"I was right," Raigon confirmed as he stared at Zoe in astonishment. He couldn't believe he would ever see her again.
He desired to embrace her tightly right then and there. But seeing the confusion and puzzlement in her eyes, he relaxed his grip on Zoe, turned over, and laid back on the sand. She has no recollection whatsoever.
He placed his hand on his chest. His heart ache but he was gratified. She is better off this way. Being hurt again is the furthest thing from his mind.
"I'm glad that you're alive," he whispered in a soft tone.
"What?!" Zoe asked as she sat up, her sense of reality recovered.
'Whoever he is, he didn't have permission to creep in behind her like that,' Zoe deduced, as she closed her heart again as what she always does.
She must have lost her senses for a minute but she isn't that easy to trust.
"I'm just here to return your articles, your Majesty." Raigon presented her with a quick smile revealing his set of dimples on his cheeks. He stood up and bowed in front of her to get her stuff.
"Who are you?" Zoe inquired while she was at his back and he was picking up her things. Raigon gulped.
After pausing a moment, he spurned and faced Zoe. "I am… I'm the lifeguard." Raigon smiled from ear to ear while scratching his head.
'Yes, I would prefer you to call me a guard. Than to remember the prince that broke his promise to you,' Raigon made a firm decision in his thoughts as he gave Zoe his most reassuring smile.
Raigon stepped forward until he was a breath from her. Zoe staggered at his sudden moves that her mouth in part opened as she averted her gaze to her right.
She tilted her head up as she was already an inch from his chest.
'Did you even know how to blink?' Zoe thought thinking that she would be liquid wax any second now if he wouldn't stop!
"Allow me to put this on, your Majesty. It's freezing." Raigon said in a deep and smooth voice as he lay Zoe's beach robe on her without removing his stare.
Until then, Zoe could not flinch. Her mind wanted to push him off but her body refused.
As Raigon dressed her, his eyes caught something which made him furrow his brows and pressed his lips.
After Zoe and the lady's feud a while ago, a group of drunkards ogled at Zoe. How dare they!
Raigon secured her robes up to her neck in an attempt to cover her which somehow choked Zoe and made her cough.
"What are you doing?!" this time Zoe shoved this irresistible man in front of her with every inch of her strength.
As though he was jeering, he lay his arms around her and guided her to walk.
Zoe had enough. She forcefully shrugged her shoulders and faced Raigon. "Hey, lifeguard. Don't assume because you returned back my things, you can stick around me like this!"
Unmoved, he placed his arms across his shoulders again.
This time, he squeezed it gently and whispered to her ears with that overpowering voice. "If you don't want those flies to swarm on you tonight, just let yourself be covered with this sticky paper even for a few minutes."
He motioned her to inspect the drunkards who were yet leering at her. Zoe's mouth dropped.
Raigon smiled and proceeded to guide her as they walked with his arms tenderly laid on her shoulders. Rather than resisting, Zoe trudged alongside him. No matter how fearless she was, she's not foolish enough to handle those groups of men by herself.
And besides, she felt good having someone by her side to protect her for once in her life.
As if they were a lucky couple celebrating their anniversary, they continued to stroll under the light of the full moon.
"You did an excellent job out there," Raigon uttered.
Zoe was at a loss for phrases. Though she was still mad, no one has ever complimented her for being reckless before.
Until now, her body was still sore from her saving stint a while ago. It was a tough situation of traversing through the waters to save a stranger and then being undermined afterward.
While remaining silent, Zoe looked up at the heavens. The stars transformed into brilliant jewelry against the dark canvass of the sky.
Meanwhile, Raigon had his own reminiscing. As though he was walking in chains, his earlier lighthearted steps became dragging and heavy.
As much as he wished, he was aware this would not carry on forever. He has to go back to Terra and he knew he cannot take Zoe with him or her life would be in danger.
"Azra..." And to prove him right, across the expanse, he saw a fellow with a native hat parallel to a fish boat. Raigon couldn't see his face. But he was conscious of who he was. It was Azra, his servant.
As soon as they near the sea, Raigon kindly removed her arms away from Zoe's shoulders and stopped in his tracks. Zoe broke off.
"I guess my time's up." Raigon apologized to Zoe with a sigh.
"Okay. Thanks, sticky paper." Zoe replied with indifference.
Rather than fuming, Raigon chortled uncontrollably, which he hadn't done in a long while. His diaphragm ached from extreme laughter.
"Sticky paper. That's the most unique tag I have ever heard," Raigon now chuckled.
"And I thought you would never say thank you," he added.
"Even royals are compelled to show their gratitude now and then," Zoe remarked as a matter of fact.
She didn't know why her sarcasm amused him.
'Well, he did something nice. That's the best I could give. That's it!' Zoe muttered in defiance.
"At your service, Your Majesty." Raigon chuckled as he bowed to her.
He faced Azra and was about to leave when Zoe yelled at him.
"Wait, what's your name?" Zoe asked in curiosity.
"I will tell you when I come back. Wait for me." He responded sincerely before turning his back on her.
'Why not? Wait, I think I heard that before,' Zoe brushed her hair to her side and crossed her arms as she waited for Raigon to get on the boat.
She stared at Raigon as he walked away from her. He was wearing a fitted gray shirt and weird-looking red silk shorts with yellow star polka dots.
"Okay, if you don't tell me now, I'll just call you Red." Zoe snorted.
As soon as Raigon was out in the sea, Zoe returned to her hotel. A man who was secretly watching them crept out of the shadows and silently followed her.