I yawned. "I don't know. It's quite late."
"Hm, I quite fancy wearing you out further."
I rolled my eyes and noticed the sky for the first time. I gasped. It was a very dark purple and the stars were the colour of gold. They blazed brightly, looking as if they were on fire.
"Wow," I murmured.
I looked back down at Romulus, who was smiling. "Could we stay outside for a bit? The air feels quite warm and the sky really is beautiful."
"I know something more beautiful," he whispered. I thought he was going to kiss me but then he walked away, beckoning me to follow. Behind the caves wound a wide river, which glowed silver and looked as though its floor was covered with diamonds.
"This is the River of Lu," Romulus said.
The name rang a bell. "This is where Peter saw me," I murmured. I dropped to my knees and gazed into the sparkling water.
Romulus sat down beside me and kissed my cheek. "Obviously not enough of you."
I sighed. "I feel so awful. I mean, I convinced myself that I loved him and now, I've chosen his brother over him. This self-discovery is a lot about getting over the fact I've been a ..."
Romulus put a finger to my mouth. "You have not," he said firmly.
I pulled his hand away. "I thought you said I was bad."
"You don't deserve the sort of insults you want to give yourself. When I say bad, I mean darkly attractive and passionate, like me. Except you're nowhere near as bad as me because I'm really bad."
"You suggested ‘complete surrender to the dark', so I could easily be."
"No, you're not like that. The worst you'll ever do is tease someone. When you surrender to the dark, well... it's kind of like being enveloped by my aura: everything is exciting and chilling and thrilling, and if it's not, you disregard it or get bored of it. But it doesn't change who you are at the core. For example, if you weren't capable of murder before, you wouldn't be afterwards."
"But I'm nice at the core," I said, confused.
"Nice is too weak a trait - it changes. The things that don't change are malicious intentions, favourite things (because they usually affect something deep within you) and the people you feel for strongly."
I grinned, forgetting my annoyance at myself. "Everything's okay as long as you have my love."
Romulus grinned back. "Precisely. Though I don't see why I wouldn't."
He leant in and kissed me. We both propped ourselves up on our sides to make the kiss easier. We slid closer so our bodies were touching. The kiss was so immense and the sensations so perfect (intoxicatingly sweet and slightly painful) that I couldn't care less that we were beside a beautiful river. This moment would be perfect on a muddy farm. Since it would be perfect near pigs and cows, I failed to see the need to stay outside and gaze up at constellations which once would have captivated me. I was confused by my fascination with the night sky when I had an entire universe to myself in the form of Romulus. I pulled away, surprising him, and wordlessly knelt up so I could get up.
"You 'kay, Tilly?" he asked.
"I don't like sharing you with the rest of the world," I said, hoping there was an element of mystery to my words. I grasped one of his hands and helped him to his feet. I tugged him in the direction of the caves, resuming kissing him again. I navigated my way around to the entrances to the caves and pulled Romulus into his own.
He broke away, chuckling, saying "I like where this is going."
I got down on his mattress and pulled him down. We were now both on our knees, kissing in the darkness, tucked away from the rest of the world.
Romulus' kisses became even more passionate as he held the back of my head so he could hold it close to keep our faces together as if I would suddenly move mine away. His other hand was cupped around my hip, pushing that part of my body closer to him too. My arms were around his neck as I gripped on tightly as if letting go would endanger my life. Romulus was a lot stronger than me, so I kept being pushed backwards about an inch in time with the rhythm of the kiss.
‘Why am I resisting?' I wondered as I felt the tension in my back which kept me upright. As soon as I thought this, I fell backwards, complying with Romulus' desire to control the kiss, to control the way my heart beat. My legs came out from under me and Romulus' went out straight behind him too. He was on top of me, still kissing me, still holding my heart in the hands which caressed my skin and touched sensitive parts of my body, willing them to react (and react they did) and thrilling me all the while. The tight grip became a squeeze: he was squeezing the love out of me, and the pain increased and the pleasure increased and everything was more. I wanted more too. I wanted to satisfy Romulus, to obey the roaring fires in our souls which were screaming out their desire. I let myself be all that I could.