This is just a side story from The Journey: Joel and Teegan. This is my answer to The Pebble Challenge on The Den.
Series: Another Life
Joel watched intently as a fish swam over his net. It was too big, so he let it swim off down river. He smiled as he heard Teegan humming further up the river bank. Teegan had shown him how to catch fish with a net. Joel had listened carefully when Teegan explained that they wanted a fish not too big and not too small. One that would feed them without waste; but not leave them hungry. He knew he had a lot to learn, and Teegan had been the perfect teacher.
His mind wandered and his heart soared with thoughts of Teegan. They were learning so much about each other as they traveled to Tarvos. They were learning how their dynamics would work together and they were learning the pleasures of each other's bodies. This time was crucial; the bond they were creating would be a strong force. Once they'd enter Tarvos, Joel would need to concentrate fully on the Anax. Joel wanted to pledge with Teegan for life and needed the permission from the leader, the Anax, of the community.
A splash brought his attention back to the river. A fat bullfrog had jumped in, scaring the fish. As Joel watched the fish scatter, a glint from the river bottom caught his eyes. Reaching down into the shallow waters of the river, Joel pulled up a small shiny pebble.
He held it up and let the sun shine through it, reflecting rainbows off the water. Joel thought back to Earth and how stones had cost so much money at one time. He remembered seeing jewelry with stones, no not stones, he corrected himself. Diamonds. That's what his mother had told him they were. And how at one time, people spent thousands of dollars on diamonds and other pretty pebbles and stones. The people on Earth would give them to each other in honor of vows and promises to love one another forever. In his life on Earth, he remembered people trying to trade their stone-adorned jewelry for food. But diamonds and stones didn't quell the gnawing of hunger when food had become so scarce.
Joel glanced down and saw a fish the perfect size lazily swimming over the net. Quickly he pulled on a piece of wood. The wood was connected to the net on each of its four corners. A tug on the wood and the net would be lifted from the river, fish and all.
There would be no gnawing of hunger in their bellies tonight, Joel thought, proud of himself for offering sustenance of life to the man he loved. Efficiently, he tied the net tight, so as not to allow it to escape. The shiny pebble he'd been admiring had fallen back into the river. A quick look at the river bed, and Joel found it again.
Slipping the pebble in his pocket, he decided he would give it to Teegan. He'd help Teegan cook the fish and after they'd eaten their fill, he'd offer the pebble to the submissive. The small shiny rock would symbolize their life and love together. Time, wind and weather, would smooth out their edges, just like it had done with the pebble. Together they would be just as strong as any stone.