"It's getting kind of late, huh?"

I gave a noncommittal hum, and she draped her naked leg over mine, head still resting upon my chest. It was hot, but I didn't mind her clinging to me. Both of us were damp to the touch; little beads of sweat acting as reminders of our previous sin, clinging to our bare flesh as we lay against each other.

"It's almost like a bath with hot, hot water..." She sighed heavily, her deep brown eyes gazing up at me. That look: pure and trustful. Loving. She was the only one who could pull my soul from my heart and hold it in the palms of her delicate hands. "I like it." She concluded, lazily closing her eyes.

My arm was trapped under her body. I carefully bent it upward, wrapping it around her shoulder so I could pull her closer to me. The hot, dry day was taking its leave from the opening in the wall that lead to my balcony. Orange and red flowed freely out of the room and into the slowly darkening sky. For a fleeting moment, I felt like watching the sun set with her, but I was far too content to bother with moving. There would be plenty of sunsets for us to see in the future. A draft blew past the drapes set over the opening, bringing to us a welcome coolness.

I watched the shadows move on her skin. Running my hand through her soft, thick hair, I breathed in deeply, content. She smelled of passion and sun and flowers. An intoxicating melody that fit her perfectly. Her hair looked almost black in the receding sunlight. The strands sat heavily against the nape of her neck, some were stuck to her shoulder from sweat.

It was amazing how small she seemed when she was bundled in my arms. Small, but not weak. Definitely not weak. And not easily overlooked, either. She was so arm and bright. So energetic. I was almost envious of her; where I had many things to worry about and do, she had a permanent smile tugging at her lips, jokes rising from her like bubbles in boiling water. She went through life with hardly any regrets. Nothing seemed to trouble her for very long.

She let out a soft hum and smiled, eyes peeking out from under her lids. I leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead. She crinkled her nose cutely and just laughed. I set my head back against the pillow and asked, "How are you feeling?" The leg over mine readjusted, and her bare body rubbed against mine as she tried to find a more comfortable position. It was sticky and hot, but I didn't care. Her moving was intimate and felt good and that was all that mattered. I felt blood starting to flow back the bottom part of my body. Oh, how I loved being young. But, for now, controlled myself. I just wanted to lay here with her longer.

"I feel…fantastic." She said with a smile that could've launched a thousand ships. The smile that had smitten me because I hadn't remembered to guard my heart against my best friend. "And I'm not saying that just to please you."

"You speak as if I were so proud."

"You are." She teased, and I couldn't help but smile a bit.

There's a saying that everyone has flaws, but are flaws still considered imperfections when they only serve to make you more endearing? Her occasionally ditsy moments, her inability to focus around cats, the way she loves to drive me crazy…these weren't flaws or imperfections. They were things that set her apart. Things that made her human. Things that made me fall in love with her.

She propped her right arm up on her elbow and rested her head on her palm. With an impish smile, she let her left hand roam. It traced a faint path down from my chest; drawing swirls upon on my sun-kissed skin as it made its way down my stomach and around my belly button. I shuddered at her touch. Each loop brought with it a rush of sparks that flew up my spine.

"Don't do that." I managed, shooting her a wry smile. She beamed back deviously, but her hand left my torso and she pulled herself up so her head was above mine. The sky was almost devoid of color, so I had to squint a little in order to differentiate her features.

Smiling gently, she leaned in. She tasted of a sweet fruit that I could not name. Her tongue found mine and we danced, entwined in our fervor. But it was controlled. We didn't feel the need to rush. Slowly and deliberately, we moved and explored one another. Nipping and flicking, quickly prancing away before returning for more. Then she pulled away, regaining her breath. I wrapped my arms around her and let my fingers play with the hair at the base of her head. She smiled and tucked her hair behind her ear. I loved it when she did that. My arms tightened around her so I could pull her against my chest again.

But they slid right through where she should have been. They flailed clumsily and only met air. I let out a noise like I were choking, and my eyes flew open. The dark night sky peeked at me through the window above the head of my bed. I blinked up at the dark ceiling, breathing ragged.

She wasn't here. She never was. She was gone. Numb, I let my arms fall back down onto the mattress. Looking up at the few stars I could see, I let out a long sigh.

But it didn't take away the pain.