The sun was setting when Maria stepped off the bus. It would only become darker when she arrived at the villa. The rays of the setting sun casted a beautiful orange hue on the mountains. Maria enjoyed the view of the peaks in the far off distance as she walked to the villa.

Before she made her way to the front door, she wanted to gaze at the mountains first in the von Trapps' backyard. The mountains looked absolutely gorgeous during twilight.

When Maria entered the backyard, she spotted a silhouette in the distance, close to the water. The figure was leaning against the iron gates that faced the lake. Their arms were stretched out and their hands were firmly gripping the top bar of the gates. The Captain. Maria's heart ached terribly. How lonely he was out there! She missed him so much. She now knew who was longing for the entire time. Then she felt it again. The rapid heartbeat, the trembling hands, the weak knees.

It hit her. She realized what the recurring feelings actually meant. Maria could finally admit to herself that she was in love with the Captain.

Dropping her baggage on the lawn, she ran towards the Captain. As she approached him, the silhouette remained still. Maria started doubting herself. Was that really the Captain standing there? But she knew it had to be him. The way he was leaning against the gate was no different from the way he leaned against the terrace railing when he gazed at her.

Maria stopped a few feet away from the Captain's back. He remained frozen. It seemed as if he had no idea that she was there. Very slowly, Maria walked up beside the Captain and gently wrapped her arms around his arm. This was her way of saying sorry. Sorry for leaving him—twice. Sorry for breaking his children's hearts—twice. Sorry for any other damage that she had done or that she thought she had done during her time as their governess. It felt wonderful to be embracing the Captain, yet a bit frightening as she initiated it herself and he hadn't reacted just yet.

The Captain looked over at Maria. He could only see the top of her head. Her shiny golden hair glowed under the setting sun. He gazed at her for a few moments as she continued to hold him closely. Finally, he turned towards Maria, and with his other arm, he wrapped her around him. Suddenly, she felt liberated in his arms. It was the best feeling in the world…a feeling that she had never felt before. Maria rested her cheek against his chest. Everything felt so right, so perfect. Oh, how she never wanted this moment to end!

"Oh Captain, I'm so sorry," Maria bursted out frantically. "I didn't mean to leave you or the children. I started having feelings that I never had before and I was scared..." Her voice trailed off as tears began to roll down her face.

The Captain looked at her and cradled her cheeks in his hands just how the Reverend Mother did. Maria felt safe in his hands. He gazed into her tear-filled eyes and was captivated by such beauty. Her blue eyes, accented by her blue chiffon dress, sparkled exquisitely under the moonlight. The Captain finally spoke.

"Maria, it doesn't matter anymore," he whispered reassuringly. "The question is, will you be staying for good?"

Overcome with an enormous amount of relief that prevented her from speaking, Maria nodded yes and collapsed into his arms, burying her face into the Captain's shirt. They embraced each other tightly as she sniffed back her tears. There was too much for Maria—joy, freedom, bliss, and most importantly, she loved him and he loved her back.

They stood there, embracing each other by the lake as she unwound from a highly emotional day. The sun was well below the horizon at this point where the mountains were merely silhouettes.

"Maria, I do have one thing to ask you," the Captain said as he released her from his arms. He took her hand and walked several feet away from the lake. Puzzled and anxious, Maria had no idea what his intentions were. The Captain stepped a few feet away from her and extended his right hand towards her. His left hand was placed behind his back.

"Shall we continue from where we left off?" he asked. She knew immediately what he was meant. The rest of the Ländler from the party. She was still humiliated over the fact that she stopped mid-way through the dance. Maria took a deep breath and said,

"Yes."

The Captain began to hum the Ländler song. Maria let out a giggle. And so they started to dance. Their feet moved swiftly across the patio tiles. She knew exactly the rest of the steps. Spin…shuffle forward…and finish with another spin.

When the dance came to an end, Maria and the Captain took their final positions. He stood behind Maria with his arms folded across her body. Their hands were still joined together. The Captain turned her around so that he could face her. They stood there, staring into each other's eyes lustfully. Cradling her cheeks once again in his hands, he leaned over and gently placed his lips over hers. Maria instantly moulded her lips to his as she savoured every moment of this new and thrilling experience. She was just kissed for the very first time…by Captain von Trapp. How exhilarating it was!

"I have finally found you…again" the Captain whispered into her ear. His breath tickled her ear and down the side of her neck, forming goose bumps. They moved towards the lake and stopped in front of the iron gates. Standing side by side, they wrapped their arms around each other's waists and gazed at the moon that shone high above the water and over the Alps.

And she found him again too. Maria soon realized that this was the path that she was meant to take. All because she listened to her heart.

A/N: This concludes my FanFiction debut. A special thank you goes out to lemacd, who took the time to read and critique my story. Finally, to you, the reader, thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope you enjoyed it.