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Paul sat on their bed with his knees pulled to his chest and wearing only his soft boxers.  He should’ve pulled on his sweater, but he didn’t feel like moving. The cool breeze came in through the open sliding door and the ivory curtains brushed the floor with a soft sound. He could hear the not-so-distance sound of the waves crashing upon the sandy beach. Three days of shore leave on a beautiful beach resort planet, it was deserved and very needed. Paul sighed and rubbed the tender spot on his chest. He shouldn’t have been so excited about swimming all afternoon and on the first day. Hugh had suggested they only go for a short swim, but Paul got carried away. His sore muscles ached and the spot on his chest, where he’d been seriously wounded only two weeks previous, throbbed painfully. It was hard to believe it had only been two weeks with his Hugh back. Falling in love with each other and taking their time to explore their feelings, it was wonderful. Hugh had stepped out to pick-up some dessert for them to eat. Paul pretended his wound wasn’t bothering him and he hoped Hugh hadn’t seen through him.

He stood up and moved to the open door. Paul brought the light blanket from the bed, wrapping it around his shoulders to keep out the chill. He sighed, watching the waves roll onto the sand. It was perfect here.

Two warm arms wrapped around his shoulders and Hugh kissed his cheek. “Hey sweetie,” Hugh murmured.

Ouch. Paul tried to hide the wince as Hugh’s arms slipped a little.

“What’s wrong?” Hugh loosened his hold and he took a good look at Paul’s pinched expression.

“Nothing. I’m okay.” Paul focused on Hugh’s bare chest, admiring his muscles and trying not to think about the pain. Hugh only wore a pair of very short flowered shorts.


Paul frowned, hearing the tone in his voice. He rubbed his chest and shook his head. “You were right,” he said. “Too much. It hurts.”

Hugh guided him back to the bed and pulled his medical kit out from the nightstand. He sat quietly as he scanned Paul. Paul focused on breathing evenly. It only took a minute for Hugh to realize the cause of the pain and administer a pain reliever. Hugh gently massaged Paul’s shoulders as they waited for the medication to take effect. He kissed Paul’s neck as he let out a soft moan.

“Better?” Hugh asked.

Paul nodded. “Much better.” After a short pause, he said, “I’m sorry.”

“I did tell you that you weren’t quite ready for so much physical activity, but it’s okay. You’re still healing.” Hugh helped Paul turn around, so they were sitting facing each other. “It was really nice to see you so happy and excited. It’s been a long time.” He ran his fingers through Paul’s hair, and cupping his cheek.

“You too. I haven’t seen you smile so much. We really needed this.” Paul grabbed Hugh’s fingers, holding them to his cheek. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Hugh kissed him, gently at first and then with more passion. “If you are still hungry… I have some dessert that I brought back.”

Paul smiled. “I’d love some dessert.”

They moved outside to the reclined lounge chair on the patio. The dim lights glowed and lit up the water enough that they could count each wave if they wanted. Hugh laid down on the chair and Paul immediately snuggled up against him, sharing the space. The delicious warm chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream was perfect. Hugh fed Paul a bite and listened as he hummed in pleasure. Paul returned the motion, smiling as Hugh made the same noise. Once it was finished, they stayed snuggled on the chair. The last of the sunlight disappeared beyond the horizon. Hugh spread the blanket across them as Paul shivered. His head rested against Hugh’s chest and he kept on hand close, feeling each breath that Hugh took and his heartbeat. It was comforting to him.

“We should go inside,” Hugh whispered.

“I don’t want to,” Paul grumbled in an adorable way. “Too comfy.”

Hugh gently rubbed circles on Paul’s back as the rest of the tension faded from his body. “I don’t want you to get cold.”

“I’m warm. Right here with you.” Paul nuzzled his nose against Hugh’s exposed chest hair, getting a small laugh from him.

“Okay. We can stay right here.”

The sound of the waves soothed Paul as his eyes closed. He didn’t want to fall asleep and miss this moment. He startled a little. Hugh gave him a soft squeeze.

“It’s okay. I’m right here.” Hugh slowly drew circles on Paul’s hand. “You can fall asleep.”

Paul shook his head. “Not tired.” He put out his lower lip, causing Hugh’s chest to rumble as he laughed again. “Don’t wanna sleep yet.”

Hugh pulled the blanket up a little higher as Paul snuggled in closer. “How about tomorrow we take it a little slower? We can start with breakfast in bed, then more snuggling. Lunch at the café with the waterfall and possibly a nap. I was thinking we could do dinner on the beach too. We could walk in the waves as the sun sets. Very romantic.”

Paul hummed in agreement.

“Then maybe on the last day we can go diving with the turtles if you’re feeling up to it. How does that sound?”

Hugh glanced down at Paul. His lips were parted, and his breathing change told him that Paul was almost asleep. He hummed softly as Paul’s breathing grew slower until he was sure that he was asleep. He tightened his arms around Paul, not wanting to let go of him. Hugh kissed the top of his head. “I love you, honey. Sweet dreams.” He closed his eyes and let himself drift to sleep with his most important thing close to his heart.