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Gabrielle opened her eyes to unfamiliar surroundings. It took her a minute to remember where she was.

“Ah, yes,” she thought. “We’re on vacation.”

She looked out the French doors and smiled. She and Lucy were on their first vacation together. After everything they had both been through, a relaxing trip was just what they needed. They took a friend up on the offer to use her beach house and had just arrived the night before.

With Lucy’s arm gently draped over her hip, Gabrielle took a long, deep breath, breathing in the fresh sea air. Lucy was still asleep, which was a good sign. Actually, neither of them had been sleeping well. The newness of the relationship had brought out the abandonment fears and personal insecurities both of them struggled with. When you’re abandoned, intentionally or not, you tend to have problems opening up to new people and letting yourself love. The fact that they both fell so hard and so quickly for the other said a lot about the connection between them.

As Gabrielle watched the waves break on the beach, Lucy woke up.

“You awake?” Lucy asked.

“Been awake for a few minutes,” Gabrielle replied as she rolled over to face Lucy. Gently brushing the hair away from Lucy’s face, Gabrielle thought, “God, she’s beautiful.”

“How’d you sleep?” she asked Lucy.

“Great, actually.”

“No nightmares?”

“No nightmares. How about you?”

“Best night’s sleep I’ve had in years. I guess I’ve got you to thank for that,” Gabrielle whispered.

“You hungry?”

“Famished. I worked up quite the appetite last night,” Gabrielle laughed.

Blushing, Lucy gave her a soft kiss. “Well, I guess we better get you fed so you have plenty of energy for later.”

After enjoying a big brunch on the veranda, they walked down to the beach. The weather was perfect and they had the beach to themselves. Lucy grabbed Gabrielle’s hand and ran towards the water. They splashed in the waves and chased each other, like a pair of lovestruck teenagers. Lucy trotted up the beach and stretched out in the warm, white sand. Gabrielle followed, plopping down next to her. She closed her eyes and felt the sun warming her cheeks, while the touch of Lucy’s hand warmed her heart.

They spent the afternoon on the beach, enjoying the weather and enjoying each other. Eventually they both got hungry and walked back up to the house. The cook prepared an exquisite meal and they dined by candlelight. Hours passed as they talked, laughed, looked out at the ocean, and took in each other’s presence. When the candles finally burned down, Gabrielle got up from the table, took Lucy by the hand, and led her to the bedroom.

Propped up on her elbow, Gabrielle gazed down at Lucy. The moonlight streaming into the room made her even more beautiful.

“What are you thinking?” Lucy asked.

“Just how wonderful this vacation is. How wonderful you are. I think this trip is just what we needed.”

“I think you’re right,” Lucy replied, touching Gabrielle’s cheek with the back of her fingers. “I just wish we could stay longer.”

“I know. But the location doesn’t really matter that much. It’s being with you. You make this paradise.”

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