A/N: I'm thinking about making a fleshed out version of this.
It was too cold for this.
I sat on the beach, mere feet from where the tide met the sand. It had been a while since I did this. I'm an impulsive person, and being here at two in the morning really seemed to strike me at the moment. Too bad it's in the middle of November and just below twenty degrees outside. Luckily, the waters weren't rough, so no stray ocean spray was hitting me in the face.
Our hotel was in a convenient location for my spur of the moment long walks on the beach. Too bad I'm alone.
My wool visor beanie wasn't doing a good job of keeping my ears warm. Being from Canada, I was used to harsh temperatures and was rarely ever really cold. The only part of me that ever bothered me in the cold was my ears, and they were stinging pretty badly. I pulled the hat down further, but it kept sliding upwards.
Maybe it was my haircut.
"Chris, what are you doing out here?"
I jumped when I heard my name. Who the hell would come out here at this hour and in this weather?
Oh, that's right. I did.
The voice was familiar, and I almost didn't believe that it was her. As she walked towards me, I was reminded of when Ariel walked towards Prince Eric after King Triton allowed her to be human.
It's sick that I know that.
No, she wasn't a Diva, nor was she even employed by the WWE. It was Gracie, a close friend of Randy Orton. We all knew that they were dating. Why else would she be on the road with us for this trip? They played it cool, as if Gracie was an old time friend of Randy's, but we all knew better.
I wish I didn't.
I wanted to believe that they were only friends. I wanted that chance. After my divorce a few years back, I thought that I could never love again. Then I saw Gracie, and it was like Romeo and Juliet love at first sight kind of stuff. Instantly, I could see my future with her.
But then I saw her hugging Randy, and that phoenix of hope inside of me burst into flames.
And I don't think this one will be reborn from the ashes.
She looked dead tired, almost as if she hadn't been sleeping for days. Her dark hair that matched the night sky was tied up in a bun. A green winter headband was around her head, covering her ears. Her brown eyes were hidden behind her glasses. Her skin looked even paler in the moonlight. She was like an angel walking across the shore, or even a ghost.
"I could ask you the same thing," I said, turning back to look at the shore. Having the waves distract me seemed like a much better option than having my heart broken by looking in her eyes.
"I saw you from my balcony. I couldn't sleep, either," she said, sitting next to me and leaning on my shoulder.
"How convenient," I grumbled. I so badly wanted to flinch my shoulder to make her take her head off of me, but I was desperate for any source of heat. Besides, I wasn't quite sure I wanted her away from me.
Gracie let out a deep sigh. "I'm sorry," she whispered, but her apologies were carried out with the wind.
"You don't have to be," I lied. Oh, she had to be. How can you show up here with someone else, go out with a different guy, make him fall in love with you, and then run back to the original man?
We sat there in silence for a while, the only sounds being the wind and the waves rolling on the shore. I don't know what was running through her head, and I'm not sure that I wanted to. But I was positive that with her next to me, I couldn't feel the wind anymore. I felt warm. Maybe I was finally numb.
"Do you love him?" I asked, still not turning to face her.
She moved a little bit. If I wasn't mistaken, I was sure that she snuggled up even tighter against me. I had to resist the urge to put my arm around her. That might seem a little desperate.
"I think that answer is a little obvious," she answered with little emotion in her voice. That could be either really good for me…or really bad. I was hoping for good.
"Enlighten me, please," I pleaded.
"I do love Randy, Chris. I really, really do," Gracie stated. I felt as if I was a balloon and she just stabbed me with a needle.
I wanted to call shenanigans on that. If she loved him, why was she out here, worrying about me? Shouldn't she be in her bed, cuddling with her boyfriend? But no, here she is, out here in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures…with me.
But she didn't move. After professing her love for another man, she still sat as close to me as she could be sitting. I didn't want to move, nor did I want to ruin this moment. Even though she said that she loved Randy, this moment was perfect to me in all of its insanity.
I had to ruin it, possibly with my own stupidity. I moved, and she removed her head from my shoulder. It was then that I felt the harsh wind again. I turned to face her, and I could feel my hat slipping off of me again.
"Your ears are going to get cold," Gracie said, reaching out her hands and pulling my hat down for me.
"I wasn't aware that you cared," I said, looking her dead in the eyes.
"Chris, what are you—" Gracie started, but I didn't find out what her question would have been. I couldn't stand hearing her speak anymore.
So I leaned in and kissed her. I told you I was impulsive.
It lasted maybe about a minute, which was approximately fifty-nine and a half seconds longer than I thought it was going to last. But, just like I expected, she was the one that broke it off.
She leaned backwards and put a hand up to her lips. What, did I burn her or something? Was kissing me an act of the devil? If it was, I thought it would be a pretty sweet sin.
"I can't…" she whispered. She looked honestly sad, as if she believed she had hurt me in some way, which she did.
"If you couldn't, you would have been gone already."
Her gaze broke apart from mine, and we both turned to face the ocean again. Her head found its place back on my shoulder, and this time, I wasn't shy about putting my arm around her.