The sun was setting on what had been a gorgeous day. Beginning with the boat ride to the private island, to lying in the warm sun and feeling the gentle breeze, right up to and including this sunset picnic dinner on the beach, the day had been nearly perfect. She'd never expected her first date with the man sitting on the blanket next to her would be like this. But she'd enjoyed every minute of it and wasn't nearly ready for it to end.
The day began with a leisurely boat ride across the beautiful, clear blue water. She hadn't known he could pilot a boat, much less that he owned one. By far, discovering these new facts about him would not be her only surprise on this day. Arriving at a deserted island was certainly unexpected, but not at all uncomfortable for her. She was thrilled to be spending a day of privacy with the man who was quickly capturing her attention, her thoughts, and likely her heart. They had nothing but time on this sunny, warm day - time to spend together and to discover more about each other.
They climbed off the boat where he had anchored it near the shore and waded through the shallow water to the beach. He confidently, casually grabbed her hand once they reached shore, like he'd been doing it his whole life, causing her heart to beat a little faster and her smile to be a little bigger. They had been playing 20 questions with each other for a while to learn obscure little tidbits about each other, and he picked up the game now as they strolled leisurely on the path around the small island.
"So, you said you'd bring your Bible to read, and you'd want sweet tea to drink, and either chicken or mac and cheese to eat. But you never really said who you'd bring with you to the island. Got an answer for that one yet?" he inquired.
"Well, you're making this choice look pretty good, I gotta say," she replied, coyly cutting her eyes at him, intentionally flirting with her very charming and handsome friend.
"I was hoping you'd feel that way," he responded, stopping at the entrance to a beautiful garden. He led them onto the path that wound its way through the garden that was filled with stunning, fragrant roses. He knew it was her favorite flower, and loved watching the amazement play across her face as they strolled through the garden, her eyes and smile even brighter than they usually were. It was a green eye day, he noted, fascinated that her eyes actually did change colors. But green was his favorite, he decided.
He reached out and picked up a red rose from a display of multi-colored roses that had already been cut from the bushes and presented it to her, enjoying her surprise.
"For me? It's beautiful. Thank you," she said.
"Beautiful ladies deserve beautiful roses," he smoothly replied, watching with pleasure as she raised the rose to deeply inhale its fragrance.
"Did you know that there's significance to the color of a rose?" she casually asked as they continued their stroll, leaving the garden and continuing along the path that allowed them to explore this idyllic island.
"Like yellow for friendship?" he replied. "Or pink for admiration and elegance? Yeah, I'm aware."
"And you specifically selected a red rose for me, so I'm guessing you've got a few more plans up your sleeve for this date," she responded.
"Well, I was hoping," he said, smiling at her banter.
"You could have selected white for purity, or yellow, or even pink...but you didn't. Red roses are for romance, my dear friend. Are you planning on romancing me?" she teased.
"Well, I was hoping," he repeated, capturing her teasing mood himself and playing along.
"I'd say you're off to a great start," she replied.
"You think so?" he asked, stopping suddenly and spinning her into his arms. He brought her arms up to circle his neck and put his own around her waist pulling her close to him. It was the closest they'd yet been to each other and she could feel the effect it was having on him. Yes, she thought. Definitely a great start for what she hoped he had in mind!
"Oh, absolutely," she answered. "In fact, I'd have to say this is just about the most romantic location I've ever experienced."
"The day is still young," he replied, using his hands to rub the small of her back, sending shivers through her body at his touch. He smiled at her response to him. "There's still lots of romancing ahead of us, my dear."
Rather than go too far too fast, however, he let go of her slowly, choosing to grab her hand again as they resumed walking and pick up their game of 20 questions. As he said, there was still much ahead. Why rush it now?
"OK, let's see. I know a lot about you already, but I still have a few questions left of my twenty. What about this...what did you want to be when you were growing up?" he asked.
"Another easy one. Only two things -- a lawyer or a teacher," she quickly replied.
"A lawyer, huh? What happened to that dream?" he wondered.
"Well, it's still kinda there, if you want the truth. If there was any other job I'd want to do other than teach, it would be that one. And I'm such an American history and U.S. Constitution geek, I feel like I could do well in a courtroom. I just choose to channel that passion into teaching fifth graders about it instead of whole-heartedly defending my clients, that's all," she responded.
"I could easily see you being successful at that. I consider you a very passionate person, no matter WHAT you're doing," he replied.
He saw the blush rise on her cheeks and thought it made her even more attractive. Just about that time, they'd arrived back at the beach, so he suggested they sit down awhile and enjoy the warmth of the day.
"Sounds like heaven. Besides, I'm guessing we've covered your 2 miles for the day," she said, smiling up at him as they spread out the beach towels he'd been carrying in the pack on his back.
"Yeah, but don't you have a few more miles to add to your total today, Miss?" he teased, taking off his t-shirt to let the sun warm him.
It wasn't the sun that warmed her. Rather, the sight of him peeling off his clothing to sunbathe. Oh, boy, she thought. If just THIS got her all hot and bothered, what would it be like to actually touch and kiss him, she wondered.
"Yes, I could stand to tack on a few more miles. Maybe you'll take a run along the beach with me later," she stated. "It's a great calorie burner."
Looking at her as she unbuttoned and removed her shorts and then lifted her t-shirt over her head, he had much better ideas of how to burn calories with this woman! The new, smaller-sized one-piece bathing suit she wore was perfectly cut for the new, smaller-sized woman she was becoming. It covered just enough of her to be modest, but it made any red-blooded man think...wonder...beg to know what was underneath it. And he was all man. He was thinking...wondering...and before the day was over, he was sure there'd be some begging involved!
"I can think of more...interesting...ways to burn calories," he replied, winking at her as they both laid back on their beach towels. Time to test the waters, he decided. "Not that running along the beach with you wouldn't be lovely. But there are other ways to get those calories burned. I'm just sayin'," he coyly suggested.
"What did you have in mind?" she asked, rolling on her side to face him, stretched out with her head propped on her hand as she leaned on one elbow. He turned to face her and mimicked the position.
"Oh, I don't know. Lots of things, actually. Let your creativity flow. I'm sure you can imagine what might be going through my mind," he challenged, reaching his hand out to smooth back some hair that had fallen down into her eyes. "Can't let anything cover those gorgeous green eyes," he informed her in response to the questioning look she shot him.
"Oh, I think I can imagine a few things. In fact, my writer's mind and imagination are playing a few things out right now inside my head," she baited him. "Might make for a very nice short story one day."
"No, Baby Girl. This one is a novel. No short stories here," he replied, snapping up the bait she'd offered and cranking up the intensity of his flirting about a hundred fold. He was getting very turned on by the course of this conversation and saw no need to hide that from her. In fact, he very much wanted her to know the reaction he had to her.
With that thought in mind he reached over with his free arm and laid it across her waist, pulling himself a bit closer to her in the process. While rubbing her lower back, he leaned in toward her and whispered, "No, Sweetie. Nothing short here."
And then he gently claimed her lips for the very first kiss they would share. Softly, barely touching, he allowed his lips to brush hers, testing her reaction to this wonderful "first".
As long as she lived, she would never forget the jolt of electricity that rocketed through her when their lips touched that first time. When he moved away slightly and looked at her, there was no way to hide her reaction to him, even if she wanted to. Her flushed cheeks and glazed eyes gave away how much she enjoyed that simple, sweet, soft kiss. And how much she wanted more from him.
"Wow," she said.
"More," he said, and then proceeded to make good on that. He leaned into her and kissed her less tentatively this time, allowing his lips to fully explore hers. After a few minutes, he knew he would have to explore further. He used his tongue to first trace her lips and then gently urge them open so that he could learn even more about this fascinating woman. Kissing her was quickly becoming a sweet addiction.
She matched him, kiss for kiss, reveling in the wonderful feelings that his lips and his touch brought her. She had wanted to be with him for a while now, their many shared conversations and growing friendship made that clear. But she was completely unprepared for the excitement and passion that his touch and his kiss created in her. This went far beyond wanting to be with him. It was more like wanting to be consumed by him.
For the next several minutes, they enjoyed the opportunity to learn new, intimate, exciting things about each other while kissing and stroking one another's arms and legs. When his hand got more adventurous, however, and ventured higher up her torso, she broke her lips away from his and called a brief halt to the festivities.
"Whoa, buddy. I need a bit of a time out. Let me catch my breath and think before we walk into a minefield unprepared," she requested of this man who was making her head spin with desire.
"Yeah, I could use a break, myself. If no one's told you before now, you need to know. You're an amazing kisser. And it makes me wonder what else you're going to be amazing at," he replied, grateful that at least one of them was thinking clearly at the moment. Because he could easily have taken their kissing to the next level without another thought. Wanted very much to do so, in fact.
She blushed at the compliment he paid her. No one had ever told her that, she reflected, and even if they had, somehow it meant so much more coming from him. "Thank you," she shyly replied. "I've never been told that before. But it's very nice to know you think so."
"Oh, Sweetie. You have to know how ready I am to do so much more than kiss you," he admitted, loving the fact that an experienced woman could still blush so beautifully when complimented on her kissing skills. It made him more convinced than ever that this was a very special lady and that pursuing her was worth whatever it took to win her heart.
"Well, yes, I can see for myself how ready you are," she said, winking at him, reminding him that this was no timid, inexperienced girl. No, she was fully aware of her own femininity and the affect it had on him. She just wasn't jaded and full of herself. There was a subtle difference between confidence and over-confidence in these matters. She understood exactly who she was and how she affected men, and she embraced it.
"Tell you what," he said, "Let's take some time to just bask in the sun and learn more about each other. Then we'll let whatever happens happen."
"That sounds amazing to me," she replied. "Thank you for understanding."
"No problem at all," he responded.
They spent the next two hours laying in the sun, resuming their game of 20 questions, learning interesting things about each other like their favorite colors, sports teams, and interests, along with some things they'd each done in the past.
When she suggested they take a dip in the cool water to cool off from their sunbathing, he was all for the idea.
"Race ya!" he exclaimed and took off at a flat run into the surf, diving competently into the waves and swimming out to where he was fully immersed. He turned around to find her carefully making her way into the water, almost hesitant to come farther out into the clear, cool deep. He swam back her direction.
"What's up? Change your mind?" he asked.
"No. Not at all. I'm just not a super strong swimmer. I can save myself if needed, but I try not to go deeper than I'm able to stand. And honestly, swimming with sea creatures scares me. I usually do my swimming in pools so that we can keep a nice healthy distance between us. But I'm good. The water feels great," she answered him.
"Give me your hands," he told her, and she complied, enjoying the feel of him, even with the water between them.
"Do you trust me?" he asked seriously.
"With my life," she replied honestly.
He smiled, enjoying the fact that he knew she was being truthful. "Thank you. That means a lot to me. Now I'm going to swim out farther and I'm taking you with me. I will not let you go. I promise you. Just hang on to me and you'll be fine," he told her.
She did what he asked, moving further into his arms and wrapping her own around his neck. He was a strong swimmer and easily carried them to the calmer water, past the crashing of the waves into the smoothness of the sea.
She was comfortable in his arms, maybe more than she'd ever been in any other place. When he stopped advancing and instead treaded water, holding them in position, she looked around and noticed that they were indeed far from shore. For a moment, he thought she was going to panic.
"It's OK. Relax. We're fine and I won't let anything happen to you. I swear," he comforted her, pulling her a little closer into his embrace while his legs continued moving to keep them afloat.
"I am a little scared," she admitted. "But I do trust you. I know we're fine. I'm just a little out of my element."
"That can be an exciting feeling sometimes, though. Lean into the fear, and then let it go and enjoy the adventure," he advised her, just before lowering his lips to hers and kissing the daylights out of her.
It had been a few hours since their last kiss, but she was in no way prepared for what kissing him while being held this close did to her senses. It overwhelmed her, in the best possible way.
And she was not alone in that. He was a bit unprepared for the immediate reaction of his body to this kiss, but in no way could he even contemplate ending it when he needed this feeling so badly. The pull of her was stronger than anything he'd ever known. He was indeed becoming addicted to this, and was going down willingly.
After a minute or so, it was becoming challenging physically to continue to tread water and kiss her like he wanted to, so he reluctantly ended the kiss, noting that she was breathing just as heavily as him and that her eyes were just as wide and glazed as his were.
"That was an adventure," she replied, when she could find her voice. "An amazing one, actually."
"I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking that," he replied, smiling at her while at the same time moving them back toward the shoreline. When they reached water that was shallow enough for her to stand without going under, he let her loose from his arms -- reluctantly -- and held her hand as they walked up out of the water and back to their towels sit in the fading sunlight and dry off.
After a few minutes of comfortable silence where they each recovered from the intensity of the emotions they just shared, she said, "Come on. I still have a few more miles to log today, and I've decided you're logging them with me."
With that, she got up, offered him her hand and waited for him to accept. He looked at her suspiciously.
"I still have better ideas for burning calories," he ventured, deliberately teasing her in the hopes that she'd relent. That was not to be.
"If you want a shot at burning those kinds of calories with me later, you'd better burn them with me this way now," she returned.
At the promise of more romancing her later, he eagerly accepted her outstretched hand, and the two walked hand-in-hand along the beach, enjoying the workout and enjoying each other.
When they returned to the spot where they'd left their towels, the sun was just beginning its decent in the summer sky and he took out the last of the food he'd had in his pack for them to have a quiet dinner on the beach before they returned to his boat.
"You did say grilled chicken was what you'd eat on your island adventure, so I thought we'd put it on a sub roll with some lettuce and mayo and call it a meal. Along with some mac and cheese. Not much. Just enough to remind you that there are some really good things in life that can be enjoyed in moderation."
"Do you remember every little thing I've ever said to you?" she asked in wonder.
"You're worth remembering. Incredibly worth remembering," he replied, and then leaned over to kiss her sweetly.
"Thank you for thinking so," she replied when he let go of her lips. "I hope you always do."
"I'd say that's definitely the direction we're heading right now. And that makes me happier than I've been in a long time," he let her know.
"Good. A happy you is an amazing thing to behold," she said.
"Sadly, the other direction we need to head right now is back to the boat and back to the harbor. But this day has been amazing in so many ways. Thank you for sharing it with me," he told her.
"There isn't anywhere on earth that I'd rather be right now than exactly where I am. You amaze me, excite me, and intrigue me. If this was only our first date, I can't wait to see how you're gonna top it for our second," she replied.
"Well, I'll come up with something, never you fear, my dear," he teased as they packed away their supplies and waded back out to the waiting boat that would take them back to reality.
As the sun set over the sparkling water, and she watched this handsome, exciting, adventurous, sexy man pilot them back over the water and toward home, she couldn't help but wonder what he might be planning. All she knew for certain is that she was ready for the ride of her life. With him.