He drove her to the coast with its rugged cliffs descending to the shore. Brisk, cool air met them; he grasped her hand as he descended a trail to the beach. Birds chirped and lightened his heart. Out of the ocean jutted huge rock islands. A mist crept over the coast and into him. From a ledge, he saw a panorama view of a glimmering sea. They embraced and he kissed her again and again. "I'm going to make it up to you. I know I hurt you but I didn't mean to."

 

Her hands slid up his back. "I'll try to be more patient."

 

He clenched her to him. How it consoled him that he made up for the pain he brought her.

 

She freed herself from him and viewed the ocean. Wind blew her hair to one side. The winds blew harder now, his hair swept in every direction. Her eyes burned into his. “Marry me.”

 

Old fears haunted him. "I will."

 

"Now."

 

His fists clenched.

 

With blazes in her eyes, she faced him.

 

He placed his hands on her shoulders. “I won’t let you die.”

 

Her eyes burned into him. “If you die, I’ll never know what it’s like to become one with you.”

 

He couldn’t look at her.

 

Her eyes bore into him.

 

“We must marry at a synagogue first.”

 

To the edge of the cliff, she shuffled. “Why a synagogue? Aren’t you a Christian now?”

 

It tormented him to see her this way. He took her arm and turned her around. The breezes picked up, the air’s moisture aroused him. “I promise we will be one.”

 

After he told her this, she became so radiant, he realized he didn’t know her as well as he thought. Her eyes glazed in a fury of joy. Sex was marriage to her. This oneness, to her, was something sacred. “But Brianna, if you die, I couldn’t go on!”