The last time I saw her, she wore a string of garnets around her neck. I remember the vivid splash of sparkling red contrasting with ethereal skin, the brush of her lips against mine, the soft sigh of my name dying as it lingered in the air between us. I remember the way her eyes darkened as she smiled up at me, eyes widened by passion. In that moment I saw her beauty and I revelled in it; I drank my fill of her wonder before leaving. She was my first.

The first time I saw her she was crossing the street, strawberry blond hair tied up in a bouncing ponytail as she ran in front of me. I almost hit her with my car, but managed to stop in time. She wasn't beautiful, not in the traditional sense, and not in any tangible way—but then she smiled at me, and there was such potential in that look of star-spun gratitude.

Seeing her was like flipping a switch and turning on the light—she was everywhere. Every time I saw her it was another smile, another look. She was taboo: what I should not have obsessed over, should not have touched. But obsessed I was. I was in love with her; she with me. We had fallen in love over fated touches and glances that were meant to be.

The first time we kissed was at a nightclub. The bass thumped in time with our heartbeats, and breath mingled becoming one... it was almost as though we were one. I could feel denim beneath my fingers as I held her hips, holding her firmly against my body as she writhed against me. Her hands ran over my chest, and I moaned softly as I bit her lower lip. Copper-sweet flooded my mouth, and I sucked gently before pulling away and releasing her. Her eyes were wide then too, dark and shining in the flashing lights before she smiled again and left, hair swaying in time with her hips. She was faster than I, and when I made it to the exit she was gone.

After that, her friends would try to keep us apart. They knew how I felt about her, they had to know, but they persisted in keeping between us. When I would come across her in the clubs she would smile that brilliant smile that would make my knees go weak, and then someone would step between us, preventing the meeting of our eyes. She wanted me; I could tell by the way she moved. We were meant to be together, this was our destiny.

She came to me one night. I sat in the shadows of the club watching her dance, her eyes shining with laughter as they met mine. There were no friends that night, no one to keep apart our love. She came to me, hips swaying, hair bouncing. It reminded me of the first time I saw her, the way she looked, that smile that barely touched her eyes, the passion she exuded…how close to death she had come.

I followed her back to her apartment, a small little place with paint peeling and covered in graffiti. The furniture was threadbare, and sparse. None of that mattered. She backed into her apartment, still smiling up at me as I closed the door without looking and stalked towards her. Her chest stopped moving, she stopped breathing in anticipation. I loved her then, long and slow and gentle. I was tender with her, almost afraid I could shatter her beauty with my hands.

I kissed her afterwards; breath mingling as I pulled the glinting silver over the smooth skin of her neck. Red rose to the surface, spilling warmth over my fingers as I kissed her again. She smiled, hands gentling over my shoulders and slipping to fall beside her. I can still hear the way she whispered my name—a benediction, a prayer, a plea…I smiled then, and laid next to her on the bed, holding her cooling body against my own. We would be together forever now. No one would be able to prevent us—this—again.

I made love to her again before leaving her apartment. I needed to go to work, clear out my office so I could spend all my time with her. When I returned there was yellow tape and my lover was gone. But I still remember the last time I saw her. My first, but by no means was she to be my last.