I stared at the face of the love I'd never truly seen before, awed by the sight and stunned by the novelty which shouldn't have defined the situation after so many glorious months of sweet kisses and tender caresses.
Physically he was the same: pale blond hair, eyes like the sky; but my mind depicted him as something like an angel. My thoughts now entirely focused on him, each main feature having a dozen connotations - all positive - and bringing back beautiful memories. His hair... How many times had I run my fingers through it as if he were my pet rather than my boyfriend? His mouth... Again and again, it had moved against my skin and expressed the truest deepest sentiment in the world. His brow. Surprisingly, this part of his face was special too. More times than I could count it had rested against my shoulder, my face: I remembered him earlier after kissing my pulse points, just lying there with his forehead against my chest.
And lastly, his eyes. They represented everything non-physical about this relationship. And I couldn't say anything more about them because right now, he was gazing at me in a way that told me he was listening to my thoughts.
I stood up, taken over by romantic instinct.
Like a loyal puppy, he stood too.
"Rosa?" he questioned.
I looked at him for several seconds before walking out of the room. I heard him follow, though he remained silent.
I led him downstairs, out through the kitchen door and into the garden.
He shut the back door behind us and turned to face me.
"What d'you want, my darling?"
"Can you be a wolf?" that mysterious force told me to say.
"I can be anything for you," he replied quietly, intensely, and transformed.
He sat down without taking his eyes off me.
I knelt down and stroked his fur.
‘Is this what you wanted?' Ross inquired telepathically.
"Yeah," I said aloud, before flinging my arms around his neck and lying partly across him.
‘You won't get cold?'
"Not with you here."
He sighed contentedly. ‘Nice choice.'
I didn't respond. Instead, I began a mental communication of exactly how I felt presently and how only thinking of him enabled me to see him in a whole new light. I used words, pictures, memories and even parts of some of my favourite music to ensure he completely understood what he meant to me.
Afterwards, I fell silent and sighed happily.
‘Rosa,' Ross whispered, and his thoughts were hushed: gentle as a light breeze rustling leaves on a tree.
‘Yes?' I replied, still talking telepathically.
‘I... I don't know. My love, I don't know.'
‘Love is amazing, isn't it?' I murmured, the thought tickling Ross, encouraging his mind to smile.
‘No: no it's not,' he replied pensively, bewildering me. ‘Have you ever felt the so-called love between two shallow people? It's practically nothing.'
‘It's what you make it then,' I thought, puzzled. ‘Therefore, it can be amazing.'
‘But - but... Hmm, I don't know how to phrase this.'
His thoughts were quite guarded, so I asked ‘Why don't you show me?'
‘I'm still thinking, Rosa: give me a minute.'
I waited patiently, though incredibly curious to hear his justification.
A few seconds later, he thought ‘You're amazing, Rosa. And don't tell me I'm biased because Jack thinks so too - even after your relationship. Plus Lily: she senses it too.'
‘Jack's mum? But Ross, I wouldn't be so amazing - at least I don't think I would - were I not so inspired by love. So love has to be amazing too.'
He shook his head. ‘Not love: your interpretation of it. As you said, ‘love's what you make it'. But in this context, love is how you see it. And you see it as so powerful, so beautiful, that you inspire your own actions and give a perfect love.'
‘Rosa, I need to say this, baby. You have an inspiring imagination, awesome chasmal depth and a longing to give so great that you almost don't care what you take. You're so ... phenomenal it's like you're unreal. You belong in the most heart-breaking, breath-taking fantasy the mind can create. You're not one in a million: you're one in sixty billion. One in sixty billion Earth-dwellers who could never conceive the wonder that you are until they get to know you personally. I find myself asking "What's love in comparison to my rose-dove?".'
‘But don't you see?' I protested. ‘You're speaking from the heart - you wouldn't say this if you didn't love me.'
‘Oh, Rosa, this surpasses love. Love is just a word used to express supreme enjoyment and affection. And don't you feel it too? The sense that we ... were destined... - destined for so much more. We're strong as diamond, profound as souls, as close as two people can get. You must feel it, Rosa: this is all so ... you.'
I stood up, distressed and touched, fascinated and scared, in accord, not in accord, all at the same time.
Ross shifted back into a human and held me.
"You're always yearning for more," he whispered. "Always striving for something just beyond your reach." The words were from last Christmas but he expanded on them, adding new ideas. "You long do hard it hurts: you would cry for it if you didn't keep such a tight rein on your emotions. You desire it so much."
I turned sharply to face him. "I found it in you!"
Ross gazed into my eyes. Deeply. Determinedly. Almost disconcertingly, but what he was saying was so amazing, despite my mixed feelings about it, that I couldn't feel he was intimidating or trying to scare me.
"I found it in you," I repeated, my tone barely audible, feeling yet another emotion: anguish.
He took my waist and kissed me with such a passion the force of it mentally bowled me over.
‘The potential was already in you,' he thought.
‘NO!' I shouted in our minds. ‘This is right: this is amazing: this is perfect. I love you, Ross, I belong to you and my heart is forever yours. If I used to be fantastic, you've encouraged me to be phenomenal. Yes, phenomenal now, Ross. Not before. There is nothing that matters to me more than us.'
He drew back. Averting his gaze, he murmured "You longed so hard you could cry. You felt so lonely. So incomplete."
Raising eyes that blazed with defiance, he said "And I will be the guardian of that feeling." He calmed down, exhaling heavily. "Yes, Rosa," he murmured, eyes on the ground, "you found it in me. But only because you chose to see it."
He looked up. "I'm sorry if I scared you."
I kissed him gently. Trying to smile, I said "I'm fine. And ... you're the most amazing guy on the planet." I succeeded in smiling and then found myself hugging Ross.
He hugged me back tightly.
"Let there never be a hole in your life again," he murmured.