"I think I'll be single for a very long time," she says, voice full of something he can't name that fills him with quivering excitement, longing, and dread. "I can't think of anything for the life of me that would be enough to pull me from this. No feeling, no possession... no man."

The moonlight gleams on the slight wave in her hair, giving her entire person a glowing semblance to some wary, dream-like princess. She is suddenly fragile, for all her outward strength; in that moment, he knows she feels completely and utterly alone, because he finds it in himself as well.

His hand extends, reaching, hovering over her like a boy who's dare-not thoughts fight everything he wants. And he lets it fall against her hair, collide with the skin of her bare shoulder, and wrench her around to face him as he plunges his lips onto hers, forceful, but waiting.

She stiffens and he thinks only that this is what he's been waiting for; the ball has dropped and everything is hanging on this last moment. The decision, to stay or to go.

And that moment is lost. She moves her lips against his, and one new moment explodes in her body touching his, molding to his. This moment that changes everything. And that moment is lost as well. She pulls away and does not meet his eyes. Somehow, he thinks, this is exactly what he was waiting for.

"I'll see you, James."

The lilt of her accent drops his name off of her tongue with a pained passion he knows he will never hear again, and he wonders if every time they kissed was like this. For the life of him, he does not remember, as she stands, brushes away the errant dirt and grass from her jeans, and walks away, shoving her hands into the pockets of her jacket and, just this once, letting her shoulders hunch with the weight of defeat, and despair.

"I love you, Jenna."

Her nickname, once long forgotten, floats away on the chill of the December wind, to be forgotten once more.