When we had eventually finished a kiss appropriately long to serve its purpose (to erase the fight from our memories and guilty consciences), we climbed into Timothy's car and drove to town where we arrived in front of the restaurant where we were going to have lunch just as Alex and Leanne appeared at one end, walking up from the main shopping centre. They both looked positively glowing, especially Alex who had his arm around Leanne's waist, looking as if it was meant to be there, had always meant to be there and would always mean to be there for as long as they were a couple.
I got out of the car and waited for the two of them to draw nearer. Leanne appeared to be carrying a box of chocolates as well as a couple of shopping bags on each arm. I wondered why Alex was allowing her to carry so much when I realised he was carrying a few bags himself.
"How much did you buy?" I asked, laughing.
"There were loads of discounts and everything fit me," Leanne replied, looking unashamed. "What did you buy?"
I pulled out the dress from its bag in the car. Leanne gasped.
"Wow! That's so beautiful!"
"Not as much as the girl who'll be wearing it," Timothy murmured in my ear, having wandered over to stand beside me after locking the car.
I felt a shiver of pure pleasure run down my spine as his warm breath condensed on my neck to be followed by kisses planted expertly upon my skin as if Timothy had unlocked the door to a world of passion and returned having learnt exactly how to make a girl's heart beat faster as it surrendered to him. My heart's surrender was inexorable and as delightful as a cool breeze on a summer's day. I felt weak at the knees as Timothy not only captured my heart with physical enchantments but with mental and emotional ones too. With each kiss came a new wave of his love for me and a beautiful mental image, each stronger and more powerful than the last. My mind was spinning as I saw us waltzing alone in a ballroom, silhouetted against the setting sun on a beach, lying on the grass in a field gazing up into the vast expanse of the night sky which was littered with blazing stars and finally, when I thought there was nothing that could be more wonderful than all I'd seen in these brief seconds, me standing tall and striking in a long white dress holding a bouquet of flowers gazing lovingly upwards (Timothy was seeing it from his perspective) forming the words "I do" with my mouth. My heart stopped beating, my breath caught in my throat, I felt dizzy and exhilarated yet overwhelmed by sheer elation. I buried my head in Timothy's hair and allowed myself to fall towards his body.
No one could doubt this was the climax of our relationship that I had just viewed. I felt as if I were in a wondrous dream, as if reality had sort of just slipped away without me noticing it and now I was lying somewhere asleep while this marvellous scene played out.
‘Oh, I love you, Timothy. I do so want to marry you, be bound to you. It would be the only way to complete things, tie things up properly. I'm only partially bound to you at the moment and it's just so unsatisfactory. Yes, you've stolen my heart, yes you own all the love I could give and even my soul is yours, my darling. But it isn't enough, will never be enough until we've made the vows that will make us one permanently.'
I hadn't realised I was thinking these things to him. They seemed to be spontaneous thoughts, reactions to the intensity of his kisses. And they had been intense. I'd never dreamed anyone could kiss like that, but Timothy was special and, of course, he was extraordinary - if there was such a thing as destiny, we were specifically designed for each other. Each kiss had pulled me deeper and deeper into his world, so that just like he was the centre of my universe, I was the centre of his. He'd stopped now and was just holding me now, his head still on my neck, his lips parted to inhale my scent through his mouth as well as his nose, as if he, like me, wanted to absorb his source of euphoria as much as he could.
‘I agree, Tani. I'll never be whole until no one can doubt you're mine.' It had taken a while for him to respond. He was obviously as overwhelmed by the sensation as I was.
I was surprised to find we were kneeling on the floor. Timothy must have collapsed and because my weight was being totally supported by his body, my knees must have fallen out from underneath me too.
I lifted my head and found that Leanne was staring at us, not even trying to hide her surprise as her jaw hung open.
"What ... was that?" she asked.
I shrugged, unable to answer.
"You looked as if you were ... I don't know... on fire inside... As if you could never be parted from each other. As if volcanoes had erupted inside you both and consumed everything except the passion. I could almost feel your love for each other from here. It was so ... powerful."
I finally managed to speak. "That's a bit of an exaggeration, isn't it? I was just standing there and Timothy was just kissing me."
"Yeah, but it's the way you looked. Your eyes were closed; you looked like you were dreaming but simultaneously you looked as if you'd just been united with a part of you that you hadn't realised existed outside your body. And just kissing?" She raised an eyebrow. "I suddenly thought of people worshipping a powerful deity - that's how he looked, like he bathed in you, got all his strength from you, like he deeply respected you and would be nothing without you. He looked as if you were a glorious treasure he had chanced upon and was thanking the gods for having found you by pouring his love into you."
I shrugged. "I love him more than I've loved anyone ever before. I see him as the most influential and powerful force in my life. I don't know how he regards me."
Timothy spoke. "Exactly the same way. In fact, exactly the way Leanne described it."
He rose, pulling me to my feet as well. He gazed lovingly down into my eyes. I almost collapsed again. He seemed to caress my heart when he looked at me like that.
"You're a goddess, a glorious treasure and you're the force which controls the direction of my life."
I heard Leanne's sharp intake of breath. "You two are really serious about each other," she said, sounding as if someone had just told her that a drug had been found which could cure every type of cancer.
"Um, shall we go in?" Even Alex sounded dazed.
I nodded but I didn't take my eyes from Timothy, even as we were eating our expensive meal. I barely noticed the food I was placing in my mouth. I could have been eating a pig's spleen for all I cared, and that was the thing: I didn't care. There was truly nothing in the world that mattered more than Timothy.
While we were waiting for the bill, I brushed my foot against his and asked in my mind, ‘When are you going to kiss me like that again?'
He smiled and I felt warmth rush into my mind. ‘Whenever you want, Tani, but probably just before we head home - when we're sitting in the car.'
‘That's wonderful. I can't wait.'
I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.
‘When have I ever not enjoyed your displays of love for me?'
Never. But you don't seem to realise how gratifying your response is. Who am I? Timothy Foxtail, your average witch, who used to be nauseated by the thought of romance. And here you are, Tirana Flor, in all your magnificence, a beautiful, sweet, soulful lover whom I could never hope to beat when it comes to tenderness.
‘Oh, but I'm nothing special. I'm just a human. The best thing about my life is your presence in it. You may just be an average witch, but to any human, that's fascinating. What we're doing now - communicating telepathically - would not be possible if we weren't rose-dove and kingfisher and we're only like that because one of us is a witch. Remember the night you told me what a rose-dove was? You said, the love of a witch's life.'
Well, the rose-dove can be a witch and the kingfisher a human, but yes, a witch has to be involved somewhere.
‘Can you doubt that this telepathic link is amazing?'
No, Tani. You're right - it's remarkable. But, as long as you consider me the best thing in your life, you will always be the best in mine.
‘Timothy, I'll always consider you the best thing in my life.'
Good, because I can't be parted from the other half of my soul.