In Vino Veritas
by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
He uncorked the bottle: Saint-Émilion, vintage 2087. She had no idea what Bordeaux cost out here but he wanted to wine her and dine her as if she were human, treat her like a date on Earth. Anything to prove they were meant for each other. No reason to call it off, just because of that scene in the mess. "No reason at all" he said, pushing a glass towards her, "why we can't make this work."
"I love you, you know that." She shook her head. "But that's not enough. I couldn't survive on your Earth and you couldn't stand to stay away."
"Sure I could," he said. "Who needs that troubled old planet? I love it here."
A sad laugh escaped her. "Our swamps make you itch. Your people won't accept me; you'd be ostracized from the space platform. Love would turn to hate."
"Stop worrying about tomorrow. Just be with me! We'll make it work."
"That's foolish." Her eyes filled with tears. "You’ll lose your home, career, everything."
"And I'd have you." He pressed the wine-glass into her limp hand. "A toast! To trust and true love."
She paused and then took a sip. "To true love.”
"That's better! You shouldn't argue with me."
"You don't know everything," she said.
He leaned towards her. "What don't I know, huh?"
Her voice was barely a whisper. "You don't know that this is poison to our kind." The wine-glass slipped from her lifeless fingers and shattered on the floor.