The hollow of his neck was made for me. The scent of his skin, rain and smoke and leather, nestles there, freed by the heat of his pulse; I clasp it to my heart. He hasn’t trimmed his beard. Its soft scrape across my forehead sends sparks down my belly to flare in my rising cock. It’s difficult to remember — was there ever was a time I didn’t harden when he touched me or ran his lust-darkened eyes over my body?
His hand rests in the small of my back, tightening as the woman approaches. He thinks I will turn from him, that I will run into the night from the sight of their connection. He needn’t worry. I nestle deeper, saying with my body what I don’t even dare to think, since she’d hear. I don’t understand the dynamic between them well enough to risk sending this in a direction he doesn’t want it to go.
She owns a part of him. She is his maker, as he is mine. That will never change. I am his, completely, and if that means I must share the part of him that is hers, then I will share. Not my first choice, but I will make it easy for him. I will let a part of him go; I’ll smile and send him to her arms.
I sense his uneasiness. He shields himself from her, and draws me even closer, into his skin and soul. He’s telling her who we are, what he does and doesn’t want from her. What he’s willing to accept, and what he’s not.
She reaches for his cheek. She will claim him and I can see she will not share; she will not accept me as well. My heart squeezes down, pressed by the gravity of loss into a black hole in my chest. Nothing can escape. All my hope, my love, my thoughts are drawn back into it by the pain.
I am vaguely aware of the sound of her voice, but my constricted soul cannot understand, cannot even separate the sounds into words. I am shutting down, withdrawing, barricading my heart and setting him free. I will not cause him the pain of choice. I choose for him.
I lift my head, bidding farewell to the scent, the shelter, the hope, the love. I cannot, part of me cries; I can and will, a part of me insists.
“Goodbye, Kesan,” I whisper in my heart.
His arm tightens. He turns from her capturing eyes. “No, Leo, never. I gave you forever; I gave you my soul.” He was speaking … aloud? So … she can hear? He had denied her his thoughts?
“She has no hold on me, my Leo. Goodbye, Cassandra.”
“Au revoir, Kesan, au revoir,” she replies and turns away. I hear her there in my mind, “Love him well, Leo, or I will stake you myself.”
Kesan lifts my chin with a finger and as he lowers his perfect lips to mine, the dying heart-star in my chest flares to life again.
“Sshhh,” he whispers. “Hush, and turn over.”