The fire died and the grove was swallowed in velvety darkness as Luna slipped behind clouds. She didn’t know how long they danced, time didn’t exist in his arms, so she wasn’t aware when her strength first began to wane. Maybe when he called her beautiful and said he couldn’t live without her. Maybe when the thought of not being with him became so painful she closed her mind to it. But most certainly when he kissed her. When he drew back, it was she that pulled him close again. She did not see the coldness in his eyes, only knew she could not imagine life without him. She shivered, realizing how weak she’d become. She was afraid if he took his arms away she’d crumble. She asked to stop, to rest. He laughed and spun faster. She tried to pull away. He held tighter.
“Let me go,” she pleaded.
“Never,” he said, his voice sweet, “I can make you happy, let me show you.” He kissed her.
“Let me go,” she whispered, her strength nearly gone. She hit his chest. She kicked his legs.
“Don’t fight me, dearest,” he said and with one great arm held her close while his free hand pressed against her heart. She gasped, back arching at his icy touch. Her heart was turning to stone. “Think of it,” he whispered, “no more pain.”
“I’d rather die,” she spat, and slipped away. She ran, stumbled in the darkness, fell. He was on top of her, reaching for her heart. She squirmed beneath and knocked him back. She straddled his chest. Her hands found his throat and squeezed. His eyes blazed—disbelieving, angry. He clawed at her hands, but her fingers were locked. As she squeezed, his skin grew dark and darker still. His eyes turned from beautiful green to blood red, and the fingers that raked hers grew claws that gouged her skin. She would not let go. Veins bulged on its brow and neck. With one last tortured breath, its black tongue fell from its mouth, and then dead eyes stared, reflecting the sky. Her demon was dead.