I held my hands to my mouth as I stared at the beautiful sight in front of me. Hundreds of fireflies illuminated the air as they floated above a pond that was covered with lily pads topped with small pink flowers. They floated gracefully in the air flashing in different patterns as frogs and crickets croaked and chirped everywhere. Above the trees were a healthy green with a vines crawling up the trunks with blue flowerers blossoming on the vines. A few feet head there was a patch of colorful wild flowers of almost every kind, the place was crawling with life, and all of it was beautiful. Slowly a firefly drifted in front of my face and Ray gently enclosed his hand around it, leaving a faint glow between his fingers.

'This is a place I go to every time I need a cool down, a place I can feel safe and relax...my sanctuary, I haven't shared this place with anyone, not even my best friend and....I happily share it with you...my love,' he whispered in my ear as he released the firefly and wrapped his arms around my waist. My heart was racing, pounding against my chest, my breathing became shallow as my lips quivered and tears began filling my eyes. Slowly I turned around and placed my hands on his chest as we stared into each other's eyes. His arms were tight around me, and the fireflies illuminated his face, giving him a godly glow.

'I love you Levi...always,' he whispered gently while tightening his arms around me. I could feel the words swelling in my chest; they were forcing their way up my throat, desperately trying to burst out.

'I....' I said softly as my body began trembling violently. I felt Ray's arms tighten around me, giving me strength to carry on, showing that he was there for me.

'I...I...I love...you,' I whispered as tears began streaming down my cheeks. Ray kept his eyes on me as a large smile began forming on his lips, and I could hear his breathing becoming rapid.

'Say it again,' he breathed out as his eyes became glassy. I stared at him and I felt a smile slowly forming on my lips as well.

'I...I love you...' I said a little louder again. He smiled broadly as I saw a tear shoot down his cheek.

'I love you!!!!' I shouted and I jumped into his arms. Tears streamed down my cheeks as we laughed and he spun me around, holding me tight as we continuously said I love you to each other. Finally Ray lost his balances and we fell into the patch of wild flowers still laughing and smiling. I laid on top of his chest as we stared into each other's eyes, smiling. We closed our eyes as we slowly leaned in for a kiss, and then our lips met. It was electrifying, waves of happiness shot throughout my body as our lips met, and I felt a warm current of heat spread throughout my body. As we kissed, we would take turns whispering I love you to each other, experiencing how new it felt that every time he said I love you, that I would say I love you back. It was tender and warm, but something about it was different. It was more, deeper, more meaningful, and it told more words and showed more emotions than ever before. Slowly, our lips parted and he cupped my face into his hands.

'I cry too much,' I sniffled while still smiling.

'As long as they're tears of happiness....then I'm happy about it,' he said softly while wiping a tear away with his thumb. He pulled me into another deep kiss that took my breath away and made my heart pound against my chest. We laid there in the flowers, relishing the feeling of our love becoming deeper and stronger. Often he would take a quick peck on my lips and whisper I love you to me. Every time I would whisper I love you back, and return a kiss. Every time that happened, we smiled and return to holding each other. Our legs were intertwined as his arms were wrapped around me and my hands were placed against his chest, it was a perfect fit. The chirps and croaks were music to our ears, and the fireflies were like fireworks.

'Levi....' I heard Ray whisper. My eyes were closed as I buried my face into his chest.

'Yes my love?' I replied gently. I felt his hand gently lift up my face so I was staring into his beautiful eyes once again. They were so deep, so enticing, so loving, it hypnotized me, and it made me want to stare into them forever.

'Can you feel it? Our love...it grew stronger today...' he said happily as his flashed a wide smile. I smiled back in return and pecked him on the lips.

'My thoughts exactly,' I said as he gently took hold of one of my hands and I laced my fingers in between his fingers. His hand was a lot larger than mine, but it was still warm and gentle, and my fingers fitted perfectly in between his. We both kissed it at the same time, and then kissed each other's lips and returned to staring at the fireflies still floating around in the air.

'How could this place exist? It's so warm here, yet on the outside of this forest it's freezing.' I said with my eyes glued on the moving light show in the air.

'That is a mystery Levi, I have no idea how this place exists, I'm just happy it did, because then today wouldn't have happened,' he said gently. I giggled and planted a kiss on his cheek.

'Well, it must've been fate then' I quipped and I heard him chuckle as he untangled his legs from mine and unwrapped his arms from around me.

'There's one more thing I have to give you, no first date is complete without flowers,' he said with a wink. I sat there dumbstruck with my mouth hanging open. Slowly he brought the back pack over and sat down. He reached inside it and pulled out a box that was wrapped with colorful hearts and topped with a large red ribbon. Slowly he held it out to me, and hesitantly, I took it and examined it.

'Go ahead...open it,' he said while leaning forward slightly, his eyes eager and encouraging me to open it.

'You...You really didn't have to,' I said softly while pulling of the ribbon and unwrapping the present. It revealed a cardboard box, but there was something inside it. It was kind of heavy, and I was curious to know what it was. I lifted off the lid and reached inside, only to feel something cold touch my finger tips.

'What the...' I began, but before I could finish my sentence, it was cut off with a small gasp. There in my hands, in metal cylinder with glass surrounding the middle so it could display what was inside was a beautiful blue rose.

'Oh...oh Ray,' I said as my voice began breaking up. Carefully Ray took it from my hands and settled it on the ground, allowing me to once again to leap on him while kissing him multiple times on the lips.

It's beautiful Ray!' I shouted while giving him another kiss. He blushed deep red as his smile broadened.

'But...How did you do it?' I asked suspiciously. Obviously no ordinary shop sold blue roses.

'I have a friend, who makes these, it takes her like a week though,' he said sheepishly. He caressed my face softly and kissed me deeply, my arms wrapped around his neck, is body close to mine. Tonight was the best night of my life, and that night, I was ecstatic.

His hand was wrapped around mine as we pulled up into my driveway. All the lights in the house were off, and the clock read about 2 in the morning. I felt his hand tighten around mine as he stared into my eyes.

'You know...you don't have go inside...you can stay with me for the night...' he said softly. I slowly shook my head know and placed my hand on top of his.

'I'm sorry Ray...I can't...I want to but I can't.' I replied. His eyes were pleading me to say yes, but I knew that I couldn't. I leaned in and kissed him on the lips and I placed my hand on his cheek.

'Ray...I know you're worried, but please don't be. I'll be alright; he's probably gone by now to some bar.' I said reassuringly.

'I just don't want him to hurt you again....I love you so much, Levi Colligan,' he said with his lips inches from mine.

'Ray...tonight was the greatest night of my life, it's been a long time since I was that happy, thank you so much Ray and....' I said to him as I stared at him in adoration.

'I love you to...Ray Matelli,' I whispered before finally kissing him deeply. Quickly he pulled me into a powerful hug while whispering endearments into my ears. I felt myself tearing up once again, I didn't want to leave him, I wanted to stay with him...forever. We got out of the car and lead me to my doorstep, and stared at me through the shadows.

'Guess this is the end of our date...' he said sadly. I smiled and kissed him.

'But not the end of our relationship,' I said happily. I saw him grin broadly and pulled me into a powerful hug and planted a big kiss on my lips.

'Haha hell yea,' he growled while rubbing our noses together. I giggled and snuggled into his chest, feelings the words once again swell in my chest.

'I love you Ray!' I quipped. I heard him chuckle and his arms gave me a gentle squeeze.

'I love you mooore,' he teased. I groaned in annoyance while I felt myself blushing again.

'Lets not get into this argument,' I said while giving his neck a small nibble. A laugh boomed from him as he pressed me up against the wall of the porch.

'Mmm you're too cute,' he growled and began kissing me passionately. I parted my lips as he slid his tongue inside and mine slid into his. I felt his hand slowly snake up my shirt and gave my nipple a gently pinch, causing me to moan as he kissed his way down my neck. He gently suck on my neck as I felt his hands lift up my shirt, exposing my bare skin to the cold night air while he used his other hand to tease my rising bulge. Slowly he made his way back up to my lips and I felt his hand lower my shirt and return to my waist.

'That's what you get for being so damn cute,' he growled while licking my earlobe. I blushed and pecked him on the cheek.

'Are you trying to get in my pants?' I questioned while pinching his nose.

'Maybe...' he said while shuffling his feet against the ground. I gave him one last kiss.

'To bad...I don't put out on the first date,' I teased.

'Haha I know babe,' he said while ruffling my hair. Reluctantly he pulled away from me and slowly walked away while holding my hand until the distance broke us apart. He started up his car and I could see him blowing me a kiss. I made a gesture of catching it and holding it against my chest as I used my other hand to wave. I stayed on the front step until his car was out of sight, and with that, I stepped inside and quickly rushed up to my room and opened the backpack and took out the rose. Inside was a charger for the machine and a note scrawled onto a piece of notebook paper.

'Levi, plug this in so it can keep the Rose cold so it won't die, as long as you do this it should live for a very long time, love, Ray,'

I felt a smile form on my lips as I plugged the machine in and sat down and stared at the rose. It was a light blue, and it was incredibly beautiful. I changed out of my clothes and into my pajamas, and while I was changing, I noticed there was a hickey on my neck. I blushed and touched it with my finger tips. Ray gave me a hickey?! I stared at it for a few more seconds before walking out of the bathroom. I sighed lovingly as I took one last glimpse at it before I turned off the lights and crawled into the bed, still tingling from happiness, and still smiling from happiness.

I woke up with the smile still plastered on my face. I was walking on air while I went through my routine, and even sang while I was in the shower. When I stepped out of the shower, I heard a knock on the door. I bounded down the steps and opened it and leapt into Rays arms. He swung me around and kissed me with a smile on his lips. He placed me down on my feet and realized I was in a robe. He blushed and then grinned devilishly.

'Ohhh...were you already ready for me? How sweet, I need to get rid of my morning wood anyway,' he said while pulling me close. I laughed and pushed him away.

'Haha no! I just got out of the shower!' I said.

'Awww come on, not even a peek?' he said while pulling the neck of my robe a little out and tried looking down. I yelped and closed my robe while blushing and taking a few steps back. He laughed and grabbed me so he could hug me. Finally, we calmed down a bit and he kissed the top of my head.

'Get dressed, we're gonna be late for school,' he quipped. I groaned in annoyance and quickly got dressed and ran back down to find Ray snoozing on the couch. I smiled slyly and tiptoed over to him and began gently climbing on top of him. I rested my head against his chest and listened to his even breathing as he laid there. I felt him shift and he nuzzled his face into my hair as his arms encircled my body and his fingers gently poked my sides, making me jump a little.

'When did you get there?' he said groggily. I giggled while he pecked my nose and slowly got up, obviously not wanting to go to school.

'Do we have to go to school?' he groaned while placing his around my shoulders. I slumped under his weight as he continuously added more and more pressure, and soon my knees were shaking as I attempted to drag him towards the door,

'You're so heavy, fatty!!!!!' I yelled and then I heard Ray suck in some air.

'Excuse me?!' He said and took his arm off of me.

'You heard me; fatty fatty two by four couldn't fit through the kitchen door!' I said with a smile. He narrowed his eyes and grabbed my hand and pushed it against his exposed six pack.

'Does this feel like fat to you?' he growled as I enjoyed the touch of his washboard abs. I blushed and looked away as he pulled me close.

'Mmm, I'm guessing that s a no, right?' he whispered. I stuck my tongue out and he quickly bent down and gave it a small lick. I yelped and I felt myself blush even more. He chuckled and kissed me while discreetly snaking his hand up my shirt and poked my side, making me yelp and giggle.

'Well you're not fatty either, in fact, you got a nice toned tummy there,' he quipped while nibbling on my neck. I pushed him away and bounded toward the door.

'Shut up! We're gonna be late,' I said while laughing and quickly he chased me out the door and into the back seat, making sure to land right on top of me as he dove in. I wriggled from under him as we laughed together and pecked small kisses on each other's faces or necks. After a bit, we calmed down and I checked the time on the digital clock of the car.

'BAH! 15 minutes to get to school, move!!!!' I yelped as I wriggled out from under him and dove into the front seat, He chuckled and dove into the driver's seat, started up the car, and revved the engine.

'Step on it!' I yelled and laughed while Ray pulled me into a headlock and gave me a noogie.

'I don't take orders,' he growled while nipping my ear and soon we arrived at the school with 5 minutes to spare, and my heart racing.

'Never...drive...like that...again,' I said while still clinging to the edge of my seat.

'I'll do what I want,' he said while giving me one last deep kiss and jogged towards the school

The rest of the week was normal. I would either go to Ray's house after school are Ray would sneak into my room late at night and cuddle with me while watching a late night show. Our relationship was great, and it was all I could ask for. He was kind, and sweet, but fun and adventurous. God I couldn't get enough of him! He was my first love, and he was my first kiss. He was the first person that I have ever said I love you to, and I was happy I did. I love his hugs, his smiles, his kiss, his sweet tender words, his kind eyes, everything. To me, he was flawless, a deity that I wanted to serve and be with forever.

As we laid together on my bed, I felt his hand gently caress my face. His hand was warm, gentle, loving, and it was never any different. There was never any forcefulness or anger when he touched me, and I loved that so much. I loved how there was only love and kindness when I was with him, harsh words were never exchanged, and the only physical contact was kissing, hugging, or tickling. I held his hand against my cheek and closed my eyes as he kissed me. I wriggled closer to him, our legs intertwined and our lips locked together. He was incredibly affectionate tonight, his kisses were deeper, and his words were as sweet as ever. I buried my face into his chest as he rested his chin on top of my head.

'I love you,' he whispered. I giggled and nipped his neck.

'I love you to,' I breathed out as he gave my ear a lick.

'You're so cute, you know that?' he teased while gently pinching my nose. I pulled away and crinkled my nose at him.

'You're hot,' I sneered. He smiled and gave me a peck on the lips.

'Mmm, I know, I'm so damn sexy,' he growled while sliding his hand up his shirt. I laughed but then all of the sudden I heard the sound of glass shattering and my father cursing. I heard Ray gasp and immediately I shot out of bed and headed for the door. Before I could get to the door, I felt Ray grab my hand and stare at me with his eyes full of concern, pleading me not to go out.

'Levi...please...don't go,' he whispered while pulling me close.

'Don't worry, I'll be fine, just stay up here....no matter what happens,' I whisper while giving him a soft smile. I gave him a reassuring kiss and he reluctantly let go of my hand as I quickly ran down the stairs and arrived at the kitchen to find my dad swaying and slurring drunken babble.

'Weeeeeelll...if it isn't...the fuggin queer,' he slurred while walking towards me. I took a few steps back and tried talking to him.

'Father...be careful, the neighbors will hear....just put the bottle down and lay down,' I said while trembling with fear. This was the first time I was trying to talk him down, and I was scared shitless. The only reason I was doing this was so that Ray wouldn't have to see my father beating me.

'The fuck are you trying to do?! Talking down on me boy!!!' he yelled and threw the bottle of beer at me. I moved quickly to the side and the bottle shattered against the wall.

'Father...please...calm down...' I said timidly while staring at the ground. I knew things were not going to go well, and that things were going to get ugly.

'Fuck you! Don't you fucking tell me what to do!' he roared and struck my face. I yelped and held the spot where he hit me and I continued to stare at the ground.

'Father please.... People will hear!' I pleaded while stumbling back. Before I knew it, I felt his struck my face again and his hands grasped my neck and he began choking me. I clawed at his hands while trying to keep quiet, his hands were cutting off my breathing, and pain jolted through my body has he threw me against the refrigerator. I slowly stood back up, gasping and wheezing only to have him kick my sides and stomp on my hand.

'Fucking faggit! Don't you talk to me that way!!!' he slurred and brought me up by grabbing a fist full of my hair. I screamed as he quickly pulled me up by my hair and pinned me against the ground and grabbed a kitchen knife and pressed it against my throat.

'Fucking queer...I can kill you here now...no one will know...no one fucking cares about you! You killed your mother, and now I'm stuck with you and you talk to me like that! Fucking ungrateful bitch, no one will fucking notice you're gone you piece of shit, no one care about you!' he hissed while adding more pressure to the knife against my throat. A sob escaped from my mouth as I remembered Ray...he cared about me...he loved me!

'You're...wrong...' I gasped.

'The fuck did you say!' he shouted while shaking me a little. I felt the knife cut a little into my throat and I winced.

'Ray...' I whispered. He stared at me hard in the eyes, and shook me against the wall, making my head bang against the wall and cries of pain escaped from my throat.

'The fuck are you talking about!' he screamed and I felt the knife sink a little deeper. I clenched my teeth together and all of the sudden Ray appeared at the kitchen door, his nostrils flaring, and rage shown brightly in his eyes. I gasped and I felt my hand reach out to him. My father continued to stare at me, trying to get what I was saying.

'Ray...RUN!' I cried. My father turned around and saw Ray rushing towards him. Immediately he dropped the knife as Ray punched him in the face and threw him against the wall. My dad was shouting and trying to fight back but he was too drunk to even aim straight. Ray grabbed him by the throat and slammed him against the wall and stared at him straight in the eyes.

'Fucking touch him again, and I'll kill you!' he hissed. He punched my father in the gut one more time and quickly lifted me up in his arms and rushed me out to his car. He slid me into the passenger seat while draping his jacket over me. I saw tears dripping down his cheeks as he quickly kissed me on the lips. I was dazed and my body racked in pain as he started up the car and shot out of the driveway and down the streets. Words were beyond my control as he drove down the busy streets, his destination was a mystery to me, and I was to shaken up to care. He held my hand as he drove and looked over at me often.

'Where are we?' I asked my voice barely above a whisper.

'My house,' he said firmly as he weaved through the dark streets of Sunrise Lake.

'Why...' I whispered once again. He pulled up into his driveway and turned off the engine. He gently took hold my chin and tilted it towards his face.

'Because you're moving in with me,' he breathed, and gave me a warm and loving kiss.



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