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Young And Impetuous
I met Gavin at John’s Pass. It was kismet, really. We both ducked into a little bar, The Green Iguana, to wait out the usual afternoon rain. We were seated one stool apart.
At first, we both did our best to hide behind our menus, holding them in front of our faces and pretending not to stare. While waiting for service, we peeked at each other through sideways glances and lowered eyelids.
He was all hard-body with a hint of mischievous, teddy bear, in his alarmingly green eyes. I’d never seen eyes that so honestly reflect a man’s thoughts.
Just before dinner was served, he turned to me and asked,
“Drowning your sorrows or waiting out the downpour?”
Cautiously, I replied, “Downpour. You?”
“The same,” he said, “and I hate to drink alone. Join me at a booth?”
I extended my hand, and we happily moved to a quiet, corner table.
I perused the dessert menu, busying myself, even though I wasn’t hungry at all. When I looked up again, he was smiling at me. It was completely unexpected and disarming. His eyes crinkled and I forgot to be self- conscious in that moment.
We talked amicably, and intimately, as though we had known each other forever. We lost all track of time, getting lost in each other instead.
“I’m not ready for the evening to end yet, are you,” he inquired, obviously unafraid of rejection.
I replied, “Me neither,” with an impish grin.
“St. Pete Beach is just down the road. How about a walk in the surf?”
I readily agreed. Gavin drove, and held my hand the entire time. The only time he let go was to open the car door for me.
I don’t know how many miles we walked before we paused, in a somewhat abandoned area, to watch the huge, red-gold, orb sink into the Gulf of Mexico.
I turned to him just as he turned to face me. With both of us ready to say something, he politely deferred and said,
I told him that every time I witnessed a sunset, as amazing as this; I expected to see and hear steam, rising from the gulf, as though extinguishing the sun.”
He laughed and pulled me into his arms, full body-length, with little space between us. Then he loosened his hold and I smiled up at him, saying,
“You know what we have to do. It’s customary.”
A slow smile spread over his face as the custom dawned on him. In a moment, we were both watching the last, burnt-orange and red, sliver slip into the Gulf. Then we jumped up and down, clapping like a couple of lunatics, laughing, and yelling,
“Yay! Go God! Whoo hoo!”
Gavin pulled me into his embrace, kissing me long and hard, and then pushed me back a step. After what felt like an eternity, his face grew serious as he watched my eyes, studying my face. Without as much as blinking, and said,
“I think He did good this time.”
I crushed Gavin to me and whispered in his ear,
He held and kissed me, over and over, until night fell, and the moon rose into the star-speckled skyline. With soft, slow movements, he brushed the spaghetti strap on my shirt down to my forearm and offered,
“There’s another custom for young lovers who find themselves on a deserted beach,” then he stopped, waiting for my reaction.
Without need of further words, we helped each other strip. Then we ran into the warm, gulf waters, and made love in the depths, with moonlight sparkling off our bodies. It felt so right, so comfortable, and thrilling, all at once.
We stayed in the circle of our embrace all night long; rolling, pushing, and pulling, as powerfully as the sea. Then he locked his arms behind me, and with both hands firmly clasped, he said softly,
“Marry me, McKella.”
I bit my lip as he pulled me more tightly to him. He held me, like a drowning man gripping a life raft, while I thought of a million reasons not to marry… yet.
I began my reply, whispering softly, “Gavin, this is so sudden. We just met and…”
He pressed his index finger to my lips and whispered, “I know, but hear me out.”
I fell silent as he walked me to the shoreline and placed me on one of two, long- forgotten, deck chairs.
He grabbed his shirt and dried me tenderly, leaving no part of me untouched or unattended to. Then he spoke, looking in my eyes, and straight down into my soul, he explained,
“We’re only young once. We will never have back, the opportunity to be young, in love, and impetuous. Though I may ask a million more times, I want it to be now… this moment. I think, when you know, you really know. I know. Do you?”
I sat up on the deck chair and pulled him into a ferocious hug. I kissed him, lovingly, deeply, passionately, and then gave my reply,
“Yes Gavin. I know, and my answer is yes.”
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