Darkness Warm and Sweet

(Warning: Adult, but not strongly so, situations to follow)

Leander sat near one of the torches impaled in the sand every few yards on the beach.  Before him tropical waves darted in and out of the edge of the firelight, twinkling.

He sighed, hearing the soft crunch of the fine sand beneath a light step.  For a moment, his hand went to his belt, to the buckle there that could be a spear with but a thought.  His other things were stowed in the provided bungalo the Atua had provided him; here, in the heart of Au-ruroa, there should be no need of them.  Without turning, he said, "No use trying to hide Malena.  I know you've been sent be Pele to bring me back."

"She's done no such thing, Lee.  I'm here for me," retorted the Atua demigoddess as she crossed into the Son of Athena's view.  A child of Hina, Malena was lovely.  She was tan and dark of eye and hair, and built along athletic lines moreso than buxom like some of her half-sisters.  Both graceful and forceful described her as she moved down the beach.  If Leander was honest, he thought he might be more than casually infatuated with her.

He smiled at her.  "Oh really.  I haven't seen you all night, but if I do, I'll let you know that you're looking for you."

She laughed, standing in front of him, hands on hips and head back.  Involuntarily, his gaze traveled up her bare legs, to the short sundress decorated with a stylized picture of the moon above a sea full of eels.  Leander wasn't quite sure, but he felt like it moved each time he didn't focus on it.  And then, suddenly, it was all he could see as she moved in close.  After a dizzying moment of the moon inches before his eyes, she dropped onto his lap, straddling his legs and face close to his.

"Now do you understand, you foolish Greek?" she asked, locking eyes with him.

"I'm really more of an American," Leander responded, not looking away.

She laughed again and leaned in, kissing him furiously.

When he was freed and had caught his breath, he asked, "What exactly are you looking for out of this night?"

She ran a hand through his hair.  "Well... you're leaving tomorrow.  I thought I'd give you something to remember your new family by..."

Leander smile, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close.  "Oh really."

She nipped at his nose.  "Stop playing hard to get, foolish boy.  I know you're as interested as I am."

She wriggled atop him and he had no recourse to deny her words.  He sighed again, having known this moment was coming.  "You're right.  Absolutely right.  But I can't."

She frowned at him, leaning back.  "Why not?  We're both adults.  You've been adopted by my pantheon, so there's no political issue."

He looked at her, waiting until her eyes met his to continue.  "I've never told anyone this, before.  I've gotten to this very moment...  Well, more than once.  But I've never gone past.  I can't.  Because I'm leaving.  I'm always leaving.  Sometimes something comes in the way when I think I'm about to move past this moment; fate's way of reminding me, I suppose, that this isn't for me, yet.  I have responsibilities to more than myself.  I can't allow myself to form the attachments that would prevent me from fulfilling them."

"Leander Adrastos...  That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard."  She leaned in against him.  "And, in some ways, it just makes me more determined.  Let fate stop us!  Let it try!  We'll have our fun over its objections."

He breath was hot on his neck as she moved against him, clothes still separating them.  His hands clenched in her dress, pulling her closer, ever closer.  He buried his face in her hair, drinking in the scent of her, like seafoam and coconut.

And so he didn't see the wave coming until it washed over them.  The force of it pushed them apart and washed the torch away, quenching its flame.  She tumbled away, writhing and turning to rise up in a crouch, moon playing off her skin and hair.  He looked at her as if to say See?

She laughed again.  He loved the sound.  It was, perhaps, one of the largest parts of his affection for her.  She looked the skies above, calling, "Okay, fates.  You may claim him a little longer.  But soon or late, I'll be able to walk his path with him, and you won't stop my claim then!  He will be mine!"

She stalked back towards him, eyeing the waves as if she expected them to push them apart again. Leander laughed.  "And you mine."

She smiled, and knelt to kiss his forehead.  "Of course."

He smiled and kissed her hand.  "But tonight, we can at least sit together."

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