I was seconds away from exploding as I twisted my hands in my sheets. I was seconds away from begging him to take me to the edge, and allow me to freefall. “I want you, Logan. Please.” My breaths sawed in and out, my body becoming accustomed to the pleasure he brought to me.

“Not yet,” he said, pulling away, removing his fingers from me.

Our eyes locked, and the way he looked at me made me feel as if I’d never be alone. “Alyssa,” he said. “I love you.” His voice was shaky, and his eyes watered up, yet the tears fell from my eyes.

You’re my best friend, Lo, I thought.

We were closer than I ever knew any people to ever be. He was a part of me in every way possible, our lives twining together as if we were one flame burning together in the dark of the night.

When he felt like crying, the tears always came from my eyes first.

When his heart wanted to break, mine shattered.

You’re my best friend.

He bent forward and kissed me. He kissed me with promises that we never made to one another. He kissed me with apologies for things he never did. He kissed me with all that he was, and I kissed him back with everything that existed within me.

He stood up and removed his pants and boxers, and even though I felt safe, the butterflies still formed in my gut. “You can change your mind, High,” he swore. “You can always change your mind.”

I held my hands out to him, and he took mine in his. He came back to me and climbed on top, widening my knees. When his hips brushed against my upper thigh, I let out a light moan, my legs tingling with desire, with fear, with passion, with love.

“I love you,” I whispered, making him pause. His lips parted but no words came out. He seemed surprised that someone could love him. “I love you,” I repeated, watching a softness come to his eyes. “I love you.”

“I love you,” he whispered, placing his lips against mine. Tears fell from his eyes and intermixed with my own. I knew how hard those words were for him. I knew how scared he was to expose himself like that. But I also knew how much I loved him.

“Tell me to stop if I hurt you,” he said. But I didn’t need to. The pain was there, but the want was more. He was my security blanket, my safe haven, my most beautiful Lo. He rocked his hips against mine, sliding himself deeper into me.

“I love you,” he whispered.

He thrust once.

“I love you…” he said once more.


“I love you…” he murmured.

Three times.

“Logan…I… I’m going to…”

Once, twice, three times, four…








We released, shaking against one another, falling apart yet somehow becoming whole. Losing ourselves, but finding each other.

I loved him.

I loved him to my core, and he loved me back.

He kept his promise. He made me feel safe the whole time. He was the person I went to each and every time anything hurt or whenever I felt afraid.

Like home.

Logan was home to me.

“Alyssa, that was…” he sighed, lying beside me, out of breath. “Amazing.”

I grinned, turning my head away from him. My fingers wiped away the tears that still fell, and I tried my best to laugh away the feeling of bliss that held an ounce of worry. What would happen next? “If I had a dollar for every time I heard that.”

He narrowed his eyes, knowing that my joke was to hide my nerves, before pulling me closer to him. “Are you okay, High?”

“I’m okay.” I nodded, meeting his stare. He bent down and kissed the few tears away. “I’m better than okay.”

“I want this to be us. For always, I want this.”

“Me too. Me too.”

“For always, High?” he whispered.

“For always, Lo.”

He took a deep breath in, and his eyes smiled along with his lips. “I’m so happy right now.” Those were his last words of the night, and I thought they perfectly described my entire being that evening.

The ceiling fan rotated round and round overhead as we lay beside one another in my bed. The vinyl record played on top of the dresser, hiccupping every few seconds yet also sounding completely whole. The scent of rose refreshed every few minutes, and we inhaled and exhaled.

We were quiet.

Chapter Nine


Logan and I had officially been in love out loud for two months now. I didn’t know our friendship could grow stronger just by us falling in love, but somehow it did. He made me laugh on the sad days, which meant the world to me.

When you found someone who could make you laugh when your heart wanted to cry—hold onto them. They will be the ones who will change your life for the better.

I’d been planning out a lot of details, too. In three weeks, I was off to live on the campus of my college, but I planned out Logan’s visits. We’d stay just as close as we were now, and we’d fall more in love. He said he loved the idea, which was great, because I loved him to my core.

I’d been floating on a cloud for weeks now, and when I came home from work, Mom was there, ready to bring me back down to solid earth.

“Alyssa!” She called after me right as I walked into the house. I tossed my shoes in the foyer, paused, and picked them up, placing them in the front closet.

“I already picked them up!” I hollered in her direction.

“That’s not what I was going to say,” she replied from her office. Walking toward the sound of her voice, I glanced into the room. Her eyes were glued to her computer, and a wine glass was in her hand. “I made a meatless meatloaf using protein powder and tofu. Toss that into the oven for me.”

That’s not a meatloaf, Mom. “Okay.”

“And your father wrote you a letter.”

My eyes widened, a burst of excitement hitting me. “What?”

“He wrote you a letter. It’s on the kitchen counter.”

Dad wrote me a letter today.

Dad wrote me a letter today!

My excitement built more and more as I raced to the kitchen, snatched the envelope which wasn’t sealed shut, and pulled out the paper.

Sweet Aly,

Already off to a promising start.

My eyes danced across the pages from the left to the right, taking in each word, each note, wanting nothing more than a line that mentioned how much he missed me, how much he loved me, how much he cared. There were so many words, so many pages. Pages filled front to back, pages filled with some words that were long, others so short. There were periods, question marks, and exclamations points.