It was late summer. My nephew and I were walking through Wal-Mart on the search for something to keep Matt, my nephew, occupied. He has Autism and gets restless easily.

As we strolled by the clothing racks I just happened to glance up at this guy checking out some tee shirts hanging on the racks. He was about 5ft 11inches tall and I would day about 160 lbs. I'm not really a good judge of things like that. He was dressed in a tight v-necked tee and a dark sport jacket. He wore black jeans and boots, very nice. But then I saw his face. Black hair cut perfectly, five o'clock shadow beard and those Ice Blue eyes. My breath caught and I leaned over to Matt and said, that guy couldn't get more beautiful. Oh crap I think he heard me. He looked up and took a step in our direction and then dropped his eyes and walked away. Well maybe he didn't hear me.

About a week later I was taking some clothes to the cleaner and I pulled out of my street to make a left turn and I see the same guy unloading a van. He was moving in! I almost missed my turn and was smiling all the way into town.

On the way back from town I slowed down to see if I could get a glimpse of him again and I noticed he was standing at the back of the van looking a little confused. He was obviously trying to figure out how to get the sofa out of the van and into the house. Their didn't seem to be anyone else around. So being neighborly I pulled over at the end of his drive and asked him if he needed a hand with that sofa. He told me he would really appreciate it. I parked and got out and introduced myself,' I'm Ranzie,' I said, reaching for his outstretched hand. ' I'm Alan,' he replied. I couldn't tell if he remembered me from the store or not so I didn't mention it. We grabbed hold of the sofa and he led me into the living room We placed it and decided it needed to be closer to the television and we picked it up and moved it again.

Alan asked me if I would like something to drink and I declined his offer and thanked him anyway. I told him that I just live right down the street and I left him with my number as I headed toward the door.

Alan and I became fast friends. For a few months now Alan and I get together almost daily. He comes to my house for dinner or I go to his place and we just watch movies or talk. He has been single for a long time and so have I so we found it kind of nice to have someone to hang out with.

We talked about our jobs, I explained that I am a massage therapist and quickly let him know that I don't rub on pervs for a happy ending and he thought that was funny.

I asked him what did he do and he told me he hated when people asked him that question. I told him he doesn't have to answer that question but I would guess he was a model. He blushed and told me he has been a professional model for about six years.

He lived in Atlanta and needed a change. His grandparents left him this house and he thought he would put it to use for a while and take some much needed time off.

I really enjoy hanging out with Alan and I told him so. He said he enjoys my company too. He says I have a fun personality and a southern charm that is just too cute to be on a guy. I was flattered. I really like just looking at him. I swear I could live forever in his eyes. He is truly the most beautiful man I have ever seen.

Around the beginning of Fall Alan was asked by a relative if he would go to some camping area and get it ready for a group of kids that would be coming up on Monday. He wasn't doing anything and said he would go up and take care of it. He asked me if I would be interested in an overnight camping trip with him this weekend. I didn't even think about it. Sure I would go. Maybe I would see him in his underwear!

We decided to leave on Friday and come back on Saturday or even Sunday if it was nice enough out to do some fishing.

He picked me up on Friday morning in his Jeep and we headed toward the interstate. I was already fantasizing about his arms as they held the Jeep on the road.

We talked about everything from work to foods we loved or hated to pets we had growing up. The conversation between us always flowed so naturally he was just so damned easy to talk to.

I knew I more than liked Alan. I would go to bed at night thinking about him and wake up in the morning thinking about him. I would work on clients while thinking about massaging his beautiful chest and arms. To tell you the truth, I got better tips these last few months than ever before.

About two hours into the trip I felt like I might be getting a little nervous. My stomach rolled a little and my lips felt very dry all of a sudden. I shrugged it off to motion sickness and we finally arrived at the camp ground.

I looked around at the scenery while I was still in the Jeep. It was beautiful. I stepped down and immediately felt a cramp in my right side. I must have been sitting too long because I almost fell. Alan rushed over and asked me if I was alright. I told him I was fine I just needed to stretch a little.

We explored the camp ground and cottages. The place was once a hunting lodge until Alans grandparents donated it to the Scouts. Now they camp out here every year.

I set about the task of placing a bed roll of sheets blanket pillow and towel and washcloth on each bed in the eight cottages while Alan was using the leaf blower to clear the campfire pit and pavillion. By the time we were finished the cramp in my side was noticeably stronger and I felt really cold.

Alan found me and asked me if I had seen a snake or something because I was as white as a sheet.

I told him about the pain in my side and how I felt cold and clammy. Alan placed his hand on my forehead and said,' Shit Ranzie you are burning up!' We went into a cottage and he laid me down on a cot and went to the first aid closet and got a thermometer. 103 degrees. Alan pulled up my shirt and asked me where it hurt. I showed him and he pressed down a little. I almost jumped off the cot. He said man we have to get you to a hospital. You have appendicitis.

I started vomiting about that time and Alan cleaned me up a little and wrapped me in blankets. He had to go find a cell phone signal and had to drive a few miles to get any bars.

He came back in and told me help was on the way and I think I passed out right about that time. The next thing I remember is Alan sitting on the cot with my head in his lap stroking my hair telling me it would be alright. Then I was out again.

The next time I woke up Alan was standing next to a bed holding my hand asking me if I was any pain. I was confused but I felt much better. He told me to sleep for a while and he would be here when I woke up.

As it turned out my appendix ruptured and I had a serious problem. Life Flight helicopter came to get me and I was in surgery before Alan could get to the hospital. He paced around the waiting room for two hours before a Doctor stuck his head out and asked.' are you Alan?' yes he said is he going to be alright. He said he's going to be fine after a few days of antibiotics but he will have to stay here. Then the doctor said,' He's a chatty young man when he's unconscious isn't he.' Alan said ,' You don't know the half of it.' The doctor said he had heard a good bit and he's in the recovery room. I think you should be in there when he wakes up. He led Alan to the bed and left.

Hey You. I said, as I came too. Hey You, said Alan looking exhausted. I asked him if he had gotten any sleep. He said he wouldn't sleep until I woke up. I told him that's not a very healthy attitude. He laughed leaned down to my ear and asked me if I was in any pain. I told him I felt so much better and he said good we need to talk.

Alan sounded very serious and I just knew I had thrown up in his Jeep or even worse on him and I was already uncomfortable. He smiled and asked my why I was blushing. I told him I don't remember anything but if I vomited on his jeep I would have it cleaned. He burst out laughing and wiping the tears from his eyes.

That's not what we need to talk about Man. Do you even know how you got here. 'not really' I replied. I can't remember anything except my head laying in your lap and your fingers in my hair. I replied shyly. He smiled.

Alan said let me tell you a few things and then we'll talk.

He Started. ' Ranzie, you have been here for four days. You were flown in on a helicopter and you almost died. '

I was in shock. My first helicopter ride and I missed it.

He continued. ' You were unconscious and talking out of your head. You were talking to someone, I don't know who, but you talked a lot about me.

I suddenly felt sick.

He continued,' You told this person that within the first few seconds of seeing me you spoke the words out loud that this guy couldn't get more beautiful. Alan said he remembered me saying those very words he just thought he had misheard me. Then you said that you were so wrong because once you got to know him you knew he was even more beautiful than you could have ever imagined. You also said you loved him with a passion that you didn't even know you possessed.

I felt tears running down my cheeks.

Alan spoke on. Ranz you told this person that every night before you went to bed you asked God to watch over Alan and make sure you keep him well because you needed him around for a very long time.

I looked up at Alan. Tears were falling from his eyes and catching like diamonds on his beard. I reached for his hand and pulled away not knowing what to say.

Alan, I began, I am so sorry. I would never dream of hurting you like this. I would have been forever happy to have had you for a friend for as long as I could. I am so sorry I hurt you.

Alan took my hand and looked into my eyes and said ranzie please don't apologize for loving me. Is it alright if I Love you back?

I was sobbing now and Alan leaned down and kissed me softly but with a passion that I felt to my very core.

We heard a throat clear and looked up at a nurse standing there with tears rolling down her cheeks. She said Damn guys, that was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my thirty years of working here.

She told us she was going to leave us alone for a while and she shift ended in an hour. She was going to stop by and get Alan and take him across the street to her apartment so he could shower and have a good home cooked meal and then he could come lay next to me and get some sleep.

Alan asked her if it would be alright if he lay next to me to hold his man. She simply said baby, hold on to him with all you've got, He asked God himself for you.



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