Pavitra was glaring at me when I came back to the pool with fresh mimosas. I was still looking at her with honeymoon goggles, and had to admire how good 'angry' looked on her golden features.
"What's wrong, Pavi? Did you want a martini?"
"You know very well what's wrong, Maggie," she said, grabbing her mimosa with so much force that I nearly dropped mine.
"I... do I? I don't think I do," I sat down on the lounge chair next to her.
Pavitra dropped her sunglasses down over her eyes and leaned back, staring out at the pool and ignoring me.
"No, really, tell me what I did."
She huffed and turned her iPad toward me to show a news story about a mad dentist who'd attempted to take over Vancouver Island with a fluoridated zombie scheme. He had, of course, been thwarted by some of British Columbia's premier heroines, including the syrupy detective, Miss Maple, the queen of the chainsaw, Lara Lumberjack, and the light-wielding mermaid Sthuqi’. There was a great photo of the supers in action.
"Well, you know perfectly well I'm here with you, Miss Maple, so you can't be seriously accusing me of fighting crime when we're supposed to be honeymooning." I broke out the mask name the way my mother used to call me by my full name when she thought I was putting on airs. It was a bad habit, and I bit down as soon as I realized it'd come out of my mouth.
Her eyes narrowed and I knew my attitude wasn't convincing her she was wrong. "Did you think I wouldn't be able to guess that you built wooden replicas of us again, Lara? You promised never again after the last set went evil."
"I did no such thing!"
"Well then how did this happen?"
I huffed. "Why don't you message Sthuqi’ on Facebook and see what she noticed during the fight? She was at the wedding, she had to know something was up."
Pavitra looked like she wanted to keep arguing, but instead she pulled out her cell phone and sent the message. I sipped on the mimosa, but I couldn't taste anything. I was pretty sure my skin was burning. I hadn't put on sunblock. I should put some on. I should apologize. I should leave and never come back, I'm not good enough for her.
I recognized that for the unhelpful thought it was and shoved it back.
"I'm such an idiot," she said a few minutes later.
"Did she reply?"
"No. But if this whole married thing is going to work out, I have to trust you. I just..." There were tears on her face and she was shaking. I finally realized what was going on.
I got up and squatted on the edge of her lounge chair. "My wooden double almost killed you. Of course you still worry about that." I rubbed her back, watching her body language carefully.
Her phone chirped a Facebook reply. She didn't move.
"Do you want to check that?"
"No. I trust you," she said, smiling weakly. "You can if you want to, though."
I swiped the screen and typed her passcode in. "Yep, It's Sthuqi’. And she did know they weren't us."
"'Sorry for the confusion,'" I read the message out loud. "'I was pretty badly outnumbered. I figured the light constructs would keep them busy, maybe scare them some. Good news: you worked!'"
Pavitra let out a deep sigh of relief. "Well, that's good. I've never had a light construct turn evil on me."
"Let's head over to the spa for a massage," I said, noting the tension still in her shoulders. "Then maybe we can get dinner and head back to the room." I winked, she giggled, and the moment passed.