The alarm was about to go off. He could feel it. The sunlight was already streaming through the shear blinds. His hand reached out and silenced the machine after only one fraction of a beep. He swung his legs over the edge of the bed and sat himself upright.
She murmured in her half-awake daze, rolling over towards him. He twisted round to see her lying there. He didn't remember falling asleep with her beside him, but it didn't really worry him. Their's were generally chaste interactions.
Eyes still half-closed and blurred with sleep, she reached out to him, her slender fingers ghosting over his bare back. Her hand sank back to the bed, her eyes no longer pretending to open. "Thomas?" she questioned him. "Do you have to..."
He barely made out her words, but there it was. The mysterious name whispered under breaths and mumbled in sleep. She seemed to have slipped back into slumber. He ran his hands over his face and through his closely cropped blonde hair, and sighed. There was no reason to get up.
He sank back to the pillows, this time facing the woman across from him. His eyes traced the curve of her cheek. She felt the change of tension as he returned to bed, and shifted closer to him. He watched the small amount of consternation leave her face when she contacted the warmth of his body.
She was so peaceful beside him. He knew there were many secrets and mysteries between them. And it was likely there always would be. And he trusted her for keeping them. His long fingers rose to her silky hair, slipping through the strands.
She slumbered on, contentedly, until the small sounds of wakefulness attempting to return fell from her. Her eyes fluttered. Some stress returned to her face as she felt his hand in her hair. "Thomas..." That name came again. He saw her eyes struggling to open, knowing he was not who she expected.
Her eyes opened. She looked into his face and did not see 'Thomas' there waiting for her. She saw him and was confused. And then relieved.
"James," she sleepily smiled at him. She reached out with delicate fingers that skimmed his cheek. They traced his brow, his nose, the severe lines of his jaw... And then, oh so gently, her fingertips met his lips. And through her smile, a tear escaped.
He saw the glimmering drop form. Watched it slip silently across her cheek. He felt her hands tremble, their tips against his mouth. He took her hand and held it there against his lips. He pressed her palm against his warm cheek, and kissed her wrist beneath his lips. Thousands of tiny teardrops overflowed her eyes as they gazed into each other. They drank each other in.
Her breath caught in her chest, and her eyes closed. He released her hand, but gathered his arms around her. She nestled into his bare skin and let the tears escape her. Let the sobs fall from her lips. Let him hold her safely while she weathered the storm within.