The sky bled into the lake, one scarlet ray at a time, while Love was sitting quietly on the southern rock, watching her beloved changing the earth and the heavens, watching him change her.
Time was a seductive, yet deceptive lover. He was borderless and beautiful, a power so gracious and yet so merciless. Upon the smooth surface of the lake, he walked, dressed in shadows and in light, shifting from a remote secret to a blaze as he sat across Love and marveled at her beauty.
“My sweet, sweet darling,” he whispered and was almost sad to see her.
Time was endless and eternity had given him wisdom and kindness. He took no pleasure in what he was doing to his delicate, pure goddess. No pride touched him for being stronger, for making Love wither with every second he sat near her.
But Love smiled and crawled into his lap. She was strong too, and she was fearless. Her beam made the Sun envious, and Time sighed with joy and grief. She was strong enough to have tempted Time to descend from his kingdom and bear the guise of a mortal man.
She was ephemeral indeed, but she had the kind of strength that Time never would. She was strong enough to feel, to care for someone other than herself, to open her heart and welcome an ever-changing world of imperfections.
“Do not be regretful for claiming me,” Love said as she kissed Time and stroked his always youthful cheeks. “For as long as I may exist, I am rich. I am a whirlwind of emotions. What I feel, what I am is so powerful, so incandescent that even if only another second I may be granted to live, I am content.”
Time knew that he would eventually be deserted, that Love would leave him like many others before her. He knew he was unstoppable, a quiet force of destruction. He knew he was passing, softly like the wind passes over the leaves of a tree and changes their color from vibrant to fading rust. He knew he was stealing Love’s life, second after second, and yet he could not stop.
She was his Love, and he worshiped her. He was her doom, but she surrendered with a smile so profoundly affectionate and a heart so fully open that everything else ceased having meaning.
Time gathered Love close to his chest and carried her to the Garden of Eden. He laid her on a bed of jasmine and lilies and captured her lips. She was soft as a feather and sweet as honey, and the more Time tasted, the more he craved.
He untied the laces around her middle and parted the veils of her grown to reveal smooth, creamy flesh, yearning to be touched. And Time did touch and stroke and seize, while Love yielded with a moan. Her lips trembled, her chest rose and fell, and her eyes shone with delight.
“When all else has perished, I should still be here,” Time whispered in Love’s ear. “When you are long gone, and your warmth extinguished, I will still cherish your memory because you have become a part of me, my Love. I am timeless and so will you.”