Pairings: Jack/Ianto, John/Nick,
Characters: Jack, Ianto, John Hart, Nick Jones, and a cast of (probably!) thousands.
Spoilers: Set after Exit Wounds. Sequel to 'We Could Be Heroes'
Rating: Adult - it's going to get very dark in some places.
Warnings: Slash, language, angst, dark themes.
Summary: The boys begin the honeymoon of their lives!
Disclaimer: I'm a student. I don't own Torchwood.
The Master List is here: anduria-trianys.livejournal.com/27610.ht
John's Honeymoon Diary – Part One
10th July 2013...
Oh, my God. This is it. Our honeymoon. Me and Nick. We’re married. Married.
Wow. It’s just refusing to sink in. I still can’t believe I actually found someone who I would want to marry, much less that I went through with it. I'm hardly able to sleep at all tonight, because I just couldn’t get my head around it all. Must be being on our honeymoon, because up until now, I was fine! I guess it's true what they say about delayed reactions.
Anyway, the very fact that I can't sleep is the very reason I'm sitting up at this Rift-cursed hour writing in my diary. You would think that after the day we've had today, I would be worn out. Nick certainly is; he's completely out cold and hugging the pillow in his sleep. (And, I have to say, I like to think that I had a little something to do with that!)
My God, he looks so incredible, sprawled over the bed like that with his hair scattered across the pillow. And that cute little smile spreading over his face; I wonder what he's dreaming about. Whatever it is, it's obviously a good dream, because he's making those cute little sleepy noises that he always makes when he's happy and his eyelashes keep flickering like they do when he's in the middle of something good.
Oh, God, I can't believe I just wrote that. Listen to me, I sound like a lovesick teenager, as Ianto would say with that shit-eating grin on his face. Who on earth would have thought that just looking at Nick could make me gush like a fountain? And yet, reading back over this entry so far, it looks like I just did.
Well, as that song goes – it must be love!
Anyway, what a day we've had today! I have to admit, I am glad that we decided to have a rest when we touched down yesterday, because boy, did I need a good night's sleep – and, come to think of it, a good day's sleep as well! (Hmm, I'd better make sure I keep this out of the way when we get home. If Jack or, heaven forbid, Ianto ever got hold of it, I'd never hear the end of it!)
I admit – and this is the first and last time I will say, or write, this – I didn't really have any concrete plans for today. I thought we could just wander around the island we're staying on and maybe go for a swim and sip cocktails on the beach or by the pool. A nice lazy first day of the honeymoon. However, Nick got other ideas; he found out about an all-day market that was taking place in the famous Gardens of Queen Shuar and insisted that we go there.
“A honeymoon isn't just about sunning yourself by the sea or having sex twenty-four hours a day. It's about getting out and exploring your surroundings,” he said. “Besides, didn't you say that you wanted to show me some of the beauty the universe had to offer?”
Well, how could I say no to that?
So, we took a boat across the water to Ostmere, the largest and most famous island on Asiana's northern hemisphere. It was a long journey from Cesourn, the island we were staying on, but one of the boatmen had obviously heard that it was our honeymoon, because he played his lute for us as we travelled and as he played, all the fish in the water came over and gathered around us, occasionally jumping in the air and singing for us. I didn't even know fish could whistle, let alone sing, but apparently, there are some non-earthly breeds that can. It was almost like all the animals in the vicinity of the boat were drawn by this guy's playing and decided that now was the time to put on a special show, just for us!
By the time we arrived at Ostmere, I for one wasn't sure if Nick's grin could get any wider than it had when a pair of tiny baby seals found their way onto the boat and curled up, sound asleep, in his lap. It was just the cutest thing I have seen in years! (Again, I must make sure Ianto never gets hold of this book, because he will never let me live it down if he finds out I used the word 'cute'!)
Anyway, as things turned out, I was wrong; when we stepped off the boat and saw the market and the gardens for the first time, his face just lit up when he saw the markets. Even though it was the middle of the morning, there were torches lit with tiny flames outside each of the millions of stalls, flames which I knew would grow bigger and brighter as the sky grew darker, until finally it would be as if we were sat in the sky itself and surrounded by stars.
As soon as we stepped onto the shimmering white sands, Nick instantly rushed off to try and find the gardens. “Sightseeing first, shopping later,” he said. “There's no point buying souvenirs until you actually see the things you want to commemorate.”
I couldn't help but chuckle. “You obviously haven't been 69th century-style sightseeing,” I told him. “You do your shopping first and buy all the models of what you're hoping to see and then compare and contrast to see if the original is as real as the model.”
Nick looked completely baffled. I hastened to explain. “When you go to places like archaeological ruins, that's usually all you see, right? Ruins.” Nick nodded. “Well, sometimes, you can find models or pictures of what the place would have looked like in its original state, right?”
“Right!” said Nick. “I get it. Well, we'll try that if we find an ancient site or two while we're here.”
I wasn't entirely sure he did get it – he is a 21st century man, even if he is more open-minded than most – but I didn't really have time to argue the toss, because he started rushing off again. Honestly, I swear he gets faster and faster every day!
Mind you, when I saw those gardens, I realised pretty quickly that they were well worth rushing for.
I knew from my history that these gardens and their markets weren't like anything I had ever seen before, or like anything that I would ever see again. Nick wasn't especially impressed when I told him that, and I admit, it did sound horrendously cliched. Nonetheless, the moment we crossed the beach where our boat docked and raced over the hill, I knew that it was the truth.
Even all my childhood years of following my mother around when she worked in the forests at home could not have prepared me for what I saw. Back then, when I was really young, all I really cared about was being around my mother, watching her work and admiring all the colours of the different plants – well, that and eating all the fruits and vegetables that came our way! It wasn't really until I grew up a little more that I actually started paying attention to the names of any of them – although that was more so I knew which plants were most associated with passion and romance than anything else. It was my way of working out where the best places to bring the men, women or various aliens I felt like being amorous with at the time.
I admit, I had regularly entertained the thought of trying to find some of those plants and dragging Nick into some secluded bower so we could re-enact some of those instances. But the beauty of this place instantly banished those thoughts completely from my mind.
Well, all right, not completely – I am still human, after all. But I was just overwhelmed by the sheer...sheer majesty of the gardens. In fact, I'm still overwhelmed, so much so that I can't really describe them. Hopefully, the multitude of photographs Nick took while we were there will be able to convey what I can't even begin to put into words. There were rows of genetically engineered Japanese maples shimmering in a million colours; from their natural red to purple and even silver like a river in the moonlight, as we walked through the groves of the Sanctuary of the Karanees Warriors – the sacred priesthood to which Queen Shuar's husband, King Bael, belonged – up to the memorial of the beloved couple who fought and died for the peace of this beautiful planet.
I did, however, have to laugh when Nick was gazing around, trying to take everything in and then found himself a few moments later face first in a very deep and very wet swamp! He was even more disturbed when he realised that a heavily pregnant dalphonic rhapsadon had decided that this would be an ideal place to give birth – this part of the gardens was a fin's length away from the island's northern beach – and eventually came back up covered in marbled green mulch, shining golden Ostmerean flies and with three baby space dolphins curled up in his shirt while the mother licked and nuzzled them! Nick wasn't especially impressed at first, especially since one of the dolphins was chewing on his shirt, but when the mother started warbling, singing the song the dolphins sing when they welcome their young into the world, he just sat there, in the middle of the swamp and watched them, fascinated. He even showed them to the water's edge and let them swim around him as they got a feel for their home – even though two of the babies kept trying to eat his glasses and the mother kept shuffling underneath him and trying to take him for a ride! He handled it all with considerable aplomb, to be fair, despite sliding off her back when she unexpectedly leapt out of the water and did a somersault in midair! Thank goodness for that friendly guy on the lone stall who took pictures, because I was laughing too hard to hold the camera! Just to thank him, I bought some trinkets off him – a necklace made of green aerite with a chain of silver for Catrin and two large snowglobes, one with a green aatia and her babies and the other one with a troop of dolpins for the girls. Finally, after a lot of deliberation, I also picked out a mobile of different coloured creatures for Trev – Nick said that he had always loved things that moved around above his head.
After all that, we'd both worked up an appetite, so we made our way back to the main square – stopping at several different stalls along the way, including spending a good half an hour at a book stall while Nick swooned over the shelves – where someone had set up a blazing campfire and was roasting tasty snacks over it. The smell of meat and fresh vegetables was almost enough to make me swoon, even more so when I actually tasted one of the sauce-covered chicken wings. Wow. I thought I was a good cook, but this was like nothing I'd tasted before in my life!
Nick, however, was more taken by the various colourful fruits and went around sampling each and every one of them, sometimes accompanied with a groan of almost orgasmic pleasure.
“Damn,” he murmured to me, after biting into a particularly tender piece, “this is almost better than sex.”
Oh-ho! That was something I knew I would have to test out when we came back! And test it out, we did – with the result that I like to think that I proved to my husband that there is no fruit in this universe that can even come close to being as good as sex.
I certainly tired him out well enough, anyway!
12th July 2013...
Nick woke me up at an ungodly hour in the morning, babbling crazily about some sunrise or other. I was halfway through replying by throwing the covers back over my head and mumbling something about him waking me up at a decent time, when I felt something very cold and wet splash over my head. I couldn't help it – I yelled and sat bolt upright, to find Nick, armed with an empty bucket, standing over me with a huge smirk on his face.
“Maybe next time, you'll get up when I call you,” he said, tossing the bucket out of the way...and, at the same time, revealing that he was naked.
“Nick, it is beyond ridiculous o'clock in the morning,” I grumbled and pulled him back onto the bed. “Besides, in case you hadn't noticed, you're still naked.”
“So?” Nick raised his eyebrows at me. “In case you hadn't noticed, we're on our honeymoon. If anything, you expect to see naked lovers in the pool or the sea. And besides – I heard yesterday that there's going to be a triple sunrise this morning. How often do you have the chance to see that?”
This time, it was my turn to raise my eyebrows at him. “Nick, I was with the Time Agency. I travelled to planets that you wouldn't even believe existed. Do you really think I've never seen a triple sunrise?”
“Okay,” said Nick. “Then how often do you think I'll have the chance to see a triple sunrise? Unlike you, I haven't been through the galaxies a million times and I don't intend to go either!” He bit his lip slightly. “And, unlike you, I don't have all the time in the universe at my disposal either.”
“Okay, okay!” I hastily pulled myself out of bed and pulled Nick towards me, rubbing his back and his hair. I kissed him slowly and rested my head against his. I can handle most things that the universe decides to throw at me, but the one thing I can't stand is seeing the love of my life – yes, I did just call Nick that – in distress at any time or in any way, shape or form. If that's a crime, then go on and sentence me. I don't care. I'm saying it out loud and I'm proud – I'm in love.
“Come on then,” I said, clasping Nick's hand. “Let's get going. But I hope this is worth it.”
“Oh, it will be,” said Nick, his face now sporting the cheekiest grin I've ever seen. “That I promise you.”
He led me out of the complex, through mazes of shimmering white crystal and tangling vines until we stepped outside and onto the sandy beach where we lay down and let the waves roll over us. I turned to smile at him...and at that point, I realised that there was something missing.
“Nick?” I said. “Where are the suns? Or, come to think of it, where's a sun?”
He didn't answer, but his mouth was twitching uncontrollably and a moment later, he was rolling around in the water and giggling like a lunatic. I frowned – and then caught sight of the face of his watch, reflected in the pale lights from the complex.
“You little shit!” I exclaimed. “You got me up too early!”
“No, I didn't,” replied Nick. “I knew that getting you out of bed would be quite a chore, so I decided to allow us some time so we didn't miss this. However, had I realised how quickly a pair of big puppy eyes would work, I might have reconsidered my plan of action.”
I gaped at him – yes, I actually gaped at him – before bursting into laughter myself. “You brat,” I said before I picked him up and threw him, as he screamed with laughter, into the water. He came up, his hair clinging to his face, neck and shoulders and drops of water glistening to his bare torso. I stood stock still for a moment and licked my lips, my heart pounding as he walked over to me, swaying his hips and tossing his hair as he came to the shallower water. However, that momentary distraction cost me dearly, because a moment later, he grabbed me around the waist and started tickling me mercilessly until I was the one screaming for mercy!
However, I managed to distract him pretty easily when I kissed him. No one can withstand the power of my lips – even when they aren't coated in paralysing lipgloss!
Of course, Nick certainly tried. “Git,” he growled when I finally had to come up for air.
“I know,” I replied and started to lean back down to kiss him again, but before I could, I noticed that the water was beginning to glow a deep gold with flares of red shooting through it. We both looked up as an enormous golden sun rose up and slowly spread across the sky, closely followed by a red sun soaring across the sky, leaving behind brightly coloured tracks like the ones left behind by fireworks. At the same time, the water began to ripple and thousands of dolphins, adults and children alike, began poking their heads up above the water and singing cheerily, welcoming the dawn and birds started flying across the sky and singing as if in answer to the words of their dalphonic friends.
For a while, we just lay in the water and watched as nature began to arise as if from the depths of the earth. Then, very slowly, the third sun, this one opalescent and shining with all the colours – and more – in Nick's engagement ring, began to rise slowy and then to flow through the sky to be replaced by the bright gold and red of the previous two suns, until the sky, while appearing to be a bright cloudless blue at first glance, was shining with thousands – millions, even – of different colours, flickering like stars.
I turned towards Nick, who was staring up at the sky with his mouth hanging open. He didn't seem able to breathe, let alone speak; the sunrise had just left him speechless! I would have laughed at how ridiculous he looked, but I remembered that I had reacted in exactly the same way the first time I had seen a triple sunrise. And the one I had seen had been nowhere near as good as this.
“Well, you were right,” I admitted. “That was definitely worth getting up early for.”
“Oh, yeah...” replied Nick, slowly turning round to face me. “And you know what else I'm right about?”
“Oh yes.” I reached out and pulled him towards me, stroking every inch of his skin. “I know that you were right about us not needing our clothes just yet...”
After I proved to Nick just how right he was on that front – several times over – we returned to our rooms and caught a few hours more sleep, so we'd be fresh for what I had planned for the day. Well, at least, that was what we tried to do. Apparently, an hour's worth of mind-blowing sex in the sea while watching the sun – or suns – come up can wake you up better than a very cold shower. Strangely, this doesn't always seem to work very well back at home.
Maybe it's something to do with this place.
Anyway, we ended up sitting in bed with me twirling the stems of the flowers that were laid out the previous night in the air and trying to catch them, while Nick was sprawled out across the covers, reading, just as he had been yesterday at the beach. Thinking about it in hindsight, getting him an e-reader wasn't very smart on my part, because while it meant he didn't have to nearly break his back carrying his usual tonne of books, it also meant he could just carry the same number of books on a small handheld device! Having said that, I know how cranky he can get when he's got nothing to read, so I guess I had my own best interests at heart. (Not to mention he makes a gorgeous bookworm – much better looking than the actual bookworms Mum used to find eating words into her plants at home.)
Eventually, though, he did get up and get dressed – though whether this was because he was getting restless or because his e-reader needed charging, I wasn't sure – and then turned to me and clapped his hands. “So, what are we doing today?”
I grinned. I couldn't help myself. “Oh, you wait and see, Nick Hart-Jones!” I teased him, grinning as his double-barrelled name rolled off my tongue. “Have I got a treat in store for you!”
“I don't know,” replied Nick, tossing his hair. “Have you?”
God, I love it when he does that. “Oh yeah,” I growled and started kissing him senseless, rubbing my crotch against the front of his trousers.
“Well, you'd better stop doing that, or I'm never going to find out what it is,” said Nick as he pulled away from me with what looked like a great effort. “But believe me, we will pick this up when we get back here.”
“Oh, I think you might find we'll be picking it up long before we come back, actually,” I replied and dragged him out of the room before he could ask any more questions. I led him in the opposite direction to where he'd taken me that morning until we were stood in the middle of the sun-filled courtyard. Brushing a stray liana out of my hair, I whistled loudly and forced myself not to giggle when Nick jumped beside me.
“What was that in aid of?” he almost squeaked.
“Summoning a ride,” I said. “Now, close your eyes.”
“A ride?” Nick sounded intrigued. “What sort of – argh!” He let out a yell of shock as our 'ride' shot between both our legs and then sent us flying through the air. When he opened his eyes, the first thing Nick did, upon realising he was essentially riding on the front of a very large green dragon, was to burst out laughing.
Okay, it wasn't exactly a dragon – it was a fully-grown aatia – but the concept was apparently the same. Unfortunately, I didn't understand the concept in question.
“What's so funny?” I asked, mock-offended.
“Sorry, “ chuckled Nick. “It's just that if you remember some of the books I read, you'll remember that riding a green dragon can carry some interesting significance – specifically for a man.”
I frowned in thought and mentally ran through Nick's packed bookshelves back at our house. As I thought about it, I recalled a series of books that I always used to change the name of to something that sounded more fun – until I realised that doing so was a very good way to end up sleeping on the sofa.
“Ah!” I shouted out loud, making Nick jump. “Now I get it! Although, I have to admit, your reaction wasn't quite the reaction I was expecting!”
“Well, it took you a while to get it!” replied Nick, laughing. Then he cocked his head sharply. “Wait a minute – what reaction were you expecting?”
“You've seen Titanic, right?” I replied. “Well, there's a scene in that where –”
“You mean the 'Jack, I'm flying!' scene?” Nick whipped round and looked at me. “Nah, I thought I'd leave that one to Ianto. After all, he's the one with the partner who's called Jack.”
“Good point,” I conceded. “Hey, there's our landing spot!” I reached around Nick and guided the aatia downwards, through the gossamer-thin clouds and towards the mountain above our destination. I smiled and breathed in the strange mixture of pine leaves and lillies from thousands of different planets as we dropped onto the mountain's peak, right in the middle of a cluster of enormous blue and purple Asiane lillies. I slid down onto the ground and lifted Nick down beside me, hugging him against my chest, though I had to take care to keep my nose away from his hair, so that his awful mint shampoo wouldn't block out our surroundings.
“Pine Lily Mountain,” I said. “The most famous mountain in the Lairani Range. And there,” I pointed down to the sprawling ruins set out below us on the beach, “is the ancient civilisation of Namitor, also known as the Bluelake Downs.”
“What a place to live – right on the beach and with these mountains behind you!” said Nick reverently. “But...how do we get down there? The same way we got up?”
“Nope,” I said. “Come with me.” Grabbing his hand, I led him towards one of the tallest and thickest trees on the mountain. “Notice anything a bit different about these trees?”
“Yeah, they're all full of lianas,” said Nick. “What happened, did someone plant them?”
“Not exactly.” By now, I was halfway up the tree. “Asiaen pine trees have lianas growing. Back before the Time War, when Gallifrey was still in existence, a group of Time Lords and Time Ladies who took a strong interest in botany went travelling through the universe taking plant samples from lots of different planets, including Earth. They tried to genetically modify plants and recorded their findings when they returned to Gallifrey. One of those Time Lords was the Doctor.”
Nick, who had caught up with me by now, stumbled in surprise. “So, that's how their findings survived.”
“Yep. The Doctor remembered to store the findings in a more secure place than just in the archives at the Time Academy. He managed to communicate them to several other worlds – including my own homeworld.”
“Did your mother take an interest in that?”
“A huge interest. She came here a lot, because, as well as just being an archaeological place of beauty, the Bluelake Downs was also a site where she practiced several of those same experiments. Her mother and her grandmother and her descendants did the same and then when my mother died, her sister and neice took up her work.” I fingered one of the lianas.
Nick smiled and clasped my hand. “A lot of history there. Are your aunt and cousin still here?”
“My aunt died a few years before I joined the Time Agency, but her daughter, Shilaya, is still there. The Doctor told me that he came here to invite her to our wedding, but she couldn't make it, because she had a huge presentation on the work that our family have carried out here.”
A bird warbled in the tree beside us and I grinned, clearing my throat. “Now, let's go down and see this place. Hold on tight!” I tried to wrap my arm around him, but he shook his head and moved away, grinning.
“Oh, no,” he said. “If we're going to be swinging down there, I am so doing it myself. And this is something that you can't lure me away from with the promise that you'll kiss me all the way down.”
Damn it. “Okay,” I said, pulling myself up onto the liana. “But I get to snog your brains out when we get to the bottom.”
“Deal.” Nick high-fived me and leapt onto his liana and swung through the trees, squealing with joyous laughter. I chuckled and followed him. However, I stayed silent and waited for Nick's reaction when he arrived at the bottom...
And then I heard it. The splash of someone hitting the bottom. At that point, I let out a yell of excitement and let go of the liana and dropped down...into the large pool at the bottom of the mountain. I pulled my head back up – and looked straight into Nick's exceedingly unamused eyes.
“You could have told me about the – mmph!” he began, but I quickly cut off any further protest he could have made when I fulfilled my end of the deal we made on the mountain and kissed him hard, straddling his hips even through the water and the thin fabric of his combat trousers.
Eventually, Nick managed to pull away and glare at me properly. “Prat,” he growled, though he couldn't help the grin sliding across his face. “Shame on you, distracting me like that!”
“Oh, but you loved it really!”
I sat up straight, my heart thudding. I knew that voice only too well, but I didn't see how she could be here. She wouldn't even be born for another three thousand years, for God's sake! And yet, there she was, watching us with amusement sparkling in her brown eyes.
“I...Shilaya?” I gasped, stumbling out of the pool. “What are you doing here? How did you get here?”
“Your friend the Doctor,” she said, kissing me on the cheek. “When I told him I couldn't come to your wedding, he stayed to listen to my talk and then dropped me off here so that I could surprise you.”
It suddenly dawned on me that we had arrived slap bang in the middle of a time when the Downs had been apparently left alone for several hundred years, apart from one time my mother told me about when someone had been seen someone tending to the plants. But I knew I couldn't say anything to her, because I couldn't risk messing with the timelines. Instead, I pulled Nick out of the pool and patted him on the shoulder. “Shilaya, this is my partner, Nick Hart-Jones.”
She turned slowly and looked him up and down, her eyes slightly analytical now. “Looks like you picked a good one there, cous,” she said. “But I sincerely hope he's good enough for you.”
“Trust me, he is,” I assured her before her gaze got too piercing.
Shilaya nodded. “Well, you have always had exceptional taste, I suppose. But even so...you'd better take care of him, otherwise I will find a way to track you down and –”
“Trust me,” interrupted Nick, “I've already had this speech and I'll tell you the same thing – I have absolutely no intention of doing anything but take care of your cousin.”
“Good.” She nodded and smiled. “Then, welcome to the family, Nick Hart-Jones.” She then tied her hair up off her face and smiled at me again. “It's good to see you again.”
“Likewise,” I answered, giving her a hug. “I reckon I owe that Time Lord one – even if he did take us to a monastery for my stag do!”
“Yes, he mentioned that. How did you cope?”
“Oh, he corrupted the monastery and turned it into what you might know as the Vegas Galaxies,” answered Nick airily. “Well, with a little help from his friends, of course.”
“Of course.” Shilaya laughed again. “Well, I'll leave you two lovebirds alone; some of us have to work.” She shook Nick's hand and ruffled his hair playfully before giving me another big hug. “Don't be a stranger,” she whispered huskily.
“I'll try not to be,” I said and kissed her again before she rushed away towards the woods at the other end of the Lairanis.
“You have some amazing relatives,” said Nick, absently pulling a piece of seaweed out of his hair.
“Yeah.” I nodded and pulled him into a hug. “Yeah, I suppose I do.”
“Hey, what's that?” Nick suddenly asked, turning around and pointing out the only compeltely undamaged building on the entire site. “It's beautiful; looks as if it's made of pearl.”
“This is the Castle of King Cian,” I answered. “It's possibly the oldest building on the whole of the northern hemisphere that is still standing. It once belonged to Cian, a young widowed knight, and contained a long-lost relic. The story goes that Cian came here after the death of his partner to live out his remaining years with their young son, vowing that he would never love another as long as he lived. He renounced fighting and established peace here, creating a society filled with laughter, poetry and music – and, above all things, love. Even though he had denied himself that pleasure, he would not deny it to others. Despite not being an offical king, the people loved him so much that they installed him as one within a year of his arrival. He ruled for many decades and it was a long and happy reign. When he eventually died, he begged his people not to mourn him too greatly, because in death, he could once again be with Raindyn, his true love.”
“Did Cian's son rule after him?”
“Yes, he did, but his reign was very short and he died before he reached thirty. No one knows what happened. Since then, there have been other rulers, but they too only lived for a short time each and gradually, this once proud city has fallen into disrepair. Only the castle still stands tall and some say it's because King Cian's spirit watches over it and protects it.”
“What was the long-lost relic that the castle used to contain?”
“No one's certain. Some versions of history tell us that it was a book that Raindyn had given to him before he died, but others say that it was a piece of jewellery he wore on the day of their wedding, and the only piece he owned. Others say that it was simply a painting of the two of them. But whatever it was, it vanished on the same day that Cian died. Whatever it was, he took the secret to his grave.” I sighed softly, thinking about the couple and the depth of their love for each other – how Raindyn had given his life for Cian and how, in return, Cian had refused to be with another until his dying day.
The scary thing was that, as I looked at Nick, who was gazing rapturously as he walked around the site, I realised that if anything were to happen to him, I couldn't love anyone again any more than Cian could. Just as Raindyn was the love of his life, Nick was certainly the love of mine. No one else had even come close.
A dalphonic rhapsadon suddenly leapt into the air in a graceful arc, splashing water all over the sand at our feet. As he descended back, he turned around and gave us what looked like a very broad wink and flapped his tail, as if inviting us to dive into the water with him. And, believe me, it was an invitation I was more than happy to accept!
“Come on,” I said to Nick. “Let's go for a swim and a snorkel.”
“But we didn't bring any of the snorkelling gear,” objected Nick. “Or any of our swimming gear, come to that.”
“Trust me, around this island, the water is so clear, you aren't going to need any of that,” I said as I stripped off my clothes. “There are places where you will need them, but not here.”
“Why, is it some sort of nudist colony or something?”
“Something like that,” I answered and dove in, just as another dolphin leapt over my head, showering me with little droplets of warm water.
Nick raised his eyebrows sceptically at me, but he shrugged, undressed and followed me into the water. Barely a second later, I heard him squeal in shock and excitement as millions of different coloured fish and sea creatures swam right past his nose. Even the tiniest babies were clearly visible to the naked eye and not one of them seemed remotely phased by our appearance. In fact, a small yellow fish was swimming over Nick's arm as I watched, running her thin tail through his fingers and clucking happily at him.
When we eventually broke for air, Nick's eyes were wild with happiness. “That was incredible!” he gasped. “Whoever said that the best snorkelling you could get was in Australia had obviously never been here!”
“No, they hadn't,” I agreed. “Also,” and I pulled him close to me, “there are a few things you can do here that I bet you wouldn't be able to do in broad daylight in the Great Barrier Reef.”
“Oh, yes?” Nick raised an eyebrow. “What did you have in mind?”
“Well, rather than telling you, let me show you...”
And show him I did!
Next Time: John continues to reveal the honeymoon adventures...