“I love you.” A whispered confession.
“What? You don’t know me.” I looked over at him, just a dark shape walking down the wooded path next to me. Tonight, the moon’s face peeped out only long enough to dapple the most obtrusive of leaves before demurely retreating behind her tattered veils.
“I think I fell in love with you just now,” he replied. “I’m in love with the spaces between your words, the sound of your shoes on gravel, the hesitation in your voice… and I love the way our strides match, the way you push aside the branches for me, the smell of the night air on your skin.”
“Hm.” I smiled, shaking my head, and I found I wasn’t put off by his proclamations, odd as they were. “What about here?”
As he stared off to the side, his silhouette was limned in passing by the bashful moon. “Are we far enough from the road?”
“I believe so.”
We left the path, finding a space between the trees, and for a few breaths neither of us moved. Then, he stepped closer, dropping to his knees in the cushion of fallen leaves. With nimble fingers he unbuttoned my trousers and I reached out to cup the back of his neck. This would be delicious—I could already feel it.
After placing a lingering kiss on my swollen crown, hand clasped tight around my root, he looked up at me. At that moment, the moon decided to shed her modesty and stepped out naked into the night, bathing the young man’s face in silver. There were tears in his eyes.
“Tell me you love me,” he whispered, breath feathering my sensitive skin.
Such foolishness… This is not what I was paying for. However, as a tear broke free and slid down his face, I felt something give inside of me.
“I love you,” I murmured, thumbing the wetness from his cheek with a gentle smile. And, at that moment, for just an instant, I believed my words with all my heart.