I returned to Thorn, who looked distinctly ... frazzled.
"Are you okay, Thorn?" I asked.
He nodded slowly. Then, frowning slightly, he said "Let's go upstairs, Flora, darling. To your room."
"Okay," I agreed, following him up the stairs.
Once there, I sat on the bed. He sat opposite me and took my palm in his, beginning to draw random lines on it.
He gazed directly into my eyes. "Do you remember our first kiss?"
"How could I forget?" I whispered, the sensations rushing back to me like friends rushing to my aid. Falling was no bad thing, though.
"What were we talking about before it?"
"The soul," I murmured. "You said ... mine was like copper and silver. And bronze and gold. And..."
"Luscious, verdant green," he said. His eyes were intense and suddenly my mind was filled with the image of these strong, bold colours, so beautiful and apparently a part of the river that ran deep within me: formed part of my soul. I forgot everything except how to stare and how to let Thorn lean in and evoke sweet pleasure from my heart.
I woke up, lying in Thorn's arms. He was sitting against my headboard, quietly humming some haunting but slightly mesmerising tune.
'No wonder I fell asleep,' I thought.
"I wondered if that was it."
"Why did we come up here?" I inquired.
"So I could show you how I feel about you in your inner sanctum."
"Hmm, I like the thought of you being in my inner sanctum," I told him.
He grinned. "You want me to touch your soul?"
I shivered. "Oh yes please."
“Hm, I'm peckish," I told Thorn after we'd redressed.
"I'll make you a sandwich," he said, disappearing downstairs. I settled against my headboard and waited for him.
Soon, he returned, carrying a steaming mug of hot cocoa as well as the sandwich.
"Thanks," I said, taking both from him. I placed the drink on the bedside table before eating my sandwich.
When I had finished that, I sipped at the hot chocolate.
"Too hot," I said unnecessarily, wincing.
As I waited for it to cool I gazed out of my window at the world. Thorn came to stand behind me and massaged my shoulders, occasionally kissing the back of my neck or gently biting my ear.
"Thirsty?" I asked.
"You offering a drink?"
He positioned himself beside me and gently bit into my neck.
I sighed contentedly, the tranquillity of the moment by no means ruined.
In a short while he had finished and a few minutes after that I returned to a hot chocolate that now was at a perfect temperature for consumption. Afterwards I decided I wanted to go for a walk.
“Fancy a romantic stroll?” I asked Thorn.
“Sure,” he replied, grinning.
I jogged downstairs, grabbed a light jacket from the porch and threw the door open to reveal a darkening twilit sky ...
And a wolf on the doorstep.
I screamed loudly.
Thorn quickly clamped a hand over my mouth.
"It's a werewolf, Flora. You don't want to call the cops."
"What is it doing here?" I asked, terrified.
"I don't know," Thorn replied. "We should get back inside."
"But ... I want to know why it's on my doorstep!"
"I'll deal with it, darling. You just get back inside."
I looked into Thorn's eyes and only saw love there.
"Okay," I whispered, returning indoors. I walked, trembling slightly to the sofa where I sat, knees huddled up to my chest, wondering what on earth a werewolf was doing on my porch
And how could it have looked so peaceful? Like it had been here before? Like it thought it was accepted here.
Its relaxed air had ruled out the possibility I was in trouble. I was greatly mystified. What was happening? I hoped Thorn was dealing with it. I was horribly disconcerted by the encounter.