A young man gets off the bus. He has brown hair, hazel eyes, and is wearing a leather jacket. He couldn't believe how long he had been on that bus. The trip from Philly had made him tired and the whole time all he had worried about was if someone would notice that he didn't have a ticket. Now, all he wanted to do was to sleep until he could sleep no more. But he knew that he had to find a place where no one would notice him while he slept. The last thing he needed was to draw attention to himself so he headed toward the bushes where he could hide from everyone.

~/~@

Riding on Bandit's back, Caitlin pulls against the reins. Bandit obeys and stops immediately, finishing his stride as he reaches the cool shade of Caitlin's favorite tree. Caitlin slides of his bareback and reaches the ground. She sits beside the tree knowing that Bandit needs a rest from the strenuous pace that she had set for him. All she could think of was how she had to get away from the house. She could not take one more moment of Griffin's stupidity. He had been whining all day about how he liked Taylor and how she did not like him. She was going to tell him to "shut the fuck up!" but Dori walked into the room right before she could. She thought that she was going to kill herself if she didn't get away so she had to leave. Now, here she was, with her best friend and her favorite tree. All she could do was think of was how aggravating Griffin is. Then, out of the blue a new train of thought went off in her head like a canon. She suddenly realized how it had been almost two years since she had seen any of her friends from Philly. Yeah, she never told anyone about them, and yeah, no one knew that she had them, but how could she tell anyone? If she did she knew that they would be sent to orphanages for sure and she was not about to let that happen. She wished that she could see them. Especially Evan, her true love. She couldn't help but wonder if after these years he had moved on without her. It was two years ago and they were just 14 years old after all. He could have, but she knew in her heart that he didn't.

~/~@

The young man wakes up and realizes that it is a lot later than he had thought it was. He felt quite rested and was ready to start on his mission to find his lover. He knew she lived somewhere in this town. As he looked around he felt a slight throbbing surge through his stomach. He didn't like this place. It was nothing like what he was used to. It had so much space and the streets were not crowded like they were where he came from. He wondered how his lover could live in a place like this. But then he remembered that she had no choice. It was either come here or go to juvie, but then he thought, maybe juvie would have been better. "Enough!" he quietly yelled to himself. "I have to find her." The only thing that the old man from the camera store could tell him was that this was the town she was in. Yeah, he had told him almost two years ago, but it took him that much time to muster up enough courage to go find her and now that he was here he wasn't going to waste any time.

~/~@

Caitlin decided that it had been enough time away from Griffin. She hoped that by the time she got back to the house he would be either gone or at least talking about a different subject than Taylor. He had been talking about her for at least three days straight and Caitlin was not going to hear anymore about it. Caitlin rode up in a slow but steady pace trying to see if Griffin was home. His bike was there, but she still hoped that he was gone even though now it was not very likely. She rode Bandit into the corral where she left him to join the other horses. Then she made her retreat back to the ranch still praying that Griffin was gone. Of course, Griffin was still there and to top it off he had now changed the topic from, I like her and she doesn't like me, to, I love her and she loathes me. Caitlin could not take it anymore and she went off. "How do you expect any girl to like you when you always whine like that?" she asked in an irritated tone. "What do you mean I always whine? I do not always whine!" "Yeah you do. I don't even know how your friends can stand it. You whine about everything!" "I do not!" said Griffin in a whining tone. "Yeah you do. You just did it there," answered Caitlin. "Damn it. All you ever do is whine, no wonder Taylor doesn't like you. How could she like you? If she did everyone would make fun of her and say how the only reason she goes out with a looser like you is because she can't stand you whining about her not liking you." "Yeah? Well, I don't see anyone liking you! I mean at least I have friends!" "I'd rather not have friends, than only have friends because I am annoying and everyone wants to make me shut up!" Dori walks in. "What are you two arguing about now?" she asks. "Nothing," they both respond simultaneously. "Well good, its time for dinner. Lets set the table."

~/~@

Evan knew exactly where to start searching for his lover. All he had to do was find where the library was first. He knew that once there, he could go online and find out what school she went to. He just hoped that her new parents didn't make her take their name or his search would be hopeless. Evan reached the library and walked up the stairs towards the entrance. He felt that everyone's eyes were on him, but they weren't. He knew that the only reason he felt that way was because he was in a new place. Once inside he quickly made his way to the computers. He sat down and began searching, thinking of everything he would say to his lover once he found where her school was. The librarian came over to him and said, "We are closing in five minutes, so please hurry with what you are doing because I do not want to have to wait for you to finish once we are closed." "Okay Mama, I will go as fast as I can," he told her. Then, like a gift from god telling him that they were meant to be, he found it. It was the only school in the town and he hoped that his lover went there. He planned to go there tomorrow to see if she was. He left the library with an uplifting satisfaction. If all went well, he would be back with his lover where they belonged, in Philly.

~/~@

Caitlin ran down the stairs almost tripping and falling because Griffin had left his shoes on them. She was going to be late, again. Griffin hadn't even gone to wake her up. "Hurry up Caitlin, your gonna miss the bus," said Griffin. "Nice of you to wake me up," replied Caitlin. "Don't you two start again. I'm not going to put up with another one of your little fights. Why can't you just get along for one day or even hour?" Dori said. They had been getting worse and fighting more lately and Dori couldn't quite put her finger on it. She knew that Caitlin didn't have a lot of friends here and that Griffin was all upset about Taylor not liking him, but that was no reason for them to argue like this constantly. She had to find out what was going on, and soon. Beep beep. The bus was here. Good, thought Dori, I stopped them from having another battle and now I wont have to deal with them any more today, or at least until they get home. Caitlin and Griffin ran out the door. Caitlin felt a little different that morning. She couldn't put her finger on it, but she knew that something was going to happen today and she hoped that it was something good.

Evan hurried to get to the school. He knew that today was going to be one of the best days of his life. He couldn't wait to see her. He sneaked in through the side door during the first period and stayed hidden dodging behind walls to make sure that no one saw him. All he had to do now was find her. He could either walk through the halls looking for her or wait until she passed him during passing periods. Either one he chose was risky. Walking the halls allowed any person out of class to see him, but waiting for her to pass allowed everyone to see him. He decided to go looking.

~/~@

Caitlin was in her first period class. This is so boring she thought to herself. Why doesn't this guy ever shut up? All he does is talk and talk. There are so many better things that I can be doing right now. "Caitlin?" says Mr. Doris. "Um, yes, I mean, no. I mean, can you repeat the question?" stutters Caitlin. "I was asking what causes the DNA to be absorbed into the cell," said Mr. Doris very agitated. She never pays attention. She could be so smart. Why doesn't she just listen to anything I say, even if only for five minutes? She could do so much better than she is doing if she just paid attention. "Um, cuz it wants to be absorbed? No, I mean cuz the cell wall is thin?" stammers Caitlin some more as the giggles and laughter begins to emerge throughout the classroom. "Taylor?" asks Mr. Doris. Damn it. I am so stupid, thinks Caitlin as Taylor's answer and the giggles drown away from her mind. Well, whatever. The brief humiliation doesn't even faze her anymore and the class drags on.

~/~@

Evan sneaks around another corner and attempts to peer into another window on another door. He almost was seen at the last one and he wasn't going to let himself get caught. As he pulls his head up so that only his eyes are showing over the ledge, the bell rings. Ding, ding, ding. He runs for a hiding place, but it is too late. Students charge out from every door and before he realizes it he is engulfed. Then, he sees her, not too far away heading down the hallway in the other direction. He stays about 20 steps behind her hoping that she will not notice. He wants his arrival to be a great surprise. He follows her to her locker and to her next class. He knows that he will have plenty of time to plan how he will allow her to see him.

~/~@

Caitlin feels that someone is watching her as she moves from second period to third period. She doesn't look back though. She doesn't want to know who is following her. She brings her headphones up over her ears to blast away the feeling of eyes on her back.

~/~@

She hadn't felt that feeling since she left Philly. It was the feeling of Evan's eyes on her back. There was no way that any person was going to take that feeling from her. It was all she had left of him. She knew that if she turned to look it would no longer be her lover's feeling, but the person that was looking at her feeling. She would never turn to look. She just couldn't. She wanted it to be Evan so bad, but she knew that there was no way that he could be here, in Montana.

~/~@

Evan follows her from one classroom to another trying to think of a way to surprise her and then he realizes. Then, the principal comes down the hallway. He doesn't know what to do or where to turn and then he sees it. There is a little dark storage room across the hallway from the classroom. He sneaks in and decides to wait until the next passing period.

~/~@

Caitlin walks out of the classroom into the swarm of students in the hallway. She was about to fall asleep in that class and was so happy that it was finally lunchtime. She couldn't think of anything that would make her happier, than to go outside and start taking pictures. The next thing she knew she was being pulled into a dark room by a strong hand. She couldn't see who it was. There were no lights on in this small room and the door had been shut behind them. Fear began to surge through her and she began to tense, which she did not normally do. She didn't know what was going on and then he spoke so soft that it was more like a whisper. "Caitlin," it had been two years since he had said her name and it had been burning within him the whole time like a fire ready to explode. He was surprised by the faintness at which it was released from his lips. "Evan? Is that really you?" all fear left her and she knew before he even answered. "Yeah, Cait. It is." "But how? Your suppose to be in Philly." "I know, I was, but I couldn't be without you any longer. I had to see you." "How did you find me?" "I asked the guy at the camera shop and he told me that they sent you here." "But I don't understand. How? Why now? What took you so long?" "I had problems, but lets not get into that now. Lets go somewhere where we can make up for lost time." "Okay," replied Caitlin. She had been waiting for an excuse to leave school that day and now she had the most perfect one that she could ever have. She glimpsed up toward him looking deeply into his eyes. Evan looked into her eyes too and knew exactly what she wanted. He leaned down and allowed his lips to lightly brush her's. The sensation of the touch ignited the flame that had been smothered by the forces that had held them apart. His hand grazed her face and he pulled her closer to him. It had been so long since he had felt her against him. The tender soft kiss turned into passion. He pushed her up against the door and then, with no notice, the door began to open. They stumbled out, Evan grabbing Caitlin so that she wouldn't fall to the floor. Once they regained their composure they looked around to see who had opened the door, but there was no one around. They both laughed hysterically and ran out of the school together.

~/~@

Caitlin brought Evan out to the most secluded place that she knew of. It was far into the woods and she knew that no one would find them there. They sat down on the dry grass and began to talk. First they talked about what had happened to Caitlin, then what Evan went through without her, and last they talked about their past and their future together. Before long it was sunset. Caitlin just sat there with Evan. She loved the feeling of security that he gave her when his arms were around her. She knew that they couldn't stay like this forever though. If she didn't go home soon she would be in even more trouble that she was already going to be in. She started to get up. "Come on. I will show you were I am staying so that you can come see me later tonight." "But I want to wait till its set." "Okay, but no later." As soon as the sun is set she leads Evan back to her house. "Wait here. My room is that one up there." She points out one of the upstairs bedrooms. "After 12 o'clock, come to my window and you can sleep in my room tonight instead of out here in the cold." "Okay, I will. See you tonight then love." "Bye," she replies. He pulls her in for one last kiss and as she walks slowly away their hands slowly separate from each other. Caitlin enters the house and passes by Griffin first. "Boy are you gonna get it. The rents are on a rampage and it is all because of you," says Griffin. Caitlin knows that they know. What am I going to say, is all she can think. I have to think of a good lie. Come on, I don't have much time; they have to have heard the door shut behind me. Caitlin walks around the corner. "Where have you been?" asks Jim, his beat red head about to pop off his skinny neck. "I can't believe you. Your teacher called and said that you missed your last two classes of the day and then you don't come back until after supper! Where have you been?" "I was.." (A long pause.) Damnit. What am I going to tell them? I can't tell them the truth. "I uh." "Out with it already! We know that this is a stall tactic. Just tell us where you were and why you left school," yells Dori. "Well, I was out talking a walk in the woods and I um.I um.I got lost." "You got lost? And why did you leave school early?" "Well, I don't like my last two periods anyways and I was out taking pictures at lunch and I saw a bird and it was hurt and I decided that I needed to help it." "Really? Well, where is the bird now?" Oh no, thought Caitlin. What am I going to say now? "Well, I helped it and it flew away." The first thing that popped into her head she said and then realized how it might not have been the best of answers. The argument continued with why was she lying and where did she really go. It even went so far as to mention why her and Griffin had been fighting so much and how the Lowes wished that she had more friends. They even added in how lucky she was that they took her in. It ended with Caitlin crying and the Lowes feeling sorry for her as they usually did.

~/~@

After the argument Caitlin had been sent to her room. The Lowe's knew that she was lying. They just didn't know why she had skipped school. It was like she was returning to her old ways almost and they thought of how she had come so far. To go back to her bad ways now would change her for the worse. Caitlin sat in her room waiting for the clock to strike twelve. She could hardly wait any longer. Then, Evan appeared at her window. She went to it as fast and as quietly as she could. She opened the window and he climbed through. Evan could tell that something was wrong by the look in Caitlin's eyes. "What's wrong?" he asked. She looked away. "Nothing. Lets get out of here." They moved out the window and climbed down the wall. Then Evan grabbed Caitlin's hand. "I found this cool place I want to show you. Come on." He pulled Caitlin along through the woods and down a little stream that bubbled and gurgled. Caitlin liked the sound and then Evan stopped. They had reached a little cave-like area. It looked like Evan had planned to take her here all along even though she said that he could stay with her before. It had a blanket on the floor with candles all around. There was even a little spot in the ceiling where you could look up and see out into the night sky. Evan could tell by the glow in Caitlin's eyes that she loved it.

~/~@

They lay there for a while staring at the sky with the moon looking back down upon them. Caitlin was thinking of a way to make Evan stay with her forever, but then realized that it was impossible. She turned toward him so that she could look into his eyes. "You know that we can't last, don't you?" she asks. "What do you mean?" he replies with a thought of, where did this thought come from. "We can't do this. It is never going to work out. I mean, I'm here, and you are, well, you are everywhere." "I don't get what you're saying." "We won't last. You don't want to have to live with foster parents, or in an orphanage for that fact. If you stay with me that is what will happen. Someone finds you, you know we will be split again." "You don't think I know this? I do. Its just that, I love you, I try not to, but I can't stop." "Me too, I can't either." (Buffy & Angel theme song from innocence playing in the background.) Caitlin lies back on the blanket and Evan leans over. Their lips touch and his hands slowly caress her skin. He starts on her stomach and moves upward toward her breasts. Caitlin pulls his leather jacket down his arms feeling his bulging biceps through his t-shirt. She knows that clothes are going to hinder this experience. Evan's hands continue their journey on her skin with soft tender strokes. He helps her pull her shirt up over her head and then unzips her pants. His hand slides along her hip coming to her thong. He slips both her pants and the thong down her legs. Caitlin unzips Evan's pants and he pushes his body against her's. She feels his erection against her stomach. "Are you sure you want to do this?" Evan asks. "Yes," she replies softly. The light of the candles cast soft, magical orangeish glow of shadows against their half covered bare skin. Evan enters Caitlin and their pelvic thrust combine. Their hearts begin to beat as one. They truly were made for one another.

~/~@

The night fades away and soon it is morning. Evan wakes up to find Caitlin still lying on top of him, the ray of the sun peaking through the hole in the ceiling. He shifts her slightly to the side and dresses himself. All he could think was that last night was amazing. He sat on the ground staring at Caitlin knowing that he would always love her. Caitlin woke, rubbed her eyes and looked at Evan. She was so glad that he was still there. She had something to tell him. "I thought you would have left by now," she said, "But I am glad that you didn't. Maybe we can make this work. You never know." She gave him a little smile. "I can't. Last night was amazing, but I can't." "But why not?" asked Caitlin quite surprised. "You know why. I can't get caught and if I do, you know that you will not be able to live with yourself." "But we can work that out. Can't we?" "I don't think we can, but look, once I am 18 I will come back to you. It will only be about a year." "You promise?" "I promise." And with that last promise, Evan kisses her forehead and walkes away hoping that he has made the right decision.

~/~@

Caitlin dresses herself, grabs the blanket and all the candles and heads home. That was the best night of her life. The only thing she would have changed was to have him stay with her. She knew that that was not possible though and knew that he would come back once he was 18. Now all she had to do was figure out a way to get back into the house without anyone finding out that she had been gone all night.