PREFACE
The Beginning

Few minutes remain before I see his eyes again. My pulse races as the desire for his voice, his skin, his breath, devours me from within and pulls me uncontrollably towards the abyss. We know what they do to those like us who dare to defy the ban on contact between our castes. And I feel a profound terror each time I think of this.

The rocky mountainside offers our protection, the place where our bodies and emotions intertwine and we dedicate ourselves to one another. Like those old poems I read in the pages of that black covered book that accompanied my first juvenile sensations.

Kaled appears silently, like always. I pretend that I don't see him coming, although I would sense him from a thousand miles away. He hugs me from behind, pressing his body against mine as his lips caress my neck and I shiver within. I turn around and kiss him passionately, as my breathing and my feelings tremble beyond my control in an attempt to express what words cannot transmit.

Our clothes disappear, leaving our bodies to meld with the rock and warm air. There is no other place in the world. The rules of others do not apply to us. We belong only here, always and forever.

We fall asleep, my ear against his chest, tasting his heartbeats and the humidity that pounds against our bodies. I delight in the moment, trying to make the most of each second, before we must furtively lose ourselves in the shadows and return to our respective places, pretending not to miss the other, lost among so many strange faces.

A sound. I open my eyes quickly. He remains asleep and all is silent around me. I shut my eyes again and I let myself be enveloped once more in the warmth of his skin and my emotions.

When I feel the cold metal against my skin...
The Bleak Door




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