It was a warm summer night, the sky clear, blanketed with a sheet of black. Sparkling diamonds glittered, surrounding an orb much brighter than the rest, out shining them all. Soft rays of light scattered the lands, pouring down through the trees of the Miscree Forest. Deep within, there was a mournful cry, a soft voice, one that promised melody in laughter, yet it appeared trapped with torment.

There was a movement, silver tresses of hair fluttering with the soft breeze that whisked gently through the many turns of the forest. Held captive against a tree, was a young elven woman with light skin, so pale it was almost transparent. And her captor, a dark skinned drow, the darker race of the elves, and those that were forbidden. He held her pinned against the rough bark using his body, holding the woman's delicate hands above her head with his own.

"Why? he cried painfully, his face filled with anguish as his aqua eyes peering into the crying woman's lighter shade of lavender. "Why not me, Lyra?"

Lyra's body shook with her sobs as she drew her gaze away from her beloveds. She could not bring herself to look at him. Why? She did not know the answer herself to his question. If only her family and her race would allow them to marry. Secret friends since childhood, Tylen and herself grew to love quite deeply. Gods only know how much she loved him and how much she cursed her parents for arranging a marriage for her to someone she despised.

"Look at me!" Releasing a hand from hers, he lowered them to cup her chin, forcing her to again meet his stare.

"Why Lyra?" he asked his voice forced, but calmer. It hurt to treat her like this, and he didn't want to scare her, but he felt helpless despite the power he was using against her to hold her prisoner against her will so she would not run.

"I wish it 'twas you, Tylen. But you don't understand!"

"Don't understand? Damnit, Lyra, just leave with me! We can go away, far from here." He released her other hand to hold both sides of her jaw, the pads of his dark callused thumbs brushing her pale cheeks gently. "Please Lyra. Be my wife. Come away with me. I'll love you for all time, you know that. There is no question about it."

Another sob choked her. She wanted to just throw her arms around this man and cry yes! But no matter how much she wanted to follow her heart, she could not. They would be hunted for all their lives until they were found and punished for the crime. None were allowed to love or marry outside their own race, especially a drow. Punishment for that crime was not as simple as Lyra's peoples. For a drow to marry any other than another drow, they would be forced to watch the death of their mate, then be put to death themselves.

"I can't. I just can't." Lyra whispered, nearly sagging against him in defeat.

"No!" He let her go, thrusting himself away as if he had just been burned, but in truth, his heart burned. It craved for the love Lyra had shown him for so long, but was not able to give him fully. "You can! You just don't love me enough to marry me and come away with me."

"No Tylen, I do but-"

"I don't want excuses!" He narrowed his eyes on her. "No excuses." He studied her silently for a moment. "You love him, don't you?" he asked softly, almost fearing the answer.

"Tylen, I love you!" she moved toward him, her soft white gown hugging her tiny form, the skirt flowing with her steps.

"Then why do you not come with me?" His voice was so full torment; his dim glowing aqua eyes growing moist with unshed tears.

"Many would come after us, Tylen, you know that. If I were to marry you, being cast from my village and made an outcast would be my punishment. But you know the penalty of your own, Tylen."

Tylen turned his back to her but she continued forward. She slipped her arms around his narrow waist from behind, holding him close as she rested her cheek against his cloth back, feeling his long black hair against her flesh and the rough texture of his tunic. "I love you, Tylen, never doubt it. All my life I have loved no one but you. We are true mates, you and I, and nothing and no one can break that bond."

He closed his eyes, fighting the feelings that went through him. His thoughts raced, so many memories replaying all at once. Their time together as children, swimming in secret pool they had discovered, when she taught him to read and write after her own studies each day, and those many times they would lie in each others arms after they had grown older and discovered the ways of love.

Tylen's jaw clenched. If they separated now, he might possibly never see her again, or feel her soft touch, and most of all, never hear her sweet voice. She meant everything to him, more than his life.

He knew what had to be done.

Drawing a hidden dagger quietly from the sleeve of his wrist, he opened his eyes, and stared down at the deadly sharp point of the metal.

"I want to be with you, Tylen, but we can't." Lyra continued to mumble softly.

"We can"

Lyra stepped back, her arms falling to her sides. "Tylen, you must accept it. We would become the hunted!"

He turned slowly to face her. "No we won't." Tylen watched her eyes widen upon seeing the blade. "We will be free."

"Tylen, no…"

"Shh, my love." He reached out to her, snatching her against him before she could protest anymore. "All will be well."

She shook her head frantically as she began to struggle, but even when her life was threatened, her limbs felt heavy, "Tylen, you can't possibly do this."

"But I can."

Lyra stared at the blade with her lavender eyes, so full of fear and dread, but yet, so empty.

"Shh…" Tylen lowered his head and gently touched his lips to hers, kissing her softly for the last time. "I love you, Lyra, more than life. You are every breath with in me. We must be together."

"Oh Tylen, please don't…" tears streamed down her pale cheeks as she looked up at him. It didn't matter if he was doing this dreadful deed. She loved him no less.

He slowly brought the dagger into the hair, but stopped short as he stared down into the eyes of his loved one. He couldn't do it. Not too her. He would not spill her blood.

Lyra watched, silently pleading with him. He slowly began to lower the dagger and she knew then that he would not harm her.

Suddenly, he jerked; his eyes widening with surprise and pain as the dagger fell from his grasp, dropping to the ground with a dull thump beside them. He let out a wheezed breath, then slowly, blood trickled from the corner of his lips as he slumped to the forest floor.

"Tylen," she whispered in disbelief. "Oh gods no!" she cried as she spotted the arrow in his back after her had fallen. She dropped to her knees next to him, reaching out to touch his cheek, "Oh Tylen, please don't die."

He looked at her and with the last of his strength, eyes now glazed, and mouthed the words: I love you.

There was a rustling of leaves as a man stepped out from the bushes. "Lyra? Are you all right?"
Lifting her eyes, she spotted the man moving toward her slowly, the man her parents had arranged her to marry. Once Tylen's last breath had left his body, she had felt something within her die with him.

"Oh thank the gods you're all right. I saw him with the knife aimed to kill you and-"

"You killed him!" Lyra shrieked, her small hands upon Tylen's lifeless body. "Leave us!"

His face contorted into a mask of rage. "Of course I killed that dirty drow bastard! He was going to kill you!"

"You had no right!" She cradled the head of her dear Tylen in her lap, gently stroking his hair. "Oh Tylen, I love you so…" She didn't care anymore if her lovers killer heard. Nothing mattered anymore.

"Love him? Are you mad?!" The man began to stride toward her.

Seeing his movements, Lyra tensed. She would not leave Tylen. She thought she could, but now she couldn't, even in death. She should had left with him. Damn the consequences! They could have made it if only she would have gone.

The glint of the dagger that Tylen had held caught her eyes. She knew what she had to do to be with him. She snatched up the dagger and faced the one that she was pledged to, the one who had murdered her soul mate.

"Stay back!"

He came to an abrupt stop, his thin lips turning down into a deep frown. "Don't be silly, Lyra. Put that down."

She regarded him for a moment then glanced at Tylen's motionless body. Saying a silent prayer to the gods, she closed her eyes as she plunged the blade deep into her stomach. "Forgive me…my love…" she whispered with her last breath before she fell beside her beloved to join him for all eternity.

The man watched the scene silently then cursed. Dark eyes glared at the dead woman; the wench was he was supposed to marry to gain her father's fortune and land. With an enraged growl, he stalked off, leaving the couple to their solitude.