Grandpa's pride and joy, yes this year he had hoped to take out Biggest Biscuit with his monstrosity. He had worked on it at night in secret so his arch-enemy Great Aunty Jill (Enna and Anne's great aunty, not Grandpa's. She and he are brother and sister) wouldn't see what he was doing, and he had taken the time to try and spy on Great Aunty Jill so he would know what she was doing. She won every year, but this year was Grandpa's year. He was finally going to win and death, Anne had decided, was not going to stop that fact. He would live on through Anne and could rest in peace with his trophy added to the family cabinet.

Anne stared at the cabinet. There was a special spot put aside for that trophy and had been for years, though Grandpa would never admit that's what it was. "Always good to have a bit of extra room," he used to say vaguely. Of course, everyone saw right through him, but they never mentioned it for fear of hurting his feelings. As if he's pride wasn't hurt enough, without them pouring salt into the wound. Twenty years of losing to his big sister had taken its toll on Grandpa. He worked like a madman. And whenever he visited his sister, he didn't get upset at the sight of twenty shiny shimmering trophies, he just thought about how nice it would look in his house, and what he would do to decorate it. It just made him more resilient. And this year, he could have gotten her. He could have finally beaten her; Anne owed it to his memory to win it for him this year.

As Anne stared at the cabinet, deep in thought imagining the trophy finally sitting where it belonged, Enna bustled around her, talking and laughing with Vincent, who had come over before the show. While Enna thought it was a nice idea having Vincent around, with her flirting and dancing about showing how much she loved him and hoping seeing her in a family home would make him think about marriage, Anne was the one who had invited him here. She had asked for his help in carrying Grandpa's biscuit. He could fit it in his All-Purpose, Every Terrain, Perfect for a Space Adventurer Miniature Space-Ship for the Ground. It was definitely big enough for Grandpa's biscuit, and it would mean they could get it there in stealth. When people laid their eyes on the biscuit, Anne wanted it to be at the big unveiling, so that the collective gasp of surprise would be so great, Great Aunty Jill's biscuit would be blown away, proving how great Grandpa's was.

"Come on Vincent, it's time to go. Anne, do you mind giving the place a quick clean while we're out?" Enna asked innocently. Anne went white. Vincent didn't want to take her and Grandpa's biscuit. He had just come for Enna. "You weren't planning on coming were you? I mean, you don't have anything to enter?" Enna asked as she saw Anne's white face.

"Well no, but..."

"Then it's settled," Enna said, cutting across Anne and pulling on her coat. Vincent looked awkward and apologetic, but made no attempt to right the situation which just infuriated Anne.

"What about Grandpa's Biggest Biscuit. He was going to win this year." Anne exclaimed and Enna and Vincent approached the door. Enna turned around to Anne and said sympathetically:

"Grandpa's dead, Anne dear."

"I know that!" said a very frustrated Anne. "But that can't stop him from finally beating Great Aunty Jill!"

"I think that technically it does."

"No, I was going to enter the biscuit!"

"Oh. Well, grab your coat dear. Can she please come with us Vincent?"

"Well," Vincent said, about to explain the arrangement Anne had already made with him.

"Oh please, do it for me Vincent. You've no idea how important this is to me."

"Of course." Vincent said, thinking it was easier just to agree than to explain. He had no idea how Enna would take the new that he and Anne had been talking behind her back, he hadn't even thought to ask Enna if it was okay. Yes much easier to make it seem like it was her idea.

Anne, who had been listening to them as she grabbed her coat from the cupboard in that room, turned red with rage at this. How dare Vincent just forget their arrangement? Anne had thought it meant they were becoming friends, but he was just using her to get to Enna. It made her blood boil, and a little tear trickled down her cheek.

Anne was being very quiet in the back, Enna noticed. She was sitting with her fists clenched and her back as straight as anything. Enna hadn't realised that Grandpa's biscuit was as important to her as it evidently was. Heck, Enna didn't even realise that Anne was entering it this year. I must be spending too much time with Vincent, she thought, I've been neglecting Anne. Wait too much time, there was no such thing as too much time, when it came to the person you intended on spending the rest of your life with. Once the engagement ring as securely on Enna's finger, she could spend more time with Anne, she was going to be head bride's maid after all. Secure in the knowledge that the Anne issue was going to be taken care of later, but that nothing more could be done for now, Enna went back to her conversation with Vincent.

The first glimpse of the Biscuit Show was an impressive one. Biscuit stalls of every description were everywhere. Biscuit jewellery, snacks, hair accessories, stamping kits, stamping kit refills, everything anyone could ever want was right here. Locals would try and talk sellers out of their goods, an easy task really, if you knew the person, the odds were they'd put one aside for you if they knew you'd want one genuinely, and they knew the trouble makers, so they could protect their goods. And of course they could trade with their own goods. This was the one event of the year that people from other planets might saunter down for. They would pay for their goods in trinkets from other places. Trinkets whose main feature did not include biscuits, a rare novelty, normally uses for pranks or jokes or just to see how different the other worlds lived and how lucky they were to be on Humania, with every biscuit luxury you could need. And occasionally the traveller would pay in money. Enna always wondered how much money they made, most of them accepted the money just because they liked the look of it and would hang it on the wall. Her Grandmother's food was always popular with Travellers, the biscuits didn't go off particularly quickly if stored correctly, and she was one of the more profitable sellers in coins that is. But when Enna asked her how much money she made, Grandma would just shrug her shoulders and tell her she didn't know. That's why Enna never bothered to try and made money to get off the planet at the Biscuit Show, it just wasn't worth it, she had no idea what the money was worth and Travellers were infamous for taking advantage of locals' naivety. And you couldn't get much more naive than Humanian locals.

"Why are all of the stalls covered? It's such a sunny place here?" asked Vincent, seeing the water proof covers made of biscuit leaves weaved togethers. "And why for that matter did you insist we wore raincoats?"

"It's tradition Vincent," Enna said, laughing. "Every year it rains at the biscuit show. Some people say it's Geoff, our god," Enna added at Vincent's raised eyebrow. "Some people say that it's him crying in joy, because he loves the biscuit show. Other people, more cynical people, say that the worst thing that can happen on the Biscuit Show day is rain, therefore it will happen because that's the way life works." Vincent laughed.

"Why do you think it happens?" he asked.

"Hmm. I don't really think about it that much. Serra serra. Whatever will be will be. Besides, it would sort of ruin the show for me. There's nothing so tasty as a soggy biscuit shared amongst friends and family." Enna said philosophically. Anne writhed inside with anger. That's what Anne had always said. Time and time again, she loved the Biscuit Show, even the rain that threatened to ruin it. Enna used to look down on her for saying that, thinking she was a bit ridiculous and not very smart, no one likes rain, it makes biscuits go soggy and Anne would always, always reply 'There's nothing so tasty as a soggy biscuit shared among friends. Then Anne calmed down, not understanding the sudden rush of anger. She must just be suffering from nerves. The big competition, possibly the biggest Anne would ever see was coming up. She had to be ready for it.

As soon as they arrived, Anne leapt out of the All-Purpose, Every Terrain, Perfect for a Space Adventurer Miniature Space-Ship for the Ground and began dragging the biscuit out. Immediately Vincent called out, "Wait!" and came to help her. Anne blushed, very pleased to have him help because she had almost torn and crumbled the biscuit.

"Vincent," Enna called out. "You don't need to help her; Anne's got some big muscles. Right Anne?"

"Sure." Called back a panting Anne, though she only said it because she felt she ought to.

"No Enna, the biscuit's too big, even for Anne's big muscles. I'll just help her carry it to the tent, then I'll be right with you." Vincent said, rolling his eyes at Anne, who giggled. Enna heard it and felt hot tears building fiercely behind her eyes. Clearly Vincent found he preferred Anne. The boy was too fickle. Once Vincent found out that Anne never wanted to leave Humania, well he'd either have to stay and be her slave for the rest of forever, or fly away and never see either of them again. And he'd get squashed by a giant planet or something. Come to some grisly end, either way. And it would serve him right! Once Vincent and Anne entered the tent, Enna crept forward to listen to their conversation.

"Anne. I wanted to talk to you in private, that's why I'm helping you with the biscuit. That's why I offered to give you a lift. I've grown very fond of you Anne, and I feel I can trust you." Vincent's voice came clearly out to where Enna was. He's so stupid, anyone could be eavesdropping. Hadn't he heard of common politeness? When you are about to say you love someone, when your just about engaged to another, you do it quietly.

"Yes Vincent," Anne's voice was soft and breathy. Oh yuck, she really made Enna want to vomit. "What do you want?" Enna could practically see Anne's eyes widening as she drew in for a kiss.

"It's just, I really like Enna and everything," Vincent said. He didn't have to make excuses about Enna to Anne. She didn't really care. "But I think she's moving too fast. She practically told me she's in love with me the other day. We've only known each other a few days. It kinda freaks me out. Then she... she goes on and on about marriage and weddings and how her grandparents had over seventy years of married bliss. I mean, wow, who fills her head with this nonsense? People don't get married after a few days. What the heck? I haven't fallen in love with her, I don't know if I will. But I do really like her. She fascinates me, when she's not on about marriage. She's so soft and gentle, so emotional. I really think she feels everything so much deeper than everyone else." Enna felt like laughing and crying at the same time. Anne was the one who told her to hint about marriage. She was the one saying Enna needed to speed things up. But at least Vincent wasn't falling for Anne. And now that Anne knew, they would have to rethink their tactics. Actually, Anne could be cut out of the deal altogether. Enna knew much more about men, clearly. Whatever had she thought, listening to Anne in the first place?

"Don't worry about Enna, she tends to be a bit zealous at the start of relationships, but she'll calm down soon." Anne practically shouted this, confirming Enna suspicion that Anne knew she was listening, hence why she had whispered when she didn't know what Vincent was going to say. Vincent on the other hand, had no idea why she was shouting and said uncertainly:


Enna scuttled away and Vincent and Anne came back out, looking faintly awkward.

The Biscuit show was the same as last year and every year before. And a good thing too, Enna had to think hard about reversing her tactics. Thinking hard about the Guide's advice, Enna realised that she was starting to seem clingy, a problem that was easy to resolve. Aloof and proud was the best way to seem, show the guy that they have to fight to keep her attentive. Overly friendly and lovey dovey, Enna couldn't cope with, but aloof and proud, that was something she could do well. They sauntered past a touristy styled stall and Vincent pointed out something of interest. Enna pointedly turned away and spoke to Anne, speeding up. This happened again and again, with Vincent shouting out his finds at Anne and Enna and the two girls tearing past stall after stall. Eventually, this charade had to stop as it was time for Enna's biscuit eating competition.

Chapter Eleven

Traditionally, Biscuit Eating was used a sign of strength. It helped sort out disputes, like who should get the bigger farm? The person who eats most of course! When courting women, men would be careful to see which could eat more, to aid in the decision. In today's society, the average Humanian only really gorged themselves on family picnics and on particularly tasty meals, and of course the Speed Eating on Show day. This was Enna's favourite part of the show, the only thing she would miss once she left to explore the universe, Enna realised as she stepped up to the Eater's seat. Every year, from when she was little, Enna always came away with a prize. Her grandparents insisted it was her gift and made a point of telling everyone about it. She had her own little section in the trophy cabinet, carefully decorated by Grandma and crammed full of certificates, medals and even a few trophies. The grand champion trophy was clearly visible from where Enna was sitting and she wondered what it would be like sitting in her little cabinet. She'd never paid much attention to trophies before, but for some reason this year, she wanted to prove something. The whistle blew and in went the biscuits. Small ones to start with: five, ten, twenty, then bigger and bigger. Twenty-one, two, three, Enna glanced over to her competitors, then the score board. She was three behind. Twenty-six, seven, nine, thirty-five. Enna's blood coursed through her and her jaws began to tire. Forty-one.... two... three. Ten more seconds. Forty-six, seven, eight... And the bell rang twice. That was it. The score had been obstructed from the

competitor's view twenty seconds before the race ended, so Enna had no idea who won. She had definitely picked up at the end, but then perhaps everyone else had too. Vincent smiled up at her, and Enna nearly smiled back before she caught herself and looked snootily up into the distance. Emotions were a difficult thing to deal with on an ordinary basis, but on a full stomach, it could be downright confusing. Why couldn't he make up his mind? He'd said he had come back (or more accurately stayed) because of her, and now he said she was too clingy. Well, now she would give him the confusing of a lifetime.

All of the competitors came out onto the platform, the experts smiling cheerfully at loved ones into the audiences, the amateurs looking queasy as they rubbed their tummies, and the go-getters looking nervous, but attempting to keep a relaxed smile in place. Enna smiled widely at Anne, giving her a wink, but refusing to catch eyes with Vincent. As the judge stepped up to the microphone, there was a collective gasp and the whole room was silent.

"An impressive show once again this year, all of the competitors should feel pride in their achievements today. It does our great planet credit to see so many of you keeping our traditions strong. And a shout out must be given to the supporters, cheering these fine Humanian men and women on in their quest to eat biscuits, and baking those many training biscuits that are needed in preparation for this exciting event." A titter of laugher went through the room as the supporters remembered the impressive number of biscuits they baked for their competitor. "But now, I come to the important announcement for this afternoon: the runners up, the place winners and the grand champion." Again silence filled the room in honour of this

awe-inspiring title. The names of the runners up were read out quickly, but not so as to take away from the glory of their

achievement. Then the place getter, one-by-one all twenty-two of them were read out, again in a speed that the audience was thankful for, but not so as to spoil the competitor's fun. Enna's name was not among them. Finally, the judge moistened his mouth once more in preparation of the reading of the champion, again silence fell over the room. This was the moment of truth. If your name hadn't been read out by name, you were either the greatest victor, or just another competitor.

"The winner of the Grand Champion Impressively Shiny Great Big Trophy 'Cause You Must Have a Great Big Mouth to Eat All of Those Biscuits, trophy is... Enna!" The traditional startled applause broke out, growing bigger and bigger and Enna walked up to receive it. Most people were chattering happily, they all knew Enna as the sweet young lady from the Price family. A few bittered murmurs were murmuring away, but couldn't be heard over the din. Besides, nothing could upset Enna right now. She shook the judge's hand and held the trophy high above her head looking faintly heroic. And she felt like a Hero too. Eventually, she was allowed to go, she'd had her photo taken by the photographers who promised to send her along some copies, she'd shaken hands with people you always seem to shake hands with after this kind of event, and she'd made her thank you speeches, thanking those people you're supposed to thank in thank you speeches. Anne wasn't there to greet and add her own congratulations; she'd obviously had to go off to prepare for the Biggest Biscuit competition. It was the biggest (no pun intended) competition of the day, and the competitors were given a certain prestige, so you had to go and claim it, otherwise it was a bit of a waste. It was part of the charm of competing.

Vincent had a great big grin on his face as he greeted Enna. He kissed her on the cheek and grinned some more. "That was incredible." He said admiringly. "I've never seen someone eat so many biscuits at once. It was truly incredible. Amazing."

"Thanks." Enna said dryly. Vincent's grin fell and turned into a frown. There went his theory that she was merely nervous. But he simply shrugged his shoulders, muttered "Women, huh!" and lead Enna to the competitors tent in silence.

Anne was sitting nervously in the competitors "zoo" where everyone could come and ogle the competitors, one of whom would go down in Humanian history as the winner, the rest would fade into non-entity, at least until next year, so they had to take advantage of their moment of fame and please their audience. Anne was in deep

conversation with her Great Aunty Jill, a wrinkled old woman who could have been smiling or smirking at Anne's chatter. Considering the circumstances, it could have been both. Great Aunty Jill was genuinely fond of Anne, seeing a lot of herself in her, both in looks and in talent, and would have been genuinely pleased to see her Great Niece in the big leagues, finally taking her farming seriously. But she was also Grandpa's sister with whom she was also fond of, but would never let him beat her. A smirk would have indicated that she knew that Anne had no hope. She was entering Grandpa's biscuit, and in twenty years he hadn't manage to outdo her, and in the hands of the naive Anne, the chances slid from slim to none.

"It's lovely to see you up here dearie." Great Aunty Jill croaked out. Whether it was sarcastic or not, Anne wasn't sure. Despite Great Aunty Jill's soft sweet old lady appearance, she had a razor-sharp tongue on her and could outwit anyone.

"Thanks. I feel a bit of a fraud being up here." Anne said, knowing that there was no point putting up a resistance to Great Aunty Jill's verbal onslaught. Better to concede defeat now and prevent the humiliation of the condescending look the ninety-eight year old woman would impose on youngster's who thought they could beat the old bird at her own game.

"Oh, never mind, never mind. One day you might get to be up here with your own biscuit, a proper one this time." Was she being encouraging? Or was she being merely patronising? Who could tell? Anne, ordinarily would angrily explain that her Grandpa's was the best, regardless of whether it won, but just because it meant more. And then she would explain that she was a real farmer now, not someday, and that Grandpa's biscuit was a proper one! Who was she to judge anyway? But for now, Anne was forced into courtesy by nerves. Enna and Vincent walked into the room and she gave them a nervous wave.

The unveiling was a time honoured tradition, in which the judges unveiled each of the biscuits from smallest to biggest, with appropriately rising gasps. Eventually it was Great Aunty Jill's and Grandpa's biscuit left. Everyone knew what an important event this was, it was the last chance Grandpa had to finally beat Great Aunty Jill, and while everyone liked Aunty Jill in the ordinary way, most people were secretly rooting against her. It was high time that trophy was handed out to someone else, and once Great Aunty Jill lost her winning streak she would retire, so as not to become one of those no hopers who cling on every year after they've had their day, she wanted to retire in dignity and be remembered ever fondly as the woman who won the biscuit show lots, and then knew when to stop so as to not become a laughing stock. It was a humble dream that everyone respected. And it meant that they or their family might have a chance next year.

The judge's arm hovered over the two Biscuits, moving gently and indecisively over the two blankets. It was a well-known fact that the judges knew hours before who was the winner, but they were sworn to secrecy and to build tension. And this judge was good at it. Eventually, as the crowd turned a pale shade of blue the judge whipped off Great Aunty Jill's blanket, Anne had won! Anne stumbled out bewilderedly and couldn't stop grinning as she pulled off her blanket to show the crowd Grandpa's mighty biscuit.

"As you all should have worked out by now, I am going to dedicate this trophy to Grandpa. It is his, really." Everyone cheered and Anne shook hands and said thank you and grinned and grinned until Enna and Vincent took her to the All-Purpose, Every Terrain, Perfect for a Space Adventurer Miniature Space-Ship for the Ground where she flopped gratefully into the back seat, which had been conveniently converted into a bed, and fell sound asleep. This left Enna and Vincent in the front seat, alone.

Chapter Twelve

An awkward conversation between people who don't like each other is a difficult thing to have, but can be easily overcome by silence or death threats. A conversation between people who used to be very fond of each other but had had a falling out or an argument is a very bad thing to be avoided at all costs, either by never getting close to someone or never having an argument and just being blissful for the rest of your life. But a conversation between two people, where one person is unsure as to why the other person suddenly hates them while the other person is enforcing this newfound hatred to combat a concern raised by the other person about being too clingy which would have interfered with the plans of the unconfused person in which they intended upon marriage as the ultimate outcome, to which an

unfavourable view of clinginess would have interfered and therefore stopped is a very confusing conversation indeed, especially to the person who is already confused but to the unconfused person it can serve as a source of fun or perhaps result in material gain or may even add another depth to the relationship or make the said unconfused person more desirable to the confused person, though why that makes sense, the confused person will never know and the unconfused person is unlikely to disclose, though the odds are they don't really know anyone, it's just one of life's little mysteries they are happy to exploit. And in this case, the confused person was Vincent, the unconfused person was Enna and Enna was very much looking forward to this conversation.

"Isn't Anne just sleeping like an angel?" Enna said sweetly, raising Vincent's hopes.

"Yeah, she is very sweet. Did you have fun today?" Vincent said conversationally. Pah, who was Vincent to be conversational when Enna was trying to confuse him and drive him crazy?

"As much as I could have, in the circumstances." Enna said stiffly. Had she dashed his hopes?

"Oh, I'm sorry," Yes! Another expert dashing, if Enna did say so herself. "I don't know what I did to upset you." Vincent said sadly.

"Well, you wouldn't."

"What do you mean? Erg! I can't understand you at all."

"Me?! What about you? Mister Forward or what! We've only just met, for goodness sakes!"

"Me?! Mister Forward? I think that's your title! Weren't you proclaiming your great love for m yesterday? And today you won't say two words to me!"

"I only said that because you said you came back to the planet for me!"

"You mean you took pity on me?!" This concept baffled Vincent and rather enraged him. He was a Space Adventurer, a freaking Space Adventurer? Who took pity on them?

"Of course not!" Enna snapped back, her planned tears coming easily to her eyes. She was in the zone, this was her game, hands down. Vincent stopped the car and turned to yell at her, but seeing the tears in her eyes, he threw back his head and laughed. Enna shoved his arm, hurt, or at least pretending to be.

"You jerk! I'm walking home!" And she leapt out of the car and did exactly that. Vincent followed her, but knowing it would be futile to try and coax her back into the car just did his best to make sure she was safe. Not that is was dangerous, the sun was still up, it wouldn't set for another half an hour or so and there weren't any bogey men out in this part of Humania, or anywhere else on the planet really, but five years of Space Adventuring and Heroing had taught Vincent to expect the worst. You never knew what could happen, even in your own backyard where nothing awful ever really seemed to happen.

Over the next week, at Enna's request, Vincent didn't visit once. He did ring daily and Enna spoke to him briefly. This frustrated Anne and finally one night she broke down and yelled at Enna.

"That's it! You've played with Vincent's emotions long enough! He's so confused; one day you're telling him you love him, the next you're pretending to hate him! Bloody hell woman, do you want to marry the guy or not?"

"When did you find this out?" Enna asked, surprised at Anne's audacity. Anne had the decency to blush, tough her response was fiery.

"Just because your stuffing him around doesn't mean I can't try and pick up the pieces for you. He misses you, he told me." Enna was just about to fire back some hurtful comments, when she realised what Anne had said.

"He said that? He misses me?" Enna's eyes widened. This was unexpected. What Anne failed to add, was that she had spend the whole week going on and on about Enna's virtues and her little quirks that Vincent liked. Not that it would have mattered one way or another to Enna, what mattered was that Vincent had missed her, obviously her plan had worked. He was forgiven for what he said on the show day. She could go back to loving him again. Enna nodded satisfied.

Enna was baking carrot biscuits in preparation for her next

personality change as her relationship with Vincent got back on track. Not that she thought that this time apart hadn't done them any good, but it wasn't nearly as much fun as she had anticipated, being angry at Vincent. They hadn't spent nearly as much time together as Enna had expected and it had gotten a little dull having only a glaring Anne to talk to.

Vincent arrived promptly with some impressive flowers. They were nearly the same height as Vincent with huge red petals and big green leaves. When Enna opened the door to see them, she threw her arms around Vincent and hugged him warmly.

"Oh Vincent," She gushed beautifully. Enna knew how to lay on the gratitude. "They're just so... cheerful. I think you're such a sweetheart."

"So, I'm forgiven?" Vincent asked with a little laugh. He was just like a little school boy and Enna kissed him on the cheek.

"There's nothing to forgive." Enna giggled flirtingly and lead Vincent inside with the flowers.

Vincent took Enna out to see the local biscuit museum. They wandered around, admiring the different sculptures of biscuits and paintings of people farming biscuits, and offering them up to Geoff, the God of Biscuits. Enna was bored out of her mind within a few minutes of this, biscuits, biscuits, biscuits, that's all her life was and why she was going to marry Vincent and get away from it all. Vincent however seemed fascinated and so Enna would pretend to pay attention and think through her plans for the future. The imminent future that was, she needed a way to get out of this museum. But Vincent proved to have an answer to this too. He was proving more wonderful, that is useful, to Enna every day.

"I know you love museums and everything, Anne was going on about how cultural you are," Enna bit back a snort. Trust Anne, just because Anne was, didn't mean that Enna was. She was very self-centred. "And I thought, if you didn't mind missing out on these last few corridors, then I could show you my personal collection." Vincent seemed quite bashful and it was all Enna could do not to scream out hysterically about how much she wanted to leave the wretched museum.

"That would be lovely, thank you." And the two basically tore out of the museum, evidently Vincent liked museums about as much as Enna did. Or the collection was pretty close to his heart.

Vincent stood proudly in front of his little box of mementos. There was a little token from each of the planet's he had visited, and all of his old traveller passes, allowing him to enter and exit planets without having to pay fee after fee. Enna stared at them transfixed. She felt an odd sense of belonging when she saw these. Her hands gently brushed over each of them, filling her with longing. This left her with a strange sense of what was to come. And yet she couldn't make out the finer details. They were just beyond reach. Almost as thought she was watching someone else's life. It really freaked her out yet intrigued her at the same time. She brushed her hand over the newest memento, the one from Humania and was finally able to see through the haze. She drew her hand back sharply, this was really weird. And Enna did not like things she didn't understand. The memento's were simply a sign of what Enna would one day experience firsthand, that was all. Enna kissed Vincent. This was something she understood, or at least she should be able to, men were pretty straight forward. Unlike strange inklings.

Chapter Thirteen

Vincent and Enna had been dating for two months, and it was starting to bore Anne. They had become a habitual couple. The first day of the week meant a picnic. Enna had finally taught Vincent how to scoff his biscuits. It had taken her nearly three days of intensive

demonstrating, but she had done it and now he could eat them like a pro. The second day of the week was a trip to the movies to see Love and Biscuits. Enna found she liked it more and more, every time she saw it with Vincent. Vincent wasn't complaining, and few boys can watch the movie too many times before they got bored of it. Enna had snagged a lucky one, Simon (the movie attendant)'s girlfriend had said. The third day was dinner, cooked by a less-than-willing Anne. It tended to comprise of some sort of burnt dish, and had Enna been paying attention to Anne, she would have realised that Anne was burning it on purpose because she was sick of being ignored. But had Enna noticed, they wouldn't be being burnt. But as it was, the food didn't matter to Enna and Vincent had learnt to enjoy other cultures food, or at least be polite and slip it into his pocket to throw out later. The fourth day was all about being driven around in Vincent little Very-Small Spacecraft for the Ground with Few Purposes, they would go out to see the few historical sites on Humania. Each was about a day's drive, and it didn't always yield very interesting results, so hardly anyone would come. When they went to see the cliffs on which the wild biscuits had grown in exactly the shape that baby Peter looked like as, well, a baby it was completely deserted. He was a little bit of a local legend, it was said he wasn't actually born on a cliff, but in a hospital like you'd expect, but every twenty years from when the biscuits first grew, it was said good things were going to happen. To whom and when and what kind of good things were ambiguous, but it didn't matter, everyone on Humania knew they must happen somewhere, and so the legend lived on without anyone having to visit it. The fifth day they went wild and decided to do whatever they wanted, before the days repeated themselves. Two times a week they went picnicking, two times a week to see the same film, two times a week they ate Anne's Geoff-awful food,two times a week they went to see little landmarks and two times a week they wandered around, not entirely sure what they were doing, but sure they were very happy. And it was driving Anne nuts. She still listened to Enna rattled off the details, she liked to take hopeful little notes about progress development, but it was sometimes a little difficult talking to Enna.

"So today, you went to see, hmm, Love and biscuits?" Anne asked, scribbling madly on her far-too-long already scroll. Enna's eyebrows shot up.

"Yes! How did you know?" she said, a little dreamily.

"Enna, today is the seventh day of the week, every second and every seventh day you visit the movies. And the only film you like or will see with a boy is Love and Biscuits. So what happened."


"Aside from giggling, hugging and kissing in the right places, I've already got all of that down." Anne interrupted swiftly, casting an eye over the identical lists she made twice a week about the movies.

"Hmm," Enna said thoughtfully. "No... not really."

"Doesn't it get boring?"

"No..." Sighed Enna.

"Ever?" Anne asked incredulous. She had been a fan of the movie when she was younger, but outgrew it when... when Enna started going with boys and Grandpa was the only one who would take her.

"No..." Enna sighed again. Then she giggled. "I think I enjoy it the more times I go." Anne rolled her eyes and started writing. Then suddenly she stopped writing and looked up at Enna.

"I say! You've gone and fallen in love with the bloke!" Enna stopped staring off into the distance and looked at Anne, startled.

"What? No! No, I can't have. No. I can't fall in love, you know that." Enna said firmly. That Anne, she was getting high ideas. What a thing to say. In love indeed, preposterous. Pah, Anne was just getting bored. She needed to get a hobby. What was she thinking? Saying such a thing to Enna, it was... inconceivable, that's what it was!

"Oh Enna, just because you can't love me, doesn't mean you can't love Vincent, I think it's a good thing. A very good thing indeed. I mean, you plan on marrying the guy don't you?"

"Well, we've been going out forever and he still hasn't asked me. Maybe he doesn't want to get married..." Enna said sadly.

"Buck up Enna, he's a straight and honest guy. He wants to get married, he's just waiting to see when the timing's right. I would be surprised if he's already got a ring." Enna perked up immediately.

"Yeah! Well, if you think so. I mean you know about these things, don't you Anne?"

"Of course I do. Just you wait. Now, about you being in love with Vincent, I also know about that."

"Well, you must know that I'm not. Plain and simple. Now, do you want to drop this love nonsense and I can tell you about where we're going on our next little trip around Humania?"

"Well, if you say you're not in love with Vincent..."

"Which I'm not," Enna reiterated firmly.

"Then go ahead."

"We're going to go and see the Geoff sculpture, the one made entirely out of biscuits, back in the past ages."

"I didn't know you knew anything about history!"

"We'll, I don't. But Vincent, he's really wonderful, he read up on it, so our sight-seeing will be perfect, just like him..." Enna sighed again and Anne grinned, making a little love heart with her fingers and mimed kissing. Enna glared at her. "I meant that when we go off sightseeing together, on all of the exciting worlds he's going to take me to, I just know it will be better because of it. I mean, it's a nice thing to have in one's husband that you're definitely going to marry, but it wouldn't be enough. I mean, it's just icing on the Space Adventurer cake."

"Uh huh," Anne said, disbelievingly, but softly so that Enna wouldn't hear her and pelt her with biscuits. "What about tomorrow night?"

"Oh, Vincent offered to cook." Enna said with one of those smiles people who are entirely happy seem to give. Enna thought she'd nailed this love thing. And she was enjoying it, so no need to switch it off, even when she was just around Anne who must have realised that she wasn't in love, hence why she stopped saying she was. Right, now she'd cleared that up they could have a sane conversation. "He's a bit shy about his cooking, but I've tried some of the dishes, and they are divine. He uses all kinds of exotic ingredients, and I've taught him how to base his meals around biscuits. He's a good learner. Not that being a good cook is enough, I mean I know I am definitely going to marry the man, so I might as well teach him how to cook so that I won't starve. I honestly don't know how people can survive without their daily serve of biscuits. I wouldn't want to end up taking tablets all of my life. So it's really the icing on the space adventurer cake." Anne was scribbling furiously on her scroll. This was all very valuable information, and not just for blackmail later.

"Uh huh. What about your day off?" Anne asked absently.

"My day off?" Enna asked, raising one eyebrow. It was good the stretch them again, Vincent never did anything that really made her need to. They had come to understand each other well. Like a well-oiled machine that used oil. Like a biscuit deep fryer.

"Oh you know, it's when you and Vincent go crazy and do something original."

"Oh. Well, that's going to be really fun. He's going to teach me to drive! Just his very small Land-Spacecraft, mind you. He said that I showed potential, but I could be a little risky sometimes. But he didn't say it with offence, you know? I mean how many guys can say that sort of thing and seem endearing. He really is a sweetheart. Not that that's enough, mind you, but if I'm definitely going to marry him, then it would be nice if he didn't patronise or offend me. It's just..."

"Icing on the cake, yeah, yeah. I gotcha." Anne said absently and smiled a secret smile.

Enna had dressed especially nicely for Vincent's cooking. It was a big thing for him, she thought. And it made her proud. He was willing to give it a go, and actually cook for Enna, and more importantly: Anne. She had been the family cook and if Vincent wanted to be good enough for Enna, he'd have to prove himself to her previous cook. Not that it was going to be too hard, as long as he didn't poison them that would be enough for Anne. And Vincent had a cook on his Space-Adventuring ship, so Enna could eat well, even if he wasn't a top cook. But Vincent needed know that she was thinking that, he himself had mentioned how busy Space-Adventuring could be, so the odds were he wouldn't cook much.

Anne opened the door to allow Vincent in and he whispered a few words to her, before he turned and saw Enna watching from down the hallway. He looked very smart in what must have been a very fashionable suit. It was reasonably strange, so fashion it must have been. He was looking over her admiringly, in her pretty dress that looked almost elegant when Enna came to stand next to Vincent.

"I've decided we'll eat out tonight." Vincent said casually, but his fingers fiddling gave away his nerves.

"Oh?" Enna said, matching his casual tone. She wasn't sure whether to be excited at eating out with Vincent, a meal out tended to indicate that there was something to celebrate, but on Humania... a lot of the chef's tended to lean toward the Anne way of cooking, so maybe a meal at home, cooked by Vincent would be better. Vincent led her outside where a space taxi was sitting. Enna gasped at the sight of it. It wasn't exactly the prettiest thing on Humania, but it was definitely something worth gasping at.

"Oh Vincent, these things... they're so expensive!"

"I know, but it would have been dangerous to try and get there any other way." Vincent said with a laugh.

"What do you... you can't mean... not a Space Restaurant?!" Enna's eyes opened so wide, Vincent might have thought they were about to pop out, if he wasn't on the way to a romantic date in a restaurant in space, one couldn't think such thoughts then.

"Yes, my dear. I decided at the last moment that my cooking wasn't good enough for you." Vincent smiled. As true as that might be, there was no way he could have simply decided to change his mind at the last minute. Even for Space Adventurers. This was going to be a special night.

Chapter Fourteen

There are events in everyone's life that they will remember forever. Your first day of school, the first dance you attend with someone other than your grandpa, your first kiss, the first time you wake up early enough to see the sunrise or stay up late enough. These special moments are marked with little gold stars in your mind, and you drag them up when you're feeling low. But there are few moments that are just so mind bogglingly incredible that your mind just can't hold onto them. That first journey out of the atmosphere was such a one for Enna. As Enna stepped into the Space Restaurant she felt the memories slip out of her mind and all that was left was a foggy recollection. It wasn't that much of a pity, Enna told herself firmly. Who cares about the first memory? She could make it up later by patching it up with the new memories she would get in her many travels. Yet still she felt a strange pang. She must just be hungry.

Vincent held out his arm and led her inside, opening the door of the restaurant for her. He sauntered up to the reception table utterly casually as though this was something one did every day. Enna couldn't help but look around utterly fascinated by it all. One day this would all become the norm to Enna, but for the moment, she felt a little out of place. Vincent led her through to the 'evening' room, where everything was softly lit by candles, but there was a clear view of space. It was strange; space sort of looked like the night sky. Enna was a little disappointed, to be frank. But then if she was sick of Humania, who was she to expect their little stretch of space to be more exciting? Ah well, the other stretches of space must be more exciting with the activity and excitement of it all. Until then, Enna would enjoy the food and savour the evening.

There was an odd selection of food, it seemed to comprise of everything but biscuits. Enna pointed this out to Vincent who smiled and winked, saying he would go and speak to the chef about it. Enna was sitting contentedly when a girl Enna recognised sauntered up to her. She seemed familiar... Sally... Sam... Sin...Cynthia, that was it!

"Cynthia! Fancy seeing you here!" Enna smiled, she was glad of this little bit of company. It had seemed so lonely for those few seconds without Vincent, staring into the abyss, imagining what would happen if the ship were to explode. Enna shook this thoughts out of her head and looked up to see Cynthia smirking down at her.

"Fancy seeing me here, yeah right, good one. Anyway, how did you get up here?" Cynthia said coolly.

"Um, a space taxi, like you..."

"Uh huh. Hilarious. Look, I don't have all day. I know you're not the richest girl in town, but you are dead keen on getting out here. How did you do it?" Enna was painfully aware of Cynthia's freaking claw fingernails, digging into her back, in the most painful way


"I came with Vincent," Enna mumbled. Enna was not prone to mumbling, she associated it with the weaker Humanians. But with Cynthia's claws digging into the back of her neck, it was pretty clear who was the weaker. Cynthia's eyes flashed.

"I'd heard that rumour circulating. Never thought to believe it. I mean, you, you're a nobody. I was the Mayor's daughter. I am a somebody. And I want Vincent for myself. So back off." And with that the claws dug in deeper, the hastily retracted and a little sliver of blood trickled down her back.

There are a few times in your life when you are literally deaf to people around you, not including those who are actually deaf or have been deafened of course. There have been fewer still moments when you have gone numb as well, numb yet shivering with cold. Your stomach turns and you can't make out more than vague shapes. That was how Enna felt, watching Cynthia and Vincent laugh together like old friends. She was leaning in very closely to Vincent, her fingernails tickling up and down his arm, very provocatively. Vincent seemed not to notice or perhaps he simply didn't mind. After what seemed like an age, Vincent waved goodbye and settled back down at their table in a daze.

"Vincent..." Enna said softly. He didn't reply. "Vincent..." she said raising her voice. He still didn't reply. "Vincent!" Enna said feeling and sounding hysterical.

"Yes, Enna?" he finally said seeming to only then become aware of her presence. He brushed his arm where Cynthia had been tickling him and gave a little shudder, looking confused. "I'm sorry, lost in a daze. She was an old flame of mine."

"Oh? I didn't think you'd ever been to this part of Humania?" He shook his head.

"No, we were both holidaying off on one of the shores of some deserted island with a beach resort. It was just a bit of holiday romance, we agreed to part as friends. It's just odd seeing her again." Vincent said thoughtfully. Enna nearly snorted, Cynthia, willing to give someone like Vincent up and be just a friend. Everyone knew she chased eligible bachelors. Enna toyed with the idea of telling Vincent what Cynthia had said to her, but decided not to. Why spoil a good evening worrying about someone like Cynthia? Besides Vincent was clearly very naive about her, and Enna didn't want him to spend the evening thinking about another woman.

"What did the chef say?" Enna asked casually.

"What do you...? Oh, right! He said that there is a special menu for Humanians." Vincent seemed to snap out of his daze. Enna smiled gratefully at him and poured over the menu he handed her. Enna struggled to keep the conversation going, she was so wrapped in what Cynthia had said, and kept checking the back of her neck, even though it had stopped bleeding. Vincent seemed distracted too, which just hurt her more. Damn these emotions, they were ruining her first trip into space.

After they finished desert, Enna was staring wistfully into space, she had been so sure something big was going to happen, and then Cynthia had to come and ruin it all. Without realising it, Enna had torn up two napkins, three serviettes and the menu. Vincent gently tugged the tablecloth out of her hand and pulled her chair out from under the table. Enna raised an eyebrow at him. Her legs felt very cold out from the warmth of the table and tablecloth. She gave a deep mournful sigh, assuming this was her call to go home. Cynthia was now clearly visible from three tables down, and was smirking at her. Enna turned to Vincent, to find that he was kneeling on the ground, holding her hand.

"Enna," he said, his penetrating eyes turned up full blast for the first time in months. "I would be deeply honoured if you would consent to be my wife." He spoke so formally, which, Enna had learnt, meant that he was nervous. For the first time in months, Enna turned on the blush that Vincent had fallen in love with.

"Oh Vincent," She gasped breathily, though inside she felt like screaming in joy, "Oh Vincent," she gasped out again. She was really good at this, so she might as well milk it for all it was worth. "Of course I will! Of course I will!" Vincent's face relaxed and he slipped a very expensive looking ring on her finger. She had no idea what it was made from, apart from the fact it wasn't glazed biscuit, but it definitely looked expensive. Vincent and Enna stood up and kissed, Enna trying to drag it out, loving the look on Cynthia's face as she realised what had just happened. Vincent and Enna practically skipped out of the restaurant, Enna pausing to smile smugly at Cynthia while Vincent paid the bill.

Enna was half screaming, half crying as she ran inside and Vincent was safely out of earshot. She screamed down the corridor and Anne woke up and raced out.

"Where's a fire?" she asked groggily. Anne was quite frequently an idiot. She ought to know that Enna was now engaged. It did put a damper on things when you have to explain things to sisters who just don't understand.

"Anne! Don't you realise what this means?" Enna said, waving her arms around.

"What what means?!" Anne asked, raising her eyebrow weakly.

"This!" Enna held out her hand with the ring on it.

"Is that... are you...?" Anne clapped her hand over her mouth.

"I'm engaged!" Enna cried out happily. Anne's eyes widened and filled with tears. She forced her mouth into a smile that looked more like a grimace.

"I'm just so happy for you!" She wailed as she ran out of the room sobbing. Some people. They had the weirdest ways of expressing joy. Oh well, Enna had things to do, no time to dwell on Anne.

Chapter Fifteen

A wedding. A wedding is a prelude to marriage. Marriage can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. To some it is something to be feared. You have to watch your step in everything you do, because marriage is just around the corner. To others, it is something you need to have at all costs. Setting traps and nets around corners is an effective method that requires constant vigilance to avoid. To others still, it is just one of those things that happens, you won't complain too loudly when it does, but you don't plan your life around it. There are those few, and the eligible bachelors and bachelorettes thank their lucky stars every day there are only a few, where marriage is a short cut to fame, fortune, power and a myriad of other things that are difficult to attain normally.

Weddings, on the other hand, mean one thing for everyone, regardless of what reasons you have for the marriage. It's a time for frivolous spending, excessive dressing up, the one point in your life when you will look your best (which is why so many people remarry) and most of all: skiting. You might boast about your great love, tell long tales about how you evaded marriage previously and thereby how talented your future spouse it, brag about your lassoing skills, or go on and on about your fiancé's great wealth, fame, and fortune.

Enna liked to talk about how romantic Vincent was. And how they were going to have a small wedding, despite the number of people they knew, because they wanted to share the intimacy of their love with just a special few. That way, people who were invited had to feel privileged to be allowed to come and it made the whole wedding seem more important.

"Well, as it's going to be such a small ceremony," Enna said for the umpteenth time that day, "We really need to make sure the bridesmaids are good. Anne, because you are my sister, my darling sister who has helped me through all of this, I would be honoured if you'd be my maid of honour." Anne looked at the hand Enna had grabbed. Enna's knuckles had turned white. This must be important.

"Oh Enna. Of course I would. I'm so honoured." Anne said, tears yet again springing into her eyes. Excellent, that meant that Enna had someone responsible to do all of the hard work. But honestly, Anne could turn the waterworks down some. It was true that they wanted everyone to think that it was an ordinary wedding between two people deeply in love and that Anne was deeply saddened to see Enna go, so that when she took the farm, tongues wouldn't wag. But this was really laying it on too thick. Nobody was around to see the performance. And lucky too, if they saw Anne crying at the very mention of the wedding, people were going to think she was in love with Vincent, which was of course absurd. Anne knew full well that he was Enna's man and that she had not chance with him. So what would be the point of falling in love with him?

"Well I'm glad you're so pleased Anne." Enna said loudly, so Anne could hear her as she blew her nose loudly and mopped up her tears. "And even though it is a small wedding, I don't mind if you tell a select group of friends about this. Say... Mary?" Enna knew that Mary was a friend of Cynthia and Enna wanted to make sure that Cynthia kept on hearing about the wedding. This technique she had learnt from another of Grandma's scrolls, the Subtle Art of Skiting without Appearing To. There was a whole chapter on word of the mouth. Besides bragging (which was of course more than enough reason to try and spread word around), Enna wanted to make sure that Cynthia knew that Vincent and Enna were deadly serious about this wedding. And if need be, Enna would elaborate on 'deadly'.

"As maid of honour Anne, you will of course be accompanying me for the buying of the wedding dress?" Enna asked very business-like. Of course, Anne had to agree or she would lose the maid of honour title. But it was polite to ask, people were so much more agreeable when they thought they had a say in things.

"Oh, of course Enna. I'd be delighted to. Are we breaking out Grandma's wedding savings?" Anne asked, knowing that Enna was likely to forget the little details like actually having to pay for things.

"Don't worry about that!" Enna said airily. Anne furrowed her eyebrows in a way Enna was impressed with. "Vincent's paying."

'Vincent's paying' is a really inspiring phrase when one is shopping. Enna hadn't thought there were any really good shops in Humania. And she was right; shopping for an expensive wedding dress is a fruitless task on Humania. The only reason people had gotten away with it in the past, was that no one was wealthy on Humania. Because, let's face it, if you were wealthy would you live on Humania? Most likely not. But it was agreed the wedding would be on Humania, it would have broken Enna's heart had it been anywhere else. Or more to the point, Anne would have taken Enna's heart and stabbed it in half if it had been anywhere else.

And so, they shopped in the Humanian shops, buying a handful of different wedding dresses that Anne thought she could chop and change to make one fantastic wedding dress. Anne, though a horrible cook, could sew and she was the only one that Enna trusted to make the wedding dress, as Grandma was dead. It was lovely having someone who cared so much about Enna making her dress, it meant that the dress would be perfect, and Enna could be as demanding as she wanted.

Enna twirled around in the white wedding dress made almost entirely of lace. It was horrible, but Anne was watching her nodding thoughtfully.

"Yes this could definitely work."

"Anne, you just want me to look awful!" Enna said cheerfully. Everything was going according to plan, nothing could get her down. Not even an awful thing made of lace.

"Oh Enna," Anne sobbed. "You're going to look beautiful and Vincent's going to be handsome. Oh it's all just going to be so perfect." Enna walked over to where Anne was sitting and crouched down beside her.

"Anne, it's great that you're feeling so happy for me, but crying all of the time does put a damper on things. And I want my wedding to Vincent to be perfect, which having my maid of honour dampering things is not going to help." Enna said slowly and carefully. Emotional people were apt to be a bit slow on the uptake, so Enna had to help her as much as possible.

"Oh I'm sorry Enna!" Anne gave a shaky smile and wiped her eyes.

"It's okay. How about if you start taking measurements, you said this could work. Come on." Enna handed her the tape measure, pinched her cheek gently and stood back up and twirled again. Anne stroked her cheek thoughtfully and gave Enna the thumbs up. Enna nodded softly to herself. She knew how to calm Anne. It was a gift.

This gift came in handy time and time again as Enna frantically prepared for her wedding. When Vincent and Enna poured over what exactly was the most romantic place in the galaxy, Anne watched on quietly, tears welling up in her eyes. Enna turned to her asked loudly and clearly:

"What do you think about Thurdent? It's the home of the Space Pirtates. That would be particularly exciting?"

"Don't you want to go somewhere more... romantic?" Anne said uncertainly. "I mean, if I were on my honeymoon with Vincent... well you know, anyone, I'd don't know that I'd want to go to Thurdent or anywhere that exciting and dangerous." Anne fiddled with her fingers awkwardly.

"Enna, did you want to go make us some tea." Vincent suggested gently. Enna nodded knowingly, winked and went to boil the jug. Enna had sat Vincent down and explained to him how Anne was very fond of her, and was terribly excited about their wedding, but also upset about that Enna would be gone afterwards. Vincent was very sympathetic and said that he would tread lightly. Anne's soft laughter drifted into the kitchen and Enna thought happily to herself that Vincent must have taken care of Anne. He was so thoughtful, and Anne and Vincent seemed to be getting along famously, they were becoming fast friends. It was sweet how he took care of her, just because she was related to Enna. It showed how important Enna was to Vincent, and filled her with warmth.

As Enna walked into the lounge room, Anne was smiling faintly, softly brushing her cheek. Vincent was looking sadly at her, though his face lit up at the sight of Enna. She walked over to the coffee table and put down the biscuit root tea and turned to kiss Vincent.

"Anne," she said absently. "Pour the tea would you?"

Chapter Sixteen

It's strange how the little things can make life so much easier. If you always remember to bring a pen, life tends towards the smooth. With a little money to grease the way, you can slide along in life. And when your sister, who you were depending on to do all of the hard work in preparation, ceases crying every time you mention anything to do with marriage, well things were made just that easier for a very lazy bride.

Evidently Vincent's little chat (at Enna's request, mind) had had a wonderful effect on Anne. She was back to her buoyant self again and willing to do anything for Enna once more. Enna knew exactly what she wanted for the reception, so it was all too easy too to send her down to book it all and sort out all of the little details, while Enna stayed home and sorted out exactly who they wanted to invite to the wedding and where they would be seated.

"So, Anne, if your turn left right after Jessie's place, then you should come up to this great big building, it's just before you turn into Great Aunty Jill's place. Yeah, yeah, that one! Okay. That's the place that we want the reception." Enna said over the phone and she moved around Cynthia (whom she really hadn't wanted to invite, but Vincent had suggested it and it was a good way to show who Vincent belonged to) and Great Aunty Jill, back left and right, not really paying attention. She wanted Cynthia to be next to Great Aunty Jill, it brought her a little chuckle to think about it.

As Enna sent out instructions to Anne, and smiled to herself as she moved the little names around, Vincent watched her tenderly. She looked so pretty smiling away, with the light streaming in through the windows, lightening her little brown ringlets. His heart seemed to beat more quickly and he wanted to brush her fringe out of her eyes, so he could the beautiful blue shine out of them. Her eyes had a hint of green in them, which he found oddly endearing. Then he thought of Cynthia's eyes. They were a dark brown that he felt had seen right into his soul. He'd never really liked that, it had been so

uncomfortable. He'd always felt she was too fond of him. But looking at Enna, he realised there had been truth in those eyes, that's what had made him uncomfortable. She would always guide him straight and know what was right. And she'd said such wonderful things about Enna. He sighed contentedly and relaxed back into his chair.

"And Anne, make sure they have exactly four seats. I only want me, you, Vincent and the best man. I think it's Vincent's brother. I don't want people to think they're important enough to come and join us. It'd just become all lopsided, everyone demanding to seat up the front, and no one wanting to be left out or made to sit out in the main part. I just want everything to be perfect. Okay. Bye bye." Enna nodded happily and hung up. Anne seemed very happy to be doing all of this, so it made sense for Enna to give her extra considerations. Just to fill in the time and keep Anne occupied. Enna stared thoughtfully at the phone for a few seconds when Vincent came up behind her and kissed her on the ear. Enna smiled satisfactorily and squeezed his hand softly.

"What's your mum's name?" she asked. Vincent stiffened up and tightened his grip around her waist and squeezed her hand sharply. "Vincent? What's wrong? It's for the wedding invitations. You always mention parent's names, and I know you were named for your dad. Besides she's coming, isn't she?" Vincent tightened his grip again and Enna felt the wind whoosh out of her. "Vincent, you're hurting me!" Enna gasped out. Vincent let go of her immediately and stroked her cheek, kissing her gently as he murmured apologies. Enna kissed him back gently.

"Her name is Rachel." Vincent said finally.

"Do I call her Rachel or Mrs Harrison?"

"Neither." Vincent said. Enna did her eyebrow trick. "She reverted to her maiden name after my father died."

"Oh. I'm sorry Vincent. I suppose she was just grieving, and couldn't bear to think of him, dead." Enna said softly, trying to understand.

"Yeah," Vincent said harshly. Enna jerked back at his words and he murmured apologies again, stroking her cheek and frowning sadly. Enna brushed her hand across his forehead, trying to smooth the worried lines.

"I'll leave it all to Anne. She won't mind doing them, and we don't have to mention your mother until the wedding. Okay?" Enna said earnestly to Vincent. He nodded gratefully and kissed her properly. "And maybe I'll leave her to do the catering." Enna added

mischievously, trying to cheer Vincent up.

"You wouldn't! Everyone will home with food poisoning. It's only after eating her food two times a week for two months that I've built up some sort of immune system. We can't subject everyone to that! And my brother, he's never even tried biscuit before! How is he going to survive?" Enna grinned at him.

"I meant get her to organise someone to cook for us. I'm pretty sure Aunty Linda's a pretty good cook. And there's always Uncle Len."

"Just not Anne."

"She'll be crushed... but alright. And if she doesn't cook, that'll leave her free to sew all of the bridesmaid's dresses." Vincent laughed.

"Good old Anne." Vincent said with a laugh.

Even though it was going to be a small wedding, or perhaps because of it, the engagement party was going to be big. Everyone they knew on the planet was invited. This still only equated to about fifty-odd people. Vincent was telling Anne and Enna about some of the parties thrown back home. There would be more than a hundred people, sometimes one hundred and fifty or two hundred. And that still wasn't every they knew. Anne and Enna had sat gobsmacked when they heard this. It was just incomprehensive to them. They'd never heard of so many people, let alone knowing them all. There would be less people in their local phone book, if there had been one. As it was, there was no point. Everyone knew pretty much everyone, so you could ring anyone to find out phone numbers.

Still, it counted a big engagement party, so they rented out the town hall and organised heaps of decorations. Streamers, balloons, the works. Anne was down there most days, with Enna watching, a clipboard in hand.

"Come on Anne!" Enna cried out irritably. "The party's in an hour! Those balloons aren't going to realign in correct colour formation by themselves." Anne sighed. It had been a long, tiring day, and the party hadn't even started yet. She had moved the streamers at least twenty-seven times, eighteen of them that day, she had reorganised the balloons thirty-two times, at least ten in the last half-hour, and she had moved the chairs for the wall-flowers from out of the way so Enna wouldn't have to see them, to beside the food table so they would be kept occupied and not come to talk to Enna, and then she had moved them back out of the way so they wouldn't complain that they ate half their weight in biscuit snacks and gained far more weight than they had planned on. It was a difficult thing, having to make all of the decisions, Enna had explained as Anne lugged the chairs back and forth, and swapped all of the balloons around, teetering dangerously on overly large stool. Yet she toiled on without complaint. Enna had gotten it into her head that Anne liked to do all of this extra work, and while this was assumed with the deepest intentions of laziness, it was true. It was helping ease her conscience.

"Anne!" Enna said, breaking into her thoughts. Lazy girl, thinking when there was work to be done. Honestly, sometimes Anne was just too much. "I have to go and get changed. My hair needs to be done soon though, so make sure you finish this list of last minute things quickly. Okay? Thanks Anne!" Enna said, handing her the clipboard with about twenty things to do on it. If Anne worked hard, it would be done in no time. And if not, Enna could simplify her hairdo, it wouldn't be as good, but she didn't want to overwork Anne.

After waiting upstairs for Anne half an hour longer than she had intended to, Enna swept herself down the old hall stairs, leading from backstage to onstage, which meant she was in full view of the party that was going full swing to her surprise. Everyone turned to look appreciatively at her and there was a smattering of applause as Vincent raced up to her, his face eager and full of joy at the sight of her. He grabbed her hands and whispered,

"Oh Enna, you look so... so beautiful." He was out of breath and looked almost in tears. Enna smiled gently back at him and kissed him softly. She could hear Anne breaking down into sobs from the back of the crowd, probably sitting with the wall flowers.

"Trust Anne," Enna said with a giggle. "Always a tear for every occasion." Vincent smiled wistfully, but placing his arm around her waist, he led her down into the crowd. Anne's wails quickly subsiding. Enna had been so hopeful that Anne would be able to behave herself this time, otherwise she might not have invited her. What was she doing, upsetting herself and everyone around her, on this, Enna's engagement party? It was rude and irresponsible and was spoiling Enna's day. It really made her blood boil. She ought to go over to Anne and give her a piece of her mind. Yeah, and send her back home and refuse to speak to her ever again. She'd be disinvited from the wedding. And she'd get a few bruises of her own, just like the one she had given Enna after the will. It was high time she showed that Anne a lesson.

Enna was shaking with rage that she couldn't comprehend or control. There were tears welling in her eyes and she felt like hitting someone. It was unlike anything she had ever felt before. Her cheeks were turning red and she tried to pull away from Vincent. She had no time for him now, she had a sister to beat up. Enna squirmed in Vincent's arms, but he wouldn't let her go. His mouth descended on hers angrily. She reached up to grab his face, kissing back as fiercely. The kiss mellowed and shallowed. It became almost

perfunctory. Vincent slackened his grip on Enna, but she didn't let go of him. She burrowed her face in his shoulder and cried silently and dryly. She wasn't going to ruin her own party like Anne had tried to. No, she was above that.

"Enna, are you okay?" Vincent's voice whispered almost silently in her ear. Enna turned up and smiled at him placidly. The anger she had felt had by no means subsided, but had slipped into the back of her mind as she looked into Vincent's worried eyes.

"I am, I'm sorry." Enna said ashamedly. How could she explain to Vincent the anger she had felt? It was almost inhuman. No one could understand it. Not even Vincent.

"I didn't mean to take my anger out on you." Vincent said sorrowfully. Enna looked at him, her soft, warm breath caressing his throat. She looked so beautiful to him. Her eyes were bright and her cheeks flushed.

"I... it's okay." He had been angry too? This was a bewildering concept that Enna couldn't deal with. How could two people consume anger like that? There wasn't enough going around surely. Enna cautiously went to kiss Vincent again. Yes, there was anger in his kiss, no wonder he hadn't been able to feel Enna's. It felt as if it had come pulsating off her in waves, but he was clearly filled with just as much rage. His skin was slightly damp and he had been shaking slightly. Yet somehow, something had soothed him, as they kissed. It must have been Enna. She could be very soothing when need be. Anne waved over at them and Enna ducked away from Vincent to talk to her. She didn't want Vincent to feel her waves of fury as she talked to Anne. She didn't want him to think she had a dark side. It wasn't very feminine.

"Yes Anne?" Enna said coolly.

"Enna, do you remember Cynthia Jordon?" Anne asked urgently.

"Yes, she's an old... friend of Vincent's." Enna said, clenching her jaw.

"Oh. Well that'd be why she's here. And she'd here in full force; it looks like she's out for trouble. She isn't married yet, and she can't stand to see anyone her age or younger doing better than her. Remember Kylie's wedding?" Enna nodded sombrely.

"They never did manage to reattach that leg, did they?" Anne shook her head.

"I just thought I'd warn you. She looks nastier than I've ever seen her."

"Thanks. But it's worse than you think. She's got it into her head that she ought to marry Vincent. They dated once, and he's a very eligible bachelor. If you know what I mean."

"So she'd out for him like you are?" Anne said tactlessly. Enna shot her a look of fury that would have scared the God of Gods (had he still existed) himself. "Well, you're after him for a much more noble reason. You are all about righting wrongs and fixing destinies. She's just after all she can get. Does she know about your motives? We don't want to give her the upper hand."

"Too late. Thanks Anne." Enna said sarcastically, the rage bubbling up inside her again as she saw Cynthia watching them with a smirk. Anne looked shocked.

"Well, he wouldn't trust her, not against you would he? I mean, she's an ex!" Anne said hopefully.

"Oh please. Vincent's a hopeless sweetheart. He thinks they're still friends. He thinks she's out to guide him to his future." Anne and Enna shared an indulgent look, until they saw Cynthia give a little wave and stalk off. "Okay, we just have to keep them apart until the ring is on your finger. 'Kay?" Enna nodded. She rushed off to where Vincent was standing, looking a little awkward at the drinks table, with all of the other wallflowers who had decided to drown their sorrows in cheap rough biscuit wine. The good stuff was reserved for the paying guests. Enna slipped her arm in Vincent's, whispered:

"Ladies choice? I feel like dancing with my favourite guy in the universe." And dragged her confused but highly gratified fiancé off onto the dance floor. Cynthia arrived at the drinks table a few seconds later, looking furious. Enna laughed freely and a little bit crazed. Vincent seemed very pleased with his fiancé's reactions and kissed her playfully as they whirled around the dance floor at top speed, never minding what they were supposed to be dancing.

This top speed dancing soon had Enna exhausted, but she trooped on until Vincent, the ever energetic Vincent, noticed and insisted upon sitting her down and getting her a beverage. Cynthia saw him as he wandered off alone and Enna urgently signalled to Anne, who raced down to meet Vincent before Cynthia could get to him.

"I don't suppose you'd let a lonely old future sister in law have this next dance?" Anne said, making puppy-dog eyes at him. Vincent seemed torn between leaving his fiancé drinkless and hurting his little Anne's feelings.

"I promised Enna I'd get her a drink..." He said apologetically.

"Oh Vincent, you're such a sweet heart. Let Cynthia get it. I've haven't had a dance all night." Anne's eyes welled with tears and Vincent's heart broke at the sight of them.

"Of course. Cynthia?" He called out to the woman stalking towards him. She sped up immediately.

"Yes Vincent, sweetie?" Cynthia went to kiss his cheek.

"You couldn't grab Enna a drink could you? All of this dancing seems to have worn her out and she'd been busy, preparing for the wedding and all. And poor Anne, she's been a bit neglected, and I don't like to see the woman I regard as being a sister to me being unfairly left out. She is pretty, don't you think?" Cynthia looked as if she'd been slapped. All thoughts of flirtatious kisses left her mind. But she was meant to be a fair minded friend to Vincent, so how could she refuse?

"Oh. Of course Vincent. Anything for you. But I do need to talk to you later."

"Of course Cynthia! Anytime! As soon as I get a second." Vincent said gallantly. Anne took Vincent off to the dance floor and danced cheek to cheek slowly around the dance floor. The music man had been instructed to slow it down when Enna and Vincent danced together, but he had confused the sisters, much to Anne's delight. She felt as though she was floating along on a cloud as she danced for what felt like hours around the room with Vincent. Silently, she thanked the confused music man and thought to herself, 'This is heavenly. Better than a biscuit smoothie and a hot bath.' So somehow, without any of the exhausted Enna's help, Anne managed to ensure that Vincent didn't get a second to talk to Cynthia.

Chapter Seventeen

Some people believe in fate. Some people believe in destiny. Others believe in some sort of god. There are those who believe that if it is meant to be, it will happen. Maybe it's karma, or good luck or simply one of those things. Cynthia didn't believe in any of those things. She believed in herself and all of those other things were working for the other side. They might keep the other side ahead for almost all of the game. But it made them weak. Dependent. Cynthia would always strike back.

In this case, she believed that she should get Vincent. She was the mayor's daughter. The mayor's daughter. She deserved someone like Vincent. They were meant to be. He said her eyes told the truth. If he looked hard enough, he'd see that. Sooner or later, he would see that. Sadly, this later had a best before date. The two love birds were getting married in a week. That didn't leave much time for heartbreak. Especially as he was apt to leave the planet once things got tricky. Just like when they had broken off. Sure, he could fob her off with his important duties, and family crisis and royal summons. But Cynthia knew he had left because he was heartbroken. So when Cynthia broke the news that Enna was a cheap little tart, out for all she could get, she had to do it gently.

Dramatic was more her style, that couldn't be denied. She was dramatically inclined, and it was usually an advantage. But while a universe apart might make her heart grow fonder of Vincent, it didn't make her any more married to him. Thankfully, amongst her innumerable talents, tact and delicacy lay, wrapped in little tissue bits of sympathy. She could fake any emotion. And I mean any emotion. Of course, knowing what you're speech is going to be, and becoming word perfect at it, this were all noble talents, but entirely useless when Vincent was as easy to get a hold of as a trustworthy demon. Even Cynthia's highly refined stalking skills couldn't seem to track him down, and she had stalked more than enough guys in her time. Still, Cynthia was resourceful, so it was only a matter of time that she managed to overhear a conversation between Anne and Enna of Vincent's whereabouts. She didn't gain her stalking badge in Biscuit Brigade for nothing, and was soon, ever so subtly, sauntering outside a little-known biscuit stall where Vincent, as she had anticipated, soon approached.

"Vincent!" She cried out joyfully. Men like nothing more than to feel they have been missed. "It's been an age! How have you been?" Cynthia toyed with the idea of mentioning her stalking, but decided it was more important to gain trust than to show off to him about how important he was.

"I know, I've been flat-out. The wedding's in two weeks, there's so much to do." Vincent allowed Cynthia to kiss his cheek, feeling a little guilty, knowing how insecure Enna could be.

"I bet you have." Cynthia said knowingly. "I can see it written all over you."

"I bet you can see the happiness bursting out to. I can hardly seem to contain it." Vincent said pointedly, he liked it when people spoke of how happy he was. It made him, well, happier somehow. To see that he could be so happy that people could see it. And boy, he was happy.

"You won't believe how hard you are to get a hold of." Cynthia said suddenly. Oh no, she didn't talk about how happy he was. And Cynthia could read him like a book. Something had to be wrong. And he'd been so happy being, well, happy.

"Am I?" he said, knowing his casual tone would be seen straight through by Cynthia.

"Yes, I've been wanting to talk to you, ever since the party, do you remember?"

"What? Oh, yes, well I was the man of the hour, so to speak." Vincent said cheerfully, not feeling guilty, though clearly Cynthia had wanted him to. He had had a wonderful time, dancing with Anne.

"I know, but I had hoped you could spare a dance for your old friend. You spent all night dancing with Anne, when Enna didn't drag you away of course."

"Yes, Anne. I am dreadfully fond of Anne. She is a sweetie. I think she's my new best friend, excluding Enna of course."

"Of course." Cynthia said demurely.

"Yes, Enna. She's a great girl, don't you think? I feel so happy to have found her. I really wanted to meet someone with humble

beginnings, you know?"

"After your mother, you mean?" Vincent nodded, a lump coming to his throat.

"Yes. After mother." He almost spat the words out, as though he could taste the bitterness in his mouth. He was playing right into Cynthia's hands.

"She started humbly too though, didn't she?" Cynthia asked, trying to keep the cattiness out of her voice. That had been why he hadn't wanted her, she hadn't started as humbly as he had wanted. Men, they could be so thick sometimes.

"I guess." Vincent seemed far too untroubled. Maybe this wasn't going to be as easy as she'd hoped? "But you see, she has the humbleness of spirit, you see?" Nope, he was going to make it easier than she'd thought.

"But she wouldn't give up the farm. You know that Anne was the one who wanted it, right?" Ooh, come one, react Vincent. React.

"Oh! I know that, but she couldn't have just given it up like that. Anne couldn't have stood sharing, after all of those years with her grandpa, and where would that have left Enna?" Maybe not as good as she could have hoped, but he was trying and she could make it work.

"Oh. And then you came along, so she could give the farm up to Anne, and run off with you. It's all so simple now. Enna's a very practical girl. She knows where the money is." Vincent's eyebrows furrowed.

"What are you talking about? I can't just let you say these things about my fiancé." Cynthia put her palms up defensively.

"Hey, I don't want to be saying these things, and I wish to Geoff they weren't true, and you don't have to believe me. But..." Vincent grabbed her shoulder's and shook her as Cynthia let the words hang in the air. She swallowed a smirk and tried to look the right level of concern. This was fun.

"But what Cynthia? I need to know before... before it's..."

"Too late?" Cynthia supplied helpfully. Vincent ran his hand through his hair.

"Don't say that... I just need to know."

"Look, I overheard Enna, Enna herself, not idle gossipers, gloating about... about how she'd snagged such a rich hubby. She was, man I don't want to hurt you," Cynthia tried to make her eyes well with tear. It didn't work. At least Vincent was too distressed to notice the lack of sincerity in her voice. "But, she was going on and on about how she'd bamboozled you." Cynthia looked at Vincent with what she felt to be a sufficient level of awkwardness. Truth be told, she was over doing way too much, but hey, it wasn't like Vincent was paying attention.

"Oh Cynthia. I can't believe you, you realise this." Cynthia nodded, against all of her beliefs, she nodded. She could lie when necessary. This was clearly something Vincent needed her to do. "I just can't accept it. But know that I've heard you say it, I can't let it go either. I'll ask her myself." Damn! She had lost him. As much as it pained her to admit it, Enna could sort of scrape together some acting ability. And Vincent was infatuated with her. It gave her the edge. Oh well, now all that was left to Cynthia was to sit and hope and believe.

Before she let Vincent go, she grabbed his face and fixed him with what she hoped was the most truthful look she had ever managed. And she kissed him softly on the lips before letting him walk off.

Chapter Eighteen

To see the man you love come towards you is something that people consider intoxicating. Enna's mother used to say to Grandma that it just filled her with more giddiness than a whole cask of a vintage biscuit brew. It would make her whole body, fingertip to fingertip, toe to toe, top to bottom tingle. Enna's mother had been an

exceptionally passionate woman. She had written entire scrolls dedicated to the exhilaration that the very sight of Enna's father had given her.

Enna's father had not been so romantically inclined. He had loved his wife, no doubt about it, and for the few days he had known his daughters, he had loved them too. But he had not filled scrolls with emotive words like his wife, nor had he written poems like some men he had known, he hadn't shouted his love from the rooftop, like his brother Len had, before he had been arrested for stalking his future wife, he hadn't spelt out his wife's name in a field of biscuits, nor had he taken her to see Love and Biscuits, as was Humanian standard. While some had thought that odd, most had ignored the lapse in favour of the absolute proof he loved his wife. And his passionate, vaguely crazy wife had been happy with his way of expressing love.

He had smiled. At the sight of her, at the thought of her, when their hands had touched or they had spoken, it didn't matter when, he just smiled because of her. It wasn't even a dignified smile all of the time. Sometimes it was lopsided, sometimes it was indulgent, sometimes it was very small, just a hint of a smile. But it had been pure and honest and happy, and always reached his crinkly blue eyes and made them sparkle.

Enna was sitting under the biscuit tree when she saw Vincent approach. He was in a hurry, clearly and something was bothering him. Enna's instinct was to furrow her brows and wander over to him to see what was wrong. But she stopped, before she had even started to stand up. She liked the way he walked when he was angry. It made his hair move. Just a little bit, sort of a bounce. And his eyes, they had a spark in them, that was what had made her assume his was angry as opposed to worried. It was like a fire, sort of dangerous, but very attractive, and from the right distance something she didn't need to be afraid of. Not that she could ever fear Vincent. He would never threaten her or physically hurt her. No, there was simply a power he possessed. And not because of the muscles, or the money or the space ships. He could have been a poor weak man and he would still have power. Not just over her. He could make a difference in people's lives. It was something Enna definitely admired in him. He was always out to do good. He made her happy and feel safe. She could be in the middle of a Space Pirate war, and still feel secure if she was in his arms. And he was so kind and considerate. He danced with Anne when she was lonely. He offered to do no end of good for Enna, nothing was too much. Enna could have to world if she asked Vincent, but she would still be happy with nothing.

Unbeknownst to Enna, a smile crept onto her face.

As Vincent came closer, the smile, it widened. It lost its

preciseness. It was running wild; Enna had lost control of the smile. But it was okay, somehow it was okay. Suddenly everything was okay. The hatred, it just melted away. The fear, it was gone. All that she could feel was joy. Joy, joy, joy! It almost hurt. She'd never felt anything like this. It wanted to burst out of her, to explore, to spread. It couldn't be contained. It was too strong. It would overcome everything, every fear, every bit of anger, all envy, it wouldn't destroy it either, it would fix it. This feeling, it was so powerful. It was consuming Enna, yet setting her free at the same time. It was so wonderful, she'd never felt anything like it, if it ever went, she'd never be able to recapture it. For the first time in her life, Enna was experiencing love.

Love! That's what it was. This strange new emotion, it was unlike anything she'd ever dreamed of. How could she have ever thought that those feelings of gratitude were the same as love? This was so much more. This was everything. Everything she had ever felt was missing, she had found it. She wished her grandparents were alive, so she could share it with them. For the first time, she missed her parents. She ached for them. She wanted them to know about this love. She couldn't understand it, how could she feel so happy, yet sad at the same time? And Vincent, he was right there. Enna looked up at him and was overcome afresh.

From now on, there would be no lies, no pretence. She loved Vincent. She was going to fulfil all of her dreams because of him. But it was more than just that. She wanted to help him achieve his dreams. Suddenly, it wasn't just about what Enna wanted, or what she needed to get what she wanted. She still wanted things, that hadn't changed. She still wanted to visit the universe; she still wanted to see what was out there. But now, it would mean so much more. Suddenly she understood why or how people managed to find joy in other people's happiness. No longer would it bore her, she would drink it up, she would love it, and she would breathe it. It would mean something to her, and she would try and help other people achieve all of their dreams, the silly ones, the impossible ones, the lovely ones. All of them. Especially Vincent's. She wanted so badly to see his frown turn into a smile; she wanted him to hold her, to tell her he loved her. He had told her before, but she hadn't cared. How could she not care? This love, it was enough to make all of the planets move. It was why people lived the way they lived. Suddenly, the way Enna had lived wasn't enough. She hated it; she couldn't stand to see how shallow it was. How lifeless, without this love, this overwhelming love for Vincent.

Vincent descended upon her, his shadow blocking out the sun that was in her eyes, the sun lighting Vincent up, so as to show Enna what she hadn't seen before. It was all Enna could do not to leap into his arms with joy. All she did was keep smiling that lopsided smile at him.

"Sit down Vincent, I don't like having you standing over me." Enna said, smiling away.

"No." Vincent replied shortly. Enna shrugged her shoulders and went to stand up, but he shook his head at her. She longed to be able to be closer to him. Somehow, it wasn't enough just to see him. She wanted to touch him, to kiss him, just to prove to her overflowing heart he was real.

"I had a very interesting conversation today." Vincent said.

"Oh?" Enna asked, genuinely interested for the first time in what he had to say that wasn't about her. If he'd had an interesting conversation, so interesting that he thought she ought to know about it, then she was all ears.

"With Cynthia." Enna's face fell. She knew that she never wanted Vincent to find out what she had planned all that time ago, before she'd fallen in love with him. It was as though she were a different person. But oh, she wanted desperately for Vincent to love all of her, even though bits he mightn't like so much.

Her frown gave her away. Vincent wanted to just walk away then and there. But what was that smile she had smiled at him? He'd never seen her look so happy. If only it weren't because she'd caught a rich husband. If only that smile was for him.

"Well Vincent?" Enna prompted nervously. He had to know, he deserved to know. Then she could tell him she'd actually fallen in love with him. Then it would be all better. It had to be all better. She loved him, and that should be enough.

If only she'd forget what he'd said. He could just ask her if she loved him. That was all they needed. Then they could marry and... Live a life of empty promises and haunting suspicions. What was to keep her from lying now? He though he knew her so well. Now? Was it all lies? What was truth?

"Cynthia, she pointed out some things that have been gnawing at me." Vincent said. Oh no. He'd known all along. Oh, oh, it hurt her so much to think of him, knowing all along it had been lies. Why couldn't he look at her? Look straight through her with those eyes and see what had happened?

The guilt. It filled her face. Her soft pale face turned black in his eyes as she looked so guilty. At least she had the decency to look guilty. She had cared about him that much. Surely that counted?

"Yes Vincent..." Enna whispered, sounding like a soft breeze in the wind.

"She said... she said," Vincent's voice cracked. "She said that, it was a strange coincidence. She said that you...that you had always wanted to visit the stars. She said it made her so glad to see you in the Space Restaurant. Finally living out your dreams." The word just gushed out of him. Cynthia had said nothing of the sort really, but oh, she had opened a window to the deception. Why hadn't he noticed? That her happiness, it had had nothing to do with him, it was all just wonderful to her that she had gotten into space. She had only accepted his proposal because she thought of all of the wonderful things she would get to experience with his money.

Oh, that night. It was the night that had opened her soul, widened it so it could cope with these feelings. She may not have fallen in love with him on that night, but if it weren't for that night... who knows?

"She said..."

"Oh Vincent I don't want to hear what she said!" Enna burst out. "All I care is what you think."

"Ah Enna, always with your eye on the ball. Cynthia isn't the one who's going to marry you and give you a better life, now is she?" Vincent said with a bitter laugh that cut through Enna's heart.

"Stop it! Stop it. I can't take this any longer. Please Vincent!" Enna wailed, feeling tears welling in her eyes.

"Well, deny it then. Say you didn't want me for my money. Tell me that you were in love with me when you accepted my proposal." Vincent said harshly.

Why was he doing this to her? She couldn't stand it. But nor could she deny it. She had said that from now on, she wouldn't lie to him, she wouldn't deceive him. She had done some much damage to him, without even realising it. Now he would always think of everything she had done, and be filled with doubt. He had to know what she had done, if she told him the truth of that then he could appreciate the times he had made her happy, without using money. Surely only good could come of this?

Enna was so silent for so long. If only he hadn't asked. He wanted to hold her in his arms and tell her not to worry, but as the words rose in his mouth, they turned to ash. What good was burying yourself in lies? How could he ever love her with that question unanswered. Just say no darling, deny it all and we'll marry today and I will take you away from the question and we can be happy always. Just say no.

"It's so complicated Vincent. You don't know what life is like for someone like me, on a planet like this. You know I need my freedom." Enna said, feeling pathetic. If only he could see her past, feel what she had felt. See the change in her.

"So you did then?" Vincent said sadly. He felt like he was going to be sick.

"I wish so badly I could say no. But the answer, it was yes." Enna looked desperately at him. Vincent just shook his head and backed away. Enna leapt up. "But it's not like that now! It's not!"

"No, no no. I know exactly what it's like. How could I have fallen for the same trick my father did. It killed him you know? It killed him. Keep the ring, I don't care. Do what you like with it." Vincent stumbled back. Enna lunged for his hand and tried to drag him towards her. "Let go of me Enna, I can't deal with this right now. I can't deal with this!" Vincent ran off.

"Vincent! It's not true! I... I've learnt... I've learnt to love you..." Enna's voice trailed off and she collapsed on the ground and sobbed.

Nineteenth Chapter

Memories. Isn't it strange how you can change a memory, without every changing what happened in the memory? Vincent sat in the bar, sipping strong biscuit spirits and mulling over old memories. They had shared so much together. There were so many memories. He had enough to keep him going all night.

Enna's face. It was burned in his brain. It hurt so much to think about it, and yet he couldn't keep her away. She was haunting her. Strange, how such a pretty delicate thing could harness the ability to crush a man's pride into a fine powder. To take him, chew him up, spit him out and stomp on him.

When he had shown her his space mementos, a very big decision for him, they were so precious to him, he had thought this was the way, this was the way to win her heart. And he supposed he had been right. She had been so pleased to see that no planet was beyond his reach. Why couldn't she have just seen that he was sharing a big part of his life with her, in those few little collectables? No, all she could see was the value of them.

Vincent reached for his seventh glass. This was going to be a long night.

Enna awoke, hours later, finding herself covered in something sticky. She had fallen asleep in a jam biscuit patch. Oh yuck, it was all through her hair, and her clothes were wrecked. What on Humania had she been thinking, falling asleep there? And then is all came flooding back to her. Vincent, whom she remembered with a pang in her heart, Vincent the man that had taught her to love, Vincent had torn her heart in two.

That wasn't quite true. Enna had sworn off lying, and that included lying to herself. Vincent, all he had done was love her, and all that she had thought of doing was spending his money, using his

connections, using him to get her freedom. Why hadn't she told him she loved him first? She was a moron sometimes. If she'd just said that she loved him, regardless of what she had felt in the past, she loved him there and then. But no, her conscience, it had driven her to, to try and heal all of the old wounds first. To try and get her to tell the truth and see if he still loved her. And a fat lot of good it had done her. Enna settled back down on the ground, wracked afresh by sobs and wails, though dry now, she had cried enough to last her a lifetime.

"Enna?" Anne's voice broke softly into her thoughts. Enna rolled over and looked up at Anne, not really seeing her face, merely the night sky and stars off in the distance. She remembered the first time she had gone out into the black. It had been with Vincent... "Enna what's wrong? You're all sticky and gross. And you smell funny." Anne grinned at Enna, hoping some light-hearted teasing would cheer her up. It didn't. It really didn't.

"I bet I do! And it serves me right!" Enna burst into tears once more.

"Enna! What on Humania is wrong? I don't understand. What's happened?" Anne looked imploringly at Enna.

"It's Vincent..."

"Oh no! I'm so sorry. Oh no." Anne patted Enna on the back.

"I fell in love with him."

"Oh Enna, I know how love can hurt." Anne said sympathetically.

"What?" Enna said groggily as though just know comprehending what she was saying. "No, it was wonderful. Just so wonderful."

"I know." Anne said softly and sadly.

"But then, Cynthia told him about our... my original plan for him. And he asked me, and I couldn't lie to him. I tried so hard to make him understand. And I don't even think he heard me telling him I loved him. I didn't even get to tell him that!" Enna said, faintly bitter.

"Oh." Anne said flatly. "I thought you were going to say... never mind."


"I thought you were going to say he died? But that wouldn't hurt you as much as him leaving you. He might have left you all of his money." Anne said comfortingly. Enna shoved her away.

"So you think I'm just a gold-digger too? No wonder he left me! But didn't you hear? I fell in love with him!" Enna said stricken.

"I heard you dear, I just didn't... believe you."

"You don't think I can love?"

"Well... This whole business was very cold-hearted, and very much so in your line."

"You thought of it!"

"I know! And oh, I regret it every day! I can't stand to think of it. But I never thought it bothered you."

"Well it does, and I am in love with him."

"And you wish it had never happened, I know." Anne said soothingly.

"No. I could never wish that. This love, it might tear me apart, but it's the only real thing I've ever had. Don't you realise what that's like?"

"Oh Enna!" So it was true. Poor Enna. Her life must have been wretched. Anne couldn't imagine a life without love. And she agreed, she knew what it was like, a love that hollowed you out. It must be strange for Enna. She'd never so much as liked people very much. She never got attached to people; she'd never grown fond of anyone. And now, she had had love thrust upon her. And now... what could she do?

"Anne?" Enna said shyly. How strange, she had never felt shy before in her life. She had pretended to be shy; she'd been coy before, but actually shy? It was a weird feeling. The words, they wouldn't come out properly. They almost choked her. And oh, she couldn't stand to look Anne straight in the eye. How could she ask this of Anne? It would change Anne's opinion of her forever. She'd never be able to look her in the face again. But she had to ask.

"Yes Enna?" Anne prompted.

"Could you... would you... I just need... Could you please give me a hug?" Enna had never felt so desperate before. She needed Anne, needed to know that someone was going to be there for her. She needed it so badly. Even if it couldn't be Vincent.

"Oh of course Enna!" Anne threw her arms around Enna's neck and held her tight. They sobbed into each other's shoulders, freely and with great abandon. It was what Anne had needed to. She felt overwhelmed with guilt and she loved her sister so desperately. Even if Enna couldn't love her back, she needed Anne. Needed her so badly, she was so afraid she was willing to let go of all of her walls, she was letting Anne in for the first time.

Anne. She was so warm and comforting. Enna just relaxed and let all of her fears and sadness sink into Anne. For the first time in her life, Enna needed... she needed her mother. And it pained her to think of it. She'd never even known her mother, she'd had her grandmother, it had always been okay. But she'd never needed that maternal touch as much as she did now. She cried and cried, even though she thought she had cried enough tears to last a lifetime. She cried for Vincent, she cried for her lost mother, her lost father, lost grandparents, but most of all she cried for her broken heart. Finally Enna was soothed; being held by Anne, imagining it was Vincent or her mother or someone she loved dearly, she had been soothed.

Anne felt Enna's tears subside and her body relax. She helped her stand up and led inside in silence. This was not the time for talk. She sat Enna down at the table and made her tea. When Enna was drinking and managed a watery smile, Anne walked over and kissed her on the top of her head.

"I'm going to fix this. This is really my mess. Be safe, Enna. I will be back." Enna nodded sleepily and Anne walked out the door.

Enna awoke the next day to find Anne watching over her, a frown on her face and worry in her eyes.

"Morning sleepy head." Anne said softly. "I didn't know when you were going to get up."

"You were worried?" Enna said dully, yesterday's emotions had really taken it out of her.

"Of course Enna. It's past lunchtime, it's almost tea time. I didn't think you were ever going to wake up." Anne said hysterically. Enna saw Anne's knuckles turn white on the hand that was holding Enna's. Enna bit back a cry of pain and simply placed her other hand on Anne's and squeezed gently.

"Anne. Why do you worry so? It's not your job to worry about me." I don't worry about you, Enna added silently. No need to upset Anne just because she was drained.

"I know, but I worry all the same." Anne said sadly and Enna nodded slowly.

"Did you go and see Vincent?" Enna asked, remembering Anne's strange comment from the night before.

"Why?" Anne's eyes widened and she drew her hand back sharply. Enna rolled her eyes.

"Let's go and get something to eat." Enna said, pulling herself out of bed. She felt like she was dying of something, lying in bed at three in the afternoon, with Anne sitting over her, white and worried. It really freaked her out. Anne nodded and, much to Enna's distaste, helped Enna out of bed.

Sitting in the little cafe in town, or more accurately, in Ms Grayson's lounge room, paying for tea and biscuits, seemed to soothe Anne somewhat. She was much more sombre and serious and less prone to hysterics. This, to Enna's mind, was a great relief. She understood now, that emotions did make people jittery, but, with the exception of Vincent of course, she didn't have any more patience for them than she did before. And now, utterly exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally, Enna was not in her most patient mood.

"Well Anne?" Enna said brusquely.

"I did go and see Vincent last night." Anne said guiltily.

"That's okay you do realise Anne. You guys are friends. So what happened?" Anne fiddled with her fingers.

"He's... he's utterly furious with you En, he could think straight. I think he was a bit drunk. He kept talking about his mother."

"Yeah, he's really sensitive about her. He said she killed his father." Enna said, wishing he had opened up to her, so she could get the story straight.

"Well, he sobered up a bit when I was talking to him. She was really bothering him. Something about her, well it had him pretty fixated."

"I know all of this, did you find out anything new?" Anne refused to catch eyes with Enna.

"I did rather. He, he told me about his parent's romance. His father had been a very keen Adventurer, more than Vincent really, more professional than him that is. And he'd amassed a small fortune, adding to his inheritance. Well, he got lonely, not many people can stand to go exploring the universe alone, and you can't exactly expect casual girlfriend's to uproot themselves for a fling. So I guess he thought marriage was the only way."

"Like our Vincent." Enna interjected.

"Like our Vincent," Anne reiterated thoughtfully. "He'd tried to find a glamorous wife on Planet Hollywood, he'd always thought they were the kind to be willing to explore, but most of them were dedicated to the film and a scandal. He stopped off on Humania to stretch his legs before he went to Thurdent, like most young adventurers, he wanted to see the Space Pirates, learn a few tricks you know? But his ship, it broke down and he was stranded on Humania."

"How long was he here for? It's not like we have a mechanic here."

"Oh, a few weeks, he had a friend who was willing to fly in. Anyway, that's where he met Vincent's mother. She worked in one of the stalls for the Biscuit show, and just sort of lazed around the rest of the time. Making trouble is what Vincent said, flirting with all of the boys and driving them wild. She was a looker. I think she was just bored and lonely." Anne said, shooting Enna a significant glance. Enna shrugged it off and smoothed her hair, feeling foolish. "And Vincent said that his mother saw his father and infatuated him, tricking him into an engagement. But I think his father must have fallen love with her too. I don't know about her. But after they were married, she seemed to lose interest in him. Or at least that's the way the story goes. After Vincent was born, things went along smoothly, but when Vincent was about eight or nine, she had an affair and it killed Vincent's father. And it really broke Vincent up. He never forgave her. Then he found his father's journal from before he was born, just after they were married, his father went on and on about how his wife was a flirt and Vincent assumed that she'd been cheating all along. I don't think so though. I think she was just disillusioned. Maybe space travel didn't live up to her expectations." Anne said, trying to sound encouraging.

"Or maybe it was he who didn't live up to her expectations. Men can be very fickle sometimes." Enna said resentfully. Anne shook her head slightly.

"I suppose so." Anne said coolly. Enna's mouth tugged down into a frown and it was all she could do not to cry. "Oh Enna, I'm so sorry." Anne said softly.

"Anne?" Enna asked nervously.

"Yes Enna?" Anne said, Enna's nerves putting her on edge.

"I really miss him. It hurts so much."

"You saw him yesterday, by tomorrow he'll be out of your thoughts." Anne said soothingly. Enna shook her head angrily.

"You don't get it, do you? This is real. This is something I've never felt before. And I can't stand it Anne. It hurts so much."

"I'm sorry Enna. It's just, out of sight, out of mind. That's how you've always lived your life."

"Well not anymore! I thought you would have understood. Thanks Anne." Enna stood up and walked out slowly, tears once more drifting down her cheeks. Anne raced out after her.

"Enna! Don't go! I do care." Anne looked imploringly at Enna.

"Then prove it." Enna said coldly. It had surprised her how much Anne had hurt her by her disbelief. The one time she had needed her to just believe her. Anne stared at her, her face growing pale.

"Of course Enna. I'll talk to Vincent. I'll fix this for you."

Chapter Twenty

How many people can stand to leave their lives in others hands? It requires a strange combination of trust and fear. You have to trust the other person. Not just in the ordinary way either. You can trust someone to water your garden when you are away, you can trust them to be there for you when you need them, and you can even trust them to take care of your kids. But that doesn't mean you can trust them with your future. They might be reliable, trustworthy, know enough first aid to save someone who has been decapitated and be able to beat back and army of rampant ninja's. All of which are valuable and necessary skills to take care of your kids or save the nation.

But to leave them in charge of your whole future? That requires a little more than just your basic trustworthy skills. They have to have some sort of ability to do whatever it is you need them to set your future straight of course. They also need some sort of intelligence and quick-thinking. But more than all of those things, they need to want what's best for you. Want what's best for you more than what they want for themselves, self-sacrificing skills are vital, and the best want what's best for you more than you want it yourself. That's not to say they want what's best for you and you don't want that. Those people aren't trustworthy. Those people are meddlers. No, they need to know what you want, for the best of reasons, and want it for you too. You can get bogged down by other considerations, but they can't. They need to keep their eye on the ball. They need to be earnest, bright, brilliant people.

And that is what Enna was afraid of as she stared at Anne making the phone call that could well affect the course of the rest of her life. What had she been thinking, trusting Anne with something like this? Anne was sweet, no doubt, but that wasn't a very inspiring quality to have when it came to matters like this. Ordinarily, Anne's ability to be trodden all over without taking offence was something admirable, or at least convenient. But now... it was a horrible thing to have. The ability to be treated like a welcome mat, that was the skill people looked for when they wanted to have their way all of the time. When they needed a servant-like friend, or someone who could make them feel big, that's when you'd look for someone like Anne. But in order to solve all of your problems and live happily ever after? Not unless your problems involved extreme laziness and a cup of tea just out of reach.

Anne reached out for the phone and began dialling in Vincent's number. It drove Enna mad just to watch her. She wasn't oozing confidence. She wasn't oozing anything. And as far as Enna knew, you had to be oozing something to be able to make this sort of call. Anne faltered, halfway through dialling. She had started oozing something, but she'd missed her mark. Uneasiness was entirely inappropriate, Enna knew that much. If you were uneasy, chances were the other person would be able to tell and it would you in the wrong. Why else would you be uneasy? Finally, after what seemed like a few ice ages to Enna, Anne finished dialling and put the receiver to her ear. Why didn't she put it on speaker phone? Enna could be quiet. She'd practised so often as a child, while Anne stretched her lungs. How was she going to know what Vincent said? She could guess from Anne's replies of course, but that was pretty much useless if you wanted to get any sort of information from the subtext. Anne could be pretty monotone when it suited her, and talking to Vincent, Enna had found out, was one of those times.

"Hello Vincent." Anne said, as though she were merely talking to a relative she didn't hate but wasn't overly fond of. Talking to Cousin Katie could be awkward sometimes.

Pause. Was it a thoughtful listening pause? As Vincent poured out his heart and soul about how he loved Enna and couldn't stand to think he'd done her wrong. Or was it just silence from both ends? Anne didn't always spark the most interesting of conversations. Enna wringed her hands, wishing she could grasp Anne's neck and explain to her how to send subtle signals to Enna. Was a thumbs-up or down that difficult? Didn't she regularly smile and frown in response to things? What had brought on the change? Hadn't she heard of the simple technique of mouthing words to desperate sisters before they did something dire?

"Oh." Anne said. But what kind of "oh" was it? There were twenty-seven of them. Honestly, if Anne didn't learn to be more emotive, Enna might have to kill her. What had happened? Anne used to be the emotional ratbag, and yet now that Enna had learnt the art of emotion, Anne seemed totally drained of it? Maybe there was only a certain amount of emotion out there? That's why Enna had always been the cool dispassionate one, Anne had always hogged it. Well, now that Enna had finally managed to take back her share and a little bit more she wasn't going to just give it up. She had missed out on so many years of love and hate and fear, now was the time to get them back. If only she had managed to have more time with the love. But then, forever wouldn't be enough, so perhaps she had been fortunate, finding out that she couldn't hold on to love early. No. She had felt love and yet had nothing to show for it. No memories, not happy times. She had discovered love and had it thrown back in her face. And it was all her fault. If only Vincent knew how she had felt, if only...

"Sure Vincent." Anne had spoken again, pulling Enna out of her descent into "if"ing. Everyone knew that that was the one trap that nearly everyone who had met tragedy fell in, the one trap that was almost impossible to get out of, and the most deadly. Anne placed the phone down and went to make a cup of tea. She was just drifting along, as though nothing were wrong. Enna suspected she even saw the hint of a smile on her face. The traitor.

"Well?!" Enna burst out. "What did he say? What's going to happen?"

"He didn't say much. He's very hurt of course. He wants to talk to me." Anne said as calmly as possible, but her hands were quivering.

"About me?" Enna said hopefully.

"I'm sure you'll come up, but no Enna. He regards me as a close friend..." Anne explained gently.

"Of course! You were almost his sister in law. You still might be!" Enna said eagerly.

"Enna, yes I was almost family, but he did know me before he knew you." Anne said coldly.

"You didn't know him that well, did you?" Enna asked, feeling confused and oddly jealous. She pushed this aside immediately, what cause did she have for jealousy of Anne? She was Anne.

"Okay then!" Anne snapped. "I didn't, but that doesn't mean I haven't gotten to know him. Maybe not as well as you do, but then, he doesn't hate me. So I'm one up on you."

"Anne," Enna said, her face white and her eyes wide and bright. "What's gotten into you? Why are you taking this so hard? It's me he's left, not you. Why can't you just be nice to me? You don't think I need your support or anything, do you?"

"Oh Enna. It's so complicated, that's all." Anne said impatiently.

"I don't see why it should be." Enna said obstinately. "You can still be friends with him, that hasn't changed."


"Of course. This way, you can use your connections with him to explain to him my remorse. I really need this Anne." Enna said, unconsciously using her old manipulation techniques.

"Of course Enna." Anne said resignedly. They sat in silence until Vincent's voice rang out from the phone.

"Hello Vincent." Anne said softly, before shooing Enna out of the kitchen.

These things, as everyone ought to know, take time. Enna hadn't realised that at first, and she had bumbled into a situation she couldn't control. She may have learnt of love and heartbreak, but her old impatience would never leave her. She wandered around, kicked a few pebbles, stamped on a few wild biscuits. What was she to do? This ache, it wouldn't leave her. She couldn't take her mind off it, not that there was much to think about apart from reminiscing over old regrets, and finding new ones to replace the old records. But of course, this just made her feel worse. Funny, but before this, she had loved refiling her thoughts. Some people found it a bit odd that she had this weird control, but half an hour of concentrating and anyone could do it. Or at least she had thought so. But concentrating was not such an easy nor pleasant a task as it had been with all of these new emotions and heart ache. It would be better if she could just get rid of all of these emotions.

Enna headed back inside. She was starting to contradict herself. Just half-an hour ago, she had decided she would never give up these emotions, not after Anne had hogged them for so many years. Now she would gladly give them up and go back to her old life. No. That wasn't true either. How could she ever live like she had, after what she had experience? Love and fear and jealousy, how could they be replaced with biscuit farming? She had to have either happiness with Vincent, or space travel. But the one had to go with the other! Erg, she couldn't be left alone with herself anymore or she would go mad.

Chapter Twenty-One

It has been said, time and time again, that blood is thicker than water. The people saying this are rarely talking about real blood and real water, unless they were investigating some sort of crime in which case it is almost certain they are talking about real blood and real water. Few people really care as to why people are comparing blood to water of all things. Quite a few people have giggled over the thought, 'What if water really was thicker? Wouldn't we look the fools?', which is of course true but irrelevant to the phrase itself. No, the phrase didn't come about because people wondered why blood was so much harder to suck up a straw, for that would be rather revolting. The phrase is of course referring to the fact that family's stick together, and not in the literal sense either, the phrase has nothing to do with the stickiness of blood, which we all know is stickier than water. To say that all families stick together would be a lie (unless you physically stuck them together, like with glue or something). But the odds are that people from a family that sticks together is more likely to be acquainted with the phrase (what with feuding families being busy buying swords and the like) and therefore the phrase gains credibility, which is a bit unfair to those phrases people don't use, like 'if you are missing too many fingers, the odds are you'll have trouble playing the piano' who tend to be much more true as the leave room for flexibility. Different people have different views on how many fingers one can lose before it affects your piano playing skills, and this little phrase has catered for it. Blood is thicker than water, doesn't so much.

But nonetheless, in the Price family, that phrase happened to be true. Apart from of course the rivalry between Great Aunty Jill and Grandpa, which didn't really count as Grandpa never really had a fighting chance until he was dead, so it wasn't really a rivalry. Either way, Anne considered that blood was thicker than water in the case of herself and Enna. Or if she didn't than she should.

Enna was rather banking on that principle, regardless of the fact she didn't really believe in it herself. For if Anne didn't live by that principle, than she could be weaving heinous lies to Vincent about Enna and Enna did not like it at all when people did that ordinarily, so should her sister do it to her true love, then Enna didn't know what she would do. She had already tossed over the idea of killing her, but that didn't quite cut it.

There were the old torture methods. She could dip Anne's hair in an ink well, or cut if off really short. It would humiliate her, but it just wasn't right if Enna didn't have to try and hide from the teacher while doing it. And what was the point if Grandma wasn't here to yell at her. That would ruin the magic of it a little bit.

"Enna!" Anne hissed in her ear. Enna looked at her bewilderedly. She had been deep in thought, though of course she couldn't explain to Anne she had been going over the finer details of mismatching her bubble bath for ink, and whether blue skin was plausible as a torture technique. It had kept her mind off Vincent at least.

"Yes Anne?" With Anne's face less than 0.05m from her own face, the existence of Vincent had been brought sharply back into Enna's mind, and with it, her rush of nerves.

"I've gotten him to agree to a meeting with you. I think I've worked out how to explain your conundrum to him in such a way that he'll take you back. You could be getting married next week if you're lucky. He's so hurt at the moment, but I think that just means he must really love you." Anne said. Enna missed the bitterness in her voice, but the narrator didn't and grieved for Anne.

"Thank you so much Anne." Enna said, feeling her spirits begin to rise. She went to hug Anne, it was what you were meant to do after someone had done you such a favour, but to Anne, it must have meant something more. She held on tightly to Enna, as though afraid to let her go. Enna hugged back just as warmly evem though she instinctively wanted to let her go. She couldn't just hurt Anne like that when she had done her such a big favour. It was the least she could do. Finally, after what seemed like forever to Enna, and not long enough to Anne, and was probably somewhere in between to two, Enna gently pushed Anne away.

"Can I go and see him now?" Enna asked, feeling a bit more like her old self. She had always liked to get things over and done with, and going back to being allowed to love Vincent was something she was actually looking forward to, so why not jump in and get back her happiness.

"Oh. Yeah. He did say you could see him anytime. And I suppose if you want to still get married next week you'd better sort something out." Anne said vaguely. Poor Anne, she was clearly getting the bridesmaids blues again. Clearly she was nervous about reorganising everything once more. Oh well, at least she wasn't nervous about losing the groom again! You can't lose, what you've never had, and that was Anne's luck in this case.

Enna practically skipped the whole way to Vincent's, when she wasn't running and jumping for joy that is. She had to slow right down just before she got to his Portable House That's Technically a Spaceship but It Can Be Transformed and Used for a House as in This Instance, she didn't want to have to pant out her speech. That wouldn't convince anyone. Taking a deep breath, Enna raised her hand and knocked on Vincent's door. She wiped her hand over her sweaty brow and bit her lip as she heard Vincent's footsteps approach the door.

"Yes?" Vincent said coolly. Enna played with her hair nervously, like Anne had said Vincent found endearing.

"Oh. Um, hi, I guess." Enna said uncertainly, taken aback by his brusque attitude. She had never thought anyone would actively hat her. He was hurt, fair enough, she was hurting too. But she didn't hate him. So why should he hate her?

"Well? What do you want? I don't have all day." That was it. No excuses, no apologies, nothing. He just wanted her to go.

"I think we need to talk. Anne... Anne said that would also like to... talk." Enna said lamely. They stood, staring at each other in silence. "So do you want to... talk?" Enna said awkwardly. Silence again. Enna shuffled her feet and looked down. Vincent stood stiffly and stared at her. Finally he sighed and muttered:

"Sure. Come in."

Enna followed Vincent through his Portable House That's Technically a Spaceship but It Can Be Transformed and Used for a House as in This Instance. They walked through the hallway that looked suspiciously like the corridor they used in Grace in Space. The popular (and technically lone) sci-fi movie Enna had seen with her grandfather. Enna noticed a photo of herself and Vincent. It seemed to Enna like a good sign, he didn't have many other photos sitting around. And the fact that Anne was in the background too didn't mean she should have to get her hopes brought back down. It was still a sort-of romantic photo. And it must have brought him pleasure to see it sitting there, else he would have thrown it out.

Vincent noticed Enna lingering over the photo and nudged her along. Enna let go of the photo wistfully and followed Vincent into his lounge room. She sat down, feeling a depressing sense of nostalgia. The couch was small and squashy, and on what Anne playfully referred to as her day off, Enna and Vincent had curled up on the couch together and talked. He had told her about life outside of Humania and all of the places he'd travelled to when he'd been a small child. He'd seen almost the whole galaxy by the time he was seven.

He'd been to Anoid and watched the robots and androids work and play. He'd seen the volcanic world Mar, swum on the water world Par, and skated across the ice world Slar. He'd been to each of Tri's moons, Olange, Acadia, Kalowaa and looked down at the lifeless world Tri. He'd had tripe flung at him by the trees of Sharnanananana. And he'd been to places when he was too young to remember them, but still thought fondly of the stories his dad had told him about the crazy shenanigans of a small boy on a strange world. And yet, through all of the stories he had told her, he never once let on that his father was dead, or that he didn't like his mother. How was it that when they were growing so close, he'd never mentioned it, but Anne, who he barely knew, could make his spill his guts? What had Anne down to win his trust as she had?

"Enna?" Vincent said impatiently. Enna shook herself out of her happy memories and smiled shakily at Vincent.

"Vincent," she said softly. Anne had told her he would respond best to her if she were repenting. Not that she would have to pretend, she felt so awful about it all and she wanted to tell him and have him understand. But Anne knew how to approach highly emotional people. She knew how to deal with Vincent, so Enna had listened and taken her advice to heart. "I guess you know what I wanted to talk about." Vincent nodded but did not elaborate. "It's... what happened. Why it happened. But more importantly why it's different now."

"Yes. Anne said something like that." Vincent's voice had softened. This was a good sign.

"I..." Enna's throat caught. She felt like she was going to choke. The speech she had carefully rehearsed with Anne escaped her. She couldn't remember it. "Ah shi baba!" she burst out. Oh great. And now she had forgotten Humanian. Enna took a few deep breaths and Vincent looked at her in concern. "It was all Anne's idea!" Enna finally burst out. "I thought it was a good one. I wanted to leave, and she wanted the farm. What was I supposed to do? And you! You were so sweet, so charming. I didn't mean to fall in love with you, but I did and now I can't let you go. I should, I know I should. I ought to go out and see if I can fool some other rich sap. That's all I seem to care about." Enna said bitterly.

"Do you mean it?" Vincent asked uncertainly.

"I think I must have once. And it's not even just the money, it's the freedom. All of my life, all I've ever wanted to do is to leave this place! I hate it so much here. I don't know why, I just do. I always have. Anne reckons it's because of mum and dad. She says that's why she loves the farm, it's where they were happy together and where we were born. But to me, it's where everything went wrong. They died here, and she thinks I've never gotten over it. But I don't know. I just hate it." Enna said, not pausing to take a breath. "I hate it, I hate it." Vincent leant over and kissed her softly, stopping her from talking. Enna was surprised, but revelled in the intimacy. Vincent sighed and hugged Enna tightly. She could smell his hair; it always smelt lovely and woodsy. Her cheek brushed against his, but it was rough and scratched her, so she drew her head back sharply.

"I'm sorry." Vincent murmured, releasing her with a sigh.

"Don't be." Enna said simply and earnestly.

"I think Anne must be right." Vincent said thoughtfully. "She usually is about these things."

"Yeah, I guess so." Enna said dully.

"But what I mean was, did you mean it when you said... when you said you... loved me." Enna looked up at Vincent. His eyes were wide and she thought she saw tears.

"I did." Enna was tempted to elaborate, to ask him why she hadn't believed it when she told him before, but she couldn't stand the thought of spoiling the moment. They were just staring at each other, as though seeing each other for the first time. Vincent's eyebrows knitted and Enna thought she was going to cry.

"So you understand, about the... the way I feel about Humania? And why I... did what I did?" Enna asked, hating to have spoilt the silence, but thought the question was going to strangle her.

"I do. My father may have died when I was little, and my mother and I may not get on," Vincent didn't want to use the word 'hate', not when he was in this mood, talking to Enna. It would have spoilt the magic of it. "But at least I knew them and knew what it felt to love dad and be loved by him. You never had that. And then why you find it, I throw it back at you, because my pride was bruised." Vincent said

shame-facedly. Enna wished he had said it was because it had hurt him to see his true love scorn him. But she couldn't have everything. This way Vincent felt guilty and it meant they were going to get back together.

"So what now?" Enna asked, hating the idea of uncertainty between them. She wanted a solid future. Something she could depend upon, make plans around.

"If you want, we can get married again next week. I know you'd hate to have a scandal." Vincent said with an understanding smile.

"I do, it's such a hard thing to live down in a place like Humania. And Anne would be the one to make the explanations. It's not fair on her, is it?" Enna said, smiling joyfully as she thought of what this meant. She was getting married in but a few days!

Chapter Twenty-Two

Anne was sitting at home. And she was worried. Enna, she was bright, there was no doubt about it. She had a memory on her too. That wasn't what she was worried about. Enna thought she could second-guess everyone, she thought she always knew what they were thinking and how she could take advantage of the situation. And sometimes, a lot of the time, she was right. She managed to always have the upper hand and get her way, at least with Anne. But when it came to emotions, and things she really cared about, Enna had proven to be as much of a bumbling fool as the rest of them.

Yet somehow, Enna had this working to her advantage as well. Why couldn't Anne ever wrangle that? Enna did the exact same things as she did, and yet she ended up with the rich Space Adventurer fiancé. Clearly, she was in Geoff's favour.

Enna and Vincent were approaching the house. They had the classic look of happiness that always seemed like they were too happy. The kind that makes you feel sick when it wasn't in the movies. No one should ever be that happy, let alone expose other people to it. Happiness could be toxic in large doses. Anne didn't want to risk overexposure, but she still smiled and raced to the door to greet them.

"So you two made it up them?" Anne said with a smile she felt was too big. Enna grinned back at her and hugged her. Anne kissed her warmly on the cheek, but refused to even shake hands with Vincent. He gave Anne a bewildered look and frowned. Vincent had planned to stay for a celebratory dinner, cooked as it should be by Anne, her unique cooking had grown on Vincent and she had cooked the first meal Enna and Vincent had had together, it seemed appropriate. But after

half-an-hour of Anne giving him the cold shoulder he decided he couldn't take it. She had been so friendly, she'd been the one to be there for him when Enna couldn't. But what the hell was up now? Women! He couldn't deal with them, with their games, and their tricks.

"Goodbye Enna." He said, cutting Anne off on her spiel about love and forgiveness. She could be such a hypocrite sometimes. What had he done to upset her? Anne looked hurt and Enna looked taken aback. Enna didn't deserve this; it was Anne he was upset with. He sighed and kissed Enna softly on the cheek, while glaring at Anne. Enna hugged him warmly, but he felt oddly stifled with Anne looking at him like she was. Wasn't she the one who wanted them to get back together? Wasn't she the one who thought up this stupid tricking Vincent the idiot into marriage? Shouldn't she be all overjoyed? Vincent pushed Enna away and left.

"Vincent must be tired." Anne said apologetically. This startled Enna, she was the one who was meant to make excuses for Vincent. That was all part of getting married. She had thought up some doozies too! Ninja's, pirates, rabid moop exploding everywhere. She had lists and lists of them that she had carefully thought out when she first thought seriously about marriage. They'd all translated beautifully for Vincent, he was a Space Adventurer, he could have obscure diseases that make you late for meetings, he could have learnt strange customs that mean you have to be drunk every time you meet someone important, survival methods that required copious amounts of expensive cake to be consumed rapidly without thought for others, it gave her a whole new meaning to creative excuses. But Anne, she had just raced in with the most boring thing imaginable. Tired? Where's the creativity? Where's the 'it's not Vincent's fault, it's yours because you are either uncultured or unlearned'? Where's the humour?

"Yeah, I guess he is." Enna said slowly. This was her first opportunity of excuse making; surely she couldn't let Anne take all of the fun out of it. "I mean, his old wound, it gets him down, it wears him out."

"His old wound?" Anne asked distractedly.

"Yeah, he got it when he was a child. His was visiting Sharnanananana, and this great big bit of tripe, it just slammed into the back of his shoulder. And normally he's fine, but well, it's been a big day and I do leave him sort of breathless." Enna laughed, trying to emphasise the perfection of her relationship with Vincent.

"Yeah, I suppose you do. That must have been why he was so quiet earlier." Anne said, laughing ironically. Enna frowned at her, not understanding her irony, but hating her for laughing.

"I don't suppose you giving him the cold shoulder had anything to do his silence?" Enna said coolly.

"Why should he care if I wasn't talking to him?" Anne asked, genuinely surprised. Enna smiled. Anne would never understand Vincent like Enna.

"He's just like that Anne. He's won me over, and we're all fine now. You were paying heaps of attention to him earlier and now you're not. He has to try and win you over again." Enna smiled endearingly. Anne sighed sadly.

"Yeah, I'm sure that's what it is." Anne patted Enna on the shoulder and walked off to get dinner ready. Enna rubbed her arm thoughtfully, and wondered if she'd been patronised or if something had upset Anne. She must just be feeling guilty about being rude to Vincent. That had to be it, there was nothing else. Why would Anne patronise her?

A wedding is something that takes a lot of effort to convince someone to agree to, to convince someone to pay for, to get someone else to organise, or Geoff help you, to organise it yourself. But the thing that takes the most effort is when you the wedding breaks off and you have to cancel things. It's not that it's that hard to ring up and tell the caterers not to come, to send out reverse invites,

emotionally draining and time consuming if you can't convince anyone else to it for you, but not technically that hard, certainty not as hard as it is to get them all out in the first place, fine-tuning guest-lists and wordings and finalising dates and times, working out who you want to cater, and all that rot.

No, the thing that made it particularly hard was the explanations. Living in a place like Humania, you got to know everyone and everyone knew you. When you became engaged, even if you only wanted to keep it secret, or keep it all quiet, you had maybe two or three hours before the whole town knew. When an engagement broke off, once word got out, you had ten minutes max before there was nobody who didn't know. Enna was lucky, Vincent didn't have any close friends he could go off and get drunk with when things got rough. Most girls didn't have that advantage.

So Enna, she had some sort of inclination, some sort of impulse, an inkling, that she shouldn't rush into cancelling the wedding. Anne was rather keen about cancelling all of the arrangements; she had said something about getting it over and done with, cutting through it all quickly so she could move on. Enna was prone to what some called laziness, and had decided that it was important to leave it for a while. This didn't make sense to Anne, what with the wedding being less than ten days away, but it was something Enna was adamant about. And in the end, she had been right.

Not that it really mattered one way or the other, they would have only made plans to cancel the wedding; there had been no time to actually go about it. But Enna would have had to make up new lists of excuses, this time all about the mutual break up and how she and Vincent were too different, and she might even throw in something about Vincent not feeling worthy enough for her for show. And Anne, being as organised as she was, would have prepared envelopes, and filled out letters about the cancelation of the wedding. Then, the whole time Anne had been coaching Enna, she would have stared at the envelopes, daring her to think that she wasn't going to get Vincent back, that she wasn't worthy of him, that even ever-faithful Anne didn't believe in her. No, it was better to have the right spirit about them. All happiness and good-will, with great faith in Enna that she would win back her man. And this way, even if the worst did happen, Enna could give bewildered looks to people who cam banging on her door, asking about the wedding.

"Wedding?" She'd say with her eyebrows arched. "What wedding? This is the first I've heard of it?" Then she could tactfully hint that they were all crazy people and recommend they lay off the biscuit wine for a while. Yes, no one should every have to send out letters explaining the heartbreak of having your wedding and the love of your life being forced out of your life. Not on less than two hundred scrolls. There was so much back-story and childhood problems people had to

understand, before you even reached the bit about how awful this bloke was, breaking your heart. And it had to be so uncomplimentary about your fiancé. Especially in Enna's case. Vincent had the option of getting up and leaving, he didn't have to suffer through people's "Oh, well that's a pity" speech. So by the time Enna had finished dictating the letter to Anne, she would be so upset with Vincent, she wouldn't want to marry him anymore and the letter would be finalised and she'd never bother to go and try and make up with Vincent, she'd end up trying to kill him. So all in all, Enna's fore thinking (or laziness if you prefer) was a far more suitable tactic that Anne's heartbreak and cruelty (i.e. organisational methods).

Either way, Enna was keen to get the wedding back on track. It had a new magic to it. It was no longer just about getting off Humania, not that that had lost any of its appeal, but now it was about spending the rest of her life with Vincent. That was an incredible thing to Enna. And more than a little bit scary. It was true she had always lived with Anne, and for the most of her life she had lived with her grandparents, but this was different. But with Vincent by her side, Enna was ready to deal with it, with Vincent with her, she was ready to face whatever adventures life threw at her, marriage, children, dependence, emotions, all of these things that had terrified Enna before, and yet now... now they were a future, they were something to look forward to, to enjoy.

"Anne!" Enna burst into Anne's room. She groaned and rolled over.

"What Enna?" she said tiredly, squinting at her clock. It was at least two hours before any sane person would even think about getting up, around five before Enna liked to get up.

"I think we should have a hen's night." Enna said excitedly.

"What on Humania is that? I've never heard of a hen." It was far too early in Anne's opinion for Enna's strange riddles.

"I dunno either, but I found the word in one of Grandma's old wedding scrolls, How to Trap a Rich Man, What Sort of Wedding You Can Have When You've Got One and the Pro's and Con's of a Poor Husband (If You're Into All That Rot About Love vs. Money)." Anne sighed and rolled over to Enna.

"But what is it?" Anne burst out exasperatedly.

"It's what women do, right before their wedding. They get all of their friends together and have one wild night of fun!" Enna said, envisioning the sort of things she could do if Vincent paid. They could eat those really tasty, but tricky to make and therefore expensive little biscuit arrangements, they look like flowers and taste like something from the heavens, and their just so good, they were illegal for years. And they could go wild and sneak into the movies after hours and watch the uncut version of Love and Biscuits, where the girl walks in on the guy and he has no top on and the girl swoons over his sexy little biscuit tattoo. They could have all kinds of fun.

"No Enna, that doesn't really sound like fun. I bet it used to say a Yenn's night out. And the writing got smudged." Anna yawned and snuggled under the covers.

"What's a Yenn?" Enna asked, raising her eyebrow.

"You know, Yenn, the God of Werewolves and Cake. All of the girls probably used to go out and have their wild night, eat their cake and get eaten alive by werewolves, never to be seen again." Anne closed her eyes firmly and tried to imitate the even breathing of those that are asleep. Enna played with the quilt thoughtfully.

"You're probably right..."

"Of course I am," Anne said sleepily.

"But I sort of thought it would be nice, if we had one final shebang, just you and me. We won't see each other again, not for years at most. Probably not until after the first child is born. And even then, it won't be the same." Enna said sadly. Anne groaned and rolled over to embrace Enna, who found she had tears in her eyes.

"It would be, but not if we get eaten by werewolves." Anne said soothingly, dreading the thought of a Yenn's night, listening to Enna trawl on about her happiness with Vincent. She loved Enna, there was no doubt about that, but there was only so much a sister could cope with. "Is there something else I can do with you?"

"Well," Enna gave a little sniffle. "There's the flowers, they need to be ordered, and then arranged, and oh, I don't know how to word the local newscroll official announcement, I don't want to offend anyone..." Anne laughed. Good old Enna, always thinking of herself. Some people never changed.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Anne was Enna's lifeboat and anchor during those last few exciting days before the wedding. While Enna had her head in the clouds thinking about her beautiful, glorious future with Vincent, Anne ordered the flowers and spoke to the photographers. She pulled Enna feet back to the ground while she finalised the wedding cake, a magnificent tiered biscuit cake, with a fluffy whipped biscuit topping and sprinkled lightly with biscuit crumbs. Vincent had been there too, trying to explain to the chef the concept of a cake that was not one hundred percent biscuit, how one could use these other ingredients, like flour and sugar and cocoa. The chef had just laughed and laughed at him, but Enna had drunk in his descriptions of these other cakes, thinking about how different her life would be with him. Indeed, she had been so wrapped up in her thoughts Vincent had turned to Ann for support that he was not a madman, but she had just stuck her nose up at him and walked off to look at another cake. Vincent had told Enna about it later of course, but she had tried to simply explain to him that he was paranoid.

The same thing happened again, according to Vincent, when the newsscroll had interviewed them Vincent was pretty big news to them, not since his own mother had they had such an exciting wedding. On and on they went, explaining intricate details about how his mother had been wonderful, but his father had been surly, not a good interviewee at all in their opinion, but they had fallen in love with his pretty and charming mother. At this, Vincent had turned to Anne for support, Enna was busy talking to them at that point, but Anne had simply turned from him and covered her eyes. Enna tried to explain to him that Anne simply had a thing about newsscroll reporters, using one of her premade excuse spiels, involving fanatical Geoff worshipers, overripe biscuits and her Great Uncle Bill. The fact that they didn't have a Great Uncle Bill didn't matter much; the whole thing was absurd really. Anne had always been a keen interviewee, especially after that year's Biscuit Show. Oh dear. Enna had spotted a fault in this spiel. Vincent had seen Anne give said interview. No wonder he'd looked surly and walked off when Enna talked about the worshipers removing Anne's three hairs and how this meant she couldn't look directly at the reporter or to the person to their left.

And then, when Anne slammed the door on Vincent, and Enna had explained that Anne had a compulsion to attempt to imitate gales when there was a caller at three bearing news about or carrying flowers after an unfortunate accident with biscuit flowers, scissors, no wind and Anne's knee's, no wonder he'd just frowned and left the directions from the interstellar florist. Vincent used to pick Enna up at three to go for their picnics, and he had always been bearing flowers. It was difficult to make excuses about your sister to a man who knew her as well as yourself, lies were always seen through. That's why it was the wife's job to tell the lies about the husband. Wives were always the ones to see through lies, so logically it was her job to tell them. If only Enna was married to Anne, it would make this lying thing so much easier.

Then it struck Enna. It was always about Anne that Enna was always telling lies. So clearly something was wrong with Anne. Enna had been working Anne awfully hard over this wedding. She was always doing something for her. It must just be stressing her out. So logically, the thing to do was to give Anne some time off to enjoy herself. And what did Anne enjoy more than organising weddings? Biscuit farming of course! The poor dear hadn't had a chance to do that in months. Enna hadn't seen her working the farm since she became close friends with Vincent, which was around the time Enna had made him think of marriage, after all, love was in the air.

Enna whistled to herself as she thought of the look of happiness and surprise on Anne's face when Enna told her that rather than spending the day alone with Vincent, choosing his top hat to match Enna's dress, she could till the fields like she'd spend the rest of her long and happy life doing. It was a good feeling, thinking of others and doing good by them. It really made you feel you were making a difference.

"Hey Anne!" Enna called out to Anne, who she'd finally found. Anne was, as Enna should have predicted, gazing over her little farm. Anne turned to Enna and gave her a wistful smile.

"I was just thinking, that's my future out there. That." Anne said and curled her lip into a scowl. Enna laughed cheerfully and slapped her on the back.

"That's just what I was thinking! Aren't you lucky Anne? Getting to spend the rest of your life doing the back braking labour you love. Not like me! Racing around the galaxy with the man I love most in the world." Enna grinned at Anne, who gave her a strange look. She must be stressed, Enna decided, otherwise she'd be able to express her joy far more clearly. Both sisters were getting what they wanted. "I was thinking, this wedding preparation lark, it seems to be wearing you out a bit."

"Yes it is." Anne sighed tiredly, feeling far older than her twenty-two years.

"So I thought, you can have tomorrow off! Go out and spend time with your fields, you've been neglecting them lately. It's not like you would have gotten to spend any time with me anyway, we're just picking Vincent's hat tomorrow, and of course the bride can't come too. So you would have been stuck with Vincent all days. Having heart to heart talks. Apparently he's been having a lot of them lately. He even had one with Great Aunty Jill the other day!" Enna said and laughed freely. Then she noticed Anne's face fell and she looked to be on the verge of tears. "Don't worry about it Anne! Great Aunty Jill had only wonderful things to say about you. She was really impressed with you after the Biggest Biscuit competition."

"She was?" Anne asked absently. "How do you know?"

"Oh Vincent, he thought it was great, he was saying how you're not at all conceited and how you didn't rub your win in Great Aunty Jill's face." Enna said, chattering away casually, not noticing that Anne was suddenly giving her her full attention.

"What else did he say about me?" Anne asked hungrily.

"Oh you know, straight and honest you are..."

"Even after me setting you two up?" Anne cut in urgently.

"Yeah..." Enna said thoughtfully. "Actually, I don't think he ever really minded that muc about your involvement."

"Really?" Anne was smiling and her eyes were shining.

"I suppose it's because he doesn't love you." Enna explained kindly. Anne frowned and creased her eyebrows in a way Enna admired.

"Can you just leave me alone for a bit?" Anne asked. Enna nodded uncertainly and went back inside.

Vincent's hand snaked out and grabbed Enna's, he pulled her and stopped her from walking into the lounge rom. He was white and tense, and kept on looking out to where Anne was staring off into the distance.

"Is Anne okay?" he asked softly. Enna nodded and arched an eyebrow.

"Yeah, she's fine. Why so worried about her?"

"What? Oh, no, it's not her. It's... my mum is sitting in your lounge room. I was hoping Anne could be there, you know, for moral support." Vincent bit his lip.

"No, I think she's... busy. She's got a lot to work out with the farm. But I'll be there for you." Enna's said keenly.

"Yeah, I sort of assumed that." Vincent said distractedly. Enna nodded and squeezed his hand. She liked to be there for Vincent, but she wished he had been keener about having her support than Anne's. Or maybe being assumed mean there was something deeper in their relationship than she had thought. It just wasn't nice being overlooked.

"Well come on then, she's not going to want to wait all day for you."

"Too right she's not!" Vincent's mother had appeared at the doorway and was panting slightly. Enna's eyes widened at the sight of her. She was massive. Absolutely enormous. Enna had never seen anyone that big before. When she breathed, her tummy wobbled, and moved her arms up and down. It made Enna feel sorry for the woman, despite the awful things Vincent had said about her. It was obvious that she used to be quite a slender delicate thing. Her body didn't seem to be able to support her new weight, and everything sagged when she breathed out. Her hair was a soft brown, with grey streaks everywhere and what looked like a comb stuck in it. It looked like she hand't finished brushing it when the comb broke.

The news reporters had said she was a very pretty picturesque looking girl, and she still had little tell-tale signs of her old beauty. Her eyes were still a youthful hazel-green, though the twinkling light she was once famous for seemed to have been snuffed out. They were still framed with long thick lashes, but it was hard to see them under the layers of fat that framed her face. On her hand, she had a single gold ring, almost buried in her fatty fingers, and it didn't look like it was coming back. Vincent stared down at it, a look of disgust on his face.

"I see you've started to learn how to control your man, good. They need to be taught at the start, while they've still got the

rose-tinted spectacles on. Anytime after that and it's too late. I'd be a bit firmer on him thought, otherwise he'll slip through your fingers." She giggled, an odd sound coming from a woman of her size. She looked like she'd be a guffawing or a chortling woman. Any pity Enna had felt for her was gone. She was every bit as bad as Vincent had said.

"Hello mother." Vincent said coolly, trying to inject as much hatred into the word as he could.

"So someone finally snagged you then, eh son?" Vincent's mother chucked grimly. "After your father, I thought you and Dain would never get hitched. But then Dain met Shannan, beautiful but not pretentious, loves him and not his money. Every man's ideal, supportive and kind, sweet and funny, knows her own mind, but isn't pushy. The way he talks about her, she's bloody perfect. She'd drive me up the wall." Vincent rolled his eyes.

"So you've never met her then?" Enna asked curiously.

"No. They didn't want me to come to the wedding. Didn't want old mum spoiling up the place with her less than perfect self." She laughed bitterly.

"Ms Anderson! Please don't!" Anne had come into the room. She took one look at Enna's horrified face and guessed what was going through her mind.

"I'm Mrs Harrison! That's what this ring says." She thrust her hand into Anne's. Anne gripped it firmly and went to pull it roughly, but it just slid off her finger. Inside was an engraved message:

Rachel. You and I are husband and wife in name only. Anne looked up at Mrs Harrison in shock.

"He replaced my original ring one. This one used to fall right off, and every time it did, he'd look at me and laugh." Mrs Harrison said bitterly.

"That's awful! Vincent!" Enna looked at Vincent in shock; she'd never thought that he'd be so oblivious to his father's faults.

"And then he'd go and cry himself to sleep. You killed him, you broke his heart! He thought you loved him, but you just wanted him for his money. And once you had him, you never let him forget that was the only reason you married him." Vincent spat at his mother in disgust.

"Yes, because I'm a total moron." Mrs Harrison said sarcastically. "I thought he loved me, I thought he'd understand."

"Oh yes, because that's something every man loves to hear. 'Hello honey, you know how you love me so much? Well I don't love you! I never did! You're an idiot!'" Vincent said, throwing her a look of utmost loathing. Mrs Harrison looked like she was going to argue back, but she merely shrugged.

"Do you have any biscuit root tea, Enna? I haven't had it since I was young." Mrs Harrison said pointedly.

"Oh yes, because you've been too busy stuffing yourself with expensive food. You liked being married to a rich man; it must be great being a wealthy widower." Vincent muttered darkly.

"Vincent!" Anne cried out, seeing Enna's eyes fill with tears. Vincent turned to Anne and his face softened. He looked at her apologetically and kissed her cheek. Enna's face grew hot and Mrs Harrison wacked her son on the behind.

"When you're done flirting with every woman you see, I'd like some tea!" she said loudly and bossily, but Enna shot her a grateful smile.

"She's going to be my sister in law. That's it. She means nothing more to me than that, a sister who I don't mind; bit probably won't be seeing that much of!" Vincent said defensively. Anne's face fell, but she reprimanded herself immediately. Who was she to go reading things into Vincent's every move? He was going to marry her dear sister and she wouldn't be seeing him any other way. It wouldn't be fair to Enna.

Chapter Twenty-Four

Along with his mother, an onslaught of Vincent's friends and family arrived over the next few days leading up to the wedding. Enna was grateful for all of the relatives she had living in Humania. Cousin Katie, though perhaps not her favourite person, was an infallible help. And then of course, there was Great Aunty Jill, the woman who could make any hot-shot interstellar traveller feel like they were small children who thought too much of themselves. It also meant that rather than Enna having to find housings for all of these people, she could ship them off to relatives to stay for a few nights, where they could become better acquainted with Humanian food and learn to appreciate Enna.

One of the most eagerly awaited of the guests was Dain. Vincent loved his older brother, he was his favourite person in the world and presumably, Enna would be seeing quite a bit of him once they were married. At first, Enna had been quite keen to meet him, assuming he would love her as Vincent so often insisted. But after talking to Vincent's mum, she became quite apprehensive. Though Vincent had forgiven her for her earlier betrayal of his trust, Dain would most certainly not, and might even try to talk him out of the wedding. Or, as the optimist inside Enna insisted, Vincent might decide that his brother is just jealous and it would make him love Enna even more. It was a two way thing really, and only when she actually met him would she know.

"It's just like him!" Vincent said with a grin. "He always liked to see how late he could get away with being. The morning of the dress rehearsal, honestly! He's best man." Enna smiled indulgently at Vincent, if he was excited about his brother being late, then Enna wasn't going to dampen his spirits. She just swallowed her misgivings and squinted up into space, looking for the Space Taxi. "He's here! Enna, he's here!" Vincent waved at the vehicle. Three figures descended from it and approached.

"Is that Grace?" Enna exclaimed excitedly. "The Grace? From Grace in Space?"

"Yeah, Dain always thought if he brought a celebrity then he could get away with being late." Vincent chuckled.

"Why did he bring a celebrity?" Enna asked bewilderedly.

"She's my sister, silly."

"You mean Grace, Grace from Grace in space, is going to be my sister in law?" Enna squealed.

"Yep. And Grace from Grace Goes Through Time and Grace and Her Adventures On Id, Reeble and Shammack as well as Grace from Grace: the Movie. She's got some original titles going for her." Vincent smiled indulgently.

"Vince-man!" Dain said enthusiastically, punching him cheerfully in the stomach. The two women rolled their eyes. Grace, Enna could recognise immediately, even if she hadn't been wearing her Grace in Space costume. The other one, Enna assumed must be Shannan. She was, as Mrs Harrison had said, beautiful. She was also very earthy looking. She had dark, deeply tanned skin, striking dark brown hair and eyes to match. She was wearing a dark green loose dress, billowing in the wind. She managed to intimidate Enna, just from the sight of her. She glowed perfection and Enna was afraid she wouldn't be able to ever match up to her. Shannan watched her thoughtfully, a gentle smile on her lips, ignoring the siblings reunion. Enna felt frightened and turned to Vincent. He looked down at her scared face and grinned.

"Enna, is just dying to be introduced to you Grace, isn't that right Enna?" Vincent said encouragingly, assuming she was feeling awed by the famous actress.

"Oh, yeah. You can read me like a book Vincent." She felt grateful for the readymade excuse, and wondered if Vincent knew the truth or genuinely believed she was afraid of Grace.

"He demanded that I wear this silly thing," Grace motioned down at her costume. "It's lovely to meet a fan though." Enna stuck out her hand to be shaken, but Grace hugged her warmly instead. "Don't worry," she whispered softly so only Enna could hear her, "I felt the same way when I met Shannan, but she is a sweetheart really." Enna smiled and nodded gratefully. Shannan smiled serenely at her and Grace cleared her throat pointedly.

"What Grace? Oh! Yes. We have to go and get changed for the dress rehearsal, so we can have proper introductions later." Dain said distractedly, looking down at his watch. "It was lovely to meet you Enna, and I'll see you later Vince." Dain wrapped his arm protectively around Shannan and Enna felt scared by the obvious closeness of the two. Grace slung her arm around her brother, and glanced back at Enna, shooting her a wink.

While Enna had been out gallivanting, or greeting her future relatives more to the point, Anne had been finishing off her dress, and organising the final details for the rehearsal. She was in a terrible flurry when Enna wandered into the house. Her mouth was full of pins and in each of her hands, she had great big dish of entrées.

"Where have you been Enna?" Anne burst out, sending pins flying everywhere. "We've only got ten minutes to get you off to the rehearsal!"

"You didn't cook them, did you?" Enna asked, raising an eyebrow apprehensively at the two big bowls of food.

"No, I've been far too busy. Cousin Katie came in to give me a hand. She wanted to find out if cooking was her skill." Enna reached out and stole one of the charcoaled biscuits, despite the glare Anne was giving her. Enna's face screwed up in disgust.

"It's not. It really isn't. I think this might be worse than your cooking Anne."

"Well no one will notice. We'll feed it to Vincent's family. Tell them it's a delicacy." Anne snapped.

"I think my stomach's feeling the delicacy." Enna groaned. "What's with all of the pins Anne?"

"I was finishing off your wedding dress." Enna's eyes lit up.

"Ooh. Can I see it?"

"Of course not! Traditionally neither the bride nor the groom are allowed to see the dress before the wedding day."

"Then how do we know it's going to fit me?"

"I tried it on me, and we can make a few last minute adjustments if need be." Enna looked at her sister. She was what some people referred to as a stick. Someone far too thin to be particularly attractive. She used to get teased about it when she was little. Real Humanians, they used to say, ate lots of biscuits and therefore didn't disappear when they turned sideways. Then Enna looked down at herself. She was about twice the size of Anne, and that had been one of the main reasons she had been considered pretty all of her life. But then, Grace was an actress and she made Anne look nicely fat, and she was pretty. And Shannan, she didn't look anything like what people considered pretty on Humania, and yet she was beautiful. Evidently, different places and different people had different opinions on what was pretty. This was an interesting thought, but it wasn't going to mean the wedding dress would fit Enna.

"I think we'll be up from midnight to fix the dress in time!" Anne rolled her eyes.

"We don't have time to discuss that right now. Do you want to pretend to get married, or don't you."

"I guess I do." Enna said sullenly.

"Right, then we have to leave now. Go get changed, and be really quick." And speedy she was. Few people can match the speed at which Enna can change, for she is faster than lightning, smoother than whipped biscuit and cooler than Slar, which is really cold.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Enna was standing outside of the chapel. It was a nice place to stand, in the ordinary way. There was some shade. A bit of sunlight. The ground wasn't too hard, it wasn't all mud. There weren't enormous puddles of water around. It wasn't raining. All in all, there was nothing wrong with where Enna was standing, but she hated waiting there. She was supposed to walk in soon and they could begin the formal part of the dress rehearsal. But something was wrong. She had been standing outside for fifteen minutes too long. Fifteen minutes isn't overly long, you always have to allow for a certain amount of impatient waiting. No, the problem was which fifteen minutes it was. It was the fifteen minutes after the twenty minutes allowed for running late. That was what was making her cranky.

A shout was heard from inside, and Enna pulled open the doors in frustration. They slammed against the walls and echoed beautifully in the ensuring silence. All eyes were on Enna. She was panting slightly and her hair was flying every which way after playing with it for thirty-five minutes.

"What," she began commandingly. "Is the meaning of all of this noise?" Everyone looked at her, being forcibly reminded of the one time in everyone's life when they have a talking to by the principal. The little ones down the front had stopped pushing and shoving each other and were simply staring at Enna in fascination. A little girl was standing in the isle, her hands on her hips and her chin stuck out defiantly. Had Enna not been furious at being held up, she would have found this miniature person adorable. But she was in a less than kind mood and it was obvious that the little girl was the cause behind all of the trouble.

"Tara, that's your name isn't it?" Enna asked the little girl. She nodded boldly. "Why is it I've been waiting outside for thirty. Five. Minute." Enna paused on each word, hoping it would sink in nicely. But these tactics are lost on those under seven, so while pretty much everyone else in the room was awed by her clever use of punctuation, Tara was not.

"It's the flowers." She complained. "They're not right." Enna raised an eyebrow, a trick that did manage to impress the small child.

"What, pray tell, is wrong with them?" Enna said coldly. This was her wedding. She had personally set out to ensure that everything was perfect.

"They're just not right." Tara reiterated, or she would have, had she known what the word reiterate meant. "They should be all pretty, in pink and purple and green and orange. Pretty colours." Enna looked over at Shannan and Dain.

"Do you mean to tell me that you're child has never seen biscuit flowers?" Enna asked incredulously. They shook their heads.

"We saw no need to educate the child with her grandmother's sordid history, or her tacky little planet." Dain said coolly. Shannan nodded serenely. Mrs Harrison clenched her fists and bit back half-a-dozen swear words.

"There's nothing wrong with Humania!" Mrs Harrison burst out. "It's you, you've got a problem with the place. And what about poor Enna? She shouldn't have to hear this rod from you. I might have resigned myself to it, but there's no reason to scar the poor girl."

"What does sordid mean?" Tara asked, liking how the word sounded in her mouth. "Saw-dead. Sore-ted."

"It just means that lots of things happened in Grandma's past. Things we never want you to do. Things Grandma never should have done. Things she still has to say sorry for." Shannan explained, glaring at Mrs Harrison.

"Would you guys leave it alone?!" Enna cut in. "This is the rehearsal for my wedding; I want it all to be perfect. I can't put up with all of your nonsense. Fighting all of the time. What she did in her past is her business. You have no right to judge." Enna looked to Vincent, then Grace, then Shannan and then Dain for support. They each scowled at her. Enna felt like crying.

"And you!" Enna turned her anger on Tara. "You need to get you're act together. Who cares what sort of flowers they are? I chose those ones because I love them. They're the ones my mother and father planted, they're the ones Anne has looked after ever since. So don't insult them! It's my wedding, I am marrying Vincent tomorrow, and it is all going to be perfect!" Tara quailed under the look that Enna gave her, and she started to softly throw the petals down the aisle. Anne came racing over to where Enna stood. She grabbed Enna's hands and squeezed them. She had tears in her eyes. "You are getting married Enna. It's going to be wonderful, no matter what happens. The love of your life will be yours forever, what more could you want? So who cares about the flowers, or the flower girl or the dress or the cake? Just think about Vincent and you'll feel so much better." Anne gave her a shaky smile and Enna nodded seriously, before heading back to the chapel doors.

Finally, it came time for Enna to walk down the aisle. Tara had finally been taught how to throw the petals without complaint and the music man had begun to play the old familiar tune. Enna tried to hold herself as she would on the day, and with Vincent in sight, she felt like she was dressed in the finest gown, carrying a bouquet of the most beautiful, most exquisite flowers imaginable. With Vincent in sight, Enna's mud-stained jeans and shirt transformed, and hands she held out filled with beautiful white flowers. Suddenly, all of Enna's nerves, her worries, her fears, they all just melted away. She as standing at the altar with the man she loved most in the world. They say opposites attract, and this must have been true, for as soon as Enna's cares disappeared, Vincent's seemed to double. This wedding caper, it was far too stressful in his opinion. They should just skip it all. Even in her daggy clothes, Enna's presence there seemed all too real, all too wedding like. She just screamed, 'We're getting married' and it made him so uncomfortable. His brother standing beside him gave him the thumbs up and winked. Evidently he had forgotten the conversation they'd had earlier that day. Or more to the point the conversation turned argument they'd had.

At first, Dain had been so supportive. Vincent should have smelt a rat there. Dain never complimented, never encouraged, never supported. He just didn't do that Vincent had assumed that he had finally impressed Dain. But then... No. He didn't want to think about it. Instead he stared hard at Enna. Her natural beauty softened his heart and he tuned into the priest once again.

"And then of course, I declared you man and woman, husband and wife, etc. Etc. And then you get to do the bid most young couples enjoy the most. Ahem, you may now kiss the bride." The priest said indulgently. Enna closed her eyes and turned up her face in the expectation of a kiss. Vincent's hands shook slightly and he pretended to lift her veil and hold her head in his hands. He puckered up and kissed her convincingly, convincing not just the rest of the congregation and Enna, but himself as well.

Enna saw Vincent's hands shake and weaved her fingers through his hair. An appreciative wolf whistle came from the crowd, as well as a loud sobbing noise. Vincent pulled himself firmly away from Enna, and Enna caught a glimpse of Anne's shoe and realised who had sobbed.

"Wait here Vincent, I have to see what's wrong with Anne." Enna said urgently, hoping Vincent would understand.

"I should come with you!"

"No, I think this is something I have to do. But it's okay, she'll be fine. I'll find out what's wrong and I'll fix it. I will." Enna said seriously to Vincent, unsure of why she was comforting him. Vincent looked torn between arguing the point and leaving it to her. But Enna left before he could make up his mind.

Enna crept through the house, feeling like a burglar. A burglar who didn't know what they were meant to be stealing, or how to get it, or even why they were stealing it. She felt like a very confused burglar. Anne, she just didn't understand. She had been close to tears all day. Enna assumed it was just one of those things, everyone cries at weddings. But that noise she had made, before leaving the church. She sounded like a wounded animal. And it wasn't even an 'I'm never going to get married and this makes me sad' sort of cry. Cousin Katie had been crying like that all day. It was more of a wheeze than anything. This cry, it had been so much more than just a wheeze or a sob. It was the strangest noise Enna had ever heard. It was just so... sad. That was it. Enna didn't understand it at all. It wasn't just the sadness of having to say goodbye to Enna either. It was something different. But what, Enna couldn't lay her finger on.

Enna's shoes made a soft thump as they walked down the hall. Enna hoped desperately they would alert Anne to her presence. That was she could work out what she wanted to tell Enna. Enna really didn't want to have to try and drag a reason from her. She was no good with the heart to hearts. That was more Anne's line of work. So if she could just realise that Enna was there, then she could guide her through the steps of a heart to heart. In vain, Enna started to whistle.

Chapter Twenty-Six

It can be a horrible feeling, leaving someone else to do what you feel is your job. Or to go off and help someone dear to you. You sit and wait for news, knowing every second will drag by. People try to comfort you, telling you that no news is good news, and bringing you cake and coffee. But it's not enough. You need to know what's going on. You need to be eating the cake and drinking the coffee with the person in trouble, not all that distance away. Those people are often the ones who have to go through the most personal trauma. Making themselves feel guilty, thinking over all of the ways it was their fault. Thinking back over all of the times they could have done something differently and thus averting the current crisis. Enna wished desperately she was one of those people.

These problems, she could deal with. Guilt? She ate it up for breakfast. Along with the cake and coffee, which incidentally taste just as good away from the dearly beloved as with them. The

what-ifing? Changing your past in your mind, that she had a little more trouble with, but honestly, with all of those people around you to talk with and complain about your coffee to, it was a problem easily averted. But being the one who had to solve all of the problems, problems that could affect other peoples' lives? That Enna just couldn't cope with. She could make plans and think out solutions, but only when she knew everything and could predict everyone's reactions. Emotional problems she didn't understand. She couldn't solve them.

Enna looked into Anne's room. This was emotion headquarters in Enna's mind. She'd seen Anne express nearly every emotion in here, from the mundane like frustration, to the bizarre like Schadenfreude. Anne's familiar farm plans were still a fairly prominent feature, being scattered all over her floor. Some with footsteps on them oddly enough. And then there, sure enough, was Anne sprawled out on her bed, sobbing into her pillow.

"Anne." Enna's voice whispered through the dimness of the room. Anne lifted her head to see who was there, but thumped it down again at the sight of Enna.

"I can't fix your dress Enna, I'm sorry. You'll have to get someone else to do it. I just can't." Anne's crying came out of her afresh at this, and rather than trying to make herself heard above the din of Anne's wails, Enna looked over to where Anne had pointed. There was Enna's wedding dress. She looked at in awe. It was difficult to work out the shape of it, hanging on the poll, but it was white and fluffy with a bell skirt.

"No Anne, that's not why I'm here, you ran out of the ceremony today." Enna said softly, trying her hardest not to patronise Anne.

"Well I'm sorry! But I couldn't stay. And I can't go tomorrow or do you're dress. Come and say goodbye to me tomorrow, before you leave for your honeymoon. I don't want to see Vincent again." Anne burst out dramatically. Enna gave a soft laugh and squeezed Anne's hand.

"I don't care about that. What you said, it was true. As long as I'm marrying the man I love, who cares about all of those little things. You're good with your words Anne. How did you know how it should be?"

"I thought about how happy I would be, to be able to marry the man I love." Anne's tears slowed and she bit her lip, wondering if her face was too puffy to face Enna.

"Oh Anne. What's wrong?" Enna asked desperately. She could see it on the tip of Anne's tongue. But it wasn't going to come out apparently.

"Enna? Can you just leave me alone for a bit?"

"O-oh. Sure Anne." Enna grabbed her wedding dress, but left without complaint. Then it struck her. Anne had said that exact same thing when Enna told her she couldn't spend the day with Vincent. And she had cried at their engagement party. And she was so keen to be friends with Vincent when they split up, but when they got back together, Anne hadn't wanted anything to do with him. She'd ignored him during the interview, and at the cake store and when they'd gone to see the photographers. And even at the rehearsal, she was almost in tears the whole time, and then she'd given Enna that beautiful speech about love being so important. And when Vincent had kissed Enna... No wonder she couldn't finish the dress, no wonder she couldn't come to the wedding. And no wonder she didn't want to see Vincent again. She was in love with him! Anne was in love with Vincent. Oh dear. This could present something of a problem. Enna put down the gown and collapsed down onto her bed and turned the facts over in her head. Enna was in love with Vincent. Anne was in love with Vincent. Vincent was going to marry Enna. Oh dear. Start again. Enna was in love with Vincent, yes. Anne was in love with Vincent, yes. Vincent was going to marry Enna. Oh dear.

It took Enna hours. She went over the facts again and again. And then it struck her. Vincent was going to marry Enna, yes, that was true. But did he love her? It was a horrible thing to have to think of your fiancé, but Enna had to think it. Did he love her? He had asked her to marry him; he had taken her back when she had hurt him. He had to love her surely. And ordinarily Enna would have assumed as much too. But what was there to say it was love? He could have been simply infatuated with her. When he took her back, it was clear that it was just his pride that had been bruised. And had he ever really forgiven her for using him like she did. He'd definitely forgiven Anne; he'd never really held it against Anne anyway. But did that mean that he didn't care because he didn't like Anne? Or was it because Anne hadn't ever pretended to love him? Or did he simply love Anne so much that it hadn't mattered to him what she'd done. Did he perhaps love Anne more than he did Enna?

"He loves her." The words trembled off Enna's lips. She shook her head. He had asked her to marry him. She had the wedding dress to prove it. And they could be happy together. So Anne wouldn't be happy. It was Enna or Anne. And Enna always chose herself. Anne wouldn't hold a grudge anyway.

Anne could hear Enna's sighs and occasional sob. And each sound stabbed at her like a dagger. She had caused it. It was all Anne's fault. Tomorrow was Enna's wedding day and Anne had spoilt it. She thought she was just refusing to do the dress and attend. Someone else could fix the dress easily and there were so many relatives that could take Anne's place as head bridesmaid. No one would notice Anne not being there. All she would have done was blend into the crowds and maybe fetch drinks. And Cousin Katie could do both for her.

But now Anne realised she had done so much more. She had upset Enna's delicate peace of mind. This was an astsounding feat she had accomplished, and not one she should be proud of. All of Enna's life, Enna had cruised through, fixing every problem that came her way, manipulating those around her, ignoring all others but herself. Anne never knew if it was malicious or just something Enna had always done and would always do, but she always knew she would come second (or third now that Vincent was on the scene) to Enna. It was just one of those things, something that should never change. But now, Enna was tossing and turning, the night before her wedding to the man she loved. Her dreams should be sweet, imaging him, finally being able to call herself Mrs Enna Harrison: married woman. Husband owner. She should be thinking about the honeymoon, and imaging her future children.

What Anne didn't realise was that Enna was indeed thinking of these things, but not in the way she wanted her to.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Enna woke up the next morning, full of determination. She knew just what she had to do and how to get what she wanted. She picked up the wedding dress and stalked down the corridor, repeating her little speech to herself over and over again.

She pounded on Anne's door, knowing that the girl would wake. She heard a muffled sob and then the sound of Anne blowing her nose. The door swung open and there stood Anne, puffy eyed and tousled hair. She looked like she'd had a worse night that Enna. She took one look at the dress, then stepped back.

"No Enna. I can't. I won't. I told you that last night. Please, just leave me alone! Get Cousin Katie or Great Aunty Jill to do it for you. I just can't deal with it right now!" Anne made to shut the door so she could go back to be and cry some more, but Enna forced it back and walked into the room. There were tissues everywhere. Enna's carefully thought out speech left her mind entirely at this sorry sight. She wished she could have found the courage to do this earlier.

"It fits you better." Enna said, shoving the dress into Anne's arms. She looked down at it.

"Yeah, I'm sorry Enna. I didn't mean to spoil your special day. But I liked wearing it and I thought there was no harm in me thinking it was mine for a few days." Anne mumbled, her face growing red. Enna pushed back the dress Enna was offering her.

"You don't get it, do you?" Enna said softly. Anne looked at her.

Vincent's night had been just as bad as the two girls. His brother had cornered him again the night before the wedding. The conversation haunted him.

"You can't marry Enna!" he had told Vincent impatiently.

"I have to! I love her. Just because you don't like Humanian girls. Just because mother was one." Vincent had cried out to him.

"Vince! You can be so thick sometimes. Don't you get it? It's not because she's a Humanian. You love another biscuit farmer. And you have to marry her." Dain had said, shaking Vincent more than he liked to admit.

"What do you mean Enna?" Anne said, staring at the dress, utterly dumbfounded. Enna sighed.

"It's your dress. By all rights, it's your dress. It fits you better." Enna whispered.

"But Enna," Anne said, lowering her voice to suit Enna's. "I don't know what you mean. Do you need another dress? I don't if I can make you another dress before the wedding." Enna sighed.

"No. I don't want another dress. I want that one, but I can't wear because it's not mine."

"I'm sorry Enna." Anne said horrified.

"No Anne. Don't be. It's not because of the dress. That's just all such a symbol. What I mean is, the wedding it's not really mine, it's yours."

"Don't say these things. They make me feel so guilty."

"I'm the one who should feel guilty. All this time, I never saw it. The wedding, it can't be mine, because of the groom." Anne looked up at her.

"Don't you love him anymore?" The slight lift in her voice, for the first time, Enna realised just how deeply it affected her.

"No. I still love him. With all of my heart. I always will. He's the man who taught me to love."

"Then you have to marry him." Anne's voice fell. It was so slight, the change in her, but Enna could see it. Enna finally understood.

"No Anne. What you don't realise is, I love him, yes, and I always will. But I love you more." The words hung in the air. Anne looked at her incredulously and Enna felt hurt.

"Do you really mean it? You love me?" Anne's eyes filled with tears again and she dumped the dress and threw her arms around Enna. Enna held her tightly. She never knew there was love like this in the world. She felt as though she were finally complete. Her twin sister was such a big part of her, and she'd never even noticed.

"But that doesn't mean you can't get married." Anne said when they stopped hugging.

"Oh Anne. You can be so dense at times." Enna laughed softly.

"I mean, I know you'll miss me, and I'll miss you too, but we'll still get to see each other. Life has to move on. One day I'll get married too and you'll regret having left Vincent."

"Not one day Anne. Today! In less than three hours. You will get married." Enna grabbed one of Anne's hands and squeezed it, hoping her big smile looked genuine, for inside, she felt as though she were dying.

"Why Enna? He loves you. And I don't... I'd never try to steal him from you."

"You love him you dope. And... I think he might love you too." Enna's face fell and Anne looked sadly at her. She felt so mixed up inside.

"Oh Enna. How do you know?" Anne asked, desperate to find out, but at loathing to cause her more pain.

"Because I finally opened my eyes. He's been infatuated with me. That's what I wanted at the start. I wanted him bowled over. I didn't care if he loved me, I just wanted his money." Enna said bitterly.

"But you don't anymore!" Anne cried out.

"I know. But it's too late. I might have had a chance, but he fell in love with you." Enna said. She felt so sad, and yet she wanted to cry out in joy. Above all, she wanted Anne to be happy. She wanted everything to be all right.

"Oh Enna. I thought... No, I hoped for so long that he'd fall in love with me, but then I hated myself for thinking it. Every time he looked at me, I imagined he was looking at me as though he loved me. Every time he hugged me or held my hand, I longed to stay with him forever and I wished he were holding me as though he never wanted to let me go." Anne admitted, feeling guilty, but thought her sister ought to know.

"Anne, he was! He never wanted to stop looking at you. He was always worried that you didn't like him. I used to try and tell myself it was just his old conquers' nature, and I think he tried to trick himself too." Enna said wistfully. Anne laughed and kissed her sister on the cheek. Enna stroked her cheek softly. "Well, I guess it'stime to get you married then."

At the chapel, Dain fixed his brother's little bow tie and smoothed his hair, exchanging meaningful looks with his wife. Shannan shook her head softly at him from the other end of the church. The music started and all of the guest's straightened up and tried to look important. The little flower girl Tara walked down the aisle obediently, tossing flowers with great velocity. Then the three bridesmaids, Grace, Shannan and Cousin Katie followed. Vincent swallowed the urge to cry. He looked at the three young women walking down the aisle and caught his breath as he realised Anne was missing. Oh god, he thought desperately, let her be alright. He hadn't heard how she was after the dress rehearsal and silently kursed himself for not asking.

Then the doors opened, letting in the magnificent Humanian sunlight fill the church. The bride, all in white began her walk down the aisle. She had never looked so wonderful, Vincent thought to himself. Then he looked at her again and realised it was Anne. All urges to cry left him. His heart filled with love at the sight of her and he smiled, thinking how wonderful the world was, that he could have Anne come to him, looking like she did. Dain patted him on the back and smiled at his wife, who nodded happily. Grace sought out Enna, and found her, lurking at the back of the church. She gave her a thumbs up, despite the funny looks people gave her.

When the bride and groom were declared husband and wife, and they kissed each other, channelling all of the love in the room, Enna allowed a small tear to drift down her cheek. Mrs Harrison threw her arm around Enna comfortingly and whispered,

"You did the right thing lass."

Anne and Vincent ran hand in hand back down the aisle, followed by all of the groomsmen and bridesmaid, who were throwing biscuit crumbs all over the happy couple. Vincent stopped short at the sight of his mother. He took a deep breath and then kissed her softly on the cheek. Mrs Harrison held out her arms and held her three children tightly, all of them crying away madly. Enna smiled and nodded, taking this opportunity to slip out of the rom.

She didn't go to the reception, but instead met the two just before they flew out of her life. Vincent smiled at her and Anne grinned with uncontrollable happiness.

"Thank you Enna." Vincent said softly and stroked her cheek. Then Anne and Vincent climbed into the Space Taxi and flew out of sight. It was the Banty Ages. The age of space travel, new frontiers and endless possibilities. The age of freedom. When everyone had a chance to make something of themselves and fulfil their dreams. Everyone except a poor Humanian farm girl named Enna.