The kiss ended. I opened my eyes to find Peter doing the same. His gaze was so intense that I felt like he was communicating with my soul.
"Will you tell me why you were crying now, Tilly?" he asked. I noticed his hand had moved from mine to my hip while his other was on the ground, being used to steady himself.
"It's ironic you should ask," I replied, soaring through skies of bliss and contentment. "I was crying because I was longing for ... well, you, I suppose. A brilliant guy who understood me and loved me."
"You can't imagine how I understand you. I feel like you're part of me sometimes."
"You sound like you've known me a while."
"Oh, Tilly, I've known you all your life."
"Are you going to explain that?"
"I don't think you'd mind if I didn't," he answered, a wicked and very alluring smile playing on his face.
"Don't talk like that," I said quietly.
"Oh. Um, sorry. You want this to be dreamy and fairytale-like, don't you?"
I nodded. "It's not that I don't like the idea of you being alluring: it makes my heart do somersaults but you're even better romantic and tender. Caress me rather than invite me over to the dark side."
"I will," Peter murmured sincerely.
"And I'll explain why I know you."
I lay down on my sides and stared up into those dark eyes, full of mystery and, at this moment, love.
"I'm a dragon. Now you're not going to believe me because a) according to everything you know, the supernatural doesn't exist and b) because I'm not a fire-breathing lizard. But a dragon isn't a fire-breathing lizard. At least I'm not. A dragon is someone powerful and mysterious and my ancestors could shapeshift which is probably how the legend of dragons came about. I live in one of the Caverns of Asterix in a dimension which can be crossed to from your world and from which my kind can travel to yours. There, the silvery waters of Lu shine brightly and reveal random happenings occuring in either place. Once a century, a dragon may be shown the life of an Earth-dweller (a human). When they do, they are enveloped by the blue light called Azure (named after a great talking kingfisher, the subject of many legends) and learn all about this Earth-dweller's personality and the things which are close to their hearts. This great thing happened to me - that is how I know you."
Peter sighed, looking as content as I felt.
"It was there, sitting on the one of the banks of the river Lu that I fell in love with you," he told me.
"How wonderfully romantic," I murmured.
Peter had even more wonderful things to say next.
"I want us to be together, Tilly. One day, I hope to take you back to Asteria and strengthen the bond which grows between us. When I say strengthen it, I mean make it unbreakable. In the gardens of Flora, we will tie our souls together and from that day onwards, we will enjoy each other and share in a way few couples can, thus filling our lives with bliss and absolute happiness."
"So it will be like getting married?" I asked.
"Oh so much more than that. A marriage is a mere ceremony: our lives will actually change and we as people will change when we become one."
"Become one? That's such a beautiful idea..."
"It can happen, Tilly," Peter said, sounding excited. "You need never worry about being lonely again. You'll always have me. I'll comfort you, support you, protect you - I'll be the one you wished you had around when you were a child. Your best friend, knight in shining armour and soul mate all rolled into one. I'll be whatever you need me to be whenever you need me to be it! I'll call down the stars of Glissamour to shine upon you, pay the best Tailors of Tressa to robe you in satin - your favourite material, right? I'll talk to you in French - la langue d'amour - parce que je suis tombé amoureux de toi! I will say that a thousand times each week, Tilly. I have fallen in love with you: I love you. Oh, Tilly, the things I would do for you, the people I would be for you, the songs I would sing, the dances I would ask you to share with me... My heart is exploding like your fireworks, my soul is singing like the Enthralling Choirs of Quell! Tilly, it hurts! I am yours, now and forever. Treat me how you will."
I was amazed by Peter's words. He sounded so passionate, so ... happy, so in love. And that's what I wanted, wasn't it? That's what I'd always wanted.
"When do we leave?" I asked, feeling dizzy.
Peter beamed. "Whenever you want, my angel."
And he kissed me again, pulling me up into a sitting position. His arms wrapped around me and I could feel his love for me, his pure elation, undiluted euphoria, unadulterated ardour. I felt giddy like I was drunk on it.
Suddenly, the ground shook. Air whirled around me with magical streaks of colour and I felt like I was floating. What was happening?