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6:00am, Galway City

The sun crept in through the window. Nathan lay on the top of his bed, as the light crept over his feet, then legs, then naked torso, then finally onto his face. His room lit up, the sun rising directly as it always did: right up his bed, right up to greet him as the day began, like it always did.

Never failing, never faltering, always that little anchor that dragged him from his sleep.

Well, when he slept.

Rubbing his face, he kicked himself around and off the bed, shaking his head as blood rushed suddenly to it. He looked at himself in the mirror that stood on the floor just opposite from his bed. Aside from a poster of Casper David Friedrich’s “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” that hung over his bed, it was the only other thing on the wall. He looked himself up and down quickly. Same old self, nothing new, nothing different.

Good, he thought to himself, just the way I like it.

He walked over to his dresser, situated just under the window, and opened the drawer. After rummaging around, he found one of his black turtlenecks and put it on. He’d slept in his jeans last night, too tired after returning from Dublin to bother getting properly undressed. The pair on would suit until he’d had a proper shower and change after breakfast.

He looked briefly out onto the street below. It was empty; cars lay at rest on the curb, no pedestrians, just as if the world had been put on pause, and someone was waiting to press the play button again.

Nathan turned, his eyes flashing as they caught the light, all the more dramatic for their incredible colour. It was time for the wolf-man of Galway to return to the fields.

***

Nathan E. Harris was not a sociable person in most peoples definitions. Most mornings he would simply slip away from the city before anyone from his neighbourhood was awake, let alone saw him. At least, this was the pattern of late. Since returning from his trip, Nathan found that he’d been unable to fully shake his wander lust, and spent most of his time in the hills and coasts surrounding Galway. Sometimes he read, sometimes he painted, or took pictures with his old Nikon, sometimes he just went to look, for what nobody really knew, not even Nathan himself. Sometimes these trips took him further afield, all the way to Dublin, and further still some of his friends would insist. All the way to Britain in fact, and though they had no idea why, they’d all decided it was for a girl, for what other reason was there for a man to drive that far on a clapt out old bike through rain and fog, for two or three bloody days straight.

He ate mostly around the same times: Breakfast at 7:00 at home, Lunch and dinner at 12:30 and 5:00 respectively, though their locations were rarely if ever the same. Then depending on his location, and more often than not mood, he’d either head home, or just unroll the sleeping bag he kept on the back of his bike, and sleep wherever he found himself.

Today was little different. Breakfast early, and early departure before the city around him stirred to see their wolfman depart. That was what so many called him, and he’d adopted the moniker almost with pride. It was definitely one of the more interesting things to be called. Besides, it gave them something to joke about, and few if any meant it with any real malice.

But today had one key difference from those other days, and that was that, for the first time, he did not ride out of his city alone.

***
12:32 am, Unnamed cliffs, three hours outside of Galway City

“So, what do you think then?”

Nathan smiled as he saw the expression on Emily’s face as she looked out on the cliffs. They stretched out on either side of the small outcropping they stood on, forming a U shaped natural bay, through which the sea rolled and crashed in huge white caps. Not the best place for a landing by boat, but for dramatic effect, there wasn’t a place on the island you could find better.

“This is....” she began, still wide eyed with wonder. “This is....”

“wait for it...” Nathan whispered under his breath.

“This is Brilliant!!” she exclaimed, her face breaking into a huge smile, her startlingly blue eyes glowing like sapphires in the moon and star light. “You must come here all the time! Its amazing here, absolutely perfect.”

“Well, almost” Nathan interjected.

Emily turned slowly to face him, a look of anticipation and slight confusion on her face. “I get the feeling your about to be clever in a flattering way, which I’m definitely not opposed to.”

Nathan smacked his forehead in mock dismay. “Ah, you’ve caught me! And it was such a good one I had coming to...”


Emily smiled again, oh that smile. She stepped forward, pressing herself against his chest, looking up at him with those sapphire pools. “Go on, tell me. You know you will anyway.”


Nathan grinned. “Well, Ms. Martin, I shall tell you. I’ve been coming here for, ooo about three years on and off now. This place is absolutely brilliant. I can’t think of another place in ireland, or even in europe I prefer. It was so close to perfect, I knew that I had to complete it with the one thing that it was missing.” He bent down slightly to whisper in her ear. “and heres the part where you get sarcy with me about being cheesy.”

Emily laughed, a clear sound that seemed to echo even over the roaring Atlantic below them. Then she reached up and kissed him.

And the moment was at last, perfect.

***

This was one of those nights when Nathan did not return home for the night. His father had no idea what he was really doing, and had gone to bed early, fully expecting that he would find his son passed out on his bed in the morning from a night galavanting with his friends, chasing girls and that sort of thing.

Instead, Nathan would fall asleep under the stars, with Emily cradled in his arms, and he in hers, as the ocean roared its approval, and the clock ticked closer to the dawn of a new day. A day that could not possibly be better than the one he had just left.

4:00am (12:00am EST) Three hours outside of Galway City

Emily is gently awakened by a light. Figuring it is dawn, but still half-asleep, she looks up. To see stars. The air is cool, but Nathan is warm beside her. She snuggles closer to him, and sees his body aglow with a heavenly light. Emily thinks she is still dreaming, but doesn't mind that too much. Her lover is bright, and so warm, so comforting. As if the dream is responding to her thoughts, the sleeping Nathan gives off even more heat and light. It fills her with heat, and scares the night away.

A voice, or more like a presence in Emily's mind speaks to her. In a strange dreamlike mannar, both with words, and yet beyond words. It seems to say, "don't be afraid or alarmed. He will be safe. And you will see him again."

And now the white body of light that is Nathan fades, and Emily once again falls asleep. But now she is alone.


---Prologues-->

----Chapter 1-->