I've always pretended that it's him. Ever since she and I started dating, even after we got married, I've always pretended that she's him.

To be sure, I love Lily. I love her very dearly. I've carried a torch for her since the day I saw her, red-headed and perfect, on the Hogwarts Express. She's an amazing woman: smart, pretty, inquisitive, everything a man would want in a wife. And I've got her. Beat out a few other candidates to win her heart, in fact.

And to be sure, I'm not completely homosexual. I can't picture myself dating a bloke. In fact, I can't picture myself being with a bloke other than him. He is always at the center of my thoughts, though. I don't think I'm in love with him. With Lily, I feel triumphant. It feels like finally, after so many years of trying, I've won. She's mine. It's fiery and exciting. But with him, it's comfortable, predictable, calm, and kind. Just like him. And he's beautiful, too. Intelligent eyes, sandy blonde hair, a smattering of freckles across his nose. My heart warms just to see him.

Maybe I am in love with him.

Seventh Year

"Do you think she'll go out with me this year?" asked James as he played with the Golden Snitch in his hand.

"Well, if previous years are any indication . . ." offered Remus.

James laughed.

"I'll have plenty of chances to be near her, though. Head Boy and all," said James, his chest puffed up proudly.

Remus rolled his eyes and buried his nose in his book. His head snapped up, however, when he felt James's presence sink down onto Remus's bed. His eyes found James's. James was giving him a cocky, casual smirk, a wry sort of smile that only James Potter can pull off.

"At least if she says no," joked James, "I'll still have you."

Remus flushed. Remus knew he would always be second fiddle to Lily Evans. Lily was a conquest, and James loved a challenge. Remus, well, he was just Remus. Always there, always dependable. Always available.

"You smell good," said James casually.

"Aftershave," said Remus, his eyes closed as he wished that James's words meant more than they probably did.

"I love it when you let your face get all scruffy," continued James, "but if your aftershave smells this good, I'll let it slide."

Remus chuckled nervously.

"Just this once," James added.

James was smirking again. Remus wanted nothing more than to have that smirk all to himself for the rest of his life. He was hopelessly mad about James Potter. Remus had never been accepted by anyone before in his life, and it was because of James that he now had three wonderful boys as best friends. James had treated Remus just like anyone else, even with the curse of lycanthropy. Remus's heart ached with the desire to have James look at him the way he looked at Lily Evans.

But it wasn't meant to be, so Remus was content to be just James's best friend. Any kind of attention was better than none at all.

James let out a sigh and flopped back onto Remus's bed. Remus was diligently trying to ignore the fluttering sensation in his abdomen and the tightening in his groin. James was absently stroking his stomach, exposing his six-pack abs, the envy of every young man at Hogwarts. Remus groaned inwardly as he tried unsuccessfully to ignore it. When James's pink tongue darted out to moisten those perfect lips, the throbbing between his legs became even more uncomfortable.

James head lolled toward Remus, his eyes taking in the werewolf's form, and then it happened. The most embarrassing moment of Remus's entire life. James caught sight of the bulge in Remus's trousers. He did a double take, letting out a tiny gasp of surprise. Remus's face so red his freckles couldn't even be seen anymore. They were both frozen in time, unsure of what to do next.

James sat up and inched closer. Remus flinched, half expecting his friend to go ballistic at the obvious evidence of his arousal. But he didn't.

"Are you . . . did I . . ." babble James. "Do you find me . . . attractive?"

The way Remus flushed embarrassedly confirmed the answer. James chuckled a bit.

"You know, you're going to laugh . . ."he began.

Remus didn't think he had ever been further from laughing.

"I've never kissed a girl before," said James.

Remus tilted his head to one side in question.

"Or a guy either, for that matter," amended James. "I think I've been holding out for Evans."

Remus nodded, avoiding James's gaze.

"But we all know how well that's turning out," snorted James.

Remus didn't look up at his friend. But then James did something quite unexpected. James kissed Remus.

It was clumsy. James's teeth knocked against Remus's, and he didn't seem to know what to do with his tongue. James pulled away.

"Can I try that again?" asked James, panting very slightly.

Remus nodded. James leaned in once more. Their lips met perfectly. Remus dared to let his tongue slide out to met James's, and when he heard a low moan come from James's throat, he felt an explosion of butterflies in his stomach. His cock was painfully hard. James ran a hand through Remus's hair, letting his other hand graze Remus's waist and hips. Finally, they broke apart. Both were breathing raggedly.

"Wow," whispered James.

"Wow," agreed Remus quietly.

Cautiously, James's hand snaked across to Remus's chest, and Remus sucked in a breath at the contact. James's fingers trailed lightly down his stomach, to his waist, and then . . .

"James!" hissed Remus.

"Does that feel good?" he whispered.

"You have no idea," Remus said, his eyes closed and his head lolling back.

Instinct was taking over now for the werewolf, and Remus threaded his fingers in James's messy black hair, pulling him closer for a kiss as his hand continued to work its magic, feeling marvelous even on top of his trousers. Remus's free hand began to fiddle with the buttons on James's pants, and the raven haired boy froze to the spot.

"Do you want me to stop?" panted Remus nervously.

James took a deep breath, obviously building up his courage, and shook his head. As James leaned back on the bed, Remus slowly slid James's jeans down his legs, gazing hungrily at what was now standing erect and exposed. James was panting now, too. Unsure of what to do, but certain of what he wanted to do, Remus leaned in and let his tongue graze the head of James's throbbing cock lightly.

James hissed a breath and his head popped up from the pillow in shock and surprise. He was gazing open mouthed at the werewolf, desperately desiring the contact again.

Remus complied. He took James into his mouth. Like their kiss, it was clumsy and uncertain at first, but as James quietly whispered his pleasure and whimpered at the touches he liked, Remus quickly learned what to do to make that heavenly moan escape his best friend's lips. It took less than two minutes. James suddenly tensed up and a strangled cry left his throat, and Remus swallowed. He backed away, smacking his lips and pondering the taste lingering on his tongue. James's eyes were hooded; he looked satiated.

Their night time trysts grew more and more frequent as the year pressed on. James soon ventured into the territory of taking Remus into his mouth, and Remus found him to be, as always, skillful in everything he tried.

And then one night, they tried it. Nervous touches and whispers, gentle kisses and breaths, and James pushed himself inside of Remus. The sandy haired boy tensed, his face screwing up with the uncomfortable sensation, but James's patience and tenderness erased any pain. They were really making love. James's kisses became more fervent as he thrust in and out of his friend. His whispers in Remus's ear became dirtier.

"So fucking tight, Remus. You feel so good, so hot and tight."

James pushed his hips against Remus twice more and spilled his seed into him. They slept in Remus's bed that night, both shivering with the pleasure and the newness of it all. James wrapped his arms around the werewolf, holding him tight against his chest, and kissed him everywhere he could reach as they fell asleep.

Present

She used to let me fuck her in the ass, and I could really pretend it was him. But now, she wants a baby, and fucking her like I fucked him won't give her one, so I make love to her like a husband is meant to make love to his wife. It's not the same, and I don't like it nearly as much.

I want to be with him. Merlin, I am in love with him. I want to wake up next to him, every day; I want to spend our days planning out our lives and leaving notes on the mirror in the fog of a steaming shower.

And I want to make love to him.

But I am here, making love to her.