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Just one day (Tempus Fugit)

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His touch is gentle, but his hands are rough, calloused fingertips, palms worn from coarse ropes and from long hours of swordfighting. “A blacksmith’s hands,” he'd once shyly said when taking her hands into his.

Another man, another life. And what has become of the girl she once was, who had been dreaming of fantastic pirate adventures, fabulous, faraway places and infinite freedom?

All had started with a look into his deep brown eyes. And with that cursed piece of Aztec gold. Would she have taken it, had she known where their journey would end?

He’d still be just a blacksmith and she ... the governor’s daughter. Now she’s the Pirate King and he is … whatever he is. But he’s the one she has loved before she even knew what love was, from the moment on they had fished the scrawny, shipwrecked boy out of the water.

Twice a fiancée and once a bride, and yet she had to wait for her wedding night so long.

And now that wedding night turns out to be a day.

Their nuptial bed is made of grass and moss and ferns, its canopy’s the sky. Strange noises can be heard from the forests beyond, birds are chirping, a brook’s murmuring nearby. Palm trees are swaying softly above them, their leaves are whispering in the wind.

A day made of green and blue and gold flickering between the foliage.

“Don’t look up to the sky …”

A day filled with happy sighs and carefree laughter.

And they're together.

At last.

“I’ve always known that you’d be like this,” he says, holding her just like she’s holding him, their legs and arms entwined.

“So how am I?” she teases him laughingly, cradling his head against her chin and neck.

“Perfect,” he answers, looking up with shining eyes before kissing her again.

A thousand kisses, but just one day.

One day can never be enough, she thinks, grasping his hands firmly as he’s sinking into her again.

Don’t look up to the sky. Don’t look at the ghastly scar across his chest. Just look into his eyes, she tells herself. I’m not afraid of drowning there.

How many hours has a day? This day will never have enough.

The sun is sailing towards the west. He can feel it on his shoulders, the air’s already cooler.

She clings to him as if seeking warmth, trying with each touch to memorize the feel of his body against hers. And he holds on to her as if he could take her with him.

She frames his dear face between her hands. I’ll …. I’ll write to you." But regrets the words the moment they come out of her mouth. La Isla Cruces. The sky had seemed endless there …

“Hush,” he says, putting a finger over her lips. "Let’s not talk of letters now. We’re still together.”

“Yes,” she nods, swallowing hard and then they kiss again. Their lips taste salty.

The light’s fading quickly now.

She shivers when he’s touching the inside of her knee. His hand is rough, but his touch is so gentle. A touch that reaches up right to her heart, embracing all of her with tenderness and love.

Love is a day, one precious day, made of green and blue and gold.

He has become a part of her as she is now a part of him. How can they ever be apart?

His lips ghost over her knee and up her thigh, but then he stops, becoming very still. He looks away from her, out to the sea. And in that moment she knows how it feels to have your heart cut out alive.

She closes her eyes. Why can’t time stand still forever now?

“It’s nearly sunset,” he says.

All has lead to this. From the first moment on until the very last.

But this … is not the end.