My hero's first love, but as with everything else in his life, it comes at a price.
‘Anything.' He did not have to consider the question, for by now he really would have done anything for this beautiful but cruelly used creature.
‘Will you make love to me?’
‘No!' Fletcher snatched his hands from the table as she made to touch him. At the fireplace, the old man snorted in his sleep then settled back into his dream.
‘It is because I'm ugly.’ Her words were not angry but resigned.
‘No, you are beautiful.’ Perhaps the earnest nature of his voice slowed the tears trickling down her cheeks.
‘Then what is it? I would feel carnal embrace just once before I die. Does that make me a harlot?’ For a long time he thought about what she had said as she watched him with sadness on what he really did consider a beautiful countenance. Then the decision was made and he told her all of it. Throughout his tale which took the entire length of a candle, she said nothing, though her eyes changed from hard to angry and finally to wet, as they were now, at his story’s conclusion.
‘So you may touch no one.’ Her voice seemed close to breaking.
‘I may touch but only my enemies. It pains them much, and that is why I cannot make love to you.’ That he had no such experience he kept to himself. For a moment she said nothing more then with surprising swiftness firmly grasped both his hands. As before the pain, the blasted, evil pain was gone. Complete serenity filled his entire being. It was if his heart had soared into heaven. For how long he knew not, Fletcher revelled in the bliss, the absolute joy of no pain for the first time in over a hundred years until just a slight sob penetrated the fog of his euphoria. With a horrified gasp he snatched his hands back, convulsing as the searing agony returned. It was a few seconds before he could once more look at her. Though apart from a slight whitening around her cheeks, she looked none the worse for wear. She smiled fondly at him. ‘Thank you.’ he sighed, for the first time since childhood filled with such love it almost blotted away the pain.
‘So we may not touch, but you can still love me.’
All this will probably change in the first edit but for the moment this is how it's shaping up.