Waking up once again, Veronica was feeling a lot better than she had before. She had more energy now and she felt even less gross after having taken a shower and putting on a pair of shorts and t-shirt. He had told her to dress for a hot summer day, and even though it was nearly fall, it was still unusually warm so she took his word for it. She was also worried though. He hadn’t said where they were going yet and he refused to tell her, so she had to wait until they had gotten to their destination.
“Alright,” He said grabbing his car keys. “are you ready to go?”
She nodded and followed him out the door. “So you’re really not gonna tell me where we’re going?”
“Nope, it’s a surprise.” With a smirk he opened Veronica’s door and with a roll of her eyes, she climbed in. As she slipped on her seat belt, Travis climbed in and put his on as well. Soon they were off. Where to? Veronica had no idea.
Wherever they were going was a lot farther than Veronica thought. They were taking the back roads and even now, Veronica think of where on earth they were going, and no matter how much she guessed, either Travis wasn’t telling her, or she really wasn’t guessing right. “Are we going to an aquarium?”
“Veronica,” He said. His tone made her think she was right and a big grin grew on her face.
“Yes?” She said hopefully.
“Stop guessing.” Veronica frowned. Wrong again.
She groaned and leaned against the window with a pout. The frustration from not knowing where they were going was really getting to her. Travis however, found it amusing, and began chuckling at how childish she was acting. This was a different side of Veronica he had never really seen and he was taking his time soaking it in. He thought it was a really cute side of her.
“Okay, so how much longer until we’re there then?” She asked.
“Fifteen minutes.” He told her.
She sighed and nodded. Fifteen minutes wasn’t so bad she thought and she took a deep breath. Whoa it’s stuffy in here. She began rolling down her window, welcoming the fresh air and wind the whipped it’s way through her hair. It felt perfect on the hot sunny day and she took the time to take a deep breath. As she did so, she smelt something so faint, she almost didn’t catch it. She took another deep breath. Then another, and another, until BAM! She got it.
“We’re going to the beach!” She yelled.
Travis laughed. “There you go baby-girl.”
Veronica grinned, suddenly more excited than she had ever been in her life. The beach was one of the many places she had never been to so hearing that she was going to one made her so happy. She couldn’t thank Travis enough. Today was going to be the best day ever, she just knew it.
Veronica didn't even wait for the car to come to a full stop before she was shooting out and running towards the sandy beach. Travis on the other hand watched, his heart pounding as she ran, and only after parking his car, getting out, and locking it did he run after her, completely ready to scold her for doing something so dangerous and reckless, but he stopped short. As he came closer to her, he saw her standing with her eyes closed and a goofy grin on her face while facing the ocean. Her charcoal hair blew behind her while her arms extended to her sides and she took a long deep breath before allowing her muscles to relax and her arms fell to her side. Eyes shooting open, she laughed and turned around to face Travis who just happened to be staring at her in amazement. He didn't think she knew how beautiful she truly was and he doubted she'd believe him if he told her, so he kept his mouth shut and let her smile and laugh, also letting himself see her fully happy for the first time.
He held out his hand to her and without hesitation she took it and they began walking along the beach.
“So what do you want to do first?” He asked her.
She frowned. “If I had known where we were going, I would’ve brought my bathing suit.
“Then let’s go buy one.” He pointed to the one of the many store that lined the beach shore. The large black sign had blue letters reading Bikini Bay with two palm trees on either side.
Veronica reached into her pockets in search for her wallet. "Shit. I don't have my money with me."
"Don't worry about it, I'll pay."
Veronica smiled up at him and thanked him. She'd pay him back soon but right now she really wanted to make this day great. She owed it to herself.
As soon as they entered the store, they began searching for bathing suits. Travis being the guy that he is ran straight to the aisle with the most revealing bikinis, while Veronica opted for the more modest one pieces. Travis ran over to her, a huge grin on his face while holding a green two-piece that she knew would cover just about nothing, “I found one!”
“The only way I’d wear that is if everyone in the world was blind.” She commented. “Go put it back.”
He pouted. “Please!”
“You heard me,” Her tone was that of a mother who was telling her child to put a toy back, and like a child, Travis stomped away to put the bikini back where he had found it. A few moments later he came back with 3 more bikinis in hand, and again Veronica declined them all, letting him know that she hated two pieces and refused to wear them.
Travis stubbornly groaned. “Alright. Just pick something and let’s go.”
Veronica laughed. “Okay you big baby.” She turned back around and continue looking until she landed on one that looked promising. Plucking it off the rack, she walked towards the changerooms and Travis waited outside. When she came out, she was in a black one piece with oval openings on each side. It hugged her small curves perfect and as she looked in the mirror she fell in love with it. She turned and faced Travis. “This one please!”
He didn’t say anything. He just numbly nodded, and Veronica figured he hadn’t heard a thing she had said so she just turned around and walked back into the change room. She came out fully dressed with the swimsuit in hand and walked to the checkout desk where Travis paid for it and then they were back on the beach. Before she entered the public change rooms on the beach she turned to Travis. “Do you have a swimsuit?”
Travis nodded and began pulling his shirt off. At first Veronica was panicking, wondering why on earth he was just stripping out in the opened, but her shock soon diminished when she realized that he was wearing board shorts. How she hadn’t noticed that earlier was truly beyond her, but now she was blushing. She had seen Travis without a shirt countless times before, and she never even batted an eyelash whenever he just walked around in his brief, but right now it was different. She didn’t know how, but it was, and she felt like she was committing some kind of sin just by looking at his perfectly sculpted washboard abs that seemed to be taunting her. So, she quickly turned around and rushed into the change room to slip on her swimsuit.
As she came out she chose to only look at Travis’ face while walking towards him. She didn’t want him catching her staring at him, and it seemed he noticed what she was doing because he chuckled, but didn’t say anything. She ignored him.
They had just reached the water when Travis stopped walking, but Veronica hadn’t. She continued to walk deeper and deeper into the water having already gotten used to how cold it was. When she got about waist deep she turned and saw Travis was still standing at the shore, arms crossed with a wide grin on his face. She didn’t know what he was smiling about, but brushing it off she waved him over. “Come in!”
“I’m fine here thank you!” He called out to her.
With a smirk she began walking back towards the shore, her hands dragging in the water as she went. Today was supposed to be a fun day, and it couldn’t be if Travis was going to stand and not even get wet. So, scooping up as much water as she could in her small palms, she swung her arms at Travis, and quickly she turned around and made a run for it. She could hear Travis yell for her just before she dove into the water and began swimming away.
Unfortunately she didn’t get all that far before she felt Travis grab her leg, pull her out of the water, and then tossing her right back in. Her shouts of protest being the only thing heard before breaking the surface of the water. She quickly came back up, her coal coloured hair now wet and stringy and sticking to her in a disheveled mess. “Oh you are so going to pay for that.”
“That’s if you can catch me.” Travis laughed while turning around, but not really getting all that far before she jumped on his back and tipping as far back as she could. The added weight to his back took him by surprise and he lost his footing, causing him to fall back, taking Veronica with him. Under water, Veronica let go and tried to swim away but yet again she was yanked back, this time by her waist but instead of being thrown back into the water, Travis brought her close to him. He trapped her to his chest with one arm, and his free hand began tickling her.
Her laughed rang out like music in Travis’ ears and he didn’t stop until he heard her yell: “Okay! I give in!”
He grinned, and whispered close to her ear. “That’s what I like to hear.”
Veronica unintentionally giggled as his breath hit her most ticklish spot on her neck, and it was then that she realized how close Travis really was. So, in an attempt to add a little more distance between them, she brought her hands up against his chest, prepared to push him away if she had to, but right now he didn’t seem like much of a threat. Looking up at him, he had a sweet smile on his face and Veronica’s cheeks when ablaze. No one had ever looked at her like that. It was sweet, innocent, and friendly, but it also help so much more emotion than she ever thought possible. Well coming from Travis at least. His menacing green eyes stared into hers with such intensity that she hardly noticed that his face was coming closer and closer to her until the last second when she turned her head. His lips landed on her cheeks and they both held in a groan. Travis from both embarrassment and disappointment, and Veronica was just from embarrassment.
Veronica thought of something to say to make this moment less awkward, and the only thing she could come up with was, “Let’s go get something to eat.”
Travis agreed and reluctantly let go of her, and they began walking back to shore, a larger distance than necessary between them. The entire time Veronica’s mind was flowing with confused thoughts that should couldn’t quite find the answers to.
He just kissed my cheek didn’t he? What does that mean? Was it by accident? Did he want to kiss my lips instead? What the hell is going?!
She had no answers for those questions.