50. "I don't think I could ever break that promise."
Robert had told Aaron that he’d never let him wake up alone. It was a throwaway line, said at some point during their first night back together after Aaron had been released. Lying chest-to-chest, basking in their afterglow, Robert had breathed the words into Aaron’s mouth. Aaron had swallowed them whole, but not thought much about them after that.
It’s not until Robert is away on business in Holland that it becomes clear to Aaron just how keen his husband is to stay true to his word. He phones Aaron every morning at half seven on the dot, pulling him gently from sleep with a smile in his voice and a ‘good morning. I love you.’
His ferry gets cancelled on the day he’s supposed to arrive home, so Aaron knows he’ll be spending another night in an empty bed. He sleeps like he has every day this week, with one arm stretched over Robert’s side of the bed. He’s disappointed that he won’t wake up next to his husband for an extra day, but sleeps soundly all the same.
He’s awoken the next morning by the bed sinking down beside him. He opens a pair of bleary eyes to find Robert curled up next to him on top of the covers, still wearing his shirt and smart trousers. When Robert sees that Aaron is awake, he smiles, leaning forward and letting their lips brush gently.
‘I don’t think I could ever break that promise.’