A creature of habit, he went for a walk on the beach very early in the morning before the sun rose. It was quiet and peaceful at that time and he could clear his thoughts. This morning was different, though. His mind was in turmoil. He couldn’t stop thinking about her and what almost happened between them last night. He wanted her but he couldn’t have her because she was his brother’s girlfriend.
Last night he watched them together when they were all in the drawing-room following a sumptuous dinner, jealousy eating him up. When he saw Laurence put his arm around her waist, he wanted to go over there and pull them apart. Instead, he rose abruptly to his feet and stalked out of the dining-room. He went into the library where he planned to spend the rest of the evening.
He was sitting in the armchair, deep in thought when the door opened and Laila walked in. He stiffened at once and a muscle began to pulsate along his jaw-line. Involuntarily, his gaze swept over her slender frame in the short coral reef shade strapless mesh dress with the sweetheart neckline. It reached just above her knees revealing a pair of long, shapely legs in impossibly high strappy sandals. Her neck was long and graceful and her shoulders smooth. Her skin was flawless. Her hair cut short like a boy’s suited her. She was an extremely beautiful woman and she took his breath away. He tried to ignore the feelings she was stirring inside him and exuded a calm demeanor he was far from feeling.
“I hope I’m not disturbing you,” she said, going over to stand beside him. “I saw when you left the room. Are you all right?”
“I’m fine,” he replied in a tight voice. You disturb me more than you know. “Laurence is probably wondering where you went off to.” He wanted to insist that she leave him because he was afraid of what he might do if she stayed.
She shrugged. “Laurence can do without me for a little while,” she said. “I’d like to stay here and keep you company.”
He caught a whiff of her perfume which tantalized his senses with its blended scents of hyacinth and primrose. She was standing too close for comfort and he couldn’t hide the desire that was raging inside him. For one betraying moment, his gaze lowered to her mouth which he longed to ravish, especially when he saw it part invitingly. He stood up. Their bodies were inches apart and their heads were moving closer together. In a few seconds, their lips would touch and he would taste the sweetness within…
Then sound of footsteps in the hall reached their ears and they broke apart. He sank heavily back down in the chair, his face flushed and his heart racing while she moved closer to the bookcase. Laurence went into the room, his eyes shifting first to her and then to his brother, his expression quizzical. “So, this is where you two dashed off to,” he said. “Father and Mother are about to cut the cake. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to miss that.” He took Laila’s arm. “Aidan, are you coming?”
“Yes.” He stood up, his eyes avoiding her as he walked past them and out of the room, his back rod straight. He would have preferred to stay in the library but it was his parents’ sixtieth wedding anniversary and it would look rather amiss if he were absent when they cut the cake. He stood by the window, his hands shoved deep in the pockets of his jacket, watching as his parents beamed at each other as they got ready to cut the three tier cake. Just then Laurence and Laila entered the room. Unable to resist, his eyes lingered on her. She seemed to be looking around the room. Was she looking for him? There wasn’t any doubt in his mind that Laila was attracted to him and if Laurence hadn’t walked in when he had…
The thunderous applause jolted him and he dragged his eyes away from Laila to see his parents kiss before they cut the cake. He went over and congratulated them. He stayed and mingled with the guests until they left and then, he escaped to his room. He lay there for a long time, staring up at the ceiling and trying to put what almost happened between Laila and him out of his mind. It was almost one in the morning when he finally dozed off.
He woke up at his usual time which was just before sunrise and made his way down to the beach. It promised to be a beautiful morning but it did nothing to lift his spirits. He removed his loafers and left them in the sand while he walked to the water’s edge. He stood gazing at the calm ocean, wishing that was how he felt inside. Of all the women in England, why did he have to fall in love with her?
Sighing heavily, he dragged his fingers through his damp hair. Right now he felt guilty because of Laurence but bitter disappointment because of what could have happened if only they hadn’t been interrupted.
Just then the sun appeared as bright yellow ball above the ocean, illuminating its calm waters. It was one of the most magnificent sunrises he had ever seen and he found himself wishing that Laila was there to enjoy it with him. Frustrated with himself, he quickly removed his clothes and ran stark naked into the water to cool off. It felt great against his skin and he floated on his back for several minutes, closing his eyes.
Laila sat there watching him. She had followed him after she saw him leave the house. She knew that he was heading for the beach. It felt a bit cool at first when she came out into the early morning air and was glad that she was wearing a light jacket. She made sure he didn’t see her and kept close to the rocks, watching him as he walked along the sandy shore. He was bare feet. His shoes were in his hands. He was dressed in a long sleeve tee shirt and a pair of jeans. He stopped and turned toward the ocean, standing there for a few minutes. Then, she gasped when she saw him strip and walk naked into the ocean. Her heart began to pound as she watched him wade out into the water before he disappeared under its surface.
Suddenly, she was feeling hot and she pulled off her jacket. She wanted to get from where she was perched on the sandy slope and join him but there was the possibility of the water being a bit too cool for her liking. She decided to stay put and just watch him.
Last night she hadn’t been able to sleep. All she could think about was how much she wanted him to kiss her and he would have if Laurence hadn’t interrupted them. Laurence knew that she was in love with Aiden and he teased her about it. Last night, much to her chagrin, he put his arm around her waist and pulled her closer to whisper in her ear, “I know that my little brother is besotted with you but he wouldn’t do anything about it because he thinks that you and I are in a relationship.”
She turned to stare at him. “Why does he think that?” she asked.
“I may have alluded to it.”
“Why would you do that?”
“To get a rise out of him.”
“Is that why you’ve been flirting with me all night?”
“He’s leaving. I thought he would have come over here and punch me or something.”
She turned to see Aidan hurrying out of the room. Grimacing, she removed Larry’s arm from around her. “Well, you’ve succeeded in getting a rise out of me too.”
Laurence looked contrite. “I’m sorry. I was just trying to help things along. You’ll find him in the library. It’s where he always goes when he’s upset.”
“Thank you.” She excused herself and quickly walked away. Her heart thudded with each step as she headed for the library. She found him sitting in the armchair in by the windows overlooking the courtyard. He didn’t look pleased to see her but she didn’t mind. Her desire to be with him trumped his desire to be alone. She trembled now as she remembered when he stood in front of her and they were about to kiss. How she longed to feel his lips on hers. Darn Larry for spoiling the moment.
Aidan was coming ashore and she rose to her feet, her eyes riveted as she saw him walk over to where his clothes lay on, spread his shirt out and sit on it with his knees drawn, gazing out at the sea. She sat there for the longest time watching him and debating whether or not to go down to him.
A gentle breeze was blowing and it was becoming warm. He felt invigorated after the swim and now he sat there allowing the air to dry his hair and skin. He glanced at his watch. It was eight o’clock. The others were probably awake by now. He would head back in ten minutes. Right now, he just wanted to enjoy his solitude…Something, he didn’t quite know what, alerted him that he wasn’t alone anymore and he swung round, his face going beet red when he saw Laila coming down the slope toward him.
Muttering under his breath, he scrambled to his feet, snatched up his jeans and dragged them on, his fingers trembling as he fumbled with the zipper. He fastened the button and was about to pick up his shirt when she reached him. He felt self-conscious standing there half-naked in front of her and he felt his body react when he saw her eyes travel over his torso.
His expression was tense as he looked at her and his heart was pounding wildly against his ribs. “What are you doing here?” he demanded tightly as he scooped up his shirt and pulled it on.
“I saw you leave and followed you.”
“Laila, you can’t stay here.”
“Why not?” she asked. “Is it because of what nearly happened between us last night?”
“Yes!” he hissed. He was trying really hard to control his emotions but she was making it impossible. “You need to go back to the house right now.”
“I don’t want to go back to the house, Aidan. I want to stay here.”
“All right. Then, I’ll leave.” He was about to walk past her when she caught his arm.
“Leaving me here wouldn’t change anything,” she told him huskily. “It wouldn’t change what we feel for each other. Last night I couldn’t sleep. All I could think about was how much I wanted you to kiss me…” She was standing very close to him now and her gaze had dropped to his lips, her own parting eagerly.
Groaning, he turned away from her as every fiber of his body screamed for him to take her in his arms and unleash the hunger that was consuming him. “No, as much as I want you, I can’t do this to my brother.”
“Aidan, I’m not Larry’s girlfriend.
Aidan turned back to stare at her. “What are you talking about?” he asked.
“Larry and I are not romantically involved. We’re just really good friends.”
“If that’s true, why is he always fawning all over you? Last night, he couldn’t seem to keep his eyes and hands off you.” Jealousy flashed in his eyes at the memory.
“That was for your benefit,” she informed him.
His eyes widened. “My benefit?” he exclaimed.
“Yes. He was trying to get a rise out of you.” She moved closer. “He seems to think that you’re in love with me. Is he right?”
His eyes darkened on her face and reaching out, he pulled her against him. “Yes,” he moaned before he lowered his head and kissed her. His lips plundered hers hungrily, feverishly and she pressed against him, her fingers gripping his hair as she responded passionately to his kisses. They stood there for a long time, kissing while the sunlight bathed them. Then, he broke off the kiss to bury his face in her neck. “I love you,” he whispered.
She smiled. “I love you too,” she murmured. Then, they were kissing again. She tugged at his shirt and he released her to pull it over his head. His jeans followed. Her fingers moved eagerly over his bare skin and she felt him ease her gently down on to the sand which felt soft and cushiony against her back. They made love right there on the beach and in the following Spring they got married. Laurence was the best man.
The first thing, Aiden and Laila did the next morning when they returned from their honeymoon in Bermuda was to go to the beach to watch the sunrise. They stood there at the water’s edge, the water swirling about their ankles, arms around each other watching the sun as it rose slowly in the sky. He turned to her and murmured huskily, “This is why I bought a house on the beach. I want to stand here and watch the sunrise with you every morning for the rest of our lives.”
She smiled at him, her heart in her eyes. “What a beautiful thing to say,” she said. “It reminds me of a quote I once read. It went something like this, ‘Someday, you will find the one who will watch every sunrise with you until the sunset of your life.’”
“Yes, we found each other.” He reached down and kissed her.
Source: Pure Love Quotes