He has said it to my back, in passing, or maybe into my hair. Quietly, experimentally; softly enough as to be easily missed. And I have missed it, intentionally, a few times before. But this morning when he said it, standing there in the bathroom, half shaven, kissing me goodbye, he was so sincere and adorable and I felt so happy my fears weren't big enough to stop me anymore. I grabbed his face with both hands and looked him straight in the eye and I said it too. The first time I've said it to him or to anyone: I love you.
And oh, I do.