Darkness had long since descended, blanketing the sprawling manor that had become her home in the comforting embrace of its shadows. The pale, fleeting light of the moon’s rays spilled through the seam of thick, unyielding curtains to bathe two bodies within its muted colors.

A small, delicate frame moved within the rolling blankets, her leg dragging up the thigh of the much larger body that acted proudly as her pillow.. her comfort.. the anchor she clung to in the fleeting moments in which she had desired nothing more than to be swallowed by her grief.

"I would lose him a thousand times before I ever chose to let you go."

Her eyes traced absently along the perfectly angular profile of his face, every plane, every line highlighted within the paint of the dim light.

Had she meant the words? ..Would she relive this pain, this torment endlessly.. should it mean that He.. this man.. her Sire would remain in her life throughout the entirety of her existence? What was that, if not love? True, it had not been a love born of extreme circumstance, of heightened emotional states, or an undeniable sense of responsibility for the well being of another.

But that love? She had known.. had always understood that just as the flames reach their peak, it would inevitably leave only ash in its wake.. a smoldering remnant of what should have never been given the air it required to thrive. No.. that love had been born of pain and tragedy..

And what she had done..

Her eyes closed as the regal line of her cheek bone drifted along the rise of his pectoral, her body edging ever closer as the heel of her small foot dipped beneath the bend of his knee. She could remain here, tangled in the masculine perfection of her Sire.. she would would let him in.. embrace the healing balm of his presence within her heart.

And she would love him.

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