The Photographer's Wife

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He inhaled her scent: a unique mixture of golden syrup and Turkish delight, thanks to the syrup she smothered her porridge with every morning and the rose scented fragrance she always wore. He found the combination intoxicating and nothing else on earth smelt as good. He constantly wished for a way to photograph her smell but that was beyond even his talents.

Recently she had changed. She was no longer his carefree lover with hair that glimmered in the sun as she twirled and laughed through the cornfields that he so loved to capture on film. Gone was the girl that piled her hair on top of her head and mysteriously fixed it in place with a pencil while she baked beautiful cakes. In her place was a woman, Lucy, his beautiful and very pregnant wife, a little less carefree and a lot less twirly although the mystery of the pencil in the hair remained. Nevertheless, he still loved to photograph her.

She was sleeping as he lay next to her in the early morning light which allowed him the indulgence of watching her slumber and the enjoyment of that intoxicating smell. Even in sleep the dark smudges around her eyes betrayed her disturbed night, the constant back ache and pressure on her bladder keeping her awake. However, she slept now and she was still infinitely beautiful to him.

After a few minutes he slipped out from under the covers and grabbed his camera from the next room. Feeling only slightly guilty he stood at the end of the bed and pressed the shutter. She had once told him never to stop photographing her ... who was he to argue with that?

A few pictures later and the faint beeps and clicks of the camera roused her.

"What are you doing?" She peeked out from under her partially opened eyelids.

"Photographing my incredibly beautiful wife."

"Your incredibly fat wife," she countered, her eyes now wide open, "Who needs the loo for about the 58th time since midnight." She attempted to sit up but fell back against the pillows in frustration. "This baby can't come soon enough," she sighed.

"Only another couple of weeks," he soothed as he went to help her up.

She mumbled something about how it was all right for him and waddled into the bathroom reappearing a few minutes later with a frown on her face.

He put his camera down on the bedside table and held his arms out to her. "Come here sweetheart."

She stepped into his open arms and nuzzled her face against the warmth of his bare chest. "I wish you wouldn't."

"Wouldn't what?" He kissed the top of her head and hugged her as tightly as he could without squashing the child inside.

"Pretend I'm still the same," she huffed a little but did not try to leave the cocoon of his embrace.

"Pretend?" He hooked a finger under her chin and lifted her face a little so he could see her eyes.

"You pretend that I'm not fat with swollen feet and ankles, and you pretend that I don't look like I've got two black eyes from lack of sleep, not forgetting the fact that you never mention that every intimate moment we have is interrupted by me running to the loo every five minutes." She sighed and buried her face in his chest again.

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