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Fleetingly, they form around his eyes when he smiles, then vanish in the blink of an eye. He knows they’re there. And when he smiles at her, he feels them like a sting, the palpable reminder of exactly why he cannot have her.

She doesn’t turn away. She smiles brightly back, eyes sparkling, skin glowing, caught between a laugh and a sigh.

She reaches up to his temple, and she doesn’t flinch, or look away. Her smile softens, hand resting where they form. And suddenly, he knows, and loves her more for it.

They don’t matter. Not to her.