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[fic] disappear; haven, audrey/duke, pg
title; rating: disappear; pg
fandom, pairing; count: haven, audrey/duke; 368
notes: for [info]stainofmylove's prompt salt water, at the labor day comment fic celebration

I need to get out of here.

It's just seven words, but the instant she says it, Duke gets this look in his eye, the one that almost always certainly spells trouble. (Trouble with a little t.)

He grabs her hand and they board his boat and he tells her he's taking her away, "Just for an hour or two," he says. "No Haven. No troubles. Just us."

But what if I cease to exist? She doesn't say it, but she thinks it. The summer has grown hot, and even the cool breezes that blow into Haven feel stifling. She just wants to breathe again. And maybe disappearing wouldn't be so bad after all.

"I don't want to know why you have a drawer full of women's bathing suits, do I?" she asks when they get to the inlet.

Duke flashes that million-dollar grin. "Probably not," he says.

"You comin', Crocker?" Audrey holds out her hand to him as she stands on the edge. Duke just shakes his head and tips his beer, relaxing into his lawn chair. "Suit yourself," she shrugs and steps into the open air.

When she penetrates the water's surface, she sucks in a breath, salt water on her tongue, and for the first time in months, she feels real. She can't remember the last time her lungs felt so full.

Later, when she ascends the ladder, Duke is there at the crest to take her hand. She stumbles into his arms, laughing, and she kisses him then, the taste of the sea on her lips mixing with the taste of alcohol on his tongue, and Duke's strong hands grip her waist.

Duke growls low and lets his hands slide up her wet back and to her neck before he pulls away and searches her eyes. "Let's never go back," she grins, nips at his lips.

There's a look of disappointment in his eyes, and she knows that he understands that neither of them could ever leave Haven for good, could never leave Nathan.

He takes her by the wrist and leads her to his quarters. "For a little while," he says.

Audrey nods and follows him, echoing his words.

For a little while.