A/N The photos for this prompt can be found on the blog: picprompt(dot)blogspot(dot)com

Thanks to Hev99 for beta-ing this so quickly for me since I was a total fail at getting this written in a timely manner.

Title: Freedom

On this warm, balmy day in Kansas, a petite, slender girl made a decision. She tried to hide her trepidation, but she wanted this more than anything else in the world. She didn't care that her daddy was fiercely protective of her and thought she was his innocent little angel. While she technically was innocent, she didn't want to stay in the little bubble that her father tried to keep her in any longer.

You see, this girl was in love. The object of her affections would not have been 'daddy approved.' The girl didn't think any boy she ever brought home would have met her father's approval. None had thus far. Even the minister's son, who had never even kissed a girl, met his stern appraisal. The girl wasn't that disappointed over her father's refusal of the minister's son. She found him rather dull and boring, but it served as a test of her father. Her father failed. After the minister's son was turned away, she became more determined than ever.

It was shortly after that test, that she saw him. She had seen him around town before, but it seemed like today was the first time she really saw him. He stood by a tree in the park fiddling with a cell phone. His dark hair hung down over his eyes and she had to fight the urge to push the strands out of the way. As she approached, she got a better look at him. He was tall and lean, his well-worn jeans hugging the muscles of his legs and backside. Like most skinny guys, there wasn't much to his backside, but that wasn't what drew him to the girl. He had an air about him that just called to her, a magnetic pull if you would. As she walked towards him, he looked up and they both gasped. He was beautiful, to the point of breathtaking. She watched as his t-shirt tightened across his chest as he drew in another breath.

The boy had been standing under the tree for a little while, fighting boredom as he texted a friend. He wasn't even sure why he was there, at this park at this particular time, but it seemed like a good idea when he drove by earlier. Footsteps alerted him to someone approaching. When he looked up, he was shocked to the core. He had seen this girl around before but now it was different. There was something about this thin, red-haired beauty that made his heart beat faster. He quickly pocketed his cell phone and pushed his hair out of his eyes as she came near.

"Hey," she said softly.

"Hey," the boy replied.

He smiled softly at her and reached his hand out for hers.

The girl's heart raced as she took his hand. She realized that she had done him an injustice by thinking of him as a boy. He was no boy. He was a man -young yes- but a man nonetheless. His blue eyes regarded her with surprise and interest as he led them away from the tree and through the park.

He stared down at the beauty walking with him. She was not just a mere girl. She was a maiden on the cusp of womanhood. Innocence and womanly wiles all rolled into one irresistible package. He never felt this kind of pull towards someone before. It scared him and elated him at the same time.

They walked together in silence for awhile, enjoying each other's company. The man stopped at a park bench and sat down, pulling her to sit next to him. She sat softly, with a wistful sigh, still clutching his hand.

"I've never felt this way before," he whispered.

She shook her head. "Me either."

"What is this?"

"I don't know, but I like it."

He smiled again. "I do, too."

"I'm Amelia," she murmured, stroking the flesh of his hand with her fingers.

"I know. I'm Rhys." He looked down at her with a small grin. She blushed.

"I know," she replied with a smile.

"Today is my birthday," Amelia said.

"What do you want for your birthday?" Rhys asked, as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders.

"Freedom," she replied simply.

He didn't prompt her for more details. Rhys had a feeling he knew what she was talking about. Amelia's father was known for his protectiveness of his one and only daughter. Rumors were rampant at what he did to the last boy that graced his front door in hopes of courting his daughter.

He released his hand that was holding hers and tipped her chin up so he could look in her eyes. Brilliant green eyes stared into his baby blues, full of questions, knowing he had the answers. Rhys leaned down and gently pressed his lips to hers. At that innocent touch, the connection that they felt for each other erupted. Amelia pushed into the kiss, wanting more. She wrapped her arms around his neck and dredged her fingers through his dark locks. His arm around her shoulders lowered to wrap around her waist and pull her against him. Her thin frame was as close to his as possible, considering the position they were in on the bench. He gently probed her lips with his tongue and was elated when she opened her mouth to deepen their kiss.

A few minutes later they parted, gasping for breath and faces flushed. Their eyes, blue and green, regarded each other, communicating what their voices did not. Amelia slowly stood up, brushed off her shorts and turned to him.

"Meet me here tomorrow?" she asked.

"I will," Rhys promised.

The next several weeks passed in the same manner. They met in the park, walked, talked, and kissed. Amelia knew better than to bring Rhys home to meet Daddy and Rhys never asked. She knew her daddy's reputation around town. Nothing would stop Daddy from protecting his little girl. But daddy's little girl was now a woman of eighteen.

Amelia woke on that balmy Kansas morning and realized she no longer wished to hide. She wanted Rhys. She knew Rhys wanted her. She had seen the evidence of his desire many times in their rendezvous' in the park. Her father would not stop her from being happy any longer. She dressed quickly, in preparation for her normal meeting time in the park with Rhys. Her father was going to be gone today and she knew that today was her chance.

She arrived to the park early, and was pleasantly surprised to find Rhys already there waiting for her. Amelia quickly ran up to him, kissed him eagerly and began tugging on his hand.

"Come on, Rhys!"

"Where are we going?" he asked, laughing at her antics.

"To my house. My father is gone for the day."

Rhys stopped, causing Amelia to almost stumble over her feet. "Are you sure?"

She nodded. "Yes, now come on! He'll come home eventually!"

Rhys shook his head and followed Amelia to her home. He wanted her, that was for certain, but he knew what her father would do to him if he caught Rhys in his home. For Amelia, Rhys would take that chance. He loved her and would protect her from her father's wrath, even if it meant loss of limb for himself.

Minutes later, they arrived at Amelia's house. She continued to tug on his hand as she led him through the house to her bedroom. Amelia giggled as she shut the door to her bedroom and pushed Rhys down on the bed.

"I'll be right back," she promised, and hurried into the adjoining bathroom. Rhys looked around her room with interest as he waited. White walls with white print curtains and even a white bedspread. This room was the picture of innocence. He was pulled from his examination by Amelia's reemergence into the room.

Her curly red hair fell from the knot at the top of her head. He stared at how the light played on the strands. The brightness was a contrast to her pale, unmarred skin. He knew he shouldn't be here, but the pull from this vixen was too much for him to turn away. The tiny white nightgown she was wearing was quite fitting. He knew she was innocent. But that wasn't the reason why he was here. He loved this girl and wanted to be with her. He shouldn't; he was the wrong type of guy for her, but he couldn't resist her. If her father caught him here, he would end Rhys. He had no doubt about that.

Amelia walked over and sat next to him, taking his hand in hers again. His hands were soft but had calluses on the pads of his fingers. Rhys leaned over and brushed a strand of hair out of her face. In the same motion, he captured her soft lips in his. They had kissed so many times before but this time it was different. There was an urgency that hadn't been there before. Rhys pulled back from Amelia and stood up. She looked at him worriedly until she saw him reach back and pull his t-shirt off. Amelia smiled and started to scoot back on the bed.

It was right at that moment that the front door burst open and footsteps pounded into the house. Amelia froze and looked towards her bedroom door in fear.

"Oh no," she whispered.

"Amelia!" her father's voice shouted in the house. "You better not have a boy in your room!"

Rhys stood stiffly with his hands on his belt. He had only just unbuckled it when Amelia's father had came flying into the house.

"Quick! Out the window before he sees you!" she whispered urgently. Amelia scrambled off the bed and started pushing Rhys towards the window.

"Amelia!" her father shouted again, now just outside her door. He pounded on it swiftly, making the door shake in its frame.

"One second, Daddy!" she yelled, as she continued to rush Rhys out the window.

Rhys had just slipped over the window to the bushes below when Amelia's father burst into the room. He realized too late that his t-shirt was still lying on her bedroom floor. Unable to go back in, but unwilling to leave her in such a situation, he ran back to the park as fast as his feet would carry him to his car.

"What the hell is this?" her father demanded, Rhys's t-shirt clutched in his hand.

"A.. a shirt, daddy," Amelia stammered as she tried to pull the hem of her nightgown down.

"It's a boy's shirt, isn't it?" he demanded, taking a furious step towards her, his face red.

"Y-ye-yes, Daddy," she stuttered. Amelia slowly inched off the bed and toward her closet.

"Why is a boy's t-shirt in your room?" Her father's voice rose with each question, becoming more and more menacing as he spoke.

Amelia refused to answer and quickly shoved some clothes and a wad of money into a knapsack. She hoped she would be able to find Rhys again and that her father hadn't scared him off.

Her father stomped right behind her, his breath coming in tight gasps. "What the hell are you doing, Amelia?"

"Packing, daddy," she replied urgently. She stood and whirled around him before he could stop her.

Her father's hand snapped out and grabbed her arm firmly, before she got out of reach. "Where do you think you are going?"

"I don't know, but I'm not staying here!" Amelia declared, jutting her chin at her father, finally standing up to him. Feeling brave, she ripped Rhys's t-shirt out of his hands and ran out of her bedroom. Her father sputtered in indignation and surprise.

As she approached the front door, she heard the sound of a car engine approaching the house quickly. Amelia heard the squeal of brakes and the slamming of a car door as she slipped on a pair of flip-flops.

Rhys came storming through the door, his face tight with worry and fear.

"Amelia!" he cried, crushing her to his chest, instantly relieved to see her in one piece.

"Amelia!" her father shouted, as he came pounding down the hallway.

He grabbed her bag from her shoulder and guided her outside quickly before her irate father could stop them. "Come on; let's get out of here," he whispered urgently."

Amelia nodded and ran out the door. Rhys tossed her bag into the bed of his El Camino, next to his duffel bag, and opened the door for her. She slipped in quietly as he ran his finger down her cheek.

Rhys quickly hopped in his side of the car and threw it in reverse as her father came charging out the door, full of renewed rage. The El Camino's tires spun briefly in the gravel of the driveway, before finally catching and taking off. Rhys shifted gears, throwing the car forwards. The young couple sped away into town, away from her father's insane fury.

On the outskirts of town, Rhys and Amelia finally let themselves breathe. She was finally out from under the thumb of her tyrannical father. He finally had a reason to be. Rhys slowed the car down and pulled off to the side of the road to watch the sunset. He held her hand in his and gazed into her vibrant green eyes.

"Happy birthday, Amelia," he said softly, as he leaned over and kissed her gently.

A/N Thanks for reading! :)