He watched her face intently, searching for any sign that she had heard him. The sun bathed her in its golden hues...

"It's okay. It was a silly notion on my part."

"Cliff..." She turned to face him. "A baby...it's such a huge decision."

"You've known me for what, Nikki, 15 years?" She nodded. "Don't you know I'd have thought this through before even coming to you." Her eyes sparkled as a smile covered her face. "What?"

"Just wondering how much 'thought' went into it? A lot of time on your hands?" His face flushed deep crimson as he caught her meaning.

"Well, that would be a benefit, if we went about it the old fashioned way." He looked out at the beach, letting it all sink in. "There are other ways to go about it. I really hadn't thought too much about how to get there. I just know that this is something I would like and I would love to share it with you."

"Do you think our friendship will survive it?"

"Nikki, our friendship is why I thought of you. I haven't been in a serious relationship in years, you know that. The chances of me finding someone more compatible than you is zilch. I know that we don't have romantic feelings for each other, but we have something much more meaningful. Please, just think about it. I will understand if you don't want to. I just need to know that you have considered it."

"Cliff, you shouldn't doubt me on that. I will give it deep thought." She smiled. "I am curious though. Why did you wait until we were on vacation to discuss this with me?"
"Well," he chuckled, "truth is, I'm a chicken. I didn't have the nerve to bring it up at home. I wanted to wait until we were somewhere alone, without distractions."

"I see." She touched his arm to reassure him. "Why don't we postpone this conversation and go get something to eat."

"Sounds like a plan. Meet you in the lobby in, say 15 minutes?"
"Make it 20 and you have a deal"

"Twenty it is." They hugged and separated, both deep in thought.

Twenty minutes as agreed, Nikki bounced down the rounded staircase to the lobby.

"I want to tell you something," she began as they walked out the hotel door.

"Okay?" He guided them down the road toward the center of town.

"I don't want to spend the rest of our trip mulling this over and leaving you in the lurch, so I think that I will put it on the back burner till we get home." She stopped and looked him in the eye. "I don't want you to think it's not important to me. It is. I'm just not ready to come to a decision yet."

"Sounds acceptable." He smiled at her. "I'll wait for you to bring it up."

"Thank you." They walked again in silence finding a small cafe. "This looks good."

"K!" They ate slowly, enjoying the genuine Italian food. "We need to decide where we want to go next year."

"Hmm. I don't know. Do you have any ideas?" She thought over the exotic trips they had taken together. It started as a fluke, the year after they graduated college, they were both miserable, having broken of relationships and needing time to sort things out. They had retreated to the small island of Catalina, where they had rented a small villa and soaked up the sun's rays, enjoyed the food and learned the customs. Every year since they had taken a vacation. This year was in a small town in Italy.

"We haven't been to Mexico in a few years. We could look into that." He took a sip of his wine. "We could check it out on the Internet when we get back to our room."

"Sounds like a plan. Right now, would you care to join me for a walk on the beach?"

"My dear, I would love to." He paid their bill before heading on their way.

Let me know what you think...This one started as a dream and I thought I would play with it...good, bad??? Should I trash it??? Thanks Mell