Shelly held up her empty bottle and reached for Dan’s. “Do you want a last one?” she asked him.
He nodded, gazing into the fire, then realising that she probably couldn’t see him properly in the dark, said, “Yes, please, honey. Thank you.”
She stood up and made her way back across the garden, carrying the empty bottles. A slice of light slanted onto the grass as she opened the kitchen door and went inside.
Dan didn’t watch her go, but kept his eyes on the fire, watching the flames lap gently across the wood, yellow paling into blue. The fire was burning low and the cool of the night was starting to eat into the cocoon of warmth it had woven. It would be time to go in soon.
Shelly returned with two more beers, and set one down on the table next to Dan. He didn’t look up.
“I got your beer for you.”
“Hmm? Oh. Thanks, honey.”
He leant forward and picked up the poker from the ground, then he used it to shift the big log in the centre of the embers. It would burn a little hotter there. Hotter, but quicker.
He sat back in his chair and picked up his beer.
“Thanks,” he said again as he took a sip.
The two of them sat in silence, watching the flames lick higher and brighter. Dan looked across and could see his wife looking at him, the yellow light reflected in her eyes.
He raised his bottle in a salute and she did the same.
With a soft crump, the last log in the fire split into ashes and the light died.
He turned back to watch it, and they sat in silence as the last of it glowed in shades of amber and red.