Sunlit Ice

The moon was high when she came to him, slipping into his room through the window where he had promised the guards would not be. She did not ever come during the day. She did not want to be seen. Though they could not go on long as they had. They would slip. Someone would see. Someone find them out. One of them would have a slip of the tongue. But for now, for these last months, they had only used their tension to seem at odds. He was not to court her, not to woo her, not to so much as mention her name in an endearing light. It was a hard thing to do, following her rules. He was quite taken with her. But he had followed them to the letter all this time. And now, in the moonlight of Winter Solstice, she came to him.

She was stunning half hidden in the shadows. Her dark hair and frosted figure made her look mysterious and enchanting. A haunting angel come to take him away. This night he could unwrap the mystery that was the winter, Queen Beira. She looked as if she would smile at him for a moment, but kept a careful frown to her lips, only just so, instead. Beira was a woman of pride and any hint that she had a weakness of him would be the end of him. He had to be careful, so very careful with her. If he made her smile a little to much or too long, if his sunlight got to strong, if he made her too happy, even, then it would all crumble to dust. He couldn't bare that.

He smiled at her as she stood before him-he was still allowed to do that. "Beira." He said. "Lovely of you to come."

"You say that every time, Miach." She replied, slipping off the cloak that had covered most of her form and would shield her as she left upon the morning. Never too careful, Beira. Never too soft, either. Except for him. That was a truth never to be spoken out loud, however.

"It's always true." He answered. Beira looked at him with a real frown then. Unhappy, as she always was, when he made such hinting comments. Anything that was a sign of him having real affection for her, that could be dangerous to her, made her look at him that way.

He ignored the look and began to remove her clothes before she decided to say something, or worse, to back out of the whole affair. It was only on days of this sort, Solstice or Equinox, that they could be together without hurting each other. They slipped, of course, but when they did, they had to go to lengths afterward to hide the burns and frostbitten passion left behind. Slowly, he reached behind her and undid the buttons of her dress, pulling it off her shoulders and letting it fall to the ground. She swatted his hands away when he went for her undergarments, opting to remove them herself. Often times she preempted him when he was about to make something romantic or otherwise too personal. It put him out a tiny bit, but not by much. Miach was nothing if not a patient man.

His eyes were too glued to her form, slowly being freed of it's confines, for him to remove his own clothes until she was completely bare before him and he had sufficiently taken in the sight. It gave him time to cool down, though his passion was quite a bit heightened. Time to remember the boundaries, time to remember his heat, time to discard every rule and then catch himself before making a move on her. It was an accidental ritual that had occurred with him. He wanted to love her, to lose himself, for her to lose herself, but always remembered-with the threat of it all ending looming over him- that there were rules to be followed. He got his clothes off easily, eagerly, taking her hand before his last garment fell and pulling her to the bed. She was silent, watching him, and it sent small shivers of thrill through him.

Before they were on the bed he pulled her closer, kissing her cold lips with his heated ones, steam rising between them. "Beira." He whispered into her mouth, slipping his tongue past her lips. It was cold there. She was cold. Oh, but he would warm her.

The time always slipped away as he was with her. Too fast and yet so slow, as if he measured the time in only their touch. One year, and he pulled away from her lips to have her exhale a frosted breath. Her eyes were closed and the pleasure was all over her face, but she wouldn't speak. Wouldn't break the moment. Two years, his warm hands gliding over her icy skin. It was pleasurable to him to feel the coolness of her, to feel the sleek curves of her body and massage her soft form. If he went slowly, he could keep his heat better contained and could also pretend that he was making love to her, that she was as hypnotized as he. Three years, and she grabbed hold of him, his body, his face, kissing him strongly and passionately. She wanted him. That was one thing that she could not pretend. She did not steal away into his bed chamber every Equinox, every Solstice, to do him a favor. She had as much desire for this as he. The difference was that he wanted more and she would always pretend that she wanted nothing at all.

Four years in secret, and their bodies came together smoothly and slowly, steam rising where their bodies touched. They would hurt, but less so than if they were together any other time. They had learned to enjoy the pain, besides. "Miach. Miach." She whispered, so lowly he could almost never hear it every time. It was the only thing she would say, but he could hear so much in the simple saying of his name. Not just her desire, not just her passion, but her affection for him, her feelings were in the way that she said it. She was slipping, and he had already slipped. The Dark King was aware of their affection, but had promised not mention the secret, and Miach's friendship bought him that amount of secrecy.

Five years, the secret was out, and Beira was livid, but still she came to him. She had become more cruel to his court, more cruel to him, and he could tell that she just wanted to save face. She no longer tried to withhold her cold or ice, no longer allowed him to hold her sweetly until the morning's first light, no longer allowed him the slow caressing touches he would once bestow. Now, it was all passion and hardness and pleasure and force. Yet he would whisper to her, any chance they had now, that they could rule together peacefully. There did not have to be dominance or fear, subjugation or damnation, there could just be tranquility and the two of them would not have to be at odds. If she would just stop, if she would just relax. No one would think her weak, no one needed to be cruel.

Six years, and every look in her eyes was hardened and icy. She was fearful of the thoughts and whispers of other fey, uncertain what to do with herself. He despaired to see it. Their was little chance for them now. The Lady War was creeping about the courts, always at Beira's heels, and Irial had told him, though he was loathe to do so, that there was no chance for them now. The Dark King had told him to let the Winter woman go, but he couldn't. He simply could not do it. He loved her, now. Wanted to protect her, now. She was so deserving of it, despite how harsh she could be. So beautiful beneath that fearful facade.

This time, when she came to his bed, he would not be hushed of his words or rushed of his actions. He repeated his message, that they could co-exist peacefully and there need be no strife. If only they decided it, it could be true. And he, despite her trying with all her might to be cruel and forceful and harsh, still made love to her as he had always wanted. "It could be this way." He told her. "It could be just like this." And she cried, something that she had never done with him before. She was beautiful. And for a moment he saw her eyes, saw something breaking inside her. There was fear there, she was fighting something inside herself, an openness the likes of which had never been before within her began to open before him. She was a flower, then, a frosted bloom that persisted and bloomed in the cold. Then he could see it, clear as day and completely crystal; Beira loved Miach.

"Beira." He said, joy almost in his voice. Almost, because she has taken what was afraid and hardened and prideful within her, and shaped it into a spear of ice that she plunged deep into his heart. Deeply into him, as deeply as his feelings for her ran, as deeply as he had seen her feelings for him. It seemed like only a moment, like infinity was still at his finger tips because she was just slipping into his bed, like the cold was just her body pressed too deeply to his own. Too slow, much too slow, yet still far fasted than he ever could have bared. She was weeping. Her tears were being contained now, but he could still see the pain in her eyes. A turret of snow was filling the bed and floor around them both. She was trying to harden, to break away. If she knew she had made the wrong choice, if she regretted it at all, she would not let it show. And he wept, golden tears of pain and sorrow that went deeper than she would now ever know. Not for the pain of it all, but for Beira. For himself and for Beira. For the future that she had chosen to never come to fruition. And sadly, he could still hear say, as the last of the things he would ever hear her say, "There will be no peace here."

His heart was more broken in that moment than it was when she had speared him through. He wanted to hold her hand, to give one last squeeze, one last anything, before the fate that awaited him would take hold. But he could not. He was already too far gone. Too slow and all too fast, Miach was gone.

The sun was low when she slipped out his room in the early morning, where no guards were waiting as he always promised her there would not be. She would leave before the day. She did not want to seen, did not want to be marked, as she knew the dying Summer King had marked her, to be filled of sorrow. She had slipped. Somehow, she had fallen. He did not woo her, did not court her, but it had come to an end anyhow. It could not have lasted, could not have gone on any other way. Had no alternate unless she had been the one to lay dead at his feet. She could still feel his light sunlit touches on her skin. Could feel a sort of warmness within herself that made her want to weep with all the embellished sorrow of a Summer King, in Miach's honor. They had followed this path as far as it could take them. And now, in the early morning light of Summer Solstice, she left him.