A/N: Hi! Well, I'm SO glad you guys don't mind me being romantic once in a while… lol :) Thanks to my reviewers. Leon, this chapter WILL continue 'The Perfect Gift' as you suggested. I honestly have no idea how long this will be, depends on my inspiration. Anyway, on with the story!

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: All credit to those mentioned in 'Cherries'. No offense to The Paterson or Hill families in writing LDD.

(AGES: Same as previous chapter, as this takes place five seconds after.)

CHAPTER 3

Breathe

---JESS'S POV---

"Leslie…"

"Yes, my King?"

"I think I'm falling in love with you."

The dialogue bounced in my head like one thousand of those cheap little bouncy balls you got out of a quarter machine outside the supermarket. I was feeling clammy, and though I had Leslie in my arms still, it felt like I was holding air. I waited for her. Would she respond?

---LESLIE'S POV---

"I think I'm falling in love with you."

Fireworks were everywhere. I couldn't breathe, yet I had the sweetest cleanest air. I opened my mouth to speak, but my mouth was dry as the dessert. I knew if I spoke, I would have water to drink, in a way, but I couldn't. My heart was pounding like a bomb ready to explode.

He loves me! He loves me! He loves me!

I tightened my grip on him, trying to show him. But I was already squeezing poor Jess like a python, so it didn't really help. What could I do?

---JESS'S POV---

My God.

I blew it.

I told her too soon.

She doesn't love me back.

I've lost everything!

I've gotta apologize.

"Les…MMMHH!" I opened my mouth to speak, only to find Leslie push herself away from me and kiss me like she needed to suck every ounce of air from my body. I stared at her closed eyes for a second, trying to process it. Thankfully, I'm not entirely stupid, and figured it out before she stopped. I kissed her back, hoping this was her way of saying: "I Love You Too."

After a couple of seconds, she stopped. She looked at me embarrassed. I gave her my lopsided smile, the same smile I gave her after our first kiss.

"Hey," I said. "It's your birthday. Why do I get a present?"

She laughed, and stopped blushing. "Cause you gave me the best present ever." She replied genuinely. She hugged me again, and I could tell the humor was gone.

"Jess," She whispered. Her voice was back.

"Yes, Leslie?" I rubbed her between her shoulder blades.

"I love you too."

I hugged her tighter, and kissed the top of her head. "You have no idea how long I have wanted to hear you say that."

---LESLIE'S POV---

I felt giddy inside as he had me there. No more guessing on flowers going,

He loves me.

He loves me not.

I knew. I knew for a fact that he loved me. ME! He didn't love Madison McCafferty, the prettiest girl in school. He loves me. Me, me, me, me! I couldn't think it enough. I sighed happily and buried my head in his chest.

---JESS'S POV---

She was mine. I knew it now. Leslie Burke would never leave me. Ever. I had her right there with me. My Queen would not desert me.

"Leslie, darling." I whispered.

---LESLIE'S POV---

I shivered in delight. He had never called me that before.

"Yes, your majesty?" I asked him, gazing up at him.

And then ever so gently, he slid his finger under my chin and raised my lips to his.

---JESS'S POV---

I felt her there. She was there, I knew it. But still, I had been kissing her softly from the very beginning. Today was special right? I had told her I loved her. She deserved proof. So I kissed her harder, pushing my mouth against hers.

"Hmmhm!" She giggled. Startled by the sudden weight of me, she was now against the outer wall of the tree house. I wrapped my arms around her waist and smiled. She wrapped hers around my neck and smiled back. I ran my tongue over her bottom lip, something I had never done before. She nibbled my top lip with hers.

We're even. She seemed to be saying.

I enjoyed this game. I gently removed my mouth for a moment and looked at her. Her eyes were shining brighter than usual, if that was possible. I reached up and tugged her hair. She giggled again. Feeling brave, I dug around for her ear again, nibbling at her ear lobe. Her breath caught in her throat and she sighed, making the noise I referred to as 'The Happy Leslie Noise'. I had succeeded.

I pulled away slowly. She looked at me with her sad puppy face.

"Jess!" She whined. I was a bit startled. She had never done this to me before.

---LESLIE'S POV---

"Jess!" I whined as he pulled away from me. He looked a bit nervous. I realized I had never whined to him before. I wrapped my arms around him again and buried my head in his chest. I could tell by his body language that he finally understood what I was trying to convey:

Don't let go. I want more.

He obliged to me, gently grabbing my chin again. But without warning, (Heck, even I didn't plan on it!) I pounced on him.

---JESS'S POV---

Leslie pounced on me. Though she's petit, she's still a sixteen year old girl, whose weight I had not been supporting. The boards of the tree house creaked loudly as she pounced on me, sending me onto my back in surprise. It didn't seem to bother her though, as she was kissing me like out lives depended on it. She was lying on top of me.

---LESLIE'S POV---

I was on top of him.

My Gosh!

What had I done?

---JESS'S POV---

Wow. This was fun! I wrapped one arm round her waist and intertwined our fingers with the other. I kissed her back, moving my mouth on hers. Leslie had finally seemed to snap out of it, and she was running her fingers through my hair. As she went to pull away for air, I grabbed her, and rolled over so I was on top. I had her.

---LESLIE'S POV---

Jess had me. Not that it scared me. He wouldn't do anything bad. Now I realized how much bigger he was than me. My hand was completely hidden in his, and I was startled by his weight on my stomach. He was still kissing the living daylights out of me.

"Jess!" I mumbled, laughing.

"Um?" He replied.

"I need air!" I choked still laughing.

As to be a comedian, he opened my mouth and breathed into it, like he was performing CPR. I laughed, but was stopped when he started to play with my tongue. I wiggled away from him.

"Leslieeee!" He whined.

"I need air, Jess!" I coughed. He tilted my chin up.

"Breathe." He instructed. And then he started kissing me all over:

My neck, my jaw, my cheeks, my nose, my forehead, my hair, my hand, my ear.

"Oh!" I cried in delight, as he trailed kisses as light as butterflies down from my ear to my neck.

He smiled at me. "Queen Leslie has regained her breath." He said, and pounced on my lips again, stopping to trail to the other places he had kissed me.

After a few minutes he sat up and pulled me to my feet. I smiled at him, and hugged him like there was no tomorrow.

---JESS'S POV---

As Leslie and I regained our breath, I realized why I had been needing to be with her all the time, why I had been possessed to kiss her like that. Nobody can live without air to breathe. And Leslie Burke is my air.

A/N: R&R please!