The moonlight was so bright that even with the shutters closed it played a slatted shadow across your naked back, covers torn down as you tossed and turned in your sleep. As we lay there and I listened to the shallow, steady sound of your resting breath I realised that in that moment I could reach across and shake you awake, or plant light kisses on your skin until you opened your eyes. I could tell you that I loved you more than I had ever loved anyone before, that all of those little worries I’d had about loving anyone again had disappeared the moment you reached across and took my hand for the first time without a single care in the world.

But I didn’t. Instead, I watched the moonlight inch its way slowly across your back, watched your muscles tense and release as you shifted and murmured nonsense words. And when the dark gave way to the weak, inevitable light of dawn, and long after the first bird had begun its lilting, broken song, I closed my eyes.