"You're beautiful."

Patches of sunlight on blond hair bleaches parts of it near white, fanned out against her lap and onto the grass below, and silver eyes are framed by thick lashes, half-lidded but focused, never straying from her face. Alex looks down at her love—her Leo—at the delicate smile on his flower petal lips, and wonders if his eyes work as well as he claims.

"If anyone is beautiful," She mutters, fingers easing through his fringe, combing through the softer than silk strands, "it is you."

Leo frowns, but it's more like a pout in his sleepy state.

Alex sighs with a fondness she's grown accustomed to. "Tell me then, what do you think of as beautiful?"

His hand immediately reaches up and brushes her ever warm cheek, tracing a thumb underneath one eye.

"Honestly, I love everything about you, but what I like most is that your eyes are blue." He begins softly, sliding fingers down to her neck, drawing a strand of fiery red hair forward into his chest. "I like that they match perfectly with your red hair, and I like that they're the colour of a summer's day; the ones where it's hot but not uncomfortable, when there are no clouds either, those days that you call 'lazy days' because all we do is eat watermelon and drink lemonade and sit outside—but I like it because summer is my favourite season, and I like summer because it's warm, like you."

Alex grabs his hand from her hair, presses a lingering kiss to the back of it.

Leo draws in a slow breath, voice reducing to a lower hum as he continues. "I like that your eyes are blue because that's your favourite colour. That when you were growing up, you could look in the mirror and not completely hate yourself because your eyes were the best colour. That you can love yourself like I love you, even at times when you like yourself a whole lot less." His eyes close, and his words are thick and heavy, like molasses. "I like that your eyes are blue because they reflect who you are—wise and truthful and calm. That they're an open book—but simultaneously as deep as the ocean."

Leo laces their fingers together, drags them over to his lips to brush his lips against her knuckles, before settling them on his stomach.

"I love that when I dream, I dream in blue."

Then he's fast asleep, face buried in her stomach, chest rising and falling in even breaths.

Alex leans her head back on the bark of the tree. Slits of blue afternoon sky are visible between the branches dotted with pink buds, streaked with passing white—the scenery blurs the longer she stares. She sniffles and her eyes are shiny like crystals, but the smile on her face is genuine.

"I love you too, my gentle prince."

Under the warmth of a shining sun, and the shade of chiming leaves, Alex drifts off into pleasant sleep.


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