Silence filled the air as Aylee laid her head on James shoulder. They stayed that way for awhile watching the waves come crash on the shore. It was hypnotizing watching the tide come in and out. Neither one of them wanted to be the first to break the silence, but finally Aylee spoke.

"The ocean is really beautiful isn't it?"

They both studied the ocean and the ruby red sunset that was turning everything honey red.

"Yes Aylee, I have to agree with you. The ocean is pretty, the sunset amazing, but I know what is more beautiful."

Aylee turned to look at him. His short brown hair danced in the breeze and his green eyes danced with some unknown laughter.

"And what would that be James? What could possibly be more beautiful than this view here?" She asked, leaning to give him a kiss.

In response James stood up, picked her up off the ground and spun her around. "You are. You are far more beautiful than anything here.

She laughed. "James…there are people! Looking at us!"

James set her down on the sand. "Let them look. For I am the happiest man here today, and I don't care what they think of us."

Aylee brushed a strand of her long red hair out of her eyes. "Even if one of them is a family member?"

James looked at her. "This is my family's beach. I wouldn't be surprised if over half of the people here are related."

Her eyes widened. "You didn't tell me that. What if they are spying on us now?" She asked playfully as her hazel eyes scanned the people.

Then I will do something." He pulled her into his arms and turned towards the people.

"Listen people, I got something to say!" He shouted in the direction of the crowd. Aylee buried her face in his shirt to keep from laughing as James continued. "This is my girlfriend! I love her!"

"James...I love you too. But really? Did you have to do that?" She looked up at him, her eyes dancing and her blush bright pink.

"Yes, I did. I thought the whole beach should know how much I love you. Hopefully soon it won't just be the beachgoers here today that know it either."

Aylee brushed sand off her hoodie and jeans while she studied him. "What do you mean by that?"

He knelt on one knee and pulled out a velvet purple box.

"Is that-is.." She stood speechless as he opened the box to reveal a simple gold band with a diamond in the center. James looked down at the ground for a minute and when he looked up again his eyes were filled with emotion.

"I have loved you for years, and I will continue to do so in the years to come. I love you more now than when I first met you. I didn't think that was possible to do then, but it is. So I look forward to loving you even more in the future. I promise you nothing, and I can give you nothing fancy that you deserve. All I can guarantee and give you is my love. So I ask one question, one that I feel it is time to ask." He looked down again and with a huge smile he looked at Aylee. "Aylee Janelle Richardson…will you marry me?"

Aylee sank down to where he knelt. "The things of gold will eventually rust, and fancy baubles will eventually be lost, forgotten, or discarded. Only love is forever. My answer James Ray Coldwater…is yes. Yes."