Wrapped in a complimentary terrycloth bathrobe, Donna overlooked Papohaku Beach, awake and bright-eyed, energized with anticipation instead of caffeine. A thick, golden ribbon of sand and peacock-blue water curved in tandem up the coastline. No umbrellas or beach chairs, no surfers or snorkelers in sight. She squinted into the mid-day sunlight, reminded of her Coppertone, and swiveled to check that she had stacked it with their towels and sandals.
Her eyes shifted and traced a diagonal sunbeam across the room, from the table to the bed, where it kissed the breadth of Josh's shoulders as he slept. He had fallen asleep eleven hours ago, his forehead bereft of the worry-lines of a long, relentless campaign and his body pressed to her side, naked and warm. In the night, Josh had curled his arm around her hips and had turned his face into the curve of her neck, stuck to her as if she were-had always been-his safehold.
Now Donna returned to the bed and settled on her side, close enough to Josh to hear the quiet, steady rhythm of his breathing. A soft smile stole across her face as she lifted her hand and risked a touch, smoothing a wisp of hair over his ear.
She had waited for years to see him like this: lying beside her, tranquil and oblivious in the afternoon sunlight, asleep under her touch. Leaning closer, Donna brushed his cheek with a kiss.
The beach, she thought, could wait.