"RAY!!!" I screamed as all my muscles contracted and something hot coated my chest. My eyes snapped open

"Babe, what's wrong?!" Ray shouted groggily sitting straight up with a hand in my side. I was panting, and I knew what has just happened. I had a wet dream.

"Levi, wha- wait what the hell is this?" and I saw Ray touch his torso. I curled up despite the sticky mess on my body and cursed my overly active mind as my body did it's usual thing of transporting too much blood to my face.

"Oh my god..." I heard Ray. Laughter was already becoming evident when he said that. "Babe did you just have a wet dream?" he asked cracking up. All i could so was let out a whimper of embarrassment and curl up in a tighter ball.

"Aw babe you're so cute!" He laughed and cooed. He took his hands and began trying to pry me apart. However, that proved to be difficult at the moment.

"Hmmm....." Ray said pausing in his efforts. Suddenly I felt a jab at my side and i sprang open like a popped popcorn, only covered in something that was definitely not butter.

"Awww come ooooooon! Don't be shy!" Ray laughed as he cupped my face in his hands and gave me a kiss. "Though I will say..." he said and glanced down at both of our sticky torsos. "Must've been a pretty good dream, who was in it?" He asked with a goofy smile.

"Shut up," I muttered.

"Was it me?" He smirked

"Y-you know full well who was in it!!!" I stammered and climbed out of bed. God I was going to have to wash sheets....and myself.

"Hot damn it was me!" Ray bellowed and smacked my ass. I jumped and held where he slapped.

"And if it wasn't?" I sneered. He jumped out of bed and pulled me back against him. He was hard.

"Then I'm going to make sure it is next time..." he growled and began grinding on me. I felt him rest his chin on my shoulder, and he took his finger and swabbed up of my cum. He raised his cum covered in front of us, and then brought it towards him. He stopped his finger around my chin. Was he going to taste it? I felt my face go hot at the thought, and waited silently. He brought he finger close to his face, and then brought around and pushed it through my lips. The moment I began sucking and licking the cum off his finger, his cock throbbed and he held me tighter, the heat of his hardon burning my back.

"If I'm going to taste your cum..." he began and pulled out his finger. "I want it to be straight from you..." and he grabbed my hardon and squeezed it. I gasped and shuddered.

"What do you think about that babe?" He hissed and gently bit down on my ear. I remained silent as he nudged me forward and into the shower, where he began washing me off.

"What did you dream about us doing?" he asked gently. He slowed his hand and pressed down when he slid his hand over my erected nipple. The dream kept playing over and over again in my head, making me wonder how I managed to resist the urge to bend over and beg for Ray to fuck me. I bit down on my lower lip and leaned back against Ray.

"What about the position you were in?" And the image of me on my back with Ray in between my legs came to mind. My heart jumped in my chest.

"How did I feel inside of you?" He asked in his deep, smooth voice and slowly kissed up my neck. I uttered a soft moan and turned around and kissed him hard. He wrapped his arms around my waist and reached down and held our dicks together, stroking them as I licked his lips and moaned softly.

"God I want you so bad babe..." he groaned and kissed my neck. I felt his hand snake around and he began to knead my ass with his large hands.

"Really?" I gasped, and reached around and placed my hand on his.

"You know full well how much I want you," he said gruffly, and slid a finger between my cheeks. He began rubbing his finger against my hole, and it quivered in response.

"You really want me?" I crooned and felt him increase the pressure of his finger.

"Just say the word and I'll show you..." He grunted and I felt him pressed his finger so hard that I thought I felt his finger beginning to slip through.

"Ah..." I sighed and held his hand and pulled it away. My body buzzed with bouncing hormones but at this time it didn't feel right. Not for my mind that is.

"You're just gonna have to show me later" I said softly and pulled away from him to face the opposite direction.

"You're such a fucking tease!" He scoffed but then laughed. I shrugged and turned off the water.

"Who started it?" And I stepped out of the shower.

"You did!" Ray took the towel and dried my head.

"Oh yes because I have total control of my dreams." I said sarcastically and snatched the towel away.

"You could..." He said, his voice trailing off.

"Don't be shitty. You started it with the finger thing!" I handed him the towel and ruffled my hair.

"I..." he stopped mid sentence when I turned around, eye brow raised and lips pursed.

"...Touche." he said lightly and placed a hand on the small of my back.

"Ass." he said flashing a smile and led me back into the dark bedroom.

"You love my ass," I giggled and climbed onto the bed.

"You love my dick," he retorted taking the other side.

"You love my body," I said snuggling up to him.

"True..." And he hugged me close to his body. "...but I also love you." He said, his voice low and gentle before he kissed me. I felt my stomach flutter as I nuzzled his neck. How he managed to make such random situations sweet continues to puzzle me. I felt the chilled covers being drawn on top of me, and we nestled closer to each other.

"I love your dick too by the way," he chuckled in the darkness. I breathed out a long sigh.

"Way to ruin the moment Ray," i said in the darkness. I was still smiling though.

"Are you smiling?" he asked.

"Yeah." my smile increased in width.

"Then it's not ruined..." he chuckled and kissed the top of my head. I closed my eyes and listened to his soon steady and even breathing. God I love this man.

It was night. Homework was finished, dinner was eaten, the dishes were washed and our bodies were clean, and the clock had not even struck nine yet. Though we had an ample amount of time before we went to bed, we were not kissing or touching up on each other. Instead, tonight I was simply reading a book while Ray rested his head on my lap with his eyes close. I reached down and lightly scratched his head, running my fingers through his soft, brow curls.

"Babe?" The sudden noise made me jump and I nearly dropped the book on his face.

"Sorry," he apologized smiling. I closed the book and bent down to give him a kiss.

"It's alright," I said. He brushed a lock of hair out of my eyes, and tapped me on the nose.

"I have a question for you," he said, and sat up.

"Ok..." I placed the book on the coffee table and I leaned back into the sectional.

"So..." he began and took my hand in his, "...what holiday is coming up?" Ray was already smiling.

"Christmas..." I started smiling from just thinking about.

"Right..." he said and switched his gaze to my hand and returned it to me.

"Anything in particular that you want?" he asked.

"No." I responded quickly.

"You responding like that makes me think you're lying..." he laughed a little.

"I'm not," I said tilting my head a little to the side.

"Right..." he said and leaned in close.

"Tell me what you want for Christmas..." I looked him in the eye and kept my small smile.

"Nothing." and he leaned in closer.

"Tell me and I'll give you a kiss..." he said in a sing song voice.

"Do I ever have to do anything for a kiss?

"Tell me."

"I already did!"

"Come oooooon," he said pushing me back. I swung my legs up and stretched my arms out behind me to stop him from pushing me all the way down.

"Are you sure?" He asked, now on all fours and slowly causing me to scoot back till my back was against the arm rest.

"Positive." He leaned in a brushed my lips lightly.

"What kind of kiss was that?" I teased.

"A kiss for liars," he said, and flopped back onto the sectional.

"I'm not lying!" I whined and drew my legs up to my chest.

"How do I know that you're not?" He asked, drumming his fingers on his chest.

"Because you know me better than anyone else," I said sheepishly.

"Hmmm....well I do know that you're incredibly stingy," he said tapping his finger against his chin.

"That's bullshit!" I shouted. If only he knew how much I spent the other day.

"Then prove it by asking for something!" Ray laughed. He laid back on his hands smirking, his mind swirling with ideas on how to pull out whatever info he was after from my mind.

"Kiss my ass," I muttered.

"As much as I would love to," he began and winked, "...I'm not a prostitute"

"How about a kiss?"I opted hoping if he did I could draw him into a deep one and get his mind off of this.

"Something material..." He sang. I growled in frustration and threw a pillow at him.

"Use your imagination!" I yelled and threw another. He caught both and used them to prop himself up, putting him in a leisurely pose to go with his silly smirk.

"Do you really want that babe?" He snickered and began rubbing his crotch. I slapped my palm to my faced and breathed out an aggravated sigh.

"Give me a break..." I groaned.

"So I can break you in?" He joked, though I'm sure he would be delighted if I said yes.

"Go do something manly," I muttered as I grabbed my book off the counter.

"You mean like fucking you nice and hard?" He said slyly.

"No, like...go throw a ball or something..." I mumbled and began reading. I heard Ray shift and all of the sudden I felt the book being jerked away from my hands. Ray's face rapidly replaced the plain words that were there not a few seconds ago.

"Or tease my boyfriend," he breathed and crushed his lips against mine. I gasp and a small sound of protest uttered in my throat, but Ray pushed me all the way down and climb on top of me, stirring the calm waters of the evening and eradicating all interest I had in the book and suppressing his of what I could possibly want for Christmas. On the other hand what could I ask for? I already had everything I could ever want.

"RAAAAAY!!!" I shouted as I pushed my way through prickly evergreen branches. Christ could they at least make some form of pathway for us to walk through?

"RAAAAAY!" I shouted again and a branch whacked me in the face. I spat out a few leaves and cupped my hands around my mouth.


"Boo!" Ray's face appeared through the bush. I yelped and began teetering backwards, but thankfully Ray grabbed my outstretched arms and pulled me against him.

"Any luck?" He said kissing the tip of my nose.

"Does it look like it?" I muttered pulling a twig from my head. I pushed away and waved a rolled up measuring tape in front of him.

"Tell me why we have to be specific again?"

"So then it can fit pretty much," he shrugged.

"6 feet?" I said flatly.

"Yup," he said and turned around and measured a tree.

"Your house is way taller than six feet!" I said with the picture of his ridiculously large mansion in mind.

"What? No!" He said furrowing his eyebrows.

"Babe this is for an orphanage that my family donates constantly. If you think I'm goin for a tree that's shorter than me you're sadly mistaken." He said and laughed. He pulled me into another tight hug and pressed his face into my hair.

"Besides, this is your first Christmas for a while now, isn't it?" He said swaying me from side to side.

"Yeah..." I said softly.

"Exactly. I want this to be huge and something you'll remember for the rest of your life." His voice was gentle and soothing when he said this, and he kissed me. I started giggling in the middle of it and I pulled away.

"What's so funny?" He chuckled and pecked me.

"Ray, we could have a shit tree like the one in Charlie Brown's Christmas and I would still be happy!" I buried my face into his chest.

"Just as long as everyone's there and happy..." I sighed.

"You really mean that?" He asked. I nodded.

"You're such low maintenance babe" he said gently and held my head against his chest.

"But I love you all the same..." He breathed and held me tighter. I heard the rustling of someone passing through the evergreens, and I was instilled with panic and I tried to shove Ray away. He held me tighter against him. A middle aged man with a huge gut, faded blue jeans, and a leather jacket appeared.

"Can I help you boys?..." He said gruffly while giving use a peculiar look.

"Yes sir," Ray said a released my head. I lifted my head off of his chest and Ray kept an arm wrapped around my waist.

"Give me a six foot tree," he looked down at me with an adoring smile.

"And then get me the biggest tree you got here!" His voice echoed with pride.

"Alright then..." The man said and cleared his throat.

"Thank you sir," Ray said and then kissed me right in front of him. It wasn't a full blown make out session, but his lips lingered on mine till the man was gone.

"Babe,you alright?" I nodded and leaned my head back on his chest.

"Just a bit scared," I trembled.

"Levi, don't worry. This place is pretty damn far from where we live, and I highly doubt anyone we know is going to get a tree at 12 in the fucking morning with the fact that all the places in town are still filled with trees for sale." He rationalized, stroking my back slowly, calming my mind. When he mentioned the time, I yawned and realized I was getting tired.

"We're almost done babe,"

I shivered as a cold breeze blew by, and Ray unzipped his jacket and stretched it around me.

"Better?" He asked. I nodded and i felt myself slowly beginning to drift off to sleep. It was so warm, so comfortable, and a hell of a lot softer than the evergreen branches that I've been pushing my way through for half an hour. I've must have fallen asleep because i felt Ray nudging me and when i opened my eyes I saw that I was curled up in his lap with his jacket covering me.

"Oh god, I'm sorry Ray." i said groggily pulling the jacket off of me. I crawled off his lap and kneeled in front of him.

"Why did you give me you're jacket? You're going catch a cold," I mumbled and drape the jacket over his shoulders.

"It's alright," he said gently and pulled the jacket off and returned it to me, "You looked so cold and tired, i couldn't help it."

"You're going get sick," I yawned and held the jacket to him. He smiled and pulled me up along with him.

"We're going to have to compromise again if we wanna go see our tree anytime soon," he chuckled and slipped his arms back into his jacket. Instead of zipping it up, he left it open, pulled me tp his side, and draped the left part of his jacket over me.

"There." He smiled and nudged me along. i giggled and rested my head on his side, reaching up to hold his hand when he placed his arm around my shoulder. I wasn't much warmer physically, but the warmth of happiness compensated for that.

"I don't know if this is a good idea..." I said, eyeballing the tree for the first time and incredibly skeptical it. The previous night Ray made me wait while he talked with the seller with the explanation that he wanted it to be a surprise. Holy shit was I surprised.

"Awww why? It looks great!" Ray laughed, clapping his hands together and jogging over to it. My eyes started from the bottom, and it took some time and tilting back of my head to work my way up to the top.

"Ray, it's taller than you..." I said meekly.

"I told you I didn't go for trees shorter than me!" He said smiling and tugging at a broken branch. It snapped off and he sighed happily with his hands on his hips.

"Fucking marvelous isn't it Levi?" He breathed and turned towards me. I had my arms crossed, and kept them that way as I walked in front of Ray and kept my eyes fixed to the tree. In all truth, I was also incredibly impressed as well as excited. I know the whole bit of people twirling around with tinsel, throwing ornaments on trees to have them magically stick, and little toys popping out of boxes to help decorate wasn't real, but I bet it was just as fun, if not better. Then again I don't think toys coming to life would be so much fun. I allowed my arms to fall to my sides and I lazily turned around and fell into Ray.

"God I can barely remember the last time we had one of these things here..." I could hear the wonder when he said that. The longer we were together, the more I realized that Ray didn't have much of a normal childhood either. Sure, it was probably less violent but none the less not so normal, clean, and perfect as I assumed from the beginning.

"H...how long has it been since your parents have been home for Christmas?..." I asked hesitantly. I sucked in some air, and held it.

"This is the second year in a row..." He replied flatly after a moment.

"Oh..." And I paused before the next question. "But didn't you have a tree before when they did come home?..."

Ray loosened himself from me and walked over to the tree.

"My mom never liked Christmas trees...they were always so..."unnecessary", as she would put it..." He trailed off at the end as he reached up and touched it.

"Really she's just talking about the mess and time spent decorating it." He turned his head a forced a laugh. "I think the last time we had one here waaaas...." He looked off and contorted his lips. "When I was 11?" He raised his eyebrows and stepped away from it. "Yup...eleven." He nodded.

"So...it's been 7 years since you decorated a tree?" I asked.

"God no!" He laughed, "I always helped Patty and Rosaline decorate their tree at the shop or at their house."

"Did you help them this year?"

"Nope." He said. I cocked my head.

"Well, since it's been so long that we had a tree here, and it's our first Christmas with you," he stooped down to my eye level, hands on his knees and excitement ringing loud and clear when he said that.

"We wanted to make it special and do it here in your new home." He tousled my hair and stood back up; staring at me with lively eyes while I fixed my hair. As I smoothed down the odds and ends, I realized how long it felt. I made a small reminder to evaluate whether or not i needed a haircut later when a mirror was present. Ray's cellphone chirped, and he answered it.

"It's here!" He bellowed. From the time the tree arrived and all the way till now Ray was all smiles and shining eyes.

"Of course he's here," he said and glanced at me. "Come see for yourself!" He laughed, "Alright, it's on! See you then." And he hung up.

"That was Patty," he sang, and returned his eyes to me, "And we're going to do a lil shopping after she gets here," he smiled.

"Shopping for...?"

"Some pretty things to hang on this monster!" he grunted and tackle hugged me. I felt him knock the air out of my lungs as he barreled into me and spun me in endless circles that made the house mesh into nothing but a blur.

"God you have no idea how excited I am!" he laughed and fell into the sectional, hugging me as he roughly buried his face into my neck. I groaned, my head still spinning and his stubble rubbing so fast against my neck I thought I might've had friction burn if he kept going. He planted a big smooch on my lips and sighed.

"Have I ever told you how much I love you?" He asked, stars in his eyes.

"Time and time again," I giggle and rubbed my nose against his.

"It's never enough! I love you!" he crooned and rolled over so he could give me a proper spine popping embrace.

"Why did I have to have a jock as a boyfriend," I squeaked before he released me.

"Because I'm sexy~!" he chortled

"Nice to know you're full of yourself," I grumbled and rested my forehead against his chest. I felt his warm breath blow gently against my ear.

"I rather have you full of me," he said seductively, and flicked his tongue in my ear. I shuddered and sat up, breaking away from him.

"Try hard enough and you just might," I smirked and rubbed my ass against his crotch. I felt a small rise, and bit my lower lip. He jerked me by the front of my shirt and pulled me down so our faces were barely touching.

"The only thing I'm going to have to try hard is getting this big cock in your tight, little hole," he breathed and tenderly kissed me.

"I'm sure you won't have to try that hard..." I teased the edges of his lips.

"Oh?" he kissed me, "Why's that?" and he kissed me again.

"Because might do some pushing myself..."

"Oooh, someone's horny..." he chuckled and kneaded my ass.

"I just want your cock that bad," I whispered and held his head in my hands while I slipped my tongue into his mouth and grinded against him.

"You know what I want?..." he asked between a kiss.

"What?" I breathed and bit his lower lip.

"Some food, I'm starving!" he smiled. I rose up and stare at him with my mouth slightly open.

"Don't be shitty!" I laughed and flicked his nipple.

"Well excuse me," he said and twisted my nipple, and I cried out in response, "for being human!" I hunched over and placed my hands in front of my crotch.

"Just like how you're being human now," he pointed out with a wicked smile, eyeing my hardon.

"Just go eat!" I commanded and slid off of him and sat in between his legs. He lifted himself with a grunt and then pushed me back down.

"Or I can eat you up instead," he hissed and licked his lips.

"Cannibal," I replied.

"Can't help what I'm craving," he groaned and sucked on my neck, I curled my arms around his neck and shuddered when I felt his throbbing bulge rubbing against mine.

"And I know you want me just as bad," he said kissing along my jawline.

"I kinda want food more," I said, trying to divert his attention. Besides sex, food was something that could compete.

"Hmm...food or sex?" he thought out loud. He allowed his full weight to settle on me, and within seconds my lungs could no longer expand.

"Nevermind, no more food," I barely said. He looked down as I clawed and wriggled under him.

"Sex?" He asked rising.

"Try the gym," I gasped and sat up.

"These muscles just don't appear babe," he chuckled flexing.

"Neither does the fat," I giggled.

"No fat here babe," he lifted up his shirt and showed off the abs that I so love to stare at.

"It's there..." I trailed off as my eyes traveled down his happy trail.

"Babe, you're drooling,"

"Huh?" I touched my lips.

"You weren't, but you might as well be," he smirked and peeled off his shirt. I sighed, closed my eyes, and did my best to walk with my pulsating erection.

"Just because you close your eyes doesn't mean the sexy's not here!" he called after me. I turned into the kitchen and made my way to the fridge. I opened the fridge.

"Ray, we need to go shopping!" I shouted.

"Again?" his head popped out from around the corner.

"Mhmm," I said and pulled out left overs.

"Didn't we go shopping a few days ago?"

"Yeah, we did," I placed the food into the microwave.

"That was fast..." he said standing behind me.

"Gee, I wonder why," I giggled and took out plates and silverware.

"I'm growing," he defended.

"I'm not complaining, you're paying for it," I mumbled. The financial aspects of our relationship still disturbed me. It's not that I didn't have money, it's just the fact that I felt like I was mooching off of him every time he pays for something, even though he says he wanted to and the spendings were "nothing" in his standards. Did he have to spend a lot when it came to me? I highly doubt it, since I still have the habit of saving more and spending less. I guess it was part of me that still wanted to cling onto a little independence somehow. It then occurred to me again that my guard was still up. The thought of Ray leaving me brought tears to my eye and what felt like a rip in my heart. If he were to leave me, I didn't want to start back at square one and be completely helpless. I took the food out of the microwave, and glanced over at Ray who was already taking a seat. So much has changed...could I even go back? Would I be able to cope? I've come to depend on him so much in such little time that it frightened me. I had to be careful; I didn't know what the future held. What if he finds someone better, someone less troublesome? What if he grew tired of me?

I walked towards the table and set the food down, and took my sea across from him. Ray smiled at me, and I smiled back.

"Who's starting first?" He asked, still smiling.

"You," I said softly. What if I couldn't handle going back? What if I didn't have a lot of time left with him? What if the thought of breaking up had already crossed his mind?

"Good as ever babe," he said while chewing. I felt a pain shoot through my chest. What if he stops loving me?

"Thanks," I managed to say, and reach out with a trembling hand to get some food for myself. Ray glanced up and stared for a few beats, and then went back to eating. Once it was on my plate, I stared it for a moment, feeling lost for what to do. My mind was too cluttered, too many rushing thoughts that fractured my meager sense of security.

"Babe?" I heard him say. I looked up with my hands folded in my lap. "You alright?" I nodded and remembered to pick up my fork. My hand shook uncontrollably as I raised it to my mouth, and my breath became strained.

"Levi, stop." I heard him said firmly. I looked up and setted the fork down.

"Give me your hands," I obliged. He took a deep breath and curled his fingers around mine..

"It's going to be ok," he said softly, staring into my eyes from across the table. "I don't know what's bothering you...," he paused, "but it's going to be ok," he said slowly, and gave a warm smile. I bit down on my lower lip and nodded, pulling one hand away to wipe the corner of my eye.

"Sorry," I whispered and sniffled.

"Don't be, please," he said.

"You know I will be regardless of what you say," I sighed.

"What if I said it kills me every time you're sorry for something you shouldn't be?" he asked.

"I can't help what I feel," I shrugged.

"Do you love me?" he asked suddenly. I felt my eyes widen.

"Of course!" I said.


"I can't help what I feel," I said, a small grin playing on my face. He flashed me a huge smile.

"Good, because I can't either," and he went back to eating. I felt my stomach unclench and the world suddenly became clear again. A few thoughts still lingered, but for now, they had settled. I took a forkful of food into my mouth and stared at Ray's face. I watched the muscles of his jaw moving under his sun kissed, stubbled skin, and I smiled everytime he took a quick glance at me and tossed me the occasional goofy look. He sat up straight, and took a second helping.

"What are you staring at?" he laughed and wiped his mouth.

"What else is there to stare at?" I said.

"Theres lots of things! Like the table, the lights-"

"Lemme rephrase that. What's worth staring at?"

"Only the amazingly sexy me!" He yelled and flexed his muscles. I felt a rush, and giggled.

"I love how easy it is to make you change colors, it's like one of them mood ring things!" he chuckled.

"You've only seen me turn on color," I pointed out.

"Not true. You've turned green and white before," he said and rubbed the back of his neck.

"Do you really wanna try blue?" I said cocking an eyebrow at him.

"Only if it involves my cock," he said with a wicked face.

"I don't know whether I should be disturbed or turned on," I sighed shaking my head.

"The latter is more favorable in my opinion,"

I rolled my eyes, and then heard something. Ray began talking again, and I held up my hand to signal silence. I heard something rustling outsides, quickly followed by a loud thud and screaming.

"Ah they're at it again," he smiled and got up. Seconds later, Patty busted through the door.

"Wrong key my patoot!" she snapped at Rosaline behind her.

"Well you had trouble putting it in!" Ray shot me a tempting look in my direction.

"I couldn't see the damn thing! It's so tiny!"

"Well maybe if you wore your glasses-"

"I don't need that crap!" she snarled.

"If you wore them then we wouldn't have crashed our car last year!" Rosaline threw her hands up in the air, and walked past Rosaline towards us.

"Sorry for interrupting your meal boys," she apologized, and kissed both me and Ray on the cheek. The place where her lips made contact on my skin burned, and had a delayed reaction and flinched.

"Oooh food, what are you guys eating?" Patty awed as she scurried over and sat down at the table.

"Don't mind if I do dear," she said grabbing Ray's fork and taking some for herself. I heard Rosaline mutter something in Spanish, and she returned her attention back to us.

"So how are you boys doing?" she asked, fixing a pleasant smile onto her face. I saw Ray's smile widen.

"Fucking excited Rosaline!" he said wrapping an arm around my shoulder.

"And you young man?" she said looking down at me and placing her hand on my other shoulder. Once again, I flinched, and she frowned.

"Is something wrong?" she asked. I began to panic. I really had to control these impulses; they're leading me to trouble, causing people to ask questions that I didn't want to answer. I didn't know why I didn't want others touching me. I felt so uncomfortable whenever someone else but Ray touched me, and even his took some time to get use to completely. II wonder what she's thinking of this.

"Nothing. Just a little sore," I lied.

"We uh...were kinda being rough," Ray said sheepishly.

"Did you guys finally fuck?!" I heard Patty cry out with a mouthful of food.

"No Patty, he's playing hard to get again," Ray chuckled and brought my head to his lips. Rosaline drew her lips tight, and smoothed out her hair.

"Honestly Patty, control yourself! You act like such a child,"

"And you act like a prude old bitch but I ain't complainin'," she smirked.

"Stupid old lady! You'll regret the day you said that when you can't even piss by yourself anymore," she hissed. She huffed off to the kitchen, and I heard coffee brewing.

"At least she's good for something," Patty sighed, holding her nose to the air. I gave Ray a look of concern, worried that Rosaline was really mad. Ray shook and head and smiled.

"Trust me babe, they're always like this. You don't wanna see how they're like when they're actually mad." He whispered in my ear. I cocked my head, and he waved me away. I wonder if they get mad at each other often.

"So when do you plan to go?" Rosaline asked Ray, holding a tray with 4 mugs. She set the tray down and motioned for us to sit, and then handed a mug to each of us. When I peeked inside I saw there was hot chocolate in it.

"I remembered you don't lie coffee," Rosaline beamed. I thanked her and slowly sipped it while they chatted among themselves about where to go and what to get. Was this how Christmas with most families are? I'm sure that it is, except with a normal sized tree and a house that's filled rather than empty most of the time. I felt excitement rising in my chest again, and I shuddered with delight when I pictured how it would be like. My first Christmas, how wonderful!

By the time I came back into reality, I noticed that everyone was silent, and Ray had a steely loo to his eyes.

"They're not coming home," he said flatly, and stood up and walked off. I got up to follow him, but they both stopped me.

"Sweetheart, don't," I heard Patty say. I looked back and stared.

"But...He's upset," I returned.

"We know, it's not the first time he was disappointed by them," they nodded in union, and sipped. "It's happened more and more as he got older. I'm surprise he's not use to it by now," Rosaline sighed and dragged her hands down her face. "Those people...they really need to stop working..."

"And start living and paying attention to the world," Patty added. I nodded, mulled it over for a bit, and went off to follow Ray, ignoring their calls to me.

I crept up the stairs, gritting my teeth at each step, till I finally reached the top. Without a second thought, I went straight to Ray's room and found him sprawled out on his back, the sun reflecting his beautiful, defined torso as he stared emptily at the ceiling. I lingered at the doorway, leaning against it and staring at him with my hand balled up in a fist against my chest. I was unsure of what to do at the moment. Should I interrupt his deep thoughts, or should I just go downstairs and let him float around in his mind for a moment. Ray hadn't even acknowledged me. Did he know I was here? What was he thinking? I was always curious to know what he was thinking up there, I wanted o see if what he thought up there matched what he showed to the world. Obviously, not everything he thought showed to the world, but I wanted to see how much of it matched his exterior. I tugged against my sleeves and took a hesitant step forward. I wasn't going to let him deal with this on his own, thinking back, he's never left me, so why should I leave him?

"Come here," he said in a barely audible voice. I made my way to the bed, and sat down at the edge on the bed. I placed my hand on his chest.

"You alright?" I asked softly. He placed one of his hands over mine.

"Not really," and then he used his other hand to grab my arm and pulled me down on top of him. He hugged me tight, and took a deep breath.

"That' a little better," he mumbled. I shifted my eyes up to his face, and examined his continuous blank expression that was even exhibited in his eyes. This was odd, usually they were so lively, full of sparks and action that seemed to reflect his energy and personality in all.

"I miss them Levi," he sniffled. "I miss having them home."

"Hey....you'll never know, maybe a miracle would happen," I gave him a small smile.

"I thought that before....stupid of me to," he chuckled, "when they say they won't be home they won't be home." I felt him bury his nose into my hair.

"I know how much it hurts Levi...not always having parents around...," he said barely above a whisper. I felt myself beginning to tremble, and I squeezed my eyes shut. Not now...it's not the time.

"The last time I saw them was June 24," he sighed. Every year the time they spend away gets longer and longer. It feels like they aren't even my parents anymore." Suddenly, Ray began to sob.

"Do they even care about me anymore?" he cried, bunching my sweater in his hands and squeezing me tight. "Do I even matter, do I fucking exist to those fuckers?" he shouted. I tore away from him, straddling his chest and holding his face in my hands. I had to calm him down; I couldn't let him think something like that. I'm sure they cared...they have to, right?...

"Of course they care about you Ray!" I cried. I felt my heart beginning to race when his face warped into anger, curling around in his eyes and threatening me.

"Bullshit!" he shouted and pushed me off of him. He stomped around his room, shouting curses and punching the wall or throwing whatever was nearby.

"Work, fucking stupid! We have money," he said and punched the wall, "We have food, a house, we have EVRYTHING," he turned to me and swung his arm across his room.

"Does it look like we fucking NEED any more of that shit? Does it?!" he shrieked. I heard rapid footsteps getting closer, and I jumped up and grabbed his face.

"Ray, look at me. You have to calm down. Please!" I begged. He gave me a hard look, and then whipped around and rammed his fist through the wall.

"Ray!" I pulled his hand out and towards me to examine it. I saw little flecks of blood being absorbed by the powder from the wall.

"What is going on in here?!" I heard Rosaline yell. I turn towards the doorway, and they both gave us puzzled, worried looks. I smiled and led Ray to the bed.

"Nothing, everything's fine. Can you give us some privacy please?" I asked gently.

"We already did and look what happened!" Patty said pointing at the dents and holes.

"I promise no more destruction. Right Ray?" He nodded, keep his head down. Rosaline ran her hand through her hair and exhaled.

"Just don't let him kill you," she groaned, and they both closed the door.

"I'm sorry..." he mumbled. I rested my forehead on his shoulder and took deep breaths.

"It's ok," I choked out. I could barely say anything, the rush and confidence I had early burned out, and I felt overwhelmed again by chilling images. I sniffled and raised my head, "You couldn't help it. It's fine." Ray said something unintelligible.

"What?" I leaned my head closer.

"Why are you so nice to me?"

"Because I love you," I replied automatically.

"But everything has its limits."

"Couples argue all the time, and they still love each other." I thought for a moment, and smiled at a thought that I was sure would at least crack a smile out of his gloomy mood.

"Ray, sure, the usual couples argue all the time." I began, sliding off the bed and going in between his legs to look up at him.

"But we're not the "usual" couples, are we?" I smiled.

"Why? Because we're two guys?" he said, the corners of his lips showing the slightest twitch.

"Nooo...." I said rolling my eyes, "Because we haven't had sex yet!"

This brought a huge smile from him, and he pulled me up and laid back.

"Well that and I have you for a boyfriend. That makes it special." I laughed softly.

"You're so cheesy babe," he murmured and kissed my cheek, "I but I love it." I rested my head on his chest, and closed my eyes. His heart rate and breathing was back to normal, and the air finally felt safe to breathe. I began wondering how often his outbursts happen, and how Patty and Rosaline dealt with it. Did they just ride it out, or did this try to calm him down? I doubt that they just ignored him, but Ray was rather intimidating when he was angry. Hell I was surprised I wasn't in tears by now. I felt a flutter of excitement when I realized this. I didn't cry this time. Maybe my eyes got watery, but I didn't cry! Go me!

I did a little celebratory dance in my head, and fixed my attention back on Ray.

"You still upset?" I asked.

"Little, but I'm cool." He shrugged. He rested a few more kisses on my cheeks.

"You're not cool, you're hot!" I quipped. He rolled over so we were side by side.

"Fucking cute little bastard you are," he growled and gave me a peck. "I could just eat you up."

"Ray, you would eat anything," I teased.

"I'd eat your cute little ass," he said and pinched my nose. I let out a groan and pushed away from him.

"You're gonna get hard again you know! We have a certain two people down stairs!" I reminded.

"Ok, one, too late, and two, they seen me hard before," he bit his lower lip, "Both clothed and naked." I raised an eyebrow at him. This was gonna be a good story.

"Care to share how the naked thing happened?" I asked.

"Let's not," He flashed a smile, "It was a bit messy, if you catch my drift." I blushed and he pulled me back towards him.

"Thanks for coming up here and putting up with me." He said, his voice dropping suddenly to a gentle, loving tone before he kissed me, "Not many people are willing to do that."

"You mean Patty and Rosaline don't?" I asked timidly.

"No no...they do...most of the time." He said and sighed, "I scare them sometimes though." He rested his chin on top of my head, "I really wish I wasn't like this when I'm angry, but I can't help it."

"But I understand why you get so upset, and so do they," I objected.

"Yeah, but I shouldn't be that violent. I should learn how to calm down!" he replied.

"Ray, you can't help it. Simple as that." I rose up and looked down at him, "Does it look like I want to cry all the time? Do you think I can help it?" I bit my lower lip and stared into his eyes, "It's what we feel...these things are much harder to control Ray."

"Yours don't cause destruction and pain though," his expression darkened. My heart tightened in my chest.

"That's bullshit," I rasped. "Mine may be crying, but I now that it hurts you sometimes too,"

"You don't understand babe,"

"Then explain it!"

"Just forget it Levi." He sat up and ran his fingers through his hair. "It's nothing," and he got up and stretched out his hand towards me. "We should get back down to them."

I stared at it for a few moments, and hesitantly placed my hand in his and allowed him to pull me along. Before he opened the door, and turned around and pulled me in for a long, deep kiss.

"Thank you for being here for me Levi," he whispered, and pulled away and walked out with me trailing behind him.

When we came back down, the two were sitting on the sectional, Patty with the remote in hand, pressing the next button repeatedly while yacking on about pop culture and how kids these days needed to respect their elders a bit more. She may be young in some aspects, but she was still stuck in the past when it came to manners. Come to think of it, she has no room to talk about manners. Hers weren't so polished herself

"And don't get me started on the sex!" she cried shrilly.

"Please don't," Ray mumbled and took the remote from Patty's hand.

"Well it's not like you two started yet," she snapped back. Me and Ray both jerked our heads in her direction, but I soon focused my gaze onto my lap and felt the pang of guilt driving into my conscience. Why can't I just go ahead and have sex with Ray? Hasn't he proven enough already? I'm so damn ungrateful. Just a fuck. Simple!...Who am I kidding? It's not when you put the emotional depth into it.

I felt my eye twitch. Good god I'm such a woman! Then again, who said boys couldn't cherish sex as an emotional experience huh? Screw society and its sexist ways!

As I had the little amusing conversation in my head, the three were making a ruckus, and it was Ray's nudging that brought me back.

"Oi, Levi!" he said waving his hand in front of my face.

"huh, wha?" I sputtered, confused.

"Did you hear what Patty said?" he asked.

"He don't treat cha good enough to get some sugar!" she chimed in. A huge grin came to my face and I leaned my head against Ray's shoulder.

"He treats me rather well Patty, but you're right, not enough to get a piece of me," I giggled.

"Excuse me?" Ray then pulled me onto his lap and brought my face close to his. "I treat him the best I can," he said giving me small pecks while laying back, "He just likes to tease me, that's all,"

"Playing with fire there Levi~" Rosaline sang and sipped her coffee.

"He knows it," Ray said and nipped my lower lip, "The things I'm gonna do when the time comes," he chuckled and kissed me neck.

"Ray!" I moaned.

"Ray!" Rosaline said and put her mug on the table. She stood up and began pulling me away from Ray.

"What are you doing?" He laughed and held onto me.

"Saving the poor boy from you! You're going to destroy him!" She laughed and tugged at my arm. I felt panic shoot from my arm and into my brain, and I immediately began fighting back. I frantically clawed and clung to Ray, who had an arm wrapped around me and was busying the other by launching pillows at Rosaline.

"You're not gonna win this one! He wants to stay with big daddy!" he boomed when a pillow smacked Rosaline in the face. She stumbled back and cursed in Spanish.

"I'm gonna kill you," she cackled and took a pillow and began assaulting Ray.

"Patty, help me you bitch!" she panted.

"Uuuh I think I'll stay over here," I heard her say. I had my face shoved into Ray's chest, and was taking short, quick breaths as Rosaline grab hold of my shoulder and tugged.

"Patty!" she shouted.

"Chaaarge!" she cried and leapt on top of us. Amidst their laughter, I felt like crying and running. Too many people around me. Too many touching me. Too much hitting. Ray must've sensed something was wrong, because all of the sudden I heard him telling them to stop. I then realized we were back in his room and I was kneeling on the ground.

"Levi, what's wrong?" he asked. I was bawling my eyes out.

"I don't know!" I sobbed. He held me and gently hushed me.

"Did it hurt?" He asked softly. I shook my head and trembled.

"Did it remind you of something?" he asked. I thought about I for a second, and pain shot through my chest. I nodded and gasped for air.

"Levi, calm down. Calm down baby, it's ok. They weren't going to hurt you." He reassured. I nodded and pressed myself as close to Ray as possible. He was my safety. He protected me and made me feel safe. I needed him.

"They're family, remember? It's ok, they never mean to hurt you Levi. They love you." He said, soothing me a little while he rubbed my back and allowed my tears to soak onto his skin.

"I know. I know. I don't know," I hiccupped and my breath caught in my throat.

"Shh Levi, just try to calm down." He hushed me and rocked me back and forth. I wonder what they thought of me now that they saw that. How much of me they reinvented in their minds to fit the scenario that just occurred. Was I a completely different person now? What about Ray? Did he think I was beginning to be too much trouble now? I shivered against Ray, and he picked me up and laid both of us onto the bed, and drew the blanket over me.

"I'm sorry..." I said weakly. I was exhausted from the two emotional moments. My eyes hurt, and I felt like I hadn't had a decent breath in ages. Laying down next to Ray brought an amazing breeze of relief that I was grateful for, and I felt my eyes drooping. He placed his gentle hand on my cheek

"Nothing to be sorry for Babe," he whispered, and rubbed his thumb against it, "You wanna rest for a bit?" he asked. I nodded and closed my eyes.

"Do you want me to stay?" I nodded without hesitation and scooted closer. He chuckled and kissed the top of my head.

"You're too cute babe..."

"Even when I'm like this?" I murmured.

"Yeah..." and he threw a leg over me, "Even when you're like this."

My body finally relaxed, and I slowly slipped into sleep.

"Please don't leave." I said weakly and yawned.

"I promise I won't," Ray said, and then my mind finally became silent.

I woke up with the feeling of Ray brushing the hair off of my face and kissing me.

"Babe, you have to wake up now," he said gently. I groaned and partially got up.

"What time is it?" I said groggily.

"Eight," he said placing a hand on my shoulder and pressing back down. I allowed myself to drop and give up my efforts to search for a clock.

"At night," he said, and kissed my forehead, nearly slamming into his face.

"What?!" I yelled and bolted upright, nearly slamming into his face.

"Shh shh, calm down babe," he hushed me and pushed me back down again. I groaned and pulled the blanket over my head.

"Did we not go today because of me?" I asked with my face in the pillow. I felt Ray's hand snake up the back of my shirt, and then around to my stomach, where he nudged me till I rolled over. He spooned me, and nibbled on my ear.

"It's fine babe. They knew you weren't up for that after what happened." He said kissing down my neck.

"What did they think of it?" I asked meekly.

"They were worried, but I got most of you off of their radar for now," he sighed and rested his chin on my shoulder. "Nothing to worry about babe." I rolled over so I could face him and kissed him.

"Why in the hell do you put up with me?" I breathed.

"Because I love you too much not to," he smiled and kissed my nose.

"What exactly did you tell them?" I asked incredulously.

"Explosive diarrhea," and his laugher shook the walls.

"Ass! No, really!" I laughed along with him.

"I told them that you were bullied pretty badly throughout your life, and you're kinda touchy when it comes to rough housing like that," he frowned, "The sad part is that this time, it wasn't entirely a lie."

"Thank you for covering and looking out for me all the time," I said.

"You know I'm glad to do it. I just wish I can do something about the bullying babe," he returned.

"Ray, don't worry, it's fine." I shrugged and tried to form a small smile.

"Ugh, no it's not Levi," he groaned. I nestled into his chest, and curled up.

"Just a bit longer Ray. Then I'll be away from it all."

"Yeah. We'll graduate," he said and laid me on top of him, "Finish college," he kissed my chin, "Get married," Another kiss, "Have lots of children ," and he held his lips against mine.

"And then we'll live happily ever after," he sighed. A dreamy haze came over his eyes as they glazed over. My heart began pounding in my chest while I documented what he had just said. Did he really mean it? Suddenly, Ray snapped out of it kissed me.

"I love you Levi," he said pressing me head against his chest, "I love you so fucking much." And before he could say anything else, I ushered in silence by kissing him deeply. Without hesitation I opened my mouth and accepted his tongue, reaching up to his face, caressing it and trying my hardest to let him know that I was thankful for everything that he had to put up with just to keep me happy, safe, and hidden. It wasn't the house. It wasn't the places he would take me, the money he would spend, the phone, it wasn't any of that that I was especially thanking for. I wanted to thank him for actually taking time to gain my trust, to walk with me and stay along every step of the way even though he could obviously move at a faster pace. He was showing his devotion, he was proving that he loved me. He was slowly proving that he was never going to leave.

In the midst of our kiss, I opened my eyes and saw that he was crying. I gasped and kissed him with more urgency, wiping his tears away with my thumb and listening to his sweet endearments between our kisses. He was beautiful, so damn beautiful when he showed his emotions like this. Thinking about the degree of my love for him at this point frightened me, I was terrified of how deep I was sinking into this alien world of love that he had brought me into, yet at the same time I was fascinated and enthralled with the new experiences.

"Have I ever told you how beautiful you are?" he sniffled.

"You showed me Ray," I laughed and wiped my eyes.

"One day I'm going to really show you how beautiful you are," he said softly and kissed the tip of my nose, "And don't worry. I'm willing to wait for that day."

"Because you're the best thing that has ever happened to me," he hiccupped and smiled. "Well that's next to me becoming so damn sexy!" he grunted and laughed. I slapped his chest, and joined him. How wonderful this felt. I could never get over the feeling of how happy I felt whenever I was with him, nor how easily he could change the atmosphere with just a few words or a witty comments. These things, every bit of him I adored and worshipped. What will I do if he ever leaves? Looking how we were now, just a few months into our relationship, I doubt I would ever find out.

"You hungry?" he asked, handing me a glass of water. I gulped it down, and nudged him aside to get some more.

"Thirsty eh?" I nodded, and continued to drink. "Thirsty for something else?" he said seductively, slipping in a very suggestive image. The water in my throat went into what felt like the wrong passage, and I doubled over and coughed water into the sink.

"Awww Levi, you're so cute!" he said taking a towel and rubbing my face.

"So fucking cute!" he crooned and nipped my ear. I giggled and tilted my head back to receive a kiss.

"What do you wanna eat tonight?" I asked, feeling his wonderful stubble against my face.

"mm...kinda feel like just ordering out," he murmured and kissed my cheek.

"What do you have in mind?" I asked

"Pizza," and I saw a goofy smile planted on his face.

"Oh no...nononononononono," I said breaking away from him. The moment I did he bolted for the door

"See you in a few babe!" he yelled, taking time to grab his shirt off the couch from earlier.

"Ray, don't!" I yelled from the kitchen.

"Too late!" he yelled back, and the door shut behind him. I held my hand to my face, and then lightly felt along my face until it touched my smile. What wonders he has done. Suddenly the door opened again.

"Can't forget the most important thing," he said, shivering.

"Money?" I asked going back into the kitchen.

"No silly," he said bounding over and throwing me over his shoulder. I yelped in surprised, and he held my legs against him to prevent my heel from making contact with his face.

"You! Now away we go!" he hurrahed, and out we went.

I sat in the dark car, curled up in the front seat under a jacket that Ray had left in the back seat. There was a dim light from a nearby lamp post that illuminated the small parking lot, and the tinted windows provided the right amount of cover for me to sit there and enjoy the warmth and Ray's scent filling my nostrils while I waited. How I loved his scent, his touch, everything that had a trace of him I adored. I opened my eyes and stared at the slightly fogged window and stare at the source of light. Then I took notice of the clouded window. I cocked my head, and raised myself and gave it a poke. The spot where my finger touched was a clear dot. I smiled. I forgot how long it's been since I drew on the window on a cold night. I remember doing it a few times to my own window when I was younger, but I couldn't remember the last time I did. I turned to the window next to me, and drew a smiley face. I giggled and drew another one. This felt kind of nice. I know I was acting rather childish right now, but so much of my childhood had been spent in the dark because I was forced to suppress it inside of me, that it wanted out sometimes. I began drawing a stick figure, and then I drew a dog. A thought then occurred to me that sent me into a bit of a giggling fit. I wrote Ray's name under it, and then boxed it in a rectangle. Suddenly the care beeped and the headlights shot out their bright streams of light, and the door on the driver's side opened.

"Having fun there?" asked Ray, taking a peek inside before opening the back door and dropping the enormous pizza box in the back seat. It only took less than two seconds of the mouth-watering scent to permeate the air and fog up most of my pictures.

"Is that what you were doing the whole time you were waiting?" he slid into the driver's seat and looked over.

"What does it say under the dog?" he squinted. I followed his gaze and saw that the outlines were still there. He smiled and chuckled.

"Really babe?" he grunted and reached over and drew a circle, and then wrote my name under it.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked eyeing the small ball.

"Well it just means you're my toy to throw around, chew, and just play with all the time," he said smoothly, and kissed my cheek.

"Oh shut up!" I laughed and grabbed his face and brought it to mine. He laughed along with me and tousled my hair.

"Whatever babe, let's get going. I'm starving!"

We drove for what seemed like an eternity to the outskirts of Boston, where the buildings weren't so big, and the streets weren't as bustling as in the city. The sky actually seemed to clear the farther we got out, and the buildings became more pleasant and homely. The transition was actually quite nice, since I rarely travel far away from the busy Boston streets, and the long car ride gave me time to think and evaluate what was to come. What worried me was not really where we were going, but how I would react. I was afraid that my emotions would get the most of me as bits of my past would have been stirred up. That's what I hated about memories sometimes. They lingered and caused trouble, or possibly they could make you happy, but they always trigger something, and the worst part was that it was unpredictable! A memory that triggered anger could cause you to snap at someone, one of happiness could cause an unexpected outburst of laughter, a sad memory could cause a complete meltdown in the middle of a store filled with people that you wish you could be or be with around that time of year. I was afraid of seeing other families. The happy fathers, the excited children, the kind mothers, I didn't want to see them. I didn't want to be reminded of what I didn't have for so many years.No siblings, a drunken father, a dead mother, no one to fill my home with love, no one to open presents with. Just a cold and empty box filled with a suffocating atmosphere that choked me within an inch of my life.

I leaned my forehead against the window, and forced myself to stop thinking before I became a wreck. I had to pull myself together. I had to remember where I am now. Things are better, the best it's ever been actually. Move on. I have to move on. That's all I could really do. Pack up the knowledge and skills that I had acquired and utilize them in my current and future actions.

We finally came to a slow into a street that was dominated by small shops, old fashioned lamp posts, and slow moving people. There was the occasional café or diner here and there, maybe a boutique, souvenirs, but all of them were adorned with some form of Christmas decoration, be it windows stickers to a full blown winter wonderland scene. I watched them creep by as we drove along, not putting much thought into them and finally taking note of how quiet the other two were. Ray spoke a few times, but after a response or two the conversation quickly died. Was it because of my episode the other day? Probably, they were most likely trying to decide what to say, reevaluating their image of me, reinventing it to fit an extra piece that seemed to change me as a whole. Now that they knew I was rather "fragile", how would they treat me? Half of me wished they would talk to me, the other was content with the silence. Silence wasn't all bad, but it could be bad. I hated how some things can be so dependent on the situation at hand. It made the outcomes a mystery, which in turn, made me anxious.

We finally stopped in front of a narrow but tall, aged store. It must've had at least 3 stories, but only 2 of them were yellow with light. In them, I could see it was packed with Christmas items. Clearly, just from looking at it, navigation was going to be a problem.

"Welp. We're here." Ray stretched and unlocked the doors.

"Don't break anything," hissed Rosaline at Patty. Patty flipped her the finger, a gesture that was a first time sight for me.

"No thanks," giggled Rosaline, "None of us here are interested in women," She glanced at me, and I smiled. We stepped out of the cars, and the ladies went in front of us while Ray lagged behind me with his hands on my shoulders. They stepped into the store, and I stood at the door and watched it shut. I felt my heart accelerating.

"You alright babe?" I heard Ray ask in my ear. I swallowed hard, and nodded. This was going to be a challenge. I felt the fear and panic rise inside me. I didn't ant to see those people. I didn't want to see their feelings.

"It's going to be ok. I'm right here with you." he urged gently.

How pathetic was this? I was even to afraid to go into a store. Pitiful, weak, stupid. Childish. Words rang in my head louder and louder the longer I stood at the door and stared without moving. Ray stayed their right behind me, giving my shoulders the occasional squeeze, and I shivered when a gust of icy wind blew at us. I had to move sometime this year, so why not now?

I took a deep breath, gripped the cold handle, and stepped inside the frighteningly cheery store. To my happiness, there were only a few families here, and there was only a soft drone of noise in the back of my head, signaling to me that my thoughts were locked up behind the closet of my mind. I smiled and looked back at Ray, and he smiled back.

"Let's get shopping for our Christmas tree." he said excitingly, and nudged me forward. I giggled, and we walked down the isles, admiring the predecorated Christmas trees. Maneuvering was no problem for me due to my small stature, but for Ray, it proved the opposite.

"Slow down will ya?" Ray grunted inching sideways while I walked normally straight ahead. I stopped and waited for him to catch up.

"Sucks to be the bigger one now eh?" I smiled. He smirked and grabbed his crotch. "Not really." he winked. I rolled my eyes and trekked forward, admiring in awe of all the things that glistened, sparkled, reflected and shined. All the lights seem to hit the ornament just right so they looked impeccably astounding, and the warmth of the store along with the very soft and gentle christmas music sang softly from the speaker up above.It was marvelous. The whole time I was passing by, my mouth was slightly ajar. I felt as though I was young again...when I still had hope.

I halted my thoughts there. No, don't think about it.

I took a few calming breathes, and then stood on my tip toes to get a good look at one of the ornaments. It was just a little glass reindeer, with golden hooves, antlers, and nose.

"Wanna put that on there?" I heard Ray ask next to me. He carefully pulled it off the tree and examined the small figure in his hand. He looked at me, and held it out. I shook my head. I was afraid I was going to drop it.

Like last time

I sucked in some air. and smiled.

"If you think it'll look good." I said my voice tight. Ray showed a toothy grin and wrapped his arm around my waist.

"Baby, you gotta have a say in this too! It's not my tree, it's not your tree, it's OUR tree," he said happily kissing the top of my head. I felt the warmth drip from the top of my head and wash throughout me, melting the dark thoughts away.

"Then yes. I would like it," I confirmed. He chuckled and pulled me into an awkward hug due to the cramped space we were in.

"God this feels great Levi," he said softly. I buried my face into his chest and squeezed him. It did feel good, really good. Everything that he's done for me was new, but it felt amazing every time. I hope he would never leave me. At the thought of that possibility made me hug him even tighter, and he did the same. I never wanted to let go him, I didn't know what I would do if I didn't have him in my life. I knew I was becoming too dependent on him, but I couldn't help it. It's not something I could control. Everyone gets tired of being self reliant at some point, and from my perspective, a break from that was greatly overdue.

Come on. People are gonna start picking at us like we're ornaments or something," he laughed softly.

"Why the hell would the do that?" I giggled slipping out from his embrace.

"Because we're such a damn cute couple." he grinned. I nodded, "That we are Ray." and we continued shopping around with at least some part of him touching me. I enjoyed how connected we seemed all the time, it kind of helped me feel more secure and also softened the frightening thoughts of being left. We first talked to the cashier, a an aged man with snow white hair and a gentle face and a belly. He gave us a pen and paper and told us whatever ornaments we wanted we just had to write the number of it taped somewhere on the ornament. We thanked him and went along shopping, watching our list grow longer and longer. We bumped into Rosaline and Patty from time to time, which they had their own list for the tree at the shop, but besides that we were too immersed into our own thoughts of our tree to stop for chit chat. After a while, we had an impressive size of a list, and we decided that it would be enough.

"Alright, we got this shit down, lets see what we do from here." he said staring down at it as I held it. "Wait here babe," he said and kissed my cheek ad took the list. He went off in the direction of the cash register and I was left standing there with a stupid grin and my hand to my cheek. I blushed madly and squashed a little giggle that threaten to burst forth of I wasn't careful. I folded up an extra sheet of paper that we had and slid it into my pockets. I then saw an ornament on a tree that caught my eye a few meters away. I cocked my head and walked slowly towards it.I came near it, and inspected it closely. It was a pair of turtle doves in flight, gold lines swirling here and there, each detail of the feathers perfectly molded in. I felt my eyes slightly glaze over as I put them into live action. The must look beautiful in nature. Suddenly I heard the giggle of children and the chatter of parental croons close by. A family rounded the corner. A father with dark brown hair came with a what must have been a 2 year old in his arm. A mom was holding the hand of a slightly older little girl in an adorable red dress. Both children had bright eyes, everyone had smiles stuck on their faces, their voices oozed with excitement and jargon about upcoming plans and promise of Santa and presents under the tree. I felt something snap in my mind and my body when cold. I watched them inch closer, and inspected a tree close by. The little boy reached out towards a snowflake, and the mother plucked it off the tree and raised it to the boy's eyes and the girls, which made their eyes bloom further with the essence of life and innocence. So fragile, so damn naïve. So oblivious to the cruelties of the world. Who would they be? What were their dreams? How would they react once the shadows of society slips in and taints them with their definitions of what they should be and how they should think? I felt my pulse rising and my lungs constricting. There they were, the happy family. I felt my fingers twitch from the urge to reach out to them as they turned away to look else where. I wanted to see more, to observe them and see what it was like. I wanted to see the innocence gleaming with happiness and curiosity. I wanted to see what I missed. I bit the bottom of my lip and forced back a sob. I had to pull myself together. I had to think thoughts, happy thoughts. I was in a better place now.

It doesn't mean I was any better.





The words came spilling into my mind like the tears rushing up my ducts and squeezing through, making the world blurry.They hissed, spat, and screeched, rattling my skull with crushing words, words that destroyed my fragile happiness. I felt it beginning to crumble along with my composure, and I turned around and saw the ornament gleaming. It was so bright, it's color dancing in my eyes and spinning itself through the cracks of my disorientation. I reached out with a trembling hand, and touch it, softly, being careful not to break it.

You're dangerous

You killed someone

It's all your fault

Tears were stuck in my throat. I fought back the urge to sob while struggling to hold my unstable shell around me. I wanted to appear normal. I wanted to be normal. I remembered wanting to feel the way those kids probably did. I remembered the endless yearning for a loving mother, and a proper father. I remembered how I spent a majority of my holidays, alone, filled with envy and swimming in depression. I remembered everything.

I curled my fingers around the ornament. It felt cold in my trembling hands. I slowly pulled it off the tree, taking deep breaths and feeling the blood pulsing through my veins.


I gasped as a pain shot through my body, and the ornament fell from my hands. I heard the shattering of glass, and my eyes slowly drifted down towards my feet. Shards of glass of various sizes were scattered at my feet.

"Now look at what you've done." said my father's cold voice slithering into my ears. My throat felt as if it were closing. I dropped to my knees and frantically began picking it up, but that action was soon stopped when another wave of pain sliced and burned into my hand. I jerked it back. I turned my palm over, and saw blood washing over the little bits of glass stuck in my palm. There was a long cut that went from the edge of my palm to the center, and I felt the restraints in my mind being strained. My breath caught in my throat.


Pain that I deserve

A chill ran up my spine, and I fixed my eyes again to the shattered beauty. My breathing was short and uneven, my eye had the slightest twitch as I reached out with a shaking, bloody hand from which a few drops of blood fell with a soft pat onto the wooden floor.

The urge

The drive

The overwhelming impulse from before finally broke away from its confinement and crashed into my body stronger than ever. It reared its ugly head and let out a small ringing as it took over my weak body. The familiar ringing, one with the purpose of disrupting any thoughts with the potential of stopping me. At first it was small, dull, tolerable, but as my hand neared the glass it grew louder and louder. There was a jagged wing. Large and perfect.

I needed this.




Once I curled my fingers around the glass, the ringing had swelled to it's bursting point and at that moment, becoming a dull roar. I lifted it from the floor and watched it sparkle in the light. It was so sharp, so enticingly sharp. As though my mind was revisiting those days I was trapped in my room by fear, I lifted up my sleeve without much thought to expose my wrist. I moved the glass up to it, faintly admiring the dancing colors that had barely shown through my mental fog. I pressed it to my wrist, and at that moment the dull roar exploded into a horrendous screech, ensuring that there was no stopping this. I gritted my teeth.

Just die

I increased the pressure, and slowly began sliding it across, the screeching ,silencing the cries of logic desperately trying to retake control.

"Levi?" I heard someone say. The screeching stopped abruptly. I gasped, and dropped the glass, stood up, and then turned around. I saw Ray standing in front of me, his figure towering over mine.

"I'm sorry," I said weakly, choking on tears, my bottom lip quivering as I glanced at the mess on the ground.

"I'm sorry..." I repeated the moment Ray tried to say something, and I fell to my knees and began gathering the glass together, ignoring the renewal of the pain in my hands.

"Levi, stop!!!" I heard Ray shout and jerk me back. He turned me around and stared at me, and all I could do was look down at my bloody hands.

You deserve this

"I'm sorry..." I whispered my eyes moist.

"Sorry? Sorry for what baby?" he asked gently cupping my face and lifting it up so he could look me in the eye. I saw his gaze flick to the glass behind me, and then he returned it to me.

"Did you do that?"

"I'm sorry!" I cried and jerked myself away. I Stumbled back and nearly stepped on the glass, but Ray pulled me back into his chest.

"No, no, no, Levi, it was an accident Levi! It's not your fault," he said softly, hushing me. My arms fell limply to my sides, and I surrendered myself to his embrace as I cried into his chest.

"What happened here?" I heard someone say. I cringed and shrunk closer to Ryan, drawing my hands up against me and feeling fear returning.

"Just a little accident," Ray said calmly as he turned around and shielded me from the stranger. It was a man, a young one from the sound of his voice. He couldn't have been much older than us.

"Wait, is that blood?!" I heard him gasp, and footsteps approached. "Is he alright?"

"No, not really, but I'll get him cleaned up and pay for it, don't worry." I heard Ray said.

"No, wait, please, let me take a look." he insisted. I felt Ray shift, and he turned around.

"Will that be alright?" he asked me softly. I shook my head. I didn't want him touching me, let alone see me like this..

"Don't worry, it's alright." I heard the guy say, taking a few steps closer till I could feel his presence. The air changed when there was another person around, and I tensed up, like defenses were raising and I my spines were bristling. I didn't want him to get any closer.

"It's ok," Ray said with a grin when I looked up at him. I continued staring up at him for a while.

"Trust me babe," I nodded and stepped out from behind Ray, and hesitantly held out my hands. He brought his hand up to his mouth. He wore a brown apron stained with paint and glitter of random colors over a white turtle neck sweater and black jeans. He was maybe 3 inches taller than me, extremely slender but in an elegant way, and his hair was shockingly blond. He was His face was slim, his skin was white, but his eyes were what I focused on the most. They were green, soft, and kind. I felt my spines recede, and I began calming down a bit. He looked so kind.

"Fuck," he murmured. "Follow me," he said motioning in his direct as he walked.

"Code 4!" he yelled. His willowy figure navigated easily through the shop, his body seemingly bending easily around obstacles as he took long strides. I hurried along behind him, keeping a look out for other people and hiding my hands when someone came into view. We came to the register, and there were only a few people there. He went behind the counter and whispered something to the old man with a broom and dustpan in his hands, who then look at me with a warm smile and nodded. I mustered up a weak smile, and follow the guy through the door. Once he closed the door behind us, and motioned towards a chair at the other end of the room in front of a large table covered with bits of plastic, metal, paints, and various other pieces of crafts. I sat down and observed the room. The room was a mess with an assortment of supplies, but the shelves had all sorts of ornaments. Balls with scenes painted on them, snow globes that contained a small figurine in the middle, tiles with abstract patterns. I admired the impressive collection, mesmerized by the colors and shapes until his voice snapped out of it.

"Does it hurt a lot?" I heard him say softly setting a box down. I lied and shook my head. He rummaged for something in a drawer and pulled out a pair of scissors, and pulled up a chair in front of me. I glanced up and flinched when he reached out for my hand.

"It's alright," he said softly. His green eyes had a look of condescendence, and I held out my hand for it. He took my hand, the one without the cut on my wrist, and inspected it closely.

"We have t wash this blood off before I can do anything else, Levi. That's your name right?" he asked. I nodded. He grinned. He stood up and I followed him over to a sink with it's edges covered in paint, and watched him turn it on and test the water.

"If it's too hot, just tell me, alright?" he said. I nodded and stuck my hands in the water, and felt the searing pain jump and barreled into my nerves. I jerked my hand out and let out a little yelp.

"Sorry, was that too hot?" he asked. I shook my head. "You sure?" he asked. I nodded and stuck my hands back in the water, gritting my teeth. The red water flowed easily down the drain, and I watched the damage reveal itself. When all the blood was washed off, we both inspected it. There were cuts, but only a few large ones, and there was surely bits of glass. Most of the bleeding at stopped, but the bigger ones lagged behind in clotting.

"Alright, now to the next part. He said, and motioned towards the chair in front of the table. The only source of light at the moment was from a lamp that overlooked the table, and he used the and pulled it over so it illuminated our hands and caused the shards stuck in my hand to glimmer.

"I'm sorry If this hurts, I'll try to be as careful as possible." he said clipping a pair of tweezers in front of me. I nodded and allowed him to hold my hand. He looked closely, and carefully plucked glass out of my hand, stopping when I sucked in air to ask me if I wanted him to stop for a moment, and each time I would shake my head. He was so kind to me that it was unbelievable. Not a yell, not a raised voice in anger about what I broke. No demand of payment, just concern about my wounds. I was so surprised. Shocked. Where was the human nature that I was so use to seeing?

"You alright Levi?" He asked me. I nodded. There was a pause.

"Who was that guy that was with you?" he asked casually, plucking a small piece from a hand. I winced, and then opened my mouth to reply but the words stayed inside me.

"Your boyfriend?" he asked. I felt my heart flop.

"How did you know?" and I jumped at my own voice. He grinned.

"Finally. Hello there," he chuckled and plucked another. I killed a nervous laugh, and fell silent.

"How did you know?" I asked again.

"Just the way he acted. And his eyes when he was watching you follow me here." he shrugged, "I could just see it."

"See what?" I asked. He looked up and the warm smile was still there.

"His love for you of course. It's genuine, isn't it?" he asked softly. Now I felt myself smiling.

"Much better," He said and pulled out a piece that really hurt. I cried out and blood started coming out.

"Shit, sorry," he said pressing a tissue on it.

"It's fine," I said.

"Have you guys been together for a while?" he asked.

"Not really..." I returned. then suddenly, a thought clicked in.

"Wait, don't you find it strange?" I asked. He chuckled and shook his head.

"Levi, there are a lot more of you two than you think." he said. I paused, and thought it over.

"Are you gay?" I asked. He laughed again, this time a hearty one that echoed.

"Nope. But I've had my fair share of experimentation, and I do get those occasional cravings sometimes if you catch my drift." he said. "Guess you can say I'm bi." he finished and placed the tweezers down.

"Your parents don't mind?" I asked, fascinated by this new trait I learned of him.

"Not really, they were a bit weirded out at first," he shrugged, and pulled out a can with a red cross on it, "But they got use to it. Hold still, this is gonna hurt."he said, holding my hand again. I wonder if he noticed my wrist. I took a quick glance at my sleeve, and noticed that there were only a few dots of blood, easily mistaken for coming from my injury. Without warning, I heard a hiss and then my hand burned in agony, and I jerked it away and cried out.

"Sorry, I told you it world sting a bit. He said apologetically. "I have to disinfect it." he said, looking innocent. I knew this feeling before, I had my own share of disinfectant too. The countless dollars I spent on first bird products. It was frightening now that I thought about how often I use to buy them.

"It's fine. Thank you." I said, my voice barely above a whisper. Suddenly I wanted to cry again. I didn't know whether it was because I was thinking about the familiar sting of disinfect, or the fact that someone else other than Ray and the others were being nice to me, or how silly I must seem for making such a scene in a store. Maybe it was one of those, or all of them together, but if I were to break down right here, it'd just make me look childish. He'd probably think it was because of the disinfectant. If only he knew that there were so many other things inside my head that were hurting me constantly, how much it hurts just to wake up sometimes, and how much I depended on Ray to keep my happy. I felt pathetic.

"You're really quiet." he mumbled, pulling out some gauze.

"Is that a problem?" I asked.

"No. Just wondering if something's up." he said and stretch out a long rope of the white fabric in front of him. He began wrapping it around my hand.

"Is there something wrong?" he asked quizzically.

"No." I replied flatly, and he left it at that. He was patient. Very patient. I assumed it's from sitting in here for endless days painting these ornaments, or at least I think he does. Why else would he have a messy apron?

" Did you paint all of these?" I asked, wanting to confirm my assumptions.

"Yup. Well, most of them. Some of them my dad and mom does." He said, beaming and watching my eyes wander along the shelves.

"Was that your dad at the register?" I asked. He nodded.

"My mom's out running errands, but we're in competition for who spends the most time in here." he sighed, "I love it here." His eyes glazed over when he looked up at the shelves. It must be nice having a hobby and something that can make you look like that. Then again, thoughts of Ray could usually cause my eyes to become like that, and I was wrestling with the decision of whether or not teasing Ray was a legitimate hobby. Probably not but in my opinion, it was.

"All done!" he quipped after tying a bow on the top of my hand. I looked at the bow, and then raised an eyebrow at him.

"Force of habit," he said sheepishly. I smiled and giggled.

"Thank you," I said getting up.

"No problem. I'm happy to do it," he said gently. I didn't have the tense, prickly feeling around him anymore. How could I when someone was so nice? Then again, there was Rosaline, but he didn't touch me, at least not the way she did.

"My name's Joshua by the way," he said extending his hand, but swiftly pulled it back with a sheepish grin. "Sorry. Forgot that you're injured."

"It's fine. There's no need to say sorry, I should for all the trouble." I said.

"No, no it's alright. Really, I'm happy to help." he reassured.

"The effects of "Christmas cheer?" I laughed lightly. He chuckled and walked over to the door.

"Maybe. Or it's just my nature to help." and he stepped aside and allowed me through the door. In front of the register, there was Ray with Patty and Rosaline, both looking relieved to see me."

"Ugh finally!" Patty moaned and rushed over to me. "Are you alright? Does it hurt a lot?" she asked.

"I'll be fine. Er...Joshua fixed me up," I said. I looked back and he nodded. Ray walked over to us, and extended his hand to Joshua.

"Thanks for the help Joshua. My name's Ray, Levi's-"

"Boyfriend." he completed and shook Ray's hand. Ray was obviously thrown off by this.

"It's all in your face whenever you look at him." He told him, his warm smile never letting down. Ray recovered, chuckled, and ran his hand through his air while fixing his eyes to the ground.

"I really love this guy," he sighed. Ray pried me from Patty's fussy ways and held me by his side.

"It shows. You have everything?" he asked turning his attention to his father. He nodded and handed over a form with a bunch of writing on it.

"We'll be delivering it over soon. Jack's making a delivery at the moment so it's probably going to get over there probably by this afternoon." Joshua handed the form back to his dad and looked back at our group.

"Well guess everyone's done here. Have a merry Christmas!" he chimed and clapped Ray on the shoulder. Ray grinned and then pulled out his wallet.

"At least let me pay for the ornament," he said.

"There's no need young man. It happens all the time!" said Joshua's father.

"Mr..." Ray trailed off.

"Price." his deep voice rumbled.

"Mr. Price. Are you sure?" Asked Ray. He nodded.

"Of course. It was an accident. It happens. Things break all the time in this place." Ray kept his arm around me, and turned around and whispered something in the ears of the ladies. They began walking in the direction of the door, and Ray opened his wallet And looked into it.

"Well...merry Christmas" he said and slammed a hundred onto the counter, hoisted me up, and bolted out of the store. I heard them calling out objections, and right before the door closed I heard a distant "Thank you. The door was flung open, and Ray tossed me into the backseat on top of Patty, who swore creatively at him, and Ray jumped into the driver's seat and drove off.I wriggled off of patty, taking deep breaths.

"Did you really have to make it seem like we stole something?" scolded Rosaline.

"Hey, it gave a good rush!" Ray protested.

"Gave a good rush to my bladder, I gotta pee." Patty chipped in.

"TMI" I said, grimacing.

"Not my fault! You were the one that crushed my pelvis to bits!"

"Blame that guy up there!" I shot back.

"Kids, I will turn this car around if you don't stop arguing!" Ray said slowing down.

"You mean back to the people that you just ran from?" Rosaline said slyly.

"Shit," he mumbled, and sped up again. With that, things got quiet again, and Patty took my hand and inspected it. I flinched from the touch, but I allowed it.

"Christ, what did you do, crush the dang thing in your hand?" She said clicking her tongue. I didn't reply. I didn't want to think about what happened back there. I did however think of Joshua. I thought of how nice and patient he was, and how he didn't seem obligated in making conversation. Like Ray, he must be content with silence as long as the atmosphere wasn't tense. I wonder what he thought of me.

I ended up dozing off, and by the time I woke up we were back at home and Ray was cradling me in his arms. I snuggled into him, and once we were inside he kissed the top of my head.

"I love you." he whispered, and settled me onto what felt like the sectional. I could hear the slight buzz of chatter between the three, but I paid no mind. I was tired. My hands were starting to hurt, and I wanted to stop thinking for just a moment.

I was jerked awake and saw the world was spinning the moment I opened my eyes. Good lord was I dreaming that I was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz? The possibility of that because unlikely when I heard Ray whooping and laughing wildly.

"They're heeeere!" He cheered. He stopped spinning me and gave me a hard smooch on my cheek. I was still trying to pull myself out of the bog of sleep, and it was taking a while for the sensory bits of my brain to actually start up and take in what the hell was around me. When they finally did decide to wake up, which I think was partially due to Ray becoming more passionate in his kisses, I could see mountains of boxes in the living room. I looked over and saw the two checking their own stack of boxes, and then my gaze shifted back to our huge pile.

"What do you think eh?" He said, sitting down on the sectional with me on his lap.

"We got a lot of work to do," I murmured, nuzzling his neck.

"Are we talking about the tree or sex?" he said lowering his voice, placing his hand on the back of my head.

"Maybe both," I flirted.

"Careful." he said, and I felt something underneath me growing.

"Doubt you're gonna be careful," I giggled and reached down and pressed my hand against it. He grabbed my head and instantly dove his tongue into my mouth. I moaned and felt his bulge grow larger, urging me to rub it more.

"That's right babe. I'm gonna be rough with you. I'm going to fuck your tight little ass nice and hard," he hissed and nipped my ear. I shuddered. I loved getting him worked up.

"Come on boys, save that for later!" I heard Rosaline shout.

"No, don't! Take off your clothes instead!" I heard Patty cheer. Ray and I glanced at each other, and I slipped my hands under his shirt and began lifting.

"Oh for fucks sake," I heard Rosaline said, and there was a thud. I turned around just in time to see Patty land a punch to Rosaline's boob.

You bitch!" she groaned, holding what I think was her right one. She then glared and smacked Patty upside the head.

"Don't slap an old lady's head! We have them diseases and stuff!"

"Does it look like you have a brain disease woman?!" She snapped.

"Well, no. But it could happen now because of you!" She objected. Without warning, Rosaline landed a blow to one of Patty's girls.

"Shit! breast cancer!" she cried, sinking to the ground.

'You are so fucked up," Rosaline muttered shaking her head.

"Maybe because my boob has been slain!" she giggled.

"Your boobs were slain by the time you hit fifty," she said smiling. I heard Ray sigh, and I turn my attention back to him.

"I love those guys," he said. I nodded, and Ray blew out a ear piercing whistle. I covered my ears, and the punched one of his pecs.

"Warn me before you do that!" I told him, listening to the ringing that had set in.

"My bad," he said, unphased by the punch. "Now," he said louder so the other two can hear, "Are we gonna get decorating or what?"

"Are you two gonna fuck?" Patty said expectantly. I saw a flicker of curiosity go off in Rosaline's eyes before she glared and slapped Patty on the arm.

"No, but when we do you don't wanna be in the house,". I slid off his lap, curling up to hide my hardon, and he stood up and stretched. They rolled their eyes (probably because they saw the massive outline of his erection) and instead started opening boxes, revealing ornaments that Ray and I had picked out earlier.

"Alright then," Ray said pulling me off the sectional and in front of the boxes. He rubbed his hands together and looked at me.

"Let's begin!" he boomed, and we all dove in.

Decorating was a blast! I mean sure we broke a few things, and I had a minor freak out at my first drop, but that was cured by the laughter and followed by another shatter as Patty launched a ball at Ray, who being the studly jock he is, caught it and threw it back only for it to shatter against the wall. We spent what must've been hours decorating, giggling with glee throughout a majority. There was not a moment of silence, with the exception of times we stood back to decide what to add to it. Rosaline at one point stepped out and returned with a box filled with tinsel and a roll of Christmas lights. Nothing came to life and helped us, there was no sparkly pixie dust flickering about, and nothing just rose up and attached itself magically to the tree, it was just us, as a family decorating a tree.

After we were done, we all stepped back and marveled our work. It was stunning! I sort of expected the opposite with all the horseplay, such as Ray stuffing light up balls in his shirt and turning them on to make light up boobs, or Patty stuffing the tinsel in her pants and mocked Ray. She even made an attempt to feel me up, which was quickly deterred by Ray snatching me up and frenching me. I stood there, savoring the taste of it all. The family activity that I always dreamed of participating in, the laughter and joy that just dripped from the ceiling and splashed on top of everyone, putting us all in a fantastic mood where if something broke, it didn't matter, if the tree came out to be a piece of crap, it would be beautiful in our eyes. It was so wonderful. All these years I've missed this, but the wait was worth it. It was so worth the feeling the pulsed warmly through me right now. Ray stood in front of me and wrapped a string of tinsel around my neck.

"What do you think of it babe?" he said softly.

"It's beautiful," I said, feeling as though my eyes were sparkling wildly.

"Really?" I nodded, and he pulled the tinsel towards him till our lips met.

"I'm really glad you were here to do this with us," he whispered.

"Me too," I breathed, and pressed my face into his chest to let a tear or two slip by. I never want this happiness to be taken away from me. I made a silent prayer that more trees would be decorated by the four of us in the future.

We all settled back onto the sectional with a long sigh, and we propped our feet up on the coffee table. This can be tiring. Fun, but tiring.

"Ah we did a fine job girls," Sighed Ray. I cleared my throat.

"Since you're gonna be fucked, you're deemed a girl." he smirked. A cushion smacked Ray on the side of the head.

"Don't be such an ass." scolded Rosaline. Ray stuck his tongue out, and we spent a large span of time talking until the sun began setting. At that point, they decided it was time to take their leave.

"Take care of that hand, alright?" Rosaline said, frowning when she looked at my bandages.

"Yeah, no handjobs! That stuff really stings in cuts." Patty quipped from an open window in the car. Rosaline sighed and shook her head.

"How are we even friends?" she muttered. She gave Ray and I a hug, and then we waved them off. Ray nudged me inside, and when he closed the door he hooked his finger in the front of my shirt.

"The thought of you giving me a handjob is turning me on." He growled, lowering his face to mine.

"How about a blowjob?" I giggled, and flicked my tongue across his lips.

"Mmmh, even hotter," he rumbled, and jerked me into a kiss. He cupped his hands under my ass and lifted me up. I wrapped my legs around his waist and he carried me upstairs into the bathroom and settled me down on the counter. He slowly undid the button on my jeans, unzipped it and pulled them off, and then he kissed me. Next he pulled my sweater over my head, and kissed me with more passion. I undressed him next, letting him step out of his own jeans, and kissing up his chest and neck till I returned to his lips. I reached up and touched his face with a bandaged hand, and saw his eyes flick to my wrist. Suddenly a pained look came to his face, and he cupped my face and kissed me deeply. I wrapped my arms around his neck and tried my best to apologize, and he placed his hand on the back of my head and pushed us closer. I felt like crying. I forgot all about it, and I didn't want him to see it. He ran his fingers through my hair, and I touched my tongue to his. I hope he wasn't mad. He pulled away and looked at me, his eyes were glassy.

"I didn't know you did this." he said taking my hand with the cut on my wrist. I opened my mouth to say something.

"Don't lie. I can tell Levi." he said, his voice breaking, "Why didn't you tell me?" I didn't say anything. "Why?" he asked again.

"I didn't want to upset you..." I barely said. He pulled me into a tight embrace, and his body shook. I soon joined him, and I apologized over and over again.

"Levi," he said gently, "When? Why?" and then he hugged me tighter, if that was possible at the moment. "Why didn't you tell me?!" he cried.

"It's just....I don't know..." I replied.

"Please Levi...don't ever do this again. Please? If you do at least tell me." he whimpered. I nodded and felt a fresh set of tears shoot up.

"I don't want you to hurt anymore Levi." he whispered and kissed the top of my head, "I love you so much." He held me and then picked me up and carried me into the shower. The hot water stung against my body, but I ignored it. Ray caressed my body as he pressed my back against my chest. I turned my head and accepted his kiss, opening my mouth and beckoning his tongue inside. His hand brushed across my nipples and I shuddered. He pulled away and then pressed me against the wall, framing me with his arms on the either side of my head. He closed his eyes and planted tender kisses. I reached up and touched his face, the red line on my wrist in my peripheral vision. I squeezed my eyes shut and just kissed him.

"I'm sorry," I breathed. He grabbed my wrist with the cut and pressed my hand against his chest, feeling his rapidly beating heart. He stood up straight and his arms encircled my waist and melded our two bodies together. I pulled away and pressed my forehead against his chest while he rested his chin on top of my head, rocking me silently.

"Come on. We're going somewhere." Ray said shifting a bag over his shoulder. I sat on his bed, giving him a puzzled look.

"You'll see babe. Just get into something warm." his warm smile beaming. I nodded and padded off to the closet and quickly changed into jeans and a sweater, my usual attire. He looked at me, and then led me downstairs with an arm around my waist. Within moments we were driving off into the darkness. Soon we were driving out of the city to a small field and a forest. Memories of our first date flooded back, and I smiled and felt the glorious memories swelling.

"Come on," he whispered, and got out of the car. He popped the trunk and pulled out the same blanket we laid on when we were looking up at the night sky, and I followed him. The chirps and croaks weren't as loud, in fact they were barely there when we neared it. We finally came to the clearing and I saw that it wasn't the exact picturesque scene that Ray showed me a few months back, for it was darker with fewer fireflies. I heard Ray unzipping his back pack, and I turned around and saw him getting up and snapping branches. I tried to help him but he shook his head no. He got a fire going, and it brightened the land around us. He spreaded the blanket out on the ground, and motioned me towards him. I sat down in between his legs, and leaned back against his chest. He draped his arms over my shoulders and stayed quiet. I looked out at the rippling water and the flowers, my eyes following the graceful motions of the fireflies when they floated by. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath of the forest air mixed with the slight hint of burning wood. The air was slightly damp, but it was a pleasant dampness.

"Do you ever come here alone?" I asked.

"Sometimes, after we argue or when my parents canceled. I go for a bit when you're asleep." He said. I looked up at him, and he chuckled. "You're a heavy sleeper on those days. But I have a hell of a time prying myself from you," he said and pressed his face into my hair. "You have no idea how good that makes me feel."

"I love you," I whispered, looking out into the water again.

"I know. I love you too." he returned. "Please don't ever do that again Levi." he sighed and gave me a slight squeeze. "It hurts so fucking much." he gasped and I think he was close to crying again. "I shouldn't have just left you alone,"

"Don't be silly Ray," I sighed. "It's not like you can constantly babysit me. You're my boyfriend, I'm not suppose to be your responsibility."

"But I make you my responsibility. you're my boyfriend Levi, I just want you safe and happy." and he kissed my head again. "

"But I have to learn how to deal with this on my own too. You can't always be around Ray." I objected.

"Are you saying that we're going to break up in the future?" he said, his voice thick with fear.

"No! It's just...you have your own social life; you go to parties and such that I can't go to. Plus I might hang out with Regina sometimes on my own, and you get the picture. We can't always be together at the same place at the same time constantly." I exhaled. "We had different lives before this."

"I know....I went out almost every night you know." he shifted, and I scooted closer. "I was tired of being alone all the time." he said. "I didn't like all of the people I went to hang out with, but it was better than just sitting in an empty house waiting for a phone call."

"Do you miss going out?" I asked timidly.

"Nope. It's nice staying home, especially with you." he chuckled and kissed my neck. "I have a frisky, hot boyfriend to entertain me."

"Are you expecting a strip tease soon?" I giggled. He growled and flipped me onto my back and laid on top of me.

"I'd rather undress you myself but that'd be pretty hot." he said sliding his hand up my shirt, over my smooth stomach till he reach my nipples, when he gave them a gentle tweak before retracting his hand. I pecked him, and he rubbed his cheek against mine. He rolled onto his side and propped himself up on an elbow, leaving a hand hanging loosely over the curve of my waist.

"Thanks for not getting mad." I said with a sheepish grin.

"I try," he chuckled and kissed the tip of my nose. I turned to the direction of the water and Ray spooned my, playing with my hair and sometimes fiddling with the button of my jeans. When that happened I playfully swatted his hand away. I wonder if we were really going to make it far into the future. I hope we do. An alarming thought crashed into my head and I mentally flailed from fright. Holy shit!!!

"I don't know what to get you for Christmas." I blurted out. There was a pause, and then laughter.

"Wow, you're still thinking of that?" he said. I sighed.

"It's not that easy you know!" I whined.

"Well do you think it was was easy getting a gift for you?" he said.

"Well...no! But still!" I pouted. His laughter died down and he nuzzled my neck.

"Honestly babe. I don't care if I get anything at all. You being there is the best gift I can get."

"Uh huh."

"I'm serious babe. I love you, and all I want for Christmas is for you to be there to celebrate it with us." I tried to raise a word of protest, but he silenced me with his tongue. Christmas is coming up fast, and I can honestly say I'm counting the days till.



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