The young woman stood on the flat deck of the catamaran in her bathing suit holding the boom as if it were a ballet barre. He held the tiller with a light hand and guided the little boat through the breezes of the Sound, watching her go through her routine.
Feet in first position, ankle to ankle, toes apart making a V. Slide out into a point, back, out. Demi plie at the end. His fond gaze warmed her. He had said he always wanted a dancer. She was an amateur, but their shared enthusiasm for her ambition bonded them, kept her going to classes and looking for a group to perform with.
They formed a complete two, complete in the summer air on the sparkle of waves, under afternoon clouds that swelled in the blue sky and climbed as the wind strengthened and the boat picked up speed. He moved the tiller deftly, at ease with the speed of the wind and capturing its energy with the sail. He sailed intuitively, his muscles moving easily under his skin, as if he never had to be taught. His brown skin gleamed in the sunlight and his thick brown hair fell over his eye.
Her movements and the sweat that trickled down between her breasts encased in the red bikini top promised them both the intimacy to come later in the day, another thread in the new secret bond that grows between newlyweds. She felt him watching her brown legs stretch and lift, her knees thrusting forward over her bent legs like his warm hands stroking her, his gaze, her receiving it, the promise of lovemaking to come.
He turned the boat to a deserted shore. No buildings in view, no people. She jumped onto the sand and hauled on the crosspiece of the bow. He joined it and they hauled together until it slid high up away from the little waves lapping on the sand. The tide was going out.
They worked together without speaking. He hauled the sail down and they rolled and tied them. She coiled lines and stowed them under the seat. She took the canvas bag with the food, sleeping bags, blankets and clothes to the beach. She spread it under a tree near a bush, arranged the goods and food around the edge of the blanket, a little home, a girl playing at keeping house.
He sat cross-legged on the blanket, watching her set out the food, watching her in her new role as caregiver, wife, no longer taking care of herself only. She knelt to her task feeling her role as pleasant, arousing, happy, never wondering why she relinquished her independence so easily, or when she would feel it again. For now, these bonds felt delicious, as did his hand stroking her spine and pulling her towards him. They embraced, tasting each others’ brown salty skin, and fell to the blanket, kissing. For now, this was enough.