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by Jessica Brandt

"I miss you," he said. He closed his eyes and ran his fingers through her hair.

"I miss you too," she whispered after a brief moment of silence. She twirled her curly brown locks around her fingers.

They sat in the dark, her wrapped from head to toe in a blanket, him lying nearly naked on his bed. She closed her eyes and ran her hand across his broad chest, circling his scar and moving to his chin.

He sighed. "I never thought I could feel like this about anyone," he said, now staring out the window into the night sky. His hands moved to his own stomach, slapping it so she could hear. "My belly misses you."

She giggled at the thought, then reached out to poke his belly. "You're pretty cute," she said, smiling from ear to ear.

They sat in silence for a long moment. His hands moved to her thigh. She felt smooth and warm against his skin.

She traced his lips with her fingers. She loved his lips, small and tight. She traced her own lips, and then licked them and got lost in biting her lower lip.

"I miss your body next to mine," he said.

"I know," she breathed, sounding small and far away. The clock on the wall made an enormous tone, reminding them that it was very late. She tried to ignore it.

"I have to work tomorrow," he said. "I'm getting sleepy."

"I know."

"I love you. You don't know how much I love you," he said.

"I love you too." She ran her hand up and down his chest again, reveling in his fuzziness.

"I love you more," he said. He ran his hands up her chest.

"Okay. But I love you lots. I miss you. I can't wait until I see you again."

"I miss you too. I love you, and I'll talk to you tomorrow?"

"Yeah, I should be home around nine or so," she said.

"Good night, baby," he whispered.

"Good night." She hung up the phone and sat for a minute in the dark, face flushed, eyes slowly adjusting.

He laid the phone down and turned over in his bed, alone. Again. But not forever.

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