The floor of the airport seemed cold under his feet, and he swung his legs off the cramped bench he had been trying to sleep on. Trying was not really a good word; he had been thinking, his brain going over and over the last 4 weeks, and how it had changed his life.

Two weeks ago, he had landed in Athens, ready for a holiday in the Greek islands, all was strange to him, the sites, the sounds, the smells, the heat but he was here, the saving, the flight, all had been worth while. A coach and a ferry ride had seen him landing on the Island of Spetzi, a small blot of rock set in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. He had found the small Taverna he was going to stay at, the room was small, plain but all he wanted. The people who owned the Taverna were friendly, and spoke enough English for him to feel a welcome part of their family.

The first day he had spent settling in to his room, the beach, the sea and the bar in that order, and after a filling meal and much time preparing himself he had left to tour the night spots on the small island.
He had found several bars with heavy music throbbing from them into the night, and had met several groups of people all looking for the same musical release. He moved amongst the groups making friends and passing time on several dance floors. Liquid flowed into him as much as the heat and the dancing helped ease it back out. His ears was buzzing as he found himself near the harbour, and up ahead music came from a small building

"The smile on your face let's me know that you need me. There's a truth in your eyes saying your never leave me, the touch of your hand says you'll catch me whenever I fall. But you say it best when you say nothing at all"

The soft sound of Ronan Keating's hit record came from the open windows, making such a change to the heavy beat his ears had been pounded with for the rest of the evening. He made his way to the entrance and looked in. The lighting was dimmed, and shapes moved around the dance floor, couples lost in the music and themselves. He did not know why, but he went in and ordered a fresh Mataxa and coke from the bar. The record finished and the light brightened as some the DJ once more cranked up the beat and the volume.

He did not really notice this; his eyes were locked to a vision dressed in a short white dress, which hid nothing of the tanned shapely body that had just stopped dancing to the previous record. As the beat and the lights came up, the vision looked straight at him, and she flashed a smile that out lit all the flashing lights of the disco. Eyes green as emeralds flashed warmly at him, even out shining the white smile. He could not move, he wanted to look away, but just stood there like a gormless fool. Eventually she let out a laugh that sent shivers of pleasure down his spine, and turned to a crowd of equally tanned men and woman sat at a corner table.

He recovered his senses, and quickly swallowed his drink, ordering another as soon as he could attract the bartender. He was just fishing in an ice bucket of water for one or two left over bits of ice, when a touch on the arm, made him turn.
There she was, the white and brown angel, and he looked into emerald eyes that seemed to go to his very soul, she smiled, he melted.
" Are you by yourself?" said a voice like the trickling of a mountain stream; the accent was from somewhere in the valleys. He smiled back seeing the look of pleasure heightened in her in her.
"That would be great" he replied, trying hard not to shout YES! YES! YES!.
"If you and your friends do not mind"

She smiled that smile, and his heart flipped again, then taking his hand in hers, felt a touch that sent electric shocks through his body, to kick start his heart.
She lead him across the floor to the table where her friends sat chatting, she quickly said "My names Grace, no, please no comments" a little laugh like Christmas bells filled him with desire "What's your name?"
He grinned, "My names Phillip, but most folks call me Pip" he smiled, and felt her gently squeeze his hand as she motioned a seat next to where she had been sitting.

The evening went by all to fast, the group were great fun, and it seemed that he was accepted without any problems. Records came and went, he danced, and he laughed. He held Grace's hand, where it seemed his belonged; nobody seemed to mind they accepted that Grace had chosen him.

At last as the night started to turn into morning, The song by Ronan was played, couples moved to the floor, and in what seemed the most natural of actions he lifted her to her feet, and gently steered her towards the dance floor.

The music flowed as did there bodies, they seemed to melt into each other, the stars shone, the lights, and the other people seemed to disappear.
"The smile on your face let's me know that you need me. There's a truth in your eyes saying your never leave me, the touch of your hand says you'll catch me whenever I fall. But you say it best when you say nothing at all"

She smiled, and nothing was said, nothing at all, and he knew this was special.

The music stopped but they no longer needed it, they kept on dancing, not taking any notice of the music, the people, lost in their own world. At last they stopped, and slowly he leant towards her and gently kissed her. Her lips opened at touch of his, and he felt the pressure of her tongue fighting to push into his mouth, as he tasted hers. Her lips were soft, and her body pushed against him promising much, as ever part of it pressed through the thin white material, the kiss sent his head reeling, and his heart leaping in his chest. The taste of her, the softness of her lips went on and on, tongue fought to taste each other, wrestling to give pleasure to each other.

At last they stopped, and looking around realised that nearly everybody had gone, she took his hand and with a "follow me" dragged him from the Taverna, and lead him in the dawning light to a pathway, that lead down to the deserted beach.
She stopped and kissed him, then with a "last one in the sea is a catfish" turned, and shedding her clothes as she went headed for the sea, he just noticed the smallest patch of white as she disappeared into the waves. With a shrug he shed her clothes and followed Grace into the sea. He started slowly swimming towards where he had last seen the lithe body in the water, his muscled body easily moving through the water. He was just looking for her, when a hand suddenly grabbed him, and an arm went round his neck, followed by two lips that took the breath from him. His body was not meant to hide his feelings, and it did not take long for something to come between then, she felt his embarrassment, and with the laugh that sent the chills once more down his spine, struck out for the shore.

She was there shrugging into to her dress, which when wet seemed even more revealing, he tried to hide his naked embarrassment and quickly pull on his clothes which being wet was no easy matter. Eventually he was ready and looked up to see her looking at him with a huge grin across her face. She skipped up to him, and kissed him lightly on the lips "Now you can take me home" she giggled.

They made their way back through the town until they came to a small apartment, she stopped him at the door, and gently kissed him, "Not tonight love, I want to rest", but another night smiled a mischievous smile.

Somehow he made his way back to the Taverna just as the first kiss of dawn broke through and kissed the blue Mediterranean, it was a perfect morning and he felt like he was floating, as the old Taverna owner gave him a knowing wink.

He climbed into his bed and was asleep before his head hit the pillow, with dreams of emerald green eyes.

Sunlight streaming in through the windows; and something else waked him, there was a feeling what was it, a laugh that made his heart skip sounded behind him. Self-consciously he pulled the sheet back on his naked body.

"Hey you're spoiling the view." Came the soft voice that meant so much to him in such a short time.
"It's ok, I know the people here, they let me in, it's lunch time and I thought you might be hungry, they do really good barbecued sardines downstairs."

He pulled himself onto his elbow, the sunlight shone through the window surrounding Grace, for of course that's whom it was, with a golden glow. He felt huge surge of mixed emotion running through him, and his body did not hide it. She looked but made no comment, as if sensing his discomfort, she through a towel at him.

"Here have a shower, to wake yourself up, and I'll meet you down in the bar"

He throw himself into a pair of shorts and fell down the stairs not quite sure, what was going on, and if he was still dreaming. But there she was sitting at a table talking with the old Taverna owner, her tinkling laugh sent his pulse beating, no this was not a dream.
She saw him coming, and said something to the old man that made him grin, then turned and beckoned him to sit next to her. Reaching for his hand as he did so, and leaning across to kiss him as he sat down.

The old man arrived with a cup of some lemon liquid, which he placed in front of Pip, "taste it" said the vision before him, that he was still a having trouble believing was there with him "nothing like lemon juice, made with lemons freshly picked and squeezed today".
He tasted the bittersweet liquid, and his teeth seemed to crawl back into his gums. She laughed… "NO! Add some honey and hot water to it, pointing out the jug and bowl, he had not noticed. He mixed the lemon with the sugar and hot water and again tasted it. The liquid seemed to reach every part of his body, and suddenly he was alive.

"Good isn't it" came the soft voice of the angel beside him
Yes he thought, but was not thinking about the lemon drink.

They spent the rest of the rest of the day learning about each other. Grace he found out was spending her summer months lazing round the island, she was due to start college on her return to Wales, but was making the most of her last couple of months before the hard work started. She took him all over the small islands, showing him things of beauty all the time, the gentle lilt of her voice and the sparkling tinkle of her laugh keeping him floating in his own dream cloud. Yes she showed him much of beauty but all was put into the shade by this goddess the talked and laughed by his side.

She showed him a small bay on the other side of the island, hidden from the world, they stripped and bathed, then as the suns red lips kissed the sea, and the evening cooled the sand, they found each other. He was no virgin, and knew the way to make a woman happy, but with Grace he reached highs he never knew existed. The animal lusts and power of there loving made both of them gasp with the shear veracity of their coupling. They clung to each other sated for now, lost in each others eyes, then as the sun was replaced by the moons silver sheen; they made love once more.

This time, slowly, deep, longing, wanting, giving, love, words only lovers understand echoed across the empty beach and silent sea. They came together, in and explosion of ecstasy that he never knew existed. They curled up together, when the sun started to rise to great another dawn, they slowly walked back to his room, bodies sweetly aching from there night of love.

The rest of his holiday flow by all to quickly, their world was one, their bodies, the life, their actions as one. All to soon, it was there last night they returned to their own small beach, swam, made love, made plans, and swore that they would be together again.

He kissed her and told her, he loved her, she laughed that laugh and his heart exploded as she told him of course she loved him to. The lay then curled up on the sand, looking at the moon that shined in each other's eyes.

The next day she held him as he went to leave her, he had spent hours trying to get through to his work and had arranged that he could have another week's holiday. He kissed her and arranged to call her the next day.

All the way home he thought of her, as soon as he landed he took out his savings from the bank and booked another ticket back to Spetzi and his love. As promised, he called her, she was there waiting, and at the news of his return he could hear the happiness in her voice, and swore she was crying. He called her every night, words were not enough, and as the day of his flight came nearer, then on the night before he flew back to Grace, she did not answer the phone when he called.

Now here he was in a cold and lonely Greek airport. When he had not found her waiting for him, upon his arrival, he went to the Taverna, and as he got there, the old owner and his wife, looked at him and broke down into a flood of tears, and sobbed Greek.

It had all been so sudden, nobody knew just how, but she had gone swimming at there beach. She had been stung by a jellyfish, and by some fluke of nature her body had a bad reaction to this and she went into a spasm, losing her life in the waves where only a few weeks before they had been together.

His world ended that day, his heart broke, his mind ceased to function, and he lost himself in bottle after bottle, lost in another time sitting there for hours on their beach, lost in the past. The couple from the Taverna, and Grace's friends tried to help him, but he did not or could not respond.

Now here he was, at a cold and empty Greek airport, his world was over when it had only just begun, his heart might mend in time, but he knew he would never find a love like he had just lost.
A laugh that tinkled like a waterfall seemed to float on the air, he looked up, and the empty red eyes, seemed to light up for the briefest of moments, before once more his shouldered slumped. Once more he curled up on the bench trying to sleep and find the happiness in his dreams, he had lost in his life.

Barry Eva 1999