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As Maggie sleepily savored the feeling of her girlfriend’s fingers caressing her back, her dreams were unfortunately marred by visions of her troubled past. A long time ago, she was forced to brave the harshness of winter all on her own, surviving off of nothing but whatever scraps of food she could find and the insufficient warmth provided by raggedy pieces of cloth. If she was lucky, she could cozy up by the dim embers of a smoldering matchstick. On top of that, due to her 1-inch tall stature, everything she encountered was a potential threat. Humans, while large and intimidating, were easy enough to avoid. They were predictable in their movements, and even when a human caught a glance of her, she hid quickly enough that they would think they were just seeing things and lose interest. Animals on the other hand were much more persistent and dangerous, and she counted herself very lucky that her encounters with such critters never left her with any noticeable scars.

    At the moment, she found herself in a mouse hole, bundled up in her usual rags and shaking uncontrollably as the cold air attempted to invade her makeshift cocoon. Despite (or perhaps because of) her circumstances, she could feel herself drifting off into unconsciousness until she heard some shuffling behind her. She looked for the source and saw only darkness... 

Then a giant rat appeared and charged at her with sharp teeth bared. Terrified to her core, she had nowhere to run and held her hands up as she braced for the inevitable. Right before its horrifying form overtook her, she found herself back next to Ava’s gigantic fireplace, on top of her girlfriend’s sweater-clad breasts. Having woken up quite violently, she wiped some sweat from her brow, unsure if she was perspiring because of her nightmare or her toasty surroundings. 

Ava had been watching Maggie shake in her sleep, and a worried gasp escaped her lips upon Maggie’s harsh awakening. She decided to place her collection of Hans Christian Andersen poems on the floor so she could comfort her tiny girlfriend.

“Are you all right, honey?” Ava asked, her hands gently clutching Maggie’s body.

“I’m alright, I just had a nightmare…” she replied, her eyes staring off into the distance as she tried to get the image of that ghastly rat out of her head.

“About your homeless days?” she inquired. Thanks to all of the horrible stories Maggie had told her about that part of her life, Ava immediately understood why her nightmare was so frightening.

“Yeah…” Maggie muttered.

Ava frowned and sorrowfully wished that she had saved her from homelessness sooner. But she realized a long time ago that she couldn’t change the past, so instead, she pledged to make Maggie as happy as she could be, every single day. Every time she saw a smile on her little face, her heart skipped a beat, and she (sometimes) resisted the subsequent urge to hug Maggie to her face and pepper her with kisses.

What was equally important was cheering Maggie up when she felt down, so with a gentle pinch of her torso, Ava carried her to her face and rested Maggie against her soft lips. With a delicate whisper, Ava said:

“Maggie, please know that you mean the world to me, and I would never let anything happen to you. I love you, my little hummingbird.” 

Suddenly, Maggie felt the tension in her body disappear. Whether it was because of the calming timbre of Ava’s voice or simply being surrounded by her soothing aura, she was now at peace, and gratefully hugged her girlfriend’s lips.

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