This story begins with two lovers sharing an intimate meal that ends with a kiss. You can read it first, or enjoy this and then go back to see how it began.
After what seems like an eternity, their lips part. Slowly. If you were to ask them, they shared a lifetime in one that kiss over the small dinner table. But you needn’t ask them. Its shows in their expressions. In the sparkle in her eyes. Brown and glints of gold. That is not the candlelight reflecting. It is coming from within. And his eyes. Large, calm, dark. Soaking in her light like a black hole. Keeping it all for himself.
He rises from the table and steps over to her. Holds out his hand. She takes his hand and rises. Letting him lead her away. No need to settle a check. It has been taken care of. They cross the room to the open door. It leads to a small patio. Tables empty for the night. The air is still warm. The clear sky speckled with stars. The moon, nearly full, lights the path ahead of them. He takes her arm in his and they walk. The moon lighting their way.
The path ends at a sandy area by the shore of the lake. A small beach constructed by the resort to give patrons a place to relax in the comfort of combed sand and lounge chairs. There is a small area roped off for swimmers. Cleared free of rocks and weeds. Several row boats are tied to the dock. Their oars locked away to prevent irresponsible parties from taking them out at night. They stop at the edge of the sand.
Before she can do it herself, he kneels down and unbuckles her shoes, slips them off her feet, and places them near a chair. She steps onto the sand. Soft and smooth. She smiles and squishes it between her toes. There is that childlike innocence again. He watches her. Drinking in that innocence. He knows where she is going next. That is why he brought her here.
She lets out a giggle as the water touches her feet. It’s cold. Almost numbing. But she doesn’t care. She can’t resist the temptation to feel the water on her feet. The night is still, the lake like glass, except for the childlike woman splashing and exploring in the shallows before him. She turns and looks back at him standing on the beach. She cocks her head as if to dare him to come in after her. He grins and shakes his head. Not this time. He is staying safely on dry land. Or so he thinks. She kicks a stream of water towards him. Barely misses soaking his dry clothes.
He wasn’t expecting that. Though he should have been. He knows her well enough. He was distracted. Caught up in the moment. The look of shock on his face lets her know he was caught off guard. She tilts her head back and laughs. The laugh of a confidant woman. That is no innocent child standing in the lake before him. At that moment he falls in love with her a little more, wondering how that is possible when his love is already overflowing.
Bored with her solitary play, she rejoins him on the sand, puts her hands around his neck, and looks up at him with those sparkling eyes. He kisses her forehead. Nose. Lips. They kiss playfully, eagerly. Lips smiling. Tongues playing. Eyes laughing. His hands on the back of her neck. Holding her close to him. Afraid to let go of this goddess that has graced the earth just for him.
They kiss until nearly out of breath. Parting with quiet laughter. Amused at their youthful enthusiasm. She takes his hand and starts walking to the dock. She is radiant and he is captivated. At that moment he would follow her to the ends of the earth. He nearly does. She leads him to the very end of the dock. Toes hanging over the edge. The shore and dock are out of view. All that can be seen before them is water smooth as glass, reflecting the moonlight. It is as if they are standing on the lake, or hovering over it. No dock beneath them or shore behind them. She teeters just a little and grabs his jacket to steady herself. He puts his arm around her, a little unsteady as well. They are smiling at their clumsiness
They sit for a while at the end of the dock. She wants to put her toes in the water, but it is just out of reach. She gives that adorable pout and rests her head on his shoulder instead. Letting out a sigh. She is finally relaxed, resting against him. Enjoying the beauty of the lake, the stillness of the night. Silence. Except for the quiet splash of an occasional fish and the singing of the summer insects. And the beating of their hearts. He takes her hands and caresses them from wrist to fingertip, as if exploring something beautiful and fragile. Those hands of hers are anything but fragile, except at that moment, transformed by his gentle touch. She yawns.
He lifts her head from his shoulder. Kisses her forehead, her cheek, her lips. Softly. Just barely touching her. He rises and helps her to her feet. Leads her off the dock, across the sand. He brushes the sand from her feet and slips them into her shoes. He struggles to close the tiny buckles not made for large fingers. She knows she could do it twice as fast, but she smiles and waits patiently. Watching him concentrate. Falling in love with him a little more, wondering how that is possible when her love is already overflowing.
As he stands, she takes his face in her hands, gently, and kisses his lips. Their over spilling emotions mingle and swirl around them. They are in their universe once again. Locked in a kiss under starlight and moonlight. Time standing still….