Just Before Midnight
The music was pounding in their heads, in their chests, the beat matching their heartbeats, beat for beat. But nothing was better than the heartbeat that beat just for the one they had fallen for. They writhed together, their bodies twisting and turning, sweat running down their backs, down to their toes and into their shoes, but they let their clothes absorb it all. Around them, people were bumping into them, attempting to break them apart, but they held fast to each other. They were already with the one they wanted to spend the last minutes of life with, their thoughts only reaching out to their families as tears glistened in their eyes, even Cooper’s.
Cooper pulled Valentine a little closer after some guy tried to cut in and take her from him. She giggled and willingly went into his arms. He held her there, letting their bodies slide against each other.
“You’re beautiful, Valentine,” he said into her ear. “I’ve met a lot of girls, but none of them like you. I wish I had known about you before so I wouldn’t have spent the past two years searching for a girl from my own hometown.”
She smiled up at him, tilting her head so she could look into his eyes, and pressed her lips to his cheek. “What’s really interesting is that I was going to school in the same city you were working and living in.”
He grinned as the music changed and the beat slowed a little. Their dancing slowed with the music, but they still clung tightly to each other. Within seconds their bodies had adjusted to the new beat and they quickly fell into a comfortable rhythm together.
“Do you think Sabrina and your friend are okay?” Valentine asked with worry laced through her voice. “I haven’t seen or heard from her.”
“Ethan’s one of life’s good guys. I’m sure they’re okay. But, if you’re that worried, I think I see them coming.”
Cooper nodded over her shoulder and she turned as they stopped their dancing. Sabrina was indeed leading Ethan up through the stands towards them. She waved wildly, a happy grin on her face. Ethan was good naturedly following behind, letting Sabrina lead him wherever she willed. A big grin was on his face and he held two giant chocolate chip cookies in his free hand, both missing bites.
“I was hoping I’d get to see you again,” Sabrina said, falling into her sister’s arms as Ethan and Cooper shook hands. “I just wanted to thank Cooper for introducing us. Ethan’s been a perfect gentleman. I knew you were going to be worried, Val, so I told him we just had to find you guys. Are you happy?”
“I’m always happy for you, Sabrina,” Valentine said tenderly, tucking some of Sabrina’s hair behind an ear. “I’m glad you finally found a good guy to spend your last minutes with.”
Sabrina smiled, but sadness also ghosted over her face. “Thanks. We’re going to go off now and leave you two alone so we can be alone, too. And, please, Val, no lecture.”
Valentine held up her hands defensively. “I wasn’t going to. Go. Enjoy the rest of your life.” She bit her lip to fight of the tears that threatened to fall from her eyes. “I love you, Sabrina.”
Sabrina blinked back her own tears. “I love you, too, Val.”
Giving her sister a final bright smile, Sabrina hugged her before taking Ethan’s arm and hauling him off into the crowd. Cooper laughed and pulled Valentine back into his arms. They fell into their comfortable rhythm again, their eyes never straying from each other, both happy for the new couple.
“Just a little bit longer,” Cooper murmured.
Valentine nodded, clutching at him even tighter as the seconds ticked away. “What should we do?”
He gave her a small smile before leaning in and pressing a warm, gentle kiss to her lips.