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“I want to show you something,” I say, tugging her gently toward room three, pulling the key from my pocket.

“Okay,” she agrees happily, and I feel a tinge of guilt for the deception.

We stop outside the door. I twist the key in the lock, but turn to her before I push the door open.

“Before we go in, I want to tell you something,” I say. “I want you to remember that I love you, and that no matter what happens, everything is going to be okay.”

For the first time, a small amount of wariness creeps into her expression.

“Okaaay,” she answers, hesitant, skeptical. “Is everything okay, Sam?”

I smile at her, and push the door open. She steps in ahead of me, and I close the door behind us, the lock automatically clicking into place. She is staring at the bed, which suddenly seems overwhelmingly large in the room, and I can see what she might think of my bringing her here. She turns toward me, and the worry on her face confirms my suspicion.

“No, it’s not . . .” I begin.

“You know how I feel . . .” she says at the same time, laughing nervously as our words overlap.

I walk up to her, place my hands on her shoulders.

“I do know how you feel, and I would never do anything that would cause you to compromise your values for me. I didn’t really think about how this would appear.”

Relief floods her eyes, and she smiles as she leans into me, wrapping her arms trustingly around my waist.

“I know that, Sam. I shouldn’t have doubted you.”

I swallow over the lump in my throat at her words. What I’m about to do is much worse . . . She leans back and looks up at me, trust and love shining in her unusual eyes. Those eyes are the reason we are even here. They are what made me first believe that she could be like me . . . that she could be the one I’ve been waiting centuries for, the hope amplified when I met her grandmother and knew what she is. Those are the eyes that I had fallen in love with so quickly.

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