“Hello,” Kay said in the silkiest voice I’d ever heard. It was sultry and smoky.

Kay was a gorgeous young woman, with vibrant auburn hair and a porcelain complexion. Her crystal green eyes shone with mischief and promise and something else, something deeper and mysterious. That mischief is why I fell in love with her.

Kay hated to play by the rules. She was a rebel, playing by no one’s book but her own. But in recent years, her eyes had lost some of their shine due to the recent, untimely deaths of her mother, father, and her baby brother in a car crash.

“Adam?”

I looked up and realized I’d been daydreaming. “Hmm?”

“Are you alright?”

I shook myself. “Sorry. Yes, I’m fine.” I smiled into Kay’s sparkling emerald eyes.

The sides of her lips twitched up, but she didn’t smile. She never really smiled. Looking at her, she looked happy… But I could tell she wasn’t.

“Kay, we can leave if you want. This party is getting kind of boring.” It was the incredibly dull gala thrown by our neighbors, so we had felt obligated to attend.

Kay slipped her arm through mine. “Let’s go.”

I nodded, Kay’s arm still linked in mine, and headed for the door. Outside, it was night. The moon and stars glowed in the dark sky and there was a slight warm breeze twirling Kay’s hair around her shoulders. While most women wore their hair in buns or in some elaborate style, Kay preferred hers down.

Kay breathed in the summer scent of flowers and rust. She lay her head on my shoulder. “Adam?”

“Hmm?”

“This is beautiful.”

“What is, my love?”

“Being here, with you. Walking under the pale indigo sky, my arm in yours.”

“That was very poetic, Kay.”

Kay smiled slightly at me and a smile sprung to my face. Kay’s smile was sad. She thought I couldn’t see the melancholy in her eyes, but I was more observant than she gave me credit for.

“Can we walk for a bit, Adam?” Kay asked. “Instead of returning home right away.”

“Sure.” I had little doubt that I would agree to anything she asked. I would give her anything she wanted. I would lasso the moon and give it to her as a gift if I could. She already had my heart, my soul, and my world. She was my world.

We walked side-by-side, Kay directing our steps down toward the glittering blue-green ocean.

The beach was beautiful at night, setting the perfect backdrop to Kay’s unearthly beauty. Kay removed her shoes and jacket, throwing them into a pile on the sand. She unlocked our arms and ran, barefoot, kicking up sand. She stopped at the darker part of the beach, where the sand was wet from the tide.

“Adam!” she called. “Come into the water with me.”

I had no hesitation when I stripped off my own shoes and moved to join her.

Kay giggled when I wrapped my arms around her waist and kissed her cheek. It had been a long time since I’d heard her genuinely laugh, free and uninhibited. It lifted my heart.

Kay tilted her head back, resting it on my shoulder, to capture my lips with hers. She tasted of strawberries and vanilla, the scent of her perfume.

Kay wriggled out of my embrace to wade farther into the dark ocean, my engagement ring glinting on her finger in the moonlight and the sparkle of the waters. I followed her, tantalized. Her hair was swirling around her shoulders, obscuring her face for brief moments.

“What if I was a mermaid, Adam?”

“Hmm?” I started at the sound of Kay’s voice. I had been spaced out while I stared at her.

“Would you still do me?” Kay asked.

“If you were a mermaid?”

Kay nodded as I joined her farther out at about thigh-depth waters.

“Isn’t their entire bottom half a scaly tale? You’d be able to give me a blowjob, but then what? How do mermaids even reproduce?”

“They lay eggs.” Kay rolled her eyes like everyone should know that.

“And how do they go to the bathroom?”

Kay rolled her eyes again and kissed me. I guessed she did it to shut me up, but as long as I was touching her, I was okay.

When Kay finally pulled back, she was biting her bottom lip. Our eyes met and locked. We gazed at each other in silence for a while until finally Kay said, “I love you, Adam.”

I clutched her closer to me, pressing her body up against mine. “Not as much as I love you.”

“That’s a physical impossibility,” she said.

I leaned down to kiss the tip of her nose and nuzzle her neck. “You’re wrong,” I whispered in her ear.

“A girl is never wrong,” she teased.

I ran my hand through Kay’s hair, her eyes still holding me captive. “I love you more than words, more than life. You are my everything, Kay.”

“Your everything?”

“If you left me, I would die.”

“I’ll never leave you, Adam Hood.”

“You better not,” I growled and nibbled her ear playfully.

Kay squealed and leaned her head back, giving me better access to her smooth, pale throat. I showered it with kisses, one arm holding Kay up and one hand slipping beneath her shirt.

I hoisted Kay up so she could wrap her legs around my waist. I carried her from the water, laying her on her back in the cold sand.

Kay gazed up at me and licked her lips, breath labored. “Adam?”

“Yes, love?”

“I want you.”

I looked down at her from my position above, fingering a lock of her hair. “Here?”

“Right here, right now. Forever and always.”

“Then you shall have me.” I kissed her again, reveling in the intoxication she brought me.

Kay arched her back, hand behind my neck, pulling me closer as my hand found the hem of her skirt. I hesitated, gazing down at her then I returned my lips to her mouth and dipped my hand under the hem.

 

Sometime afterwards, Kay and I lay side-by-side, her head resting on my arm, on the beach.

“Are you okay?” I asked her. She hadn’t spoken in at least twenty minutes.

Kay glanced at me and sighed. “Everything’s perfect.”

“But?”

“No but. I just wish it could be like this, always. You and me and no one else.”

“Then reality comes crashing back.”

Kay sighed again in confirmation.

“I hate that you’re sad,” I said.

“I hate that my sadness makes you sad,” Kay said.

I was quiet for a minute then I said, “You make me happy.”

“You make me blissfully happy,” Kay kissed the back of my hand that was around her. “So happy I want to puke for the sheer sappiness of it.”

I laughed. “I make you want to puke. Good to know.”

Kay gave me a disapproving frown. “That’s not what I meant—”

“I know, darling.” I smiled over at her. “Ready to go home?”

Kay stood, pulling me with her, smiling slightly. “Yes.”

We put on our shoes and donned our jackets then walked with our fingers entwined up the sandy dunes. Kay hummed a sweet tone in her melodic voice under her breath as our interwoven hands swung between us.

I stopped Kay before she could enter the house, scooped her up into my arms, and carried her over the threshold.

“What was that for?” Kay giggled.

“Practice for our wedding night,” I whispered and nuzzled her neck.

“Put me down and we can have another round of practice on the bed.”

I grinned. “How about we have supper first?”

“I’m hungry for something else.”

“You have to eat something, love.”

Kay sighed. “Okay. Cook something up and I’ll go take a quick shower.”

I nodded, set Kay down, and headed toward the kitchen with a quick kiss on her cheek.

While I found a recipe and set to work, I thought. Kay was a good actress. She was good at hiding her pain, but I could tell she was unhappy. She distracted me from her sadness with sex, which worked, but I still saw the raw agony in her eyes.

When the food was done and Kay was finished with her shower, she entered the kitchen in her red silk robe. “Mmm, smells good,” she said.

I smiled at her. “It’s not going to work.”

“What?” She asked, batting her eyes at me innocently.

“Wearing that. No sex until you eat.”

Kay smiled and sat at the table.

I served her a huge helping of potatoes and steak. “Eat, love.”

Kay applied salt to her food and began eating.

“How are you feeling?” I asked her, watching her worriedly.
“Fine.”

“Kay—”

“Really, Adam. I’m alright.”

“I love you so much.”

“I know. And I love you just as much.”

After the dishes were in the dishwasher, Kay sat on my lap in the chair by the fireplace in the living room. My arms curled around her protectively.

Kay seemed lost in thought, staring at the crackling fire.

“What are you thinking?” I asked her.

“About us.”

At least it wasn’t her family this time. “What about us, baby?”

“How I was so lucky to find someone so wonderful.”

“It wasn’t luck, sweetie.”

“Then what was it?”

“Fate.”

“Fate?”

“Destiny— call it whatever you please.”

“What do you mean, honey?”

“We’re soulmates.” I kissed her neck.

“I like that,” Kay said happily. For once, since the death of her family, she was truly and uninhibitedly happy. She smiled genuinely, light dancing in her emerald eyes.

“You’re okay with that?”

“I’m more than okay with it, Adam.” Kay kissed me and I lifted her up, carrying her to our bedroom.

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