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Moonlit Love


Acclaim:4th prize in the SWG Short Story Competition 2001


Moonlit Love

Darkness fell on a warm summer's day, and a full moon rose to take the place of the weary sun. Small creatures retired for the night, scampering to burrows and trees to make way for the nighttime shift. The moon shone brightly in the clear sky, its cold light beaming down on the world below. Shadowy grass stretched out across the hills and valleys while small animals ran through pools of the pale light. High above, flying hunters watched the ground carefully as they swooped from tree to tree, dark shapes slicing through the cooling air. Faint sounds came from all around as the wind moved between the trees and pushed past bushes and hedges.

From far away came another sound, its meaning removed by the long distance. The noise was a stranger to these parts, following as it did a protracted route to the listening ears. Small animals paused in their foraging, ears alert. They followed the sound without moving, tracing the sound back up the hill, pushing through the long grass, running under the trees, then back down the far side of the hill, until finally the source was apparent.

Two figures stood in a field, one male and one female, dressed alike in dark clothing. They stood close, he placing one hand behind her back, she resting one hand upon his shoulder. Their remaining hands reached out together, holding onto each other as she gazed up into his eyes, her smile meeting his in sweet emotion. She giggled quietly as he shuffled his feet.

"Are we ready then?" he asked, his voice soft and gentle, his ears ringing to the sound of her delicate laughter. She nodded quickly, her smile reforming as she quieted her laughter. "Then, on the count of three. And one-two-three..."

They moved slowly at first, she unsure of her movements, he gently guiding her. They stepped through the long grass, a leisurely walk face-to-face, gradually building up speed. Soon their awkward steps flowed into a waltz, dancing across the grassland, she following his lead, both moving in time to music the world could not hear. They swung and turned, spinning in place and changing direction, a display of fine dancing and fluid motion. She laughed and looked into his eyes, simple adoration at the graceful movements he gave her. His hand held her firmly, the skin of her palm soft in his own. They swayed and moved with grace and style, watched all the time by an audience of thousands.

As they danced they were joined by the breeze, flowing with them into each corner and turn. The air picked at their hair, playing with the short spikes of his and dancing with the long waves of hers. She shook her head, removing loose strands from her face, the moon momentarily bathing her pale skin in its glow. He watched her skin as the light played across it, every line and curve to him an image of perfection itself.

Faster they danced, faster! Whirling and circling, cavorting around the field. They waltzed together in love and lust, until suddenly one misplaced step caused them to trip and fall together, landing in a heap on their blue and white chequered blanket, spread out on the cool grass.

They lay there a second, him on his back, she collapsed atop him, dazed at the sudden end of the dance. She pushed herself up until she was sitting astride him, looking down into his face, her dark hair falling about her shoulders. "Are you okay?" she asked, a trace of laughter in her voice.

He nodded from his position on the ground, also laughing at their absurdity. "Nothing damaged but my pride."

She giggled quietly, placing her hands on his shoulders and lowering herself until her hair hung against his face. "I don't think you'll be needing that here." She studied his face, her gaze running down his forehead, dropping past the darkness of his eyes, following the perfect lines of his face. She stopped when she reached his mouth, with pale lips and just visible untarnished white teeth. She flicked her head back, forcing her hair over her shoulder, and ran one finger across his lips. The skin was soft and smooth, yielding gently to her touch. His mouth opened slightly and she could see his teeth, including, one on each side, brilliant white fangs. She returned her hand to his shoulder and slowly lowered herself closer to his face.

Her breath fell against his skin, cold but gentle. His hands reached up to her waist and held her softly, playing across the curves of her body. She was magnificent in her beauty, everything he could ever hope for. The shape of her, the smell of her, the taste of her... everything was perfect. He watched her face as she moved nearer, her lips parted to reveal her own teeth, her own impeccable fangs just visible in the moon's otherworldly light. Closing her eyes, she pressed her lips to his and kissed him delicately.

He closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around her, holding her close to him, each kiss exchanging more words of love than speech itself. He ran his hand up her back, tracing the faint shape of her spine, causing her to shiver and tremble. She lifted her head, eyes flashing with mischievous light. "Stop that," she whispered, rubbing her back into his hand. His hand moved further up her body, reaching up past her neck and brushing lightly against her cheek. She moved her face close again, her lips pressed to his while he ran his fingers through the soft strands of her hair.

In the silence of the night they kissed for what seemed an eternity. The unspoken exchange of emotion consumed them entirely until, slowly pulling back, she opened her eyes and traced a finger along his cheek.

"You do know I love you?" she spoke softly.

"I know." He propped himself up on his elbows, his mouth forming a mischievous smile. He reached up with one hand, running it slowly over her shoulder before grabbing her and pulling her sideways. She flailed at the air a moment then landed on her back on the blanket, hair forming a dark halo around her head.

He rolled swiftly, swinging one leg over her body and sitting astride her. Placing his hands on either side of her head, he stroked hair away from her face. Her eyes shone bright with moonlight and her mouth reflected tiny glints of light from her fangs. Her mind was awash with anticipation and suspense. She waited for his next move, longing for the next moment and the sweetest caress it would bring.

Slowly he moved his face close to hers, their lips almost touching, their eyes meeting. Her breath came fast, tension and passion alive in her veins. She closed her eyes as he brought his lips to hers, making short, swift kisses on her mouth. Slowly he moved his head, following the line of her cheek as she placed her arms about him. Further and further back his lips moved, stroking the smooth skin of her face, until he stopped next to her ear. Brushing the hair back, he whispered to her, words barely audible despite the stillness of the night. "And I will always love you."

She opened her eyes and looked at him as he pulled away, his pulse racing to match her own. He lowered himself back to her face and kissed again, tracing a line once more across her cheek, downwards past her chin. She stared at the brilliant moon overhead, feeling the tenderness in his touch as he moved further down to her neck. Her breath came but slightly, his every move dragging her from the world about them into a world of purest emotion. Gradually his lips drew a line around her neck.

He paused there, feeling the pressure building within her, not daring to draw breath. Then gently he pressed his fangs against her neck, the teeth just denting the skin. Her arms tensed, holding his head to her neck, feeling the pressure of the two delicate spikes against her. Then just as the white bone was about to pierce the skin, his mouth closed, the two sharp teeth being hidden away, leaving just his lips pressed to her neck.

A sudden intake of breath marked her desire and he kissed her neck softly, making gentle circles against her smooth skin. She closed her eyes and held him tightly, sweet waves of pleasure coursing through her body. Every faint touch against her neck swept her into another realm, where every motion brought endless happiness. She arched her back, moving her neck and body to meet his, writhing under his touch. He kept his hands beside her head, fingers stroking the length of her fine hair, as his lips and teeth massaged her neck in exquisite ecstasy.

Finally he stopped, rolling sideways off her and lying close. He propped himself up on one elbow, looking at her still form as she rested in the moonlight. Eventually she turned to him, eyes opening as she also rested herself on one elbow. She gazed at his face, her smile meeting his smile, words incapable of capturing the moment. Instead, they looked out across the field together, the tall grass waving to the passing wind as an owl flew from tree to tree. The night creatures once more went on their way, scurrying through the undergrowth. The night was unbroken by sound as the moon slowly stepped across the sky.

She faced him then, her eyes inquisitive and her mouth forming a small smile. She spoke softly. "Why did you turn me?"

His face made a puzzled look. "How do you mean?"

She looked away again. "You could have loved me while I was human. We could have still had all this. Why did you make me a vampire?"

He watched the wind batting at her hair as he answered, his voice unwavering. "Because now you will never die, and I wanted to love you forever."

Her eyes twitched in his direction, the briefest of glances before she looked away again. Her head tipped forward slightly, allowing her hair to fall about her face, shielding her from his sight. His smile fell as he looked at her, confused. Behind the protection of her dark hair, she sobbed quietly, the sound strange and harsh in the quiet night.

He reached out with one hand and brushed her hair back behind her ear, revealing the white skin of her face. A single tear ran from the corner of one eye and down her cheek. He ran the back of his hand along the damp skin. "Why is it you cry?"

She turned then, her own hand reaching up to hold his against her face, her moist eyes looking up at him. She smiled, a small shape with her lips, hiding the teeth from sight. "No-one has ever said they would love me forever before, and really meant it."

He smiled at her and half laughed. She sniffed and smiled back. All doubt assuaged and love left in its place, they gazed tenderly at one another. Then she spoke again. "It's getting cold out here. Won't you hold me?"

He looked at her curiously, his hand still pressed against her cheek. "Vampires don't feel the cold."

She smiled broadly, pushing his hand aside and wiping the tears from her eyes. "I know. But if I pretend to be cold, won't you hold me anyway?"

He stared at her for a moment, then laughed gently. Reaching out, he placed his arms about her and pulled her close, as she pressed herself to him. And as the moon crossed the sky and the night headed to its end, their love reached out to eternity.

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