The book laid open upon the desk. The poems of Catullus were printed in stark text upon white pages, latin upon the left page and english upon the right. One in particular was set out for me to view.
- "Odi et amo. quare id faciam fortasse requiris?
- nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.'"
- I hate and I love. Why I do this, perhaps you ask?
- I do not know, but I feel it happening and I am tortured.
A slender finger captured a lock of hair that fell from my temple and ensnared itself within, tugging lightly and pulling my face back to look on the book. The hand at my back moved around to sit at my stomach as he embraced me. I took in a slow breath, I could nearly taste the coppery scent of heat that came from him. It was something I always associated with heated metal, though I was never quite sure why. His lips brushed against my ear as I looked back at the book. Softly he said, "Thine heart, so full of hate towards such a pitied child. Eyes gazing upon her with such hard anger. And yet, love deep as the river hurling to the ocean overwhelms thee. That girl with eyes like the sky and moods of the ocean hates herself but loves herself. Such confusion. Such pain. How shall we heal her?"
"I don't know," I answered. My heart hurt. My eyes ached with the promise of weeping. "Let me be," I said weakly, "There is no hope for me." The hand that was twined in my hair settled against my cheek. I closed my eyes and struggled with the urge to nuzzle the warmth of that touch.
"Would you know more?" he asked me.
I felt the urge to step away, to flee from him and the feelings that were stirred. I could not, though, because he held me firmly against himself and the desk was before me. "Go away," I whimpered, "Just go. I'm ... I'm not worth this."
He chuckled. "That is not a 'no', dear heart," he said, "I know your lies as my own. I shall tell you the truth, however, because it is what you need." Tears found their way out beneath my lowered eyelids. "All chains shall be broken," he purred in my ear, "All truths shall be revealed. You shall be free, sweetling. You shall be yourself, as you were born to be. And that is good. And worthy. Worthy of far more than me."
Quietly I wept. Terror flooded my veins, but still he held me. His lips pressed softly against my cheek. "Truth shall free you, dear," he whispered against my cheek. I shivered but could say nothing.