Beneath the dim brilliance of the night, and the additional, crackling light of the lit torches scattered around the vicinity, a pair of green, gentle eyes intently watched the silhouette of a familiar young woman with unbound curls, and dark skinned complexion.

All other details to her being were shaded from his vision.

His lips whispered a smile when he noticed the shout of a laugh she released, her head falling back joyously. Her hand fell upon her mouth, but she didn't try to muffle the laughter that almost caused Sergei to move towards her.

To ask her to dance. And to plead her to remember him.

His smile faltered.

He knew it was all too much to ask for. Approaching her would require him a type of boldness he still had not yet built up. Not needing to mention that asking her to dance would only confuse her.

And pleading her to remember him would too, be a meaningless act.

Even if she did want to remember him, she couldn't.

The monthly festivity for the Jubilee was highly surrounding the idea of allowing the women to ask those whom intrigued them most to dance.

Sergei snorted at himself, and tossed the last contents of his beverage to his constricting throat.

The liquid burned as it went down his esophagus, a disgusted expression fitting onto his face.

Sergei glanced down at the glass cup he still held, and frowned with realization.

The middle-aged woman who had served his beverage was snickering, as her malicious deed of switching his original drink for another succeeded.

He wanted to scowl at her, but instead turned away, and allowed once more for his eyes to rove among the exuberant crowd.

Sergei’s entire posture froze, as he beheld the dark brown young woman whom he had ached to talk to.

To touch and to hold.

Now with her close enough to fully take in, she was undeniably as beautiful as ever.

And it was inevitably evident, that the dress she wore, hinted with red, brilliant paint, had only accented her loveliness.

Her eyes glimmered with an emotion he knew was happiness. A frenzied happiness she had formed in being here.

There was a tug at his saddened heart in seeing that happiness now, justly before him.

An amused gaze fell upon his still frowning but somewhat startled expression. “May I have this dance?” Her hand extended in the space between them and for a long moment all Sergei could do was stare at the delicate offer. “I won't take no as an answer, just so you know.”

He lifted his gaze and found a knowing grin lacing her heart-shaped lips. In a silent answer to her, he took her hand. Sergei was beyond sure that his ability to speak had been locked away by the very way she possessed such rightness in herself.

Her fingers locked tightly around his hand as she guided him forward.

“Now, please don't step on my toes,” she pointedly glanced at the bareness of her feet, once she had directed him through the throng of the moving crowd, into the very center of all its chaos. “Too many men have already misstepped onto me this night.”

He nodded carefully, as she settled closer to him, boldly grasping for his other arm, and bringing it to her awaiting waist.

Sergei’s tenseness softened as her warmth met his skin, prickling him awake. “I'm not the best dancer, but I vow not to take advantage of the bareness of your feet.” His voice was equal amounts serious and teasing.

Those were his first words to her in what had been nearly a year.

A loose thread within him safely secured around the falling parts of himself..

She smiled, pleased with his answer.

They began to softly sway to the constant hum of music surrounding them. His feet padding a pursuit behind her, attentive on her one request from him.

And as the music continued, and so did their strengthening rhythm, a hand that had been upon the slope of shoulder dipped to the paint adorning his bare chest, her gaze was scrutinized, measuring.

A lurch to his heart rate began.

“Your paint’s lovely,” she complimented, her hand still poised upon his chest, but now falling directly over his heart.

It hummed. He hummed.

Hummed to how everything,

Everything with and about her had not changed.

Her voice, her expressions, her knowingness towards him.

Sergei somehow manage to steadily say, “I say the same of yours.”

Her eyes turned to take a look at what she wore, how the paint covering her marvelously suited her. They slowly returned to him, and said, “You're the first to comment upon it, so thank you.”

And though he knew - he knew without having to be reminded, that she couldn't remember him, her bright brown eyes gleamed at him so familiarly that he felt like falling on his knees, and pressing into her as he used to. To make her know how much he had missed her. How much he longed for her to be with him once more. How much he loved her.

They gleamed like before. In the manner they brightened with him, and when she laughed. When she accomplished something that had originally given her far many failures.

Finally, her voice broke his thoughts, brought him to realize and wonder how long had he stared at her gentle face as if he knew her.

He felt like throttling himself.

Her hand had found its way back to his shoulder.

“I'm Vasilisa, by the way,” she centimetered closer to him, ever so slight, ever so careful. “And your name is?”

Another lurch.

I know, I know, I know.

I know your name.

You know mine.

You have always known my name.

“Sergei,” he exhaled, trying his best to rein in control what she had stormed within him. “Sergei Malens.”

She stood on her toes, and stopped their swaying, her nose centimeters below his. “I hope to see more of you in my future, Sergei Malens.”

He soared.

Or his heart soared.

Or something in his love-ended mind told him, and made him believe
he soared with her words.

All he truly knew that night was his decided notion of not allowing their relationship to fade along with her lost memories.

He'd seal her to him.

Seal to not be pulled apart again.

And to remain together.

As one.