Prologue It was dark and quite late when Kermit inserted his key into the lock of the sprawling Spanish-style home he and Piggy had bought shortly after the studio had offered him a corner office. “At least,” he though dismally, “she hasn’t changed the locks.” Piggy’s meteoric rise to super-stardom had furnished any luxuries not already existing in the property. It was an inviting, comfortable, stylish and altogether homey place. Kermit thought—not for the first time—that he saw the inside of it far too little and far too infrequently to suit him. These thoughts were not far from his mind, but they weren’t foremost. Foremost, of course, was the shameful way he had treated Piggy that afternoon. When take after take had failed to produce the film they’d needed, he’d degenerated into the sort of autocratic, grouchy, dictatorial perfectionist he’d always despised. With far more dignity than he’d expected—or shown himself—Piggy had simply excused herself and gone to her trailer. When she’d finally left for home, Kermit couldn’t say, but he remembered with chagrin the way she had nailed her performance every single take. Regardless of technical difficulties, the flubbed lines of others, her own fatigue and in spite of—rather than because of his guidance—she’d turned in a stellar performance every time the film had rolled. Piggy could take her place among the notable divas of any generation—grandstanding with the best of them--but when the situation called for it, she could act. And, he admitted, she had been professional, unlike a certain frog he could mention. The memory made his cheeks burn with shame. The house was dimly lit. Kermit had almost concluded that Piggy had gone upstairs to bed when he saw the ambient light from the den. A small table had been pulled up cozily next to the plushy recliner, and on it sat an untouched mug of hot chocolate. The light of the lamp revealed Piggy nestled into the curve of the chair. Her eyes were closed, her honeyed locks were pulled up on top of her head with a clip and she was swathed in some sort of caftan-like garment that covered her from chin to toes. In sleep, her profile was soft, unguarded. Overwhelmed with tenderness, Kermit knelt in front of her. Some ingrained awareness of his proximity made her stir, her eyelids flutter open. “Kermie?” Her voice was muffled, clouded with sleep. “Yes, Piggy,” he answered softly. “It’s me.” She seemed to rouse herself, looking down at her husband cautiously. Her mouth opened, but she closed it without comment, her eyes searching his face. Kermit saw the uncertainty, acknowledging it with pain. “Honey—“ Kermit began, but something she had read there on his face—contrition, apology, need--had moved her. Piggy leaned forward and kissed him without preamble, her lips velvety-soft over his. Kermit stood suddenly, lips still locked with hers and swept Piggy up in his arms. “Kermie—you shouldn’t,” she began automatically. “You’ll hurt yourself.” Men are, from time to time, permitted small, complimentary lies in the pursuit of l’amour--thank goodness. “Nonsense, Darling,” Kermit murmured, smiling at her. “You’re light as a feather.” With the weight of guilt off his shoulders, he could have lifted a Buick (which was, perhaps, just as well) and carried it across the country. Or, at the very least, to the couch. At the edge of the overstuffed divan, Kermit lowered her to her feet, but did not loosen his hold on her. He pressed a kiss into her hair and felt her hands tighten on his shirtfront, leaning into his embrace. He pulled back ever-so-slightly and Piggy looked at him, her eyes dark with wonder and longing. It was all the encouragement Kermit needed and he tightened his arms around her. Her arms had crept to his shoulders, and now one soft hand was caressing the nape of his neck. Somehow, his shirt had escaped from his trousers, and her other satiny hand was slipping up his back. Kermit shifted his hold on her, and the silk robe she wore made a papery sigh, molding to him like a second skin with static electricity. He tried to pull it free and received a fat sparky zap, making him yelp and Piggy giggle. “What is this thing you’re wearing,” he demanded grumpily. “This isn’t like you at all.” Piggy laughed softly, her voice low and teasing. “It’s a muumuu, Kermie.” “Well it certainly doesn’t look like….” He trailed off as Piggy slipped the robe from her shoulders, revealing a sweet but rather skimpy negligee. “There’s my girl,” he said with satisfaction. “I can always count on you Piggy.” Piggy grew still in his arms and her gaze on him was intent. Kermit could feel the muffled beating of her heart against his ribcage, liked the warm solid feel of her in his arms. “You can, you know,” Piggy said at last. “You always can.” There was a moment then, when something timeless and important hung between them—all the things said and unsaid, felt, sensed, known—then Piggy nestled up against him and pressed her face into his neck. “I do know,” Kermit said fervently. “I promise—I do.” For the last time, Kermit pulled away, but just enough to see her face. “I haven’t been taking good care of you, Piggy,” he said softly. “That’s going to change.” Her face softened and she looked at him solemnly. The trust in her eyes made him want to be a better frog. Starting now.