The sun was shining brightly over the coast, illuminating the white sand beaches so brightly that it strained the eyes if one just attempted to look at it. The sky was cloudless, a perfect backdrop of blue. The ocean breeze was gently blowing once again, signaling the arrival of a new day.
In the lobby of the Waveland Hotel, Erica returned from the front desk. The rest of the party was waiting by the front door. "We're all set then. We can go," she announced. The group slowly made their way towards the car outside which was waiting to take them to the airport and then in turn back home to their everyday lives. Though, clearly visible on each of their faces, nobody in the group really wanted to go back.
The men helped the driver load their luggage into the rear of the van, while the women climbed into the spacious seating compartment ahead of them. Mwu said, "Best vacation ever fellas?"
"Uh-huh," Frank agreed. "Worth every minute of it. I'd come back here any day of the week."
"Didn't I tell you it would be great?" John asked absent-mindedly. "The only bad thing about it is, is that tomorrow I've got to go back to work."
"Yeah, I know. I've got a meeting tomorrow with the Prime Minister, and boy is that going to be fun," Mwu grimaced.
Inside the van, the conversation was much of the same. "We'll have to finish monitoring the repairs on that new warship that's coming into service when we get back tomorrow, Murrue," Erica told her.
"I remember, don't worry."
Natarle was quiet. Every once in a while, she would glance down at the ring and smile. She'd managed to keep it hidden from everyone until she was ready to tell them. "So when is the wedding happening?" Natarle froze. Murrue was leaning over her shoulder, smiling down on her. Erica was doing much of the same from the seat in front of them.
"H-how did you...?" Natarle stuttered.
"The ring kind of gives it away," Murrue reminded her. Natarle blushed and averted her eyes.
"We don't know yet," she admitted. "We really don't know much of anything about it, yet."
"You'll have time," Murrue said kindly. "It'll come a lot sooner than you think, though."
"Okay, so let me get this straight." That was Erica. "So...a year after the fact...the kind-hearted Captain and the strict-minded Combat Commander who seemed to not be able to stand each other...are now on the verge of becoming sister-in-laws? My how the world turns." As Erica laughed, Murrue and Natarle glanced at one another and after a short period of pause, smiled and laughed along with them.
A few minutes later, with all the luggage packed and passengers aboard, the van took off for the airport, leaving the magnificent hotel, the marvelous beach, and a whole chapter of the lives of the six individuals it carried, in its wake.