Ian Wallace placed his tongue between his lips, the yellow pencil woven between his fingers tapping harmoniously upon the counter. Words echoed amongst his thoughts, though he had no clue as to which ones to place on the paper. Gently, he lifted the pencil, wood stiff, and began to press onto the ink line already printed onto the paper.

Love…-

He contemplated the word a moment, though was unsure of what to write after the four letters. Dropping the pencil onto the flat surface, Ian pressed his forehead into his palms, frustration taking over the better of his thoughts. He knew everyone craved to feel love, even for the smallest fragment of time- it was human nature….

Suddenly, his head shot up, and he quickly grasped the pencil between his fingertips once more.

Everybody wants to be loved every once in a while…-

A smile tugged at the corner of his lips as he gazed at the dark graphite sketched onto the white paper, enthusiastic at his word choice. He set the pencil down, hand reaching for his Gibson J-200 as he reminisced the tune of the song that he had been working on for a nearly a week. Humming the words in his memory, his fingers began to pluck at the strings, noting how the melody and lyrics began to mesh together. Instead of sounding bloody terrible, they blended well.

Placing his guitar against the wall once more, Ian jumped from his spot upon the counter, landing on the loose linoleum tile of the hotel floor. The girl that he had met… Daphne, liked his song, although he had believed it to be complete rubbish. She may have ignited a spark he was unsure was there at the moment.

"Ian?"

Ian shook his head, snapping from his sudden revere. His gaze landed upon Daphne Reynolds. She gazed at him curiously, the soft breeze picking at the ends of her hair. With a soft smile upon his lips, Ian gently brushed her cheekbone with the tip of his tanned finger, pushing the feral strand of hair until it was rested behind Daphne's ear. A smirk tugged at the corner of her lips as she gently leaned into Ian's hand.

"What are you thinking about?" she asked quietly, a rare form.

Ian contemplated upon telling her the truth. He allowed a sigh to escape his lips. "About the first time I met you- how you helped me write that song my mates and I played at the Orwood residence."

"I helped you write a song?" she asked, a single light eyebrow raised in defiance.

"Of course," Ian commented, a light chuckle escaping his lips.

Daphne leaned her head gently against his shoulder, ignoring the zipper that gently pressed into the side of her skull. Ian noticed her discomfort, and shrugged her head off his shoulder. She scrutinized his face, although as Ian began to slide his jacket from his shoulders, Daphne smiled. Placing her head once more upon his shoulder, a sigh escaped her lips.

"That song that you sung for Peach and Pear?" she asked, reminiscing to the second time she had seen Ian Wallace in London.

"I didn't write it for Peach and Pear," Ian remarked, light laughter trailing his words. "I wrote it for their ball. Though, I couldn't finish it until you came along. Everything sounded like rubbish to me."

"Well, I liked what I heard," Daphne commented.

Ian placed an arm around her shoulders, leaning back against the side of the old wooden boat. The clear water ran softly around the weathered wood, disturbed by the foreign object placed in the middle of the rather small river. Small bugs jumped across the waves, landing upon tiny leaves the had fallen from the trees that surrounded the waters.

"I'm glad you did," Ian laughed. "Without you, I couldn't have finished that tune."

Despite her best attempts to remain cohere, a light blush heated Daphne's face. Though, she gently pushed it away, in hope that Ian had not felt the head emanating from her cheeks. Ian placed a soft kiss in her hair, watching as the breeze gently pulled the boat at an obtuse angle.

"Well, I'm glad I met you in that Grand hotel," Daphne remarked, grasping Ian's free hand in her own. The two did not often get alone time to think and breathe, so Daphne attempted to grasp the most of her time with Ian as she could.

"Me, too," Ian agreed. He gently pulled her closer, grateful for the time period he had with her. "You know what this reminds me of?"

Daphne raised a single eyebrow, though she did not respond, instead lifting her head from Ian's shoulder, nodding him to continue.

"Our first… date," Ian said, a smile spreading upon his lips.

Daphne allowed a giggle to burst from her parted lips as she remembered crashing into the cool waters in the most un-graceful motion that she could have managed. Although Ian had broken most of the fall into the water, she could not help but laugh at his feeble attempt to keep them aboard the small boat.

"That was the most exciting first date I've ever been on," Daphne remarked, shaking her head lightly.

Ian laughed as well, remembering the chill of the water as it dripped from his hot face, the first moment he had seized to kiss Daphne. Though, as he reminisced the situation, a thought struck him like a plague, causing the smile to fall from his face like a ton of heavy bricks. Daphne gazed at him curiously, though her lips remained sealed as she silently searched for the unknown question she was not sure he would answer.

"Do you ever regret it?" he asked. The confusion weaved in Daphne's irises caused Ian to avert his gaze to the miniscule bugs dancing upon the disturbed water. "You know? That I had kissed you then?"

Daphne's face fell in realization. "Why would I? I'm a spontaneous, go-with-the-flow girl. It was… cool." The laughter in her voice was full, causing Ian to meet her gaze once more.

"Are you mocking me?" he asked, raising his dark eyebrows.

Daphne shook her head. "Of course not!" she said, tone dripping with sarcasm. She pushed upon Ian's shoulder gently, to which he responded by weaving his arms tightly over his chest. As Daphne leaned in to place a kiss upon his lips, Ian turned his head just at the correct moment for her lips to meet his cheek. "You cheat!" she screeched quietly.

"I don't cheat!" Ian laughed. "But, now you do owe me…."

"For what?" Daphne asked, placing her own arms across her chest as she contemplated Ian's words. A smile was still tugging at his lips, reassuring her that his joke was taken lightly, though he remained at a distant as his eyes found the front of the small boat.

"For mocking me," he answered, irises locking upon hers.

She allowed a dramatic sigh to escape her lips. "What shall I do for you to forgive me, your majesty?"

"Exactly that," Ian commented.

Daphne twisted her head, face contorted in confusion as she thought about his words. Her memories reflected upon their last date… 'your majesty'… Suddenly, Daphne's head shot up.

"No."

"C'mon, we've got to 'liven things up a little bit' you know, 'get the party started'," he commented, mocking Daphne's previous words from the Orwood ball.

Daphne allowed a grimace to overcome her features. "Well, first of all I could fall, and second of all… I could fall!" she answered, gazing a moment at the water.

"C'mon," Ian pressured, his grin nearly so wide, Daphne had a view of the white teeth that lied behind his pale lips.

"No," she answered abruptly, a smile placed upon her own lips. She grasped the side of the wooden boat tightly, hoping a splinter did not find a home into her fingers.

"Wimp!" Ian recoiled, prodding Daphne's stomach with the tip of his finger.

"No." She jumped slightly from the contact, though shook her head back and forth. When Ian did not say anything more, she responded again, "No!"

"For me?" Ian asked, sticking his tongue between his teeth.

Daphne had to hold in her sudden burst of laughter as he lowered his chin, and began to rapidly blink. She realized that she may have not looked as cute as she had contemplated back at the ball when she had done that. Although she was worried of the drop, Ian's gaze had softened, creating a soft churning in the midst of her stomach as her vision averted from his eyes to his lips.

"Alright…," she noted reluctantly. "Let's do it…."

Ian smiled in triumph, gently placing a soft kiss upon Daphne's cheek. "Alright," he said, the excitement laced into his words as she raised a hand. "Now get up there, and let me see you perform."

"Alright, alright."

Gently, Daphne stood, careful to grasp the edge of the boat as she made her way to the bow. She felt her eyes flutter closed at the soft touch of the breeze upon her face.

"You know what to do," Ian spoke, his words delicate as he gazed at his girlfriend.

Daphne hesitated a moment, before allowing her eyes to open once more. Cautiously, she slid her foot backwards, until she was rested in a low, graceful bow, right hand twirling gently with the motions of the water that swayed around the aged wood she stood in. Slowly, she retracted from her bow, allowing the breath of air to escape her lips, unaware that she had been holding it in. Her gaze found Ian, whom was resting against the side of the boat, a smile prominent upon his lips.

"I did it!" Daphne stated, throwing her arms into the air.

Ian's eyes became wide as the boat bean to sway, gaze upon Daphne as she gently slipped further to the right of the bow.

"Oh, not again," he commented.

Daphne placed her arms upon her hips defiantly, allowing her tongue to slip between her lips in a child-like manner.

"See," she commented, "Nothing happened."

Suddenly, as she placed her right foot forward to return to where she had been seated a few moments ago, the small boat began to buckle beneath the sudden, direct weight. Ian stood abruptly, placing his arms around Daphne's waist as her feet left the wooden floor of the boat, in a fatal attempt to keep her grounded. Though, he knew he had failed once more as the chilled water cascaded around the couple. Ian felt the ripples pull at his black hair as his shoes began to fill with the murky water of the small river. Beside him, Daphne was laughing audibly, pulling her hair until it rested at a comfortable position out of her soft face, attempting to not sink in the mud at the bottom of the river.

Ian grasped the side of the boat, his laughter uncontrollable as he made his way back onto the dry wooden planks. Daphne grasped his shoulders tightly, fearing she would slip back into the river, and made her way into the boat as well, landing beside Ian, her head placed gently atop his arm as he blocked the heavy wood beneath their bodies. Heavy breaths escaped his lips as he attempted to allow oxygen to fill his lungs once more, laughter subsiding. Daphne was close, nearly a few inches from Ian's face. Their laughter subsided, the giggles becoming soft echoes of sound, bouncing harmoniously off the water, joining the small bugs in their choreographed ballet.

"You know what I still don't get?" Ian asked, although he did not await an answer. Daphne felt his gentle fingertips glide upon her back as he pulled her close to his torso. "How you can still manage to tip the boat, after all this time."

A smirk tugged at the corner of Daphne's lips as she tilted her head. Ian's breath was harsh, his hand retracting from her back, and instead resting upon her neck, tilting her face gently, until her lips met his. Daphne's lips moved slowly atop his, not asking for much more than a curious memory. Ian tilted his head, causing the innocent kiss to deepen. He cautiously grasped the side of her face, as though she would disappear from his touch as she once had. Daphne felt her breath hitch in the midst of her throat, pulse moving quickly beneath his fingertips. Slowly, she grasped his elbow, feeling the spark that emanated from the heat of his hand upon her cool face.

A shudder ran down the length of Daphne's spine as Ian trailed his hand down her shoulder, pausing when he reached her elbow. Allowing a final kiss to linger upon her lips, Ian placed a sweet kiss upon Daphne's jaw line, trailing to the midst of her neck, and placing a final kiss upon the shallow crook in her collarbone. Allowing a breath to escape her lips, Daphne placed her hands beneath Ian's chin, tugging until his lips met her own once more. She felt Ian's face tug into a small smile as she trailed her finger down the length of his arm, wrapping once more around his skinny elbow.

Ian pulled his face back a moment, gaze falling upon Daphne's flushed cheeks.

"We better stop," he chuckled, the sound emanated from deep within his chest. "The press will have a field day if they see the Dashwood daughter snogging her musician boyfriend."

Daphne shook her head, wet hair falling into her hazel eyes. Ian raised his hand, gently grasping a piece of hair between his fingers, sweeping it until it was placed behind her ear.

"You know?" Daphne began. "I really don't care."

Ian lifted his face, a gentle smile upon his features. Slowly, he placed his lips upon her ear. "Can you whisper in my ear? Let me know it's alright…?"

A noticeable shudder erupted down the length of Daphne's torso. Ian felt a smirk pull at the corner of his lips as he placed a small kiss upon her ear. Through it all, he knew that Daphne was the at the end of the lonely highway he had traveled on for so long.