I open my eyes slowly.
Torrin is the first thing I see. His eyes, are open, too, glinting in the light of the candle. “Calla,” he whispers.
“Torrin.” I reply, slowly sitting up.
“Aw, come on, flower! It’s just a little bit of water!”
Torrin grabs my hand, pulling me into the pond, and I yelp, outraged. “Torrin, let go!”
“Come on, flower. Don’t be so scared. It’s just water.”
“I, uh, picked this for you.” Torrin holds out a bright red rose, petals tinted with creamy pink.
“Torrin! It’s so beautiful.” I say, smiling up at him. He smiles back, brown eyes sparkling.
“Calla? Can I...can I confess something?”
Torrin looks at me, lips moving wordlessly as he tries to find his voice. Finally, he simply leans in and kisses me.
I immediately kiss back. This is right.
“Torrin!” I fling myself into his arms, breathing him in. My heart swells, feeling as though it’s about to explode.
“Calla.” His voice is relieved, choking on love. “Oh, stars, Calla. It worked, it really worked.”
I rest a hand on his cheek. “It did.”
His eyes meet mine, and I feel like I’m dissolving, like my soul is merging with his.
Our lips meet, and warmth shoots through my veins. He sighs against my lips, sliding his hands down my waist. I shiver under his touch - I didn’t even realize until now how much I’d missed it. My hands find their way under his shirt, fingers dancing up his spine, and he moans softly, suddenly moving his lips down my jaw and to my neck. I let out a moan of my own as his lips and tongue move against the sensitive skin under my jawline.
Then I suddenly remember where we are. “Torrin!” I hiss.
He peers up at me, dark eyes wide and full of fire. “Hmm?”
“Calla, it’s okay. The reality time is frozen right now, only our world’s time exists. That’s how I programmed it. It’s another feature I added...so that we could be joined in this reality and seal ourselves in. If we don’t join within the next twelve hours, the reality will continue, and we will slowly fade back into the other world. If we join, we will be fully integrated into this reality, and will disappear completely from our home world. So...do you want to stay here?”
I look at him, falling into the deep brown pools of his eyes. “Yes.”
He kisses me, softly at first, then slowly harder and more hungry. My response is just as hungry as my hands slide his shirt up. We pause so I can pull it over his head and toss it aside. I run my hands over his chest, feeling the lines of his muscles. His hands move to my thighs, slowly pulling up my skirts. His fingers on my skin make me shiver again. He undoes the ties holding the back of my dress together, and lets it slide off my shoulders. He pulls me up so that we’re standing, letting my pearl pink gown slide to the ground. He undoes my corset without a hint of blush on his cheeks.
Once I’m fully skyclad before him, I unbutton his trousers, sliding them down. He steps out of them, eyes on me.
We stand, bathed in moonlight, looking at each other.
The one time we made love in our home world, before coming here, we didn’t take time to really appreciate each other, just immersed ourselves in emotions and desires.
But now, we have twelve frozen hours, and no need to worry about interruptions or spies.
Seeing Torrin clad in moonlight nearly makes my heart stop, then abruptly beat so fast I think it might explode. The look on his face says that he feels the same about me.
We move towards each other slowly. I stretch my fingertips towards his face, brushing his cheek. My fingers slide along his cheekbone as we move closer, until they’re at the nape of his neck, buried in his soft hair.
We collide in a fiery kiss. His arms slide around my waist, holding me to him. We move together in a dance that is ancient, instinctual, primal.
Around us, the light of white soul-fire burns bright. We watch the flames in awe, seeing the iridescent colors flickering in their pale depths
We are soul mates. The fire blazing harmlessly around us proves that.
Torrin’s eyes meet mine, and we smile at each other before meeting in a sweet and warm kiss. It’s with this kiss that we come together, really come together, bodies and hearts and souls joined by an unbreakable cosmic bond. We are one, two halves of a whole soul. I feel the universe trembling around us as we come together.
“I love you, Torrin.” I whisper against his lips.
“I love you, too, Calla.”