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The Black Kiss

His heart thrashes against my hand. It’s so fragile. His breathing quickens, sweat erupting over his body as I’m straddling him. He strains against the shackles keeping him a prisoner of my bed.

“Please,” he begs.

I smile and kiss his heart. It hammers on his rib cage, desperate to be released. The tip of my blade traces a heart over it, leaving a trail of crimson kisses in its wake.

He hisses in pain so I silence him with a kiss as I coax the blade through the wound. He pushes against me and bites my lip, almost screaming. I pull away, feeling my blood wash over my tongue, tasting it at the back of my throat. I carve out my artwork and put it beside him on the bed. I watch his heart beating through his ribs.

I push the gag into his mouth.

“It’ll only hurt for a second,” I stroke his face and kiss him again, the blood from my lips staining his.

Taking my bone cutters, I cut through his ribs and finally, hold his heart in my hand. Its power pulsates through my skin. I reach into my black calf length boot and pull out the love spoon he gave me this morning. I slot it under the heart then use my blade to sever the heart’s mortal coil. It fights for a few seconds before lying still. As I watch the life fade from it, I feel closer to him than I’ve ever felt to anyone.

His naked chest is decorated with scarlet splatters, like he’s covered in rose petals, though this image will never feature on Valentine’s cards. Blood slips through my fingers and drips onto his stomach like confetti from the wedding of the damned.

I climb off him and remove a box from my bag. I ease the heart into it and nestle it amongst the ice. It’s more unique than pink champagne. I shower then spend an hour cleaning up. I remove his gag and shackles then take his heart shaped flesh downstairs and place it in the middle of the dining table. I sprinkle heart shaped sequins over the table then return to the bedroom. Deep down, I’m a hopeless romantic.

“Like I promised, gone before your girlfriend comes round for your romantic meal. Happy Valentine’s Day.” I give him a gentle kiss then slip out the door.

And like he promised, his heart belongs to me.

I watch him browsing the Valentine’s cards, wondering whether they sell one saying ‘roses are red, violets are blue, I’m shagging someone else, whilst saying I love you.’ It would make Valentine’s more interesting. Who wants cute teddy bears and empty sentiments? I sneak up behind him and pinch his backside. He whirls around, his eyes widening.

“D! What are you doing here?”

“Stalking you,” I kiss him.

“Samantha’s outside.”

“How romantic, sitting in the car while you buy her commercialised emotions and wilting flowers. Or are the flowers symbolic of your love? Once in bloom but like everything else, now dying?”

“So cynical,” he kisses me, one hand caressing my arse, the other playing with one of my plaited bunches. “I promised I’d take her out for a romantic meal tonight.”

“Wow. You’re so original. Let me guess – you’re buying her heart shaped chocolates and red roses from the petrol station.”

“It’s what she wants.”

“What I want isn’t on any menu.”

He grins and pretends to rip out his heart. “You already have my heart.”

I smile and imitate pocketing it. “I’ll keep it on ice.”

His exhausted body trembles beneath mine. His fingers trace the tattoo in the centre of my back – two hearts entwined around a dagger and sealed with a black kiss.

“Did Samantha enjoy her Valentine’s cliché?” I ask, sweeping my hair back, my plaits tickling my bare shoulders.

“She loved it so let me out for a drink with the boys.”

I glance at the clock. Not yet midnight. “I’m not one of the boys,” I smile teasingly, tracing my fingers around his heart. It responds eagerly, pounding my name, desperate to belong to me. “Where’s my present?”

“You hate Valentine’s.”

“You promised me your heart.”

“Would you like it gift wrapped?”

“No, just beating.”

I plunge the dagger into his chest. He gasps and writhes, but this time, not with pleasure. Betrayal darkens his eyes. He can’t understand how I can make him come alive then lead him into death while the sweat cools on our bodies.

I carve the heart shaped wound while he implores me to stop. Moments ago he’d begged me for more. I tear the flesh away, laughing as my prize thrashes like a caged beast. His dying breath tantalises my ears, the sweetest whisper from a lover’s lips. I stroke the love spoon, this one carved with a key, a small heart in the key’s eye, before using it to free his heart from the black hole in his chest. I cut it free then kiss him before laying the heart gently aside. I dress in a black satin robe and take the heart downstairs.

The table is set for a romantic meal for one. The flickering flame bathes my skin in a fiery glow. The heart is slippery, exquisite. I can taste his life, his love with each delicious bite. Already I feel myself becoming regenerated. I’m more alive in this moment than I have been my entire life. A ruby teardrop snakes down my lips, warm and metallic, the aftertaste lingering on my tongue awakening beautiful, forbidden memories.

I study the picture opposite me. The woman’s long plaits brush her shoulders. Blood trickles from the corner of her mouth, streaking her chin. I wipe my blood away and slowly it disappears from the picture. I smile at her. St Dwynwen. She devoted herself to protecting lovers. Now my lovers protect me. In their deaths they bring me to life.

Everyone loves a heart on Valentine’s Day.

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