A woman meets the shadow lover
In your arms I shall not fear the night.
Shadow-Lover, lead me into light.
She did not know where she was, did not know how she had gotten here - to be honest, she did not even know who she was. She stood on a wide balcony overlooking a breathtaking vista of deep woods, framed by high mountains in the distance. Fog spread its fingers through the beauty of the landscape, washing colours out and leaving a symphony of gentle greys to the viewer’s eyes. She had never been here before, not in mind or body.
Her hands rested on a smooth balustrade. There was something wrong with her hands. Her mind seemed to want to give her a desperate hint as she looked down on the smooth, unmarked skin; but she could not grasp the fledgeling thought that hovered just out of reach. There was a strange vagueness in her mind, an amorphousness of thought that should alarm her. Was she drugged? Somehow she knew she had been, remembered a doctor. She wanted to react to that thought, wanted to let it pierce the shadows in her mind, but before she could, a noise behind her drew her attention.
A man was leaning against the glass facade of the house: tall, dark and vaguely threatening.
“Who are you?”
She knew it to be a stupid question.
“The Shadow Lover.”
She had never met him before, of that she was certain - but she also felt as if she had known him all her life; as if his deep, melodic voice had been interwoven with her existence since the very beginning. She was also inexplicably angry with him, furious and frightened, with only one thought, to resist him.
“Not my lover!”
“I will be tonight.”
Suddenly, she found herself stretched out on a wide bed with him a shadow over her, shielding her against the world. Instinctively, she raised her hands to push him away, to hold off the mouth that was about to descend.
“I don’t want this!”
There was sadness in his eyes, a sadness swallowed by tenderness and warmth. In the end, it was her who made the next move, her hand that reached to cradle his face.
“What is it?”
A wistful smile stretched his beautiful lips as he let his mouth play over the sensitive skin of her wrist.
“I love you.”
“You don’t know me.”
His lips covered hers, lips that tasted of a thousand wishes, a million hurts and endless salvation. It was natural to answer him, to let her lips part and welcome him.
She had no idea where their clothes had gone, had no idea when they had disappeared, but she was aware of his strong hands on her naked skin, his fingers playing along her ribcage in a teasing pattern. When he raised his head to devour her with his eyes she had the opportunity to let her own roam. He was stunning, lean and strong, velvet skin over hard steel.
She was surprised that it was not her own voice who had said this, but his. And that was wrong as well, she had not been beautiful in years, in decades really. He did not let her follow that thought, did not allow her to gather her mind. Instead, he scrambled it quite effectively as his hot mouth closed over her right breast. It soothed an ache that had bloomed, stroked it away and fanned a fire in her blood, a fire ignited by his kiss. She loved the almost painful sensation of his mouth sucking in her nipple, of his tongue following the pull with soothing laps. Her hand came to play in his hair, to hold him closer, to answer the indescribable need to caress him. She felt his lips stretch in an answering smile against her skin.
“I want you.”
Her voice was barely recognisable, husky and low. He raised his head, met her gaze with his so full of longing and desire.
“You have me.”
It was then that he moved over her, breached her body with his. She was surprised. Normally she needed more foreplay - but now she was wet, her body stretching around his in exquisite agony. With every inch he owned more of her, with every moment she gave him more of herself, let him take her being into his keeping. Her eyes were locked on his grey ones, saw the tenderness in them as he seated himself fully. For a moment they just rested there, let her body adjust to his, his brow against hers. She held him close, her fingers tangling in his hair, her other hand soothing his skin. There was wonder in his smile now, wonder and sadness.
“Hold onto me, little one. I will catch you when you fall.”
She felt his words against her skin, in every molecule of her body as he began to move. It was not a wild ride, not a fiery coupling. It was an intimate dance, a gentle weave of sensation carrying her high, giving her the strength to fly. And as the wave crested, as she fell into pleasure, she felt a realisation rise in her mind, saw it mirrored in his eyes. She remembered the hospital, the pain wrecking her body over the last few months, the bitter taste of chemotherapy in her mouth, the tears of her children. As her eyes closed in bliss she remembered something else - she remembered that he French called and orgasm a “little death” - and Death itself, they called the Shadow-Lover.