Gently she eased herself off the bed, trying to make as little noise as possible, not wanting to wake him. Her body was still tingling from their love making. She gazed down upon his face, so serene and untroubled, and remembered how, only hours before, she’d traced her finger across the stubble of his chin.

Silently she dressed, then took the key from her purse and laid it carefully on the dining room table. She thought about the shy look on his face earlier that evening, when he’d finally told her the words she had only half expected him to ever say, the words that would change everything.

“I love you,” he had declared, and she knew that this was not something that came easy for him. Their love making was different after that, fiercer, as though it really mattered. Afterward they had quietly drifted off to sleep.

She looked around the apartment, knowing she was forgetting something. Ah yes. She went into the bathroom and took one of the two toothbrushes out of the cup, the one he had told her was hers. She waited until she was several blocks away before tossing it into the nearest trash can.

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