Title: Invisible Music

Rating: T

Chapter 2

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The next morning dawned with bright warmth, the heat already becoming evident in the early hours. Alex was sleeping peacefully, dreaming of nothing, but welcoming the sensation of deep and restful all-consuming blackness. The light was shining in through the open window, resting on his skin and bathing him in a sea of lovely golden color. Mara was outside with Kalen. She was telling him a story she had invented in her mind, some fairy tale that seemed sweet and nice when she dreamed it up last night.

Kalen sat at her feet, his soft dark hair falling around his little face like a cloud. ''Mara, what happens at the end of the story?'' he asked, twirling a piece of grass between his fingers. ''Please tell me.'' His liquid brown eyes gazed up at her imploringly, and Mara laughed lightly and touseled Kalen's hair. ''I cannot tell you the end of the story yet, because not even I know how it ends. We'll save that for another day. Now, you need to eat.'' She straightened up and walked back inside, with Kalen following along behind.

Alex stirred awake, light was tickling at his eyelids, begging them to open. He mumbled something and turned over. He turned over so much though, that he tumbled right out of bed and hit the floor with a dull thud which immediately jolted him completely awake. He heard soft musical laughter and then felt four hands pulling him to his feet.

His blurry eyes focused on the forms of Mara and Kalen; Kalen laughing a child's happy laugh, and Mara smiling softly with lovely, dancing eyes. Kalen ran across the room to look for something to eat, leaving Mara and Alex standing together. She raised a hand to his head, fingertips grazing his forehead.

''Did you hit your head, my silly, lost village idiot?'' Mara asked Alex teasingly, and a smile formed around the corners of his mouth. He placed his hand over hers. ''It doesn't hurt,'' he said, and then looked into Mara's eyes again. He realized that he did this sometimes, but there was something about her eyes, about her soft, beautiful face, that soothed him. His restless, agitated mind slowed; the wheels in his brain that were always spinning in constant, whirring motion seemed to cease, and he was moving more easily, more calmly. He was warm, there was a kind of peace. At last.

She felt somewhat the same, however it was a more exhilerating feeling. Like flying through the air, and then landing. He broke the strange trance they seemed to share by asking her suddenly, ''did you ever dance?''

''Did I ever...what?'' Mara asked, still caught up in the starlight spiderweb of Alex's gaze. ''Dance'', he responded, putting an arm on her waist and moving her closer to him.

''Move around to music.'' He drew her even closer, and she placed her arm around him. He spun her in a circle, twirled her around. Her long, dark hair flew behind her like a curtain in the breeze; strands fell across his skin and tickled him.

''There isn't any music here, Alex''. Mara was smiling, her face full of sunshine and laughter.

''Ah,'' he said, ''you're right. Silly me''. He was still spinning her, whirling her around. Her fingers clasped his arm, and electric warmth sang between them like a hum. Mara fell against him, their bodies touching in a kind of sublime meeting; still spinning to invisible music. ''Maybe he's mad'', she thought to herself, ''out of his mind''. And it occurred to her that this did not matter, even the slightest bit. He came through time, traveling so far only to be delivered into a future he created, into waiting arms that would not have been there to receive him had he never dared to change the past for the sake of love. He was good and brave; even if he was odd and spoke of things that Mara could never and would never see, he could tell her all about them. It was like holding eternity in her small arms when she held this man who was brilliant and beautiful, wise and sad and sweet.

''I'm so glad you stayed'', she whispered against him, not even realizing that she had spoken, but still Alex heard her words and his heart beat faster and he held her more tightly and that was the answer. The answer to a question that she had not even asked. Her face tilted up, and his tilted downwards and lips met lips in a strange and awkward kind of meeting that was also tender and delicate. She had never kissed anyone before, actually, but she liked to think about it sometimes. She thought about it the first time she saw him, when she took care of him. When he first entered her life and her heart and her dreams. And so she pressed her lips against his like she imagined doing.

She ran her hands along his body, as if she were completely mesmerized by him; his arms circled her waist, pressing her to him, so that they could feel each other's hearts pounding wildly. Lips met over and over again, until all their surroundings were evaporating. This strange dizzy adrenaline rush was like electricity; they were chemistry, they were physics, they were mathematics, they were everything, hurtling through space at an astounding glorious speed so swift that it felt like they were standing completely still. Breaking apart with a kind of snap, like the crack of an electric shock, like a spark, they simply stared for a moment.

Stared as if neither had before encountered anything quite like the other, they observed each other with blood pounding through their veins and rushing through their heads, with lips that were bruised and reddened from kissing and still humming. With tiny pinpricks dancing along skin and a kind of halo surrounding them, they stared. And Mara was whispering words, some in his language, and some in hers, and some a blur between the two, but they sounded beautiful, like raindrops on water.

Kalen had left, he had abandoned them to privacy, to each other, and the room was quiet and still except for the sound of their breathing and Mara whispering.