[For cathy's Julien, to stop him from whining at me.]

"Come away with me." And they went, carrying one other's bags in hotels, in the fine ship that parted the azure sea, on the little island, Elysium itself. Even the goats were idyllic.

They found a headland as far from men as the isle was from home and held each other on the soft linen blanket under the cerulean sky, silent but for their words and cries. The tang of olives permeated their mouths; soft cheese crumbled between their fingers. Audric recognized a bay laurel and made them fragrant, waxy-leaved crowns. Julien smiled as radiantly as the clear, penetrating sunlight.

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