With the smell of the ocean air lingering in their noses the Phoenician crew took a most deserved rest on the first beachfront they could find. The ship had been docked all morning to complete on-land maintenance. Now high noon was upon them and everything had surprisingly gone according to plan. It was in this instant that Aden suggested they take a trip down to the beach front.
It was abnormal to find such nice sandy areas without large masses of people nearby, but they were fifty or sixty miles away from the main coast of Aria. Bathing suits were in short demand in their wardrobe so the Phoenicians did the best they could. Most of the guys wore just their spare cargo shorts or ripped at the knees from wear and tear slacks. They were the most rambunctious running around the waterline and diving headfirst into the waters. Leo and Jakob dashed as fast as they could against the rushing water until a larger cascading wave overtook them. Xavier wrestled with Dean playfully, they were waist deep in the water just taking the waves as they crashed into them. Damien had been right next to Xavier, but after the last wave he was pushed back to the shore. Markus played lifeguard for the first bit before he would switch off with Dean in the second shift.
Aden swam farther away—his body was entirely in the water as he waited for a larger wave to emerge. He would then ride that wave back on some random piece of drift wood they brought in from the ship.
As for the girls—well they were less inclined to jump into the water. The twins Belle and Anna walked the shoreline with just their shoes off. They wore cut off pants that they pulled up past their low calf. The shirts they wore were loose, but comfortable. Sarah also walked along the water, but she stayed closer to Markus’s side of the beach. She was abnormally quiet compared to the usual Sarah Moreno. She wore something similar to what her mother sold in their family store. While she lacked accessories, she still had on a simple one piece with ruffles and a sheer attire. Her hair was pulled up into a messy, curled bun that rested evenly at the nape of her neck. Olivia rested in a long chair she made with Cesium laying on the warm sand. She was the bravest of the bunch to wear a leotard like outfit that showed more of her leg and arm. The dark blue ruffled suit fit her comfortably and she was not ashamed of it. She had a thin, long sleeved cover up, but she only wore that when she wasn’t sunbathing. Charlotte had been coerced by her inventor friend to also wear that simple suit design, but hers was dark green with a more revealing back and a playful ruffled skirt on the bottom of the design. She sat watching the guys play rough in the waters, but not really wanting to get stuck in the water.
Aden had made his fifth return trip back from out in the ocean, he crashed off the board more than three times, but he seemed to master it after the fourth. Damien met Aden at the waterline, and exchanged a few words. Damien pointed over to the beach where she and Olivia were sitting, and before Charlotte could blink both of them wrestled each other in the water and right into a wave. While it was amusing to see, it also showed her that they were definitely related to one another.
“Lottie!” The auburn turned her head to see Leo and Jakob running toward her full speed. They were dripping wet, but they stopped when Olivia opened her eyes in warning.
“How cold is the water?” Charlotte asked inquisitively, the sun was beating down but the wind was keeping her quite cold.
“Cold enough to start, but once you’re in, it feels good.” Leo replied. Jakob deviously looked to Leo before leaning into his ear. The two paused in their chat to whisper.
“I would run if I were you.” Olivia warned to her friend before closing her eyes. Cesium looked between the two boys and then at Charlotte. His tail began thumping side to side on the blanket.
“Huh?” The auburn didn’t have that much of a chance as the delayed reaction set forth a most comical pursuit of her slipping in the sand to escape the two devious males that chased her. Jakob immediately caught her, and with Leo’s support on her lower half they carried her with ease. They ran with her in tow straight to the water line, and it gathered all of the males’ attention as Charlotte was thrown straight into the crashing waves. The boys followed her shortly after and they came to a stop back on the shore. Charlotte sputtered, her hair a wet mess while the boys high fived each other on a successful kidnapping.
Loud thumping footsteps came upon them as a drenched Aden and Damien came up. Aden extended his hand to the auburn to help her, and she gratefully accepted—only to immediately regret it later as he threw her over his shoulder and start walking right into the ocean. At this point she was done with the cold water and hit his back to no avail.
“Aden, put me down!”
Damien caught up with the two boys and laughed as Aden chucked her into the next impeding wave.
Charlotte came back to the shore with the waves strength and she attempted to run, but Aden happened to be right behind her laughing.
“This isn’t a ‘toss the Damsel into the ocean’ day—I’m soaking wet!” She complained and gestured to her outfit. Her skin prickled with goosebumps and her hair was a ravenous mess. The blonde brother, Damien, snuck up behind Charlotte and lifted her with ease. Aden smirked and then yelled to the auburn. “Then it just became your lucky day, because it did!”
All Charlotte could do against their strength was scream, “I hate you guys” before she was welcomed into the water’s chilly embrace.
The ones who saved Charlotte from her immediate doom, or out of sheer pity were Xavier, Dean, and Markus. They jumped into the water and scooped the girl up. She clung quite comically to Xavier and when she was in the safety zone of the beach, she stuck her tongue out to the guys. This of course incited Aden to chase after her, and Xavier almost handed her over.
“Give her over to me and I’ll take your duties for the week.” The offer was very tempting, but Charlotte in wide-eyed horror yelled back. Her adrenaline kicked in as she made her own offer.
“I’ll do your duties for two weeks!”
“Four weeks!” Charlotte piped up.
Everyone watched in amusement as Xavier sighed. “No one’s taking any of my work. Charlotte’s going to sunbathe with Dean and I while you rambunctiously throw your cares to the wind.”
Aden did not appear to be happy to hear this, but saved his retort against it. He returned to the crashing waves where the males started jumping head first into the waves—almost like they were challenging mother nature to bring on larger waves.
Dean secured a place on the sand about ten feet away from where Olivia sat. Cesium let his tail thud up and down upon the sand. He signaled to his master if he could romp and play in the sand around the trio, but Olivia waved him down. While she wanted him to play and have fun—they were on the beach and she did not know how he would fare in the scratchy, dusty surface. He laid sprawled upon a woven blanket that she found lying around.
Charlotte felt the tips of her toes grace the coarse sand as Xavier placed her down. When Xavier felt that she balanced, he plopped down to enjoy the rays of heat upon his skin. Dean joined him, but he shoved his hands into the grainy sand to warm his pruned fingers.
“Thank you.” Charlotte fumbled with her hair, as she tried to straighten the curly auburn mess that sat upon her skull. While her hair was used to regular washes, salty water did a completely different number on her poor tendrils.
“I know how my little brothers can get. They tend to get too rough when they’re playing at the beach.” Xavier explained and patted the sand next to him. Charlotte took his cue to sit before she got kidnapped again.
“I just wasn’t ready for it.” Charlotte explained nervously and looked down. Her arms wrapped around her legs covering her whole bodice from view. She was self-conscious of her attire, especially since the leotard was nothing more than a piece of fabric clinging to her frame. Her long legs and arms were ghostly white compared to the other persons on that beach. She wished she had more of a golden complexion like Damien or Olivia had. Too bad she burnt under the harsh UV rays of the sun.
“You could go back, we just thought you’d drown if they continued their games.” Dean answered back with his usual grin. Charlotte gaped in horror, she could already see herself being swept up in the riptide and not resurfacing.
“No thank you, I am happy with my current location!”
Xavier laughed at her instant response.
“Show her how to build a sand castle.” The inventor resting behind them called out to them.
“Lottie, you don’t know how to build a sand castle?” Xavier questioned as his azure eyes widened in mock horror.
“I know how to draw one—the actual makings of one with materials is another.” Charlotte used her finger to doodle a small but cute caricature of a castle. She may have been an artist, but building and creating the three-dimensional shape of her drawing was another step entirely.
Dean maneuvered in the sand so that he completed a triangular shape between the three. The open space in the middle gave them enough space to build. “First we need a foundation.” He explained the process of building the physical shape of the castle and the three went straight to work. Every once in a while, Charlotte or Xavier would take the pail that they were given to the water so that they could mold the sand easier. Leo and Jakob watched intently before going over to examine their hard word so far—although they were planning to wreck it after it was completed.
“Watch the tower end Xavier—the height might be too high.” Xavier had packed some more sand to mold on top of the sand Charlotte had recently formed, but it leaned in an awkward level.
“More water—stat!” Xavier called out and Charlotte grabbed the pail to rush to the water. The sun had done a great job of drying the water that had soaked her to the bone a mere hour prior. She dropped down on her haunches to gather a fresh bucket of water, but a shadow cast over her. Aden came back from his trip out from the ocean to stumble over Charlotte’s form.
“Getting more water?” Aden asked curiously, and Charlotte nodded nervously.
He knelt upon the balls of his feet to see her holding the bucket. She grew wary of his curiosity and wished the ocean would bring over another wave of water so she could leave. “You don’t need to be skittish—I won’t throw you in. Yet.”
Charlotte froze under the newly heard threat and he chuckled. “Just kidding. Give me your pail.” He took it without her permission and walked farther into the water to have a large wave come crashing over him. He emerged seconds later with a pail full of water and he triumphantly walked back to the auburn. “Here you are.”
“Thanks.” She replied, her mind still rang warning bells as she accepted the pail from his dripping wet hands.
“When are you going to be done over there?” The question hovered between them like a whispered secret between two sweethearts.
Charlotte, taken aback, pulled herself away from the close proximity he created. Her mind remained vigilant as she prepared her defensive response. “Why do you want to know?”
Aden felt the water trickle up past his shins and above his mid-calf as another wave rolled and churned to the shore. The water fell upon Charlotte’s feet before it retreated back into the ocean. He knew that she answered with a question to avoid his own question.
“Oiiiii Damsel, we need that water!” Xavier’s voice penetrated the quiet lull of the beach and brought Charlotte back to reality.
“Coming!” She instantly replied and ran away without another glance behind. She handed the pail over to Xavier before she plopped down upon the hot, coarse sand to build more.
Everyone made their way back to the ship. Sarah had been surrounded by Leo and Jakob, her laughter could be heard the most in their raucous group. Olivia had been shaking the sand off the towels as they walked, she didn’t want the sand to get stuck on the ship for them to clean later. Dean and Xavier walked with Damien and Markus. They were discussing about the sand mermaid tail they built around Xavier when he took a nap. Anna and Belle had gotten redder than usual, and it was due to their lack of sun screen application half way through the day. The twins smiled despite the pain they knew they would be in later on in the week. At the end of the group were two quiet people—Aden and Charlotte. They kept up with the group with ease, but the auburn felt bad for ignoring Aden the entire day after their initial incident with the ocean.
“I’m sorry.” She blurted out.
This seemed to cause the raven lad some confusion. “For what?”
Charlotte hesitated in her tracks, which caused him to stop with her. No one seemed to notice they had stopped following the group. “I was ignoring you all day—I know you only wanted to jump in the water and stuff.” Her cheeks started to burn, but that must have been the sunburn she received.
“Hrmm–then you can make it up to me later.” He replied casually and walked past her. She had thought he would have just ignored her, but he sounded genuinely surprised.
“Ahh–how do I do that?” She chased after him, and he turned to smirk at her. His mischievous expression dominated over his usual stoic countenance.
“Dinner up in the crow’s nest?” And Charlotte flushed a deep red. Again, she would blame the sunburn. She decided this would be better than having him chuck her into the ocean’s crashing waves again.
“F-Fine, in two hours time I’ll be there! Don’t be expecting anything more than that!”
Aden chuckled, he reached his hand back to grasp her wrist. He led her along the uneven shore as they trailed behind the group. “Ya, ya.”