Born of Fire

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Chapter Thirty-Three

The roaring glow of the fire casts our shadows on the rock face of the canyon we’ve set up our camp on. There is a light breeze that seems to be catching the flames and bending them to its will. The effect is completely hypnotic. I feel my body rise from its seated position of its own accord. Max watches me curiously as I start to move my hips to the rhythm of the fire.

The firelight dances on my skin as my body sways in time with the Earth’s display of harmony. I dance for an eternity in the silence if the night with the elements my only instruments. My rapid heartbeat keeps my rhythm until my body falls into the strong open arms of the warrior angel by the fireside.

Max’s beaming smile captures my soul completely. All that I could ever hope to be exists in his smile. It’s humbling to realize that the reason you exist may be as simple as being the cause of someone else’s smile. Some people go their entire lives without knowing the reason for their existence, and here is mine with his arms securely around me.

“What are you thinking about?” He asks in barely a whisper as he crooks his eyebrow up at me.

“I was just hoping that the smell doesn’t transfer to me too badly.” I tease him. He takes a step back keeping his hands firmly on my waist.

“I’m barely touching you.” I smile wickedly at him.

“I know.” I tell him using my best seductive voice. I pull him back to me as I wrap my arms around the back of his neck. “I don’t like being that far away from you.”

“Even though I smell?” He shoots sounding a little stung. I laugh as I shake my head at him. I press my lips to his letting them mold gently promising to be his alone from now on. I hear him take a sharp intake of breath as I feel his mind in mine. Max’s arms lift me from the ground enveloping me in raw strength as he accepts my humble promise.

As we lay in the afterglow of our bodies expressions and the dying firelight I can feel Max’s intense gaze on me. I roll my body onto to my side and prop myself up with my elbow to look him directly in the beautiful glowing blue of his eyes. “What are you thinking about?” I ask curiously. He crooks up a half smile as he reaches out to caress my cheek and run his thumb over my eye.

“Your eyes are exquisite.” He breathes out reverently and I can feel the blush crawl its way onto my cheeks. “And your cheeks, that tinge of color makes me feel warm just looking at it.” I smile shyly as his confession continues. His hands gently caress down the length of my naked body. “The color of your skin in the firelight doesn’t have a name because I doubt any word could ever do its beauty justice.”

I lean forward and plant a chaste kiss of appreciation on his lips before leaning back to smile at him. “Go on.” I instruct playfully. He chuckles a soft laugh as his fingers run through my hair.

“Have I ever mentioned how I love your hair, the color of the night sky. Only with the shots of violets that look like the tails of shooting stars.” He explains wholeheartedly. His hand makes its way back to my jaw before his thumb caresses my lower lips. “But I think these are my favorite—.” He trails off before his lips descend to mine to claim them in a declaration of ownership.

We break away breathless and I watch him for a moment as his eyes fade from their blue glow to the swirling mix of obsidian and dark blue. “Oh no you don’t.” I tell him seriously as I cup his face. “You don’t get to worry and overthink this beautiful moment. Give me back the blue glowing eyes that I love.” He smiles crookedly at me as the blue glow returns. I nod approvingly.

“That’s better.”

“Is that all that you love about me?” He asks leadingly. I smile shyly at him as my hands release his face and I resume my position propped up against the ground.

“I love your curiosity—.” I say laughing. “Except when it comes to skunks.” He laughs as well and I smile proudly. “I love your laugh, even though I don’t get to hear it often enough.” I add seriously and he looks like I struck him. “I’m in awe of your strength; not just the physical but the spiritual strength you’ve needed to survive all of these years and still be who you are. I don’t think I could’ve been that strong.” I let every ounce of the awe that I feel at knowing the man he is.

I see his eyes rim with water as the blue glow continues to burn brightly. “I love the way you want to protect me from a world that has already done it’s worse to me—.” I trail off thoughtfully. “I love the hope that just your touch gives me.” I tell him trying to stay my tears. “Most of all I love that I can find my entire reason for existence in your smile.” My words and tears are cut off as Max’s lips crush mine in a bruising kiss.

“You’ve got it backwards McKenna.” Max breathes out desperately breaking away from my lips. “You’re the reason I exist, I’m sure of it. My entire existence up to this point has been leading me to find you. How can I surrender you to Lucifer knowing this?” He pleads. I let my heartbroken expression show on my face and his drops as well.

“Max, my fate was sealed long before I met you. There is nothing you can do, none of this is your fault. This is why I’ve never let my heart open before now. I’ve always known how much it hurts to lose something that you love being powerless to stop it, I never wanted to do that to anyone. Least of all you.” I explain sadly. I realize my slip and I bite my lip. For all the beautiful things Max has said to me, he is yet to tell me that he loves me.

Max’s face turns dark as his eyes flood with more obsidian than blue. “How can you be so resigned and calm about all of this, McKenna?” He almost shouts. I sit up and back away from him quickly. His eyes fade back to pure deep blue and he just looks so defeated, my poor warrior. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.” He pleads on his knees. I shake my head at him seriously.

“I wasn’t scared of you Max.” I tell him certainly. “I’d never believe in a million years that you would ever hurt me. He looks like he doesn’t believe me. I move myself closer to him until I straddle his lap and wrap my legs around his waist and my arms around his neck. “I mean it. I love you Maximus. If I thought for one moment you could ever be capable of hurting me, I could never feel that for you.”

His eyes blaze with that blue fire again and I smile proudly at him. “McKenna I—.” Max’s voice cuts off and he looks pained. I nod at him as I press my lips to his forehead.

“It’s okay my love. I can see your grace, I’ve always seen it. I know that you’re capable of love even if you still don’t believe it. I don’t need the words.” I tell him gently. His eyes lock onto mine seriously.

“McKenna, I can see your grace as well. You must understand why this is so hard for me to believe. If anything makes me feel like I have my grace again, it’s the beyond overpowering love I feel whenever I think about you. I’m torn because I can’t stand not to be near you. Yet I can barely stand seeing you because I’m convinced my love for you will be too powerful and I’ll succumb to it and not care. I feel like I’m drowning and you’re my air, but at the same time I want to drown because it’s you pulling me under. Does that make any sense?”

I lose my tears down my cheek as I nod vehemently at him. “I know exactly what you mean.” I reassure him as I let my lips descend to his. We lose ourselves to our passion and our bodies need to validate our declarations into the early hours of the morning. I lay here warm and protected in Max’s arms as I look towards the heavens.

I hope the creator can see his most grace filled creation lying here on this cliff over hang. The fire has died out but the warmth of Max’s body against mine is better than any a fire could provide. I smile contently as I think about the warrior laying beside me returning to heaven as a redeemed angel, in all his glory and grace.

“What are you thinking about?” Max’s voice whispers as his lips press to my forehead. I shrug innocently not wanting him to be aware of my intentions for his redemption.

“I was just looking at the stars, they’re magnificent aren’t they?” I query back as I inhale deeply feeling slightly tired.

“I’ve seen better.” He affirms seriously turning my head towards him to plant a light kiss on my lips. I smile through our kiss as I think about all of the constellations of the heroes and heroines from ancient stories watching over us. “What is it?”

“I was just thinking about all the old stories of the stars and their constellations. The greatest heroes of ancient times immortalized forever in the stars.” I explain thoughtfully. Max smiles at me indulgently as he tucks me closer to his side wrapping his arms tightly around me.

“Who is your favorite hero?” He asks cautiously. I shake my head against his chest.

“I already know the stories of the stars. I want to hear one of your stories. Tell me about your greatest victory in battle.” Max’s entire body stiffens at the request.

“I don’t want to do anything that would make you see me as the monster I was before I met you.” He pleads. I look directly into his eyes and smile reassuringly.

“Mon Guerrier, mon ame. Do you really have no comprehension of my love for you? I could never be scared away from you by your past.” I tell him sweetly. “Why don’t you choose the story to tell me.” I offer as I nestle myself back into the warmth of him. I feel him exhale beneath me as his chest falls beneath my cheek.

His words are careful at first waiting for reaction as he begins his tale of blood and destruction. He is recounting a fearsome battle that I suspect is being toned down for my benefit. I can feel his heartbeat through his chest as it thrums a steady beat as he talks about ripping the heart from another being.

I could never fear him. My only fear now is losing him and I know it will happen, and it will hurt more than anything that has ever happened to me before. I will not let him see my pain. I stay my tears as I take a deep calming breath. I refuse to let him feel anything but love after all his years of cruel existence. I let myself focus back on the story and I smile contently listening to the sound of his voice as his heartbeat pulses against my cheek.

I’m not sure when I fell asleep but the cool air wrapped around my leg wakes me. I look down expecting to see pure ice wrapped around my lower leg but nothing is there. The warmth radiating form my warrior blanket is stifling compared to the cool breeze wrapping its tendrils around my ankle.

I try to bring the cold appendage closer to my body and the movement alerts Maximus to the fact that I’m awake. There are no words as his pulsing heat invades me sharply and roughly. Like there is an urgent fire within him needing to be sated and I’m a body of water. I let myself surround him desperately trying to warm myself with his heat as the ever present fire in my belly becomes a brushfire throughout my entire being.

I can feel the fire burning and in an instant our roles are reversed. My body becomes wildfire and Maximus is the river that can heal me. I see the cool blue glow beneath my skin and I marvel at it for barely a moment before my eyes are assaulted with the light of the dawn. The orange glow of the morning sun envelops our fused bodies like a stage spotlight.

The rest of the world comes to life all around us as we become one being here on the cliff top stage overlooking the Earth. The cool blue glow of my skin dissipates as I see the bright burning blue fire of Max’s eyes. I smile proudly as my lips rush to his.

“Cor meum.” He breathes against my lips between kisses and I let myself continue to absorb him until the sun is high in the sky.

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