_____ slipped back out into her bedroom, silently closing the door behind her. She stepped into the room, and smiled softly at the large man in her bed. She watched him sleep for a long moment, his muscled chest gently rising and falling as he breathed. _____ stood at his bedside and gazed down at him, like a guardian angel.
Of course, she knew she was anything but an angel.
She, like anyone else, had done things that she regretted, that she wished she could take back or erase from the past. But she continued to live and move on––and somewhere along the way, she met the man before her now.
For the most part, Ludwig was unaware of what he had meant to _____. Not only had he been her friend during the most difficult part of her life, but he loved and accepted her for who she was. Despite _____’s rough and scarred surface, Ludwig was able to find the beauty inside. Not the “beauty” advertised by the world they knew, but genuine, unpretentious beauty. Beauty that no makeup could ever improve or cover up.
_____’s heart swelled with gratitude. Never in her life did she think she could ever fully return the happiness he had given back to her. It seemed to her like a debt that she could never pay back. But it was alright. She would never have to.
She already did.
A wide smile crossed _____’s lips as she watched her husband’s sleeping figure. This was the only time he ever really relaxed, when his shoulders weren’t tensed up, and his brows weren’t knitted together, and his blond hair fell gracelessly into his face. _____ loved seeing him like this. It reminded her that he wasn’t always so strict and uptight––he also had a gentle side.
_____ had begun to see the gentle part of him more often after they got married. Somehow, when he put that ring on his finger, he became more exposed to _____ than he had ever been. She was now able to see the parts of him that he kept away from others, and to Ludwig’s surprise––and _____’s, too––she fixed them.
_____ gently felt the small band on her finger, the soft smile returning to her lips. She stepped to the foot of the bed and climbed onto it, lying quietly beside her husband. Her hand skimmed across his arm, feeling each well-toned muscle under her fingertips. She rested her hand on his arm just below the elbow, and brought her head to the crook of his neck. She looked up at his calmed face one more time before closing her eyes.
“Sweet dreams, Luddy. I love you.”