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He reminded her of
aged parchment, one with
history scribbled across the
yellowing surface. He told
stories about when the
land was new, shining like
a polishing vase. He told her
of times when he was a kid
and learning the art of
hunting. He told her of his
inexperience, his youthful
idiocy that she briefly
remembered from her own
childhood but had chosen
to shove aside. How was it
that when you got older,
you suddenly recalled the
useless stories that no one
was interested in hearing?
She had asked him that once.
He merely shrugged and
kissed her cheek, saying the
answer really didn't matter as
much as she seemed to think.

He was surly and brutish. He
came off as brash and cold,
like sterling silver. His eyes
reflected the light at the oddest
times. She remembered waking
up to find his irises staring at her,
watching her sleep. It was the
first time she had seen
past his armoured exterior
and caught a glimpse of the
man he had once been, before
time built layers on his bones.
That was when she realized
she loved him.

She was foolish sometimes,
flippant with her affections
on more than one occasion.
She had her armour too. It rose
and fell, depending on the
situation or male. She didn't
trust and she didn't befriend.
She didn't gallivant off with
strangers. Not anymore. Age
was nipping at her heels, ordering
her to grow up, to settle down,
be sensible! He was her sense,
her reason, her logical side that
said it was okay to cease
running around like a panicked
pheasant and sit under an oak
curled up against him.

He thought he was too old
to fall in love and she believed
it unlikely he would ever
see her as more than a friend.
He assumed there were younger,
stronger men able to tend to her
and love her until their heart's
content. He didn't understand
how much she needed someone
reliable, someone as solid as he.
He was a constant companion,
a definitive force that she knew
whenever she wandered over,
he would be there with a lopsided
grin and a fresh drink to share.
What was wrong with her loving
him? Nothing he supposed, just
a foreign concept. He'd never seen
love, never heard of its symptoms
or cures (could you cure it? He'd
need the formula). Yet when she
hopped the fence and chatted
about her schedule, he
grinned and shook his head,
wondering how she found him and
which of them was more blessed
because of it.