Light. That was what she thought when she first saw him. An efficiently imperious blur of red-orange and gold, gleaming from sunshine and sweat. A whirl of loud, unapologetic arrogance, projecting his presence everywhere at once. Like the sun, he burned her eyes.

She couldn't look away.

Sometimes he shone with a quieter radiance, like a candle, the moon, the sun through morning river-mist. He was mesmerizing to watch in those moments of contemplation just after sunrise, sitting on the bed's edge, head in hands.

What's wrong? she'd ask, a hand on his shoulder.

I don't deserve you, he'd say, choking on tears. I never will.

She wrapped her arms around him, said: shut the fuck up.