“I love you.”
That’s what I want to say as I look up at you, but I don’t.
I am struck by your beauty, your face softened by the yellow glow of the new spring moon. That same light enhances the fullness of your black hair, casts shadows over eyes already as dark as the night sky above us. Yes, I see beauty in a man! My heart thumps. Butterflies soar within me as they would among the flowers in the day; a gentle, fluttering-tingle in the silence. No, not completely silent – lying beneath you, cloaked by the night, I hear our hearts beating.
Wait! I turn my head, straining to hear more; whispering, among the trees, the hum of a peaceful breeze. I love you. How I long to say those words to you. I sigh instead and gaze, unseeing, into the darkness. My arms drop to my sides as concern gives way to fear. I’m afraid of offering you my heart and you refusing to take it.
Your hand, soft against my face, urges me to look back. I am lost again in your dark eyes glowing with the light of new desire. Your hair against your forehead, dampened by earlier exertion, bids my fingers to push it out of the way, to simply touch you. I reach up and you grab my hand, kiss my wrist, a soft press of love-swollen lips to the tender flesh there.
Now, I can’t remember why I raised my hand. Your mouth curls upward at the corners – you know what you have done. A chuckle resonates from your chest so closely pressed to mine. Then you begin to move again and your breathing changes, telling me you enjoy the way I tense beneath you. For a moment, we’ll simply revel in the feel of our bodies entwined -- the two of us, together -- and yet … not. Then, once again, we’ll become one, united, as lovers, as the rest of the world fades away like a whisper, unimportant, erased from my mind for a time. My thoughts focused on you.
But I want more. My heart cries out to you, begging for a greater union than what we have in this paper marriage, arranged, binding us for eternity as man and wife. We are good together, regardless of the fact that we were united through no choice of our own. You have swept me away, your desire taking me to places I only dreamed existed, our bodies soaring together many times.
Still -- I want … I want to give you my heart. I want to say …
“I love you.” Sweet, unexpected words you speak to me – words that I have longed to hear whispered against my lips as you have kissed me in the darkness. I try to swallow, my throat constricting. I try to find the voice to return them to you.
You know though. You feel the quiver of my body beneath yours, see the tears glistening in the corners of my eyes. Your face shines with understanding, and suddenly my fears fade.
I smile up at you and speak.
“I love you.”