“Don't worry so much.” Jasfoup led the stiff-legged Amanda to the window. The sun had gone down while they'd been painting and stars shone overhead despite the still-azure horizon. “Play your cards right and you'll still be here when the young suns of Cepheus flicker and die.”
“Mmm?” Amanda laid a hand on his arm. It was still warm from the hot resin they'd painted her with.
“Cepheus? It's that galaxy over there.” Jasfoup pointed. “You may know it as the rather cheeky name of NGC seven-one-two-nine.”
“Have I been there? Sadly not, though I understand they're quite civilised, if you believe in science. Which of course you can't if, like me, you're the product of a Judeo-Christian religion.” He sighed. “But if life were to exist elsewhere, which it doesn't, obviously, else the whole fundamental tenets of religion would come crashing down, then they'd be quite nice people.”
“Exactly.” He stared into her painted-shut eyes and sighed. “You know, conversation would be so much easier if Harold hadn't removed your lungs.”