With a slight look of regret, Snape further offered, "It was an invitation I could not refuse."
The dark-haired witch forced a huff, trying to give him a convincing scornful look, but quickly failed. Her proud, poised body wilted momentarily in defeat before defiantly thrusting her shoulders back in a well-trained stance.
Severus’ eyes fell upon her exposed silky flesh, so softly highlighted in the dim light from the cavernous arch-filled room’s stained-glass windows seeping in. In her enticing, burgundy-red gown, he inwardly admired her bared shoulders and the décolleté he had pressed his lips onto, one too many times.
The bewitching brunette asked, "And now you will leave? Just like that?"
"I have fulfilled my obligation to them."
"And to me?" The witch’s voice grew insistent, desperate. "To me? "
She stepped towards him slowly.
His onyx orbs glittered as he watched her approach. Her graceful control struggled to contain her explosive sexuality which he knew of all too well. He took in her statuesque, voluptuous form. Severus could not deny that the witch always stirred a burning desire deep within. As she placed her delicate hand on his chest and gazed up at him with her oval hazel eyes, his muscles tightened throughout his body in pleasure.
Her touch always could undo him.
Giving a fleeting glance around the cavernous room, its heavenly clouded-relief motif adorning the arched ceiling’s surfaces, he noted the dull hum of a wedding reception celebration with a flick of his head. In the distance, a grandiose melody was heard overpowering the hum, but still it reached him muffled by the thick, ancient stone walls of the structure. But we are alone. Quite alone… Must be discreet… as always. Severus clasped and brought her hand to his lips, kissing the palm passionately.
As he lowered the fragranced palm, her lips replaced where her moist palm had just been and pressed hungrily against his lips, demanding that the Potions Master not ignore her. Not ignore her uncontrollable need for him.
She broke the kiss, only to whisper longingly, "Night after night, I have awaited you. Day after day, I have looked for any sign, any augury, from you…"
"I never promised you anything further than what we have, time to time, mutually agreed to and shared."
Dogmatically, he repeated, "You agreed. You assured me that you were fully satisfied with the arrangement—"
"Only because you wanted me to—only because it was the only way to insure that there would be another time—that you would come to me again."
Severus masked his anger. "Then, you have not been honest with me?"
The witch focused on a multi-coloured stained-glass window, refusing to answer.
"You expected me to reciprocate that which I told you from the beginning I could not give you?"
Under his brutal reminder, she pleaded in her frustration, "Has nothing changed?"
"So much, and yet, so little."
The witch began to sob, and then, just as abruptly, she stopped, visibly mustering her control as she tartly stepped back from Severus and raised her head high, but her eyes were set downcast, focused on the amber-patterned carpet that Snape’s shadow fell upon.
"You abandon me, then? Once and for all?"
"Please, no dramatics—"
"You leave me to be at their mercy?" The witch’s voice strained with her growing desperation.
"Return to them—"
"No!" she screamed, the sound resounding in the high-arched room. "I thought… With time, I thought, you would forget about her… You would find a place in your heart… for me… for me, Severus…"
Her lips quivering in high emotion, she wept silently, the tears streaming down her face as she gazed at him accusatorily.
The sight of her so disheveled broke his controlled façade for a moment, and he took a step towards the highly distressed witch.
"Don’t come near me," she bitterly warned.
Severus stopped in his tracks.
A wild look had flashed across her face, and in a second, she prepared herself to Apparate.
Severus froze, knowing well the volatile moods that ran in her family and the dangerous actions which could result from them.
"Don’t do it," he clipped out. Calmly, Severus pointed out, "Your family will be wondering where you are if you don’t return to the banquet now. I’ll escort you back—"
"And then what? Immediately leave? Abandon me? Leave me to be married off to the next vile swine affluent enough to impress our filthy father’s whims? No!" She cried out again in pain, "No!"
Like a wounded animal, the dark-haired witch gazed at him, still yearning, through her haze of pain. "If you don’t want me, if I can’t have you, I’ll be with him—he has a heart, unlike you!"
"Don’t do it," repeated Severus in a low voice, still attempting to have her understand reason. "You will be an outcast to your kind until the day you die. You will be an abomination, worse than a Muggle in their eyes, if you go to him—"
"I’ll learn to love him! I had hoped—hoped and prayed to the deities that be that you would one day come to love me, feel for me as I do you—but," the wildness flared up again within the dark-haired witch; her resolute decision shone through her teary, glistening eyes, "some things are not meant to be, are they, Severus Snape?"
And, in the blink of an eye, the witch Apparated into thin air.
Severus stared at the spot where his clandestine lover had just been.
It was to his credit that his voice broke as he uttered, "Andromeda…"
A/N: Written for the ‘Lovers of the Potions Master’ group’s August 2012 One Shot Challenge based on, and including, a Severus Snape and Mystery Woman picture (the scenario of the picture must be included as part of the story).