He has donned the priestly robes, he has recited the mysterious words, he has taken the sacred cup to his mouth and has drunk deep. It never occurs to him to refuse: she is his beloved, and a God.
She appears as she has before, bone-white and desert-dry, terrible and beautiful. His head swims when she approaches, as she takes his face between her hands, as her cracked lips meet his own.
When she pulls back, when she speaks, he hears it as a warm, soothing voice in his mind: "I accept your love, and the gift of your life."