I drag the body out into the snowdrifts, as far away from our shack as I can muster. I put her in a thicket of trees, where the green seems to still have a voice in the branches, and try not to think about the beasts that'll soon be gathering. There's no way of burying her; the ground is a solid rock of ice beneath us. I kneel beside her and want desperately to weep. My throat tightens and my head aches. Everything hurts inside. But I have no way of releasing it. I'm locked up and hard as stone. 'I'm sorry, Mamma, ' I whisper to the shell in front of me. I take her hand. It could belong to a glass doll. There's no life there anymore. So I gather rocks, one by one, and set them over her, trying my best to protect her from the birds, the beasts, keep her safe as much as I can now. I pile the dark stones gently on her stomach, her arms, and over her face, until she becomes one with the mountain. I stand and study my work, feeling like the rocks are on me instead, then I leave the body for the forest and ice.
Rachel A. Marks
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Without thinking, I step a little closer, reaching out slowly to slide a fingertip over the largest petal of the lily tattoo on her lower back. Instantly a vibration moves up my arm, and I swear the mark on my hand burns against my skin. I clench my fingers into a fist, but I don't step away. 'Did you feel that?' she asks. I shake my head. 'I don't know.' I feel so much, always so much. She takes my hand and brings it to her side again, resting it on the violets. I look at the purple flowers between my fingers and feel the heat of her skin, the way it slides beneath my palm, soft as silk. And that vibration moves through my arm again. Her breath quickens. I find myself moving closer as her blue eyes go wide with wonder. My heart stutters and my chest aches with some unknown need. 'Are you doing this?' I ask. Is she making me want this? 'No, ' she breathes. The smell of her turns to spice, sharp and warm, and I know I'm sensing her now, even through the block in the house. We stand like that for an eternity, still as statues on the outside, but inside I'm running, running toward a place I've never been. I should be terrified. But all I feel is strength. Rightness. And then Kara moves, her hands skimming up my chest, testing the boundaries. Her palms slide to my shoulders, her fingers tracing the line of the muscles in my arms, down to my waist. She grips my shirt, stretching it a little, waiting for me to tell her to stop. But I watch her lift it, let her pull it up, raising my arms, and I even take the last of it off myself, dropping it to the floor. We breathe, staring at each other. The vibrations move between us. My left arm buzzes with them. I think she's doing it. Whatever's happening, it's her. I reach up and brush my marked knuckles across her cheek, amazed at the feel of her, the way her eyes seem to see everything, the way she pulls me into her. I can't seem to remember why I shouldn't kiss her. And kiss her. And... I kiss her, taking her face in both hands, skimming my thumb over her jaw as she leans into the touch, reaching out to curl her fingers around the back of my neck. I have to remind myself to breathe. I need more of her. The emotions roll over me in a rush, a tangle of sensation and movement, heat and sugar and heady aromas. I grip her tighter. Her nails dig into my shoulders. My hands slide down her spine. The kiss deepens, goes on forever, until I can barely see sense. I explore her shape, the feel of her ribs, the textures and taste of her skin on my tongue as I kiss her neck, her shoulders, her chest. As I draw trembling gasps from her lips, she grips me so hard it hurts. Our bodies mesh. Our breath mingles in frenzied desperation. Nothing else exists except her. Her warmth. Her spice. Her.
Rachel A. Marks
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He couldn't look back at the children. He couldn't think of it. All he could do was watch the eyes of his wife. He pulled her to him, her body soft, her skin warm. She was life, she was his. He took her lips and tasted his freedom once more. The subtle tenderness. The hope hidden in joined breath. He took it into himself. Soaking in the peace that came with it. And even as the rustling began he felt still, he felt calm. Scratching and scrapping within the stones, and the rustle of wings. But all Eli knew was the nature of love.
Rachel A. Marks
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The men stop coming after Hunt goes missing. We learned from the last brave soul to visit that they whispered all sorts of stories to answer his disappearance. My favorite is that we ate him. We cooked him up with our whore-earned corn, a dozen rats' eyes, and a bat wing. Even I couldn't have thought of anything more perfect.
Rachel A. Marks
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