Arizona:
Sonora Sundown

Walking among these ancient towering plants with their vertical ridges of thorns, Brandy felt her gaze pulled repeatedly to the majestic saguaros. Their trunks stretched upward to the sky, a multitude of arms branching out and raised boldly to the sun. Their endurance in a hostile climate was marked by the fact that a saguaro was seventy-five years old before it began to branch out.

Most of the cacti surrounding Brandy and Jim now were older than the statehood of Arizona. Some of them were nearer the age of the United States. The timeless magic of them enfolded her.

"The tales they could tell!" Brandy murmured.

Jim glanced down, an indulgent gleam in his eyes. "I take it you don't regret coming for a walk."

"I don't regret it." She darted a quick look at his amused expression. "I didn't really object in the first place," she defended.

"Didn't you?" A dark eyebrow arched to doubt her word.

"Well, only a little bit," she admitted as a self-mocking smile curved his lips.
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