Milo wasn't going to give up his idea of a date, though. Even if Hellon didn't want him to kiss her in full sight, he could still take her to the market, right? While they were crossing the square, passing all the different stalls with food and clothes, he was telling her jokes he heard from the miners at work. Hellon couldn't stop laughing as she was eating the strawberries he bought her. She didn't tell him that she already had strawberries the day before, because she didn't want to disappoint him. Milo didn't have much money and he really wanted to buy her something, so she didn't complain. Now the two lovers sat down on a little wall near the square.
Hellon swinged her legs, trying to ignore the looks she thought they were getting from the people in the square. She was being paranoid and she knew it. No one was going to tell her father about Milo. No one even cared. But still she couldn't ban the worries from her mind.
Milo, on the other hand, had never been happier. He was really having the time of his life. He didn't have to go to the orphanage until that evening and he didn't have to go to work either. Instead, he was spending time with the girl of his dreams. He couldn't stop staring at her; she looked amazingly beautiful that day. Her hair was simply tied up in a bun, instead of a complex braid. She was wearing a white dress, which made her blue eyes stand out even more than they normally did. And her smile, her magical smile, that made him go crazy every single time he saw her. It was her smile he liked the most about her.
Just when he thought she was relaxing a little, they heard a familiar voice. "Milo MacGraffle."
Milo hadn't heard that voice in a while, since the owner lived in another district. But he saw Hellon's face, and he knew he was right. It was Benon Marple's voice.
Milo turned around. "Benon Marple. What an honour," he said, smiling. He couldn't help it, but he didn't feel at ease anymore. He could feel every muscle in Hellon's body tighten up. She was still sitting on the wall beside him. And because she was worried, he was worried, too. What would Benon say? But still Milo managed to remain calm. "How's life going on the other side of the fence?"
"Oh, it's okay," Benon answered. He glanced from Milo to his sister, but he stayed cool as well. "More than okay, actually."
"Yeah, I heard you were getting married," Milo said. Hellon still couldn't speak a word. "Congratulations."
"Thanks. You seem to know a lot more about me than I do about you." Benon looked him straight in the eye. "I see you and my little sister are friends?"
"In fact we are, Benon, I took really good care of her when you were gone." Milo's smile grew bigger with every word he said. It was funny, wasn't it? Hellon was so scared of being caught, and there they were. Caught by Benon, her oldest brother. Milo only bothered because she did. Actually, he was glad to see Benon again. They had been best friends before Benon moved out of the district. They did a lot of things together. Stealing liquor from the black market was one of them. Getting drunk was another. Things that the mayor hadn't found out. So why would he ever found out about Milo and Hellon? There were a lot of things that Mayor Marple didn't know of, even if they involved his children.
And Benon? Milo wasn't scared of Benon. Just because of all they went through together, he knew Benon wouldn't tell on him. And Hellon meant everything to him. He wouldn't ruin her happiness. Milo knew for sure. A smile would appear on Benon's face in no time.
And just when he thought the words, it actually happened. First, one corner of his mouth turned upwards, then the other and eventually, Benon bursted out in laughter. Hellon was finally able to relax. She sighed in relief.
"I'm glad to see you again, Milo," Benon said, shaking the miner's boy's hand. Then he turned towards his sister, who still had a cautious look on her face. "As for you, dear sister, aren't you supposed to be with Pem?"
She nodded. "I know, but I told him to go home on his own."
"So you could secretly meet your boyfriend?" Benon asked. He started laughing again before Hellon could stress out.
"Benon..." she started, but he interupted her.
"Don't worry, Hellon. I have no right to judge the people you call your friends. Certainly not when I called them my friends, too."
"Call, present tense, Benon," Milo said. "You can still call me a friend if you want to."
Benon smiled and nodded, then he added: "I won't tell Father, I know how he thinks about our 'friend' here." He stressed the word 'friend' and winked at Milo. "Now stop looking so worried, darling. I've been young, too, you know. I've done things no one knows about."
"Oh, now you make me wonder," Hellon said, faking a smile. Milo knew so, because he could recognize her real smile from miles away. But she tried to relax and that was already better than a few minutes ago.