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Ephraim wakes to sticky eyelids and sun. It’s very warm, and Leila’s still out. She’s kicked off the sheet and lies with toes stretched down to the footboard. She’s wearing her Jack’s BP t-shirt, cracked white letters on blue, rucked up to her breasts. Her panties are lime cotton.

He slides down, still sleepy, and burrows out to run his nose along her waistband. She doesn’t stir. He nuzzles down, feeling the rough cotton give a little under his lips. She’s very soft, but he just lets himself breathe over her: deep, warm breaths: waking her body without waking her up.