Chapter 2 End

It was a chilly October day, the two of them basking in the sunlight and enjoying it. Daren lay propped up on his elbows, with Annabeth's head in his chest, just watching people walking by. This was one of her favorite things to do, “people watch” as she called it. He looked down at her lovingly as she gazed sleepily at nothing. He sighed, and Annabeth's head gently lifted with his chest. She looked up to find him smiling down at her. She grinned and asked as she giggled, “What?”

“Oh nothing dear.”

“Come on,”she poked Daren playfully in the side, “tell me.”

“You just look so beautiful, and I couldn't be happier.”

“Awww, you suck up,” she giggled more.

He chuckled. “I'm serious. You know, I am the luckiest man alive.”

“Oh, and how is that?”

“Well, I've got the most beautiful girl in my arms, I've got good health, I'm finishing high school at the top of our class, and I don't need to worry about a place to live after I graduate.”

“Well, you know, some people wouldn't call that last bit exactly lucky.”

“Yeah, but we both know I'm not normal.”

Anna laughed. “This is true.”

       They had eaten their dinner. Scattered plates littered the blanket they lay upon. Birds were twittering in the trees surrounding them, and other couples were rushing to cars, strolling along, and cheerily laughing. Both Daren and Annabeth smiled. They knew few people were as close as they were to each other. They shared something... though they didn't know exactly what but a few things were sure.

1. They were in love

2. Whatever they had, it was strong. Stronger than they had ever thought possible

It was a Friday night, dusk actually, and they both had plans. Though the plans were later. They purposely set aside hours just for this.

       Daren yawned again, still smiling down at his love. Annabeth listened to his steady heartbeat. I love him, she thought, I truly do...I just wish he didn't have to leave. “Honey,” he finally said, “ I have to go now baby.” “You can't even stay for a few more minutes?”Anna asked pleadingly. “No darling, I can't. I'm sorry baby.” She sighed a heavy sigh, and gently sat up so Daren could get up. “Could you at least help me clean up and take this stuff to my car?” “Of course darling, you know I wouldn't dream of letting you carry anything more than book, that includes this mess. Though if you want,” he chuckled, “you can carry the blanket.” He grinned happily, but also mischievously. Annabeth couldn't help it, she giggled, because even though she knew he was kind of joking, she also knew that most of what he said was true. He never would let her carry heavy things, maintaining that though she was strong, she would likely trip and hurt herself, and less importantly would damage whatever she was carrying.  She got to her feet, helped by Daren of course, who always helped her up, and started cleaning up. They put the left-over food away in the basket, Anna gathered the plates and trash, and Daren folded up the blanket. Anna ran and threw the trash in a trash can near by then rushed to Daren's side again. He already had the blanket hanging on his arm and the basket in the his left hand. He held out his right arm and she took it happily. They strolled through the winding park back to their cars.

       He opened her door for her when they reached her car. They placed her blanket and basket in the back seat of her silver Civic. It was an old car, not showing its age outwardly, but the engine was wearing out, and it needed work.  Annabeth sat in the driver's seat, and Daren closed her door for her. She rolled down the window, and gazed up at him as he leaned against the car. “Tonight was fun baby,”she said

“Yeah, it was. Tomorrow we should go see a movie.”

Anna couldn't help smiling. “Yeah, okay. That sounds wonderful. Promise to text me as soon as you get to work. I worry about you.”

“Okay, my dearest Anna, I promise. Don't worry.”

With that he kissed her. A gentle, caring, loving, and passionate kiss.

“I love you Anna. I promise you, everything will be alright. It always is baby.

“Okay. I love you too.”

They said good-bye, and he got into his old truck.

But everything didn't go alright. Daren never did text Annabeth. He never made it to his job. Annabeth sat worried by her phone all night. When she saw the news in the morning, she knew what had happened, and it broke her heart.

The End

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