She was perfect. Resplendent. Her dark hair glossy enough to catch the light of the candles and reflect it some. Her skin smooth and flawless. He could see the softness of it even from where he stood. Her lips were parted ever so slightly, beckoning for breath to enter there. He wished he could see her eyes, but they were closed in peaceful slumber. He knew that behind the lids her irises would be a honey brown. Not the most unique of colors, but startling because of the life he’d seen in them.
He had picked her for her perfection. Her beauty. He had known the moment he’d seen her that she was the one. He needed her. He loved her instantly, and he had told her so. She had been flattered and shy, but he had been able to break through her shell and convince her that he spoke the truth.
How special she’d become for him. His one and only. He’d given up any and all pursuit of others to be with her, his heart for her alone. If only she could know what it meant for him to care for no others. If only he could tell her that he had sacrificed so very much and have it sound the way he wanted it to. They were words he’d kept to himself in the end. Such a woman would never understand the truth of it. Not that he believed her unintelligent. Not by any means. Her mind had only deepened his love. Nor did he think her heartless. She had so very much love in her. He could feel it, even now, radiating off of her.
The issue for him was the way she thought of herself and what that would become in relation to those very specific words. The last thing he wanted was to drive her – or scare her – away. So those words had remained unsaid. They would always be so.
But he had told her other things.
Like how she was the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen. Like how he loved her with every inch of his soul. Like how she would always be his princess. Forever more.
He wrote poetry for her and read it to her as she lay in the bed, a small smile on her face. He bought her only the most beautiful dresses. He told her nothing else could be allowed. Common things couldn’t possibly be allowed to touch her skin. He did absolutely everything for her. All he ever asked for in return was to be near her. A thing she was willing to accept.
Nothing in the world mattered to him when he was with her. He felt invincible. He felt like the king of everything. Never before had he felt so empowered and emboldened. All it took was a simple touch and the universe was his playground. Could she ever truly know the power she held? What she did to him and for him simultaneously? Did it really matter? She had everything she could ever want for, and he had her.
He thought of her when they weren’t together. Always. He imagined her. He committed things to memory to share with her. Even when they were apart, she was still with him.
A love like this did not come often. He intended to cherish every possible second. She would fade, it was unfortunate, but the truth. She would wither, and with that his love would go. He had accepted it as fact long before she’d ever come to be in his life. He wasn’t a fool. But they had time yet, and he would not ruin that time with doubts and worries of what the future would bring. They had now.
The flickering candles and the smell of jasmine filling the room as the incense burned down. The perfect moment he recreated every night they spent together. Though she would be dressed in a new gown every time, he would come upon her just like this. Resting prettily just like this. She in the bed, surrounded by these candles, cradles by silk and crushed flower petals.
He would stop, every night, in this exact place, to look at her and think upon his love. He would look at her and nothing more for long moments before moving closer to touch her. Every night he studied her beauty, memorizing it anew.
Each night he would then lightly run his fingers along the cool flesh of her arm. Then he would stoop to kiss her cold lips. Every time sh was a little more plaint. A sign of that imminent end that he could not ignore. But each night she accepted him. Picking up a little of his warmth as he moved. Retaining it until he left her again, dressing her in a different dress before he abandoned her for the world outside for another day, covering up the cruel marks of his love.
This night would be no different.