As Ludwig opened his eyes, he was met with the darkened and blurred vision of his bedroom. He felt the warm blankets covering his body, his hands and head the only things exposed to the cool air. He lay on his side, his left arm tucked under the pillow and his right outstretched in front of him.
The German pushed himself up from the mattress, sitting up on the edge of the bed. He briefly rubbed his eyes, letting out an inaudible sigh through his nose. He had attempted to fall asleep for the past two hours, but he just didn’t feel tired. In fact, he felt the exact opposite.
He rested his hand down on the mattress, his knuckles making contact with something behind him. He cocked his head to see his wife _____ sleeping soundly on her side of the bed. Her lids were draped gently over her eyes, and she breathed slowly so that her chest rose and fell at a steady tempo.
Ludwig brought his legs back up onto the mattress and quietly scooted closer, keeping his eyes on his wife. He stared at her sleeping figure, catching a glimpse of the peaceful smile that crossed her lips.
Ludwig unknowingly mirrored the smile, his much smaller than hers. He lifted his hand toward _____’s face, his fingertips barely touching her cheek. He lowered his hand slightly so that it gingerly rested on the side of her face. _____’s cheek was cupped in his large palm, and his fingers explored her soft hair while his thumb lay just under her eye. She seemed so small under his hand––so fragile. As his hand slowly slid down to her neck and jawline, it came to him how easily he could do something to her if he wanted to. He could very easily have tightened his grip on her neck, or twisted her head until her cervical vertebrae snapped. That was what he had been accustomed to thinking of, anyway. He had been brought up to fight, to take down anyone in the way.
His past life completely contradicted the life set before him now.
Ludwig’s fingertips ran across _____’s soft neck and collarbone, finding their way to her shoulder. They slowly left her shoulder and descended her arm, then jumped to her side just below her chest. He cupped his palm around her side, letting it slide deftly down to her hip. He savored the feeling of her soft skin underneath his calloused hand, burning it into his mind.
The German leaned over _____, his chest resting on top of hers, and lay his forehead gently on hers. He closed his eyes as he felt her breath blow softly onto him. He spoke in a silent murmur, barely hearing himself. But he spoke in absolute sincerity.
“Danke, dass du für mich da bist, Schatz. Ich liebe dich.”