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Long after midnight he drifted to sleep. Everything had been looking so good and now he knew the truth. They were through. In the wee hours of the morning she returned to their bed. Silently she climbed in, keeping her body as close to the edge and as far from his as possible. He had awakened as soon as she entered the room but had not moved nor acknowledged her.

He felt rather than heard her sobs and unable to resist his feelings for her he moved his hand until just his smallest finger came in contact with her. She gasped and in the darkness they made love as they had not for years.

Anyone watching would have been bemused. Physically their actions were not the type of which lasting memories are made, but as they explored, caressed, begged, extolled and forgave the spiritual connection between them waxed as their love again did reign.

“I’m sorry,” she said when they were satiated. “So, so sorry.”

“I told you you could,” he responded heavily. “I know how, how passionate you are and that I can’t meet your needs anymore.”

“You do, oh you do!”

“No, I don’t. I love you. Stay with me.”

“For always.”

“Until the end. Who knows, maybe with the treatment I’ll get better. There’s always hope.”

“Yes, there’s always hope.”

The clinical trial was deemed a success. Twelve percent of those who received treatment saw a slowing of their symptoms, far more than was statistically needed. Adriel was not part of the 12%. Life went on as before. Each day barriers arose and they worked to overcome or go around them. When news of the success of the Ocata Trials reached them hope again became a dominant emotion in their life. If the ALS treatment didn’t work perhaps the Stargardt’s would.