The car door slammed shut a little louder than Yaxley intended it to, making him wince slightly. I'm not used to these doors. They're too big for my arms.
The little white van wasn't half as comfortable as Jakkie's own car proved for their day to day needs, but of course getting it over here would have been practically impossible, and it probably would had been extremely difficult to transport all their luggage. Yaxley had sat with his knees crushed forwards in the front seat because they were transporting something bulky in the back enough times to know that.
As they came about the back of the vehicle at the precise same moment, sharing a glance and a grin, Yaxley stood close by as he popped open the rear of the car, feeling the warm gravel against his feet, and the gentle sea breeze in the air Even though he may have griped about the van, it was true that he was quite fresh and joyful feeling, and not all of that was due to the phenomenal weather. They had been travelling for a good part of the day, after waking just after dawn in the airport hotel, and thus they had been to witness the entirety of sunrise along their journey. Eventually, when they had come to the coast, this had been a positively spectacular sight; golden rays gleaming off the dark surface of the ocean, radiating into the pastel horizon where the globe itself was peaking above the waves and coming to gaze upon the coastal, winding roads that they had passed through along their way.
As for the present moment, it was almost midday, and the sun was shining down from almost directly above them. Yaxley could feel it warming the fur of his head and neck, and this was enough to keep the smile on his face for a long time while his mate settled the hatch and reached into the grey-coloured plastic and felt interior for their two luggage cases, before handing one to the smaller fox, and hoisting the other himself. “I'd give you the lightest, but I think you'd like to keep hold of all of your things and clothes.”
Yaxley grinned at this statement and looked up at Jakkie as the hatch slammed closed in turn, seeing his mate's fur in the sun for the first time in the day. The tall, sandy-furred fox was wearing his usual outfit of blue jeans and a humble black shirt, but the chocolate-coloured fox himself never found Jakkie more handsome than when they were out amongst nature, and he could see as much of that soft body as possible. “Subtle, I like it. But I have to look good for you, don't I? Can't complain that I brought so many clothes.”
Jakkie turned to stroke the fur of his mate's head momentarily, his own bag hitting the concrete with a clack as he hefted it with one hand. “You look wonderful just as you are.”
As they both turned from their parked vehicle and began to make across the gravel to the rough park leading toward, Yaxley lifted his own case - even though it was a little bit of a struggle given his rather diminutive frame - and his eyes slowly began to become accustomed to the brightness of the sun. White weatherboard clad the exterior of the house, and I had two out ward facing windows that gleaned a little, indicating that they had clearly been cleaned some time in the recent past. The trees and grassy mounds surrounding the dwelling were enough to keep their eyes from the sea they knew was beyond, but the sound was there nonetheless; powerful, swelling, and accompanying them with every step they took toward the house itself.
That wasn't to say that the breeze entirely stole the heat of the coastal shine away. Yaxley felt a prickle of head in the fur of his neck, and reckoned that perhaps he shouldn't have worn a hoodie all the way over the drive, though it was too late now – they were almost inside, and he could take it off when they relaxed.
The floor just short of the door was a weathered old concrete that reminded Yaxley of his own home, and it crackled a little as Jakkie reached into the pocket of his jeans and produced the key that they had been given by the attendant back in the renting house near the airport. After a few clicks of metal, the thing slid in to the old steel handle of the door, and with a twist of the sandy furred vulpine's wrist it creaked open; allowing them inside with a little bump of their cases against the doorway.
The windows at the back for the room were already unshuttered, and thus there was a decent view of the room shone out before them as they came forward. The floor was a gentle wood with a little grey suede carpet warming up the middle, and as this room was clearly a lounge of some kind, there was an old, well-loved sofa against the wall and an old 2010s flat-screen TV on a oaken cabinet against the opposite wall.
However, no sooner had they stepped inside and the door closed behind them, Yaxley stopped just short of entering the room properly and raised his nose; snout crinkling like a curious little dust hound as he scanned the space before them. “It smells stuffy in here.
Setting down his travelling case in response, Jakkie stepped forwards toward one of the windows and took hold of the latch, being careful not to touch any of the frame, which seemed a little unclean. The joints creaked a little, and the thing was a little reluctant to creak open, but nonetheless with a little push Jakkie unstuck it, and the thing let in a gust of outside air; breezing past his form, and creating a visible swirl of dust off the window sill as Jakkie looked about to his mate expectantly. “How's that?"
Though he defensively shielded his face from the particles so best as he could with a bag in one hand still, Yaxley smiled and nodded, almost nuzzling the incoming fresh air appreciatively with his neck. “Great!"
This immediate issue dealt with, the pair spent the next few minutes trotting about the premises, making certain that all was well, and simply making themselves acquainted with the space in general. Indeed, the place had a wonderful rustic charm to it that continued into each space, though it was soon revealed that it wasn't the largest by far. Besides, it was very well furnished, and even the bed in the modest bedroom had clean, white, modern sheets that made Yaxley smile, after some of the terrible hotels they had stayed at together.
As they came to run out of their limited space to explore, the only true disappointment came when they came to the kitchen, directly opposite the lounge where they had left their bags and containing
the door that lead out the back down to the shore, and found the old wooden cupboards underneath the sink to be little more than just that – cupboards – causing Yaxley to groan a little and lean back against the bench. "No dishwasher."
Though he was disappointed also – and also amused, given that this was somewhat of a coy inside joke between them after Yaxley had discussed growing up without the presence of such an appliance – Jakkie nonetheless shrugged sunnily, and leaned back also against the wall next to the doorway, though not exasperated in the slightest. "Hopefully we'll go into town to eat out enough nights that we don't end up needing one anyway."
The small chocolate-coloured fox raised one eyebrow with jesting sarcasm. “Mmh, yes, McDonald's dates are always the best.”
“Shush, you.” Jakkie grinned and backed out of the room while shaking his head. Leaving his mate to his own devices for a moment, the sandy-furred fox gave the entire place another walk over before taking their bags to the bedroom and setting them on the bed, before taking out a pair of shorts that he would much rather to wear down to the beach than his current attire. Can't wait to just get out and relax.
However, before another few minutes had passed, he was already feeling a little claustrophobic after all their time spent under the sun, and thus came back into the kitchen with the change of clothes in hand to find his mate cleaning some of the dust off of the kitchen surfaces. Of course he would be, the particular little thing. But, of course, it was wonderful to see that he was making sure they could both be comfortable, as Jakkie himself hated touching unfamiliar objects.
“Alright, that's my dose of inside for the day.” The taller fox leaned partially on the wall and began stripping off his blue jeans, before folding them up and placing them on the newly cleaned side table.
Yaxley gave a giggle at this, putting away the sponge he had appropriated from under the sink and had been wiping down the bench-top with before turning to his mate with a cheeky smile, looking his naked, furry legs up and down with casual admiration. “Unless you want to sleep under the stars, we're going to have to come back in here.”
Finally into the pair of shorts, Jakkie came back around and took a few steps towards the chocolate fox, scooping him up into his arms, and wrapping them about the back of the smaller vulpine's hoodie. Yaxley made no resistance, and instead looked up into his mate's amber eyes as the taller, sandy-furred fox smiled down and held him close. “You make that sound like it would be a bad thing.” He nestled down with love. “I might have been responsible for the infamous McDonald's date, but you know I can be romantic when it strikes me.”
They embraced like this for a few minutes longer, Before Yaxley craned up to plant a kiss on his mate's muzzle, before releasing backwards and pulling off his hoodie – hiding a bit of a flustered blush under his arms and the cloth rising up over his head from how good the taller fox's words had made him feel.
Thankfully, this left Yaxley in shorts and a scrappy t-shirt, and thus they were able to make to leave without further delay; turning about and easing out of the rear door to the cabin with no more ado by way of changing attire. Once they stepped out the back, where a rough little path almost entirely overgrown with weeds led on, the place was a little less well kept, and there was a fair bit of unmowed grass and unkempt land. Even the back of the house appeared to not have been painted in some time, and the colour was flaking a little in some places from obvious exposure to the sea wind, salt, and sand.
However, looking out beyond this residential scene, the landscape transformed entirely, and the true
nature of the beauty set out before them was revealed. The sand was soft, golden, and unspoiled, looking almost as if it had been untouched by human hands forever. The sea rippled out into the distance like a magnanimous, magical moving carpet; shining all shades of blue and ruby gemstone as the sun hung to the left from where it had clearly been kissing the waterline not long ago. And, as for where the sky and sea met, just as he had seen the photos for so many years now, the skyline and the horizon looked pastel-like and unreal like a painting; glowing, vibrant, alive, and all there before him, almost stealing Yaxley's heartbeat in the first glance. It's perfect.
Taking a deep, relieved breath, Jakkie felt his ears bristle, and he stepped forwards, leaving the smaller fox a few paces behind. The sun was warm, the fresh scent of sea on the air was almost overwhelmingly wholesome, and overall the entire space around them spoke peace to Jakkie's ears, and he couldn't help but smile gently as he felt Yaxley hustle from the threshold, and the door click shut behind his mate. Just like I remember it.
There was simply a wonderful, worldly sensation to being out here amongst nature, in this glorious place above all else. Even better, as he felt the small chocolate-coloured fox take his hand, and they begin to walk through the scrub together, Jakkie's eyes ranged up and down the expanse of the visible sand to the left and right, and met not a single figure, nor anything that could be even possibly interpreted as one. Alone. What a blessing.
Personally, he had never come to this particular fraction of the coast before, but he had put some time into searching the streets on the internet, and had found it more than to his liking. It was calm, tranquil, and a lovely place all over. From this particular bay the nearest town was a thirty minute drive away, so there weren't many daily travellers passing either. After their week here, they would stay for a while in the city itself, and then move on to see his family here before the month had turned old.
However, in the present moment. Yaxley was beaming at everything in sight, and threw his hands up to the air in celebration of their beautiful surroundings. "Sand!" Though Jakkie had somewhat expected it, the smaller fox made no pretence of peaceably continuing down to the beachfront, and instead sprinted off from his mate's flank to the very first sandbar - dropping down and immediately scuffling around on his side into the soft, comforting surface with a joyful shriek.
Shaking his head and continuing on after his mate at a slow, meandering pace, Jakkie shook his head and looked over at the chocolate-coloured fox messing around on the ground and looking very much like nothing more than a featureless ball of fur; smiling despite himself. "You're going to get a whole bunch of it in your fur and you'll complain again, you know."
Flipping back around, Yaxley nested down into yet more sand, and flashed a very crazy, kit-like smile "Then I'll look like you!"
Jakkie almost chuckled aloud. That adorable fox. The sight of Yaxley's tail skittering around in the sand and making little burroughs like reversed sand angels was enough to finally break his resolve to remain impassive, and the taller fox's face finally broke into a beaming grin as he moved forward and eased himself down next to where the smaller fox laid - albeit a little more reserved in doing so
than his chocolate-coloured mate had been. "Two of me makes for just a little bit too much handsome in the world, I think."
Vixenish eyebrow raising with clearly feigned contempt, Yaxley pouted, and flicked his arm to send a small spray of sand in Jakkie's direction, though careful not to hit him in the eyes with any of the pale grit. "You evil fox."
Shielding his face reflexively, even as his laugh returned and his teeth shone wider than ever before, the taller fox fended away the attack with the backs of his hands. “That's me." However, next, Jakkie leaned forward on the sand and lunged forwards with both arms outstretched; hardly able to
squeeze out the words as he did so. "Now come here, you."
With a playful screech, Yaxley went over backwards with the taller fox on top of him, and the pair descended into a playful tussle – interjected with kisses and giggles - until their chests were heaving, their fur was caked with sand, and there was nothing more that they could summon the energy to do but lay there in a gritty, exhausted mess, smiling at each other like dumbstruck fools.
The sun stayed overhead, the wind stayed calm, and the day was long.
They wanted it that way.