She ran along the beach, laughing. The wind, fragrant with the blossoms of some far-off isle, caught her hair and whirled it in a dark cloud around her. Still laughing, she stopped, lifting the criss-crossing strands from her face to look up at the sky. The moon was down – but the stars blazed brilliantly enough to make the night nearly as bright as day.
"Beloved," she called. "Where are you?"
Strong arms encircled her from behind, and a soft voice spoke the words she had heard so often. "With you, beloved. Where you are, there I am always."
She turned, slipping an arm around his waist and lifting her face to be kissed. His lips brushed hers, feather-soft, his hands twining in her hair. His dark eyes sparkled in the old familiar way.
"Walk with me, my love. The night is still young."
Hand-in-hand they walked along the beach, the pale sand crunching beneath their feet. No words were spoken as they breathed in the fragrant air. As they rounded the point, she turned to him with a teasing, dazzling smile.
"Catch me if you can!"
Pulling her hand from his, she raced away across the sand. Laughing, he gave pursuit. Feeling rather than seeing him gaining on her, she changed course and ran into the ocean. The water flowed like silk against her skin, the splashes made by her running glittering in the starlight.
He caught up with her when she was waist-deep, catching her easily around the waist and pressing her to him. The water was cool, their bodies hot. She splashed him; he retaliated by kissing her. They struggled playfully for several more minutes before she surrendered to his embrace. Locked together beneath the stars, they reached for eternity.
She withdrew from the dream slowly, smiling softly at the memory. Leaning over – carefully, for she was no longer young - she shook him gently by the shoulder. "Wake up, beloved."
His eyes opened. Sunken into his cheeks and filmed over with blindness, still for a moment they sparkled in that same old way. "My love – my beautiful dreamer."
She smiled, and rested her head against his shoulder as they sat side by side, watching their children and grandchildren running and playing on the beach. "Forty years and fourteen children, and still you dream of me."
"Who else would I dream of?" His hand, crabbed with age, lifted shakily to stroke her gray hair.
"Where you are, beloved, there I am. Always."
Dedicated to my brother, who hates sappy romances.