The water had helped. When he awoke to a kiss on the lips the expected headache was only faint. He held his eyes closed and smiled to himself. He knew Clare didn't like drinking, and yet she would take care of him if he got drunk, which wasn't often, but still.
"Another," he said, waiting for another kiss. He smelled her, right above him. He opened his eyes, and looked right into hers.

"Excuse me?"
"Another kiss. I liked that one, now I want another."
"You sound just like you did when I put you to bed."
He laughed. "Come here, gimme a kiss!" He reached for her, but she jumped up, laughing, and threw a pillow at him. "Come back here!" She ran towards the kitchen, but Ewan was faster and grabbed her arm. He pulled her in close and hugged her back. "I want another kiss..." He whispered. She giggled and turned around.
"Only if you vacuum," she said, and kissed him quickly on the lips.

"I'm going out!"
"Out where?"
"I have to pick up Maggie's present."
"Who's Maggie?"
"She's my aunt, she's turning fifty this Sunday."
"Don't be too long, I want to take you out for dinner."
"It's like ten minutes from here."
"Love you."
"Love you."

He watched TV while he waited for Clare to return. The lady on the news told him about some rich businessman being arrested for fraud, a forest fire on the other side of the world, and that the weather would be shit the next few days. Nothing to look forward to. Maggie's birthday next Sunday, apparently. Work this afternoon, then one free day and after that a day of forced love for a family he didn't know. He checked his watch. Only five minutes had passed since Clare left. Twenty more to go.

He left for work the minute she came back. He took his keys from the cabinet next to the front door and opened it when he heard her keys on the other side.
"Hey babe."
"Hey. You leaving for work?"
"Someone's gotta do it."
"Yeah, well just because I'm lucky enough to have a three day weekend doesn't mean we can't make ends meet."
"Lucky you. I'm leaving."
"Make us some money! Sell some books!"

The End

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