Helis: When sleep refuses to come, I think of our wedding night. How you welcomed me to the marital bed. How, after, when you fell to sleep, I lay there watching your delicate face. For all its beauty, I detested its... fragility. A rage swelled up inside me. I abhorred that bed, how its softness threatened to swallow us up. And that room; the stench of incense, the fine embroidery of the drapes. All of it - weak. I slipped from the bed, threw open the casement, and lay naked on the stone floor, determined to spurn all seductions of comfort. But when I woke the next morning, you lay beside me, naked as I in the cold. Your body, stretched beside mine, seemed chiseled from stone. I saw you wake. Instantly alert, like an animal ready to strike. You said nothing. You did not have to. Already you had shown me, beyond doubt, that we were meant to be.

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