Foto bij 511. - Lucien

On my request, we've rented a luxury cabana on the beach. It's not even on the beach, technically, but on a narrow pier that seems to have been made specifically to make room for cabanas like this. It means that we're two, maybe three metres from the blue ocean, the waves gently lapping against the pillars of the pier and making it sway just a little bit. Emma is in my favourite burgundy bikini, her still-red skin glistening with the sunscreen she just painted on. Between us is a plate with a wide array of fresh tropical fruits, and even a bottle of champagne - which, as we found out, was only provided to us because the renter figured out who I was: the bottle had a little note standing against us that said Congratulations, Mr and Mrs du Castellon, enjoy your honeymoon.
"Do you think…" I start as I slowly work out the cork. "that our friends have something to do with this? Another bet on how long it takes until we're married and with child?"
Emma pushes her hair out of her face with a laugh. "I know your friends are nuts, but I don't think they would go that far."
"Are you sure? We're talking about - hold up." I let the bottle rest on the bed as I shoot her a glare. "My friends? What about Kenna?"
"Kenna isn't nuts." She says matter of factly. "She's just… passionate."
I snort. "Sure she is. In that case Gabriel just has a flair for the dramatic, and Matthew is just heartfelt and wild."
"No, no. They are crazy."
"I'll kindly remind you that it was Brie and Kenna who started the bets. That means she was half the brainpower of it. Not that it took a lot of it."
Emma laughs, catches herself and quickly smothers the sound by smacking a hand to her mouth. I grin.
"Besides, anyone who's friends with you has to be at least halfway nuts." I shrug; next thing I know Emma has jumped me, the weight of her forcing me to fall backwards on the bed, and she holds a threatening toothpick to my face. She’s straddled me, effectively trapping me.
“Take that back.” She demands.
"Truth hurts, doesn't it?" I provoke with a grin, and she pokes my cheek with the toothpick. "You're really only proving my point here, you know." I fling my arm sideways to grab one of the cameras we'd bought, barely reaching it, and I snap a picture of Emma towering over me. "Though I must say, it's quite hot to have you on top of me like this."
Her eyes narrow, but there's a mischievous sparkle to them. "These curtains may hide us from sight, Du C, they're not soundproof. And you and I both know how loud you can get."
“Miss Middleton!” I gasp. “Alright, that’s it then - you asked for it!”
She shrieks with laughter when I launch myself up so I can wrap an arm tightly around her upper body before I - rather ungracefully - swing my legs off the bed and get up. Emma thrashes, but doesn’t find a way out of my grip as I toss her over my shoulder. “I was only going to make a joke how you were so hot you’d better take a dive to cool off, but apparently I have to go one step further.”
“Put - me - down!” She laughs, hitting me on my back.
“Oh, I’m about to.” I grin as I step near the edge of the pier. Many other residents of the pier are looking at us from their own cabanas, no doubt with disapproval. “Hold your breath, miss Middleton.”
“NO!” She cries, but I’ve already stepped over the edge. The water hits us with refreshing force; it surrounds us completely, my feet brush the grainy sand of the bottom. I let go of Emma to make sure she gets up okay before swimming back up to the surface myself. I come up just before she does, making me witness to her sputtering and coughing while she fights to get her hair out of her face.
“You are such a dick!” She exclaims, but there’s a wide grin on her features that makes that insult entirely worth it. I shake out my curls with a laugh.
“Told you - you asked for it.”
“I did not! I simply stated a fact!” She’s finally gotten all of her hair slicked backwards.
“I think you just screamed louder than I ever have, love.” I tease, and she splashes salt water in my face. “Just stating facts!”
She shakes her head, exasperated. “When we’re finally having kids, you don’t get to raise them. They’ll end up far too cocky for anyone to deal with.”
With three strokes I’ve closed the distance between us, and with an arm around her waist I pull her into me. “You put up with me, though. By your own free will.”
“I wouldn’t be too sure of that.” She replies, wrapping her arms around my neck. “It might be Stockholm-syndrome.”
“Hmm, tell me then, Miss Middleton: if they were to come to your rescue right now and free you from my treacherous grasp, would you leave me?”
She looks at me with that same look that I’ve seen a couple of times now this vacation, the one that makes my insides turn to jelly and my heart overflow with love for her. “No.”
      We stay in the water until our legs are tired and our bodies cold. When we get back to the cabana, I finally open up that champagne and in a stroke of genius, Emma fills the glasses with pieces of mango before I top them off with the fizzy drink. We bind the curtains up and lift the backres of the bed so we have a comfortable view over ocean, and not for the first time since we've been here am I struck by an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness that we get to be here. Neither of us knows what time it is, because it doesn't matter. At some point one of us going to suggest we head out for dinner, at a restaurant we spotted earlier today somewhere along the boulevard. There will be no rush as we eat, and maybe afterwards we'll explore the Lisbon-nightlife, or we go back to the apartment and just enjoy eachother.
I look at Emma with a smile. She's on her side engulfed in her book that lays flat on the bed, strands of half-dried hair falling in front of her face just when she turns the page. There's an ocean stretching out in front of us, with mountains rising up in the near distance. The water sparkles under the bright sun that beams down on it, the vast blue speckles with all kinds of boats and even a couple of parasailers. But none of it compares to Emma.
Finally she feels me staring, and she looks up through her lashes with a smile. "What?"
I copy her smile, shaking my head. "Nothing. Just thinking how much I love you."

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