A Leap of Faith

Is her love enough?

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2. Parting is such sweet sorrow

“Why must you leave me Bow?” Anna’s head was resting against Bowman’s chest, her face creased with worry as he traced light circles across the bare skin of her back. His other arm was wrapped loosely around her waist. Smiling wryly he kissed her forehead and buried his face in her hair, inhaling the sweet scent of the coconut oil that she used.  Mixed with this was the smell of her skin, akin to the wild sea breezes that he so loved when he was aboard ship. His two loves, the ocean and his Anna mixed together here in his arms. “You know why my love…”

“We can survive without the money…” Anna shifted and knelt next to him “The tavern earns us enough, does it not?”

“Not any more…” Bowman’s hands reached out and caressed her swollen stomach tenderly. Anna’s eyes softened and a small smile played across her features, temporarily smoothing the anxiety away. She placed her hand over his, the pale slimness contrasting starkly with the broad brownness of Bowman’s and looked up at him. Her eyes filled with love as she stared into his, deepest blue meeting dark brown with heart-melting devotion.

Bowman was struck suddenly with the realisation that Anna would wait for him for eternity if she had to. He had always assumed that one day she would tire of constantly waiting for him to return from an endless litany of voyages and find another, one who would care for her as he should. Yet in that moment, when her eyes caught his in a blissful snare, he knew that no matter how far he went or for how long he was gone, Anna would always be waiting. 

He captured her lips in a soft kiss and she sighed against his lips. This would be their last embrace for months if not years. When he returned, their child would be a living, breathing testament to their love, a constant reminder to her of her Bowman. Tears welled in her eyes at the thought of him leaving and the return of the almost permanent ache in her heart. It was only eased when he was with her, holding her to him. Only then could she be sure he was safe, sure that he was not about to leave her yet again. The salty taste of her tears mingled with the sweetness of their kiss reflecting the bittersweet sorrow of their parting.

Stroking her cheek softly, Bowman pulled away from her. He smoothed her tears off her cheek and pulled her into a tight embrace. “We sail with the morning tide. I have to leave now…”

The sounds of her sobs were muffled by his chest and he held her tight, peppering kisses across the top of her head. When she pulled away he kissed her softly and sweetly before getting off the bed. He dressed quickly and shouldered his pack. She moved to get up, perhaps to follow him to the docks but he shook his head “Anna… Stay here… You need the rest.” He kissed her one last time, murmuring his love against her lips. Then he turned and left the room, shutting the door with a soft click behind him.

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