Ever Lonely

15 - Where You Find It - Llamaesque

His taste is dizzyingly sweet on my lips as we stand face to face, mere inches apart. The world is spinning past us, a blur of action, urgency, and stress. But this moment, this look, this touch: they are my peace. He is an anchor to humanity that alone has the power to hold me steady, despite swirling currents all around that threaten to take my humanity.

"I love you," his words are gentle, so stark a contrast to this strong body that if I hadn't grown up by his side I would probably never believe them. We used to play football when we were younger and he, Josh, had always been the best player on the team. I can remember sharp pangs of jealousy filling me for years, envy at this strength, his size, his ability. I had wanted to hate him for succeeding at my failings, but even then I could do nothing but adore him. It was, at that time, in silence and at a distance, but now it's right here, in the open, in the center of my world.

Bustling members of the road crew wander by, casting indulgent grins at us, and yet despite the fray I remain totally calm. Nothing else matters. I have this feeling in me, this satiny fog of utter contentment, and I know that everything will work out. I have my good luck talisman to shield me from all harm.

"You guys, stage call in ten minutes," Ash walks by, pausing for an instant to flash me a private wink. He's known longer than I have, I think. He at least realized it before I was ready to admit my feelings to myself, why I was spending every waking minute with Josh, and why all of a sudden a tingle of a blush would raise into my cheeks at the mere mention of his name.

I'm so silly, I can't help mentally chastising as the roar of teenaged girls finally breaks through my pleasant mental haze. This feeling is wrong. They wouldn't approve, those howling masses. I don't really care, though, because someday they'll understand what I've already learned -- love is where you find it.

In this intense moment, I can feel Josh's rich brown eyes on my skin, and sense our hotly radiating body heat mingling to envelope the both of us in the warmest, safest place in the world. Without a thought I find myself running a single finger along his soft lips, tracing their generous curves.

"You have to go," Josh whispered, brushing a faint kiss across my fingertip. His gaze bores into me, filling all the dark, all the uncertainty, all the pain with the opposite of shadows. I can not doubt that he'll always be here; his light is all I've ever known all I want to know.

"I love you," I finally answer his proclamation with one of my own. "Will you be here after the show?"

"I'll be waiting," a soft sigh, tender and sweet. Josh's eyes crinkle at the edges as he squeezes my hand, a final gesture of support.

"Say it one more time before I go?" I beg, needing one more memory to hold on to to carry me through the trial ahead. The air around me is beginning to tensen, and I can see Isaac standing at the edge of the stage, pointedly gesturing at me.

"I'll say it a thousand times, if you want," Josh steps forward and winds his strong arms around me. I close my eyes, and just breathe in the comfort of him, deliciously aware of his smell: pizza, pert plus, and abercrombie cologne. "I love you, Taylor."