“It’s almost midnight,” he whispered close to her ear.
They had both fallen asleep while the fire burned itself out, so now the cottage was dark. Taylor felt an immense happiness wrap itself around her heart as she opened her eyes and felt herself wrapped in Daimhin’s arms.
Daimhin sat up, making a joke of it. “Your mum is going to slaughter me.”
Taylor wrapped her arms around him. “I don’t care about the future. I only want now, before you leave me.”
His voice trembled with emotion. “I don’t have to. I don’t want to.”
“But you must. It’s what I want,” she said softly.
He unwrapped himself from her arms slowly. “Let’s walk up to the top of the hill.”
Reluctantly Taylor stood up and reached for her clothes.
As he lit one of the candles standing on a little table next to the fireplace, embarrassment filled her every body part. Quickly she squirmed into her clothes while Daimhin stood apart from her on the other side of the cottage. Silently he pulled his own clothes on.
He walked toward her and he pulled her into him. “I am so sorry.”
Angry she pushed her palms against his chest, pulling away from him. “Don’t be sorry. I don’t need your pity.”
“You don’t understand.”
“I understand perfectly well. Ready?”
Affectionately he took the blanket and draped it across her shoulders.
Taylor stood frozen in front of him, focusing on his chest. She did not want to look up and meet his gaze. She suddenly felt terrified of losing him.
He walked ahead of her through the narrow door into the dark of the night. The moon was full. The light was illuminating the lime in the stones and they shone brightly. The moon revealed the pathway further up the mountain.
Taylor stumbled and Daimhin quickly grabbed onto her to steady her. He twirled his fingers through hers as he led her further up the hill.
The full moon was already dipping toward the horizon when they reached the top and Taylor was struggling to fill her lungs with enough air.
“Are you okay?” He looked at her worriedly.
“I’m fine.” She looked around her and the view was spectacular.
“Look over there.”
Her eyes followed Daimhin’s pointing fingers. She gasped when she saw a kaleidoscope of colours moving in long lines across the sky. She whispered reverently, “It’s beautiful.”
He smiled as he also stared at the lights mesmerized.
They sat down next to each other on the rocky ground.
Daimhin wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer to him until she was sitting between his legs and then she rested her back against his chest. She closed her eyes for a moment as the pain seared through her heart.
Softly he said as his cheek rested next to hers and they both looked up at the dancing lights in the sky, “I could talk all day about a lot of nothingness, but with you I have no words. I can talk to anybody about anything under the sun, yet when I am with you I am content to sit in peace and quiet for hours. Sometimes I want to tell you things and when I open my mouth there is only silence.”
Taylor leaned her head back against his shoulder and it fit perfectly in the hollow between his shoulder and his neck. “Daimhin.”
Her lips whispered against his ear. “I love you too. So much.”
He pulled his arms tighter around her, crushing her against his chest.
“I am so sorry,” he said again.
She could not understand why he kept saying sorry. If she really thought about it, she would know, but stubbornly she avoided thinking about it too deeply. He was sorry because she was going to die.