The path of loneliness
"Saki . . . " Maria's voice reached Saki's ears, it was filled with reluctance. Saki turned around her brown eyes made contact with Maria's brilliant blue ones. Both their faces portrayed the same emotion. Sorrow.
"Maria . . . " Saki echoed the emotion perfectly. The girls were vaguely aware of the two boys, Satoru and Mamoru, standing behind them. Watching them, their gazes never wavering.
Not able to stand to be apart any longer Saki ran into Maria's arms, feeling them close around her. The girls fell to their knees in the snow, their embrace never breaking. Saki felt tears flow down her face.
Her stinging cheeks warmed by them, but it was not the good kind of warmth. It felt sickly and bitter.
She felt Maria's embrace tighten around her, as if she would disappear forever. As if she wanted to hold Saki for all eternity and never let go. But they both knew they would have to let go, it was not the destiny the Gods had given them to stay together.
"Maria, what's happening?" Saki felt small and childish asking that question. Saki broke away and held Maria at arm's length, her hands rested on the red-head's shoulders.
Maria leaned forwards until her lips rested right by Saki's ear. "I'll explain it to you, but not here" she whispered ever so quietly.
Saki shuddered inwardly, the feeling of Maria's warm breath rushing past her ear always made her feel light-headed. Usually Maria did it on purpose but Saki wasn't sure if that was the case this time.
Maria stood up. Saki couldn't bring herself to talk, instead she nodded weakly and followed Maria's example. Now fully aware of the boys in their presence the girls turned to face them.
"I'm explaining everything to Saki, we'll be inside the hut," Maria informed them. The boys' face's were unreadable. Without waiting, Maria grabbed Saki's gloved hand and ran towards the isolated hut.
Satoru watched the two girls run, hand in hand, towards the queerat's small cottage. He heard the crunch of snow as Mamoru followed in pursuit. He didn't know why but he reached out and caught the wrist of the younger boy, stopping him.
"Leave them," Satoru said, as Mamoru's honey colored eyes searched his violet ones. Mamoru's face, which usually portrayed fear, was full of understanding. A look passed between the boys and Mamoru ceased his pursuit.
Neither of the boys talked as they stood together, staring after the girls they loved so dearly. Satoru knew of their forbidden love. He knew Saki and Maria loved each other beyond comprehension. These were possibly the last moments they would have together, for the rest of their lives.
Mamoru had already explained the situation to him, and he didn't like it. But he needed to let Saki find out from the one she loved most. Maria.
Saki sat across from Maria, the small fire between them. The hut was not toasty warm, it still harbored the small chill of winter inside it's icy walls. The fire was hot, but the only thing that could truly warm Saki up was Maria's heat.
Saki held her breath as the love of her life looked up from the fire, and made eye contact. Maria's soft lips formed a small smile.
"Saki, I have something to tell you" she whispered, folding her delicate hands in her lap.
"what is it?" Saki wondered, never taking her eyes off Maria.
"Mamoru's in danger."
As Maria explained the situation to her lover the mood in the hut changed dramatically, it went from confusion, to horror.
"What!?" Saki hissed, her already wide eyes growing even wider. Maria's smile had long since dropped from her face, replaced by a grim frown.
"It's unbelievable, I still can't believe they would do things like that . . . " Maria trailed off.
"But to Mamoru . . . Of all people!" Saki's soothing voice was filled with disbelief. Maria reached forwards, over the fire, and tucked a loose strand of hair behind Saki's cold ear. She let her hand rest there, trying to lend her warmth to the other girl. Saki leaned into her touch, and Maria let the dropped smile return.
She loved Saki and couldn't bear to be apart from her. But deep down in the darkest corner of her heart, she knew what she had to do.
"I'm leaving with him" she revealed. Saki's eyes snapped open, she jerked back in surprise.
"What!?" She exclaimed for the second time that evening. Maria couldn't bear to look into her lover's eyes as she revealed the last secret she had kept within her until this moment. But she didn't need to look at Saki to know what would happen.
"I'm leaving," she whispered, wringing her hands together. Her prediction came true and a sniffle could be heard.
"Why . . . ?"
"Mamoru isn't strong enough to go through something like this alone, he needs a companion."
"Why?!" Saki repeated, more forcefully this time. Maria flinched.
"Trust me, if I could have it any other way I would . . . But this is the only path I can see."
Silence ensued, neither girl talked, even Saki's sniffles had been quieted. Maria didn't feel worthy to look Saki in the eye. She stiffened when she felt a soft hand lift her chin, ever so gently.
"Maria . . . Won't you look me in the eye?" The brunette whispered, her thumb moved back and forth along Maria's jaw, in tiny movements.
"I would look at you all day if I could." Maria whispered back, feeling her emotions bubble up within her. Her tears came, flowing freely down her face. Saki seemed surprised when this occurred.
"Usually I'm the one crying," Saki noted, her voice low.
"Sorry, I don't know what came over me . . . "
"No, don't be sorry, it's okay to cry once in a while. Maria." Upon hearing her name voiced by her lover she closed her eyes and sighed.
Saki longed for Maria to touch her, to love her, just like when they were younger. Just like when things were perfect, when they thought nothing in the world could tear them apart.
"Saki . . . " Maria's voice was too overwhelming. Saki, responding to her name, crawled over to where Maria sat. She wrapped her arms around her lover and let herself fall to the ground, taking Maria with her.
"This is the last time we'll see each other."
Once those words left Saki's mouth Maria flipped around, so that she was above Saki. Saki felt long strands of red hair brush her face as Maria stared into her eyes.
Maria's lips found Saki's in a sweet, soft, kiss. Saki felt the pit of her stomach heat up, she felt Maria's body pressed against her own, she felt Maria's soft lips moving against hers. That moment was made of pure bliss. Saki hesitated, not knowing what to do.
Maria seemed to noticed her lover's hesitation. "Saki . . . " She whispered, breaking the kiss and resting her forehead on Saki's. "This is the last time we'll see each other" she repeated. "Let's enjoy the last moments we'll have together"
"Yes" Saki agreed, her hesitation was gone the second Maria closed her sentence. Their lips connected again, more passionate this time.
Saki felt Maria's tongue flick against her lips, hinting that she wanted to deepen the kiss. Saki granted the wish, she parted her lips, letting Maria in.
Saki felt Maria push one knee between her legs. The heat from between Maria's legs flooded her body, causing a small moan of pleasure to escape her lips.
As the girls kissed they were oblivious to everything around them. The only thing they were aware of was each other.
The moans of pleasure, the subtle hints they gave each other, the way they felt. Saki broke away for a breath, Maria was breathing hard as well. A thin sheen of sweat coated both foreheads. They gave each other shaky smiles.
"I love you . . . " Maria breathed, moving her lips down to Saki's neck, dotting kisses down it. She felt Saki breath in sharply with surprise. She couldn't hold back anymore, Maria began to use her cantus to undo the buttons of Saki's shirt. She felt Saki pull away, stopping her.
"Don't use Cantus," Saki pleaded. Her eyes half closed, a rosy blush spread across her cheeks. "Do it yourself . . . Please." Maria felt her heart swell inside of her.
"Alright, Saki," Maria agreed.
They usually used cantus to undress each other. But there was a certain intimacy of using her own hands to undress the one she loved most.
Maria could almost feel Saki's need to be touched and loved. Her hands picked up where her cantus left off, and she slowly undid the buttons on Saki's shirt. revealing more soft, smooth skin.
Maria's blue eyes focused on the small amount of cleavage that was not covered by Saki's plain bra. Deciding to save that for later, she, instead, slowly slipped the shirt off Saki's shoulders. Letting her hands brush her lover's arms as she removed the fabric.
She threw the shirt away, refraining from using her cantus. Maria moved, so she was kneeling beside Saki, and started to remove her own shirt. Only to be, once again, stopped by the brown-haired girl.
Saki had grabbed hold of Maria's wrists. "Let me" she ordered. Maria smiled, and watched as Saki sat up.
The blanket in front of the door obscured the bright light coming from outside. The only light came from the warm fire, but even that was dim. Not that either one of them was complaining.
Saki took Maria's shirt off and threw it to where hers lay discarded on the floor. She was kneeling in front of Maria. Maria felt Saki's hand being placed on her bare shoulder and slowly inch down, cupping one of her breasts. She smiled softly, showing Saki it was alright.
Saki smiled back and tackled Maria to the ground, she was on top this time. Maria loved the feeling of Saki's bare skin pressed against her own. "Saki-" her sentence was cut off by a loud gasp escaping her lips, caused by Saki squeezed one of her breasts.
"You're beautiful" She heard Saki breath. Maria sighed her head and closed her eyes as Saki rubbed her face into her chest. Moving her head side-to-side, Maria couldn't contain it anymore, she began to laugh.
Saki heard Maria's laugh, it sounded like all the most wonderful sounds in the entire world, mixed into one. She lifted her head and the laughter died away.
"Maria . . . " She paused "I love you . . . More than you could imagine, I don't want you to go away." Saki knew she sounded like a small child but she didn't care.
"Saki, I love you too, but it has to be done. I'm sorry, let's not dwell on the future, and instead live in the present. Let us enjoy ourselves at this moment, we'll never be able to do this again." Maria's words held a dark meaning, and Saki knew it was true.
"You're right." Saki closed her eyes, as Maria's lips brushed her forehead. "I just want you to know I love you"
Mamoru had some ideas of what was going on in the hut, but he didn't want to visualize. He knew of Maria's undying love for the brunette girl. If only she knew of his love for her. His thoughts were immobalized as he stared at the hut.
The sky was getting darker, hinging towards nighttime. and he knew he'd probably be spending the entire night outside with Satoru.
"Satoru" He whispered.
"Should we get ready to go to sleep?"
"Probably a good idea." Satoru started to clear the snow away, preparing for the oncoming night.
Saki felt Maria lift one knee, making contact with her crotch, she shuddered and tried her best to stifle a groan, but failed. Her loud moan spurred Maria into action. She hooked her thumbs into the waistband of Saki's pants, pulling down.
Saki shivered as her slender legs were exposed to a sudden chill. But that chill was soon gone as Maria's loving heat warmed her up again. Saki took Maria's winter pants off as well, running her hands up and down Maria's warm skin.
"Let's always remember this." She whispered, kissing the spot on Maria's neck that always made her moan.
"Let's." The one word answer held so much meaning to the girls. They knew this would be the last time they would ever see each other, the last time they would ever make love, the last time they would be alone together. And it meant the world to them.
Saki stood beside Satoru, Maria and Mamoru were opposite of them.
"Stay safe" Satoru said, his voice and face, blank. But everyone knew his soul was crying out. Mamoru nodded sharply. Maria and Saki stood opposite of each other trying their best to say goodbye. Maria held a piece of paper, what was on it was a mystery to all.
"Saki . . . " Maria whispered, her breath fogging in the cold air. Snowflakes gathered all around them, in their hair, on their coats, on the ground. Saki looked up into Maria's eyes.
Maria handed her the piece of paper, and smiled. Saki gasped as she saw what was on it. A hand drawn picture of the girls together, laughing, and having fun. Saki burst into tears and gave Maria a tight hug, which Maria returned, tears flowing down her face as well.
"Maria . . . "
"I love you" Maria whispered as she turned around with Mamoru and zoomed away, leaving no tracks behind.
On the inside Saki felt like a wreak. She felt like crying, screaming to no end, and she felt like taking her own life. But she couldn't do anything but think of Maria. The one person she loved.
She was gone now, and Saki knew she could never have her back. Her life she had lived with Maria flashed through her mind and she couldn't bear it anymore. She collapsed to the ground, screaming, crying, pounding the snowy ground with her fists. "MARIA!"
Her cries were heard by a certain red-headed girl as she zoomed away. The girl wished she could go back and comfort Saki, but she knew she couldn't. Instead she squeezed her eyes shut, steeled her heart, and continued on her path to loneliness, never to see the one she loved again.