The whisper of his breath hits my sweat damp flesh, winter water on a summer afternoon. I brush his hand from the nape of my neck and roll away from his embrace, squinting as the early morning light threads through the blinds and pierces the remaining fog from a night of disconcerting dreams. “I’m tired.”
He chuckles low. “You’re tired an awful lot lately.” With a feather weight stroke, he moves a curtain of red hair aside, allowing the cool air to sweep over my flushed skin, then drops a kiss onto the curve of my shoulder. “Is everything all right?”
I nod mutely.
“You sound so convincing. How does it feel? Does it feel like the truth?” He leans up and tilts his head to see me better. When I don’t answer him, he graces my lips with the pad of his thumb. “I would rather hear you out loud.”
“I don’t have anything to say.”
He laughs again. “I suppose I should go check on hell. Care to tell me where I can get a hold of some ice skates at this hour?”
“Is it that hard for you to believe?” I sit up, uselessly clutching the sheet to my body in a sad excuse for piousness. This elicits an arched brow from him.
“Kind of late for that.”
He smiles and the world suddenly feels like it’s shifting beneath me. “Don’t you think I know that? There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could have you all to myself.” He pauses and reaches to take my hand in his. “I know that’s not what you want. But, I’m dying without you. At least give me what you promised. Just that much, that’s all I’m asking. Nothing more.”
“Nothing more? Isn’t that how we wound up in this situation to begin with? You just wanted to know my name. That’s all. Nothing more. Then, you just wanted to walk with me. Nothing more. Now, look at us.”
He absently draws circles on my palm as he looks down to his left. Then, suddenly, he meets my gaze again and this time it’s with the same passion and strength that I fell in love with so long ago. “You are everything. And if I can’t have all of you, then I’ll take whatever is left. I’ll sacrifice the happiness that I could have with someone else, just to spend a few stolen moments with you.” He rises to his knees before he pushes me down and straddles me, leaning down so that his face, his mouth, hovers mere inches from mine. “Some moments contain more than whole lifetimes ever could.” And with that he kisses me.
I anticipated it, felt it in my bones before our lips touched, but the ability for something to be both everything and nothing, hot and cold, idle and wild, all at once, can never be fully expected. I am breathless when he pulls away, my body weak. I sit up and lean into him for support.
“What I promised, nothing more,” I whisper.
He nods once, smiling. “Nothing more.”
I shake my head and with a humorless sigh acknowledge the overwhelming ache in my chest. It’s no coincidental emotion. He always brings lucid visions of places and creatures I couldn’t have conjured on my own. When that ache leaves it always takes with it hours, of a sort of drunken revelry with the keyboard, accounted for only by the pages of prose left in its wake; a frenzied, timeless scramble to keep up with him—the story. I suppose I should feel a little guilty, but that reaches down and snatches the heart of the matter from my soul—I am in love with writing. Yet, more specifically, it’s a two way street. He never fails to tell me when I’ve neglected him. He leaves gentle reminders at times and then when I start to feel like I’ve felt lately, he loses those haunting, cryptic murmurs and gives me no choice but to admit that I am bereft of life without him.
There are worse things in life. *wink*