He felt a warmth when he buried himself up to the neck, water filling his little dugout. She thought him crazy, thought him brilliant, thought him her own. He was such a beacon of pride and joy. He had the answers to all her questions, and wisdom beyond the exuberance of those blue eyes. When he would dig himself out and lay his head in her lap, she would play with the salt-stained hair, as he lay silent, his arms wrapped around her waist. Life had a way of turning idyllic, when the moment called for it.
He remembered a time when she was taller than him. Back then, she'd pick him up on her back as the tide crept in to whisper in their ears, and he'd laugh as the icy fingers of the rolling waves tickled him. When they jumped out and he let go, he would kiss the bruises where he held on too hard, and she'd play with his hair, or distort his face.
Now, she laughed at his youth, and contented to sit on the beach to watch him keep it. Under her watch, he was 7 again, and she was all too happy that it stay that way.
"Sis? Sun's gone down. The chill's drifting in."
"Hmm. Hey, Alf?"
"I love you."
He nodded, and kissed her on the temples. As he took their stuff to the car, she watched the last rays of the sun pan out over his shoulders, and felt his warmth stay to ward the chill away.