narcissus 1

She met him by a campfire, in the woods. Didn’t know he was there until he giggled and, when she looked up, tossed her a snappy salute before running away. Curious, she followed. Found him in a clearing, by a campfire, next to a stream.

Sitting, she smiled. He was distracted. Something in the water. She waited. Eventually, he turned and gave her such a brilliant smile that her breath left her, “Isn’t it beautiful?” He asked. Stuttering softly, she blushed, “Yes. Yes, it is.”

For the night, they just sat close. Rarely talking. Whatever it was in the water was interesting to him, and she didn’t want to interrupt. It felt good just to be near him. She didn’t even mind the quiet.

Suddenly, he leapt up from the banks of the stream and began dancing in a wild caper around the campfire, “Look!” He shouted, “Look at me! Can I not dance divinely?” She watched him, his eyes were like blue flames; careless and feckless and free and softly murmured, “Yes, most divinely indeed.”

He careened from the fire and made a pass by the stream, looking into it briefly and laughing with delight before piouretting away to drop, breathless and dampened by her side. Grinning widely, he reached out with a sharp motion and nicked her forearm.

She gasped and leapt up, the blood oozing to drop slowly to the ground, “What did you do that for?” She cried in surprise. ‘You looked bored.’ He smiled, completely at ease.

It was then that she actually noticed. Looking along the sinewy length of his forearms, following the line of them to his hands, tracing digits with her eye and noting the curious gleam that was fingernails of metal, carefully attached to the end of each.

“Are those some kind of trade tool?” She asked quietly. ‘These?’ He asked artlessly, as he flexed his hand to see them wink and flicker in the ambient light, ‘Ah, no. They’re just something I wear for fun.’

Losing interest in the conversation, he walks back to the stream, flumping down in cross-legged abandonment and staring moodily into the water.

She moves closer, “I’m sorry I yelled. I wasn’t expecting that.” He flashes her a grin and a wink, ‘I know. It’s ok.’ They fall once more into silence, a comfortable presence along the banks.

She noticed he didn’t apologize for drawing blood.

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