he promised her diamonds.

he brought her rubies.

she promised him love.

she brought him something else entirely.

after all, after a while, he could only think of her as "my love."

who's love she actually was never came into question. he wished to never ever learn the answer. ignorance is bliss, and he breathed it. such a naïve boy.

(and no, he was not a man, he couldn't be. a man wouldn't fall for the petty fox's tricks. the same tricks he'd fallen for a thousand times over.)

so she would feel sorry for him, and pretend, because, clever fox she was, she did once feel – something – for the poor child asleep in her arms. and when he cried for her on that withered morning, when the sun didn't creep in and the dewdrops didn't smell of life and light. when she admitted she'd been ignorant, too, and he realized just how ignorant he'd been, she held him close and whispered "i love you, i'll never leave you, i love you, please don't bleed."

if he really had been bleeding, neither could tell. blinded, each, by their own spilled red. eyes burnt and made to match as best they could. "never enough," they said in the closest thing to harmony they could manage. like last whimpers from a dying dog. like sorrow, like naivety, like bliss.

or some kind of pretentious forgery of it.

so the sun never rose, because the clocks were all wrong and it was dusk, never dawn. and the light was the only thing to ever save them, and now, now in the pitch dark they could see clearer than ever. no wonder they wore blindfolds, no wonder they wore masks.

they were monsters.

and they spoke, quivering voices in the dark, halfhearted words of solace and regret. they believed, both, that they each phrase was true, that this love was real, this dream was real.

so they slept on and remained in their fantasy of peace, hope, and love. they turned on a lamp, and pretended it was daylight, ever-so warm.

but they were still cold, freezing, the world had stopped for them, the selfish pair. naïve boy and tricky fox. they never grew up, and morning never came.

because diamonds are to rubies as love is to everything else.

forever but never.