"I fear I have lost myself again," my true love said. Her body drooped and she waved her front two arms in the air, a humanesque gesture that betrayed she wasn't as far gone as she claimed.
"Not yet," she said, reading my mind. "But soon. I'm sorry. I love you."
"I love you too, silly girl." I wrapped my arms around her petite frame and held her tight against my breasts. Once upon a time, she'd had breasts too. I missed them, but as long as I had the parts of her that counted, I'd be fine.
She buried her head against me, saving me from having to look at the worry haunting them all. They were the same deep brown as ever, there were just more of them than there used to be. Likewise, her hair was the same black with shoots of early grey, but instead of hanging down her back it clung close to her skin.
We came to the land of the Fae searching for acceptance. We'd found that, even if we got more servitude and disregard than we'd expected. Yes, we were slaves. But we were also together. Which is worth more: one's freedom or one's wife? I don't know, but I never regretted choosing the latter.
Though we lived in a world of illusion and constant change, there were three things I knew were permanently True. 1.) Justina and I belonged together, no matter what my horrified family and their horrible minister had insisted. 2.) The Great Weaver knew this and wouldn't let us be pulled apart. But also 3.) If I wanted Tina to stay Tina and not lose herself in her new form, then I had to get her out of Fairy.
If the faieries caught us trying to escape, there would be consequences. But the contact that got us here was explicit: no matter what, we will not be separated. A foolish bargain maybe. The fairy who entered the agreement had undoubtedly assumed we'd hate each other within a year and the togetherness would be a punishment. Stupid fairy.
I ran my hand down my love's legs, one by one, all eight of them. Whatever her form, she was mine and I was hers. But without her mind, she might as well be dead and there was nothing I wouldn't do to keep that from happening.
Locked in our embrace, we leaned back into our web, Tina to sleep and me to plot our departure from the only home we knew.