SUNRISE I wake up a few minutes before the alarm goes off. Jack is still asleep, on his back but turned slightly toward me with one arm draped across his chest and the other tucked under his head. I prop myself up on one elbow so that I can look at him. I marvel at how much younger he looks lying there, relaxed in sleep. When he awakens and prepares to leave so that we can both get ready for work – he refuses to leave anything here for that purpose, despite my telling him that he is welcome to do so -- that reserved expression that is already so familiar to me will settle over his features like a mask. We’ve been seeing each other for only a few months. We met at a barbeque given by a neighbor of Jack’s, whose wife made a point of introducing us. He very shyly asked me to a concert the following weekend; and the rest, as they say, is history. It took weeks for us to start sleeping together, but I didn’t mind. He is very enjoyable, if rather taciturn, company. I remember his quiet astonishment the first time we made love; it was as if experiencing pleasure was somewhat unfamiliar to him. Maybe it is. Life has been hard on him, apparently. He has a daughter named Sydney, whom I’ve met a time or two. She is a lovely young woman, and one of the few sources of joy in Jack’s life. The two of them work for the CIA. Evidently they were, until recently, working together on a very dangerous undercover assignment of some sort. Neither of them will talk about it. I know almost nothing about Jack’s former wife. All he will say about her is that the marriage is annulled. Given the look that comes over his face at any mention of her, I’m not inclined to be curious; but it’s obvious that the wounds run deep. I wonder if anyone, even Sydney, is aware just how vulnerable he really is. He asks very little of me. Sometimes all he wants is just to hold me and stroke my hair. When we make love, his touch is so gentle that I have more than once had to remind him that I won’t break. He treats me with a near reverence that I find deeply moving. We spend much more time at my place than his; he says mine looks like someone actually lives here. We go out to dinner at quiet little places he knows, stroll through museums, and attend movies and concerts. He likes camping; but as my idea of roughing it is doing without my microwave, we haven’t done that yet. We went horseback riding last week, though. We laughed at how stiff and sore we were afterward. It was fun anyway; we’ll go again. It is too soon to tell where this is going. Jack is sweet and considerate, and he can be quite warm and funny when he is in an environment where he feels comfortable; but it is hard for him to open up. That’s okay – I have already learned that a little patience goes a long way with this man. We’ll see. Jack stirs, opens his eyes, and smiles up at me. Good morning, Rachel, he murmurs. Good morning, Jack, I reply. He takes me into his arms and kisses me. I run my fingers through his hair. We’re both going to be late for work this morning.