By the Beach
The beach was beautiful this time of year. Warm waves lapped gently at the shore as the water sparkled and reflected the dying sun as it sank into the water on the horizon. Taking in a deep breath, she inhaled the warm scent of the sea and hurriedly bent down to remove her shoes and socks, wiggling her toes into the sand that was still warm from the sun's rays.
Walking to the shore, she allowed her silky brown hair to float freely behind her in the soft breeze. Her bandana had been discarded a few months ago, given to a young coordinator in her first contest after losing to this young woman in the final stage of her first contest. Since then she had travelled the region and won the necessary eight ribbons to take place in the Grand Festival. Behind her, a party to open the festival was well underway yet she had no great desire to attend. He wasn't there.
Throughout her solitary journey through the region, he had always appeared at every contest she had entered. Sometimes as a competitor, other times she just caught him in the crowd, vanishing once she was free. He was there if she won them, or even if she lost them with either a compliment in some form or yet another criticism of her skills as a coordinator.
Following the water line, she allowed the water to lick around her toes while walking further from the party. Soon all noise vanished into the night air to be completely replaced by the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore. A figure with hair that flopped over his eyes was standing further up the beach just in the water, his shoes and socks abandoned in the sand away from the water.
Standing next to the mysterious person she also stared into the sunset. "I didn't think you'd come" she said in a quiet voice, throwing a glance at the man beside her.
"Where did you get that idea?" he replied, flicking his hair in self confidence.
"Well, it's just you weren't at the party so I thought…" her voice tailed off into the darkness, comforted by the thought that the darkness could hide the blush that rose to her face.
"You should know by now that parties aren't really my thing." He smirked, "How many years have we known each other? Five, six years?"
"Six years, two months and three weeks" she automatically replied. Her eyes widened and her face turned a brighter red and she turned away from him. How could she have slipped? Cursing herself she remained facing away from him in the hope he wouldn't notice how accurate her answer had been.
He remained motionless and silent for a few moments while staring at the sky as it darkened and the first stars began to appear and sparkle on their black background. "I think you'll find it's closer to six years, two months, three weeks and two days since we met. You're getting a little off."
This being the last response she had expected, she turned to face him again, her large sapphire eyes large with wonder as they reflected the pin pricks of light in the sky. He too turned to face her, flicking his wrist elegantly and producing a beautiful red rose with all the thorns removed. Gently taking it from his hand and into hers, she closed her eyes and inhaled the sweet scent. Opening her eyes again to take him in she gave him a wry smile and said, "So, is this for Beautifly as well?"
"No, this is for you. They were always for you." He softly replied, so soft she had to strain her ears to hear. Gazing into each others eyes, time stood still before he flicked his hair once more and walked away from her up the beach.
She took a moment to compose herself and process what had just been said. Feeling the colour rise to her face she took another sniff of the beautiful rose in her hand and followed him up the beach, sitting down next to him in the soft, warm sand. The two allowed the silence to accumulate between them while they sank into their own realms of thought.
Frowning for a moment, she looked at him and asked "How do you know how long it was that we met?" She was almost accusing him of daring to suggest that he was more accurate in his answer than she. Everyday that went past was another she had known of his existence and another day that had passed for her feelings to deepen.
He continued staring at the sand in front of him and slowly answered, "How could I not know how long it was since I met the person who means the most to me." He faced her again to read the shock that was all too evident in her eyes. Giving her a small smile, he turned away to face the stars and allow her some time to bring her red face back to its normal shade.
"Thank you…" she said softly, twirling the beautiful rose in her hand once more and inhaling its sweet scent. A gentle breeze caressed the two and she let out an involuntary shiver at the cold invasion. Watching her out of the corner of his eye, he saw her begin to rub her gloved hands over her bare arms, slowly at first and then a little faster to warm herself up. Without much need for thought, he removed his pale purple jacket and gently placed it over her shoulders. She stopped rubbing her arms when she felt the slightly rough but well work jacket fall over her shoulders. Turning her head, she looked him straight in the eye, placing her hand over his to clutch the jacket closer around her. Caught in a trance, her words of thanks could barely be heard over the loud thumping of their beating hearts.
Turning his head away, the young man sat on the sand again, this time a little closer to the young woman beside him. "It's strange," she began, her voice still barely rising over a whisper, "how you can feel one way about someone one moment, yet completely different about them the next."
"For example?" he responded, turning slightly to watch her pale skin and brown hair reflected by the moon.
"Well, there is someone I know…or thought I knew…" she began, "and they would treat me with contempt, ready to criticise me at any given time with only the need of a hint of an example to begin. Yet, other times they're able to come to my aid in the times that I needed that person the most. I used to think they hated me and just saw me as another rival until the compliments began to outweigh the insults, not only in volume but also in strength." She paused for a moment to glance and the young man beside her whd hadn't taken his eyes from her face since she had begun before returning her gaze straight ahead of her into the ocean. "And every so often, they're able to surprise me once more with a gift or something that leaves me questioning my own feelings towards them. And every time I think of them I begin to like them even more…almost…love them I think. Just for being them."
The silence hung between them for a few moments longer as they listened to the gentle swish and murmur of the waves on the sand below them and the sounds of the nocturnal pokemon beginning to wake up and call out to their day time before going about their own business. "So, who is this person you mean?" the green haired young man ventured to ask, wishing for the answer he had anticipated over the last few years to occur.
With a soft sigh she replied while still lost in the horizon, "You…". She could feel the man sitting next to her shifting his weight as his left hand reached up to brush her brown hair away from her face and behind her ear, making her turn and become instantly lost in the beautiful emerald pools of his eyes. Locked together with his hand gently resting on her neck and just below her ear the distance between them began to narrow. Before their lips made contact, their eyes slid shut at the same moment as they both relished the feeling of the others lips resting upon their own. The moment of that first bold move of contact lasted an eternity for the pair of them as her right hand fell from clutching the jacket around her to land on the sand between them to support her weight as she moved closer towards him. Her left arm also left the jacket and it hung, forgotten on her shoulders as her left hand placed itself on his upper right arm before working its way up for the fingers to interlock within his hair. Their first kiss lengthened and neither wished for it to end as they wanted more at the same time, welcoming the other's tongue into their mouth while their senses jingled and reverberated around their bodies, letting their spirits soar in a fashion neither had experienced, nor ever expected to experience before.
Slowly, their moment of contact began to lose its vigour as they each decided that now was the right time to put a cap on the thrilling ride. As their lips parted, their heads remained close together, their foreheads resting upon the other while their noses kept the contact going. Gently pulling away to look at the other, the young man murmured "I love you…and I always will. Whatever happens, and whatever comes between us, I will always love you."
Her heart melted completely and utterly at his words, words she had craved to hear for at least a few years but had only realised this was the key to filling that empty space in her heart. She could almost feel the tears of joy forming in her eyes and she dropped her gaze to the ground again, closing her eyes tightly as a few tiny drops fell from her eyes to create dark spots on the golden sand. Frowning slightly, the young man placed his hand beneath her chin, gently raising her face to be able to stare straight into her beautiful sapphire eyes as they shone with the unshed tears of joy. She smiled slightly to see the concern evident on his puzzled face and whispered, "You have no idea how long I have waited for this moment and for you to say it. I love you too…more now that ever…thank you…"
With an understanding that came from the sheer power of their love, the young man and the young woman allowed their lips to meet again in the first of their displays of affection, since admitting to the other how they truly felt. This was only to be the very first of the multitude that would occur in the future.