Darkness settles over the land as the fey folk travel abroad in search of their own otherworldly pleasures.
One such traveller finds himself at the door of his love. He knows that she sleeps alone and yearns to be with her but she has spurned him once already. His passion burns as a flame within his breast, driving him to her.
As a thief in the night he slips into her home, silently tracing the path to her bedchamber. In the stillness he pushes aside the door and gazes at her slumbering form. His eyes explore the suggested contours of her body beneath the blanket and he feels himself quicken. She is perfection, Tatiana to his Oberon, and he takes a step closer. Her dark hair spreads as a shadow around her, framing the elfin features of her face. In sleep she seems so fragile, so vulnerable.
The traveller draws nearer still, carefully settling himself on to the bed beside her. She stirs then and a gentle moan escapes her lips. Was it a sigh of pleasure, perhaps? Or maybe it was a dream-borne cry of fear? The traveller knows not but he feels the urge to protect her. Reaching out into the darkness, he lets his hand brush her cheek and feels himself burn at the touch. His desire becomes a tangible thing in his loins and his pulse races. The object of his passion stirs once more, nuzzling at the fingers by her face.
Carefully, the hand follows the line of her neck, and for a moment pauses at her back, the breath of their passing stirring the tiny hairs between her shoulders. She moans again, a flush of pleasure filling her and the traveller’s fingers continue their journey. At her hips they wait, as though in contemplation of their final destination. Should he tease himself with his desire? No, desire can wait.
Once more, the hand begins to move, drifting over thighs as soft and pale as new fallen snow. At an errant touch the sleeper moans again, her lips parting in the night. She kisses the air between them and he leans closer, his hand resting like a shadow on her leg. Their lips touch for the briefest of moments and he tastes her, his own lust growing at that smallest of intimacies. What if she were to awaken now, if she were to suddenly find him in her chamber? The thrill of discovery quickens his pulse and he pulls away, both hand and mouth relinquishing their contact.
The sleeper rolls over in her dreams, her thighs parting as casually as her lips. She offers herself to him unconsciously and for a moment he wonders if she truly sleeps. But then he recognises the patterns of the night and knows that it is only his own desire that provokes such a thought. Safe in his anonymity, he once more reaches out.
Now his hand explores her more boldly. The fingers dance across her skin, following the line of her throat, her breasts, her ribs. A gentle caress of her stomach causes her to gasp, her own hand moving to the heart of her love. He watches as she caresses herself and waits. Before long she has entranced herself with her actions and he pulls away once more, his breath painfully hot in his lungs. That she can bring herself such pleasure, even in her sleep, is what drew him to her in the first place. Her body begins to shiver as she dreams and the traveller’s own body reacts. Never had a mortal aroused such need in one of the fey before. In charm of her, he watches her passion spill over, tiny noises of lust escaping her slumbering mind.
Even when she is silent again he still waits. He wants to awaken her, to make his presence known. The heat within him threatens to ignite the bedclothes but he ignores his desire. She would consume him. He knows this within his heart and knows therefore that he must set her free. Pain tears at his soul as he leans forward to lay one last kiss on her lips. And then he is gone, as silently as when he first arrived.
The sleeper awakens, her body aching from the dream of her fey lover. She knows no way to tell him of her desire, but cannot imagine being without him. As she lays alone in the darkness, she fancies for a moment that she can smell him on the air, a shadows breadth away in her dreams…
S. Naomi Scott (c) 2004