On a warm autumn evening, two high school sweethearts walked along an old dusty path. They wanted to escape the village lights and find some refuge from the townspeople. Of course, spending a romantic evening under the stars wasn't entirely out of the question either. He carried a backpack with assorted goodies and a sleeping bag, to provide shelter against the cool evening breeze. The path led through a small forest which seemed to manifest eerie shadows of creatures hiding about the trees. She was somewhat afraid, her senses heightened, but he assured her that he wouldn't leave her side. He was a little frightened too, but knew the other side of the forest harbored an oasis of coziness ideal for young lovers. The thin crescent moon found it's way over the horizon reflecting the waning rays of the sun to the tree tops. As they entered the forest they noticed many leaves scattered about the path. Giant oak and maple trees littered the landscape, draping their branches over the trail. The smell of autumn was already in the air which added a little familiarity and comfort to their senses. To ease her fears he commented on the distinct smell of the autumnal forest. At that moment an ensemble of nocturnal movements and sounds suddenly brought the forest to life. Tiny animals scurried through the leaves and into their holes for the night. She noticed the peculiar sounds of creatures calling their little ones home; wood thrushes, sparrows, mice, and even an owl. Of course, the owl wasn't calling but was listening for the first chance to predate a late evening meal. Tree branches whispered quietly as the treetops swayed gently in the breeze. They stopped at her request to close their eyes and listen. They stood only for a moment when she realized that the forest wasn't a desolate wasteland waiting to catch the next victim in it's snare. It was a melody of beauty and most enchanting, even in the dark. As he listened he felt the warm rush of her hand slip into his jacket pocket, carefully sliding her fingers between his. This simple act stimulated the deepest parts of his soul and he caught himself losing his breath. If there were a way to describe butterflies, this was it. He clasped her hand and gently pulled it free from his jacket. With his eyes still closed he brought her hand to his face, lightly rubbed it against his while inhaling the scent of vanilla that evaporated from her soft skin. Even the loudest orchestration of mother natures wildest creatures wouldn't have stirred his passion. He was lost with just a breath. The sound of a hawk screeching in the night brought him back to his senses. He noticed that she had been watching him gaze, eyes wide shut, devouring even the smallest crumbs that she had to offer. His attentiveness caught her unguarded. She noticed him paying attention to every detail. It seemed that even her hair flowing gently in the breeze didn't go unnoticed. Amazed and delighted she scurried away playfully into the night, adding to the ensemble of noises wafting through the forest. He followed fast behind, kicking up leaves, breaking branches, enjoying every ounce of natures grandeur. Mother nature has a way of captivating the senses, bringing light to the darkest places while dissolving fear with her universal solvent of artwork on the grandest scale. Their fears had long past by the time they made their way out of the forest. They discovered a small field with a few hills but surrounded by the forest on all sides. A fenceline bisected the field and ran stright up a hill to the base of a great oak tree. They conversed for a few moments and decided to trek along the fenceline and settle atop the hill next to the Oak. It would be the perfect place for a night under the stars. They made their way slowly up the hill. They found that even after adjusting to the dark it was still slightly difficult to navigate. The moon provided almost no comfort since it was still just a sliver in the sky. With her hand in his they completed their tour to the hilltop. Some wooden cross beams from the fence had rotted and shattered through the years. She found one of them to be a temporary respite while he unpacked and laid out the sleeping bag. They were both still a little nervous as he called to her to join him. She sat beside him, yearning for the best but honestly hoping to have her hand in his or perhaps his arms around her to offer some protection from the unknown. She was still settling in when he yelled for her to look at the sky! She looked just in time to catch a falling star! It was so exciting. She was sure that she'd never seen a falling star before. He described the dynamics of the event while telling stories of falling stars in the early 19th century that sent townspeople into utter chaos as they thought the world was ending. He pointed out constellations and wove tales of greek mythology while parading his knowledge of the sky. She found herself lost in his words and noticed a peculiar trend. Most of the stories were about starcrossed lovers, and Herculean heros who rescued the damsel in distess. She'd try to catch him with things he didn't know. "What's that?" she'd ask. "Betelgeuse", he'd exclaim. "And theres Mars, see how it doesn't twinkle? There's the north star." Then he'd pause, "and there's the big dipper. see it!" She was taken by his excitement for the stars. Occasionally she'd stop him and offer to tell her own version of a story. She'd point at a couple of stars and make something up. They'd laugh and snuggle closer to one another. The moon navigated it's way to the nadir and they both opted to lay down to watch it cast its spell on the skies. She rolled on her side next to him and pointed to a constellation sneaking above the horizon. He explained the mythology while catching her breath against his cheek. He didn't turn to her for fear of being captured by her beautiful blue eyes. He continued to stare off into the darkness explaining the rotation of the earth and how the constellations drift across the sky from west to east. She draped her arm over his body, snuggled up next to him and closed her eyes. He reached over and began to run his fingers through her silky hair. She quietly gasped, lay her head on his chest and began to drift in and out of a well orchestrated dream. She wondered if he had the same kind of dreams. The ones where you are still awake and you direct the dream to your advantage. She imagined herself crawling closer to him and pulling his face to hers. She dreamt of the deep kisses and the warmth of his body as she crawled on top of him. She found herself engulfed and lost in his breath. He could feel her heartbeating through her blouse and in a moment of insanity begged for her to make love with him! She screamed "yes"! and with the scream woke from the dream. He began to laugh and joked that he hoped her dream was more exciting than looking at the stars. She giggled wildly and apologized. Then she assured him that she couldn't recall the dream and asked him to go on with his stories. Her listlessness and the way she had woken with a "yes" seemed like an invitation of sorts. He wasn't sure if she was agreeing with his suggestions that they cuddle up next to the tree for a first kiss or if she actually had been dreaming. She started counting the stars, pointing as she tallied them up. He reached for her hand and helped her navigate from one constellation to the next. They had just begun to enjoy their new game when they heard a wolf howling in the distance. They picked up the bag, scurried to the tree and cuddled up. She found herself crawling between his legs and laid her back against his chest. He gently wrapped his arms around her shoulders and rested his hands on hers and assured her that wolves don't eat people. As they sat there she realized the sounds of the wolves in the distance were another beautiful display of nature. She smiled and snuggled even closer while he wrapped his arms around her shoulders and allowed them to come to rest on her hands. Then he wrapped his legs around her body and draped his head over her shoulder gently placing his cheek next to hers. He whispered in her ear how beautiful she looked this evening. She thanked him for the complement and the wonderful evening. For many minutes they stared to the skies on the horizon. The oak tree stood proud and protected them from the wolves cries while sheltering them from a late summer dew. At one point she gently wrestled from his arms and turned to face him. She stood to stretch and then slowly lowered herself and sat on top of him, wrapping her legs around his body. The warmth or her thighs created an avalanche of excitement. This time he couldn't look away. She cornered him, forcing him to look into her eyes. Her eyes cried for a kiss and he slowly acceded to her intimate, silent demand. In a moment they would devour one another, hands groping wildly, hearts racing. He laced his fingers through her hair and pulled her mouth closer to deepen the kisses. She didn't mind. There is a moment during intimate encounters when irrational desire dethrones common sense. Every word, every kiss, every touch absolves the most inhibited celebant, hypnontizing the senses. The taste of her breath was of honey. He imagined himself making love with her, aching for her, to experience the inner parts of her soul. In the moment, passion overruled sense and they quickly spread out their bag and drew off their coats. He began to unbutton her blouse and noticed that it was paper thin. Her breasts slowly appeared through her satin camisole or was it lace? He didn't know the difference. He just wanted to feel her soft, tender skin. In that moment she gasped and lay herself on the blanket. Only half naked, he lay on top of her and continued to navigate his way along her hips and stomach with his lips. An occasional nibble drove her to the point of small, tempered screams. He found her breasts, her neck, her lips as she wrapped her legs around him and pulled her hips to his. She stopped only for a breath and to beg for him to take her. Many moments passed, both minds confused, dazed, irrational, and in the height of the nearly perfect night capped off with amazing moments of the possibility of making love, he doused the flames of desire as he moved from her body and lay by her side. He covered her breasts, still exposed to the cool evening breeze, rethinking his decision to quench the heated moment of desire. With his mind still racing, and exitement coursing through their bodies, he whispered, "I want you, but not tonight beautiful lady". If a woman could ever define true intimacy, this would be the moment. She lay still and looked to the stars. One moment unabated sexual desire, the next, a calm sense of peace. A single tear trailed down her cheek as she realized just how wonderful the experience had been. He had a beautiful woman lying next to him, vulnerable, juices flowing, heart pounding, begging him to penetrate the very fibre of her life and he quietly declined. She looked into his eyes, snuggled up next to him and quietly voiced, "I love you". She put her arms around him, looked over his shoulder to the distant lights of the town and smiled. She was at peace, with the man she loved, and in her heart she knew that the night was still young.