Standing before her, Lucien very hesitantly unbuttoned his shirt. Jean was surprised at this. Everything that had happened to them in the last few months was leading up to this moment. Now, in his own bedroom he seemed nervous. When he did take his shirt off she saw why. He was covered in scars. His upper arms, shoulders, and something that looked suspiciously like a stab wound on his chest. His back was the worst of all, heavily streaked with the marks of endless beatings. The scars continued down below his belt line. Jean suppressed a gasp. Whatever she imagined he had been through during the war was not anywhere near as bad as whatever actually happened, and what she imagined was terrible. Jean understood now why he always wore a suit, in all weather and circumstances. Lucien looked embarrassed.
"I'm sorry," he whispered.
Jean did not respond. Instead she walked behind him and placed a hand gently on his arm. Rising up on her tiptoes, she kissed a scar that started at the top of his shoulder and traced the scar down his back, keeping her lips pressed against his skin. When she was done she moved on to the next one. Lucien braced himself on the edge of a dresser and made no move to stop her. The trembling that began under her lips grew stronger until he began to sob. Jean vowed to herself that she would kiss every single scar on his body, even if it took all night. It did.