Faced with the choice of a lifetime, I sigh at the gathered group of people. I never thought that so many lives would be held in my hand; I look around and know that without help I will be useless. After all, they know more than I; I have everything to learn. They have years more experience and have been living with this pressure their entire lives. All I ever do is run away. I hid until everything was finished. I speak of freedom and liberation but here I am in the middle of it all and I have nothing to add to the conversation.

The only person that knows my fears stands beside me holding my hand, not covered in lies; or hidden behind the image I put on for others. He knows me, every cell in my body. He knows my mind and soul. He knows my fears and what I what am worried about; I cannot keep anything from him and he knows that, too. Every night he holds me and we can talk. It's nothing sexual. I am comfortable with our relationship and know that in years to come it might change but for now it's perfect just the way it is.

&&&&&&&

Alec looked sideways at her. He knew that there were millions of thoughts racing through her head and she could only deal with so many at a time but he trusted her judgment and what she could do. He knew that she was stronger than she thought and she would show them all; even herself. Within the last few months they had grown closer. He had gotten to know her as she had him. He had shared with her things that he never thought he would be able to share with anyone.

He had told her about his first love, and its loss. His failures and his goals for the future; she knew more about him than anyone alive or dead had ever dreamt of knowing. When he was with her, he felt alive and free to be who he dreamt of being, instead of the shell that he presented to the world. Within days he had learnt that Max was everything he had always dreamt of having.

Now all he needed to do was convince her.