She leaned into him with the side of her face pressed to his breast, and breathed carefully. He was still as magnificent as when they had met, all elegant features and perfectly placed hands, skin translucent like the sheen on a pearl. Rich mahogany locks fell past her eyes and she was jealous, a jealousy that burned straight down to her will to live – only to crumble into love.
“I was so ashamed, at first, when I couldn’t stop looking at you. Because I thought that you would never look at me.” She has told him this before.
He touched her shoulder, very tenderly, since that was the spot that felt cold at the moment. She wondered again about their children. Long gone, scattered pieces of their hearts – what was it about the half-elves that always made them go?
“You will have others after me,” she whispered, knowing it because it hurt. “Others, in other lives, because in your one life you have many lives when compared to me.”
His nose was near her hair and his lashes were lowered for he looked only at her. But because his eyes walked a different stream of time, he saw her as she had been when they met, he saw her as she was now, and he saw her as she would be in the grave. She was multifaceted and trembling and precious. He pressed his mouth to the top of her head and she couldn’t stop the tear that squeezed out.
“Normally,” she whispered, “normally we die knowing that the ones across from us are just gone, or are not far away. But I don’t have that with you. And you will have others.”
He was not like her, this was true. After a while he lifted his mouth, shifting to stroke her greyed hair with graceful fingers, and he told her that she did not understand. He would not have another.
And by his saying she did not understand she then understood. They went quiet, in waiting.
Elizabeth Cook, 2015