"Smitten with an unobtainable person... it is painful and delicious. I know the drill."
"You are smitten with the unobtainable?"
"Am I? Yes, presently and previously. And by the sound of it, you have been the same."
"I'm in a state of perpetual infatuation with someone or something... it is my nature to covet."
They were whispering over empty cups of coffee, having already enjoyed an hour or more of pure conversation. Drinking warm confection was not enough; they were drinking each other's words at a pace that seemed easy, but was secretly desperate. She leaned in conspiratorially.
"The truth is, I'm drawn to you."
She bent her head, eyes cast upward in a classic look of innocense and humility. Golden rings encircled each dark pupil; the blue of each iris seemed the color of harmony. All the same, this would never be enough. He shook his head and teetered his oversized mug, peering down at the filmy remnants of sugar. He set the cup down with decision, setting his jaw as he returned her gaze. Those eyes. How was he going to say this?
"Please, you don't have to say anything. I know it was stupid of me to say."
"It's not that, it's just...."
"You're speaking in ellipses. I know what that means."
She stood up without warning, chair raking more dramatically across the tiles than she'd wanted. He sprang to his feet after her, hand clasping over her wrist tightly. His grip felt like a hot brand, green eyes scalding as he willed her to look into them. This was the moment when she'd attain her prize, the goal of their entire relationship, the climax. She held her breath and wheeled around.
"I love you, Anne. I love you. Please, don't go."
And with all the bravado of a fading thunderstorm, her longing dissipated. She had what she wanted, and suddenly didn't crave it quite so badly. She bit her lip and nodded, stepping into him, lips parting to kiss his delicately. As her tongue lashed over the warmth of his mouth, she heard him moan inwardly. She drew back and searched his eyes, her own tearing up slightly.
"That's the problem."
And like that, she was on to the next.
A duel, with a worthy opponent.