One Perfect Moment
Lying with her in the bed, she smells of blood and sweat and rain. Faintly of some hot-house perfume and more strongly of lust. Dark makeup smudged under her eyes make them look huge and scared, but her hands on his back pull him close.
Her mouth has no fear - her mouth finds his, and his jaw, and his throat. Hesitates for a moment when no pulse beats against her questing tongue but then he's tasting the sweetness of her collar-bone, soap and her skin under his own tongue and her hesitation is gone.
Heat and rainwater and the lingering taint of the fight - decaying endorphins that make her taste of burnt sugar and citrus. Her hands are strong - her legs willowy and steely and open. Close clasp of muscle and bone drawing him further - drawing him in.
He looks down at her - studies her face. Her cheeks are still rounded like a child's - her hair wisping across her forehead where it's dried a bit. Mellow gold that makes him think for one moment of Darla and the pang that goes through him is bittersweet and hollow.
Instead he looks into her eyes. He is not there - not in the usual way. No reflection in those mirrors to the soul. But he is there. Like a light shining out of her as her lips part and her breath flutters, warm and coffee-mellow against his cheek. As the words tumble out, breathless catch and hitch as he moves - pushes - breaks the seal that made her sacred.
Now she's a different sort of holy - now she's the confessor who is taking his sin into her and transmuting it - changing it. Forgiveness and absolution in the press of thighs to his ribs - in the broken cry as he moves deeper - a little harder.
And at that moment - he sees it. Sees it all. Sees his future in her eyes as clearly as he feels it in the still, cold hollow of his chest. He will fight beside this gilded child and he will win. Win the battle...win redemption. He will be her strong right arm and the evils of the world will fall before them and one day - one day...
One day the light that shines from her will shine from him and he will be - reborn. Pure happiness - pure joy - makes him lift his head and cry her name - clutch her so fiercely that a normal girl would be broken.
But she isn't normal - isn't broken. She's strong and perfect and his, and he pulls her close and closes his eyes - buries his face in the silken web of her hair. She loves him - she trusts him. She - believes. And it's...the best thing in all the world.
Later, when she's lying snug in his arms and the pain lances through him, twisting him like a cloth, he's sure that this - is his redemption. He opens his arms to it - opens his eyes wide, so he won't miss a thing.
It's not redemption, not at all, but by then - he doesn't mind.