Saffron.    

        "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Saffy, happy birthday to you!" Their voices rang out not-so-melodiously, enveloping Saffron in the unconditional love she was accustomed to.

        She closed her eyes. What did she want? She once wished for a Jack Russell - and she got Maxi. On her tenth birthday, she was fervently hoping not to move house, and there, it came true. She still lived in the same neighbourhood, the same house, and most importantly, she lived next to the boy she loved. 

        "Just how many things are you wishing for, Saffy?" Her father laughed aloud as her eyes flew open to glare at him.

        "I'm thinking, Papa." She scowled, drawing a round of chuckles from the table. "You're so annoying!"

        Saffy pictured his face - emerald orbs and dark curls, with his cheeky smile. Absolutely, utterly irresistible. She blew out the candles one at a time. Very, very delicately. Demure girls are more attractive, she thought. Her heart gave a little flutter of delight when Kiowa let out a huge whoop. No matter how much time she spent with him (thirteen years actually), he still made her excited. Now that is what we call love.

            "Sweetie, will you ever consider a change in flavour?" Evelyn commented as she sliced the chocolate cake up. 

        "Never in a million years, mum." Saffy stuck out her tongue. 

        "Oh, we'll see how long you can last." Kai tickled Saffy's ribs playfully, making her squeal and slap his hands away.

       He laughs at her jokes and whips up breakfast in bed all the time. When he wraps his arms around her waist, she feels unexpectedly shy, but secretly pleased. He was vulnerable with her. She cried in his arms when her Gramps died.

        Kiowa Clearwater - my soulmate, my best friend, my special boy. Oh, I know he loves me. But he isn't in love with me.

        "Earth to Saffy." Sarah Clearwater waved her hand in front of Saffron's eyes. "You were a thousand miles away, dear." 

        She shook the memories away and smiled. "Just thinking about stuff."

        "Sure you're okay?" Sarah put an arm around her.

        Sarah was Saffy's second mum. A friend even. She wasn't as strict as Ben and Evelyn - Kai was free to go out anytime. The Clearwaters were fun, affectionate people. Saffy loved them just as much as she loved her parents. Sometimes even more.

        How was she going to say that she was hopelessly in love with her son?

        "Absolutely." Saffy wriggled her eyebrows, lightening the mood.

       "Alright Saffy, I'll send Kai over in a few days with tapes from your little party. Marc has been busy with our new camcorder, and our gift will be some recordings of the milestones in your life." Sarah paused for a moment. "Actually, starting from age sixteen would be more accurate."

        "Thanks Auntie Sarah, that's wonderful." Saffy kissed her on the cheek.

        "Anything for you to be happy." Sarah clasped Saffy's hand in two of hers. "Happy sixteenth sweetheart, I'm so proud of you. But you'll always be my little girl."

        Saffy squeezed her hand lightly, looking down at her knees. She knew how blessed she was, to be surrounded by people she loved. She had two mums, two dads and an amazing best friend. They were the world to her. But she just wanted a little more. She wanted Kiowa Clearwater to be in love with her.

        Kai is my sweet sixteenth wish.

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