“Where were we?” he asked, forgetting to return the smile.

With a quickness that surprised her she said, “We were discussing the pre-nup.”

Resuming their trek, he sighed before saying, “It’s not that I don’t trust you, honey.”

It was the same line. As she stared at the puppy, a Valentine’s Day gift from Jon, she pondered the comfort of habits and decided to respond with her usual answer: “After all these years, I don’t understand why you never mentioned it before.”

“I guess I didn’t want to hurt you.” He pressed his lips together, deepening the dimple. This was a new line.

“But you’re hurting me now. What’s the difference?” Also new.

Silence again.

Since Hawaii, she was continuously haunted by the passionate, throw-caution-to-the-wind kind of love she had come to expect based on every love scene on TV and every love song on the radio. Often, in the quiet of the early morning, she woke with a start and puzzled over it all: what disqualified her from that kind of love? Or, was she led quite astray after all? Perhaps Sleeping Beauty had to quitclaim off the deed to her castle in the sky. Could it be that Cinderella remained poor even after she married her prince?

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