Noreen could tell that Foster had something serious in mind when she met him in the rose garden. The twitching lower lip was always a sure giveaway. His right hand held behind his back added a touch of mystery.

"My, don't you look prosperous?" she smiled. "New suit and all. The job promotion must agree with you."

"Uh, yeah, the pay raise was even more than I expected, and I thought…well, what we've been talking about…"

Noreen fluttered her long lashes coyly. "Why, whatever could you mean?"

Foster blushed and she felt almost guilty for throwing him into stammering confusion. But it was such wicked fun to play with his emotions.

"Well, uh, you know. When I told you I thought maybe we could…you know…"

"Perhaps you should put your cards on the table," she suggested. "With both hands."

"Oh, yeah, sure."

His right hand came around holding a small jewelry case which he thrust at her as if it was too hot to hold.

"It's for you!"

She took it with a happy cry. "You shouldn't have!"

"Yes, I should. The first moment I saw it, I knew it was made for the girl who means the world to me."

"You darling." Noreen opened the case and gasped at the gleaming huge diamond on a gold band. "It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! Thank you."

"Do you really like it?"

"I love it. And I love you." She hugged him with her free arm and kissed him passionately.

When she released him, his lips were stretched into such a wide smile that he could hardly get the words out: "Aren't you going to..?"

"Of course." She picked up the severed human finger and slipped the ring off of it.

He watched anxiously as she took a small dainty bite.

"Mmmm, delicious!"