She’d apologized. Said that she was wrong to hit him. Said that she couldn’t believe she had beaten him. Said that there had been something monstrously wrong with her, deep inside, that had nothing to do with the way she’d come back. Just that she’d come back. Something she’d finally dealt with.
She lay sleeping beside him, in his new bed. As usual, she was wrapped up in her own body, separate even when with him. He figured that this was just another story, another brief respite before she pushed him away again, her needs satisfied. He listened to her even breathing. He was tired of being used, tired of missing her, tired of the confusion. Still, he knew he would always be there for her. Even if she wasn’t his, not really, he was hers.
His body stiffened as she threw an arm around him in her sleep. He waited for her instinctual withdrawal. It didn’t happen. He put a tentative arm around her, heard her whisper “Spike” softly. She was smiling.
She opened her eyes. She didn’t pull back. She said, “Love you,” then snuggled closer to him, closing her eyes again.
He relaxed and fell asleep.