Chapter CXVII

There is nothing for miles, save the wide plain, wet grass beneath your feet, the sound of silence in your ears. The new sun casts a warm orange and pink glow over everything, tickling the undersides of the clouds with gentle fingers.

A horse with two riders stands unmoving, watching the birth of the sun.

One is a young man, his golden hair thrown over his face, his eyes glittering with laughter half concealed.

The other is a woman, young and pretty, half a smile on her lips, a kiss waiting to be claimed.

She sits behind him, her head leaning on his shoulder, arms around his waist. They breathe together, her lose hair rippling down her back. She can feel the warmth of his body beneath her cheek, hear the beating of his heart, the answering rhythm of hers.

‘And so, my dearest,’ says the man quietly, ‘here I am at the very end. Did I tell it well?’

She smiles the smile that is in her heart. No more pretending. No more hiding. She is herself and only herself.

As is he.

‘Yes, you did,’ she says, her chin bumping his neck. ‘You told it uncommonly well, I thought. But there is only one thing...’

He turns to her, holding her arms so he can look upon her face, even though he has memerised every constellation of freckles to perfection.

‘What is it?’

She glances up at the sky. ‘It’s a warm morning,’ she says quietly, remembering their evening by the bonfire.

He laughs. ‘And may I ask what you mean by that?’

She looks him in the eye, daring him to laugh.

‘I really do think that, after everything we’ve done together, I’d quite like to be a bit naughty for once.’

And, for decency’s sake, you must leave us now.

No one’s perfect.

But we are wonderful.

The End

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