Derin carries me until he is about to fall over. I know we have walked over 5 miles and I can tell that it is after 5:00 by where the sun is in the sky. We are stopped along the beach. The sun is just now starting to set and it creates a warm glow on the water. I take off my jacket and put the syringes in our pillow case. Derin takes his off too and we set them on the sand. I lay down at look up at the orange, and pink sky.
"It's so weird how you can be looking at the same thing as someone a million miles away, and still feel like you're worlds apart," I say referring to the people in Acerbus. He grabs my hand and I twine my fingers with his. I take in the warmth of his hand and try to make it the only thing I think about.
"I know what you mean."
"Derin what if they catch us?"
"Well lets hope that doesn't happen," he mutters.
"Yeah, but they'll probably kill us, you know so we cant try and escape again."
"Well they wont get you so don't worry about it."
"What do you mean?"
"Well... I'll distract them so you have time to get away... and you can hide in place they'll never find you," he explains.
I sit up fast and glare at him. "No. I will not run away. I cant do that. Derin you're the only person I have left. If you die then I have no one else to live for."
"What about yourself Natalie? Cant you just live for yourself?"
"Why would I do that? I get live a long and lonely life for nothing more than the sake of being able to breath a little bit longer. If I didn't have you I probably would have done joined my parents by now," I half scream the words. I feel a tear form in the corner of my eyes, but I rub it away before it runs down my cheek.
"Shhhh shhh. I'm not going to leave you," he pulls me toward him and he pats my back as tears stream down my face. "I promise."
I fall asleep in his arms, with him patting my back. I dream that I am back in Acerbus. My parents, and me, and Derin all sitting at my kitchen table laughing and having a good time. I open my eyes, but it is still dark. Derin is laying beside me with his arm draped protectively around me. I feel safe with his strong arms around me and our heat keeping us both warm. I fall back asleep and when I wake again the sun is coming up. I shake Derin till he wakes opens his eyes.
"I thought we could eat and watch the sun come up," I suggest.
He leans his head forward and we kiss. His hand cups my side and my arms hold him as tightly to me as possible. I let out a sigh and he kisses me harder. We kiss for a long time. So long that I start to fell lightheaded, because I have been holding my breath. He lets me go, but only a little as we catch our breath. I feel his stomach expand and contract against mine. I stare into is blue eyes. They remind me of the ocean. Clear and bright, but beneath mysterious and dangerous. He is mysterious and dangerous and I like that about him. We did not just connect we fought to love each other and I think, that is more important.
"So you said something about a sunrise and eating," he smiles and laugh.
"Yeah, but I think we missed our chance to see the sun rise," the sun is already up further than the ocean line.
"We could take a boat you know. Just drift off in the water and see where the ocean takes us."
"I get sea sick."
"You were fine on our way here," he accuses softly.
"I was knocked out most of the time."
"Yeah uhhh... long story," I shake my head.
"Let me guess it has something to do with trying to fight a couple soldiers by yourself?"
"Oh shut up," I push him back and we both let out a light laugh.
"I say... we eat... kiss a little more... and then... start walking some more."
"I think... that sounds like a good idea." He kisses me lightly like our very first kiss, but this time I don't pull away.