Brothers."Alec, it's so good to see you," Mary said, wrapping her arms around Alec's neck. "I think you got longer again, since the last time you come to see me."
"It's been a while, hasn't it?" he replied, returning her embrace, then slid behind Mary, Clara thought he looked like a body guard. Which might not be too far from the truth.
"Why, Kathrin, you look as beautiful as ever," Mary beamed, taking Kathirn's hands in her own. "How's that Ed fellow of yours?"
Kathrin, for the first time that Clara had seen, actually blushed. "Well, that 'Ed fellow' is his usual self. Had dinner with him last week. Clara insisted I go, she wanted to spend time with Alec."
Clara wanted to protest but saw Alec's face blush from behind the old Semi and thought better of it.
"Well, ain't that somethin'?" Mary chucked, turning slightly to pat his arm. "I told you you was handsome, Cher, didn't I?"
Clara was glowering at the wall when she could feel the old woman's consciousness touching hers.
It was happy. Full of
"Hey, Alec?" Clara stood at the doorway to his closet.
It was a really small room, but he liked it that way. Kathrin wouldn't have made anyone sleep in here. She told Clara that when Alec first came to her, this room was full of books. There were still several book shelves on the walls.
"Yes, Clara?" came his soft voice from the gloom. He sat on his cot-like bed that took up most of his closet.
"I, uh..." she leaned against the door frame. She suddenly lost all her nerve. She cleared her throat, "I wanted to ask you about... about your scars.... the ones on your back."
"What about them?"
Just like that? You are so open. So trusting with me... I don't understand you, Alec.
"I wanted to know... can I see them?"
Without a word Alec slowly pulled off his shirt and turned and sat cross-legged on his cot, facing his pillow. He flipped the light switch on so Clara could see better.
Clara slowly walked forward and sat on the cot toward the foot end. The scars were all over his back. Som