Hesiope left on her horse at dawn, taking her messages on for delivery. The collar was still around her throat. She’d asked, “May I keep it?” and when Therakles’d asked why, she’d answered, “Because it’s beautiful.” She’d kissed him goodbye and not noticed that she’d stunned him to silence.
She trotted her horse back in again a fortnight later at sunset. When they’d dealt with the horse and secured the messages, he said, “You came back. No-one ever comes back.” A delicate pause then, “I wasn’t your first.”
“No, but you’re the first I’ve ever wanted to come back to.”