Wind whipped my hair into a crimson tornado even as the rain tried to plaster it to my skull. I drew on the soggy cigarette dangling from my lips and it glowed pitifully, briefly, before I spat it out and exhaled the smoke into the wind, watching the silken grey ribbons freewheel on the currents long after they had dissipated into isolated molecules of nicotine and tar.
The night had been given to the warring elements, as humankind hunkered into their concrete borrows, leaving the wind to bay to the empty, forsaken streets. Behind me, across the promenade, shadows gathered like hounds before the hunt, dancing across the dirty marble of the building facades and rolling through the gutters, boisterous and wild now the sun had relinquished it's hold on the world. I could feel them, wrapping sensuously around me, their carnal hunger for warmth chilling me, raising tingling, delicious goosebumps across the exposed skin of my arms. I raised my face to the sky, letting the rain stream down my face, letting it flush the makeup from my eyes and cheeks, and decided to join the wind it's howling.
I filled my lungs with air and expelled in feral roar, bubbling away to a giggle at the end as I leant against the balustrade. I wasn't drunk. I'd had nothing that night, but the weather galvanized me into a heady tangle of giggling energy. I stood on the esplanade running the length of the top tier of the city and which overlooked the rolling valley below, its sides coated in layer upon layer of grubby, tarnished buildings like a rash across its face. From behind, the muted pounding of a bass line which would normally wash from the club's open doors and across the walkway in more even-tempered weather was barely audible beneath the storm.
"You're soaking." I didn't turn, just lifted my arms above my head, twisting them this way and that, trying to catch the raindrops.
"I don't care." I said, and I didn't. The rain made me feel alive, washed away the fog of the day and bathed me in a cool, dim clarity.
"I know." I turned to him, splitting my lips to display my teeth, a smile that for once held no trace of a flirt or vestige of a smirk. I was glad to see he was smiling too, his lips twitched upwards quietly at the corners. He'd obviously had enough of the club and its smoky, oppressive space that choked the soul into drugged lethargy masquerading as a good time. He stepped up beside me, slotting his feet into the gaps between the ornate poles and leaning out into the void beyond, his pale hands like spiders grasping the slick stone of the parapet as he looked down into the darkness that hid the park that lay below. We stood in silence.
After a while, I noticed him shivering. Rain dripped from the end of his nose. I wanted to kiss off that drip, but I did nothing. We continued to stand, exposed on the open promenade, until finally I stepped down. A moment later, he came too. We stared at each other across the slick pavement.
"I want to take you somewhere." I said.
"You'll see." I turned away, the sudden decision filling me with a rush of vivacity that made my ears roar like a tidal wave was approaching. I skipped across the concrete skin of the boardwalk, striking the sharp stilettos of my boots against it like a tap-dancer. The slightly metallic clacks echoed above the wind and together, the storm and I, we made our own fierce music.
Silently, like the shadows I twirled and danced with in front of him with, he followed, padding along and smiling to himself, listening to the music and watching the bright flash of colour that was I pirouetting in the gloom.
He kept pace with me, never seeming to rise from a gentle amble, even when I cascaded down the cobbled high street, as liquid as the water than ran between the time-smoothed stones and with the pell-mell speed of a runaway train.
I took him through the labyrinth of the city streets, chasing the zephyrs as they raced from block to block, running my hands along rough brick, slick plastic, chilled marble and pitted stone, tracing the world with my fingertips and laughing all the while.
At the bottom of the valley the lake was a roiling, effervescent skin of black, tossed by the wind and the pummelling rain, absorbing the merge light haze from the town that made it through the already heavy atmosphere, devouring it in such a way that it could not even silver the tips of the waves before being lost in the gloaming. I grasped his hand, cool and slippery with the rain as it was, and lead him to the very edge of the pontoon that stood cowed by the black waters that rose up through it's sodden, swollen boards and dashed hungrily against it's wooden flanks.
Under that savage sky and above the corybantic swells, I gently touched his pale face. "Do you trust me?"
He paused, and then, "Implicitly."
"Can I trust you?"
This time there was no pause. "Of course."
"Good." I moved my hands from his face, sliding them down his neck, across his leather-clad shoulders, slipping under his saturated jacket to twine myself around his solid, warm waist. "I'm going to show you a secret. You can't tell anyone, okay?"
His eyes twinkled at me, bemused. "I won't."
"Close your eyes." He closed them. I took a moment to admire his sable lashes against his ivory skin, how his cheekbones caught the thin luminescence from the shore like mountain ranges at dawn, how there was another, beautiful little droplet ready to plummet from his slightly rosy nose, before I leant in and pressed against his soft, chapped lips and jumped.