It was the unmistakable scent of vanilla, cherry blossom, and innocence that first captured his attention. It called to him, driving him insane until all he could think of was taking a taste of her supple skin and discovering if she really did taste as good as she smelled. For years, he resisted the urge, telling himself that she was too good, too pure, too innocent for someone like him. Still, in the dead of the night when everyone should have been lost to sleep, he would creep through the old house they had shared since the end of the war until he found himself at her bedroom door.
Every night was the same. He would stand by her door, one hand poised over the handle while the other rested against the worn wood. There he would stand, waiting for a sign that it was okay, that he could have this, have her. He wanted a sign that she wouldn’t turn him away. He longed to throw open her door, climb into the bed with her, and worship her body until the sun came up.
But night after night, all he did was wait by her door, listening to the small sounds she made as she slept. Later, after returning to his own room, he would fall into a fitful night of slumber plagued with dreams of her. In his dreams, he could tell her all the things he longed to say. In his dreams, she would never turn him away. In his dreams, she would welcome him into her arms and into her bed. In his dreams, the two of them would lose themselves in each other.
So, nighttime found him once more outside her door and once again, his head rested against the door as his hand settled over the handle. Shaking his head, he took a deep breath and took a step back, away from the door. His heart started to expand when the silence of the night was disturbed by a soft voice.