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Kermit rolled over in bed to reach for the water glass on the mahogany nightstand. There was just enough moonlight coming in through the Venetian blinds that he could see his reflection in the brass lamp. When Kermit would usually look at his reflection, he would see pain in his eyes. Pain and emptiness and loneliness and fear. Maybe that was why he wore the glasses; he didn’t want anyone else to see what lurked behind them. Kermit looked down at the warm beautiful lady asleep on his chest. Karen. He’d shown her his eyes. Granted, she took off the glasses, but he could’ve stopped her if he’d wanted to.

He’d looked into her eyes, to watch her watch him. Afraid he’d see repulsion, Kermit was pleasantly surprised to see joy…and want and lust and understanding…and maybe a little fear, too. Maybe they weren’t that different after all. He chuckled at that thought, and the sharp rising motion of his chest woke Karen. She rose her head to look into his eyes.

“Morning,” she smiled groggily. “What time is it?” Karen rose her head and scanned the room for a clock.

Kermit moved his hand to Karen’s head and entwined his fingers in her hair. “3:15 AM,” he whispered.

“How’d you…never mind,” she smiled. Kermit smiled back and laid her head back on his chest.

“Want to go to sleep?” he inquired.

“Actually…”she twirled his dark chest hair with her slender fingers. Kermit looked down at Karen, a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. “I was hoping for an encore performance of last night. Are you up for it?”

Interesting choice of words, he mused, feeling the warm tingle radiating throughout him. “Oh yeah…But first, we should talk.”

Karen sat up, all hint of playfulness gone. “Of course.” She rubbed the sleep from her eyes. “Do you regret last night?”
“God no!” Kermit exclaimed. He hadn’t meant to give her that idea. He rose up on his elbows and kissed Karen full on the lips to prove the point. Then he thought about the question…what had made her ask that? “Do you…?” He was afraid to ask it.
“Do I what?”
“Regret last night?” he spat out.
“Not for a second,” she said looking him straight in the eyes. He could tell she meant it. “So what did you want to talk about?” she questioned, snuggling back into Kermit’s arms.
“Us, I guess.”
“Mmm…my favorite topic,” she purred.
Kermit grinned. “What I mean to say is…”
“I know Kermit. Me too. You don’t have to say it.”
“I do! That and a lot more. As a merc, I’ve always kept to myself, but for the first time, I have someone to talk to. Someone who I trust more than anyone…. I love you Karen.”
“I love you Kermit.”
Kermit sighed. One item down…now how many to go? “Where are we going, Karen?”
Karen laughed a brief staccato laugh. “It’s not usually the man who asks that.”
Kermit bowed his head in acknowledgement. “I’ve had my share of one-night-stands, Karen, and I don’t want this to be one more. In fact, I don’t think I can stand one more night without you in my arms.”
“Kermit…I…I feel the same way, it’s just,” she searched for the words, “I’ve been alone for so long now, I don’t know if I can change.”
“Me too, Kare. My soul’s a dark and dank place, and no one’s ventured there in quite a while. I’ve been journeying my path solitaire for as long as I can remember…never letting anybody get too close, but with you… I feel you can’t get close enough. This is getting to sound cliché, but I honestly want to tell you all my hopes and fears. Now, I don’t know if I can, but I want to try…with you.
“I’ve got a lot of skeletons in my closet too, Kermit, but…I guess it’s time for Spring cleaning anyways. I love you, Kermit, and sometimes that is enough,” Karen scooted even closer to her lover. “But Kermit,” she cautioned, “it won’t be easy.
Kermit looked at his reflection again, and saw contentment. Contentment and peacefulness and happiness, and love. She was right; it wouldn’t be easy, but it was a start. The start of a journey they would take together.
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