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  1. #251
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Yeah currently working on that right now. It's gonna take a while.
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

  2. #252
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Okay I need someone who can proofread my chapters for me. The person who usually did it has gotten into a bit of a bind with his personal life and hasn't had much time to catch up on my story. Is there anyone who would like to volunteer? Keep in mind this may get a bit confusing as the longer a chapter goes unposted, the more likely it is for me to add, change, or remove sections of the story and can give away major plot twists and conclusions as the story progresses. If you have no issue with these conditions, please send me a private message and we'll talk. I really want you to be certain of this decision as I know how much seeing a chapter in advance can really ruin the story for someone.
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

  3. #253
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Alright I just want to give a big thank you to Anonymous for proofing this chapter for me. You really saved my neck buddy. I was freaking out about this chapter when my friend told me he wasn't going to have time to check it for me. I really appreciate your help!

    Wings of A Butterfly

    Chapter Nineteen:
    Home Is Where You Make It

    The sounds of Lucas crying softly in the darkness stirred me from my sleep. I turned my head to see him sitting up in bed with his head in his hands. I lifted my palm and pressed it gently against his bare back. He jumped a little when he realized I had heard him. I sat up beside him and put my arm around his shoulders. His eyes were red and puffy and he tried to avoid my gaze.

    “What's wrong?” I whispered.
    “Nothing,” he said, “Just a bad dream.”
    “Luke,” I said.
    “I don't want to talk about it, Aaron,” he said, “Just go back to sleep.”
    “But...”
    “I said I don't want to talk,” he said, this time more commanding, “Go back to sleep.”
    He threw the covers off of his legs and walked out of the bedroom. I could hear the bathroom door being opened and shut aggressively down the hall. As I lay back into the pillows I drew a deep breath and tried to ignore what was bothering him. It was nearly impossible. Nothing could make Lucas lash out like that at me. I knew whatever he had dreamed, it was really bad... and it had something to do with us.

    ***

    Lucas wasn't there when I woke up that morning. I got out of bed and went into the bathroom alone, took a shower alone, and got dressed alone. I went downstairs alone and saw him sitting at the kitchen table with his laptop in front of him. Slowly, I approached him from behind. His scent filled my nose when I was a couple feet away from him. My arms gently wrapped themselves around his shoulders. I felt him tense up a little at first but he immediately relaxed.

    We sat there like that for a while, neither of us wanting to speak. I wanted so badly to ask him about what had happened last night, but I knew he would tell me when he was ready. So I waited. I waited for him to be ready and for him to speak first. Our heartbeats synced among the anticipation. The slow thumping in my chest was mirrored by the powerful and calm thumping in his.

    “I'm sorry I snapped at you,” he whispered.
    “It's okay,” I said.
    “No it's not,” he said, “It was uncalled for.”
    “It doesn't matter,” I said.

    I released him and sat in the chair beside him. He took my hands in his and looked me dead in the eye. The look on his face was one I had never seen on him before. He was scared... actually, he was terrified. He was beyond the point of comfort and I knew whatever was going on in his mind, it wasn't good. Then the look I had seen several times over the past couple weeks replaced his look of absolute fear; the one that told me he had something he really wanted to tell me, but still didn't know how exactly he should say it.

    I placed my hand on his cheek and smiled at him as if attempting to comfort him. He pushed his cheek into my palm and took a deep breath. We sat there for a while in another silence until we could hear the footsteps of his parents coming down the stairs. Our reluctance to release our hold on each other was painfully obvious on our faces... but moving day awaited us.

    “You boys got everything packed?” Gary asked when he saw us.
    “Yeah,” Lucas said softly.
    “Everything okay?” Anne asked.
    “Yeah we're fine,” I said matching Lucas' tone.
    “Well we better get the car loaded up,” Gary said with surprising energy.
    “Do you want to take any of your furniture, Lucas?” Anne asked.
    “Aaron says he has a lot of stuff we would need in one of those mobile storage units. It'll be there by the time we get there,” he said.
    “All we need tonight is a bed and maybe a TV,” I said.
    “Well lucky you,” Gary said, “Lucas has both of those in his bedroom. C'mon son, let's go take that bed apart.”

    My excitement of moving into our new apartment was only matched by the excitement of the concert two weeks later. As soon as the bed was in pieces, Lucas and Gary brought it down along with the bedside table, and Kyle carried the TV down with him. We would meet the storage unit at the apartment complex three blocks from campus at five that evening. Lucas estimated that we would be finished moving everything in by nine as long as we had help. Carly and Mike had promised to meet us down there as did Jonathan. The rest didn't have any desire to move into their dorms so early.

    We threw our suitcases into the backseat and loaded everything into the car. Surprisingly everything fit into Lucas' mini SUV, but there wasn't room to lean the front seats back even a little. I promised Lucas I would drive the first shift so he could rest. I knew he hadn't come back to bed at all after his rude awakening early this morning and wouldn't let him protest. When we were strapped in and ready to go, we said our last goodbyes to our family and took off down the California 101 highway.

    As I drove with the music on low volume, I occasionally glanced at Lucas as he slept. He looked so peaceful and beautiful in his sleep. Every now and then he'd smile a little and I'd smile with him. It made me feel better that he was having a nice dream or two. But I still couldn't help but wonder what he had dreamed about the night before. Lucas doesn't cry about much, and nothing could make him snap at me the way he did.

    He stirred in his sleep as we approached Greenfield. His eyes fluttered open and he looked over to me with a smile on his face.

    “Hey sleepyhead,” I said.
    “Hey,” he said, “Wanna switch?”
    “Sure,” I said, “Gotta get gas anyway.”

    I pulled off the highway in Greenfield and into the local cheap gas station next to the exit. When I got out of the car, Lucas was already coming around the front of the car to meet me. He put his arms around my waist and pressed his lips against mine. I felt his tongue pushing against my mouth so I opened to allow it to enter. My own tongue pushed past his and they danced together as I got lost in our kiss. I didn't even notice the truckers staring at us with dirty looks.

    When Lucas pulled away from me he turned around and flipped them the bird with a grin. I laughed at his brazen attitude and went over to the pump. Lucas went inside to pay the cashier and I pushed the pump into the slot and started filling. I wasn't paying attention to anything in particular, but one of the truckers was approaching me. I looked over to the little shop where Lucas was chatting with the cashier. I started to panic a little when the trucker was within ten feet of me.

    “Hey there,” he said.

    He was a round man. He had a beard covering his bubbly face and a mustache stretching across his upper lip and down the sides of his face. He had long oily hair and an unwashed red flannel over-shirt. He had a half smoked cigarette in his mouth and a pack of cigs in his front shirt pocket. He walked closer to me when I ignored his first call.

    “Didya hear me boy?” he asked, “I said 'hey' to you ya little fag.”

    That one hit me deep.

    “What did you just say?” Lucas yelled.

    He came running up next to me and got between me and the round man.

    “Oh look,” the man said, “His girlfriend came to fight fer the little fag.”
    “Say 'fag' again,” Lucas said, “And you'll be sorry.”

    The trucker chuckled under his breath and looked back at his friends standing next to the big rig at the air pump station. He turned back toward Lucas and looked him in the eye with a wide grin on his face. His hand went up in the air and mockingly went limp at Lucas.

    “And just what do you plan to do about it faerie boy?” he said with a lisp.

    Lucas grinned and turned away. The trucker laughed a loud guffaw towards his friends who were laughing like hyena's from their vantage point. I saw Lucas as he faced me with a fire in his eyes. His grin turned into a sneer as he whipped around and his fist flew into the trucker's jaw. The trucker fell flat onto the ground on his back. All the laughter stopped as Lucas looked up towards the men standing at the big rig.

    “Anyone else wanna mess with the fags?” Lucas yelled.

    The men scattered and went over to their own trucks. Lucas smiled and turned back toward me and put his hands on my hips again.

    “What on Earth was that?” I asked.
    “That was me fighting for my boy,” he said kissing me softly.
    “Well yeah but you didn't need to knock his ass out,” I said.
    “Okay, so I showboated a little,” he said with his toothy grin.
    “A little?” I asked glancing at the man who was just pulling himself up from the ground.
    “It's worth it for you,” he said.

    With that, we got back into the car and Lucas drove the rest of the way back to San Luis Obispo where we would meet Carly, Mike, and Jonathan to move into our new apartment and start our new lives together.

    ***

    So here we were. Lucas and I were standing in the small kitchen section of our new apartment. It was big enough to hold a section of counters, a stove, a dishwasher and a fridge, which were all included with the apartment. In my storage unit were all the things my mother left to me after she died. The bank foreclosed on the house and I went to live with Henry. Everything I was able to save went directly into storage. There was a nice coffee table and a crème colored loveseat for the living room and a matching one seat-er, a few lamps, a spare bed, a desk, my great grandmother's kitchen table and chairs to go with it, and a couple antique bedside tables with a matching cedar chest that my mother left me.

    Carly and Mike showed up shortly after 5:30 and Jonathan was there about 10 minutes later. Lucas and Mike unpacked the car while the rest of us opened the unit and pulled everything out carefully one by one. The couple living next door to us poked their heads out and offered to help. I graciously accepted and learned their names; Jason and Haley. They were in their late twenties and were engaged to be married in August after Jason's parents were able to move to town. After about an hour we had most of the furniture moved into the apartment and Jason and Lucas were like best friends.

    Haley and Carly also hit it off. Once Haley noticed Carly's engagement ring, the both of them were prattling on about wedding plans and what their kids' names were going to be. By 9, everything was inside and ready to be set up. We put the bed together first so Lucas and I would be able to sleep on something that night while Jason and Mike set up the TV Lucas brought so they could catch the end of a football game.

    We left everything else where it was sitting to be put where it belonged later with the exception of our boxes of clothes which were set in the bedroom. The car was completely empty and the unit only had a few things we didn't need left inside. I would call the movers to pick it up and take it to the nearby location in case we decided we needed them someday.

    And so that was that. We were essentially moved in and officially living together.

    Lucas was heating up the pot roast Anne sent with us as a housewarming present while I made a pot of coffee. Carly and Mike were sitting on the loveseat while Jonathan sat on the floor with his laptop on the coffee table. Haley and Jason were cuddled on the one seat-er watching the game. I glanced up at Lucas and smiled at him when I caught his eye. He had his face over a pot of instant mashed potatoes and I chuckled when he took a whiff and smiled.

    “Restaurant quality,” he said with a grin.
    “I'll bet,” I said sarcastically.

    He poked my side playfully and pulled the pot off the stove. I called out to everyone that the food was ready as he shut off the stove. As we sat at the table, Carly and Mike surprised me by having us join hands and have a silent prayer.

    I gave thanks for my new family.

    ***

    After everyone left, Lucas and I took a nice long hot bath together. His fingers were dancing around my arm and tracing every definition of my muscles. Every now and then he'd tickle me a little and I'd let out a soft laugh and he'd return it with a kiss on my cheek. Despite the relaxing environment, I knew something was troubling him. He had sighed about three times in the past twenty seconds and the third one was really deep and rough.

    “Is everything okay?” I asked in a soft whisper.
    “Yeah,” he said, “It's all good.”
    “Then why do you keep sighing?”
    “Oh,” he said with realization, “I didn't even notice.”
    “Well I did,” I said, “Something's bugging you.”
    He remained silent.
    “Is it your dream?” I asked.
    He didn't say anything.
    “Are you ever gonna tell me about it?”
    “Aaron, it's nothing,” he said.
    “It certainly isn't if it's bugging you this much.”
    “Aaron, just please drop it,” he said.

    I could hear the pleading in his voice and decided it was best to not push it. However, I couldn't help but worry and he could sense it. He hugged me closer to him and kissed me softly as if to try and relax me. It wasn't working. It was times like these that reminded me that Lucas and I had only met a few months ago. It was almost halfway through the semester around midterms that we met thanks to the flood of students moving into the dorms after the shooting.

    I guess I should put some things into context for those who don't know about the situation and clear up any confusion for those who do. Rachel Hadfield was a deeply demented girl. The article I read about her in the paper the day after her suicide said that she had several cases of drunken assault and the way she pushed guys that rejected her onto her bisexual brother could almost be classified as prostitution. Something snapped in her mind one day as she attempted to murder a young man named Josh Gordon and his roommate Cameron Davis.

    However, she was unsuccessful and no one who witnessed the attempt saw her face and she tried again. This time was sloppy and unplanned and left four witnesses including Rachel's brother. The article said he tried to talk her down and convince her that she could still take it back. Unfortunately she was too far gone in her psychosis and wouldn't listen to logic so she turned the gun on herself and pulled the trigger over her heart.

    This was early last year around the beginning of the Spring semester during an unseasonably warm January. The school had apparently kept the event covered up for a while with the exception of the newspaper article I read. At the time, the spotlight was shining down on a Philadelphia school where a shooting on grounds shook the internet so the shooting that happened at our school wasn't big news and the school took advantage of this to attempt to keep the story under wraps.

    It was about summertime where the school's administration decided that all students were required to visit a counselor hired by the school for a psych examination to determine whether or not this was an issue they needed to be concerned with. Once this story hit the papers everyone freaked out. The media exploded with stories of a “Murder/Suicide Coverup,” and “What your child's school may be hiding from you.” The school officially released the story to the media and that's why after almost 9 months, people moved into the dorms when they felt threatened.

    Why am I telling you all of this? Well I'm sure someone who knew about the shooting was probably asking themselves why if Rachel killed herself in January, everyone was freaking out during the Fall semester. So in case you were, there's your answer.

    But the only reason I even still think about that is because sometimes Lucas does things that surprise me even though I claim to know him so well. That's when I thought of something. I sat up and turned to face him. I looked into his soft hazel eyes and gave a weak smile as the words poured out of my mouth without even being processed in my mind.

    “One year my mom and I couldn't afford a Christmas tree,” I said, “I was about eight and we were having a lot of financial troubles and she couldn't afford to buy me a gift and a tree. So instead, she bought a large piece of cardboard and some paint supplies. When I woke up Christmas morning, I just saw this big tree shaped piece of cardboard sitting in the living room with a couple boxes under it. She poked a bunch of holes into the 'branches' and hung our ornaments through them.”
    “Why are you telling me this?” he asked.
    “I don't know,” I said.
    “You're not trying to invoke our little deal again are you?” he asked.
    “No, God no Luke,” I said, “I just kinda feel like we don't know that much about each other sometimes.”
    “Oh,” he said, “Well then tell me something else.”
    “Like what?” I asked.
    “Tell me your favorite memory of you and your mom,” he said.

    I turned back around and leaned my back into him again. His arms went around me as I took a deep breath.

    “Oh that was about two years later,” I said, “The fourth grade classes were putting on a play. We voted and picked Little Red Riding Hood. We held auditions and everything and I got the part of the Big Bad Wolf. When I found out I was so excited. My mom and I stayed up all night sewing my costume together. By the time we were rehearsing, I was wearing my costume and everyone was jealous of me. I even got extra credit with my class. My costume looked magnitudes better than everyone else. After the play was over I gave my mom the biggest hug.”
    “That's so adorable,” he said as he hugged me closer.
    “What about you?” I asked, “What's your favorite memory?”
    “Well,” he said, “I don't have very many. My parents weren't around very much when I was little.”
    “Why not?” I asked.
    “My dad worked a lot when I was a kid. I barely spent any time with him. There would be times when he'd go on business trips and I'd realize that my days didn't change when he left. And my mom was very active with community activities. She loved helping everyone as much as possible. I think I only saw them together about once a week for an hour.”
    “Luke, that's terrible,” I said.
    “Yeah but it wasn't all bad,” he said, “I had my brother.”
    “Oh yeah?” I asked.
    “Yeah,” he said, “You know how most brothers fight and hate each other when they're little, and usually don't start to like each other until they're like 20 or something?”
    “Mhm,” I said.
    “Well Kyle and I never fought,” he said, “And you couldn't pay us to hate each other. We loved each other fiercely. From the day I was brought home from the hospital Kyle loved me. He was about five when I was born and he was the only person that wouldn't make me cry while holding me. I don't know what it was, but my parents say that from the day I was born Kyle was my protector. My absolute favorite memory is my first day of kindergarten. Kyle came over from the 4th grader area and played with me during recess. I don't know if he was marking his territory and sending a message for people not to mess with me, or if he really did like me that much.”
    “Maybe it was both,” I said.
    “I never actually thought it might be,” he said.
    “I'm sure it was,” I said with a smile.
    “You know, Aaron,” he said, “For what it's worth, I don't believe our pasts matter. I mean I know who we are now is a result of our pasts, but I feel like I know you no matter what happened to you before I met you.”
    “That's really sweet Luke,” I said, “But I'm the kind of person that picks apart every moment and figures out how I changed from it.”
    “I know,” he said, “That's part of what makes you so great Aaron.”
    “I don't get it,” I said.
    “Your wheels are always turning,” he said, “You're always thinking about the past and I'm always thinking about the future. You keep me grounded and remind me of our mistakes while I look forward and see what's coming ahead. You're like my rear view mirror and emergency brake.”
    “I love you too,” I said with a smile.

    Both of us relaxed a little as the tension between us eased. We spent the rest of our time awake in silence. By the time we were in bed, I was so tired I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow and Lucas' arms were around my torso. I took one deep breath and as I let it out, my mind went completely blank and the unconscious darkness swept over me.

    ***

    It didn't last long though. I was woken by Lucas' crying again that night. Like the night before, I turned my head to see him sitting up in the darkness with his face in his hands. I sat up next to him and put my arm around his shoulders. He leaned into me and continued to cry. I didn't ask him about his dream this time; I just let him cry on my shoulder as long as he needed.

    After about twenty minutes, he pushed himself away from me and threw his legs over the side of the bed. He took in several deep breaths before he spoke.

    “I'm sorry, Aaron,” he said in a monotone voice.
    “Do you wanna talk about it?” I asked softly.
    “No,” he said bluntly.
    “Okay,” I said, “Come here.”

    He leaned back into me and I put my hands on his shoulders. I gently rubbed the tension out of his muscles and tried to help him relax. My hands moved from his shoulders to his back as I worked him over into a gentle calm. His breathing shortened and he relaxed under my grip. He thanked me and his head went back down to his pillow. Within a few moments he was asleep again and his tears on my shoulder were dried. It was as if they weren't there to begin with.

    I tried to get back to sleep just as fast but I couldn't help but wonder what was going on with him. My thoughts were in a whirlwind for about an hour before I could get back to sleep. I didn't wake up again until the alarm went off.

    ***

    I shut off the alarm quickly as soon as I realized it was going off. Lucas didn't stir in his sleep and I was relieved it didn't wake him. I let him sleep a little longer as I jumped out of bed and grabbed a quick piss and shower. When I was done I put my bathrobe on and went into the kitchen and opened up the boxes until I found the oatmeal box. With a pot on the stove I went to go wake Lucas, but he was already sitting at the edge of the bed when I walked in.

    “Breakfast is on the stove,” I said.
    “I can smell it,” he said, “Thanks.”
    “It'll be ready soon so if you wanna take a shower, make it quick.”
    “I will,” he said.

    I knew he still wasn't over what was going on in his dreams, and I couldn't shake that feeling that made me want to pry my way into his head and figure out what he's going through. And I knew he could see that feeling in my eyes. I went back out into the kitchen to stir the oatmeal. It was already bubbling a little when I got to it. Lucas came out seconds later and went directly to the bathroom. I heard the shower turn on and I went outside to get a paper.

    Jason was out there as well. He saw me coming and kept the window of the newspaper dispenser open for me to snap on off of his quarter.

    “Thanks,” I said.
    “No prob neighbor,” he said smiling.
    I laughed a little and said, “I still can't believe the two of us are living together.”
    “First time?” he asked.
    “Yeah,” I said, “First boyfriend.”
    “Oh congrats,” he said and started to walk upstairs, “Listen, I heard some crying coming from your place last night. Is everything okay?”
    “Yeah I know, I'm not sure,” I said, “He won't talk about it.”
    “Well when Haley's upset,” he said, “I just rub her shoulders and kiss her neck the way she likes it and she eventually feels better.”
    “Thanks for the advice,” I said, “But I think this is a little more than upset.”
    “Well, let us know if you guys need anything,” he said, “Even if he just needs someone to talk to.”
    “Thanks,” I said, “I really appreciate it.”

    And with that we both went into our respective doors. When I walked in I saw Lucas pulling the pot of oatmeal off the stove in the kitchen to my left. He smiled weakly and pulled a couple plastic bowls from one of the boxes still sitting on the kitchen floor.

    “You left it on too high,” he said, “It cooked faster than you can walk.”
    “Oh sorry,” I said, “I ran into Jason downstairs and we got to talking a bit.”
    “About me?” he asked.
    “How did you know?” I asked.
    “I can see it in your eyes,” he said, “When you said you talked to him you got this glint in your eye that you get when you talk to someone about me.”
    “Oh,” I said.
    “It's okay Aaron,” he said.
    “No it's not,” I said, “I'm worried about you Luke.”
    “Don't be,” he said.
    “I have to be. You won't talk to me about what's bothering you.”
    “Aaron it's not important,” he said, “I just have to work through some things.”
    “But you don't have to do it alone,” I said.
    “Aaron, just drop it.”
    “No!”
    He flinched.
    “Don't push me away, Luke.”
    “I'm not,” he said, “I just need to do this alone.”
    “But I don't want you to. Just tell me what's bothering you. Whatever it is, we can work through it together.”
    “Aaron, just drop it!” he yelled.
    “Please Luke,” I said, “I wanna help.”
    “Look if you drop it now,” he said, “I promise I'll tell you when we get back from the concert.”
    “Fine,” I said.

    We ate in silence and let each other cool off from the argument. I knew obsessing wouldn't help, so I tried to push this into the back of my mind. When I was finished, I dropped the bowl into the sink and went into the bedroom to grab my wallet and my book bag. When I went back into the kitchen, Lucas was rinsing out the bowls in the sink. He looked up to me with a questioning look on his face.

    “My professors posted the assigned texts,” I said, “I was gonna go get my books for the semester. Wanna come?”
    “I was gonna work on unpacking some boxes,” he said, “And I'm supposed to meet Jonathan at the gym in a few hours.”
    “Oh okay,” I said.
    “You can meet us there if you want,” he said.
    “I think I'll pass. I'll come back and finish unpacking the boxes.”
    “Okay,” he said, “Love you.”
    “Love you too,” I said as I kissed him and walked out the door.
    “Aaron,” he said.

    I stopped and turned toward him.

    “I really mean that,” he said as he walked over to me and kissed me again.
    “I do too,” I said with a smile, “And nothing can change that. Not even a little argument.”
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

  4. #254
    JUB Addict Craiger's Avatar
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hey ITC,

    Glad to see the boys are back and are settling in their new apartment together. It's nice to see they have a congenial set of neighbors in Jason and Haley. I am really curious and a little worried about Lucas' troubling dream. I eagerly await the next chapter.

    Craiger

  5. #255
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Nice work, ITC. I'm also a bit worried about Lucas' dream, but I hope think know he and Aaron will be able to work it out when Lucas is ready to talk.
    You depend on our protection yet you feed us lies from the tablecloth!

    I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you tonight.

    foREVer

  6. #256
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,

    A very nice chapter - a good send off by the family.
    I loved the little "incident" with the macho man in his own mind trucker being quick to remember that not all truckers are like that, of course.)

    A good house setting up and warming, and great to know their neighbors are so nice.

    It will be interesting to see what is bothering Lucas so much, and to see if he does open up all the way.

    Thanks, again, for sharing your time and efforts, and talents, with us.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  7. #257
    HUGS! ;-)
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    THANK YOU!, ITC and Anonymous!

    Excellent chapter! Loved every bit of it!

    Lucas kind of reminds me of Me! There are just some things I have to work out for myself, and don't want anyone else's help. I've always been somewhat independent. Don't want to "bother" anyone! Not sure why that is ... just stubborn, I guess!

    Hope it's nothing too devastating! I mean, with Lucas being who he is, how could it be? Well ... except for that temper, steely glint in his eyes, and roundhouse to the trucker's jaw ...

    Of course, can't wait for More!

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  8. #258
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Beautiful chapter, ITC, as you already heard from me in my email :]

    And don't thank me, I just added some commas and changed a tense shift lol. It was np. :] Glad I could help.

  9. #259

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Thanks for the update, ITC. A cute and yet ominous chapter at the same time. I'm a little worried bout our boys.

  10. #260
    Porn Star
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    Code of Conduct

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Alright guys, I know it's been a while since my last post, but you got to admit I'm getting faster haha. This chapter was hard to write because of the ending. I didn't want to leave it where I'm leaving it but it is entirely necessary. The next chapter is going to be in Lucas' perspective describing his dream for us all. Thank you all for your continued support to my writing. I know I don't have as many fans as I used to, and if I do then they're just not as vocal in the thread. But I still feel obligated to finish this story.


    Wings of A Butterfly

    Chapter Twenty:
    Misery Business


    “A lot can happen in a week.”

    Carly always said this to me when I complained about time. She always told me that when it comes down to it, time can't measure our experiences, only we can. Well I had two weeks to suffer through until the concert and, I must say, Carly is full of shit. Every day seemed to seep together and nothing (well, almost nothing) worth mentioning happened to us for those long fourteen days which, honestly, made them seem longer. When nothing is going on, time seems to stop completely. Two weeks can seem like a month when the semester is just starting and nothing needs to be done yet.

    Let me start off by saying, my classes were boring. I started with a History class on Mondays and Tuesdays from 1-3. Two hours of boring lectures; it was torture. I had an 8-11 in the morning class on Wednesday for Political Science with a 4-5 in the evening class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for a required Ethics course. My last class, which was worth 6 credits, was a Classical Literature course on Thursdays from 1-5. I still hadn't decided my major yet and I was running out of time. I was hoping by now I would have decided what I want to do, but at this rate I was going to be spending another year or two in school.

    Of all of my classes I've taken at this school, I think I enjoyed Political Science the most. It wasn't because I was interested in politics, because I was absolutely repulsed by the very idea of being a politician. From the first five minutes of the first class I knew that I would love the professor. She was young, but experienced; and she had an incredible desire to teach. She had a degree from one of the most prestigious Law Schools in the state, but she used it to educate people about the government and the voting process. She said on the first day that we would mostly be spending class time debating several hot topics in politics so we needed to come to class prepared and educated.

    And of all my classes I've taken at this school, I think my History class was taught by the most dull, dry, uninspired professor on school grounds; maybe even in the country. He had no desire to teach; and I knew I would find it difficult to stay awake in his class.

    But that's all boring shop talk to you, I'm sure. And I know you want to hear about Lucas. I'm sad to say that the nightmares continued, but he wasn't as bothered by them anymore; at least he didn't show it to me. I was worried about him, yes, but we made a deal and he made a promise so I thought it best to just leave it alone. I knew he would come to me when he needed me... I just hoped that he would need me soon, and I didn't want to think about what would happen if he didn't.

    The days slowly passed; and each night I woke to Lucas' soft sobs. I didn't question him; I just comforted him and tried to help him relax. By the first weekend, he was looking like shit. He hadn't slept well for almost eight days. His face looked tired and weak all the time. He would spend prolonged moments leaning against something with his eyes covered by his hands.

    That Saturday night, I decided to draw a nice hot bath for him. Carly gave me some of her “relaxation candles” and a CD of soothing music she used when she needed to relax. Lucas came home from the gym and I lead him toward the bathroom door. When I opened it he gave me this loving gaze and kissed me softly on the cheek. I helped him undress and lit the candles for him. When I shut off the lights and reached for the doors, his soft voice stopped me.

    “You're not joining me?” he asked.
    “No,” I said with a soft smile crossing my face, “I think you should just relax.”
    “Okay,” he said, “Thank you, babe.”
    “You're welcome, pretty boy,” I said, “Call me if you need anything.”

    I went and sat on the couch reading The Iliad for my literature class and waited for Lucas to come out. I could hear to water occasionally sloshing around as Lucas would change his position in the tub. After about an hour, I heard him pull the drain and step out. Within moments the bathroom door was open and Lucas was walking down the hall toward me completely naked. I stood to greet him and he wrapped his arms around my waist.

    His naked and semi-moist body pressed against me with unusual force and he kissed me passionately and with power unlike any he's ever displayed before. His hands explored my back and moved down to my ass. I felt his fingers clutch against the denim fabric that covered my cheeks and I knew what he wanted. I pulled my lips away from his eager and hungry mouth and smiled at him when I noticed his cock stiffening against my jeans.

    “Man, one hot bath and you're ready to skip dinner and go directly to dessert,” I said.
    “Oh, please! Like you don't know how tempting you are,” he said.
    “You know you love my innocence,” I said with a grin.
    “I love more than that,” he said.

    His left hand moved from my ass to my crotch and rubbed it gently. He pushed his stiffening cock up against me and moved in to kiss me again.

    “Oh God, Luke,” I moaned.

    Both of his hands met at my belt buckle and worked anxiously to remove it. He pulled it through the loops and tossed it behind him and then returned his hands to unbutton my jeans. I got caught up in the heat and lifted off my shirt. I felt him pushing my jeans and briefs to the ground. We never broke the sexually charged kiss between us as we fell to the ground and Lucas straddled my chest. He moved forward and pointed his now rock hard cock at my face.

    With a smile and a wink, I popped his head into my mouth and ran my tongue around the edges of it. He gasped and moaned at the sensations I was causing him and flexed his ass muscles against my chest. My hands reached behind him and each grabbed a handful of his cheeks. As I pushed more of his cock into my mouth, my fingers slipped into the deep canyon between his cheeks. One of my fingers found his hole and rubbed at it.

    He moaned deep and gasped my name. I pulled my left hand off his ass and placed it at the base of his cock as I pushed him out of my mouth. He pulled himself off of me and I sat up to kiss his beautiful lips. His hands dropped to the back of my thighs, and with little effort and swift motions, he lifted me to straddle his waist in the air. I yelped a little at his sudden aggressive actions but welcomed them as he looked into my eyes with lustful hunger in his.

    I wrapped my legs around his waist and locked them at the ankles behind him. He spat onto his fingers and reached under me. I felt him rubbing gently at my hole with his fingers and moaned softly. Then I felt his cock push softly against my hole. I gasped and pulled my head away from him.

    He recognized the panic in my face and nodded at me. His hands released me and I gently released my grip around his neck. I watched him walk over to one of the boxes labeled “Personal” as he pulled out a box of condoms. He mouthed the word “Sorry” and walked back over to me. His eyes lost the lustful hunger and regained his genuinely affectionate gaze. He took me in his arms and kissed me softly as I opened the wrapper and rolled the condom onto his cock.

    I leaned back against the couch and Lucas lifted my legs onto his shoulders. His cock poked against my hole again and this time I welcomed it inside me. By now, his initial penetration was easier to take. It wasn't completely painless yet; it would still be a while before the pain went away. But it was easier. I gasped when his balls hit my cheeks and he moaned when he slid out of me. He pulled out completely and pushed back in.

    The pain slowly turned to pure pleasure as he fucked me against the couch. The lust was back in his eyes again and I could feel it as he pumped against me. He was more intense than usual and I knew that this was more desire than love. When I felt his cock swell inside me, he dropped my legs down to the ground and pulled out of me. I dropped to my knees and pulled the condom off, tossing it over my shoulder and taking his cock back into my mouth.

    His ass cheeks clenched and his body tensed. His face turned a light pink as he pushed his cream out into my throat. The loud moans emanating from his chest filled the room. My mouth was full of his juices but he kept shooting more. It spilled out from my lips as I tried to swallow it all. I couldn't take anymore and took my mouth away from his shaft and allowed three more spurts to fly over my face and drip down my chest.

    He dropped to his knees to join me and pulled my face against his. I felt his tongue cleaning up the strings of his cum off the sides of my face. When he was finished, he looked at me with a proud smile on his face. I smiled back and kissed him. I moved my knee to get some better leverage of our conjoined weight and it hit something wet. I looked down and noticed a puddle of my own cum on the carpet. I hadn't even felt my own orgasm when it happened because of how intense Lucas' was.

    We collapsed on the ground, our backs on the carpet and our heads turned toward each other. I noticed the very moment when the hunger left his eyes and his warm loving gaze returned to fill the hazel pools on his face. He smiled a toothy smile and kissed my forehead lightly. Within a few moments, he was on his feet and in the kitchen preparing something for us to eat. He threw on an apron over his naked body and pulled out a few pots and pans.

    I was a bit baffled by the spontaneous sex session we just had. It wasn't like Lucas at all to just mount me out of nowhere like he did. Mind you I wasn't complaining about it, I was just curious about what sparked it. It couldn't have been the nap... could it?

    An hour later, I was still trying to figure him out. He had been surprising me ever since we moved in, and maybe that was it. Maybe he finally realized that since we didn't have to worry about things like family or roommates walking in on us, we could do whatever we pleased whenever we pleased. I liked that thought and figured that had to be it.

    Lucas had finished cooking his famous stuffed omelets and we were sitting down at our little table watching each other eat. It was at that moment that I finally pushed back all my fears and anxieties about myself and realized that Lucas and I were going to be together for a very long time. And that was the only thing worth mentioning in those long two weeks before the night we flitted off to Santa Barbara for the concert.

    ***

    However, something happened before the concert that I'm still not sure is important or not. But like Lucas said, when my brain bookmarks something I never forget it.

    It was around four when Lucas got out of his last class of the day. I drove his car over to the Business building so we could leave immediately. He came bouncing out of the double doors wearing his excitement on his sleeves. I was relieved to see his bright beautiful smile covering his face pushing his cheeks up into the most adorable little boy dimples I've ever seen on anyone. It was the face of pure excitement; the kind you see on children when they realize that giant box in the corner on Christmas morning is for them.

    When he hopped in the car, I couldn't help but smile with him. He planted a big and sloppy kiss on my cheek once he had his seat-belt secured. We popped on the radio and I pulled right onto the 101. I had planned to drive at least halfway so Lucas could rest. He had no intention of resting so after we stopped at the gas station for an energy drink to have right before the show started, Lucas insisted on driving the rest of the way.

    It was about 4:30 pm and the sun was beginning to set thanks to the short winter days. We were probably about twenty minutes away from the stadium when it happened.

    I was sitting in the passenger seat staring out my window at the coast when we pulled off the 101, into Santa Barbara. We were going to stop and get something to eat before the concert so we got off once we saw an IHOP sign. The traffic light for the exit was red, but it was like Lucas didn't even notice it. We went zooming around the corner to make a left hand turn and I saw the car before Lucas did. The burgundy Sedan was probably going about 50 over the hill and I shouted to Lucas when I saw it.

    “Watch out!!” I yelled.

    Lucas immediately slammed his foot onto the brakes and there were a couple of screeching noises. I clenched my eyes shut preparing for the collision that was sure to hit my side of the car. It was about a minute before I heard the sounds of other drivers honking at us.

    I opened my eyes and saw the Sedan was nowhere to be found, but we were sitting in the middle of the intersection with cars on all sides wanting to get through. I looked over at Lucas and saw that he was stunned in place. His hands were clenched on the steering wheel and his face was dead white. I quickly threw off my seat-belt and stumbled out of the car and over to the driver's side door. I threw the door open and gently put my hand on Lucas' shoulder.

    “Come on,” I said calmly.

    He slowly took his hands off the wheel and pushed the button to release his seat-belt. When he stepped out of the car, I had to catch him. His legs were shaking uncontrollably and he wasn't able to stand on his own. I knew what was happening to him better than anyone else... he was having a massive panic attack. His sweat was cold and his entire body was tense and rigid. Those beautiful hazel eyes seemed dull and lifeless. Worst of all, the look on his face was something I'll never forget.

    By the time I got him into the passenger seat, several drivers had gotten really pissed off and were spitting swears out at us. A few of them even squeezed past us without even stopping to see if we were okay. I jumped into the driver's seat and pulled out of the intersection as quickly as I could. When we were safely parked in the lot outside of IHOP, I turned toward Lucas and grabbed his hands in mine. He had calmed down significantly and his breathing had gone back to normal. I looked him straight in the eye and realized he was crying.

    “Luke what happened?” I asked.
    “I don't know... I thought it was green.”
    “Are you okay?” I asked.
    “No,” he whispered.
    “Do you want to skip the concert and go home?”
    “No,” he said louder, “Not a chance in Hell.”
    “Alright,” I said as I moved to get out of the car, “Are you sure you'll be okay?”
    “Yeah I'll be fine,” he said.

    And with that we both got out of the car and walked inside. Our meal was silent. Lucas didn't say a word, not even to order his food; he just pointed at the menu to what he wanted. By the time we were back in the car, some color had returned to his face and an anxious smile was drawn across his lips. But not mine...

    ***

    The room was dark and silent with the exception of the dull roar coming from the crowd. Lucas and I stood hand in hand as the countdown began. Everyone in the audience shouted as what little lights there were went completely out. A chill ran down my spine and my grip on Lucas' hand tightened. I could feel the moment sneaking up on me.

    Three blue spotlights pierced the darkness and focused on the left side of the stage as the lead guitarist Josh Farro's suddenly slid his hands along the strings and began a repetition of notes going from high pitch to low. On the third cycle of notes, three more blue spotlights focused at the right side of the stage where the secondary guitarist Taylor York joined Josh's rotation. The two played their guitars with such grace and talent that I almost screamed right then and there, but I was saving it.

    On the sixth cycle of guitar riffs, the rest of the stage lit up in blue lights as Zac Farro began beating his drums without mercy. The subtle sounds of the bass guitar joining the rest of the instruments were probably unnoticed by the crowd, but I knew that both Lucas and I noticed the very second that Jeremy Davis first struck one of his strings. The drums and the bass threw my inhibitions out the door and the screaming was on its way out my throat when I saw Hayley Williams run out on stage and the opening notes to Born For This echoed throughout the stadium.

    The stage burst into orange lights as Hayley joined the boys on stage and shouted out to the audience.

    “Santa Barbara!”

    The lights went out and four blue spotlights focused on her at the center of the stage. Lucas and I were right in the center of all the action. We could see everything from the perfect distance. She was right there in front of us; within a couple arms' length from our faces. I could almost feel the energy pouring out of her as she started singing. Her voice filled my ears and I lost all control over myself as I started cheering and singing along.

    Lucas joined me as the song got harder and faster. I don't know how to describe every emotion I had at that moment. I wanted to scream all the air out of me until my vocal chords gave out. I wanted to dance as if no one was watching me. But most of all, I wanted everyone in the crowd to disappear, except Lucas of course, and have us be the only two there.

    When Hayley reached the chorus bridge, she held out her microphone toward the crowd. As the entire audience shouted, my lips froze. Hayley was looking right at me; directly into my eyes. At that moment I felt as if nothing could bring me down from my musical high.

    ***

    The rest of the concert remains a blur to me, despite it being one of the most amazing nights of my life. The one thing I remember most about that night though, was when the band left the stage and the audience was shouting, “One more song!”

    Lucas and I joined the crowd with our fists in the air shouting those three words. I wasn't the only person who knew that there was one song they hadn't done which everyone expected them to play. And just as I suspected, the sound of Josh plucking at his guitar strings overpowered the shouting as the notes came through the speakers. The band came back out on stage and a wave of cheering and screaming came from the audience, and me.

    “Did you want one more?” Hayley asked.

    The crowd responded with more screaming.

    “Cause we were talkin' and we think we might have skipped one,” she said.

    My eyes widened with excitement and my muscles tensed with joy as she came up to center stage right in front of us.

    “Well, that's it!” she yelled, “We hope you enjoyed your night!”

    And then, without warning, Zac and Josh started the drum and guitar intro to my favorite song. I lost my mind and jumped in the air screaming. My heart was beating out of my chest as Hayley danced through the intro of the song next to the Zac and his drums, then came bounding up the center of the stage to plant herself right in front of us.

    I'm in the business of misery
    Let's take it from the top
    She's got a body like an hourglass
    It's tickin' like a clock
    It's a matter of time before we all run out
    When I thought he was mine she caught him by the mouth
    I waited eight long months she finally set him free
    I told him I couldn't lie he was the only one for me
    Two weeks and we had caught on fire
    She's got it out for me
    But I wear the biggest smile!

    The audience joined her after the drum/guitar bridge that filled the gap between lyrics.

    Who-o-oa I never meant to brag
    But I got him where I want him now
    Who-o-oa it was never my intention to bra-a-ag
    To steal it all away from you now
    But God does it feel so good
    Cause I got him where I want him now
    And if you could then you know you would
    Cause God it just feels so!
    It just feels so good!

    The lights on stage were flashing between green, orange, and blue, with an occasional strobe flash between the interchanging lights. I looked over at Lucas and his radiance was emanating through his smile, his excitement was pouring out his eyes, and the love I felt for him was going into him through our entangled hands. I noticed people staring, but like Lucas in the gas station, I was prepared for any confrontation and didn't care what people thought about me.

    My attention returned to the stage as Hayley entered the second verse. I hadn't noticed it at the time, but from the pictures Lucas took I knew she was watching us more than we were watching her.

    Second chances they don't ever matter
    People never change
    Once a whore you're nothing more
    I'm sorry that'll never change
    And about forgiveness we're both supposed to have exchanged
    I'm sorry Santa Barbara but I passed it up now look this way
    Well there's a million other girls who do it just like you
    Lookin' as innocent as possible to get to who
    They want and what they like; it's easy if you do it right
    Well I refuse, I refuse, I refuse!

    Her attention was never pulled from Lucas and me. We were jumping up and down with the rest of the audience and I didn't think we stood out much from the crowd. It was our hands intertwined with each other in the air together that caught her attention. Josh was oblivious to us as he entered the chorus, even though he constantly came close to our position. Taylor and Jeremy were more entranced with their performance and I wouldn't bet anything that Zac would have been able to see us past Hayley.

    But her attention on us was quite obvious by the time she entered the second chorus.

    Who-o-oa I never meant to brag
    But I got him where I want him now
    Who-o-oa it was never my intention to bra-a-ag
    To steal it all away from you now
    But God does it feel so good
    Cause I got him where I want him RIGHT NOW
    And if you could then you know you would
    Cause God it just feels so-o-o-o-o-o-o!

    The intensity of the song slowed down as a soft guitar solo took control with Hayley's voice dropping to a softer tone. You could barely hear the rest of the instruments because of their low intensity but everyone knew what was coming.

    I watched his wildest dreams come true
    Not one of them involving you
    Just watch my wildest dreams come true
    Not one of them... HEY JOSH!

    And there it was. Josh's major guitar solo began with a slight screech but picked up in power. It was an incredible experience to watch him slide his fingers along the strings. For me, it was like watching an artist paint. Each note he struck was a brush stroke that slid across the canvas that left a beautiful color of sound behind it. I fell into a complete abyss as the solo went on.

    When the solo ended the rest of the instruments broke and Hayley's voice brought me back from my abyss.

    Who-o-oa I never meant to brag
    But I got him where I want him now
    Who-o-oa I never meant to brag
    But I got him where I want him now
    Who-o-oa it was never my intention to bra-a-ag
    To steal it all away from you now
    But God does it feel so good
    Cause I got him where I want him now
    And if you could then you know you would
    Cause God it just feels so-o-o-o-o-o!
    It just feels so good!

    “Thank you!” she yelled.

    And with that, Zac, Jeremy, Taylor, and Josh left the stage; but Hayley stood there waiting for everyone's cheers to fall silent. The lights came up and once everyone noticed she was still there, the cheering stopped and the screams fell to a dull roar.

    “I just wanna say,” she started, “That through the entire show I've noticed two people in the crowd tonight. Not once did they let go of each other. The entire time they were holding hands and I just want to say, I am very happy to see a couple like you so closely.”

    She walked up the stage toward Lucas and I and knelt on the ground to be level with us.

    “What are your names?” she asked as she pointed her microphone towards us.
    “Lucas and Aaron,” Lucas said. He could see I was too stunned to speak.
    “Well, Lucas and Aaron,” she said as she pulled out a pen, “Let me sign something for you.”

    Lucas pulled out the t-shirts we had bought before the show started and handed them to her. She dropped the mic onto the ground and signed the shirts. I still couldn't gather my courage to say a word. She handed them back to us with a smile stretched across her face.

    “Thanks,” I said weakly.
    “Sorry about him,” Lucas said, “He's a huge fan and you kinda stunned him.”
    “Well,” she said as she reached out toward me, “I'm a big fan of yours.”

    She pulled me closer to her and planted a kiss on my cheek, then did the same to Lucas. I was definitely not going to move for a while after that. She gathered herself and stood up from us. With her mic in hand, she yelled out to the audience.

    “Anyone messes with them, I'll kick your butts,” she said, “Good night, Santa Barbara!”

    And then she was gone. I watched her bounce off behind the stage. In my paralysis, I barely felt Lucas touching my shoulder trying to shake me back to reality. His fingers snapping in front of my face brought me out of my hypnosis. As we made our way through the crowd to leave the stadium, I noticed how far up in the clouds my head was. I stared at my t-shirt and ran my fingers over Hayley's signature. That was definitely a moment I will never forget.

    ***

    We decided to drive home after that and cancel the hotel reservation. After the hype wound down, Lucas said he wasn't feeling well, but assured me when we got home he would still want to talk to me about what was going on.

    This was probably the first time since we met that I was actually scared to hear something Lucas had to say. The entire time driving, my heart was doing double the work. Lucas was asleep, which I guess was a good thing. I was a bit tired but we were almost there when my eyes started to droop. I remember seeing the exit sign for the school, I remember seeing the street sign for our apartment complex, and I remember putting in the code to open the gate. The one thing I don't remember is the driving part.

    I leaned over and kissed Lucas lightly on the side of his face. His eyes fluttered open and a slight smile parted his lips. As I pulled away his arm came around my neck and pulled me back into him. His lips pressed softly and gently against mine. My hands went around his neck and I pulled him into me as well. Our lips were stuck in a dance no one wanted to stop. It was one of those kisses where you're not sure what's going to happen afterward, so you want to let the person know how much they mean to you. At least that's what it was for me.

    When we were inside the apartment, I dropped our bags on the ground and made my way over to the bathroom to take a quick piss. When I came out of the bathroom, Lucas was sitting on the couch with his hands in his lap. I walked up to him slowly, not sure what he wanted me to do. He patted the seat next to him so I carefully stepped over to him and sat down.

    “Aaron,” he said, “What I'm about to say is very difficult. I had no real intention of telling you this because I didn't want you to get mad at me.”
    “Lucas what is it?” I asked.
    “You remember how I told you,” he started, “That last year I was messing around on the internet and I found those internships for the music industry?”
    “Yeah that's how you decided what you wanted to do,” I said.
    “Well there's more than that,” he said, “I actually filled out an application and sent it in. They told me they didn't have room...”
    “But...”
    “But they sent me a letter about a month ago, not long before Christmas,” he said, “They accepted me for the Fall trial.”

    I was stunned. This was great news! I stood up with a smile on my face.

    “Luke that's amazing!” I said, “Why didn't you want to tell me?”
    “I already turned it down,” he said.
    “What?” I asked, “Why?!”

    He took a deep breath and looked me in the eye.

    “It would be in LA,” he said.
    “Oh,” I said as I sat down.
    “Well... how long would you be gone?” I asked.
    “It's a six month internship,” he said, “But there's a chance for a permanent position.”
    “Permanent...” I whispered in disbelief.

    I stood and walked over to the hallway entrance. Lucas got up and followed me. I felt his hands wrap around my waist and his chin rested on my shoulder.

    “It's 12 interns with one position,” he said, “The chances of me getting it are very slim.”
    “How many of the others are still in school?” I asked.
    “Why does that matter?”
    I pulled his hands off my waist and turned to face him, “How many?”
    “None of them,” he said.
    “Then that's it,” I said, “The position is yours.”

    I walked back over and sat on the couch putting my legs up on the other seat to tell Lucas I wasn't intending on letting him sit there to comfort me. But he came over to me anyway and lifted my legs up and sat down, setting my legs on his lap. He pulled my shoes off and started rubbing my feet with wonderful skill.

    “They wouldn't accept your application knowing you were still in school unless they were sure they wanted you,” I said.
    “You don't know that,” he said.
    “I do,” I said.
    “Well it doesn't matter,” he said, “I turned it down already.”
    “But you can still accept it again right?” I asked.
    “Not if they filled the position already,” he said.
    “Okay... well find out,” I said.
    “Why?” he asked.
    “Because I don't want you to turn it down so quickly.”
    “Why not?”
    “Because I want you to think about it okay?”
    “What is there to think about?” he asked.
    “Oh I don't know Luke, your future? Your career? Your life?!”
    “None of that matters without you,” he said.
    “I don't want that to be your only reason for passing this up Luke,” I said.
    “Why not?”
    “Because I already had a mother give up everything for me!” I shouted, “I don't want you doing the same thing.”
    He stared at me with a stunned and hurt look, “That is really unfair Aaron.”
    “No it's not,” I said, “I want you to give this a good amount of thought before you just throw it all away.”
    “This is exactly why I didn't want to tell you,” he said, “I knew you'd get all noble and bitchy about it.”
    “I'm bitchy?” I asked, “Well I'm sorry I don't want you to regret your decision someday.”
    “Don't you get it Aaron!” he shouted, “What else could I be having nightmares about?! What else would make me cry like that? What else would cause me to snap at you? What else would scare me so much that I don't want to sleep at night?”
    I just stared at him.
    “I've been having nightmares about leaving you,” he said quietly, “And when I come back you don't want to take me back.”
    “Luke,” I whispered with tears in my eyes, “I don't want you to leave me.”
    “Then why are you pushing this?” he asked trying to hold back his own tears.
    “Because,” I said, “I just want you to think about it. I want you to give me one good reason why you shouldn't go for every reason why you should go.”
    “Fine,” he said as he stood up and walked toward the front door.
    “Where are you going?” I asked.
    “To think,” he said.

    He threw the door open and slammed it shut as he disappeared behind it. I just stood there staring at the door for an hour with tears running down my face.

    I don't want you to go...
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

  11. #261
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    I also wanted to include the videos that show the scenes of the concert I described in this chapter for anyone who was curious.



    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,

    I know I don't comment after every chapter, but I do read them all, and they are all very wonderful. I just didn't think I need to state the obvious so much .

    Cheers,
    Hugo

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    That was an awesome chapter, ITC.

    The reason I don't leave comments often is because I can't normally think of anything better than that to say.
    You depend on our protection yet you feed us lies from the tablecloth!

    I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you tonight.

    foREVer

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    HUGS! ;-)
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC! THANKS! for the concert!!

    Great chapter! (As usual!) Can't wait to find out how "our" boys deal with this! Certainly hope they can find a way to work it out!

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,
    This was so powerful.
    So many places.
    From slightly distant to OK to zoned then psyched.
    Then to the concert and being one - with the lead singer, no less!

    Then, the announcement and the long, QUIET drive home, late at night, while the mind wanders/races.

    And the confession and confrontation.

    There's a LOT of love there - going BOTH ways through the fighting.

    Thank you, once again, for sharing your incredible talents with us.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Intensity personified! The warmth, fear, exuberance, silence, dread and the indecision all in one great chapter, ITC. I know the boys will find the right answer to this new challenge.

    Craiger

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Lovelovelovelovelove it

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Wings of A Butterfly

    Chapter Twenty-One:
    A Fork In the Road


    Hey guys, this is Lucas talking. I knew from the very moment Aaron told me about his idea of writing our experience together that I would have to talk about my dream. In all honesty I never did plan on telling Aaron about it. He can say whatever he wants about us, but the one thing he'll be wrong about is that we do in fact know each other better than he thinks. I knew that if I told him about my dream, it would make him that much more supportive of the whole thing.

    But that's not what Aaron wants me to say. He asked me to write this because whenever I tried to tell him what the dream was about, my throat would close up and the words wouldn't come out. So he talked me into writing it all down to get it out so maybe both of us could understand it. It's the part about everyone else reading all about it that bothers me right now. I wish there were an easier way to say all of this and I wish there was a way to say it without it being included in Aaron's story, but the fact is this dream was really important to the events that Aaron is leading up to.

    So where to begin... I guess I have to say that yes, every night I had the same dream. Sometimes it had minor but very noticeable differences, but no matter what changed during the dream, it always ended the same way.

    It would start with me sitting on a train alone. No one sat in the seat next to me and there were very few people in the car I was in. Usually, I saw this really old man sitting across the aisle from me. He too was alone, but he was more aware of it. He would stare at the empty seat with sad regret, as if whoever sat there was long gone from his life. Every time I looked at him I wished that I wouldn't end up like him; old, alone, and with nothing left to live for.

    Sometimes the old man wasn't alone. There were a few dreams where there was an equally aged woman sitting in the empty seat next to him. When she was there, he wasn't sad anymore. He had a great big smile on his face as he held her hand in his. Her eyes were beautiful blue and they gazed lovingly at the man. When I had that dream, I wished I would end up just like that man; happy, loved, and with everything to live for.

    Unfortunately I didn't have that dream often. He was usually alone. Sometimes he wasn't even there. But most times, I tried not to look at him because I knew how empty it would make me feel to see his forlorn eyes staring at the vacant seat. I would try to stare out the window at the country side. The train usually went through farmer areas so the view was very nice; lots of foliage and animals running around in the fields. This made me feel at peace when the old man was alone.

    When the train pulled into the station, I would get off alone. Sometimes I waited politely to let the old man off first, but he would never budge from his seat. He didn't want to leave the person who wasn't there. It was as if that were the last place they were happy, so he wanted to stay there as long as he could trying to remember how happy he once was with the person who filled the space next to him. Every time I waited for him to get off first, he would wave his hand at me as if to say, “I'm not leaving,” and would look back at the seat.

    I would stand there for a moment in disbelief. I couldn't understand why, if this person didn't want to be with him, he would stay and wait for her. I couldn't understand why he insisted on spending the rest of his life without the person he wanted to be with.

    After a moment of staring at him with pain in my heart, I would get off the train and look around for whoever was supposed to pick me up. They were never there; not even during the dreams where the old man was with the woman. I must not have told anyone that I was coming back if no one was there to pick me up. Either that or when I left, they all forgot about me. To this day I choose to believe the former is the reason because the latter just makes me feel even worse.

    So I walked. I would walk from the train station to wherever it was that I wanted to go. I usually ended up downtown or at the restaurant that I waited at for Aaron when he was attacked that night. I don't know why I would end up there, I just did. I guess because I was waiting for Aaron to suddenly appear in front of me and make everything okay again. But I was afraid of what I would see if he did. When I left, I hurt him.

    When I got tired of waiting at the restaurant, I started walking again. I don't know where I ended up, but it was always the same place. I would get tired of walking and sit down on the curb as I watched people sprinting to wherever it was they were late getting to, and waltzing down the street completely oblivious to my existence. Except for one person.

    “Lucas?” I heard a voice say.

    I turned and looked up from where I was sitting and my eyes fell upon the most beautiful man I have ever seen. He was also the most beautiful man I had ever left.

    “Aaron,” I said with gleeful relief.

    I stood up to greet him with a hug, but he didn't return it. When I pulled away I noticed Henry was with him. I had a big smile on my face but his face remained surprised and motionless. After a few seconds my smile went away as I waited for him to speak. He turned to Henry first.

    “Hey, you go ahead,” he said, “I'll catch up to you later okay?”
    “Sure thing bud,” he said as he gave him a fist bump and walked away.

    We stood there in our awkward silence for a moment, not sure what to say to each other. A couple awkward grins were passed as he went to sit on the curb where I was seated before. I followed him and sat down next to him with a couple inches between the two of us.

    “What are you doing back?” he asked.
    “Oh uhm,” I said, “The internship is over.”
    “Over?” he asked.
    “Yeah,” I said, “I didn't get the job.”
    “Oh Luke I'm sorry,” he said putting his hand on mine.
    “It's okay,” I said, “Just wasn't meant to be I guess.”
    “I see,” he said, “So are you back for good?”
    “I'm not sure yet,” I said, “I still need to figure a few things out.”
    “Like what?” he asked.
    “I don't know. I guess I just want to take some time you know?” I said.
    “No,” he said, “I don't... I don't know what that means.”
    “It means,” I started, “That I need to put my life back together first.”
    “Back together?” he asked.
    “Yeah,” I said, “When I left... I left everything. I need to try and get everything back. If I can't then I'm not staying.”
    “Oh,” he said softly.

    He moved his hand from mine and stared down at the ground between his legs. His soft brown hair blew lightly in the fall breeze. I caught a whiff of his scent in the air as it blew past the both of us. He always smelled like coconut or something and I knew that was what I was smelling. He scooted closer to me and took my hands in his and held them between us.

    “Aaron,” I said, “I know I hurt you when I left.”
    “Yeah you did,” he said.
    “Is there any way you can forgive me?” I asked.
    “Luke,” he said, “I wish there was. I spent so long being mad at you that I don't really know how else to be right now.”
    “Aaron,” I whispered with tears building up in my eyes.
    “You will always be the best thing that happened to me Lucas,” he whispered, “But I just can't put my heart through all that again.”
    “I'm sorry,” I said through my tears, “I still love you.”
    “And I still love you,” he said, “But it's just too hard to even look at you right now without remembering just how much it hurt when you left.”
    “I'm sorry,” I repeated.
    “I'm sorry too,” he said.

    He stood up and looked down at me, his beautiful face destroyed by the sadness he was carrying in his eyes. I stood to join him at his level and took his hands in mine again. I pleaded him with my own eyes to take me back, but he didn't look at them. He turned, pulled his hands out of my grip, and started walking away. When he was a couple feet from me, he turned back and smiled at me.

    “I will always love you Lucas Harper,” he said, “Nothing will ever change that.”
    “Then please,” I said, “Don't leave.”
    “I'm sorry,” he said, “But you left me first.”
    “Aaron!” I yelled.
    “Goodbye.”

    And that's when I'd wake up. The crying usually began before I woke up as I'd wake up and my face would already be soaked with tears. Every time I had that dream I would sit up and try to forget it. Most of all, I would try to make sense of it. I had already turned down the offer so I didn't know why I was having this horrible dream. It broke my heart to think that I would ever leave Aaron and it made me want to kill myself to think that he wouldn't take me back if I did leave.

    So I didn't want to leave. I made sure that I wouldn't have to leave and I didn't want to tell Aaron about it because I knew if he knew about it, he might make me go. When he said what he said about his mom, it was a low blow. It hurt me more than I ever thought Aaron could possibly hurt me. But I knew he was right. He already had someone give up their life and their dreams for him. When I left that night, I left to think about what he had said.

    I went to my old thinking spot that I had before I met Aaron. There was this old abandoned building not too far from the school. It wasn't dangerous or run down; there was just no one to use it after the owners died. I would go to the roof and look out over the neighborhood. Some days I went out there just before sunset so I could watch as the city was illuminated by the light that poured over the horizon. It was definitely my happy place and after our fight, I needed to be somewhere happy.

    ***

    It was probably about two in the morning when I finally made my way back to the apartment. Aaron was fast asleep but I had a feeling he hadn't moved from where he was standing for quite some time after I left. I got into bed as gently as I could to keep from disturbing his slumber. My efforts were for naught though because the moment I was tucked under the blankets, Aaron turned over and put his head on my chest. It was then that I knew he was never actually asleep because I felt my shirt become instantly moist from his tears.

    I moved my left hand up to run my fingers through his hair in an attempt to let him know I wasn't mad at him. However, I'm sure I know Aaron well enough to know that he still thought so. Even my kiss on his cheek wasn't enough to keep his mind from convincing him of something he was totally afraid of. I gently ran my fingers in and out of his hair and brushed my face softly against the top of his head.

    “I'm sorry,” I said.
    “I'm sorry too,” he said.
    “I love you.”
    “I love you too.”
    “Do you want me to stay?” I asked.
    “Of course I do Lucas,” he said, “How could you ask me that?”
    “Because you sounded like you were offended that I wanted to stay,” I said.
    “Lucas,” he said softly, “I was offended about your reason for staying.”
    “I thought it was a good enough reason,” I said.
    “You should know that I want what's best for you,” he said, “Even if it hurts me. I want you to take the internship because that's what you wanted before you met me.”
    “And before I met you I wanted to kill myself,” I said, “I thought about it every day. I thought about how no one would love me every time I saw my friends and their relationships. If it weren't for you I would have been gone by now.”
    “Lucas don't say that,” he said.
    “Why not?” I asked, “It's the truth.”
    “Because I don't want to think of you like that,” he said, “I know who you are now and that person is strong. He can handle anything that's thrown at him with such grace and strength that it makes me wonder how someone so amazing could fall for me.”
    “Then come with me.”
    “You know I can't...”
    “Why not?” I asked.
    “I have to stay here Luke,” he said clutching his locket under his shirt, “I have to finish school.”
    “Aaron...”
    “No listen to me,” he said sitting up, “I have faith in you Lucas; I have faith in us. We're strong enough to handle this. We can make a long distance thing work.”
    “But I don't want to be away from you that long,” I said.
    “It's only three hours away,” he said, “I can come down there every weekend, we can talk, text, and even video chat every day. I have no doubt in my mind that we can make it six months.”
    “And what if I get the job?” I asked.
    “Then I finish school and come down there,” he said, “I'll get a job and we'll be together.”
    “How can you be so sure about this?” I asked.
    “Because I love you,” he said, “And that means I'm willing to do whatever it takes to be with you no matter what. But right now, you need to take this opportunity.”
    “And what if you're wrong?” I asked.
    “I'm not,” he said.
    “But what if--”
    “Stop it,” he said putting his finger against my lips, “I'm not wrong.”

    He put his head back down against my chest and we were silent for a moment. I didn't know what else to say to him. He was so sure that we would be able to make something like this work, but I still wasn't convinced. I couldn't think of any way to make our relationship work when we were so far away from each other. Even Travis, the strongest person I know, didn't think he could make a long distance relationship work and broke up with Kelsey even though it killed him to do it.

    “I don't know how to be without you Aaron,” I said.
    “I know,” he said, “Neither do I. But we can figure it out.”
    “Aaron this isn't what I want,” I said, “I want to stay here with you.”
    “I don't want you to go either,” he said, “But more than that, I don't want you regretting it someday.”
    “I won't,” I said.
    “You might,” he said, “Somewhere along the line you might think about this choice. And when you do I want you to be sure you made the right decision.”
    “Even if it means me leaving you?” I asked.
    “Lucas you once told me that all you wanted was to be responsible for putting someone on stage,” he said, “What if you could discover the next Hayley Williams? Think about how many lives you'd change just by putting her on stage. Think about how tonight was for us... you could do that for someone else someday.”

    I thought about that for a long moment. He was right of course. Somewhere out there was some young artist struggling to get their voice out there. The more I thought about that, the more I realized that Aaron wasn't trying to convince me for anyone but that person. He knew that nothing would make me happier than making someone's dreams come true and changing the lives of a million depressed, lonely teenagers who just want to know that they're not alone.

    That's what music did for me. I knew that from the very first concert I went to. Once I saw that band on stage I knew I was going to be okay. When I saw how many other people there were in the stadium waiting to see this band perform, I knew I wasn't alone. All Aaron was trying to do was convince me that I could do that for someone else, and that would be more important than either of us. All he was trying to do was make me see how important I was to someone else besides him.

    “Okay,” I said, “I'll call them tomorrow.”
    “Thank you,” he said, “I love you.”
    “I love you too,” I said, “Just know that I'm going to do it with every bit of reluctance I can possibly muster.”
    He laughed at that, “I'm fine with that.”
    “Are you sure this is right?” I asked.
    “It may not be easy Lucas,” he said, “But it's definitely something you need to do.”

    And with that, I felt my eyes start to droop. Aaron rested his head against my chest, using my muscles as a pillow. I stared at him for a while wondering how I could possibly leave him. Even though it's something I don't think I can do, he has some kind of blind faith in me. I wasn't afraid of being without him so long that I might be tempted by someone else; I would never think about doing that to him. And I definitely wasn't afraid of the same thing happening to him. I was afraid that if we didn't see each other for a long time, we might drift apart.

    But if he was certain that wouldn't happen, then I would just have to have as much faith in him as he had in me...
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,
    That was a great chapter. So much emotion, angst, love.
    I can see the turmoil in Lucas' mind.
    Particularly after all he's been through, the fear of losing Aaron is extremely real, tangible, and horrific to him.

    You make us want to take both boys in a massive bear hug, and tell them both all will be OK.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    HUGS! ;-)
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC ...

    EXCELLENT!!!

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Brilliant chapter, ITC. I finished it with a huge smile. <--- Like that, only bigger. They'll be okay I reckon. Thanks for posting this.
    You depend on our protection yet you feed us lies from the tablecloth!

    I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you tonight.

    foREVer

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC, such an emotional and powerful chapter! Thank you for sharing .

  23. #273

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Awww. Beautiful chapters, ITC. It won't be easy, but if they truly love each other, they'll make it work. Thanks for the update!

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    Wings of A Butterfly

    Chapter Twenty-Two:
    Starry, Starry Night


    The sound of mumbled voices stirred me from my sleep the next morning. I cracked my eyes open and allowed them to adjust to the sunlight seeping in through the window above the bed. My body refused to move after the minimal sleep I had gotten that night. I turned my head toward the alarm clock and waited for my eyes to focus to read the time.

    8:30... How could he already be awake?

    I flipped over onto my stomach and spread out my arms trying to make myself more comfortable. When I failed to do so, I settled on trying to hear Lucas' voice through the walls. Unfortunately I failed to do that as well. So I just laid there in my own silence as I usually do in the mornings waiting for my reason to force my body out of bed to pop into my head.

    Lucas walked into the bedroom a few minutes later. I moved my head a little to see him in all his beauty. He had already taken a shower; I could tell because he was only wearing a clean pair of boxer briefs. I could see his cock bouncing around as he walked and I smiled when he wiggled it at me after noticing I was staring. He walked over to the bed and slapped my butt through the blankets. I rolled over onto my back and smiled at him.

    “I like how it bounces,” he said with a grin.

    His voice was scratchy and strained from yelling at the concert. I knew mine would be too so I restrained from saying anything until absolutely necessary because I knew he would give me shit about it. I smiled at his comment, turned back onto my stomach and shook my ass at him a little bit.

    “Ooh sexy,” he said.

    He dove into the sheets head first and laid next to me. His face rested right next to mine and his soft eyes focused on mine. He leaned forward and kissed my lips with tender care. I kissed back with just as much love and tenderness he gave me.

    “I love you,” he said.
    “I love you too,” I croaked.
    “Oh hello, Kermit the Frog,” he said, “Where's Aaron?”
    “Very funny,” I said harshly.
    “You know I'm just messing with you,” he said.
    “I know...” I said quietly.
    “So what you got going on today?” he asked.
    “I have to hit up the library in a couple hours,” I said.
    “What for?” he asked.
    “First research paper of the semester,” I sighed.
    “Ah, sounds like loads of fun,” he said, “Want some help or company?”
    “I’d love some but it's not necessary,” I said.
    “Yeah it is,” he said quietly.
    “Why?” I asked.
    “I just got off the phone with that record label,” he said, “And it's official. I got the spot.”
    “That's great,” I said softly, “I was kinda hoping it was already too late.”
    “So was I,” he said.

    He lifted his arm and brushed the bangs away from my forehead with his fingertips. The tips of his fingers grazed my skin and sent those tiny sparks of electricity through my skin. The thought of him leaving scared me and the thought of never feeling that way again made my stomach ache. I tried to hide my pain from him, but trying to fool Lucas was like trying to take a shower with rocks instead of soap. He looked into my eyes; his own eyes filled with concern.

    “What's wrong?” he asked.
    “Nothing,” I said, “I just... Is it okay for me to complain about you leaving?”
    “Not a chance,” he said.

    He sat up and straddled my chest, looking down at me with his beautiful, perfectly sculpted face. He ran his hands against my arms and my hands went up to his thighs as I stared up at him. His smile from earlier had completely vanished and was replaced by a serious look he rarely had. A lump formed in my throat as I stared at my boyfriend and wished I had just kept my mouth shut last night. If I had just been a little selfish, he wouldn't have to leave me.

    “Aaron this is really hard for me to do,” he said, “I really need you to support me through this or I'll never be able to do it. If you complain... it'll just make this even harder than it already is, and I can't take that.”
    “I'm sorry,” I said, “I'll support you no matter what you do baby.”
    “Thank you,” he said, “I really appreciate that.”
    “Lucas,” I whispered.
    “Yeah,” he whispered back with a grin.
    “Can I tell you a secret?”
    “What is it?”
    “I'm crazy about you,” I said with a smile.
    “Well then, can I tell you a secret?” he asked.
    “What?” I asked.
    “You should see a therapist,” he said with an evil grin.
    “Jerk,” I said, pushing him off my chest.

    He landed on the other side of the bed, doubling over in laughter. I got up and walked toward the closet to retrieve a change of clothes. When I turned around to look at him, he was laying on his stomach diagonally on the bed with this chin in his palms and his feet in the air.

    “You're mean,” I said.
    “Oh come on, Aaron,” he said.
    “You say I sound like Kermit the frog,” I said, “And that I need a therapist.”
    “Come here,” he said.

    I dragged my feet as I walked over to him. He sat up and scooted his butt to the edge of the bed. When I got close enough, he reached out to grab my hands in his.

    “To be honest,” he said, “If you need a therapist then I should be committed. ‘Cause I'm crazy enough to want to be your Miss Piggy.”
    I let out a loud laugh when he said that, “Nice save.”
    “I try,” he said with a grin, “But seriously Aaron, I want you to know that whenever I may point out your flaws, you shouldn't take it the wrong way. I love your flaws; they're part of what make you special to me. Every imperfection makes you more perfect for me. Every clumsy moment you have, the fact that your right eye squints just a little bit when you read, the way the left side of your mouth curls up when you smile, how you're ticklish on the left side of your neck and not your right; every time I point out something, it's just my way of telling you that I know you.”

    I leaned in to kiss him. I wrapped my lips around his and pushed my tongue past his teeth to dance with his. A symphony of tastes and moans filled my mouth. When I pulled my face away from his, a smile was stretched across his face.

    “Go shower,” he said, “You smell like ass.”
    “Whatever,” I said as I turned to walk away, “You love my ass.”
    “You know I do,” he said as his hand reached out and squeezed my left cheek, “Oh, by the way, I saw Jason downstairs when I went to get a paper. He invited us to dinner tonight.”
    “That sounds great,” I said, “Go tell him we'll be there.”
    He slammed his hand against the wall that joined our apartment with Jason and Haley's and said, “Hey we'll be there tonight.”

    I stared at him in disbelief until I heard a slam come from the other side and Jason's voice saying, “Awesome!” Lucas had a massive grin on his face as I gave him a wide-eyed, blank look of shock and turned to walk away.

    “Wear something slutty tonight!” he called out.

    ***

    I wore the white V-neck Lucas said looked too tight on me and my pair of black jeans which he said drew immediate attention to my ass when I turned around. I indeed looked slutty and smiled every time I caught him checking me out.

    By now, Lucas' hair had grown out a bit since we left for Winter Break and was in desperate need of a trim according to his vanity. I however thought he looked nice with a little longer hair. The bangs barely drooped over his eyes as it was too long for him to try to keep it pointing outwards the way he liked it. The sides which were usually cut really close had grown out to look more like mine. All in all, I thought he looked amazing the way he was, but he liked his hair a certain way and already had plans to get it cut the next day.

    He was wearing a tight shirt also, except his was a black button-up shirt. He wore nothing underneath and left the top button unhooked to try and get me to check him out too. As a way to get me back for my choice of attire, he wore those faded blue jeans that drove me crazy. They gripped at his thighs perfectly and formed around his ass in a way that made it look better than it did naked. It was weird how Lucas could turn me on so much while wearing clothes.

    His left hand was around my waist, holding me close to him as we knocked on our neighbors' door. I felt his hand move from the grip he had on my waist to my back pocket and slip inside. He leaned his head over and kissed me playfully on the cheek.

    “I bet you get hard before I do,” he said.
    “Ten bucks,” I accepted.
    “You're going down,” he said.
    “Yeah, ‘cause you'll be the one with the wood,” I said grinning.

    The door opened before he could say anything more to try and entice me. I was thankful because I knew he was about to whisper something into my ear that would give me an instant hard-on. Haley appeared behind the opening door with a bright smile on her face and an even brighter smile on Jason behind her.

    I guess I should take a moment to describe these two, starting with Jason. He was alright looking, nothing too special. He looked to be in his mid thirties and was in pretty good shape. His pecs were well defined under his dark red button-up shirt and his biceps were nearly popping the sleeves open. He had dark hair; darker than mine. It was slightly curly, but I could tell that's just because it was long. It wasn't really long; it was just longer than mine. He had the workings of a mustache, but not much of one, and a small goatee.

    He had dark eyes as well, but they were full of happiness all the time. Jason was one of those guys whose smile was contagious; and he was always smiling.

    Haley was almost like his opposite. She was bright in every way possible. Her brown hair, blue eyes, and the color of her clothes were all luminous colors and made the rest of her seem even brighter. Even her smile somehow seemed whiter because of the rest of her appearance. She was shorter than Jason, who stood about two inches taller than Lucas. If I had to guess, she was probably about five foot four and the rest of her body was proportionate to her height which made her a tiny woman. However, she was a tough one too, which I'll get to later.

    They greeted us and lead us into their apartment. This was probably the first time Haley and I actually spoke to each other considering when we were moving in, Carly hogged Haley all to herself to talk about their respective weddings. She instantly saw through the wall I still put up when meeting new people and told me to knock off my shit before Lucas even had a chance to. I smiled graciously and bowed slightly to her which she laughed at.

    “Listen, Aaron, you and Lucas feel free to be yourselves around here okay?” she said.
    “Okay,” I said rather cautiously.
    “It's best to do as she says guys,” Jason added, “She'll put the spotlight on you until you do.”
    I grabbed Lucas' hand in mine and looked at Haley, “Better?” I asked.
    “A little,” she said.

    Lucas pulled me into him and planted a big wet smooch on my lips.

    “Now that's what I'm talkin’ about,” she said.

    I hadn't noticed her southern drawl before but it was definitely there. After I noticed it, a lot of things about her made me wonder where she was from. She was a small, but muscular woman who really didn't take kindly to bullshit. I could easily imagine her in a cowboy getup and wrestling with a bull... and winning.

    As Haley continued cooking dinner Jason, Lucas, and I all sat in their living room. Thanks to Haley, their place looked very clean and fancy. The couch was white and faced with its back to the kitchen toward a nice big screen TV. There was a large white chair that looked like it could seat two easily in it next to the couch which faced with its side toward the kitchen. A short coffee table sat in the center with an ottoman sitting on the open side as if to serve as an extra seat.

    I could tell immediately that Jason was an intelligent man. Instead of a cable box, he had their TV hooked up to a PC tower. Their remote was a wireless keyboard and he used that to download TV shows instead of watching them on cable. I took little mental notes as I was sure they saved a ton of money from not having to pay a cable bill.

    Lucas' eyes found the paintings that Haley had hung up around the walls. He admired them with his jaw slightly dropped and walked from painting to painting to study them. While I was chatting with Jason, I noticed he had stopped at one for much longer than the others. I excused myself and walked over to him. I recognized the Van Gogh painting immediately when I came within eye-shot of it. We had studied this painting in my sixth grade class because of my teacher's obsession with art history.

    I gazed at the beautiful copy of Starry Night that hung on the wall and remembered the song that went with it. My teacher had played it for us the first time we looked at the painting and I remembered it like it was yesterday.

    Starry, Starry Night.
    Paint your palette blue and gray,
    Look out on a summer's day,
    With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
    Shadows on the hills,
    Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
    Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
    In colors on the snowy linen land.

    Now I understand,
    What you tried to say to me,
    How you suffered for your sanity,
    How you tried to set them free.
    They would not listen, they did not know how.
    Perhaps they'll listen now.

    I didn't notice the tears in my eyes until Lucas wiped them away. He also had tears in his eyes so I returned the favor and wiped his away.

    “You were thinking of the song weren't you?” he asked.
    “You know it too?” I asked.
    “Of course,” he said, “Art major, remember?”
    “Oh yeah, duh,” I said.
    “I take it you guys like that painting?” Jason said from his seat on the couch.
    “Yeah, it's one of my favorites,” Lucas said.
    “Well, talk to Haley,” Jason said as he got up to join us, “She insisted we have that piece.”
    “I can see why,” Lucas said, “It's beautiful.”
    “You said something about a song?” Jason asked.
    “Yeah,” I said, “It was written about this piece.”
    “And all the others too,” Lucas said.
    “I thought it was just this one,” I said.
    “No,” Lucas said sternly, “He talks about a bunch of them in that song.”
    “Did what's-his-name write it?” Jason asked.
    “Who?” I asked.
    “The guy that painted it,” he said, “Did he write the song?”
    “Oh, God no,” Lucas said, “Don McLean wrote and sang it.”
    “It really is a haunting song,” I said.
    “You'll have to let me hear it sometime,” Jason said.
    “Boys,” Haley called from the kitchen, “Slop's on!”

    Jason pushed us into the kitchen where Haley stood looking like the perfect image of a 1950's housewife. Her lace apron folded in half and tied around her waist along with the retro apparel she was wearing was something right out of Home & Garden.

    “Wow, Hales,” Jason said, “You look just like Florence Henderson.”
    “Watch it, babe,” she said, “I'll scratch your eyes out and make you my bitch in front of these guys.”
    “Whoa, hey, keep the kinky stuff for when you're alone,” I said grinning.
    “Sit down and eat,” she said glaring at me.

    I did as I was told and took my seat. Haley brought around a plate of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, boiled peas, and something I didn't recognize. I poked and prodded at the stuff made up of rice and celery and some other things I couldn't figure out. Once I popped it in my mouth though I couldn't get enough of it. Whatever it was, it was delicious.

    “You like the rice salad?” Haley asked.
    “It's incredible,” I said with a mouthful.
    Lucas nudged my side and said, “Don't talk with your mouth full, babe.”
    “Bet you tell him that a lot,” Jason said under his breath.
    Haley punched his shoulder and said, “Jason, don't be rude.”
    “Haley, don't be prude,” he said with a grin.
    “It's okay,” I said laughing, “I wish I thought of it first.”
    “So,” Lucas said clearly changing the subject, “When's your wedding?”
    “Two months, three weeks, and five days,” Haley spat out.
    “Wow,” I said, “Freaking out yet?”
    “Not at all,” Jason said, “My baby is rock solid.”
    “Yeah,’ rock solid,’” Haley said, “That's a lie; I'm a total mess.”
    “Don't worry,” Lucas said, “That's normal.”
    “Yeah, but that doesn't make it any better,” she said.
    “Where are you getting married? That big church on Santa Rosa?” Lucas asked.
    “Uh, well no actually,” Haley said.
    “We're not getting married here,” Jason said, “Haley's grandma has diabetes and well... she's not doing so good. She still lives in southern Texas and the doctors say travel is out of the question for her.”
    “We're gonna move out of here in about 5 weeks and start getting ready for the wedding over there,” Haley added.
    “After the honeymoon we're going back to be with her family until... well, until it's time,” he said.
    “Oh, man,” I said, “I'm sorry.”
    “No, it's okay,” Haley said, “I'm sorry too. We wanted to invite you guys but we know it's right in the middle of the semester and... well, we couldn't put you in that position.”
    “Oh, no, we understand,” Lucas said, “It's okay.”

    We all fell silent for a little while. Lucas and I traded uncomfortable looks with each other. I knew he was feeling guilty for bringing the subject up and wanted to say something. I grabbed his hand under the table and squeezed it softly to let him know it was okay. He squeezed back and I could feel the guilt inside him pour into me. We sat there with no sounds except for the forks and spoons scraping against the plates as we ate. It was one of those moments where you lose track of time in the silence and I was almost startled when it was broken.

    “Have Carly and Mike picked a date yet?” Jason asked.
    “I don't think so,” I said, “I know it's going to be in the summer though so they can do it at home.”
    “Where's home?” Haley asked.
    “Sacramento,” I said, “Bout 300 miles North of here.”
    “Oh wow,” she said, “Home's pretty far away.”
    “Not for me,” I said smiling at Lucas.
    “Where's home for you?” Jason asked.
    “Wherever Lucas is,” I said.
    “Awwww,” Haley said. She turned toward Jason and slapped his arm, “Why can't you be that romantic to me?”
    “Because you hit me all the time!” he said.
    “I do not,” she said crossing her arms.
    “Do too,” he said.
    “Yeah, well, you deserve it most of the time,” she said.
    “I believe it,” Lucas said smiling.
    “Don't encourage her,” Jason said.
    “So has Carly picked out a dress yet?” Haley asked, changing the subject as subtly as Lucas had.
    “She hasn't shown me anything yet,” I said.
    “Well, she showed me this beautiful dress when we were over at your place a couple weeks ago,” she said, “Honestly, if I hadn't already had mine fitted and paid for I would have snatched that one.”
    “I wonder why she didn't show me,” I said.
    “She didn't plan on buying that one,” she said, “It was out of her price range.”
    “Oh,” I said, “That sucks.”
    “Yeah it does,” she said, “That dress was amazing.”

    We all finished eating and Haley served us all a cup of coffee and a slice of her homemade apple pie. She said it was her grandmother's recipe; and I must say, it was probably the best pie I've ever had. I don't know what all I tasted, but it wasn't just apples. There was a multitude of flavors circling my tongue and driving my taste buds insane. I could see why Jason was marrying the girl. If Lucas could cook like her I'd be shoving a ring on his finger in a hot second.

    After dessert was served and the chatting dulled to a light conversation as all of us sat around the coffee table, Lucas and I decided it was time to go back to our place. As we said our goodbyes, I hoped that after they moved we would someday find them again. They weren't a normal couple like most people you see, and I knew from the start that Jason and Lucas would be close as would Haley and I. The pit in my stomach told me that I would miss them terribly when they left.

    Once we were through the door, Lucas wrapped his arms around from behind me and pushed his lips against mine when I turned my head to look at him. I felt his crotch press into my butt and the log in his shorts told me that he had lost the bet.

    “You can pay me in the morning,” I whispered with a grin.
    “Shit, I forgot all about that,” he said.
    “I knew you would,” I said smiling wider at him as I turned to face him.
    “Well, when you dress this slutty,” he said grabbing my ass, “How could I even remember to breathe?”
    “That's a good question,” I said, “But, you're not so conservatively dressed yourself big guy.”
    “Had to at least put up a fight,” he said, his beautiful smile finally breaking across his face.

    He gave my butt one more pat and pulled away from me. I went to the fridge to grab a water bottle and sat down on the couch waiting for Lucas to come out of the bathroom. When he did, he flopped down on the seat next to me and pulled me into his arms. We sat like that for a few minutes as I fell into his incredible strength and lost myself in his aromas. I closed my eyes and allowed every piece of him take control of my senses.

    “Hey Aaron,” he said.
    “What's up?” I whispered.
    “I wanna do something,” he said, “You're gonna think I'm crazy, but I really want to do it.”
    “What is it?” I asked as I opened my eyes and sat up.
    “I want to buy Carly that dress she wants,” he said.
    “You're right,” I said, “You are crazy.”
    “I'm serious though,” he said.
    “Why?” I asked, “That's a lot of money if she can't afford it. Carly's been saving up for her wedding since she was five.”
    “Which is why I want to buy it for her,” he said.
    “What do you mean?” I asked.
    “She's been planning it for almost twenty years,” he said, “If she plays her cards right, this will be the only wedding she has. She deserves the dress she wants, not the one she can afford.”
    “Luke, that's really sweet,” I said.
    “But?” he asked.
    “No 'but', it's a really sweet gesture,” I said, “And you're right. She does deserve it.”
    “Okay, but listen,” he said, “I want to surprise her with it. You need to find out which one it is; get all the details on it. And you need to keep her from buying another dress until I can get one in her size.”
    “I promise I'll do everything I can,” I said.
    “Thanks,” he said.

    We sat there for a few more minutes before we both started yawning. We made our way back to the bedroom, undressed to our underwear and climbed under the covers. I rolled on my side and he pressed up against my back, wrapping his arms around my torso. My hands instantly went on top of his and our fingers entwined with each other.

    I could feel his breath on the back of my head. His body heat transferred into me which was the only thing keeping me warm on these cold winter nights. I felt his crotch pressing against my back; it was still hard as a rock.

    “Luke?” I whispered into the darkness.
    “Yeah baby?” he asked.
    “Do you feel like we don't... ya know... do it... enough?” I asked.
    “What?” he asked, “You mean fuck?”
    “Oh well you make it sound so much more romantic.”
    “Sorry,” he said.
    “Well do you?” I asked.
    “Honestly,” he said, “No. When we make love Aaron... it's like the world stops turning. When we do it, my body erupts in feelings that I can't even describe. There's nothing like the feeling of your body pressed up against mine as I blast myself into you. It doesn't matter how many times we do it because once will leave me weak in the knees for days.”
    “And what about when you leave?” I asked, “What happens then?”
    “Well we'll definitely make good use of our webcams,” he said, “But honestly the sex isn't what matters most to me. It's moments like this that are most important to me.”
    “Moments like what?” I asked.
    “This,” he said squeezing me, “Me holding you, talking to you, and being so madly in love with you. I'm gonna miss this more than anything.”
    “I love you too,” I said smiling, “You're the best boyfriend anyone could have.”
    “No,” he said, “You are.”

    His lips grazed mine with no hint of lust in them and his hands tightened around my torso. Finally my body succumbed to the long and tiresome weekend we had suffered through. My eyes couldn't stay open much longer and my last thought before I fell asleep was about how much I was going to miss being around this boy in a few months.
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

  25. #275
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Great stuff, ITC!
    You depend on our protection yet you feed us lies from the tablecloth!

    I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you tonight.

    foREVer

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,
    A wonderful, love-filled chapter.

    The simple, pure emotions pour off the page at us.

    Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  27. #277
    HUGS! ;-)
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Oh, NO!! EVERYONE is moving away!!

    Jason and Haley, such recently found Friends, are SO "Kewl"! And, then there's Heart Throb, Best Bud, True Love, Lucas leaving, too!

    How is poor Aaron, left all ALONE, possibly going to Cope???

    Well ... he still has other Friends around him. And, with today's technology, it's much easier to stay in touch! Still ...

    However, as "they" say, "Absence makes the Heart grow fonder!" And, somehow, I'm feeling that all of this is going to work out "just fine". Perhaps there will be "rough spots", and times of "turmoil", but I think everyone will be coming out of this much Stronger. At least, that is my Hope!

    All the more reason to ...

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  28. #278

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Cute chapter, thanks ITC!

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hey guys,

    I am so sorry I haven't posted an update yet. Sorry if I got anyone's hopes up with how quickly I was cranking out those last few chapters.

    The truth is I've become conflicted with this story. First off, part of me wants to jump straight to the day Lucas leaves for his internship, but I feel like I burned that bridge with Graduation and the 3 year leap I did.

    Second, I've already got my next story working over in my head. Part of me really wants to start writing it now, but I'll feel like I'm neglecting this story. I want to give this a good ending like I did with Graduation, and I want to be proud of that ending.

    And last, but certainly not least, speaking of endings... I've recently become conflicted with the ending that I intended for Lucas and Aaron. I have one that I had decided on months ago and I've been leading this story up to it for the past few chapters. It's a nice ending that I'm sure will put the story to rest just fine.

    However, the other day I thought up a new ending. This one is more intense and emotional. It's the kind of ending that will rip your heart out of your chest and stomp on it. And yet... I feel more proud of this than I do of the original ending. I've turned to several friends begging them to make this decision for me while going into incredible detail of each scenario. Unfortunately, none of them can decide either so I'm stumped. I wouldn't expect an update until I reach a decision about how I want this story to be finished...

    Anyway just wanted to keep you all updated on the progress.

    Much love,
    - ITC
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    D: Don't rip my heart out ITC!!! Or do it, if it makes for good literature. But I will most likely cry like a little bitch :P

    Take your time. I'm willing to wait if it means a great chapter!

  31. #281

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    I hope you go with the original ending. I kind of get annoyed when these stories end on some death or someone does something completely out of character. I understand life isn't fair and all and I get why drama is needed for advancing a story in order for it to not to become stale but don't end it that way please. These stories are a good escape. When I come here I'd rather float on romance than be pulled under by it. To me these characters have gone through enough shit and deserve a happy ending. Everything is so dark gritty and real these days that honestly I don't think a happy ending is that cliched if that's what you're afraid of. It's actually quite nice. Believe me I have a strong appreciation for that form of storytelling but not in this regard. Especially when it comes to this story. A story ultimately about the perseverance and renewed trust of love. That to me is what the story has been about from the beginning. I think we and ultimately the characters deserve to see the payoff. To be able to keep our faith in love.

    That's just how I feel. Of course you should do what you feel is right.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    I'd like to let everyone know that I had an epiphany last night while in the shower. I'm not going to tell you guys what I decided because that would really take away from what I came up with, but I assure you all... what I have thought of now is 10x better than the ending I thought of the other night. Even better, I am now that much more motivated to push the story to it's ending so you can expect an update within the next couple days.

    Much love,
    - ITC
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,
    I know you'll keep us riveted.

    If you want to know a little about alternate endings and people's reactions, try reading GSDX's "Best Friends Play Hard", then "Best Friends Play Hard, Redux", which Neil is still working on the "final final" ending to. He's up to around 72 pages of the "final chapter" that he hasn't published yet.

    But, don't let it distract you from your own efforts.

    Thanks for sharing as much of your time and energy with us as you have.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    DQ,

    Oh I've read "Best Friends Play Hard" and I was really saddened by the ending the first time I read it. I started reading the Redux but somewhere along the way I forgot about it or thought it ended or whatever. I am definitely a fan of Neil's work. I'm making my way through "Watching Brad" at the moment and I just got up to the honeymoon. I've still got a way to go with that story but I adore his writing.
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    He's been working in earnest on trying to wrap Redux up - he just posted the first section of the final chapter last Monday - he's planning on posting a segment each Monday as he finishes writing it. He wants to explain a lot, and is very particular about how it turns out.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Wings of A Butterfly

    Chapter Twenty-Three:
    Oh, Saint Valentine

    A couple of weeks had gone by since the concert and our dinner with Jason and Haley. We went about our usual routines with classes and homework. Carly and Mike occasionally came over to discuss wedding details with me while Lucas skulked around behind the scenes and under Carly's nose to get her the dress she wanted. I have to say he was very skilled at being inconspicuous and was very smart when it came to surprises.

    I had successfully talked Carly into waiting a couple weeks before she started making final plans on her dress. I told her that I needed an exercise buddy since Lucas and I could never find a break in our schedules to go to the gym together. With the promise of losing a few pounds, she put off her plans for the dress for a bit. This bought Lucas enough time to get a loan from his parents and work on getting the dress ordered. By the time she was ready to get it all done herself, Lucas would have the order placed and would be able to surprise her with it.

    Carly and Mike also set a date for the wedding during this time. There wasn't much argument between them. Carly knew how long she would need to plan the wedding and get everything set up and Mike just stood by and let her do her thing. She decided that the earliest date during the summer that she could pull this whole thing off was Saturday, July 22. This was the day that Carly and Mike met for the first time five years ago. It also happened to be almost a whole month after Lucas left for his internship.

    I tried not to think about that so much. Even though where he was going was only a few hours away, it still felt like we would have half the world between us. And there was no possible way he'd be able to make the trip all the way up to Sacramento for the wedding. The thought about being there all alone watching all the happy couples dancing together made my stomach ache.

    But that was still a few months away, so I did my very best to keep myself from thinking about it too much. Lucas seemed to be very calm and relaxed, while I was a nervous wreck most of the time. I guess it was mostly because I didn't really have much else to do. Once I got home from class and did my few hours of homework, I didn't have anything to busy myself with. Lucas had Carly's dress and hanging out with Jonathan. I would have had Henry but he decided to transfer to the community college back at home. I guess he was too afraid to face the people here who knew what he did.

    So that was it. My mind had nothing to be occupied by except for Lucas. The days started zooming by and before I knew it, we were a couple weeks into February and Lucas surprised me with a day I will never forget. It was also the day I realized that no matter how far away we are and no matter what happens to us, Lucas and I would always find a way to be together.

    It was early; I knew that much. The room was still slightly dark when I felt the gentle lips of my love pressing up against mine. My eyes flew open and a smile stretched across my face and his when he sat up to look down at me.

    “Happy Valentine's Day,” he said as he pulled a handful of white roses from behind his back.
    “Luke!” I gasped, “We said we weren't going to get each other anything.”
    “You're right,” he said with a grin, “I'll take these back then.”
    “Don't you dare,” I said, “Give them to me.”

    He handed me the flowers and I stuffed my face into them to breath in their heavenly scent.

    “They're beautiful,” I whispered.
    “Just like you,” he said.

    I leaned forward and gave him another kiss. This one was more passionate and aggressive than the one that woke me up. I sat up on my knees and took his face in my hands as my lips continued their assault on his mouth. His arms came up and around my back to pull me closer to him. As our tongues fooled around with each other, our bodies fell backward onto the mattress. Lucas pulled his face away from mine, and smiled down at me.

    By now his hair had been cut shorter so it wasn't dangling in front of his eyes. I ran my fingers through it and it was like brushing your hand against a rug. I smiled up at him and he gave me a peck on the lips and kept smiling at me. I reached over the side of the bed and pulled a small box out from underneath the mattress and held it up to him.

    “Well since you already broke our deal,” I said, “I might as well give you your gift.”
    “I knew you couldn't do it either,” he said grinning at me.

    We both sat up as he held the small gray box in his hands. His fingers ran across the edge of it and popped it open slowly. I smiled as he pulled out the silver heart shaped pendant and a look of awe swept over his face.

    “Aaron,” he said, “This is beautiful!”
    “Just like you,” I said grinning.

    He held it between his fingers as he read the inscription on the back out loud.

    “Love as though you have never been hurt,” he said.
    “It's what you taught me,” I said.
    “Aaron, that's so sweet,” he said as he leaned in to kiss me again.
    When he pulled away, I whispered into his ear, “Now you can take my heart wherever you go.”
    “I'd rather take you wherever I go,” he said somberly.
    “I know,” I said, “But this is the next best thing.”
    “I love it,” he said as he clasped it around his neck, “And you.”
    “I love you too,” I said.
    “Oh shit,” he said looking at the alarm clock on the nightstand, “I'm gonna be late for class.”
    “I'll make some breakfast while you shower,” I said.
    “That sounds perfect,” he said.

    He gave me another quick peck on the cheek and went to the door. I got off the bed and followed him out of the room. He turned toward the bathroom door as I kept walking down the hallway toward the kitchen and playfully spanked me as I walked by. My grin was wide and bright when I looked back to see his brilliant smile sparkle from the light coming from the bathroom.

    Ever since Carly and I started our workout routine together, I've been eating a lot better. Fruits and vegetables with every meal, light on the butter, and heavy on the water. It's been a long time since I've had a real breakfast so I decided to treat us to some bacon and french toast. One of Anne's gifts to us when we moved in was a makeshift cookbook that had all of her home-style recipes. I didn't have the heart to tell her I could barely fry an egg, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway.

    I had about five slices already prepared and was working on the sixth when Lucas finally came out of the bathroom. I could see him as he walked all the way down the hall to the bedroom door at the end, and he knew it. I knew that he knew I could see him because he decided of all days to walk down the hall stark naked with the towel in his hand as he dried his hair. He paused at the door and looked back at me which I answered with a quick eye-roll.

    I could tell he was grinning when he turned back around and went into the bedroom.

    When he finally came out to the kitchen, everything was cooked and ready for us to sit down and eat it. However, Lucas had other plans. He came around the counter and wrapped his arms around my waist. His body pressed up against mine and I could feel the warmth of his breath on the back of my neck. His hand moved gently up into my shirt to caress my stomach.

    “Carly must be working you hard,” he said, “This is starting to get firm.”
    “What, are you saying I was fat before?” I said with a grin.
    “I wouldn't say fat,” he said, “I'd say squishy.”
    “Jerk,” I said.
    “Bitch,” he said.

    I turned to face him and wrapped my arms around his neck; a smile on both of our faces. No more words needed to be said. His hazel pools of beauty took my breath away and told me everything I needed to know when I looked into them. It seemed like an eternity before we released each other and sat down to eat. In my opinion, I didn't do such a bad job. I never actually heard what Lucas' opinion was because after two slices and a couple strips of bacon, he had to “jet” off to class.

    A quick kiss goodbye and a pat on the ass and he was gone. I watched him walk off as he made his way to the campus until he was out of sight and went back inside to take my own shower and get ready for the rest of my day.

    * * *

    The rest of my day was boring to put it gently. The only thing I had to keep myself occupied was my History class at one that afternoon. I had a few hours to kill until then so Carly and I decided to go to the gym for a while. From the moment we walked inside, I knew something was on her mind. She was constantly avoiding my gaze and her conversation was unusually light. We were walking on the treadmills when I had finally had enough of it.

    “Hey,” I said, “What's going on?”
    “Nothing,” she said.
    “Come on, Carly,” I said, “Like it or not we know each other better than we know ourselves.”

    “Well,” she said, “It's just I know about Lucas and his internship. I just can't tell if you're okay or not.”
    “I'm okay,” I said, “It's something he needs to do and I'm gonna support him through it.”
    “That's BS, Aaron,” she said.

    She turned off the treadmill and walked over toward the free weights. I switched off my own machine and went to stand beside her as she lifted a couple of 15 lb weights and started curling.

    “I can... see... right through you... Aaron,” she said between pumps.
    “What do you mean?” I asked.

    She dropped her weights to the ground and looked me straight in the eye.

    “I know how much Lucas means to you,” she said, “I've seen the way he makes you feel and I've seen how that's changed you. You can't just let him walk away like this.”
    “I know,” I said softly, “But what can I do?”
    “What?” she asked. She seemed genuinely surprised that I wanted him to stay.
    “I don't want him to go,” I said, “But he needs to. And he can't do it unless he thinks I'm okay with it.”
    “So then why not tell him?” she asked.
    “Because it's not my choice,” I said, “It's his.”
    “But if he knew how you really felt he wouldn't want to go.”
    “I know,” I said, “That's why he can't know.”
    “I don't understand,” she said.
    “Let's sit down,” I said.

    We walked out to the front area and found a table to sit down at. She sat across from me and wouldn't take her eyes off of me.

    “Before he met me, there was only one thing that kept him going,” I started, “And that was his hope to one day make someone's life worth all the crap they've gone through. I can't let myself be the reason someone doesn't make it just because I was selfish.”
    “Aaron,” she said, “He's already made your life worth all the crap you've gone through. Why can't you let him stay if you know that's what he wants?”
    “Because,” I said, “My happiness isn't as important. If he can save one life, he can save a million. What would that make me if I stopped that from happening?”
    “Human,” she said, “You deserve to be a little selfish every now and then.”
    “But I'm not going to,” I said.
    “Why not?” she asked.
    “Because I love him too much,” I said, “And I'm willing to give up whatever happiness he's given me to let him make some kid's dreams come true.”
    “You're amazing Aaron,” she said, “Crazy as hell... but still amazing.”
    “Thanks Car,” I said as I put my hand on hers, “I love you too.”

    * * *

    Class felt longer than necessary. The lecture was all about post Civil War politics. How anyone could make that lecture last two full hours with enough information left over for a short essay was way beyond me. I was looking forward to spending the rest of the night with Lucas, Carly, and Mike. We were all going for frozen yogurt and a movie later that evening. We all decided we would rather do our own separate dinner plans and then meet up afterward.

    I walked into the apartment with a big smile on my face expecting Lucas to be there to greet me. However, that wasn't the case as the apartment was completely empty. I looked around for a moment hoping that he might jump out from somewhere to surprise me. When I opened the bedroom door, I saw a box sitting on the nightstand. On top of the box was a small note. I picked it up and unfolded the note to read it.

    Aaron,
    Here's your real Valentine's Day gift. The flowers were just a bonus for this morning. After you open the gift, come to this address at exactly 4:30. Dress nicely
    Love Lucas.

    Underneath his signature was the address to a neighborhood not too far away from here. I knew it was in the residential side of town away from the campus and all the students. I put the not down on the nightstand and turned my attention to the box in my hand. Without hesitation, I pulled the wrapping paper off of it and tossed it to the ground. What was left was a white cardboard box, which I quickly pulled the top off of and looked inside.

    Another smaller and silver box sat inside of the cardboard one much like the one I had given Lucas this morning. I popped open the top and let out a gasp when I saw the beautiful silver ring inside. It wasn't an engagement ring, but a purely smooth band with a small inscription on the inside. My eyes were a bit distorted from the moisture in them, but I read the words aloud to myself.

    We love with a love that is more than love

    My smile stretched across my face and I eagerly changed my clothes. I put on my tan button up shirt over my white tank top and pulled on some faded jeans that I knew would match the jeans Lucas would be wearing. I slipped the ring onto my right ring finger and for the first time since I found it, I pulled my locket from under my shirt and wore it on the outside.

    When I was comfortable with my appearance, I flew out the door and walked the three blocks to the address written on the note. I found myself walking toward this large abandoned building on the edge of the residential neighborhoods. It wasn't an old building; definitely wasn't dangerous looking. I walked in the front doors and found a note taped to the inside of the door.

    Go to the roof

    I ran to the staircase and bolted up the four stories to the roof. When I approached the door labeled “Roof Access: Staff Only” my smile grew wider and I pushed the door open. My excitement was on my sleeve as my eyes re-adjusted to the setting sunlight outside and found my golden haired Greek statue standing next to a round table with candles, more white roses, and a checkered table cloth set on top of it. I quickly walked over to him and wrapped my arms around him as I pressed my lips passionately against him.

    “Happy Valentine's Day,” he said when I pulled my face away from his.
    “I love the ring,” I said.
    “I knew you would,” he said.
    “What's all this?” I asked looking at the setup he had next to us.
    “I've been coming here ever since my first year here,” he said, “Come over here.”

    He pulled my hand and guided me over to the edge of the building. I had never told him before that I was a little scared of heights, but he sensed my hesitation and squeezed my hand tightly to let me know he wouldn't let go of me. We looked over the little half wall that ran around the roof and my jaw dropped as I took in the sight that lay before me. The colors cast by the setting sun over the tops of the houses and small shops were awe inspiring and brought tears to my eyes.

    “My God, Luke,” I said in a breathless whisper, “This is amazing.”
    “You should see the sunrise on the other side,” he said, “It's even better.”

    The entire time I was looking out over the horizon, I knew his eyes never left my face. He was watching my eyes and looking into my mind through them. I could feel him prying around inside my thoughts as I was overwhelmed by the scenery. I never thought anything so simple and common could be so beautiful. And that's when it hit me... Lucas saw that all the time. He saw the beauty in the common, and the special underneath the ordinary. He saw me for who I was under my mask all those months ago and made it his mission to rip it off of me once and for all.

    I don't know how long we stood there like that, but the sun was almost completely gone by the time I snapped back to reality. I looked into my boy's eyes and realized what he wanted. He was scared, I knew that much. He didn't want to have to leave any more than I did. I knew from that very second that he was trying to make each and every moment special between us until the day he left. There was an obvious pain in his eyes that revealed how much he wanted... no actually needed to share every single thing with me.

    He took my hand and gently lead me back to the table. Without missing a beat, he fished a box of matches out of his pocket and lit the candles to illuminate everything around us. As I sat down, he walked over to the ledge closest to us and pushed on something. A billion bright brilliant white Christmas lights popped on around us. They didn't take away any romance from the candlelight setting that Lucas prepared.

    He flipped another switch and plugged his iPod into some speakers. With the press of a button, the song “The Way You Look Tonight,” started playing at a low volume. He smiled over at me and I returned it with a giant grin on my face.

    Some day, when I'm awfully low,
    When the world is cold,
    I will feel a glow just thinking of you...
    And the way you look tonight.


    Then, he bent over and pulled a blanket off the ground. Underneath the blanket was a large box which he carried over to the table. He threw the top open and pulled small cooler which had a bottle of White Zinfandel. He lifted the bottle out of the cooler, popped out the cork and poured it into the wine glasses in front of me. When he finished, he pulled two plates out of the box and set them down on the table.

    “Chicken or steak?” he asked.
    “Chicken please,” I said with a smile.

    He pulled a bag from my favorite restaurant out of the box and opened it up. The smell of the food poured out of the bag and into my nostrils, making me realize how hungry I actually was. He pulled out two Styrofoam boxes out of the bag and placed one of them on the plate in front of me. The other he set down on the plate in front of his empty chair.

    “I think that's it,” he said as he looked inside the box, “Oh wait...”

    He reached in and pulled out a large heart shaped box and handed it to me.

    “Luke,” I said, “You didn't have to do all of this.”
    “I know,” he said as he leaned forward and kissed my cheek, “But it's worth it to see you smile.”
    “Man,” I said, “You're so sweet.”

    He smiled and sat down across from me. I don't think our eyes left each other once during the entire meal.

    * * *

    After Lucas had packed up the candles, dishes, lights, and tablecloth into the box, we went back to our apartment for a little alone time while we waited for Carly and Mike to show up. The main reason we were going out together tonight was because Lucas was ready to reveal her surprise to her. I couldn't wait to see the look on her face when he showed her the order receipt for the wedding dress of her dreams. Mostly, I couldn't wait to see the look on Lucas's face when he saw the look on hers.

    When we walked in the door, Lucas dropped the box on the table and pulled me into him. He pressed his lips against mine with such power that I lost all the strength in me to keep myself upright. Luckily he had a good hold on me so when my knees gave out, he lifted me up and helped me wrap my legs around his waist. With his hands firmly in place under my ass, he carried me over to the couch where together we fell back with him on top of me.

    He placed a soft and loving kiss on my lips which I returned with as much love and care as he gave to me. As soft as feathers, his fingers danced around my skin. They traveled up my neck and face into my hair. A shiver went down my spine as his other hand went gently under my shirt to feel my stomach. I let out a soft moan and he stopped. He lifted his hand from my stomach and sat up.

    “We probably shouldn't get messy right now,” he said with a sad look on his face.
    “Yeah you're right,” I said. I'm sure the look on my face mirrored a child who was denied candy.
    “When we get home tonight,” he whispered, “I'm totally going to ravish your body.”
    “When we get home tonight,” I whispered back, “I'm going to make sure you're stuck to the wall for a week.”
    “Only if you'll be stuck there with me,” he said with a grin.
    “I'd never leave your side,” I said.

    I leaned in to give him a more forceful kiss on the lips and pushed a sharp moan out of his throat. After that moan reached my ears, the sound of a fist rapping against our door followed it.

    “I hope you guys are at least wearing boxers,” Carly said behind the closed door.
    “We're decent,” I said, “Come in.”
    “Well,” Lucas whispered, “I wouldn't say that.”

    He motioned to the mound in his pants that was rising from his thighs. With a weak grin and lightning speed, he took off to the bathroom to get it to go down. I sat there as Carly and Mike opened the door to see only a blur of Lucas bolting down the hall.

    “What's with the flash?” Mike asked.
    “Uh,” I said, “Lot's of water I guess.”
    “Sure,” Carly said, “Water.”
    “So how was dinner?” I asked to quickly change the subject.
    “Incredible,” Carly said, “Mike took me to the place we had our first date.”
    “Aww, how sweet,” I said.
    “What about you boys?” she asked.
    “Lucas and I had a candlelight dinner on the roof of that abandoned building near the church on Santa Rosa.”
    “Oh wow,” Mike said, “And I thought my idea was romantic.”
    “Okay,” Lucas said as he walked down the hallway toward us, “Ready to go?”
    “You all set there cowboy?” Mike asked with a devilish grin.
    “Yeah I'm good,” he said, “Let's get going.”
    “Alright then,” Mike said, “You drivin?”
    “Uh we already had some drinks,” I said.
    “Oh well so did we,” Mike said.
    “Looks like we're walking then!” Lucas said with a strange excitement.
    “Can't we call a cab?” I asked.
    “Hell no,” Lucas said, “This is more fun!”

    * * *

    It was worse than just a little brisk outside. I cursed the weatherman for his cheerful Valentine's Day forecast, but Lucas somehow found warmth in the two glasses of mildly alcoholic wine and embraced the cold air of the night. I was shaking more than a whore in church by the time we got to the frozen yogurt place. I definitely was not in the mood for a cold treat by then, so I just got some hot chocolate while Lucas indulged in a cheesecake and chocolate mix with gummy bears thrown in.

    He teased me by shoving a spoonful in my face making the sounds of an airplane. When I wouldn't let him feed me, he decided to give me some other kind of sugar. He wrapped his hand around the back of my head and pulled me into a deep and passionate kiss. I couldn't help but smile when he pulled his lips away from mine.

    When he finished stuffing his craw with yogurt, he rested his head against my shoulder and entangled our fingers together under the table. Light conversation was exchanged between the four of us as the three of them filled up on their selected flavors and toppings.

    “Alright,” Lucas said as he planted his hands firmly on his thighs, “I've gotta take a leak.”
    “Yeah me too,” Mike said, “Be back in a sec babe.”

    Mike planted a kiss on Carly's cheek and stood to go to the restroom. Not to be outdone, Lucas kissed my cheek and stood up as well. As they left us alone, Carly stood and sat in the seat recently vacated by Lucas next to me.

    “Hey,” she said, “I was hoping we'd get a chance to talk alone.”
    “Oh yeah?” I asked.
    “Yeah,” she said, “I just wanted to tell you I get it now.”
    “Get what?” I asked.
    “Why you don't want to tell Lucas that you want him to stay,” she said, “I didn't get it before but I get it now.”
    “How's that?”
    “You don't want him to feel conflicted so he can do what he once told you he wanted.”
    “Yeah,” I said, “That's true.”
    “And you don't want him to give up this opportunity because you think it's important to him right?”
    “That's what I've been saying.”
    “Well,” she said, “I just want to hear it from you.”
    “Okay,” I said, “I don't want him to pass up this opportunity. If he does this, he won't only get a chance to fight for the job that he dreams about. He'll get the contacts and the experience to fight for the job again if he doesn't get it.”
    “Alright,” she said, “And all of that is based on one idea. You think that you aren't as important as anyone Lucas might meet.”
    “I don't think I am,” I said.
    “Well I hate to burst your bubble honey,” she said, “But you are more important than anyone; more important than me, more than Cherilyn, even more than Kyle as far as Lucas is concerned. He's only going through with this because he thinks it's what you think he should do.”

    I sat silently as I mulled those thoughts over in my head. Before I could say anything else, Lucas and Mike re-emerged from the restroom entrance. Carly returned to her seat as Lucas and Mike took theirs next to each of us.

    “Sorry it took so long,” Mike said, “We got to talking a little bit.”
    “Talking? In the bathroom?” I asked, “What are you, girls?”
    “Hey, you're the bottom,” Lucas said.
    “Whoa!” I said, “Maybe you shouldn't have had that second glass.”
    “Maybe you should kiss me again,” he said with a grin.

    I leaned in and gave him a small peck on the lips.

    “That was weak,” he said.
    “Well, maybe I should have had a third glass,” I said.
    “Alright boys,” Carly said, “Simmer down.”
    “Oh, we're just stalling,” Lucas said.
    “For what?” she asked.
    “Well,” Mike said, “We've got a surprise for you.”

    “What?” she asked as she turned toward Mike, “What did you do?”
    “Well it wasn't so much me as it was Lucas,” he said.
    She turned to face Lucas, “What did you do?”
    “Oh nothing big,” he said as he pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to her.
    “What's this?” she asked as she unfolded it.

    Her eyes went from intent on learning what secrets to paper in her hands held to complete and utter shock as her mouth dropped open and her left hand hovered over it. As far as I could tell she had stopped breathing.

    “Oh my God,” she whispered. “Lucas... why did you do this?”
    “Haley told us you really wanted that dress and how disappointed you sounded when you couldn't afford it,” he said, “So I decided I wanted to buy it for you.”
    “I don't understand though,” she said, “Why would you do this?”
    “He wants your wedding day to be as amazing as possible,” I said.
    “You deserve to have the dress you want,” he said, “Not the dress you can afford.”
    “Well, I am going to be able to afford more of what I want now thanks to you,” she said.
    “Any amount of money is worth it to make that day all the more special,” he said.

    I could see on her face that she wanted to say something about him leaving, but she held her tongue when she noticed that I saw her face.

    “I love you guys so much,” she said as she turned toward Mike, “And you're going to get a big thank you later.”
    “Well I don't deserve much credit,” he said, “It was mostly Lucas's doing.”
    “Well then,” she said as she turned back toward Lucas, “I should say 'thank you' shouldn't I?”

    She leaned forward and grabbed his shirt collar. With more strength than I've ever seen that little girl capable of, she pulled Lucas up out of his seat and planted a huge kiss on his lips.

    “Hey!” Mike and I said in unison.
    “That's my boy,” I said with a glare.
    “Sorry,” she said, “I just didn't know how else to thank him.”
    “I think saying 'thank you' would be preferable next time,” Lucas said with a grin.

    And with that we departed the yogurt shop which was cleverly named, Yo Diggity. Back into the ass-numbing cold that was the near ocean winter weather we went as we walked to the movie theater down the block to watch some sappy romantic comedy that Lucas and Carly both really wanted to see. The smile on his face as we bought our tickets warmed my heart enough to make the feeling in my legs return as we walked inside. He took my hand in his and pulled me into him when he noticed me shivering. As I warmed up in his arms, only one thought crossed my mind.

    I never want this moment to end.
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

  37. #287
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,
    What a fantastic, romantic, loving chapter.
    Valentine's Day filled with all manor of surprises.

    I'm not quite sure where to begin - it was all so powerful.

    The cute morning playfulness and gift exchange, breakfast,
    the romantic dinner with a spectacular view - you didn't mention the cold up there - must be all the love warmed them both.

    The back to our first dinner/date for Carly and Mike.

    The WOW of the wedding dress receipt.

    The selflessness they demonstrate for each other.
    I don't know how this will end - whether Lucas does or doesn't take his internship; whether Aaron somehow manages to transfer to UCLA so they can be together during the internship.

    It's been a fantastic story, ITC.

    Thank you for continuing to bring it to us.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  38. #288
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    I'm hoping to get through this next chapter within the next few days. I'm not sure what this chapter will involve, but I know we're getting closer and closer to the moment we've been waiting for.

    And I'd like to just add in that the story will proceed when it comes time for Lucas to leave for his internship. No matter what happens between the boys, I want you to know that the final chapter is still beyond that point.
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,

    That was so romantic and sad at the same time. The thought that Lucas will be leaving is hard to deal with. I have to think, would I be able to let my partner go as Aaron is willing to do. I wonder if the Shakespearean quote, "absence make the heart grow fonder" has any worth. We shall soon see if it holds true for our boys. Looking forward to the next chapter.

    Craiger

  40. #290
    HUGS! ;-)
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC ... that was, well ... AWESOME!! As GREAT as your previous work has been, I think this chapter is, so far, your Very Best!!! LOVED IT!!!

    And, I guess, THAT was the point, with Valentine's Day, and all!!

    THANK YOU!, Buddy! And, oh, Yeah!, definitely glad to hear that there is still More to cum!!

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  41. #291

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    That was adorable! Beautiful, chapter. Thanks, ITC.

  42. #292
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hey guys, just wanted to give a little update. I'm almost done with this next chapter. Shouldn't be more than a couple days.
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hi, ITC.
    Great to hear from you.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hey guys... I just wanted to say that I'm still writing. I've just been in a really bad place recently and it's been hard to find the energy to even get up in the morning much less write a love story. I don't know when I'm going to feel better and I don't know if I ever will... but I do know that I plan on having this chapter finished and up by the end of the week.
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,
    Sorry you've hit a rough patch in the road of life.
    I hope you get past it, soon, and on to a brighter tomorrow.

    Been there, done that, at least as far as a rough road in life for a stretch.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    So, I've just read this story and it's quite possibly the best story I've read so far on this forum!

    Hope you can break through this moment of bleakness (as my beloved Mariah Carey would say) cause I think you have something very special on your hands with this story.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hope you find the best out of everyday!

    Best of luck in everything you do !

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Always great updates from you, ITC. Love this story.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Wings of A Butterfly

    Chapter Twenty-Four:
    Before I Met You


    “Carly I really don't want to go,” I said.

    “Why not?” she asked, “It'll be fun.”
    “It'll be lame,” I said, “Why do you even want to go to this thing?”
    “Because I'm not an antisocial shut in,” she said.

    I could almost hear the grin on her face coming from her voice. She was in the bathroom in the hallway as I sat at my computer desk. My mom was working a double shift that night and Carly wanted to go to some party at Bass Lake. I could never figure out why she wanted to go so badly; she didn't even know the guy who was throwing the damn thing. I could hear her appliances being picked up and put down on the counter as she used each of them.

    “Look,” she said as she walked into the room running a brush through her hair, “It's just an end of the summer bash for all the seniors and I really want to go.”
    “Then go,” I said, “I don't see why you have to drag me along with you. We're not even seniors yet.”
    “We will be after tonight,” she said, “And I really don't want to go alone.”
    “Fine,” I said, “I'll go, but you owe me.”
    “Deal,” she said with a smile.
    “And you have to make Henry go too.”
    She hesitated, sighed, and said, “Deal.”

    In our Junior year, Carly didn't like Henry very much. She always said he was a bad influence on me and would probably end up lying dead in a gutter somewhere in ten years. But I didn't care. Henry instilled at least a some confidence in me. When I was around him I felt better than normal and the way he would brazenly ask a girl out and not care if she rejected him always intrigued me.

    Carly went back into the bathroom and I heard more appliances being used. It was probably about fifteen minutes before she came back and sat on my bed. She pulled her phone out and stared at it for a minute. I knew then what was really on her mind and why she wanted to go to this party. I stood from my desk chair and sat down next to her, putting my left arm around her shoulders.

    “Are you okay?” I asked.
    “Yeah,” she said softly.

    “Carly,” I said.
    “No,” she said. I could hear the tinge of pain in her voice.
    “You know he didn't deserve you right?” I asked.
    “Doesn't change the fact that I loved him.”
    “No, it doesn't change that,” I said, “But he wasn't right for you. He didn't see you for who you really are, and chances are he never would.”
    “And who am I?” she asked.
    “You're someone who is going to change the world someday,” I said, “And any guy who doesn't see that isn't worth your time.”

    She smiled and rested her head against my shoulder.

    “I don't know what I would do without you,” she said, “You're the best.”
    “No,” I said, “There's someone better out there. And he's waiting to meet you.”

    * * *

    I collapsed on my side of the bed, gasping for air as beads of sweat dropped down my forehead. Seconds later, Lucas was collapsing on top of me. My eyes were closed and I could feel his warm breath blowing in my face. Our bodies were covered in sweat and cum from one of our most intense mutual orgasms. His lips found my neck for a moment as our minds took a mental not of that particular second. The feeling of his body pressed up against mine was probably the best feeling I'd had all day.

    “That was... incredible...” he said between gasps.
    “No kidding,” I said with a sharp intake of air.
    “Three times in one day... We've never done that,” he said with a grin.
    “Well, I had to find some way to thank you for last week,” I said.
    “Why wait so long?” he asked.
    “I needed to build up enough for three orgasms in a row,” I said returning his grin.

    “Well if you stopped jacking off without me you wouldn't need to take that long would you?” he asked.
    “Oh please, you do that twice as much as I do,” I said.
    “It's nothing compared to this,” he said smiling at me.
    “Well, I've never had this much energy before,” I said.
    “Tell me about it,” he said, “Those trips to the gym are starting to pay off.”
    “How so?” I asked.
    “Look at you,” he said as he moved his hands down to my stomach, “You've got abs!”

    “You saying I used to be fat again?” I asked with a smirk.
    “No, you jerk,” he said, “You know you were fit before. I just meant you're getting muscular.”
    “You like it?” I asked.
    “Yeah,” he said, “I liked the way you looked before but you're looking really sexy these days.”
    “Thanks,” I said with a smile.


    I gently kissed his forehead and he rolled off of me. His hands remained on my body with his fingers tracing my newly formed abs. They weren't bodybuilder abs but they were starting to show through the skin. The muscles all over my body had begun to tighten and solidify. About a month going to the gym and my body was slowly looking more and more like Lucas's. His lips found my shoulder and worked their way down my arm slowly.

    I flipped over onto my side and propped myself up on my elbow. As I faced Lucas and stared into his eyes, I felt every muscle clench for a second. It was almost as if my body sensed the question that was about to pass his beautiful lips.

    “Why exactly are you doing this?” he asked.
    “Doing what?”
    “This,” he said pressing his hand against my abs again, “You're not doing it for me are you?”
    “No offense Luke but... no.”
    “Good,” he said.
    “The fact that you like it is a bonus,” I said, “But honestly Luke, I'm doing it for me.”
    “Why?” he asked, “You were beautiful the way you were.”
    “To you maybe,” I said, “But all my life I've just felt average.”
    “You weren't,” he said.
    “Yes I was,” I said, “I've accepted that already. For years I was just an average looking guy. Average body, average hair, average eyes, and an average mind. Then I met you and you made me feel different... almost special. And for the first time in my life, I realized how normal I really was. So now, I want to look the way I feel.”
    “And how do you feel?” he asked with a smile.
    “You make me feel attractive,” I said, “Wanted... loved. And I know people are jealous of me when they see us together. They're probably wondering how someone like me could get my hands on someone like you.”
    “I doubt that Aaron,” he said, “Believe it or not I had a crush on you way before we met. I thought you were the most intelligent, most amazing, most sexy guy I had ever seen.”
    “Thank you, Luke,” I said, “But be that as it may... I don't want to look average anymore. I want you to have the feeling I have when we go out and people look at us. I want you to know what it's like to have someone that everyone else wants.”
    “How does that feel?” he asked.
    “It feels incredible Luke,” I said, “The only better feeling is when you tell me you love me.”
    “Well then,” he said pulling me on top of him, “I love you.”
    “I love you too,” I said with a smile.

    He kissed my forehead and I rested my cheek against his pecs. My head rose and fell with his chest as he breathed in and out. We were silent for a while after that. I nearly fell asleep in his arms but his smell kept me awake. It was something I wanted to make sure was ingrained into my memory so I took advantage of every available second I had to inhale his scent. The warmth from his body seeped from his skin and made me forget how cold the weather still was outside.

    “We should do this more often,” I said softly.
    “Aaron, I already told you,” he said, “It doesn't matter how often we have sex. That's not why I love you.”
    “No, Luke,” I said with a smile, “That's not what I meant.”
    “Oh,” he said, “What did you mean?”

    “This,” I said, “Laying here together... talking... it's nice.”
    “You're right,” he said, “We don't do this enough.”
    “It's moments like this that make me forget that you're leaving,” I said.
    “Aaron...” he sighed.
    “Sorry, but it's true,” I said, “I'm really gonna miss this.”
    “I know,” he said, “So will I.”

    A few more minutes of silence passed by. I rested my face on Lucas's chest above his heart. I felt it beating against my cheek and smiled as the rhythm soothed me. After about ten minutes Lucas looked at the clock and groaned.

    “What's wrong?” I asked.
    “If I don't go get cleaned up now I'm gonna be late for class,” he said.
    “So be late,” I said.
    “I wish I could,” he said, “But I was late the other day and skipped the one before that to get everything set up for our dinner.”
    “Okay,” I said, “Well then go get ready. I need to go to the gym with Carly soon anyway.”
    “Alright,” he said as he got up from the bed, “I'll see you later tonight.”
    “Love you,” I said as I rested my head against the pillows.
    “Love you too,” he said. I also heard him mutter, “I hate Mondays...”

    He walked naked out of the room toward the bathroom. I could hear him turn the nozzle on the shower as the water dripped out and splattered against the floor. My head was still spinning from the intense orgasms he had given me and suddenly I was reminded of something. March was just around the corner bringing Lucas's twenty-third birthday with it. Once that thought penetrated my mind, I could only think of one thing.

    What the hell am I gonna get him?

    * * *

    “Hey, Aaron,” came a familiar voice.

    I turned around to see Cherilyn walking over to me. I was sitting in the library doing research on political figures in history. I smiled at her when she sat down next to me.

    “Hey, Lynn,” I said, “How's life on the other side?”
    “Other side of what?” she asked.
    “The other side of this mountain of textbooks,” I said gesturing toward my unread pile.
    “Oh snap,” she said, “You have to read all of those?”
    “Yeah,” I said, “Researching the history of each form of government and the people whose ideas started them.”
    “Which professor?” she asked.
    “Walsh,” I said.
    “Right,” she said, “I'll be sure to avoid his class.”
    “So, what's up?” I asked.
    “Not much,” she said, “What are you planning for Luke's birthday?”
    “I honestly have no idea,” I said, “Why, do you have something in mind?”
    “How ‘bout a surprise party?”
    “Pretty cliché don't you think?” I asked.
    “Yeah but you know how much Luke loves cliché,” she said with a grin.
    “Alright,” I said, “I'm in.”
    “Great,” she said as she stood up, “I'll call you later to talk about it.”

    She walked off and left me to alone with my books.

    * * *

    Alone.

    That word means so many things to me. Before I met Lucas, being alone meant I was happy. I wasn't being bugged by Carly and I wasn't watching Henry make an idiot out of himself. It was a good word to me back then. I would be able to think without being disturbed and the silence was refreshing. I look back on those days and remember how being alone was better.

    Not even six whole months later, that word means something completely different. Since Lucas and I have been together, alone meant I was without him. The empty space that he clawed his way into felt even emptier when he wasn't there to fill it. All the friends in the world couldn't make up for the feeling I had when Lucas wasn't with me. Fortunately for me, I was too busy most of the time to notice that feeling. My mind was usually occupied with either lectures or homework or Carly's Wedding details.

    However, today wasn't going to be one of those days. It was Wednesday which meant I had Political Science and Ethics today. Unfortunately by some freak coincidence, both classes had been canceled. Supposedly there was a major bug going around town and the faculty was suffering heavy sick days. So today I was sitting in the picnic area waiting for Carly to get out of class so we could hit the gym for an hour or so.

    I pulled out my phone to check the time (10:30) and decided I would go find a vending machine to get something to drink. With my focus still on my phone, I stood up and started walking toward the nearest building. I didn't even see the guy until he slammed right into me as I stood up. Thankfully since I met Lucas that day I had learned how to keep my balance when being ran into unexpectedly and was able to catch myself and the guy who ran into me before either one of us fell to the ground.

    “Crap, I'm sorry,” he said.
    “It's okay,” I said, “I didn't see you.”“Neither did I,” he said, “I'm really sorry.”

    “It's cool,” I said, “Where are you rushing off to?”
    “I need to find someplace to get some food before class,” he said, “I haven't eaten all morning.”
    “The dining hall is the other way,” I said.
    “I know,” he said, “I can't stand that food.”
    “Vegetarian?” I asked.
    “Uh, yeah,” he sounded shocked, “How did you know?”
    “You just look the type,” I said.
    “What do you mean?” he asked.
    “Well most guys our age don't tend to be naturally slim,” I said, “Not after the first semester anyway.”
    “Ah, yeah,” he said, “I was kind of immune to the Freshman Five.”
    “Lucky you,” I said with a grin.
    “I'm Sean,” he said as he held his hand out.
    “Aaron,” I said taking his extended hand.
    “So Aaron,” he said, “Know where I could get something good?”
    “Actually yeah,” I said, “There's a deli down the street that makes some rockin’ salads.”
    “Walking distance?” he asked.
    “Of course,” I said, “Just go out past the Science building and follow the road toward the dorms. You see it on the left.”
    “Thanks,” he said.
    “Hey would you like some company?” I asked, “I was waiting for my friend but her class doesn't end until 11:30.”
    “That would be nice,” he said with a smile.

    As we walked across campus, we chatted about this and that for a while. I found out that Sean was a transfer student from the Central Valley. He was a Sophomore and transferred here for the Spring semester to get a higher education in Advanced Robotics and Programming. I was stunned when he told me his major; I was even more stunned when he told me about his high school robotics team.

    According to Sean, each high school with any sort of industrial education has a robotics team. They first compete in a regional tournament and the top competitors move on to the national tournament in Atlanta, Georgia. Sean was the programmer for his team and since there was a gap between experienced students, he became the captain for both his junior and senior years.

    For four years in a row, Sean and his team made it to the national tournament. One year they placed 37 out of 1,400 competitors and put their small town high school on the map. He told me that if it weren't for him, his school never would have made it past the first month of the competition.

    “I've been studying programming languages for years,” he said as we approached the deli, “Ever since I was twelve I've been reading any book I could get my hands on.”
    “Jeez, that sounds pretty intense,” I said, “You're just a little brainiac aren't you?”
    “That's what everyone calls me,” he said with a grin, “Everyone back at home knows me as Comwiz.”
    “Comwiz?” I asked.
    “Computer Wizard,” he said, “They all come to me with their computer issues.”
    “I bet it gets pretty tiresome after a while,” I said.
    “Sometimes,” he said, “But I like helping people.”

    I was about to reach for the door when my phone buzzed in my pocket.

    “Oh, one sec,” I said.

    I reached into my pocket and pulled out my phone. Lucas had texted me.

    Hey, I just remembered I have a doctor's appointment today. Can you bring my car over to the Humanities building for me?

    “Crap,” I said.
    “What's wrong?” Sean asked.
    “Can we raincheck?” I asked, “I need to go drop my boyfriend's car off by his classroom.”
    “Boyfriend?” he asked.
    “Oh,” I said, “It's kinda been second nature for a while. I just assumed you knew.”
    “I thought you might be,” he said, “I just wasn't sure.”
    “Is that okay?” I asked.
    “Yeah of course. I'm cool with gay people.”
    “Sweet,” I said, “So, raincheck?”
    “Yeah sure,” he said, “See you around.”

    I started to walk away and stopped when a thought crossed my mind.

    “Hey,” I said, “I'm actually throwing him a surprise party next weekend. Would you wanna come?”
    “Uh, sure, why not?” he said with a smile, “I could use more friends.”

    I pulled a piece of paper and a pen out of my pocket and wrote my number on it. Sean ripped off a piece from the one I gave him and wrote his number down to give to me.

    “Text me the time and place,” he said.

    What a nice kid...

    * * *

    Three knocks on the front door ripped me out of my dream. It was late, probably around one or two in the morning. I fell asleep on the couch with my books spread out around me. Lucas had probably already gone to bed, but not before putting a blanket over me. I sat up on the couch and rubbed my eyes a bit as I flipped the lamp on. Lazily, I got to my feet and made my way over to the front door. More knocking, this time it was rapid and panicked.

    Responding to the urgency in the knocking, I rushed forward to the door and looked through the peephole. It was Cherilyn. I quickly opened the door once I saw the panic and urgency in her eyes. The pain was even more apparent on her sleep deprived face as she walked inside and into the light that came from the kitchen's florescent bulbs.

    “Lynn,” I said rather sleepily, “What's wrong?”
    “Is Luke here?” she asked.
    “He's sleeping,” I said, “Are you okay?”
    “I need to talk to Luke,” she said.
    “Okay,” I said, “Here, sit down, I'll go get him. Just relax, okay?”

    I lead her over to the couch and leaned her back to rest against the cushions. When I was sure she wasn't about to freak out, I went down the hall to go wake Lucas, but was surprised to see him already opening the bedroom door.

    “What's wrong?” He asked with a groggy voice.
    “Lynn's here,” I said, “Something's wrong... like really, really wrong.”
    “Did she say?” he asked.
    “No, she won't tell me anything,” I said, “She wants to talk to you.”

    He walked past me and went down the hallway. He froze when he saw the look on her face. Call me crazy, but I swear sometimes Lucas is psychic. He always knows what's wrong before people actually tell him and I knew from the way his muscles clenched that he knew exactly why Cherilyn was here, and it scared the hell out of him.

    I watched from the hallway entrance as he walked over and sat down next to her. No words were shared between them; they just stared into each others eyes for a moment. After what seemed like an hour, Cherilyn finally broke down and started crying as Lucas pulled her head onto his shoulder. He whispered something into her ear over and over again, and I watched the two of them as they sat there together. Lucas was such a strong person and I couldn't help but wonder where he got it from. Whatever she told him, it was big; but still he kept his strength in order to provide her the support she needed.

    After a while of watching them cautiously, I sat down in the hallway up against the closet door and waited. I don't remember how long it was before Lucas finally came over to me. I stood as he opened the closet door and took out some blankets. He wouldn't look at me; he was probably afraid he would break if he saw my comforting gaze. But I forced his eyes onto mine.

    “What's going on?” I asked.
    “Travis is missing,” he said.
    “What?”
    “The hotel he's working for had Cherilyn listed as his emergency contact. They called her when he missed three days without notice,” he said, “He's been missing for three days, Aaron...”
    “Oh my God...” I said. That's all I could say; there was nothing else.
    “I don't want her going home alone tonight,” he said.
    “No, of course not,” I said, “You stay with her as long as she needs.”

    “Thanks,” he said as he gave me a quick kiss on the cheek.
    “Night,” I whispered.

    * * *

    It was really late when I felt Lucas slip into bed beside me and put his arm around me. I pressed my back against his chest and cuddled into him. He kissed the back of my head and apologized for waking me up. I responded by squeezing the hand he had against my chest.

    “How's Cherilyn?” I asked.
    “She's sleeping,” he said, “But she's really scared.”
    “What did you whisper to her before?” I asked, “When she was crying on your shoulder.”
    “She was afraid he might be dead,” he said, “And I told her that this was Travis we were talking about... he's a survivor.”
    “I'm sure he's okay,” I whispered. I doubt I sounded convincing.
    “I'm scared Aaron,” he said.
    “Yeah, I know,” I said, “I am too.”
    “Not like this,” he said as he sat up a little.

    I turned over and looked up at him. He had tears in his eyes.

    “What's wrong Luke?”
    “Travis... saved my life,” he said.
    “How?” I asked.
    “After Michelle died,” he said, “I was in a really dark place. I wouldn't leave my room or talk to anyone. Cherilyn had enough of me moping around and dragged me out of the house one day. We saw a movie and went back to her place. Travis was home from the base for Cherilyn's graduation and he was outside mowing the lawn. I was so attracted to him back then.”

    He had an embarrassed smile on his face now as he continued.


    “He wasn't wearing a shirt and I caught myself staring several times,” he said, “And he caught me staring once too. He got me alone later that day and asked me about it. I couldn't speak. I broke out in tears and confessed the truth.”


    His voice was heavy now and I could tell he was reliving that experience.

    “I was so terrified of what he would say... but he wrapped his arms around me and said something that made me feel about a hundred times better.”
    “What did he say?” I asked.
    “You're okay,” he said, “There's nothing wrong with you.”

    And that did it. Lucas collapsed into my arms and started crying. I held him as he soaked the sleeve of my t-shirt with his tears. Through his sobbing, he tried to speak.

    “He... made me tell... Cherilyn,” he said, “And they made me tell Kelsey... and Nick... and I just kept going. I told Kyle... and then my aunt Gina...”
    “Shh,” I said, “It's okay Luke.”

    He pulled himself off of me and looked into my eyes. His bright, tear filled hazel pools stared back at me with so much fear in them it broke my heart.

    “He's the one who made me feel like I wasn't a freak,” he said, “He convinced me I was normal, he made me realize it wasn't a bad thing. I can't bear the thought that I might not see him again.”
    “Lucas,” I said, “This may not be what you want me to say, because I won't say that.”

    I knew he wanted me to tell him he was okay... like Travis did.


    “But you have to trust what you told Cherilyn,” I said, “You're not the type to say things just to make people feel better. You wouldn't have said that if part of you didn't believe it... but ALL of you needs to believe it now.”

    He stared back at me, about ready to start crying again.

    “You gotta trust that Travis is a fighter,” I said, “And that he wouldn't give up no matter what might have happened to him.”

    He was silent for a few minutes, so I spoke again.

    “Look,” I said, “If you guys haven't heard anything by Saturday, then the two of you should drive up there on Sunday and try to see if you can find him.”
    “But what about - “
    “No,” I said, “Don't worry about anything else. You're so smart you can afford to miss a couple days of class, and I'd be fine alone so don't worry about me either.”

    Finally! A smile broke across his face.

    “Thanks Aaron,” he said, “You truly are the best.”
    “No,” I said, “I wasn't before I met you.”
    Give me one firm place to stand, and I shall move the Earth...more than the 383 miles it would move anyway.

  50. #300
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,
    Welcome back, lol.

    What an intense, emotionally charged, chapter.

    The bearing of their souls to each other a bit more, and the love they exude, not just for each other, but for those they care about.

    Thank you.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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