Adrian let her lead him. She stepped away and then was gone. His heart began to race as panic set in.
“Asiana? Asiana?” He called out for her, spun around. His outstretched hands hitting the nothingness of morning air. He looked totally lost as his fear grew.
She watched until she couldn’t hold still any longer. Jumping in front of him, grabbing both shoulders, she steadied him. Asiana laughed, her arms encircling, cradling him close.
Adrian pushed her to arm’s length, shaking her gently. “Why did you do that?”
She moved back in, stood on her tiptoes and pressed her lips to his, tugging on his lower lip with her teeth before moving away. Adrian was a foot taller than she, crudely put together with twisting cream colored hair, a small nose and dark eyes that always seemed to be brooding.
“How did you feel,” she asked, holding her ear against his chest, feeling his heart’s wild throbbing.
He was shaking his head, the way he did when frustrated or angry, finding it would difficult to hold back tears if he were to speak. She brushed away wayward strands of dusky hair from her narrow face, revealing rich brown eyes intent on getting an answer.
“You move like a dancer when you’re frightened.” Spinning pirouettes, she mimicked him and giggled. He stared straight ahead, not amused.
“Abandoned. I felt abandoned.” He answered, plopping onto the sand with a deep hardened grunt, feeling its coarseness as he sifted it from one hand to another.
“Why do you do such things, Asiana? I have no idea where we are or how to get back home.”
“I’m expanding your horizons, Adrian. Stop being a baby. Become a warrior.” Her tone less harsh than her words.
“Where are we, at the lake again?” He asked.
She did not sit next to him but stood looking at the shoreline. The chilly air rippled across the top of the water, making her tingle. She took in a deep breath, sucking the dry salted air with pleasure.
“Can you feel the breeze and smell the air?” She asked. “Breath in deep and hold it.”
He sucked in a lungful of air, and then slowly let it out.
“I like the smell. Describe it for me.”
“It is like a huge rolling blue with white bubbly froth on top,” she exclaimed, clutching his arm, trying to pull him to his feet. Instead, he pulled her down on top of him, wrapping an arm around her waist . He nuzzled into her long hair, planting kisses down her neck, along her face until he reach her lips. He put one hand on the back of her head and pushed her face into his, kissing her lips hard, insistent. Clumsily, he moved his free hand to the lace ribbon that held in her breasts. She twisted away and sat up.
“No, Adrian. I’m not ready yet.”
He knew she would say that, but it was getting harder to control his urges. She touched his cheek, staring at him, looking into his useless eyes. Tears soaked her lashes, and she pressed her lips soft against his mouth. He hungered for her, wanted to tug off her clothes, consume her, and she knew it.
They sat that way for some time, with her running her fingers up and down his arm. Suddenly, he was nervous. The quiet had grown into a huge palatial space between them. She must have felt it too, because she rose to her feet. The cool wind of the morning was fading into an afternoon heat.
“Come on.” She jerked him to his feet. He moved carefully, holding solid to her hands. She ran, pulling him along. When he slipped loose, she leaped ahead.
Asiana’s distant voice called to him, and he moved toward it, arms extended. He stumbled into the rushing water. His hands splashing down first.
She was next to him. “You’re all right.”
“Oh, it’s freezing,” he said, coming to his feet, clothes dripping, flesh goosebumped. He stood shivering. Asiana barely made any noise when she hit the water, sliding down deep, air bubbles glistening out her mouth and nose. She came up from the water’s depth like she was crawling out of the deepest most satisfying dream.
When she next appeared, she grabbed him tight.
“Let yourself fall,” she whispered softly into his ear. They stood next to one and other, backs to the roar of the waves. She was curious as to whether he would trust her enough.
“Everything will be fine,” she said, not able to stop herself. Keeping her eyes open so she could watch him, she let herself fall backwards never letting go of him. Adrian felt like he was being pushed by a strong gust, sinking deep. He soon bobbed to the surface, gasping. The dragon tattoo on his shoulder visible through his shirt when his arm arched and paddled. She waited for him to catch his breath before swimming under him, grabbing hold of his feet, pulling him down. He took a deep breath and held it before plunging. She put her mouth on his and watched the bubbles rise after leaving his lips. They surfaced together. She kissed his wet cheeks and pulled in close to him.
“I feel very much in love with you at this moment,” she said as the powerful emotion ran through her.
“Oh?” He said. “And how do you know?”
“I just feel lighter.” She said as she kicked away.
He reached out, groping for her warmth. She was hard for him to hold onto.
Asiana was watching him and thinking. Maybe she was wrong and didn’t really care about him. Perhaps it wasn’t going to be hard leaving him behind, not hard at all.
“Hurry, hurry.” She called to him as she swam away. “Continue on your back if you get tired.” Her eyes looked to the shore, watching it appear and disappear with the movement of the waves. There will be places she’ll never be able to visit if she stays with him, she thinks as she moves through the water. Adrian was now close behind her. Within minutes, Asiana was standing motionless along the flat rocks, water lapping along her feet. She was frozen in her movements, hearing nothing except the pounding of her own heart. Adrian’s hand was reaching up for her to grab. She squeezed it and then let go in one quick movement. A wave of fear rolled around his stomach.
“What’s the matter,” he yelled, his voice, unsteady, floating in her direction. He was about to say something else, call out to her, but thought better of it.
A huge swell of pain sent tears rolling down her cheeks.
“The sky is a soft distant blue today, Adrian, and the sea, it’s not so deep.”