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Roman was all fathoms and waves. Equally dark depths and bright blue shallows, life-giving nurturer and protector, calm and crashing shore. His was a love that buoyed you up or sucked you down, depending on what you needed in that moment. His intuition was formidable. The full force of his affection left you feeling unsteady when you returned to land.

After they made love for the first time— because Roman didn’t fuck, he made love— Thaïs felt clear-headed, warm to her bones, and ravenous. He had accepted her, fully and without reservation. She knew, by the way the Weave had rippled with their movements and in the secret way that women know these things, that he would be the father of her children.

Percy was the firmament, crystal clear and dizzying to look too long upon. True to his nature and at peace in his skin, Thaïs felt drawn to him in the way that people are drawn to watch the arcing flight of birds. At his best, Percy was a twist of gilded clouds, a burning sunset, an inspiration. At his worst he was petty and shadowed, lost without someone bigger and brighter around which he could orient himself.

Percy fucked. He loved freely, and often, and bedded the Divine with unnerving frequency. But can you fault the sky for dallying with the stars after it kisses the moon goodnight? Beauty abounded in Percy’s life. He was what he was, and what are we but the sum of our desires? Thaïs understood longing, and neither of them could be anything but what they were.

And Thaïs? She was the brightness on the horizon, the moon’s path on the water, the promise of another day. She was peace and wrath, love and battle rage, judgement and truth. Roman and Percy could wax poetic for days about her warm skin, her wild mane of curls and wilder smile, her curves and kisses. They both readily admitted to her jealousy, to the way anxiety made her grip at any threads of control she could reach, to her temper. All of it was her and she was magic.

She was their lioness, their star, their catalyst. Missing her dimmed every light and coming home to her was a dream come true. When the three of them finally came together, sky and sea and sun as one, everything was right and good. Not even Roman’s intuition could have known how little time they would have.

Losing her was like losing something as fundamental as gravity. You kept on living, dizzy with grief and spinning through space, holding onto each other because there was nothing else you could do. Wondering if you were still right and good. Wondering if you could do this without her.

It’s when you find your lover crying like a wounded thing, gasping for air in front of the counter of casseroles and sandwich platters, that you know. You can see a future stretching before you, not what either of you had imagined, but it’s there. You make a promise. You cup his cool cheek in your hot hand and you tell him, She’s still with us. We’re a family. We’ll never forget her.

Eventually, you learn how to live in this twilight world. You keep the memories close and make offerings of your lives, but let go of what can’t be. You settle into a co-orbital configuration, and you love each other the way she would want you to be loved. Her children grow up knowing her stories and hearing her clear, strong voice in their dreams. Eventually, they make their own magic.

And one day, when you aren’t paying attention, your feet touch the ground again. Over the horizon, you can see a rising light. You both welcome it with gladness.