Their shoes and her purse rested on the rocks as they walked hand in hand along the shore. The fresh salt air filled their lungs and they basked in the each other's presence.
During their time along the shore, they had spoken of many things. She told him about her shopping spree, the conversation she had overheard between Dara and her mother, but saving the best for last, she finally told him that her mother had decided that they should relocate to Port Charles. They decided to have a pre-celebration by watching the sunset together. Their real celebration would occur later when she and Nikolas went dancing.
Now as they walked near the shoreline, Dawn squealed as the rising surf tickled her bare feet. Acting on impulse, Nikolas swept her into his arms and swung her away from the incoming tide. The sounds of their laughter died as he slowly lowered her down the length of his body. Their eyes locked and they couldn't ignore the desire which intoxicated both of them.
Nikolas glanced away, his mind deep in thought. He wanted to ask but he couldn’t find the right words. Giving up, his eyes moved back to her and found that she was watching him closely. When her mouth parted and she subconsciously licked her lips, he had his answer.
Silently, Nikolas took her hand and led her back to the rocks. He handed her the purse and picked up their shoes. He held their shoes in one hand and with the other he held her hand as he led her to the old rowboat which waited for them in the bushes.
The ride to the cabin was silent. They had long discovered that they didn't need words to communicate. After they secured the boat and hid it in the bushes, they made their way to the cabin.
Nikolas quickly found the key and he opened the door. He allowed Dawn to proceed him into the cabin, where she discovered that everything was as they had left it. The candles, now cold, sat waiting for the strike of a match. The kindling in the fireplace sat in wait, as well.
Nikolas dropped their shoes by the door and quickly moved to light the candles. Satisfied that the lighting was perfect, he started the fire. When he was done, he rose from his position in front of the fireplace and stepped back to look at the fire. He released a sharp breath when he felt Dawn wrap her arms around him from behind, her chest pressed into the solid of wall of his back.
He turned to face her and cupped her face with gentle hands. He saw the beginning flame of passion light her eyes and he knew it mirrored his own, but still, he had to know.
"Are you sure?" he whispered.
She nodded "yes" and whispered in a husky voice, "I've come prepared."
The look on Nikolas' face was of puzzlement and she moved from him to retrieve her purse from the table. She opened it and pulled out the little gray box.
As she handed it to him, he asked, "Why…how?"
Placing a finger against his lips, she said with a smile, "Ssh. Don't ask. It's a long story."
Nikolas heeded her words and as he pulled her into his arms, they soon discovered that words were no longer necessary.
Dara should have been concerned when Alex drove down the residential area and pulled into the driveway. She should have asked him where they were going, but she didn't. Instinctively, she knew. She knew the moment he had walked through her office door.
Within in seconds, they were in his home. Dara found it that it was just as she thought it would be when she had allowed herself to think of it. The living room was homey and she immediately felt comfortable there. The décor was a mixture of traditional furniture with hi-tech electronic equipment. Definitely, the home of a man who had inherited the furniture, but was picky when it came to his entertainment.
Alex left her briefcase in the chair by the door and followed her into the living room. He had reservations about bringing her to his home, but he couldn’t fight the need that compelled him to do so. He silently watched her as she familiarized herself with his home. Watching her, he hoped that this would be the first of many times she would spend there.
"You have a beautiful home," she said. "It feels nice here."
"Thanks. You should make yourself comfortable. Would you like a drink? I have a few wine coolers, beer, soda, water," he offered as he shrugged out of his jacket and placed it on the old rocking chair that sat in the corner.
"A wine cooler would be nice. Do you have wild berry?" she asked.
"I'm sure I do," he replied. As he moved into the kitchen, he wondered what the hell he was doing. They worked together. Sure, they were obviously attracted to each other, but would it be worth the risk of their careers. Hell yeah, he decided, as he carried the cooler and a beer back into the living room.
While he was gone, Dara had made herself comfortable. The sounds of D'Angelo drifted from the stereo and she sat in the middle of the overstuffed sofa. Her jacket lay next to his on the rocking chair. Her shoes were underneath the coffee table and the top three buttons of her crisp white blouse were opened, revealing the cleavage that Alex had often fantasized about.
He closed the distance between them. As he handed her the cooler, their fingers brushed, electrifying both of them.
Dara took a sip of the cool beverage and slowly swallowed. She liked the feel of cooler as it went down her throat. She smiled at him when she found him watching her. She patted the seat next to her and without a word, Alex moved to join her.
"Why are you always around whenever I need you?" she asked him, her voice curious and challenging.
"Fate," he replied, taking a swallow of beer. After processing the taste of it, he realized that he didn’t want it anymore. He placed the beer onto a coaster on the coffee table. He'd much rather taste her than the beer he decided as he leaned back to rest against the sofa.
"Do you really believe in fate?" she asked, taking sips of her cooler.
"Absolutely," he said. "Some things are meant to be."
"What things?" she asked quietly, her gaze somehow drawn to his full lips.
"These things," he said. In one fluid movement, he removed the cooler from her hand and placed it next to his beer. He cupped her face with his hands and lowered his head to capture her lips with his own. Soon, her lips parted and without a moment of hesitation he slipped his tongue inside. As he tasted her, he decided that she was much sweeter than he had ever imagined.