“I’m glad we finally got out, Clo. Things have been crazy between us. Tonight made me realize we need each other. I don’t ever want to be without you again.” Gregory bent down to touch his wife’s face. She looked up at him in agreement. They had been separated for a month, thinking maybe their relationship was over. Growing apart, they called it.
After gently stroking her cheek, he kissed her. She showed acceptance by closing her eyes and allowing her body to fall into his. It was a subtle display of forgiveness. They stayed there for a few minutes, languishing in each other’s scent, and reading the other’s thoughts about the evening. Once they were completely full, their arms fell, hers from his neck, his from her waist. They locked fingers and walked back home to their apartment, using the thick cloud of amour they were floating on as their own little magic carpet. Once inside, they were both overcome with passion. Familiar love clogged their nostrils.
Clover woke up in the middle of the night, parched and searching for a glass of water. In their haste, she must have forgotten to pour one. She looked at her phone, checking to see if her sister, Sarah had sent any messages. Clover was staying with her while taking time away from Greg. Sarah knew about the date, but it hadn’t been established beforehand whether or not Clover would be staying out. When Clover pressed the home button, the bright light clawed at her eyes. From what she could tell by the quick glance, no one was looking for her. With her eyes and throat both screaming, Clover slid out of bed and walked into the kitchen. She thought for sure she was still asleep when she realized her and Gregory weren’t the only living creatures in the apartment.
As her eyes fully adjusted to the light, she walked away, thinking her consciousness was stuck in a dream and she ought to just go back to bed and make things right.
Curiosity won the fight.
Clover walked back into the kitchen. The creature was standing at the stove mixing a bubbling pot with a wooden spoon. He gazed at her cooly before offering a somber “Hello.” His voice was like molten gold. The word reverberated around the room and slid down the walls. Her feet got warm first, the heat steadily rising to her face. The curls close to her temples were dragged down with the weight of her sweat. Clover was frozen. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. A man, with the body of a majestic horse, stood in her kitchen making what appeared to be a very late pasta dinner. He had a long white mane, and wispy eyelashes she was sure she had seen before. They were like little fans on his face. His eyes looked kind and inviting. She wanted to be afraid, but wasn’t.
“Clover, do you remember when I used to take you and Sarah to the field by your grandmother’s house? We would run until we couldn’t breathe. That was freedom. You always had the most peaceful smile on your face afterwards. That’s how you looked tonight. He loves you. Trust him. Accept him.”
She looked at the centaur and nodded weakly. Cool tears fell down her cheeks. Her father had been gone since she was seven years old. An accident on the ranch. Trampled. Clover used the sleeve of her robe to wipe her face and took a seat at the dining room table.
“Daddy, can I have a little bit of whatever that is you’re making?”
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