“Aren’t you bored yet?” Blayne yawned and changed the paintwork in the lounge for the eleventh time. Even the sofa he sat on had gone through a few changes before she had agreed the original material was the best.
She squinted. Nope, this time, it was too dark. “Show me again the previous blue.”
“How could a single wish turn into a full blown hour of redecorating?” he groaned, as his forehead hit his knees and his arms dangled along his legs.
“Stop complaining.” She did a complete, slow turn, from the centre of her lounge. The shade made her furniture stand out, and brightened the whole room. The exact tone she had been after from the beginning. She put her fists on her waist, a satisfied smile on her lips. “I like it.”
“Thank God for that!” He rose from the sofa and tugged at her shiny hair. “To think the other day I was moaning about the time it took you to decide which length you wanted it cut.”
“You wouldn’t understand.” Men never did. “Your own hair doesn’t grow.” She raked a hand through his locks. “I’ve known you for four months, yet you look exactly the same. You could at least get frizzy hair once in a while.”
“I don’t give a damn what my hair looks like.” He shoved his hands in his pockets, and walked towards the newly painted walls. The sound he made could both indicate he appreciated the new tone or he hated it. She didn’t ask.
She pinched an apple from the fruit bowl in the middle of the coffee table, wiped it on her sleeve, and took a bite. “How come you don’t say anything when you grant me wishes?”
His grimace was a mix of confusion and distaste. “Eh?”
“You know, like Merlin, or Harry.” She waved her arms in dramatic fashion. “Expelliarmus!” His stunned silence spurred her on to use her apple like a wand. “Abracadabra! Alakazam!”
She sagged. “No?”
“No.” He was looking at her like she was a lunatic. “And who’s this Harry? Friend of yours?”
This time, she looked at him like he was the lunatic. “You’ve never heard of Harry Potter?”
He blinked, face blank.
Holy mother of God, he didn’t know Harry Potter.
“Can you take me underwater?” The possibility was magical, and she trembled at the thought.
“Sorry.” He rubbed the back of his neck, a pained expression on his face. “I’m not strong enough to make you breathe under there.” He stared at his feet. Three seconds later, he stroked her lips with one finger. “Unless you agree to regular mouth to mouth, that is.”
“Too bad.” He shrugged, and took off.
She caught him by the bottom of his shirt. “I wish to see them. The dolphins.” She clung to the material as he hovered down, and let go when he landed on the sand like a feather.
He jutted his chin towards the sea. “There’s not enough depth here to see them up close.” He peered around, then pointed at the area closest to the lighthouse at the end of the beach. “Let’s go over there, and I’ll make them come and say hello to you, Sunshine.” He slapped his temple in an over dramatic way. “I meant, Holly.”
“Thank you.” She blew a kiss in the air. “Bunny boy.”
He clamped his hands against his temples, fingers straight up, and jiggled them while twitching his nose. “You’re welcome.” He flew ahead, spinning round and round as he did so. “Come on, slowcoach!” he yelled.
She started running, shoes in hands, her pace sluggish in the softness of the ground. She patted her flat belly, feeling confident that for the first time, it wasn’t wobbling at each step. She lost sight of him a good half a mile from the white tower which used to warn boats of the approaching land.
When she reached her destination, she found him fists on his waist, his stance wide and straight. He extended an arm towards her. “Come and see.” The ground was higher, and grass had replaced sand. She climbed the last inches with her hand in his, and she wished the ascent had been longer.
“Are you ready?” he asked, not hiding his own excitement.
She could only nod, because his hand was still holding hers. He dropped it to point at the sea. “Look.”
Three dolphins bounced out of the waves. They jumped, they rolled around, their bodies dripping with millions of drops. She moved closer to the edge, fascinated by the playfulness of the sea creatures splashing at each plunge. She had seen them before, but she never tired of them. They were beautiful, and free, at one with their blue home.
Her bliss dissipated when she noticed Blayne’s empty stare on the dolphins. The wind whistled in her ears. The waves rippled in response. “Thank you,” she managed to say.
The sadness in his eyes didn’t fit with the bright smile he gave her. “I have my uses,” he said.
“Let’s go back.” She climbed down the grassy path without waiting for his reply, because she didn’t know what to make of what she had just witnessed.