&&&&&

When they are thirteen, she kisses him.

Playfully, lightly, in the way that nymphs do: taking him by surprise, because she does it when he looks up from his book, when he is slightly irked that she had disturbed his reading.

Her pink lips brush his, softly, nicely, and when they do, he feels her smile.

Her lips are warm; she tastes faintly of her mother's apple pie.

When she pulls away, her smile is still there. Her hair catches the afternoon sun, and her eyes are oddly bright.

You're blushing, she notes.

...Your fault.

And she laughs in the way that sounds nice, in the way that makes him laugh too. But he doesn't, because it isn't who he is, and instead he settles on a smile.

I'll get you for that.

She returns a grin.

You do that, Sev. You do that.

Because she wants him to, and because she thinks she'll never kiss any other boy again.

&&&&&

When they are seventeen, he kisses her.

Lingering, but fleeting, in the way the wind does: chilling her and indelibly leaving an imprint upon her cheek. It's taken her off guard and for a moment, she forgets she is taken and he isn't her friend.

His lips gently brush her skin, and when they do, she cannot help but shudder.

His lips are cold; he leans in, and he smells like rain and faint spice.

When he pulls away, he wears a sad look. He blends in too perfectly with the dark, but in the moonlight, he glows, and his eyes are blazing.

You're crying, he whispers.

...Your fault.

And his eyes soften and he looks at her, in the way that breaks her heart, in the way that makes her wish they hadn't grown up, in the way that makes her forget. But she doesn't, because too much has happened, and instead she starts to turn away.

I won't see you again.

He gazes at her sadly.

You do that, Lily. You do that.

Because he loves her, because this is the only way to save her.

&&&&&