*Wow, this chapter is officially one page in word, but it's all it needed in my opinion. ^.^*

Chapter Fourteen: Forever

"Another reason?" I asked skeptically.

He nodded solemnly, "She hated you for the same reason Akuro hated Hikaru and Iesada hated Fuu. She hated you because I love you."

My heart got stuck in my throat. No, this couldn't be, everything was happening too fast. His manner was too abrupt, he would never…but that light in his eyes, that gentle, pleading light. He wanted me to understand, wanted me to see. I didn't know what to do. He dropped my hands like fire.

"I'm sure that makes everything a little…clearer," he grimaced slightly. "I can have a temper when provoked."

"I know," I muttered and tried not to respond to the comment he'd made earlier. Maybe I was just hallucinating and he hadn't made it. This didn't make anything clearer! If anything it made it hazier! What did he mean love? There were so many different kinds of love, friendship- that had to be it. Maybe Uchiyama was just paranoid; maybe she thought that Clef's feelings would grow.

"It doesn't matter anymore though, I know how to accept things, if you'll just give me time. Please don't make me lose you as a friend though, because you know you mean everything to me. Just make up with Nori and pretend this never happened, but be at peace," his words were like fire dancing across my skin. Every hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I felt goose bumps slowly appearing.

"Nori left me," I whispered softly, and my tears began to come. Clef loved me; he loved me as I thought he never would. I buried my head in his chest as he stroked my hair. "It wasn't a fight, he's…he's fallen in love with Presea. I had to let him go Clef, I couldn't love someone who was in love with someone else, as he couldn't."

"Sh…" he whispered, and I could feel tears in his eyes though they didn't fall. I felt the shock too, something Presea had failed to mention. "I'm sorry, I didn't know…I didn't mean to upset you."

"You didn't," I shook my head and looked up at him. He put a finger under my chin and reached in to kiss me. I closed my eyes and waited, but it didn't come. "What?" I whispered as I opened my eyes. He let go of me and moved away, and my heart broke. What was happening? What had just taken place? Was it what I thought it was or…?

"I can't take advantage of you when you're in this situation," he told me softly. "You…it's because Nori left you not because…I'm sorry, but I can't be your replacement."

I stood and ignored the pain that shot through my body; the closeness of the previous moment stilled most of the pain anyway. I sat on his lap and shook my head as he tried to put me down gently, "No Clef," I whispered and kissed him deeply. His hands found their way around my back, and I grabbed his neck as we broke the kiss. "I've always loved you, Nori knew it the moment we got here. I was the one who couldn't replace you."

He smiled softly and kissed me again, then snapped and we were in a room that I had been in only once. He drew me into him and pulled me into the folds of the mattress as I lay beside him. He was tender and gentle, all I'd ever wanted. I was finally completely satisfied and totally whole.

"You'll stay?" he fingered my lips gently.

"Forever," I answered, and he smiled and kissed me again. Then there was no more need for words, actions always spoke loudest in my book anyway.

*Smiles and jumps in the air* Fini! That's a wrap children! Um…now I'll be posting my newest fanfiction, in the next couple days I guess. I think some of you will hate it and others will like it. I'm going to write it simultaneously with What if Things Weren't the Same for reasons that you'll soon find out. Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed and thank you to everyone who reviewed. Stay tuned!*


To you its another day
To me its a grim memory
Just another shooting star
Strung down on your wire

Prick my finger
On his virgin silver
He told me warm ginger
Carmelize me

Tombigbee, Tombigbee
Help me hang these bones,
Gotta hang these bones out to dry
He loves me, he loved me, ravishingly love
Gonna hang these bones out to dry
Dry, dry, dry

Oh you're good, man

Tori Amos, Scarlet's Web, Tombigbee