I awoke to the feel of Alyssa's soft lips against mine.
How had I fallen asleep in her presence? How could I doze when she was near me, enveloping me in the warmth and brightness of her soul and radiating her tender aura upon me?
But wasn't this what I longed for? To be able to sleep and know she'd be there when I'd awake? To feel safe from the thought of losing her and become part of her world?
Wait a moment! I hadn't processed the most important thing. She was ... kissing me. Her lips were on mine in the most glorious, right way.
I wrapped my arms around her and kissed her gently, luxuriating in her contentment. She pulled away and nestled her head against my chest. This time, it was she who drifted off.
While she was asleep - looking so peaceful and reflecting her state of blissful unawareness of the world - I contemplated. Contemplated Alyssa and our situation.
It was evident that she trusted me a little - a surely good sign. But I had to be careful and not breach that trust. Even though I never intended to hurt Alyssa, I would have to ensure that she was never exposed to the vicious pain that my reckless kisses gave her.
I had to find a way of suppressing the agony, of making the depths of her mind trust me and believe that if Alyssa gave her soul to me, it would be safe. I had to teach the unconscious part of her to resist the natural urge to fight against my claiming of her essence. To show that to be bound in that way was a luxury not a curse. I had to do all this and do it effectively, because if her unconscious mind was not convinced, the agony would continue.
I understood now why I had not attempted to do this before. It had not been out of mere fatigue: these things required great thought.
Firstly, Alyssa was due an explanation.
An explanation of the pain.
An explanation of my motives.
A breakdown of the duty of the Guardian Spirit so that she had utter faith in me and could like me without hesitation.
So when she awoke, the first thing I told her was "I have some things to say."