She walked through the dimness absently, lost in her thoughts, until a flicker of movement tugged at her attention. At the corner of her eye, a doorway beckoned, opened only a little way. From there, the movement came again, so she stopped. It occurred to her, very briefly, that maybe the one inside didn't know she was there. Did that make her a spy? A voyeur? It didn't stop her eyes from seeking more movement beyond the sliver of view afforded by the unshut door.
  No more light escaped from the space than that which surrounded her standing silently in the hallway. What little there was defined him more in shadow than light. Tiny lines of it suggested the planes of his face, drew the line of his nose, hinted at the color of his hair from out of the darkness. His skin was light, but only where the light kissed him softly along the edges of his face. His hair was short, but the color muted except in whispers of wheat. No clothing broke the taunting glow that outlined his body in the cropped frame of the slightly open door. She watched the tiny lines of light flow along his shape as he moved, unsuspecting of his silent audience. She smiled to herself, noting with pleasure the shape of his shoulders, following their bare curves upward along his neck and jawline, imagining her lips tracing those shapes like the golden trails she stood jealous of.
  She licked her lips and crept one step closer. The darkness hid so much. His eyes were sheltered in pools of shadow. She could see neither their color nor expression, and the frustration of it echoed within her like lonely cries in an empty cavern. Most of his body was hidden from her as well, appearing only in teasing mixtures of shadows and gold that hinted at his size and build, but no more. She held her breath at a glimpse of chest which was traded for a length of well-muscled thigh. Her palms began to prickle and she rubbed them lightly over her hips to keep them dry. She was afraid to blink in case she missed something, yet poised to move should he suspect her presence. She wrapped her arms around herself, unconsciously making them his. A moment later she realized her hands had been moving a little, stroking herself along quivering sides. He turned away for a moment, affording her a view of his back, gleaming out of the shadows. It had blacker shades among its shadows and she knew they were tattoos. She discerned coiled shapes, but no details. He might as well have been wearing drifts of smoke. Again she was intrigued, wondering what they were pictures of. She wanted to trace them with her fingers and tickle them with locks of her hair. Before she had fully formed the desire, the view was gone again, replaced by a swath of medium darkness and curves that turned into his side and the silhouette of his behind. The strands of light slid down his body like rivers dropping into a waterfall of night. She wished to be a shadow and wrap around him like the shifting cloak she watched dance over him. She stifled a sigh.
  His head came up sharply, like a cautious stag scenting a hunter. Was that a breath he heard outside the door? He turned to face it, twin gleams of vision pinning her in their beams.
  Her heart pounded and her breath returned to her in a rush. She felt heat rise to her face. It was the only place that wasn't already too warm. She searched the pools of darkness for the place she knew his eyes were and swallowed hard. She blurted out the first thing that came to her mind. "Did...did anyone ever tell you that you are beautiful?"
  He laughed and shook his head.
  She just hoped he would not shut the door.

©Sonja Torres 2001


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