I didn't see Sonic for a while after that. In fact he completely stopped the sessions we were having, because I went back a few times to see if he was there, which, he wasn't. Just like I'd predicted.

I hadn't heard a single word from him, and whenever I asked Tails or Knuckles about his whereabouts they told me he was either out running or sleeping. It was the same lame excuse and I knew he was deliberately avoiding me. If he wanted to get away from me that badly, I would have preferred it if he'd got Tails to pass on a note or something, not just suddenly disappear.

Regardless of his story though, I knew he was avoiding me because of the kiss.

That damned kiss. I didn't regret it, not exactly. God only knew how much I'd been wanting to kiss him.

But I'd done it for the wrong reasons. I'd done it because I was upset and frustrated and had simply wanted to prove that I could. I was so tired of doing the right thing, the smart thing. I was trying to be more in control lately, but I seemed to be slipping.

I also hadn't forgotten the warning that he'd once given me—that us being together wasn't just about age. It would interfere with our enemies. With Lyric. In the eyes of the snake If Sonic and I were together he would see our relationship as the perfect bait, Sonic was in fear that I would get captured again, so it was only natural to stay apart. But pushing him into the kiss…well, I'd fanned the flames of a problem that could eventually hurt both of us. I shouldn't have done it. I'd hadn't been able to stop myself back then.

It had been four days. Four days without being around Sonic felt more devastating than I thought it would feel. I found myself constantly blaming myself for shoving him away. I shouldn't be worrying, really. What was done was done, and there was no changing the outcome. For the last four days I'd been debating on whether I should approach him first or wait for him to come to me. Although, it would be best if I said sorry, at least that would give me an excuse to look for him. There was no point in seeking help from Knuckles or Tails again. So that only left one person.

And that someone found me earlier on that morning.

I'd fallen asleep after dinner, too dejected to leave the bed. Her slamming of the door jolted me awake.
"Sticks?" I was happy to see her. I needed to spill out my troubles and gain comforting words from another female, but before I could began to open my mouth the chestnut badger sank beside me on the bed, the memory-foam mattress dipped deeper underneath her weight. Sticks scooped both my hands in hers, squeezing onto them firmly whilst staring into my eyes.
"I has a bad feeling there's something going on between you and Sonic. The violins won't stop playing the blues man. So come on spill it. What's up?" This is what I like about Sticks, she gets straight to the point.

Though it wasn't until in that moment I realized I had been backed into a corner, which kind of made me feel trapped and instantly regret what I did even more than I should. I told Sticks the entire story leaving out the kissing part, instead saying we had an argument that ended badly. The chestnut badger stared at me for a bit in that creepy way she always seemed to pull off every time. I figured that type of expression was actually her thinking face, which made my original thought even weirder.

"I think you should give him a piece of your mind!" She released my hands to exaggerate her point, flailing her arms in the air to form fists, she struck a fighting stance and pretended to attack the particles in the air. I should have expected this type of reaction. She was always the violent type, jumping into conclusions too soon before thinking about the consequences first.

I sighed heavily, feeling completely hopeless. I felt that my friend wasn't truly understanding me, but I pushed on with the subject despite the little nagging voice in my head, I might as well spill the rest of it now that I had it in the open.

"The last thing I want to do is hurt him, Sticks." I shifted my weight across the bed till I was sitting at the edge beside my lava lamp. "And besides, I'll be slightly relieved when he leaves us for a while. I don't know if I can take much more of this." According to Knuckles, someone called asking for Sonic to come to the other side of the island. The guardian didn't elaborate on the topic. Refusing to tell me why Sonic was needed by people we didn't know and where exactly he was going, especially without his friends. But to be honest, that was fine by me. I thought it'd be best to create some distance between us, a distance that was much further than the other side of the room. Plus, he was going to be away for a few days, so that gave me time to think of an excuse to talk to him again, which was good enough for me.

Sticks turned to me in surprise. "Oh. Um, you don't know?"

I sensed a strange vibe coming from her telling me that I wasn't going to like what was coming next.

"Know what?"

"Uh, he isn't leaving. At all. He's still sticking around for a while."

"He has to leave," I argued. For some reason I couldn't handle the thought of Sonic being in the same room as me for much longer, it was bad enough that he couldn't look me in the eye. And I was already drowning in the awkwardness, I just couldn't take it. It was hard to stay away from someone who was apart of you. "Knuckles told me that he was needed somewhere alone? Without us?"

"His plans to leave were ruined because Sonic refused to go. He said - and these were his exact words - that he had some 'unfinished work' to take care of."

I stared.

'Unfinished work' eh? By any chance would he be referring to me? Yes. That had to be it. There was no other explanation for Sonic to decline, especially if those people needed his help. Knowing Sonic he never turned down an invitation without a darn good reason, so I must be that reason. I'm the one at fault, aren't I? Or was he staying purely because he wants to sort things out? Maybe that was it. I couldn't puzzle together a proper conclusion since my brain had turned into mush. I felt so confused. So wounded, and stressed up to a certain extent. But knowing that Sonic wasn't leaving made me feel ten times as worse because I sure as hell wasn't ready to face him yet.

Smiling at my shock, Sticks nodded. "I should know because he told me himself that he wasn't going."

"I should have seen this coming," I mused wiping my hands over my face in dismay. "He's not leaving because of me, that must be the reason. Why else would he decline?"

"Because he just wants to irritate you even more?" She teased.

"No," I said in a monotone. "This puts me in an awkward position."

Sticks sat beside me again, the memory foam mattress bounced, forcing my shoulder to bump into hers. As a beautiful smile lit her face she reached out and softly brushed my hand. I had absolute faith in her. Even though she was a bit of a psycho, that didn't matter. I still trusted whatever advice she gave me because she was a true friend who trusted me as much as I trusted her. And that was all that mattered.

"Don't make me sort this out myself," she said softly, almost taunting.

My eyes widened at the same time my body tensed. "You wouldn't."

"I would. If you don't speak up I'll drag him here right now and lock the door -"

"Okay okay!" Sonics words slammed into my mind just then. His warning about us being together. Uneasily, I thought about my behavior these last couple of days. Some of the angry outbursts. My rebelliousness - unusual even for me. My own black coil of emotion, stirring within my chest. I waved my hands in front of her face and shot up from the bed. Seeing Sticks watching me, I tried to compose myself before sighing in defeat. "Fine, I'll go."

"Brilliant!" Sticks clapped her hands, bouncing on the bed in delight. "He's in the lounge right now, go before you change your mind."

I opened my mouth to say something else, but as I breathed sharply Sticks objected, jerking off the bed she dug her deadly claws into my shoulders. A yelp generated in my throat at the small pain but before I could protest she twirled me around and shoved me abruptly in the direction of the door, saying "go" over and over again. She single handedly flung the door open before practically kicking me out of my own room.

~x~
Soon I knew I had to deal with this.

I stood outside the lounge door, directly facing it as if I was preparing myself for some big event. I shook my hands in an attempt to cool them down - which had no effect whatsoever. I had never felt so nervous in my life, but I pushed past my muddled thoughts and the nagging voice telling me to turn back. There was no escape, I had made my decision finally. And besides, if I didn't go through with this Sticks was going to do more than just murder me.

Mentally counting to three I gently opened the door and peaked around the corner, immediately finding Sonic slumped on my purple sofa. Tv remote in his right hand as he aimlessly skimmed through the channels on my television. He looked up at my entrance. I'd seen little of him in these last few days and had figured he was busy with Tails. Though he threw me off guard when he spoke first.

"I thought you might come by," he said, pressing the red button to switch off the TV.

It was really bizarre considering the fact we haven't been speaking for four days straight, and the time when I actually plan what to say, he comes up with that, acting as if nothing happened. This ruined everything for me. He caught me by surprise and I found myself stupidly gaping at him in confusion. Since he started the conversation my mind went blank. Because you know those times when you completely forget what your going to say, like you walk into a room to do something and once you get there you instantly forget why you went in that room? Yeah. That's how I felt.

"Don't mind me I'm getting...something." I pushed as much patented Amy Rose bravado into my words as I could.

Sonic wasn't falling for any of it. He gestured to the space beside him.

"Sit down, Amy."
I hesitated only a moment before complying. He turned to face me so that we sat directly across from each other. My heart fluttered as I looked into those gorgeous dark eyes.

Sonic sealed his hands together to stop his arms from becoming annoyingly uncomfortable. "This thought has been bugging me, and I'm just...curious." He sighed, leaning forward, balancing his elbows on his knees in unease. I could tell by his body language that this was really difficult for him to say. "Why did you do that?"

I swallowed hard. "I don't know," my eyes dropped from his and studied the floor. "It's my fault," I said in a small voice.

"Hmm?"

"That kiss. I forced you into it."

I didn't have to see Sonic's face to know compassion was filling it. "It's okay, really. You made a bad decision and it won't happen again, right?"

Tears brimmed in my eyes as I looked back up. "The kiss was the icing on the cake. Before that the whole reason Lyric kidnapped me - it was my fault. I knew how to translate some ancient carvings...and the more he tortured my brain I couldn't take it...I told him what they said, even though I promised you that I wouldn't..."

One tear leaked out of the corner of my eye. Really, I need to learn to stop that. I felt a finger brush underneath my eye and realized Sonic delicately wiped it off my cheek.

"You can't blame yourself for that," he told me. "You were in pain. I mean, if I was in your shoes I would have probably done the same thing. It's alright. You've got nothing to regret." That hand that wiped away my tears hovered over my cheek, gingerly cupping it inside his warm palm I had to resist the urge to melt into his touch by pulling away. I swallowed back more tears that threatened to leak before standing up. I had to leave before I said something stupid.

"I should go," I said thickly. "Let me know when you want to start practice again. And thanks for…talking." I started to turn; then I heard him say abruptly, "No."

I glanced back. "What?"

He held my gaze, and something warm and wonderful and powerful shot between us.

"No," Sonic repeated. "I haven't learnt self control, you were right." The ghost of a smile flickered across his face as he said that. For some reason I couldn't prevent a small smile of my own from forming."You've ruined me Amy Rose - and I mean that in the most nicest way. You were right, about how I fight to stay in control. No one else has ever figured that out— and it scared me. You scare me." He got up taking a few steps toward me. "But you know things, Ames. Things people older than you don't even know. And that's what I like about you, I like the fact that you've finally figured me out."

I almost started crying again. "Why don't you want anyone knowing about your self-control?"

He shrugged. "Whether they know that fact or not doesn't matter. What matters is that someone - that you - know me that well. When a person can see you inside out, it forces you to be open. Vulnerable. And I guess I've been blinded to that until now. That kiss was the trigger that started all this. And since then, I haven't stopped thinking about it."

I had the exact same issue. "Me too."

"So…that's where our problem begins."

"Because it's wrong for us to be together."

"Yes."

"Because of the age difference."

"Yes."

"But more importantly because we're going to be fighting Lyric and need to focus on him—not each other."

"Yes."

I thought about this for a moment and then looked straight into Sonic's evergreen eyes.
"Well," I said at last, "the way I see it, we aren't bait right now."

I braced myself for his next response. Knowing it was going to be one of his awkward jokes or a shy chuckle that silenced further conversation. Something that was guaranteed to ruin this perfect vibe I was beginning to adore, something that would leave me feeling even more heart wrenched than I felt before entering this room. I was presuming the usual response I got.

Instead Sonic closed the gap. Moving his mouth down and brushed it against my lips. Kissing me.

Time stopped as he reached out and cupped my face between his hands. It was barely a kiss at first but soon increased, becoming heady and deep. At the same time it was still gentle, but captivating, a mixture of sweet wild flowers and jungle fruit. Mesmerized lips press together time after time, transporting us to another world. Though to my disappointment our special moment was short lived when he finally pulled away, bringing his lips up to kiss my forehead. My eyes fluttered as I felt his lips hang there for several seconds, his arms hugged me close. I wished the kiss could have gone on forever.

Breaking the embrace, he ran a few fingers through my quills and down my cheek before stepping back toward the door. "I'll see you later, Ames."

"At our next practice?" I asked. "We are starting those up again, right? I mean, you still have things to teach me."

Standing in the doorway, he looked over at me and smiled. "Yes. Lots of things."