They gazed at each other across the hall. She seated at the highest table of honor, he at the lowest. Her current lover knelt down beside her to whisper in her ear, and as he did so, the man across the hall's eyes were like knives in her breast. She impatiently brushed off her current lover and he retreated with pleading dog-like eyes that followed her as she stood and crossed the room.

She stood before him and offered her hand solemnly. He nodded, and now under his gaze she felt a stab of pain in her gut, and at the same time a rush of heat flood her body as she anxiously awaited his hand to touch hers.

"It's time for our dance," she proclaimed confidently, and yet tears almost welling to her eyes at the momentous words she had just spoken.

He nodded once more, and now his hand made contact with hers and she practically sighed with relief and her eyes slipped closed in release for a second before she reclaimed herself. Hands clasped tightly they took the dance floor. It seemed an eternity that they were the only couple that danced, but within moments the floor was flooded with partners weaving in and out. A labyrinth of dancers trading partners, exchanging pleasantries. She of course, as always, saw only his eyes, darker than the ocean, looming above her and she would melt in them.

His hand hot on her back, scorching through the fabric of her dress, his fingertips pressing into her. She wasn't sure how much she dared to give in, how much control she could let slip before she slipped entirely into a future that she could not accept as her own. I will be a failure, she whispered to herself.

"Why do I let you torture me so?" He murmured into her ear. She started, realizing she had spoken her previous thought aloud. "Why do I allow myself to be treated like this?" His breath was sweet on her face and she felt dazed by the familiar, intoxicating smell of him, of the air that he breathed, the things that he touched. The things like her.

The formal dance pattern they made in this public arena was not enough. She knew it, he knew it. And that was the fascinating nature of the game they played, of what she had pronounced to be their dance. She had said it was time for their dance. And now as she clung to him she didn't mean it. Suddenly she was fully in his arms, inappropriately close and yet no one seemed to see, no one seemed to care. She almost laughed at the freedom of feeling him completely pressed up against her. She was overwhelmed with warmth, the solidness of his body. As always she melted against him the second their pelvises aligned and this time she allowed the sigh from earlier to escape her lips.

"Is this really our last dance?" He whispered. Moisture sprang to her eyes again and this time the tears beaded along her eyelids but she refused to blink and let them fall. And so he was swimming before her through their lens, and blurring, and becoming like the version of him that appeared in her dreams, the version of him almost without a face, but always a body, always his body. She forced a brittle smile. She ran her hands up his chest and into his thick black hair.