Joey smiled as she inched forward on the bed to lightly blow on the tiny hairs on the back of Pacey’s neck. She delicately ran her finger along the line that separated the deep golden tan of his back from the darker shade on his neck, a result of his days spent on the deck of the Harbormaster’s boat. He stirred now, murmuring a little as he shifted slightly. He then rolled completely over, throwing his arm across her waist and burying his face in the pillow next to her, his chin resting on her shoulder.
“What are you doing, Josephine?” His voice was muffled by the pillow.
“Trying to wake you up.” She giggled.
“And why would you be trying to do that?” His face was still in the pillow.
“Because we have a beautiful day out there…” She tickled his side.
“Well, I have a beautiful girl in here, so I win.” He lifted his head up just a bit, kissing her lightly on the shoulder and pulling her in closer to his body before dropping back down into the pillow.
Joey just smiled, resting her hands on his arm lying across her stomach. She looked around the cabin. “You know…it would have been kind of nice if we had a bed like this on True Love.”
Pacey just chuckled, still face down. “Yeah…right.” He mumbled sarcastically.
Joey looked over at him, her eyes widening. “What do you mean by that?” She batted his shoulder lightly.
He turned on his side a bit so he was facing her now. “You almost had a heart attack when you thought you were going to have to share a hammock with me, Jo. I would have hated to see your face if you walked below deck and saw a bed.” He chuckled again. “Those first couple of weeks I thought you were going to sleep with the emergency radio in your hand, just in case.”
“That is so not true!” She laughed.
“Joey, you had me pretty much walking around that boat feeling like a potential rapist. You wouldn’t even wear the bathing suit you bought without a pair of shorts over it. ” He said, his deep voice still tinged with sleep. “Hell, I was going to offer you my diving belt, too – you know – just as extra layer of protection.”
“Oh…now you’re just exaggerating.” She rolled her eyes, shaking her head. She gazed out the porthole widow at the morning sky as Pacey began rubbing small circles over her stomach.
“I was a little nervous, I guess.” She looked over at him with a little giggle.
“Oh, no…really?” Pacey raised his voice in sarcasm.
“Shut up.” She raised her voice, making a tiny fist and lightly punching his bare chest. “I was very young. It was a big deal for me to run off with a boy like that.” She looked at him out of the corner of her eye. “Especially a boy like you.” She smirked.
“I was a perfect gentleman.” Pacey smiled with confidence, settling in again next to her as if he was going to go back to sleep.
“Yeah. You were.” She sighed, lying back on the pillow.
“Until I figured out that the reason you were so nervous was because you were secretly lusting for my body…” He mumbled sleepily, his eyes closed.
“Oh, here we go…” Joey rolled her eyes, shaking her head.
“I mean, c’mon, Jo – you can admit it now. Just between you and me, you wanted me back then something fierce. It was kind of embarrassing, really - for you, I mean.”
Joey ran her hand through her hair, still tangled from sleep and other nighttime activities. “It’s funny how time can distort the truth so, isn’t it?” She drawled, and then let out a little yawn, covering her mouth with her hand. “Besides…I’m not the one who needed all those frequent jumps in the ocean.” She watched him out of the corner of her eye with a sly smile.
Pacey just chuckled into the pillow, not lifting his head. He then raised himself up on his elbow to rest his chin in his hand. “Now, see – I have no trouble admitting to the fact that you moved me, Josephine.” Joey rolled her eyes at this, trying not to laugh. “So, why can’t you just admit – right here and right now - that there was a time on that boat when you did start to warm to my considerable charms.”
Joey sighed heavily, gigging a little. “All right, Pacey. Yes – there was a time there when I do recall ‘warming’ up to you a bit.”
Pacey slowly raised an eyebrow, his voice low and husky. “I recall you getting downright hot.”
“Pacey!” She squealed in embarrassment, covering her face with her hands, as he chuckled. “This conversation is over.” She shook her head, composing herself as she turned to face him. “What are we going to do today? When did you want to start for home - it should take us a little less time on the trip back, right?”
“Are you talking about the technicalities of sailing now, or are you still referring to our other boating adventures?”
“God, Pacey…” She rolled her eyes, trying not to laugh again. “Will you just stop, please?” She sat up, resting on her elbows, to look at him. “C’mon - let’s go do something. Let’s go get breakfast.”
Pacey just watched her, the light cotton sheet drifting down so that it was barely covering her chest now, the tan lines from her bikini peeking out through the tousled strands of her long hair that spilled down around her shoulders, her cheeks tinged a rosy color from the wind and the sun and her face free of any make-up. He let his eyes drift over her slowly.
“How do you still manage to do that?” He asked her, his voice soft and full of wonder.
“Do what?” She replied, looking at him quizzically, her gentle tone matching his now.
“Make me feel like I must be dreaming.” He bowed his head a little, sighing. “I used to wake up every morning that summer and have to rub my eyes to make sure that you were really there with me.” Joey’s face softened as she watched him. He was quiet a minute, just rubbing his hand over her stomach again. “And then…” He sighed dramatically. “You’d have to go and open your mouth…” He shook his head sadly.
Joey mock-scowled at him, punching him in the chest again.
“Ow!” He yelped, “That one hurt.” She went to say something and he leaned over to quickly kiss her, silencing her. Moving down to her neck, he mumbled against her skin. “Luckily, for me, I learned a way to shut you up…” He chuckled, moving lower.
Joey squirmed under him, half-heartedly trying to get away. “C’mon, Pacey…” She giggled, “I’m hungry…”
“Me too…” He replied with a sigh, moving between her breasts.
“You are so bad.” She gasped, shaking her head, then gasped again as she felt his tongue snake out along her heated skin. She moaned, her voice a strained whisper. “This is so not fair…” She sighed, settling back down on the pillow.
“No one said life was fair, Jo.” Pacey chuckled against the soft skin of her stomach.
Joey stepped out of the small bathroom, her face freshly washed and pulling her hair up into a ponytail. Pacey was standing at the small stove in the kitchen area and turned to smile at her over his shoulder.
She looked up and grinned. “Are you making me breakfast over there, Pace?” She asked brightly.
“Yes, I am.” He nodded towards the bench in the small dining nook. “Have a seat.”
Joey smiled happily, sliding onto the bench where her utensils were already waiting for her. Pacey came over to the table with a dish in his hand, placing it in front of her. She looked down at it, her mouth slightly open.
“Aww.” She giggled, looking up at him as he made his way over to the economy sized refrigerator. “You made me pancakes shaped like hearts…”
Pacey grinned at her over his shoulder, bending down and grabbing a plastic bottle out of the refrigerator door. “You know what is one of modern man’s greatest inventions? Butter in a squeeze bottle.” He came back to the table, sliding into the seat across from her.
Joey raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, ever since that technological breakthrough with the ketchup bottle, the sky has been the limit.” She deadpanned, watching as Pacey took her plate.
Pacey chuckled, bowing his head. She smiled at him as she adjusted her ponytail, watching as just the tip of his tongue emerged from his mouth, as it did when he was concentrating. He pushed the plate back in front of her with a smile. She raised her eyebrow at him, slowly looking back down at her plate.
Her eyes were suddenly clouded by tears as she looked down, so that his familiar scrawl was slightly blurred by that and the fact the butter was slowly melting away, but there on her pancake were the words “Pacey loves Joey”. She looked up at him, the lump in her throat making it impossible for her to speak.
“You know…” Pacey shrugged, chuckling a little. “My romantic gestures may be a bit smaller in scale, but the sentiment behind them where you are concerned, Josephine, only continues to grow.” He sighed, looking down, and then back at her. “And I have a feeling that it always will.”
The tears started to fall from the corners of her eyes now, and she raised her hands to her face. Pacey’s face softened and he got up to come over to her, crouching down next to her where she sat. He took her hand, kissing it, and then raised his other hand to her cheek.
“I love you.” He said simply, but his voice was full of emotion. She reached over to wrap her arms around his shoulders and bury her face in his neck as he gently rubbed her back. She slowly pulled back to kiss him and he placed his hands on her cheeks, gently kissing the tears away from her eyes and then moving back to her mouth.
“It’s about time, Witter.” She sighed against his lips and they smiled.
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