Maia stared out over the water towards the mainland, her mixed fur blending in with the dappled sunshine and shadows. The dark rocks rose in a steepening slope until they became a cliff. The slender polecat moved slowly from one boulder to another, paws nearly silent, and given away only by the slight sound of her claws.
Her mismatched eyes were serious as she made her way towards one of her hiding spots among the craggy shore. As she walked, her skin shivered with the memories that were rising in her mind. Her latest report to Sunil had given him valuable information, and he had let her know how well she’d done, and at the same time, showed her how hopeless her wants wer. She had felt her heart flutter, and the glint in his eyes showed that he had known as well.
A lower rock was left with scratches as she jumped down with a grunt. As she moved, quicker now as she saw the thing crag that led to where she would spend hours at, she growled with frustration and anger. The familiar bile of hatred rose within her and she sprinted for the gap, trying to forget how he had teased her with almost gentle touches and charming grins.
Slipping through the tiny canyon in the rocks, she let her anger vent in growls and the scraping of her claws upon the rocks. What right did he have to tease her like this? What power did he hold that kept her at his side? She shook slightly as her eyes narrowed with the knowledge that inevitably she would always return. He had caught her in a trap laced with darkness, and she hated him for it.
Coming out of the crag, she moved down to a ledge, just barely above the gently moving water. Her body shifted smoothly into her human form. She pushed hair from her eyes and settled into a seated position, her knees pulled up close to her chest. With a sigh, she sat back, leaning against the rock behind her, heedless of the jagged edges that jabbed heedlessly into her leather jerkin. Ignoring any distractions, she settled into thought.
The future, she knew, was laden with the ghosts of what would never be. Perhaps, if she were lucky, they would solidify for even a moment and her fingers would brush against them… but who ever said that she was that lucky?
Maia wrinkled her nose and bit back a sigh. Luck was for fools, anyhow. She shifted slightly, feeling a spine of rock dig into her back. She ignored the discomfort. After all, there were worse things that a bit of pain.
One of which was the thin, faded line between love and hate, and the man whose touch could erase it completely.
Her eyes narrowed and she reached for a fist sized piece of rock. Starting at it as she brought it up to eye level, she frowned.
The smooth, ocean worn stone yielded beneath her touch, reforming accordingly. A swipe of her thumbs created a strong, angular jaw, followed by a straight now, high cheekbones, full lips and heavy brows. Soft, flowing hair seemed to sway in an invisible breeze as she shaped that over his forehead and neck. For a moment, she paused, her fingers about to shape his eyes. In all the sculptures she had formed of him, she had never been able to capture his eyes as if they were alive, as she could the rest of him. They smoldered in a way no stone could ever mimic. She could never re-create the dark charm, and the intensity of the gaze when it turned upon her, making her shiver.
She closed her eyes, and saw him, his dark blue eyes making her hate him all the more.
The woman sneered, slender fingers wrapping around the stone, knuckles whitening. The image of him in her mind gazed at her, and his eyes burned into her mind’s eye, his grin a searing image on her eyelids. Clenching her fist, the sculpture melded together, forming around her fingers in a blob of misshapen rock.
He would never give her what she wanted, and she could never accept it, even if he would. She was not so lucky. The strength of her arm flung the rock far out into the ocean, which reclaimed it with only a minor splash.
A future of ghosts was better than none at all, she supposed, looking over the edge into the water. Her reflection stared up at her for a moment. Then, it shifted, and he was staring at her, a sly glint in his eye and quirking his mouth up to one side in a crooked, charming smile. His gaze made her breath catch. A moment later, the incoming wave broke the image, and covered it with foam.
Her eyes darkened and her voice was a low murmur, but it seemed to echo in the stillness of her ears. “The oceans will run dry before you love me.”