my resignation to a future of solitude had become my armor. the metal, my skin. no shot could wound me, but no caress could comfort me, either. it was that touch, its gentle and loving current, for which i longed. silently. one was impossible without first surviving the other. you arrived bearing the chinks in your breastplate, yet the presumptions and pretenses were absent from your accoutrements. you relaxed your battle stance, and allowed me to peel off your armor. at the sound of the chain mail meeting the ground by our feet, my metallic skin was replaced by bare flesh. i knew i’d feel the comfort and security of your fingertips before they grazed my cheeks. i could abandon my fortress, and with you, come home.