Stay With Me

I have died a thousand deaths since that first glimpse. A thousand times I have drowned in the want of you.

To finally have you here with me…The air, thick with your scent; I think of high priestesses of old, bathed in rosemary, clove, green leaf; of consorts to kings. I wonder how many you have seduced. It doesn’t matter. Just for a moment, this moment, you will be mine, as I have always been yours. For this moment, I would trade my soul. For this moment, I will give my life.

“I cannot bear the thought of you in the arms of another,” I say, brushing my hand soft against your cheek. “Be mine, just for tonight.”

Arms stretched out for me. Lips parting, I feel the hunger in you. Now that I have offered, can you resist? Your arms around my neck, pulling me closer. I had feared it would be cold, here in your embrace. But it is warm, so warm.

“But, grá mo chroí, pulse of my heart, tomorrow is another night.”

These words whispered softly against my skin wind their way up to bite at my ear. I dismiss them. “Tomorrow may never be.”

You are light in my arms, like dried flowers, beauty forever remembered, life forever hinted at. Noise drifts in from the open window. The sound of the city. It seems so abstract now, far away. You are a goddess, my dark queen, everything forbidden and warned about.

I feel your breath on my neck, your nails biting my back. It is bliss.
As teeth penetrate skin I realize I am afraid; of losing myself, of losing you to this night. “Make it all better,” I beg. “Lie to me.”

“I cannot,” you say. “I love you too much.”

Thank you. That will do.

Your teeth pierce my flesh. My heart, beating faster now, pumping vital fluids past your delicate lips. Your hunger, not sated but growing with each beat. I am filling you. Your eyes flutter, rolling back to show too much white.

“Slow…please,” I say, “…go slow.”

“Not to worry, mo chroí. I intend to have you all night.”

The lyrics of a dozen Irish dirges dance across my mind, a jumbled mix of sorrow and defeat, love and beauty, hope and loss.

“Will you think of me after this night? Will you lie upon my grave and weep for me when I am gone?”

Blood and spirit rush from me now, each drawn from familiar channels, eager to explore your every fiber.

Your lips, so red against pale skin, withdraw from my neck to whisper, “you will always be a part of me.”

“Gazelle to your lioness?”

“Feel,” you say, taking my hand and pressing it to your chest. “Tá mo chroí istigh ionat. That is your heart beating.”

I am within you. My heart beats in you now, as I always knew it would.

“But…can we not stop, right here? Upon this threshold?”

“Pillow talk, my love. This is your desire. It is too late to turn back.”

I know this is true. And I will not willingly break our embrace. “Take it all then. All that I am, I give to you.”

I live a lifetime with you in my arms. In these stolen moments we walk in the sun, light illuminating your perfect skin until you shine like angels might. I imagine all those little things that will never be – waking next to you, walking with you on my arm, your belly ripening with child, growing old by your side. I have felt your touch a thousand times in a thousand dreams. I live each of these, hoping you will draw them from me along with the rest. Hours pass. I fade.

You sway in my arms, my exertion your own now. I use my last strength and will to hold you tight. “Thank you,” I whisper.

“Sleep now,” you say, “Sleep, mo chroí.”

I pull your face from where it rests against my chest to look in your eyes one last time. Your tears match the color of my offering, the color of regret upon your lips. My kisses clear each in turn.

You always said death is a messy business. I know you prefer distance after you have fed, never to be there at the very end. But just this once, my love…stay with me

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