Borealis did not sleep long though his still clouded mind made him think that hours have passed since he fell into sleep. The cloud beneath his body felt nice and comfortable. It was tempting to simply remain on its soft surface yet once the thought of his mission cut through the fog of his mind he could not fall asleep again.
The reign of the night was not over but in few hours the moon would disappear behind the horizon and make place for the sun. Mere thought of the sun and its warm shine made Borealis shiver. Quickly he wrapped himself with chunks of the cloud which turned out to be an great protection against the cold winds. Compared to the winds of the Underground it was nothing but the short stay in the magical land of Equestria did have some effect on him. For months the stallion did not feel save and peaceful as now but it saddened him that his brethren were not sharing this experience with him.
His tufted ears were catching various sounds which were mixing up in the wind but one particular sound caught his attention. It was humming. Somepony was humming a song not so far away from him. Slowly the stallion got up making the cloud split in small parts which disappeared like vapor. His mane was immediately caught by the winds soft grasp but it only end up ruffling his grey hair. Blinded by his own hair Borealis cursed silently and quickly grabbed it with his hooks. It did not take long and he found the source of the humming. Not so far away from his own location was a mare who seemed to be busy with something. Borealis realized right away that she was not wearing anything. Her clothes were properly stacked next to her. Unlike the two twin sisters she was not wearing armor but a lovely dress made out of the softest cloth of the Underground.
As unlikely it may sound it was an creation of the sturdy Minotaurs who found a way of combining caught light with silk. The result was often breath taking for each tailor could create cloths that were always original. Copies were rarely found or better said created for the possibilities given to the tailor seemed nearly endless. Her dress had the color of purest silver which seemed to play along perfectly with the shine of the moon. Runes were decorating every inch of the dress. On the very first look one could see that the colors within the runes were moving. They reminded him of slowly flowing rivers if somepony would ask his opinion. It was quite hypnotizing once the eye was caught this unusual sight but as much craftsmanship and love were put into the dress... the eye would quickly find a new distraction.
The very distraction would be the wearer of the dress. Her fur was creamy blue although it was lighter than of Princess Luna. It was playing along perfectly with the colors and affections of the attire. Her hair had a very delicate touch of silver mixed up with the wonderful shine of the moon itself. Although right now nopony would be able to see it she had beautiful emerald cat like eyes.
They were not very rare among Borealis's kind but for him this eyes were very special. Quietly he came closer to the mare who was still unaware of him being awake. The soft ground of the cloud allowed him to move quietly and even the wind was on his side. Once he was close enough he recognized the song which turned out to be a lullaby. Borealis smiled and touched her Cutiemark with his hook.
Instantly the humming ended and a shiver went through her body. Slowly and passionate he moved his hook towards her neck. The mare let out soft moans and turned her head to him after she felt the gentle embrace of his hook. Their eyes met and once more and not for the last time both lost each other in them. She placed her own hook on his and lead it to her cheek. With closed eyes she leaned forward and kissed Borealis. The time seemed to have stopped for a while and all the problems of this world and the world beneath them faded away. Sadly everything would come to an end eventually and the enchantment of this moment was blown away by the cold winds.
Their lips separated from each other with noticeable hesitation. The stallion pulled her closer to himself and was about to cover her body with his wings until he noticed what she was doing before he interrupted her. It seemed that she was carving something out of a small wooden block. Quickly she hid it from him though and leaned her head against his.
"Uh uh uh my dear." She said with hush tone. He felt her lips on his cheek. "It is not ready yet."
"I hope that I did not scare you?" Borealis smiled happily and nuzzled her. Purple blush appeared on her cheeks what made her even more beautiful. She was about to say something but suddenly her ears went up and quickly she released herself of his wings. It happened so fast and so unexpected that it felt like a hit in the face.
"What's the matter Lyria?" The Delegate of Nocturia could handle many situations but for this one he was simply not prepared. The mare who has stolen his heart just rejected him.
"Somepony could see us Borealis..." She was not looking at him while answering this question. Nervously she was holding both hooks together hiding her body underneath them. Right away he understood what was bothering her. Borealis was born in an wealthy and influential family while Lyria was a mare that was considered a simple commoner. A commoner who managed to claw her way up to the Delegates of Nocturia. Despite all the effort, time and love she put into her work she often was a victim of high born individuals. They met ten years ago on a mission that lead them to the labyrinths of the Minotaurs.
Since that day they were working together and often they stopped unnecessary violence and bloodshed with their combined powers. Eventually they both fell in love... but they were hiding it on the behalf of Celia. She loved him this was sure but she was afraid that the society would not accept their relationship. Also she has dedicated her life for Nocturia.. Lyria feared that this relation could threat the investment of her life and the sacrifice of her parents for her only daughter. Deep in his heart he understood her fears better than anypony else.
Borealis took a deep breath and came closer to her. He placed his hook under her chin and gently lifted it up. Again their eyes met but this time he could see signs of fear and frustration instead of passion and love.
"Lyria let us end this charade once and for all. " He helped her to stand up and touched her cheek. Despite her fears she did welcome his gentle affections. "We know each other for a very long time now. I understand..."
"Borealis..." She tried to say something but his free hook laid down on her lips.
"Please do not interrupt me. I was thinking for a very long time about us... and our duty." Though she was a little bit annoyed she did keep listening to him. "There is nothing I would not do for you. I would be willing to give up my heritage without an hesitation if my family would be against our love. I would even give up being an Delegate."
Once she heard that he could see how shocked she was about his statement. For she has learned long ago to see if he was lying or not.
"We both love our duty my dear but my love for you is greater than this." He grabbed her hooks with his own. It felt nice to feel her embrace right now even though she was shivering. "I have enough of this secrecy Lyria... please let us stop this and let the world know that we love each other."
She sighed and leaned her head against his. "But what about your family? I know that they do not like me... but family is the most important thing in this world. And I do know that your parents would do anything for you." Borealis let out a short yet very sad chuckle.
"Since I've taken the burden of being the Delegate of our nation I have lost any contact with my parents. The last time I've heard of them was through an sealed letter:
< We will welcome you back if you will leave that mare. > In truth the message was far worse but he kept the details for himself. Just knowing how long his family thought of the commoners was disgusting him.
"I will not allow that my father will rule over my destiny and my heart. Also..." Their eyes met again.
"I am aware of it that certain letters have been send to you. And I do know the content of them."
The way she look at him right now made him believe that she was looking at an headless stallion. He might lose his head actually if he would use the wrong words now. She hated it when he looked over her bags but once he found about the letters he had to do it. For her sake.
"You were being threaten and blackmailed by some individuals whose names I will not mention now. I know them... and I know their connections and wealth. But please be assured that they cannot threat you in any way. They are simply jealous of your successes and most importantly your talents."
Lyria relaxed a little bit he could feel it through his hooks. Slight signs of blush covered her cheeks though in the night the most ponies would not have noticed it. Her front leg found its way to his chest and remained at his heart. Right now Celia could feel the heart that was beating only for her... and Nocturia.
"As I already said I was thinking about this dilemma for quite a while. I have come to an conclusion! Let's assume, theoretically speaking. "He quickly pointed it out after her grip tightened. "If you would lose your status I would be still able to take you under my wings as my partner. I would stand against any accusations thrown at you and vouch that I do not know a more devoted daughter of Nocturia in our Kingdom. This would make you virtually immune to the grasp of the spoiled brats who were blackmailing you."
For a moment Lyria was processing what she just heard. A vouch among the Nocturian community was something of great importance among the tribes. Most importantly it also showed unquestionable trust towards an individual below the earth. Trust is never easily acquired especially in this dark times but gladly it did not become an icon of long passed age of prosperity.
Her lips trembled and her ears went down after realizing how much trust he put into her.
"T-this could really work..." It sounded like a whisper of a distant wind even if Lyria was standing in front of him. Borealis realized that she was at the verge of tears and gently he nuzzled her.
"What? Lyria... Lyrii what?" He often talked liked that to her when he found her crying. She always tried to hide her tears away from the world and hid in places where she hoped to not be found. Yet he knew her very well and nearly always found her in pretty hideouts. The mare grew used to his company in this moments and this very words eventually made her fall for him.
"Please do not cry." Though her eyes were already teary she smiled at him happily and pressed herself against him. The weave of his leathery wings embraced her and pleasant warmth filled her heart. For a while he let her catch her breath and calm herself while he granted her the feeling of safety and also providing protecting from the cold autumn winds.
"I am such a stupid cow." Lyria broke the silence and wiped away her tears before they would stain his attire. She actually corrected some creases she noticed while she continued. "I should have thought of this right away... but fear blinded my thoughts nearly instantly. What kind of an Delegate am I if I cannot maintain control over my own feelings?"
"Well we all have such moments of weakness. After all we are simple subjects. Fallible and yet capable of great things. I still remember the time when you were facing the Minotaur guards demanding to be let in into the labyrinth. The poor lads did not know about our arrival and were simply doing their duty. I've seen many Minotaurs in my life but these two were mountains compared to their brethren. And a small mare opposed them without any fear while I was sweating and their mere sight."
Borealis felt how she pressed herself even closer to him. His wings and body reacted quicker than him what surely was noticed by the mare.
"You were the one who gave me the courage to face everything." As simple as this message was it made his chest fill with pride while in his heart he felt an eruption of feelings.
"Please forgive me that I did not tell you about the letters..."
The mere thought of the various ponies and diamond dogs who blackmailed her only because they loved each other filled his mind with anger. But the anger was quickly pushed away by Lyria's aura and her affections towards him. He leaned his head against her hair and silently he sniffed it. Her perfume had a quite alluring scent but on the other hand it reminded him of his homeland.
"I need you Lyria. I need you now, I will need you tomorrow and I will always need you for the rest of my li..." He did not end the sentence for Lyria kissed him. He was actually surprised first. His wide open eyes were the best evidence for that but as fast as it came as fast it faded away. The stallion closed his eyes and tasted his beloved until their lips separated from each other. Both were quietly gasping for air. Small clouds of vapor vanished into the night while the two bat ponies were still feeling their beloved taste on their tongues.
"Oh by the way Borealis..."
Before he could ask he felt a terrible pain coming from his ribs. She hit his ribs with her hoof!
"If you will ever again look through my bags I swear next time I will aim lower."
Her kick was strong enough to press out the entire air out of his lungs. Though it did happen several times to him he always forgot about this painful detail. A stallion should always keep his hooves away from a mare's bag but certain circumstances forced him to do so.
"Yes milady..." Was the only thing he managed to say after new air filled his lungs.
His beloved looked annoyed at him what only made him laugh quietly. She also joined him their melodically laughter filled the air until, without any warning, she pounced him. Like small children they were rolling on the surface of the cloud, reshaping it here and there. Eventually the game ended and Lyria was the one who was on the top. Playfully she pressed him against the ground.
"Do you surrender milord?"
"Do I have a choice in this matter?" She only smiled happily at him and with her hooks she removed some fragments of the cloud, which were strong enough to not vaporize, out of her and his mane. Silence has befallen them and the world itself it seemed to him because they got lost in their eyes again. The frustration was gone as was the fear he has seen moments ago and now happiness took its place. But Borealis noticed something else as well in her pretty eyes. It was desire.
While they were rolling around some of his buttons went open. Lyria was inspecting this places properly and soon she started to open his attire with slow yet elegant moves of her hooks. The stallion did not stop her nor had he the intention to do so.
"The night is still not over yet... and it has been a while my dear Delegate." Her calm voice had a very strong effect on his body and her eyes simply gave him the rest.
"What if somepony will see us hmm?"
"Then they will see a mare and a stallion who love each other." Lyria did look a little bit shy while she answered him but signs of confidence and happiness were written in her body language. Her cheek had a pretty dark purple tone what only increased her affliction upon him. Gently he performed a roll and looked at his heart with love written in his eyes. Lyria's chest was moving up and down quickly while she investigated the stallion who seemed to be bathing in the shine of the moon. Borealis leaned forward and only centimeters were separating their lips from each other. Both of them could feel their beloved warm breath on their skin.
"Amin mela lle." It meant I love you in the tongue of the Nocturians. A slight gasp went out of her and it seemed that she also stopped to breath. But quickly she regained control over herself. That was the Celia he knew and loved.
"Mela en' coiamin." His heart made a very strong beat for she has just called him the love of her life. Their bodies felt like they were on fire while their lips and tongues found each other and only the moon was the witness of the passion that found place on the cloud that night.