For seven years he went every morning to the beach and stared westward, the dawn light caught in the feathers of his hair still damp from a bed not his own. For seven years only this one small rebellion, every morning a silent walk to a western sea less hungry than his heart. Her lips demanded silence even then, but every wave cried for him, every gull rising early into the deeps of the sky sang the one note of his protest.

She would have kept him trapped in that bed if she could have, until the amber encysted him, but for the memory of another bed of green and fruitful trees.

Nights she stirred him because she might, fingers deep in the kettle and safe from the heat, churned the rich sediment into the broth, and he bowed before her, and above her, and behind her, eyes open and dark, ears thundering with the din of the sea, blood turning west with the earth. In the dark hours of the night they went into the darkness together, his feet still encrusted with sand.

Every morning he went down to the sea and looked westward, to where rude suitors, merely human, feasted and wasted and left a living bed cold with respect.