¿Quieres casarte conmigo?
Wed Sep 25, 2013 21:01

Their kiss tasted like goodbye, and it might've been their last, and there was a possibility they were about to end right there on Pearl Street, their shadows fading into darkness. Niccolò kept his eyes clenched shut, and swallowed the salt flavored tears that trickled down her face and stung his bottom lip. At the end of the block, erect upon the corner, a streetlamp flickered on, casting a dim orange light whose boundaries shied just inches from their forms. It was a little cold, goosebumps prickling his arms, soothed by the warmth his girl was emitting. There were no words, and only the barest traces of sound; hitched breathing, his shoulder scraped against the wall, and the burn in his throat where a pleasured moan was choked. (If I took it back, maybe this could last. Forgive me and forget and let's continue on as we were, as we still are.)

His fingers were tangled through her hair, golden silk strands that were entwined around his wrists like handcuffs and iron chains, and their prison smelled like vanilla and strawberries and something so sweet it was sickening, like poison injected into his bloodstream, an addiction creeping just beneath his skin, but he couldn't break away and he couldn't let go, not even to breathe, because if she couldn't say the words back to him, and she couldn't feel the same way, then it was better to die whimpering against her mouth, only tasting the flavor of her tears and never having to look upon those eyes again, or listen to her apologize for ending what they had, or rightfully blaming him for pushing her on that path.

(Anything to have you, but I have to have all of you, and I don't want to be possessive and I don't want to own you, but you've become mine, can't you see that? And there are parts of me that belong to no other, and those parts of me are yours. And I love you in a way I've never known before, and I love you in a way I don't quite understand, but it's real and it is constant and it's eternal even if you walk away and even if you never see me again.)

When her arms rose to wrap themselves around his neck, pulling him further down, crushed against her lips, his hands disentangled from her hair and lowered to her hips, urging them forward and grabbing all that he could because he needed to feel her if this was never going to happen again. And for the rest of his life he was going to wonder if this was worth it, if the truth was ever worth the price, because she was getting ready to break away and say goodbye and for a little while longer he could have had her, and for a little while longer she could have been his Knight. The threat of her sister and her betrothed lingered like smoke above every spark of their own private flame. Grey tendrils that would not rise very high, forcing him to inhale, tainting whatever bit of happiness they might have felt.

(I'm going back and forth... I don't know what I want... but I know I need you, Alexandra, even if I don't know why and I don't understand, and even though it hurts like hell and like nothing has ever hurt before. Please don't question and don't try to think, just take what I say and believe it - believe me - and feel the same way.)

The thoughts began to disintegrate, a mad frenzy of blurred color and fireworks exploding inside his mind, the veins in his frontal lobe bulging, throbbing with a painful ache. For a moment he was dying, and death tasted so sweet. But then they were breaking away, only for breath, and maybe to say goodbye. Dark eyes blinked open, slightly dazed, flooded with dim orange light from the streetlamp down the block, and quickly overtaken by blinding blue. A tongue licked briefly at the salt on his bottom lip, still sore from where he'd been chewing on it from before, and now there were rouge stains, courtesy of Alexandra, patterned upon his face.

“Wh-what did you want t-to ask?”

Niccolò couldn't tell if she knew, or suspected, and if she wanted him to ask or if some part of her was giving him the chance to savor whatever dignity he could and back away. Maybe what they had could still be salvaged, and maybe he shouldn't take the risk, because she hadn't said the words back to him, even if she kissed him, and even if the kiss tasted so sweet. No kiss with her could be otherwise. But a deeper part of him knew that their affair would have to end anyway, that they couldn't sneak around forever, nothing like that could last. But maybe there was a chance for something more, and he chose to cling to fragile hope, instead of letting their last remaining days simply linger on.

"I want to marry you." Niccolò told her, his voice caught somewhere between whispers and shouts, something roaring between his ears but he pushed on. "I want you to be my wife." And he'd never said those words before, and it sounded strange traveling up his throat and coasting across his breath, but once they left he felt suddenly a little good and a little better, his clouded gaze clearing up and he could see her a little more properly. The gold shine of her hair, and the bright blue of her eyes, and she was an angel in disguise; pierced with shards of broken glass and he saw each and every sharpened edge and treasured them and loved her all the more for it.

And there was a smile suddenly breaking across his face, and it was fragile and it was scared, but it was peeking out because he was in love with her, and nothing - not even her rejection - could take that away from him. Suddenly his arms were leaving her body, one hand reaching into the front pocket of his pants, and Niccolò was pulling away only to slowly sink, bending down on one knee digging into the hard cement of the street, and after a steadying breath he was looking up at her, velvet weighing in his palm. His thumb pressed into the box and there was a quiet click preceding the glint of an onyx jewel. Niccolò took out the ring and held it between his fingers, a black diamond encased and bound by ancient carvings and tiny blue gems that matched the color of the York crest, its beauty surpassed only by her eyes. The ring was old, an ancestral treasure he'd claimed as his own, meant to remain in the family forever.

"Alexandra," He was still smiling, with sadness casting shadows just behind his eyes. "I love you. I love you more than myself, more than my life. And I'm not trying to be poetic, and I'm not trying to convince you, I'm just trying to tell you the truth. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, by my side, not sneaking around because I'm sick of it, because I want to boast to the world that I have you, and that by some miracle I've done something to deserve you. And I want to be able to stand up before you and support you and protect you as a husband has the right to protect his wife."

The ring trembled in his fingers, his whole body was shaking, forcing himself to break off the words and take another steadying breath, overtaken by the cold without her body to keep him warm. "I want to just... hold hands with you, and kiss you whenever I feel like it - and I always feel like it. I want to take you on proper dates, and I want to send you stupid notes without having to worry about someone finding them, because we wouldn't be a secret. And I want to teach you spanish, and I want to grab you and make love to you and I want the whole world with you and a family with you."

He kept going because somewhere within the entire English vocabulary there was a perfect arraignment of words that might persuade her, and might accurately convey what it meant for him to love her, and what it meant to lose her. "I want all my friends to know what you mean to me, and I want my family to love you and I know we can make them understand, because they have to understand that there's no one else I can be with, and no one else I could marry. I wish I had the words, Alexandra, I wish I could pull you into my thoughts and pull you into my heart because you make me feel... like I'm this... this guy that I've always wanted to be."

He had to stop, he had to shut up, but there was so much to say, so much to tell her, and he might never get this chance again, these could be the last words. "If you don't feel the same way, if you don't love me, then okay, I'll shut up and take only what you're willing to give me. But I'm on my knees, Alexandra, and I want you to take this ring, because if you do love me... if by some miracle you feel the same way then we have to take the risk, and I swear we can figure out a way to be together. Actually together, because that's really what I want, I want people to know that I'm yours, that I belong to you, that all of me is for you. And it's not real if only we know, it can't be real in the darkness, nothing's real when it's hidden away, and I want something real with you, otherwise..."

He was exhausted, his knee cramping up, a crick in his neck, chest tightened but the smile remained, faint and stained with salt flavor and crimson markings, the imprint of her lips. "I see every moment with you. The first study hall where we began talking, being your friend for years, telling you I liked you, those awful months after where I couldn't even face you, and finally we moved past and I was too scared to try again... the Edwards New Years' Ball when we... and finally I had you, and we were together in a way, and I thought it would be enough because I didn't even deserve you and it was lucky to have what little we gave."

Maybe if he spoke forever... but Niccolò was running out of breath, and she was going to have to give an answer, even if it wasn't the one he wanted to hear. "I want more. You deserve more of me, if you want it, and I can give it to you now, I can give all of myself, and we can make this work, I swear. If you love me... please, Alexandra Knight, will you marry me?"

  • No, please--say it again.Alexandra, Mon Sep 23 23:00
    ”I have to tell you something.” Six words were all it took, and Alexandra was afraid. She felt her temperature drop what felt like a significant amount as panic washed over her. He had to tell her... more
    • ¿Quieres casarte conmigo? — Niccolò, Wed Sep 25 21:01
      • We're speaking different languages now.Alexandra, Sun Sep 29 19:01
        It was everything she thought she wanted to hear, but it only took a moment to realize how real and true and wrong it was. Alexandra was legally promised to someone else, and Niccolò was... more
        • I was speaking the language of love.Niccolò, Thu Oct 3 18:45
          A startled laugh burst from Niccolò's throat, his knee scraping against the pavement as Alexandra wrenched him forward and off the ground, the neck of his shirt bunched up in her tightened fist,... more
          • I don't speak that one.Alexandra, Mon Oct 14 00:12
            It was over in an instant, her demanding questions, but all at once, she knew what she had done. Alexandra had taken all of the trust and hope and everything else good in her empty shell of a life,... more
            • Let me teach you.Niccolò, Tue Nov 5 12:34
              He barely withheld his flinch as Alexandra reached towards him once more, but her touch was suddenly tender, the gentle stroke of pale fingers against his stung cheek, and despite himself Niccolò... more
              • Firm hands attached to Alexandra’s shoulders and pulled, and romantic words of poetic standards buzzed in her ears, but she refused to look at their source. After outbursts, she had mustered a bit of ... more
                • You're a terrible student.Niccolò, Wed Nov 6 23:10
                  The night had started off terrifying, so promising, and the scent of hope was a little like gasoline; overwhelming and maybe a little foul, but undeniably powerful and clung to the skin, and if a... more
                  • I guess I've flunked.Alexandra, Fri Nov 8 17:12
                    Niccolò released her, and without realizing it, Alexandra retracted, taking a couple slow steps back as she rubbed the ache out of the shoulder his dominant hand had gripped, the one that hurt more.... more
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