The tall, dark stranger with the smouldering gaze, locks eyes across the crowded room…
“’Ummy.” A two year old boy starts climbing into the bed next to me.
I open one eyelid. 12:57am. Sigh. “Okay darling, just 10 minutes cuddle then back to your own bed.” I shuffle across and wrap my arms around the small body. He quickly snuggles in and lies still. I shut my eyes. I look around the room, trying to catch a glimpse of the stranger…
Small knees wriggle, digging into me. I open my eyes again. 1:33am.”Come on, Sweetheart, time to go back into your own bed.”
I gather up the warm heavy child, and stumble my way down the hallway, then tuck him back into his bed. During my absence the blankets on my bed have shifted towards the other side of the bed. I tug them part of the way back, and roll over towards the unmoving, deeply breathing husband. I shut my eyes, but the mansion and the ballroom have vanished completely. It’s a moonlit night…
A weight climbs onto the bed next to my back, and starts wriggling under the covers. I turn to check the clock. 1:55am.
“No, it’s time to sleep in your own bed.” I’m trying desperately to be firm. I scoop up the child, tuck him back into his bed, and then head back to my room. Before my eyes are closed I hear the pit pat pit pat at the door. 2:12am. I groan, and drag myself back out of bed before he has a chance to climb into it. “Back to your own bed.”
I tuck him in, then head back to my room. Before I even reach my bed the boy is standing in the doorway. “’Ummy bed.”
My eyelids are aching to be closed. “Tell you what, you sleep in my bed, I’ll go and sleep in your bed”. Maybe if he does follow me back to his room, I can cuddle him to sleep in his own bed then sneak back to my own once he’s asleep. Boy nods, then climbs into my bed next to his Daddy.
In Boy’s bedroom, I snuggle under his covers. The mattress has a different feel, the pillow is softer and thinner. I’m not used to having a wall next to me. Within minutes of my eyes closing, I can feel the heaviness of sleep drift over body.
The handsome prince gazes deep within my eyes, and draws me into his embrace… the radio alarm intrudes into my consciousness, heralding the start of the day.