Duke Scarlett Group July Challenge: Moments

This is a response to the July Beach Pool Challenge from the Duke Scarlett group. I do not own GI Joe.

Shana sighed peacefully as she rested her arms against the back of a padded blue beach lounge chair and gazed out at the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. She and Conrad had been granted a week's leave and were lucky enough to be spending the week in a private bungalow, complete with a private beach.

They had dealt Cobra a hard blow and it would take some time before the terrorist organization recovered. With peace for the foreseeable, Doc had enforced mandatory leave for the Joes who had been putting in overtime past what Doc considered within the realm of safely insane. So Conrad had called in a favor and here they were, gazing out at their own private paradise.

Conrad finished going over details with the resort manager and walked to the terrace door. He leaned against the jab and studied Shana. She was so beautiful she took his breath away. He had convinced her to wear her hair loose, actually he had taken her cache of hair bands out of her suitcase before they left and had stolen the one she was wearing while she slept on the plane. The breeze lifted up the ends of her hair, granting him teasing glimpses of her nape and back. He grinned; this was going to be a week to remember. They counted private time together anywhere, anytime as special because it was fleeting and rare. Time spent together away from the Joe Team was even more special. The opportunity for them to escape was remarkable in the fact that it had happened only a few times over the past years. It took organizing, timing, and a lot of luck to pull off. But they were here and he had plans to make this trip even more special than usual.

He walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, "Like the view?" he whispered in her ear

She leaned back against him, enjoying the feel of his solid frame behind her as much as the waves and beach in front. "Remind me again what kind of favor you had to call in to get us here?"

He kissed her cheek, "Mmm…if I told you I'd have to kill you."

"Really? Couldn't you just hold me prisoner on this island for the rest of my life?"

"Now there's a thought. How about we grab our swim suits and an ice chest and soak up some of this sun."

She turned in his arms, kissing him slowly, "Sounds like a great idea." She slipped out of his arms to walk slowly up to their bungalow, making Conrad wish he'd suggested they try out the king size bed before they did anything else.

"You coming?" she called from inside

"Right behind you."

A few minutes later Conrad had a cooler full of ice and beer and a desperate need for a cold shower. Shana had waltzed out of the bathroom in a what he assumed was suppose to pass as a bikini but honestly, he wasn't sure if there was enough fabric to even qualify. He'd attempted to back her up in the bathroom and forgo the beach all together but she'd slipped under his arm, grabbed a beach bag and a towel, sauntering out with a devilish sway of her hips.

"Am I coming?" he snorted, "Absolutely!"

Shana nestled further in to the deep cushion of her padded lounge chair, blissfully content to spend the rest of the afternoon watching the waves lazily curl and wash ashore.

Conrad, however, was not. He looked at her with a wicked grin on his face.

She smiled, "And what are you thinking about?"

"As if you didn't know." He said, his voice low and deep

She just smiled knowingly and settled back against the cushions, watching him out of the corner of her eye.

He reached into the ice bucket containing his beer and slowly pulled out a handful of ice cubes.

She sat straight up, "You wouldn't dare!"

He grinned maliciously, "You sure about that?"

Conrad tilted his hand slightly and Shana leapt up with a scream and raced down the beach. Conrad dumped the ice on the ground and ran after her, weaving in and out of the surf until he caught her, swooping her up and over his shoulder, wading out into the clear water. When he was waist deep he dropped her.

She surfaced with a scream, indignant that he was laughing. She dove beneath the waves and yanked his foot out from under him.

They played around for a few minutes before Conrad caught her around the waist and lifted her up for a heated kiss. She wound her arms around his neck, her legs around his hips, and returned his kiss with all the pent up passion they'd had to store during the recent battles. When they'd counted time to nap as a luxury, there had been no time to even think about sneaking a kiss, let alone find time enough to be intimate. Now, they had all the time in the world.

Later they waded back to shore and collapsed in the surf. She rested her head on his shoulder, he wrapped an arm around her and kissed the top of her head, "I love you, Shana."

She smiled back, "I love you, too."

He sent her to shower alone while he supposedly checked in with base. He did, quickly, before contacting the manager on duty and ordering a special meal to be set up on the terrace.

They enjoyed fine wine and deliciously prepared seafood while they watched the sun set and the stars rise alongside the moon.

"Did you really think I was going to throw ice on you?" he asked

She narrowed her gaze "You had ice in your hand…what else were you going to do with it?"

He chuckled, "Other than terrorists I can name two things you vehemently despise. One is …spiders" they said simultaneously and Shana shivered.

Conrad reached for her hand, "The other is being cold. If I'd thrown ice on you I'd be lucky if I got the couch and more likely I'd be sleeping outside on the sand. That's not exactly how I'd planned to spend my nights."

"You're still a cad for pretending!" she accused teasingly

He took her hand and kissed her palm, "Am I forgiven?" he asked in a husky voice, his blue eyes turning deep sending delightful shivers through her body and igniting a slow heat deep inside

"Yes." She spoke softly, "But if you weren't really going to throw ice on me, why pretend?"

He laughed, "To get you out of that damn lounge chair! You were having a love affair with the sun; I was jealous!" They laughed

"Besides…" he added, "How long did you expect me to leave that pitiful excuse for swimwear on your gorgeous body?"

Her eyes lit with teasing laughter, "You lasted longer than I expected."

He stood up, "Come dance with me?"

She sat back in her chair, surprised, "You want to dance? Usually I have to drag you out on the dance floor!"

"Not tonight, babe. Tonight is special."

"I'll say." She slid off her shoes, placed her hand in his and allowed him to dance her on to the sand, the skirt of her dress flaring in the breeze

Soon she was resting her head on his shoulder and leaning heavily against him as they swayed in the moonlight. She couldn't recall spending a more romantic evening in her entire life.

He stopped and she raised her head for a kiss, although he was careful to keep it light as they walked back to the terrace.

"I love you, Shana." He brushed her hair away from her face, tucked the vibrant strands behind her ear

"I love you, too, Conrad." She whispered against his lips, surprised when he pulled away and dropped to one knee before her

"Did you drop something?" she asked, confused as to why he was stopping when they were so close to the bedroom

"I found something. You. I love you, Shana O'Hara, you've been with me through hell and back again, you accept me and love me for who I am, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" He pulled out a beautiful diamond engagement ring and held it out

She gasped, taken completely by surprise, tears glistening in her eyes, she smiled brightly, "Yes, Conrad Hauser, I will marry you." He slid the ring on her finger and she pulled him up, jumping in to his arms as he swung her around. She framed his face with her hands and kissed him, holding her hand out to admire her ring.

"It's beautiful! I love you!" She kissed him again

He laughed with sheer joy, not remembering a time he'd felt so happy, so at peace with himself and the world. She'd said yes, she loved him, she would marry him. As he carried her inside he had a fleeting thought about checking to see if there was a minister or priest on the island who would marry them before the end of the week. Then Shana led him to the bedroom and he started thinking about something else entirely.