"Come on Sal," Nick said, taking hold of her hand and leading her out of the 'Wheelhouse' doorway. "Let's go and have some fun downtown," he smiled.
"I'll race you down there," he said, trying to hurry her up by standing behind her, placing his hands on her waist and ushering her along.
"Hey, slow down Mr Impatient," she laughed, glancing back at him. "I can't walk that fast in these shoes."
"C'mon, c'mon," he said, wriggling his fingers on her waist.
"Stop," she giggled, attempting to prise his fingers away. "If you carry on like that, I'll end up tripping over and breaking some bones," she warned him.
"Okay, we don't want that," he relented,
removing his hands from her waist and moving beside her to place an arm around her shoulder as they strolled at a more leisurely pace down the hill and past the shuttered shops and cafes.
The centre of the town, around the harbour and lake, was the only part of Agios Nikolaos that would stay open at that time of night, past midnight, particularly that early in the summer season.
But there were a couple of bars where late night drinkers and partygoers always accumulated and so the bar owners in town thought it worthwhile staying open to take advantage of that extra trade.
"Besides," Sal went on, inhaling the warm midnight air as they walked, "You need to slow down to appreciate this moment."
Appreciate this moment?
"What do you mean?" he asked, intrigued.
"Don't you ever do that?" she replied.
"Do what?" he questioned.
She stopped suddenly and turned to him. Since his arm was still around her shoulder, their faces seemed to be at closer quarters than usual.
"Just pause for a minute," she whispered, her eyes alight and sparkling with energy. "Stand still and soak in the moment... when it's a great one, of course," she explained.
"And this Nick," she said, placing a hand on his chest to emphasize the point, "is a great moment."
"It is?" he said with surprise, not totally understanding what Sal was talking about, but keen to know.
Think about it: we've just had a great time in the Wheelhouse with Fay, Adam and Ruth," she said, gesturing back in the direction of the pub,
"we are just about to go down town to meet more friends, dance and have even more fun," she said, gesturing towards the town. "It's your first day back after a long, cold winter...
"she began to count on her fingers, "...the weather is getting warmer, the tourists are returning, we have a whole amazing summer ahead of us...what could be greater than that?"
He thought about it for a moment, contemplating her face just below his. She was completely right. How did she manage to be so insightful?
"Well, if you put it like that," he said, "This moment is pretty damn incredible," he smiled.
"Right," she agreed. "But the problem is with these types of moments is that they slip past us so quickly, and before we know it, they are gone.
That's why we need to stop for a moment and appreciate it," she explained.
"Okay, but what do we do to appreciate it?" he asked. She seemed to be an expert on this but she needed to tell him how to do it.
"Well, we have to..." She glanced around for a second then. "Something's not quite exactly right," she said, pulling away from his arm.
"But, I think I know how to change that," she enthused, grabbing his hand and leading him forward.
"Where are we going, Sal?" he asked, following her with bemusement.
"Down here," she answered, turning off the main road leading to the town,
to take a side road which cut across the grid of streets and provided a route to the marina area at the far end of the town.
There they approached the small, sandy beach which dropped down behind a low wall. A row of cafes and tavernas, now closed, followed the line of the wall and the marina could be seen beyond.
Sal led Nick to the edge of the wall but stopped there, choosing not to jump down into the sand but to enjoy the scenery from the higher viewpoint.
"Here," she said, turning to him enthusiastically. "This is a much better place to appreciate the moment."
He smiled warmly at her. "It certainly is. Everything is perfect, Sal," he concluded. Then a thought hit him. "I know what we should do," he said.
"What?" she asked, as he moved towards her.
"We should appreciate this moment together," he said, "Turning her around to face the view, and standing behind her where he slipped his arms around her middle.
"And in the future," he whispered into her ear, "any time either of us is sad about something, we can remember this moment and feel happier."
As he spoke, his breath drifted through the curtain of hair that fell across her ear when she inclined her head slightly.
The warmth of the vibrations transmitted to her ear, focusing her attention on his nearness.
"Oh, that's a wonderful thought, Nick," she said emotionally. Her voice sounded odd to her, like there wasn't enough sound to it.
But then something occurred to her and she turned to look back at him with a little concern. "But are you anticipating sad times?" she asked.
He shrugged. "Not exactly, but we're not going to be happy all the time. That's just life."
She turned back towards the view and wrapped her arms around his, which had already claimed her waist.
"Or," she said, providing an alternative, "The future holds lots of more wonderful moments, but this one will just be extra wonderful."
He smiled and whispered. "That was such a totally 'Sal' thing to say. I prefer it," he said.
She smiled with him and let her gaze wander over the lights on the water in the distance. she leant her head back against his chest and sighed. "It's so pretty," she said.
The feel of her body relaxing back against his as she entrusted herself with him, was strangely touching.
"What do you see, Nick?" she asked.
"Hmm?" he responded dreamily.
"Tell me what you can see. If you say it, you will remember all of this better," she replied.
I can see a beautiful woman in my arms.
"I can see sparkling water," he replied.
"What else?" she encouraged.
I can see a very kissable neck.
"The waves lapping onto the sand," he added.
"What else?" she asked again.
Earlobes I could nibble.
"I can see the moon and stars in the sky."
Eyelashes that flutter when your eyes search the view.
"Yachts in the marina," he went on.
An incredibly cute nose with freckles on it.
"Lights in the distance from the town."
"More," she urged him.
lips so... Damn, he daren't follow that train of thought.
"Anything else?" she asked.
"Err..." His concentration on describing the view had been lost on contemplating her lips.
She smiled. she had only been trying to stretch out the moment by asking him for more. "I think you described it all beautifully," she said. She sighed again.
"One thing about moments like these," she began, suddenly turning to glance back at him, but stopping in mid sentence when she realized that his face was closer that she had thought.
Something about him made her freeze for a second. That second seemed to last longer than a regular second. Then she remembered what she was going to say.
"Unfortunately, they can't go on too long, or else we would be standing here forever looking at the sea," she laughed.
At that precise moment, he wouldn't have minded that.
"You're right," he replied. "But, just one more thing before we go."
"What?" she asked.
He squeezed his eyes shut. "Just soak it up for one last second."
She turned around to face him, grabbed his hands, grasped them tightly, and did the same. Then she exhaled loudly and laughed.
He opened his eyes and laughed with her. "Got all you could?" he asked.
"Every bit," she smiled.
"Come on then, town awaits," he replied, throwing an arm around her shoulder as they strolled back towards the town.