Shadows swirled around me. Dark thoughts comprising blurry images and the occasional pale face, like a child's pressed up against the window on a day of torrential rain.
Screams in the forest... wait, a forest?! A scene formed. My mind-vision focused. Beside a gurgling stream, laughter, an occasional deep sigh of rapture from the body underneath me.
No, not me...: Romulus.
The first ... conquest?! He saw girls as things to be conquered! Disturbed yet fascinated, I continued to watch. In any case, I didn't know how to stop.
Everything seemed so natural to him: it came like instinct. And there was pride within him at the way he could almost ... control the girl. This made her laugh, this made her shiver, this ... Okay, I decided I didn't want to know. But the girl was loving it and he was loving it, and he thought to himself ‘This is the best feeling ever.'
The scene changed. He looked around and everywhere there was a girl he wanted to try. He was standing on a field at what seemed to be a school, appraising every girl worth appraising. He even let some girls notice, which evoked a sensation in them of falling and wanting to fall deeper. His first lover had taught him many things and now when he went somewhere private with a girl, he would let instinct take over and dwell on the pride afterwards. The key to the best experience was to let sensation overpower you.
Sensation was addictive. He was itching for it. In fact, there was even slight pain. He needed sensation.
Ah. There was one. Twelve, was she? Well, he'd be limited there. But it was good to try new things. That's what his father always said about food.
Darkness clouded over everything again. I was left in black fog, surrounded by dark, seductive whisperings, embraced by cold shadows, simultaneously afraid and thrilled.
If I was light, I was fading. The eternal night was slowly consuming me: I was becoming further immersed in Romulus's essence.
I collided with the famous 'sensation' and found myself on fire. Burning desire swept through me: a need to control, taint, feed. Soft skin would flow beneath my lips, moving of its own accord as I took advantage of its vulnerability and willingness to sacrifice itself to me: the divine power, Black Flames. While I evoked falling, I soared; while fingers trembled, I was certain; while the weakling died, I lived. I lived as I'd never lived before. Nothing could beat this experience, nothing could match this power. I was swooping... in ... for the kill.
I woke up, breathless. Beside me lay a gorgeous guy; his black hair looking like it would feel like velvet, the sides of his mouth turned up in a suggestive smile even in his sleep and an aura of dark passion radiating from him that invited me closer. I wanted him.
I leant in and kissed him on the lips, waking him up.
He opened his eyes and looked at me. He smiled warmly.
"Tilly," he sighed.
No, I didn't want warmth. I sat up and sighed exasperatedly.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"I got the wrong impression of you," I grumbled. I didn't think about the fact he had known my name. I was thinking about my wounded pride at the prospect of the hunt which couldn't possibly take place now that I knew this guy was soft. I shivered with disgust.
"What d'you mean, baby? You're not making sense, love."
Baby? Love? Who did he think he was? A sweet saint blessed by Cupid to charm all the nice girls? Well, sorry, but I wasn't a nice girl.
"Go away," I muttered.
"Tilly," he said, sitting up. "Something's up with you. You're acting like you don't know me."
"I don't, weirdo."
He frowned, puzzled. "'Course you do. It's me, Romulus."
"Er, the name doesn't register," I said, not flattered by his persistence. "So off with you." I made shooing gestures with my hands. "I don't date soft guys."
Romulus stared at me a minute and then burst into laughter. "Soft? Well, I know you can't remember me now. Soft! I ask you."
Something about his amusement inclined me to think that he wasn't. And it wasn't just the fact he was laughing. It was the way he was laughing. With that self-assuredness. A glint in his eyes that suggested he could be very wicked if he wanted to be.
I watched him with interest.
"Perhaps I misjudged you," I said.
I got onto my hands and knees and crawled towards him.
"Tilly, as much as I'd love to give you what you want, I think we should sort out what's happened to your mind first."
Romulus looked a little worried but I could tell the largest part of him wanted to make the fantasy playing in my head reality.
"You're not really good at trying to solve problems first," I whispered. "You'd rather benefit from the situation before fixing anything."
"So true," he murmured, almost losing himself in my words. But he quickly snapped back to himself. "But I can't. Our souls are tied, Tilly. You're not to be taken advantage of - you need respect."
"Do I look like I want respect?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
Romulus faltered. He was obviously taken in by me.
I leant in and roughly kissed him. I pulled away.
He stared at me longingly. Seconds later, he had given in. He was kissing me with a passion that impressed me.
Suddenly, I felt an alien darkness and foreign desire in my mind. I luxuriated in the waves of ardour which overwhelmed my senses while experienced amazing pleasure from Romulus's physical motions.
More of our skin was starting to become exposed when Romulus's mind suddenly brushed a certain area of my mind and I remembered everything. I didn't stop wanting and needing him but there was a new, deeper aspect to the love which hadn't been present before. There was greater understanding of the emotions behind what we were sharing and I cared more: seeing him as a person rather than a method of satisfying the intense fires that had begun to rage inside me as I had woken up from my deep slumber. I had the notion that I was a slightly different person, now. Perhaps... better for Romulus. And maybe he was better for me, too. But I couldn't really tell because instinct was taking over and we were becoming lost in the passion.
It was phenomenal. Every feeling was the same but it was stronger, accentuated by a deeper motivation for what I had heard Romulus call sensation in his mind. The soul link was strengthening our bond, making every gesture shine. We melted into each other easily and felt like there was some law stating we were right for each other yet also one saying we shouldn't be together which gave the experience an irresistible forbidden feel.
It all finished too quickly. One moment, Romulus and I were sharing the best moment in our lives and the next we were lying next to each other, breathing heavily, feeling like we were about to collapse. I loved the way I could use the word ‘we' so assuredly: Romulus could hide nothing from me through the soul link. It stunned me that he felt exactly the same way as I did. Perhaps I had been wrong about Peter's perfectness for me; perhaps I had always been destined to be Romulus's lover.
My mind collapsed.
"That," Romulus said - though I don't know how he managed - "was the best love we've ever had."