The bed was soft and warm. Ridley could feel his arm draped over her, more comforting that any blanket she had ever lay under. She was perfumed by his musky scent, as was her nightgown and her bed sheets and when next she slept alone his smell would make her feel safe and warm and happy.
Ridley ran her hand over his back, the soft hairs tickling the tips of his fingers. She could feel the bones through his skin, the vertebrae of his spine looking as though they tried to pierce through his flesh. His skin was rougher than she remembered. Before he was exiled his skin was smooth and almost womanly, but now it was as coarse as the stones that built the castle. His hair had grown so long now; a thick, brown, bushy mess. She clutched it in her hands and could feel the salt from the sea, scratching at her fingers. Long and lank and greasy, but he suited it. They way it framed his eyes, and his now thinned face, made her lust for him more than she remembered.
It was only his eyes that remained unchanged, coloured a grey that was colder than the winter sky, yet she found warmth when she looked deep into them. In his eyes, she saw her reflection. It was her who had changed. Not on the outside, but the inside. She had become jealous of anyone who had found love and bitter towards anyone who laughed.
As she looked upon herself, in his perfect grey eyes glistening with love for her, she knew this wasn’t real. It must be a dream, she told herself, but one I do not wish to wake from. Ridley wanted to stay with him forever. She couldn’t look away, but more than that she didn’t want to. She wanted those eyes to be the last thing she ever saw.
I love you, she wanted to scream. I love you more than you know. I need you and I love you. Please, come back to me. What use would screaming be, she asked herself. He is only a figment of my desire; a delusion of my dreams. He is not real and will not hear me, but I need him to hear me. “I love you”, she blurted as she woke.