"I love you." He whispered between kisses. "I always will."

It was late, almost eleven. I already knew I was in trouble. My parents were going to kill me either way. So I stayed a little longer. What's another hour going to do, I thought as I followed him down the street. It'll be fun, I lied to myself. I knew I was scared. Rusty-James did that to a person. But I knew him well enough that I forgot that. I put a smile on my face as I took his hand and followed him down the road. I didn't know where we were going or what we were going to do when we got there. But I trusted him.

We held hands as we walked down the dark road, only lit by the dim street lights. He had that goofy smile of his on his face, the one that made me giggle. He pulled me close to his side and wrapped his arm around me as we walked. "Look at the lights." He said, pointing as though I couldn't see them myself. "Pretty nice, huh?" He knew I was nervous about being alone with him at such a time. It was dark out, and we were alone on the streets. He had just gotten out of a fight before he picked me up, which just added to my stress. But, aside all the mixed feelings I had packed inside, I had to admit that the lights were very pretty. They were dim, yes, but they matched the stars and added to the dark gray sky. It was like a picture in some fairytale. "I knew you'd like that." He said, squeezing my side. I couldn't help but laugh, and he joined in. "Here we are!" He told me, stopping in front of a small store. "Benny's." I had never been there before, though Rusty-James had mentioned the place bunches of times. He was always playing pool there. We stepped inside, my hand still in his.

Not many people were inside, I noticed as I looked around. But as soon as we stepped in, some junior high kid from our school stood up and ran over to us. "Hey, man! This your new girl you was tellin' me about?" The kid asked. I looked at Rusty-James, and I smiled. He had told his friends about me. But I didn't get why he called me his "new girl," we had been dating for almost three months.

"Yeah, man. This is her." His voice was full of pride. The kid gave him a high five. I didn't know why, I didn't care why. "Told you she was pretty." I felt my cheeks go pink as I propped my head on his shoulder. He kissed my forehead. "Hey, go get a seat somewhere, babe." I let go of his hand and took a seat in the booth closest to the door.

"She's a catch." I heard the kid say. "Where'd you find her?"

"She goes to my school. She was tutorin' me for a while." I heard my boyfriend tell him.

"You two got some real chemistry?" The kid laughed. I heard Rusty-James let out a fake laugh. He sat down next to me in the booth. He put his arm around me.

"Whaddya want to eat?" He asked me.

I slumped my head over on his shoulder. "I'm not hungry." I lied. I was starving, but I prayed my stomach wouldn't growl.

"You haven't ate in hours, babe. You're eatin'!" He laughed. "Hey, Benny! Come 'ere!" A skinny man with short brown hair and thick glasses came over to our table. "You want a burger or something?" I told him again that I wasn't hungry. "Just get her a coke and some fries and get me a burger and a coke." I was surprised he asked for a coke. He usually drank, though I had repeated ly asked him to stop. It worried me, especially since the last time he was drunk and got into a fight. He got beat up real bad, had to go to the doctors. The man wrote down our order and left the table. "Since when aren't you up for a burger?" He laughed. He knew I loved burgers. But I had them ordered special. Only pickles.

"I don't know, Rus." I murmured. He kissed my forehead again.

"You're warm." I felt my fore head. He was right, I was. "Are you sick?" I shook my head. I wasn't sick. I was probably just hot from just being outside. It was real hot outside. That's what I told him. "Oh." he replied.

"Hey, Rusty-James." I smiled. "I still ain't never seen you play pool." A grin spread acroos his face as he got up from the booth and headed for the pool table. He grabbed a pool stick and began setting up the balls.

"Anybody wanna play me?" He called out. I began to laugh as I watched him. He was cute, the way he stood on the middle of a work place and called things out real loud, just because I wanted to see him play pool. He was adorable. The kid who greeted him at the door stood up and grebbed the other pool stick.

"I'll play you, Rusty." I leaned against the wall, watching as they took turns shooting the little numbered balls into holes in the sides of the pool table.

"Hey, kid! Your order's ready! " I heard the man that took orders yell out as Rusty-James sent the last ball spiraling into a hole. He came over to me and took my hand and we walked back to our table and ate.

"I won, you know." He smiled, taking a bite of his burger.

"I know. It was a good game." I didn't know much to anything about pool, but that was what my older brother said about every game he ever played. I shoved a few fries in my mouth. I wished I had ordered a burger. His looked really good, even with all the gunk he had piled inside it.

We both finished our food, and then he walked me home. I lived a good mile or so away from Benny's. We held hands and walked close just as we did before. He stopped me at my door, pulling me close. He kissed my lips and I returned the favor. His lips were hot, and they tasted just like the coke we got at Benny's. He pulled back, kissed the top of my head, and started walking down the sidewalk. "Love you, Macie." He stopped. "See you in school tomorrow!"

"Don't be late!" I yelled. "I love you too!" I threw a smile his way, not knowing if he could see it or not.

I opened the door to my house and walked in.