She knelt, staring into the meadow. Bright moonlight lit everything in an ethereal bluish glow. Occasionally there was movement at the edge of the wood, night creatures going about their business. Carrying on as if nothing changed. There would always be deer, raccoons, foxes and owls, had been for hundreds of years and would be for hundreds more. Nothing did change, yet everything changed.

Her heart was heavy. Owain was leaving in the morning, and who knew when he’d be back. He would come back. He’d promised, and she depended on it. But the nights alone seemed endlessly empty. Maeve went on, another woodland sprite, marking time, existing, not living.

She heard a whisper of movement behind her. He’d discovered her missing from his arms.

“My Heart, why are you here?” Owain appeared at her side, hand outstretched. She allowed him to draw her up and take her into his embrace.

She laid her head upon his shoulder and closed her eyes, breathing in his scent. “I couldn’t sleep.”

“You should have woken me. I would be with you.” He stroked her moonlit curls. He would miss the silk of her while they were apart. Silken hair, silken skin. Soft, beautiful, exquisite.

Maeve melted into him, snuggled her face into the crook of his neck and began to sway. She hummed a melody, ancient and wordless, a tune sung for him alone. She sought to comfort him, soothe herself, to seal this memory in their minds.

In the blue of the moonlight they danced, sprite and prince, one heartbeat shared, souls entwined, in perfect union.

Dawn crept over the forest’s edge. In the earliest hour of morning they had lain together again, a silent joining, broken only by sighs. There was no need of words, for there was nothing to be said apart from what their hearts spoke.

Owain opened his eyes. It was time. Her form was fitted so seamlessly into his that for a moment he hesitated. How could he leave? They were perfection together.

How could he not? These stolen moments were only that. Moments. They were from separate worlds, not meant to be together. He would return to his home, and she would return to the forest. Until next time. Until he heard Maeve speak into his soul, Come, my Heart, I have need of us. Until she heard the same. And they would away to this nest in the forest’s edge, to fill each other up, to wash away the yearning, and to part again until the next time.

Owain walked to the bend in the path and looked back. She had faded from sight, as if she never was, disappearing into the mist of the morning. He faced forward again. Breathed in the crisp air of the morning and strode on alone.


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