"She Walks in Beauty…."
Yvonne Vernon

Shine, bright Moon, light the way
through forest glade…….

The shadow flits briefly through the trees, watchful, careful.

Before her feet your soft beams lay
so she may walk on unafraid.

Beneath a spangled sky, night’s grey velvet lies tranquil in these late hours. The woman in tracksuit and joggers walks on quickly now, away from the paths and benches, and the park lights glowing in misty haloes, to the deserted places, glancing across to the woods where the trees sway black and bony arms in the sudden flurrying breeze, leaves skipping before its scattering rush.

Soft soughings, murmurs, rustlings on the dying gusts, or does she hear another sound there; glimpse a movement in the trees, a brief interruption in the dappled pattern of night? She halts, poised, straining to hear. The midnight peace steals back soothingly, a sleepy hush resettles the fretful trees, and she continues, footsteps muffled in the grass, in calm and steady rhythm, as he has taught her.

The watcher crouches down, folding into the darkness, wary, bright eyes fixed on her. Perhaps she has sensed him. Only his head turns to follow her retreating form, he remains utterly still, his tall and powerful body, shrouded in the cloak, coiled low with a hunter’s waiting patience. He is careful to keep his face well hidden.

Time itself suspends without your smile or kiss…..
Should love itself be lost to me, what cursed life be this?

She stops suddenly again, exploding his thoughts, turns slowly and stares directly at him. He dares not breathe, shocked, heart thudding. Surely she cannot see him, a shadow within shadows.
He hears her sigh, her head bows briefly, hair flowing forward – does she smile? Then she resumes her journey, disturbing the silvered dew on the neglected grass, here where few have reason to come, to a drain. She is almost there, safe. Now he stands, stress ripples from him in a thousand tiny aches. The watcher quietens as the lover anticipates. He moves stealthily, fading back into the trees, running lithely, silently, down the hill, twisting through the woods with the ease of a creature of night. Now he pauses on the edge of the clearing with instinctive caution of open spaces, aware of the moon sailing cloudy seas, the danger of its luminous beauty, then crosses quickly to the tunnel, striding to the far end just moments before she appears.

He turns, calms his breathing.

Her footsteps echo as she hurries inside, splashing softly in the little stream as in child’s play, moonlight throwing her shadow forward on smooth, curved walls as though in haste to meet him. His heart swells with joy at the sight of her, luscious breasts swinging forward, silhouetted against the disk of starlit night behind her as she stoops, seeking him in the soft gloom.

Oh, by no earthly power could I close my mind to keep our thoughts apart…..

He opens his arms and sweeps her against him, crushingly. Clinging tightly, they rock together. Completeness.

Sweet love, repay me so in kind, enfold me in your heart.

She snuggles deliciously into him, arms around his back, fingers caressing sensuous circles for the pleasure of the feel of him, both gentleness and immense strength, leaning into his shoulder, his golden mane a tousled pillow for her head. Mounting desire, oaken chest beneath her cheek, the rising heat of his body. In eager response she slides her hands down to grasp his hips boldly, lifting onto her toes, pushing into him, hearing his gasp as she strokes her thigh along his in slow, sensuous writhe. She raises her head to kiss his throat, feels the rumble against her lips as he moans softly in exquisite pain, kisses him again, tastes his skin, rendering him helpless with yearning.

The great Beast trembles in his Beauty’s embrace.

Move. Take her inside. Lie with her.

He steps back, burning in the cool night, trapping her eyes with passionate promise as he swings open the grate to unlock the secret door. Warm light spills from within, shining on rocky walls, the earthen floor rumpled by countless footsteps.

Now he stands framed in savage beauty, a gentle smile softening the sharp planes of his face, lighting the love in his eyes. Careful with his sharp nails, he reaches for her hand, drawing her forward, remembering with a sudden, erotic ache how she loves their soft trail across her belly, then hesitates reflectively.

"Sweet Catherine," his rich, low voice washes over her in rough music, "how was your walk through the park tonight?"

She smiles alluringly at him, head thrown back, offering her mouth, feeling his breath, lost in his darkening gaze, drowning in him.

"I felt perfectly safe, as always," she murmurs, studying him, eyes shuttered, guileless, "I could almost think you were there in the woods, Vincent, watching over me."