hey guys! I had ABSOLUTELY nothing to write this weekend (yes, I finished ch. 10 for The Benefit of Time…I'm gonna wait to post it though, I gotta get it okayed by my editor so to speak) so I just got on the computer and started typing. I cried a few times when I was writing this…I guess I'm just too much of a romantic.

hope you like it.


BURN

Minerva closed her eyes slowly and leaned back in the filled bathtub as the newly lit candle's scent spilled into the air. She took in a deep breath, inhaling the ecstasy of the small room. A smile crept on her face; she loved it. Everything from the aromatic candles, to the steaming water, to the dim light of the room relaxed her; captivated her; enthused her.

Thoughts liked to come through her mind when she alone in the small sea. They were usually random, irrelevant. Sometimes they revolved around the school, other times it could even be as silly as a dream that she had dreamt the evening before. Today, it was neither a dream nor the school that she considered; her thoughts were strolling very fondly down an erotic road.

The truth was, she couldn't help it. Water simply did something to her…and any girl can see the mystery and romance in candles; put the two together and you've made something of a love drug. It was an entrapment that she loved to be put through again and again.

The woman leaned her head completely over the edge of the marble tub and let it hang there as she dared to let herself think.

He had been a part of her life for ten years; a lover for eight. His name still sent shivers down her spine, even after so many years. It was Albus; his name was Albus. Of course, his name was the very reason that she was what she was to him. It had only been natural that either of them would take the opposite as a lover; it was sad luck that lovers was all they could ever be.

The man had too much at stake if he were to take on a wife. There were too many enemies to worry about, too high of a number of possible threats, and then there was always the public. He despised people who pried into his life; he didn't want that sort of world for Minerva.

It bothered her, she wouldn't lie. Often, if she thought too much into it, she would just break down and cry. There was a lot of love inside of her and she wanted nothing more than to give it to Albus…but by any law, she had no right. They could show as much affection as they wanted behind doors, but something as elementary as holding hands was beyond either of them when in any corridor, classroom, or other public place.

Only her closest friends knew about the two of them. They were perfectly fine with the relationship. All of them knew that it was hard between Albus and Minerva. The couple had a hard time, some days, because of the obstructions between them that would never go away. Inwardly, Minerva knew that they wanted to ask her the very question that she had pondered hundreds of thousands of times: Why not find someone else; someone that she could be with and love without hiding?

There was a simple, almost heartbreaking answer: she loved him. There would never be anyone else she knew…so she stayed where she was. The woman resided with the only man that could make her laugh and cry, yell and whisper, despise and desire; she chose to stay with love.

It was about this love, the love, which she allowed her alighted mind to wonder to. The woman truly did find enthrallment in his eyes; they were the most brilliant blue she had ever seen. Somehow, they were always able to make her feel some inexplicable feeling; serenity, disconsolation, love. It was an array of emotions that he caused, but she found comfort in the power that he used unto her. He was always able to make her feel right at the right time.

He had other methods to make her feel a certain way though; she could not deny it, he was quite talented with his hands. When she would be kissing him, he simply knew where to touch. Just thinking about it made a wanting feeling hit her. God, she loved his fingers curled up in her hair, on her back, touching her breasts. It made her want him more every time.

Minerva sighed with a smile on her face and closed eyes. She ran her fingers all across her skin, imagining him. He was amazing. Everything about him was there for her to love; his smile, eyes, humor, hands, kisses. He was what she wanted.

She sunk down underneath the water with shut eyes and held her breath. It was hot liquid, probably more heated than it ought to have been; heat was what she was craving though. The woman wanted to burn. She was on fire inwardly; it would only make sense to have her skin on fire as well.

With her arms folded over her chest, she mused under the water and listened to the beat of her own heart. Thump, thump, thump it went gently, seemingly the only noise in all the world. It may as well have been the only thing that was moving and making sound anyhow. The water which surrounded the woman broke every movement that took place in the room, or school for that matter.

Then there was another noise besides the beat of her heart; again it went thump, thump, thump, but it was not coming from Minerva. A knowing smile crept on her face. Footsteps were what she heard; familiar steps for that matter.

The woman pulled her head out of the water. Her hair was covering her face, nearly suffocating her. She split the long strands in two and peeked beside the tub where Albus was currently kneeling. Minerva blinked casually, a daring smile on her face; it wasn't the first time that he had caught her taking a bath. She put her arms over the edge so that her face was only inches away from his.

"Hello," she whispered gently.

He looked at her with an interested facial expression, as if he had never seen her before in his life. "Is it time to relax, Miss Minerva?"

She nodded her head slowly. "I have been, anyway. How—how are you? I haven't seen you for a whole twenty-four hours."

Albus smiled. "I'm good now that I'm with you. How are you?"

Minerva propped her chin up on her hands as she leaned against the side of the tub. "I'll tell you after you kiss me hello."

He looked her over for a quick second and then kissed her gently on the lips. "Now tell me," the man whispered.

The woman pondered a decent answer for a manner of seconds, but then said what made the utmost sense. "I am…thoughtful," she said gently.

He nodded his head slowly, amusement crawling on his face. "And what are you being thoughtful about? I can't imagine what a woman like you has to think about."

She raised a challenging eyebrow. "A woman like me?"

"Yes," he smiled. "A woman like you; you know, the ones who have little book clubs and drink tea. The sort that prefer all or nothing, in most cases."

She blinked and stared at him. He liked to joke about it…she found the subject entirely heartbreaking. By the phrase "all or nothing" he was certainly referring their relationship. The 'all' referred to being together forever, the 'nothing' represented exactly what it said; nothing. When he made fun of their situation, the woman did truly question them as a couple. Minerva swallowed, but didn't say anything.

It didn't take long at all for Albus to catch on to what was racing through the woman's mind. He cupped her cheeks gently. "That was tactless of me, wasn't it?"

"A little," she whispered.

Albus sighed and pecked her gently on the lips. "I love you, Minerva. And I'm glad to be back here with you again…I hope you know that."

She stared at his bright blue eyes. They were beautiful; too gorgeous to hold any lie of any sort. The woman had always believed him when he uttered those three magical words, things weren't about to change. "I know," she sighed, "I love you too."

The man leaned over towards her neck and whispered very softly in her ear. "Good." His entire body rose and his hands wrapped themselves around the lower part of her back. A smile fell on the woman's face as she was brought as close as she possibly could be to the edge of the tub. One of his hands was released and taken behind her neck.

Minerva took her cue; she wrapped her arms around Albus's neck and leaned in for a kiss. His mouth was hot. It washed over hers like waves wash over the sand on a beach; gently, serenely, rightly. Then she parted her lips for him, knowing he would take full advantage. His heated tongue tangled itself with Minerva's until they both needing to take in a deep breath.

The woman glanced up at the candle and then back into his eyes. She knew why she would never leave him. Albus was the flames that lit the candle deep inside of her; he made her burn.


reviews are always welcome…I think this just may be my favorite one shot thus far (that I've written) I hope you enjoyed it.

—minni