Chapter 8

Her lips pressed against mine sent my head into an instant spin, everything except her became a blur of white and I was suddenly dizzy. 

I had to be dreaming, this couldn't be real. Carlie couldn't be kissing me, and I couldn't be kissing her- but my thoughts of denial were cut short by her pulling even tighter down on my thin cotton shirt. The soft, wet warmth of her tongue made its appearance, catching my unprepared lips by surprise but rather than pull away I met her overflow of emotions with a cascade of my own. 

At this, she gasped softly and pulled back from the kiss- her soft chest raising in rapid succession against my own.

"I- I- I-" she stuttered, before pulling away from me for a second, and turning to run. But I wasn't about to let ten years worth of Emotional Tension suddenly reappear between us, so I snatched her wrist as she turned, and pulled her back close to me, returning us both into the depth of our kiss. But she pulled away again.

"Aaron! No, what I did was stupid, we're going to get in trouble." She protested, without a single muscle in her body moving to reinforce her actions. What she was saying was absolutely right, of course, but I didn't care! This was all of my dreams, and that little more that I never dared even hope for.

"And?" I ask her, cheekily, still in the clouds from the Eutopia of the moment, that apparently, unbeknownst to me, had already past.

"This isn't a game, Aaron." she said, her seriousness crashing my high of emotion. The color almost drained out of the world in front of me, suddenly the song of the birds changed from the most beautiful melody known on Aire, to a dry repetitive squeaking.

"Who said it was?" In hindsight, it would amaze me how quickly Euporia can turn bad. Irritation and Hurt pumped from the stabbing pain in my chest down my limbs.

"You're acting like it is."

"And you're acting like it's not worth getting caught." I snapped back, ""Is that what it is Carlie? That this isn't worth what would happen if we were caught? Come on! They'd just hide it for you, wouldn't they? I'd get thrown into Gaol, or Slavery, or I don't know! I-" I cut myself off, forcing a choke on the last of my words. 

What was going on anyway? This wasn't fair, at all. How could she come in, pull me in for a kiss like that, the all of a sudden act like it was me doing something irrational?! It cut me deeper than I would be willing to admit. 

She winced, and looked down at her feet. "I don't want to be unable to see you again..." but before I could respond with any kind of reasoning, she whispered a sentence to me that reverberated like the sound of a thousand bells. "I'd rather have you around as a friend, than not have you around at all." 

I suddenly became painfully aware that we were still embracing, like the liberated lovers we were not two minute prior. I stepped away, breaking away from the embrace letting the comparatively cool air whoosh in between us. 

"Yeah." I said weakly, stripped of the strength to maintain any pretense of being 'Ok' with it all. "Sure. You're right. Of course." 

"Aaron," she said softly, the tears welling up in her eyes- pulling the face that any time prior would have melted any resolve of mine. I felt her light fingertips at my hand, and instinctively flinched away. 

The wind was getting cooler, and brushing by us faster, with more power than before and the initial light tinkle of raindrops fell onto the back of my neck, sending shivvers down my body. 

"No. I get it." I said to her, backing away even more, the tears beginning to well up, despite my best efforts, in my own eyes. 

I glanced over my shoulder, "Look- the Forge- Storm- I've got to go. Yeah."

I stepped past her, with the longest fastest stride possible, shaking off the hand that went to grab onto my shoulder. 

Trudging up the dirt road back into town, watching as the rain slowly converted it into mud and slush. The mud must have splashed the whole bottom end of my leggings, and the cotton of my shirt was soaked through, offering as little protection as it did modesty. 

Reaching the forge, I tore off the flimsy shirt, hanging it on a cooling rack. A cough, the polite cough of a Lady brought my eyes up from their recent focus between my feet. Jessica, standing in her long slim dress, with her wet red hair hanging down beside her.

"Hello Aaron," she purred, "You'll never guess what I just saw down by the river." 

And if it was possible for my heart to drop any lower, it would have done then.

The End

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