The air was filled with a constant roar now, a sound so loud and all consuming it was enough by itself to flood them with terror. Each beat of Brian’s heart thumped through his body. Elyse lay at his feet, breathing but alive, and smiling a beautiful, bloody smile.
‘I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘I went too far this time.’
‘It’s okay,’ she said. ‘It’ll keep us alive for the rest of it. It’ll keep us till the others get back, or till the rocks up there come smashing down here.’ She sounded drunk, and he remembered how that was, when you took just a little more than you needed and you figured you’d never have to feed again. He didn’t want to tell her he was still burning. Just a little, but it was there.
‘Brian,’ she said.
‘Yeah?’ He looked at his feet because he was afraid to look at her, see what he’d done to her. He was faint from blood loss himself and the sand was a darker red in a wide patch around them.
‘Come lie with me a second.’
He glanced up at the sky of comets and his skin prickled, as though it could sense the destruction. He took a breath of the rich air and lay down beside her once again. She looked at him, her brown eyes swimming with fear and sadness, searching his own as if they might hold some hope. ‘Kiss me,’ she said.
He leaned in, and for a few minutes all he felt was her tongue and the warmth of her tears on his face and that heavy, bone deep roar in the sky, like the world was about to blow apart. I hope it happens before I forget who I am. I just don’t want to forget.
Not long, now.