Shakespeare said it best, "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds..."
His words sank into my mind. I measured him by the weight of his voice, wanting to hate him for daring the syllables. Everything in me screamed to dispute his declaration and proclaim him a liar.
He wouldn't leave.
Not like this. Not like a thief in the night.
Slowly I turned to face him, meeting his gaze. His presence overshadowed me and I began to tremble. Even in the moonlight, emotion radiated from his eyes. He was beautiful, like a Persian warrior from long ago. His intensity hummed straight into me, searing and hot. God, he was my undoing. He haunted my nights and filled my dreams as no one ever could. How could I ever let him go?
"Why?" I asked, hating the sound of my voice, so shaky and weak. He cupped my cheek and I closed my eyes against the warmth of his hand.
"You know why," he said.
Tears gathered in my eyes. "Please," I breathed.
Even though I said the word, I didn't anticipate a reply.
The word soulmate echoed through my mind. The meaning clear to me. He was my heart connection. The reason to know that true love existed. He was my catalyst for bliss, yet the destruction of my soul. He was the beats of my heart and depths of my spirit. A crushing agony exploded from inside me.
I would lose him.
I had discovered him too late.
So shattered, I knew what a hollow shell I'd become after he left. The impact of his goodbye battered hard against me. My heart skated across the pain, and I immersed myself in its heartache.
"You're too incredible for the final round," he murmured.
He was dying.
I ached to argue and fight his claim and something in me snapped. The fight I'd never allowed myself to battle welled up from deep inside me. I would be his champion until his last breath. A desperation cocooned me, igniting full force.
"I better go," he said, his words so bleak and desolate.
"No." I would not succumb to his version of how we'd spend his final days. "This is not a storm to weather alone."
"You know how this ends," he said. "I can't promise you a happy ending, and it kills me to think you will--"
I moved in closer until he wrapped his arms around me, making his words cut off. "This began with love," I said. "And ends with forever. I'm not about to miss one moment of you."
He squeezed me closer.
I had his answer