Author's Note: I apologize to those of you who have already read this. There have been minor plot changes and it has been reedited for spelling and grammar. A big thank you to Quiet N Cryptic, who graciously beta'd this beat for me.

Again, I apologize for deleting and reposting, but I wasn't happy with it before.





"Why are we doing this to ourselves?" he asks, voice trembling breathlessly between kisses. His lover laughs, but the sound falls dead, weighted in the lull. It is crushed and forgotten when their lips crash together once more, and they inhale one another like air, as if their survival depends on it.

Their clothing is ritually removed; the process much faster than it had been when their dance had first begun. They were unpractised, modest, and hesitant, although the hesitancy, in theory, still remains, it does not reflect physically as hands move urgently over naked skin.

"Vincent..." Her lips hardly move as she sighs his name, fingers threading through his mane of onyx hair.

His eyes shift closed painfully, the sadness in her voice echoing in his ears. "I'm sorry," he says, yet his teeth graze an erect nipple, making her gasp and arch toward him. His fingers stroke her folds, already wet for him; one presses inside of her, and then another. "I'm so sorry."

When they move against each other, as a part of each other, the contrast between pleasure and pain is the highest. In the midst of the princess' cries of ecstasy, her body clenching around him, there are tears rolling down and staining pale cheeks.

It never lasted as long as they would have liked; they didn't have enough time in order to extend their rendezvous infinitely. He never stays until morning, and she never asks him to. They both know it is impossible, but for a moment they hold each other, lips tasting sweat slicked skin in the afterglow of what could potentially have been their last night together.

"Why do we do this?" he whispers, fingers dancing over her collar bone, as he gazes at her pert breasts; her chest rises and falls as she tries to catch her breath and stop her sobs.

She shakes her head, not knowing the answer. "It hurts so fucking much," she admits, her hand tangling in his hair. She pulls him close and plants a desperate kiss on his forehead. "But I..."

"Don't say it," he hisses. His hand reaches up and a finger slips over her lips. "Please don't say it."

"Love you," she mumbles around it, cool grey eyes holding his. "I love you," she repeats, and he can't stop her from saying it, can't stop her from feeling it. He can't (but he tries, gods, he tries) stop himself from feeling it.

"Do you wish you didn't?" he asks; voice seemingly almost frightened.

"No," she replies. "Do you wish I didn't?"

He hides his face in the crook of her neck, inhaling her scent. "Sometimes: it would make convincing myself that this is a bad idea easier."

She laughs softly, but it is sad and lonely, not lively and light like her laughter had once been. "I think you've already convinced yourself of that, Vinnie."