He should be more careful, they murmured as he sauntered out the door, his dark hair fading into the shadows. The light mist swirled around his legs, dissipating where his feet silently hit the rocky earth. A waft of sea air flooded in, and the distant crash of waves echoed faintly through the room. Then he closed the door, leaving behind the smell of brine.
It was quiet here, she noticed. Her eyes widened, and the world stopped breathing. Noting the pause, she took a step forward onto the cliff, her feet leaving the bed of pine for the harsh granite, littered with shells. The sea rushed away beneath her feet, and the wet wind slapped her face and arms, wrapping her loose sweats against her slender body. A gull cried, and the sound touched her, pulling her closer, where she could fly. Sea and sky melted together in a storm of greys and blues, and a fine rain misted with the sea spray. Fog drifted beneath the trees behind her. Leaning over, she inhaled slowly, dragging in the heavy air.
He picked his way carefully along the shore, rocks slipping under his bare feet, the surf pounding against his scraped and stinging legs. A laugh bubbled up in his throat. He was walking with death here at the cliff's edge, where one misstep would free him to the mercy of the tide, and the only way to safety was up. Life flooded his veins in a passionate burst, causing him to throw back his head and shouted into the roar of the surf, where his cries mingled with those of the gulls. His eyes caught on a dark shape above him, and his voice faded. Framed against the sky, was a girl, or it might have been a girl. It was too far to tell. Her hair was long, and dark, lashing about her like a tattered sail. The boy narrowed his eyes, and began his ascent.
Her heart fluttered out of her mouth, straining against the insistent pleading of the northeast. She whispered to it, and it gave in, dipping and diving, reveling in the raw beauty it had found. Gulls ignored its presence, tossing her heart into deep, frenzied spirals in the wake of their passage. The sea rushed into her, filling the place where her heart had gone. Salt was on her lips, in her hair, in her clothes.
He caught the strange, beautiful fluttering thing as he neared the top of the rocky wall, picking his way around the bird nests and clinging lichen. One handed, he could only hang, admiring the fragile creature trembling in the cage of his fingers. It might have been a butterfly, but he knew better. It was not an insect. Its brightly colored wings offset its frail little body, which faintly resembled a dolphin. Looking at it was confusing his mind, and his eyes began to ache with the intensity. He brought the tiny animal closer to his face. Then he understood. Defying all the laws of nature that he knew so well, he swung himself over the lip of the cliff, and stood before the girl. For a moment, he was silent. She was the oddest, most beautiful creature he had ever seen, and in all his days and nights spent wandering his isle, he had seen countless things of both fey and mortal origin that tugged at his heart. She did not merely tug his heart. She tangled it.
Wind. Rain. Sky. Water. She lost herself, drowning in the elements. A voice, soft and clear and with the taste of the sea upon it, broke her thoughts. "I believe this is yours." A boy, with his dark hair windblown and his pale face red across the cheek bones from the abrasion of the tide, stood before her. He was barefoot and shirtless, his lean body scarred and scraped. What passed for pants were in tatters, and salt stained. In his outstretched hand he held her heart delicately, and she reached out to reclaim it. Her heart brushed gently against her fingers, then rushed back into her, and her eyes focused. The world went silent as it had before. The boy watched her, his back to the cliff, a fraction of a hair separating him from death. Reaching out a hand, she took his, and pulled herself to the edge. His eyes were grey, she realized. Her own, violet ones met his, and an understanding passed between them. He squeezed her hand, and they leapt. Behind them, the wind stirred the pine needles, moaning softly amongst the trees. The earth let out its breath. She was gone. The single splash that followed soon after was swallowed up by the sound of the sea.
It was a pity, they said. He should have been more careful.