It was a rather misty, clouded evening. We walked through the dark forest alone, me and my dæmon, relishing the utter silence. The mist felt light and cool against my hot, feverish face. HeÆshættr was his namechanged swiftly into a lean, muscled wolf and slipped ahead of me into the mist. I loved predicting where the next tree would pop up out of the mist. To the right? The left? It wasnt the only thing occupying my mind. Other things roiled inside, my gears churning and processing each thought, each emotion, trying to make sense in the jumble of my heart. My favorite spot in the whole world soon emerged slowly from the mistthe crumbling ruins of an ancient castle. Æshættr changed into a ferocious-looking black fox with a sharp flick. I followed the gentle padding of his paws through a rotting set of intricate wooden doors, then hopped over a rusting iron gate. The rust stained my palms a brownish red and grated against my hands, but I took no notice since thats what happened every other time. Æshættr flowed back to me and nuzzled my palms, then hopped ahead again. My body carried me automatically to an ivy-covered arc and, sweeping aside the hanging strands, we stepped into what used to be a small garden. Huge oak trees spread their leafy arms above me, filtering the moonlight into small beams. I sat in a pool of silvery light, savoring the silky feel of the moonlight as it enveloped my skin. He changed to become a midnight wolf again and lay his head on my knees. Soft footsteps reached our ears as Æshættr lifted his head and we stood, delicately brushing the dry leaves off of my jeans. His magnificently plumed tail waved in greeting as the guy came closer.
Hey, I said softly as he ducked under the ivy and walked towards us. His black hair swept over his face and covered his eyes, which I knew were a gorgeous shade of deep, earthy brown. His dæmon rode on his shoulder as an eagle.
Hey, he replied. Do you want to go for a walk? I nodded and we walked off. Over an hour was spent in silence, clambering over walls, slipping through hidden tunnels, finding ancient doors that rusted shut long ago. After climbing to the attic, we sat down on dusty beams and began to talk. Before we knew it, two more hours had passed and it was time to go back. I hopped down from the attic, landing softly in a crouching position. Æshættr glided down as a magnificent hawk, and he followed. I stood before him, looking away. Æshættr became a chestnut pine marten and hopped onto my shoulder. His dæmon, Xaphania, wound around his legs, her cat forms gray fur long and lustrous.
Um, he started, avoiding my eyes. Æshættr hopped down from my shoulder changed into a wolf, along with Xaphania. They made a sharp contrast as both he and I looked at them. Xaphania was pure white. She made the now gently falling snow look gray in comparison to the purity and luster of her thick fur. Æshættr was pitch-black, blacker than the deep night sky that spread out above our heads. His sharp eyes were a deep shade of crimson, as were Xaphanias.
Go on, Xaphania said in a gentle growl, nudging her counterpart. He blushed slightly. Xaphania took a few steps forward, towards Æshættr. He padded up to her and she slowly rubbed against him. A chill of pleasure went down my back. I stepped closer to him and he neared me, too. I slowly reached out a hand to brush away his hair as Æshættr rubbed against Xaphania again. I gently swept the hair away from his eyes. They shone with the moonlight, made brighter by the glistening new snow settling everywhere. I stepped closer to him, then smiled and lay down in the new-fallen snow. He did the same and we both stared up at the sky, at the myriads of snowflakes gently drifting down onto our face. One landed on my nose and I felt its icy coolness as it melted against my flushed skin. More and more fell, faster and faster. He turned his head to look at Xaphania and Æshættr. They were leaping around in the snow as tiny, clumsy wolf pups snapping at each little snowflake. We both chuckled. His gaze met mine and he held it for several moments. I felt a chill run down my back, but it wasnt from the snow. He stretched out his hand, palm open, and caught a snowflake that had been drifting toward my face. One promptly landed on my lips with a tiny feeling of coldness. He set his hand down, and after a moment of hesitation, he reached out and held my hand. It was icy cold, but it felt good, just to touch him. He let go and turned over onto his stomach, lightly pushing himself up with his hands. Snow fell off of his sides and stomach onto the ground. He leaned over me, sheltering me from the snowflakes with a smile. Another chill ran down my back and I pushed the hair out of his eyes again. I kept my hand there, feeling the softness of his hair, the heat from his body. He leaned down, closing his eyes slightly. I didnt let go of his hair until his lips were on minethen I put my hands around his back. His strong, muscled body spread its warmth to mine as we kissed. He gently pulled away. I gazed into those deep sapphire eyes of his.
I love you, he said quietly. I pressed him closer to me.
I love you, I said back to him, and kissed him again with a happy thrill.