"Mhmmm ... I love you. I will miss you when I'm at college." The sound of his introductory sigh prefaced pure and unguarded emotion.
"I love you, Dad. I'll miss you."
Before the words had finished being spoken - before Mark could respond with "I love you, too" - Stross raised his chin and extended the trunk of his body toward the ceiling. He stretched as tall as he could make his body while still seated on the floor. His Cheshire-smile face invited attention, and Skye rewarded him with a pivot his direction and a kiss at the top of his forehead.