In sickness and in health

She doesn’t try to hold his hand, or kiss him. Their relationship has become what it was when he first courted her. When he would lightly grip her forearm as they crossed the street together. As she grips his now, near the leather restraints.

His eyes are clouded and scratched because he never blinks, but she still gazes into them. His lower jaw hangs loose, in an approximation of the wolfish smile that used to melt her.

It was always going to be like this. One of them was going to get some kind of sick and the other was going to try to make them better, as best they could. It’s a hazard of love.

She feels the numbness that follows the painkillers she took an hour ago. She’s getting down to the last of them, and when they’re gone that will make what comes next even harder. She’ll make do. She grips the knife.

She bites down on a piece of leather and slowly, agonizingly, she saws a strip of skin from her upper arm. She grips it with the pliers and stretches it towards him.

“Dinnertime, babygoose.”

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