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Thread: Wings of A Butterfly

      
   
  1. #301

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Cute chapter, thanks ITC!

  2. #302
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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!

  4. #304

    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.

  5. #305
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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.

  6. #306
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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.

  10. #310
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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 . . .

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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

  13. #313
    HA! ;-)
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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

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

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

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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.

  23. #323
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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 . . .

  24. #324
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,

    It's good to have another chapter. One that was sensitive and moving. It's going to be hard for Aaron when Lucas leaves, but now the focus must be on finding Travis. It's Aaron's turn to be strong and supportive. These two were certainly made for each other. Looking forward to the new mystery.

    Craiger

  25. #325
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Great to hear from you, ITC.

    I hope Travis is okay.

    The bit at the top of the chapter is confusing me a little, though. It's clearly a conversation between Carly and Aaron. I thought it might be Lucas at first, but the narrator talks about Henry. I hope it's set in the past, at the end of Junior year in High School, because otherwise that would mean Carly has split with her husband-to-be. The thing that's confusing me is Aaron talks about '[his] mom' working a late shift that day.
    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

    Hm. I'm not really liking the idea of this Sean fellow. Sounds like Drama, capital "d." Come on Aaron and Luke.

  27. #327

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    I haven't read much stories on Jub in ages and this title didn't even get my attention. Let me tell you I got so hooked that I did a marathon and had 2 hours of sleep and went to work for 13 hours and was still wired came home and now I finally caught up!!! The way you wrote this story is amazing. The romance is just awesome and not cheesy. I love the way they fell for each other and perfect first kiss. This just totally destroyed my barriers and melted me. You are totally gifted. Can't wait for more warm and fuzzing feelings when reading. I'm on cloud nine and now I'll go to bed with a smile on my face.

  28. #328

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Excellent continuation, thanks ITC.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    hey ITC
    hope all is well. whens the next chapter coming out?

  30. #330
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Just caught up with all your updates and I really love your story! It's amazing how you can capture and explain all this emotions so well!
    Keep it going ITC!!

  31. #331
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Shockingly Beautiful...

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    i hope there's still a continuation... the story's soooooo goooooooood!!!!!!!

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hey guys,

    I just want to say I'm sorry that I haven't been writing. I don't have the desire to at this time. I'm seeing a therapist right now to deal with a recent bout of depression that doesn't seem to be going away. I will try to write soon.

    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.

  34. #334
    FMLtroJanMAn92
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hope you feel better buddy your stories are really amazing! I wish I could be there for you, I had my share of depression but learned to love life. Cheer up!

  35. #335
    johaninsc
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hi ITC !
    I spent the last 7 hours reading Wings of a Butterfly
    It is the most beautiful story that I have ever read and I pray that when things are well with you that you will continue with your writing.
    God gave you a great heart;a rare and precious gift.
    A lesser heart would not,could not write the way you do.
    I was so moved by your work that I registered with JUB to tell you so

    This is my first post
    God bless and good luck
    Johan from South Carolina

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,
    Hope everything works out for you very soon, and everything from then on be smooth sailing.

    "A light heart lives long." - William Shakespeare

    Lighten up !

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    get well soon sir. I feel for you. my mom also suffered depression for four years. God Bless and Take Care!

  38. #338
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hey everyone,

    I just want you to know I'm writing again and am almost done with the next chapter. It should be up by the weekend. I'm not completely over my depression yet, but therapy is helping. I hope I haven't lost any readers in the past few months and I hope you guys enjoy the next chapter.

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

  39. #339
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,
    I'm glad to hear that you're starting to feel better.
    It's not an easy row to hoe.
    It's good to see YOU back here, saying hi.

    Take care.


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

  40. #340
    johaninsc
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Happy to hear you're feeling better ITC!!
    Keep your spirits up
    Don't think about readers you might have lost, think of the ones' you've gained
    Looking forward to your next chapter
    Hell...I look forward to anything you write
    You write so well, I probably would enjoy reading your grocery list !

    .....I read "Graduation" and loved it.(made me cry)

    God bless and Hugs to you



    J. in SC

  41. #341

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Glad you are feeling better ITC! Looking forward for the next update.

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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    This truly is a beautiful story and you are a truly gifted writer. I started off reading the Graduation and then had to read this and have caught up over the last 2 days. I love that you managed to intertwine the two stories just to give them a slightly more familiar feel. More so though, I love the character development and the way that you build their personalities and portray their emotions. Best of luck with the battles you're going through, I hope things sort themselves out soon (as they eventually do). Until then, I look forward to the next instalment.

  43. #343
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Bit of bad news guys,

    Not about me about the story lol. I was nearly finished with the chapter when I realized... it didn't fit D:

    Fortunately, it's perfect for the next chapter AFTER this, but now I have to completely start this chapter over again. Shouldn't be more than a few days.

    I'll keep you all updated, and thanks again for more wellwishes and compliments

    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.

  44. #344
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC,
    You're not alone in crafting chapters for the future when the present one stands in need of a new pair of clothes, lol.
    Another author I converse with was having the same struggles last night - 3rd chapter out from current was coming along fine, it was the stuff between what's already printed and there that was the worrying part!


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

  45. #345

    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    ITC its great to hear from you hang in there!! Can't wait for the next chapter.

  46. #346
    johaninsc
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hi ITC,
    Just checking in on your thread
    Hope you're doing well
    Hope to hear from you



    J in S.C.

  47. #347
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    I just re read this story, I think I probably love it even more now. I wish I could find a Lucas or an Aaron.

    I'm glad to hear there are another couple of chapters on the way. I'm even happier to read that you're feeling better.
    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

  48. #348
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    I just finished chapter 2 and I'm lovin' it.

  49. #349
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Just finished 24. This is beyond a 5 star story ITC. I guess I will read Graduation now. I know the demons you face. I'm glad you are working through them. I've had the same problem for all of my adult life. If you ever need to talk, I am here.

  50. #350
    johaninsc
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    Re: Wings of A Butterfly

    Hey ITC,
    I hope everything's ok with you

    If you could, drop us a line and let us know how you're
    doing



    God bless
    and best of luck to you


    Johan

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