Waves lap against her feet as she stands at the water's edge. The sun has already descended, leaving in its wake a display of brilliant colors that will soon vanish.

The breeze picks up and sprays her with ocean mist as she closes her eyes and inhales deeply. The unique smell of the ocean and the feel of the gentle breeze against her bare skin calm her unlike anything else she has encountered. Slowly opening her eyes, the girl is surprised to see that the radiant colors are now fading to be replaced by the color that seems to halt everything as it obscures the world.

The wind carries a voice to her as she gazes at the sky, in awe of the transitioning hues of colors. "Are you ready to go?"

She shakes her head slowly as she drags out the word "no" dreamily. "I don't want to leave."

She feels his presence as he moves to stand behind her. He grabs her hand and tugs gently before realizing that she is not going to move.

She hears a sigh as he releases her hand. She sadly notes to herself that she misses his warmth before she feels a pair of arms glide around her waist. A smile breaks through as she leans back and settles into his arms.

Her body relaxes as the wind briefly picks up again, bringing with it the ends of the sarong that is draped around her waist. She is beginning to clear her mind and daydream when his voice in her ear brings her back to reality. She was too distracted to understand what he said, but she already knows what he was talking about. Her heart pulls slightly as she thinks about tomorrow.

"We have to go," he whispers in her ear.

She shakes her head and stares out at the water, trying to deny what she knows is happening. "We can stay," she whispers, but whether her words are meant for him or as a plea to the world she does not know.

She feels his chest rise and fall as he takes a deep breath. "You know I wish we could, but we can't."

Tears threaten to fall down her pale face, but she forces them back as she steps out of his warm embrace. As if sensing what is happening the wind dies down, taking with it the only source of sound apart from the gentle sound of the tide coming and going.

"I hate this," she admits in a quiet voice.

He watches as she folds her arms across her stomach, placing her palms firmly against her sides. He cringes internally as he recognizes her defensive stance. She is trying to build up walls to protect herself from the heartache they both know cannot be avoided. Any chance of protection was lost what seems likes long ago as they allowed themselves to develop feelings for each other.

He steps forward and tentatively places a hand on her shoulder, only to have her shrug away from him so that her entire face is hidden from his view. "Don't do this," he pleads.

"Do what?" she snaps as she twirls around. He can see the mixed emotions in her eyes: fear, sorrow, love. He has known for a couple of hours that this night is not going to be easy for either of them. Her small voice and guarded responses have grown in intensity until an hour ago when she stopped responding at all. He knows that this is her way of protecting herself and while he is glad that he has managed to break down her defenses, he almost wishes he hadn't, just to avoid the sorrow to come.

"I don't want this to happen," he states. "I never dreamed this would happen, but we can't avoid it." Her eyes soften slightly and he sees her arms relax the tiniest bit, signaling to him that her resolve is breaking. He eases closer to her as he continues. "You know I don't want this, and I know you don't either."

Her eyes begin to water as she speaks, "This isn't fair. Why can't you stay?"

"You know as well as I do," he replies as he takes the last few steps toward her. "I have to go back to school."

"I can come visit you though," she tries, her eyes pleading with his to not break her dreams. "I can go home and see my family and….." her voice falters as she watches him shake his head sadly.

"You know that won't work. You have to be here."

"I'll be here without you though," she says as she stares at the sand beneath her feet. As much as she does not want to admit it, the short period of time they have known each other has somehow allowed them to become so close it hurts to let go.

"Don't think of it like that. We'll see each other again."

"When?" she asks as she raises her eyes to look at him. The moonlight is shining bright, unblocked by clouds, and she takes the time to study his face. It still surprises her that just 2 months ago this man before her was a stranger.

Not wanting to promise something that cannot be absolute, he says vaguely, "soon." As he watches her smile slightly and tears form in her eyes, he steps forward and brings her into his arms, heaving a sigh of relief when she comes without a fight. Her arms wrap around him tightly, one hand reaching up to clutch the collar of his shirt, and he knows that she does not want to let go. The breeze starts up, softly blowing her long hair around as they embrace firmly, neither willing to admit what is about to happen.

After several minutes pass he leans back, keeping his arms around her back. "Ready to go?"

She shakes her head and looks away as her fingers slowly unclench and slide down to meet her other hand. "I don't think I can leave right now," she admits.

Nodding, he reaches over and rests his knuckles under her chin to bring her eyes back to his. "I don't have a choice."

She nods vigorously as she fights tears, her voice breaking as she says, "I'll see you later then."

He nods in response as he leans forward. Her eyes close and she feels the slightest touch of his lips on hers, the pressure so light she wonders if it is a kiss or her imagination. She keeps her eyes closed as the warmth of his arms slowly leave her body, replaced by the cool breeze and mist off of the water. Forcing her eyes open she watches him walk away toward his hotel, where his bags are already packed and the plane ticket sits atop the table by the door. His flight is early and she knows she will not see him again before he leaves.

Taking a deep, shaky breath she watches him until he disappears from view. The only thing that stops her from running after him is the fact that a second good-bye will hurt worse than this. Her heart feels like it is being torn apart, something that has never happened before. The moment he is out of sight, she breaks down and cries, hoping that kiss was not their last.


I really don't know where this came from. I have a feeling, but whatever the reason is, I like this. Drop a review and let me know what you think!

Thanks to my beta, prehistoric-girl, who managed to catch what I missed.