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Kaoki gazed at the young man sleeping beside him, his eyes silently devouring the youth’s painfully beautiful face, burning every detail, every aspect into his memory.  He smiled as he remembered their night together, from the first tentative glances they’d shared as they stood on the pier to the tender kiss that concluded their lovemaking.  He replayed it all in his mind, yearning to go back and live that night again.

 

His smile faded as he slipped from beneath the covers, moving slowly, soundlessly, carefully.  The young man moaned as Kaoki raised himself from the bed.  He paused, glancing over his shoulder, staring at his lover, waiting until he was sure he was still asleep before moving again.  Certain the youth was still sleeping soundly, he walked swiftly across the room to the window, and there he stood, his naked body bathed in moonlight, knowing that only minutes remained before the dawn.

 

Tears slipped from his eyes as he thought about what the rising sun would mean for him.  It wasn’t fair.  It was never fair, but this time was different.  Though he’d only known the youth, Tristan, for a few short hours, already Kaoki was in love with him.  The boy glimmered with beauty both inside and out, his gentle spirit and sweet smile almost intoxicating.  Never in all his years had Kaoki encountered such a soul, and the thought of leaving him was almost too painful to bear.

 

For the first time in nearly eight-hundred years Kaoki wished he could undo what he had done, revoke the pact he had made.  At the time the offer had seemed so appealing.  He’d been within sight of his village when the thieves struck.  Three full-grown men armed with knives had been too much for a slender seventeen-year-old boy to take on, but still he’d fought them, fought to hold on to his few meagre possessions, but they’d taken them anyway.  Taken them and left him bleeding, dying.

 

That’s when the demon appeared.  He’d heard stories about them all his life, about how they tricked and deceived, twisted and corrupted, but he hadn’t wanted to die and when the demon offered him a choice between death and immortality he’d quickly chosen the latter.

 

Kaoki shook his head before turning and gazing upon his sleeping lover.  In that instant he felt an overwhelming desire to claim one final kiss, but even as he took a step towards the bed he knew it was too late.  The sun was rising, and no matter how much he wanted that one last kiss he knew the shadows would claim him before he could reach the bed.  He could feel it already, his physical form fading into the shadows, and as he disappeared so too would Tristan’s memories of him, of their night together.

 

As he vanished into the darkness Kaoki vowed that when the next full moon came and he was able to take physical form again he would find Tristan and love him once more.

 


 

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