Chicago, Illinois, Present Day — There had once been a time when Kelly hated the smell of sweat, especially when it mixed with dirt and created a foul-smelling mud.
Back before they had married–before they’d dated even–every time Connor came back to the station after having given chase to apprehend a suspect or two, he would inevitably smell like dried sweat and on occasion, dirt. It was worse during the summertime.
Whenever that happened, she’d wrinkle her nose and wave her hand in front of her face because of the smell.
Then that case had happened. The one that had caused countless sleepless nights and tears. The one they never talked about.
After he’d recovered, the first time he came back to the station after apprehending someone, she hadn’t wrinkled her nose at the smell. Instead, she’d breathed it in.
When their oldest was born and she’d decided to be a stay-at-home mom, she developed the habit of staying up for her husband. Most of the time she’d fall asleep waiting for him, and on some occasions, she would wake up while he carried her back to bed. And she would just breathe.
Because at the end of the day, it didn’t matter how good or bad he smelled. At the end of the day, all that mattered was that he was home and he was safe…even if it was only for the time being.
©H.S. Kylian 2018
(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)