Know its been a while since I posted my first Billy and Mac offering but the powers that be on Y&R ran me off with their treatment of this pair. But now that they have offically run them into the ground I figured any remaining loyal Billy and Mac fans could use some reminders of their once beautiful story. So here is another one of the stories I wrote about them a while back. Please forgive any grammatical errors and also the format but its an old piece that I haven't read in a while. Be cause of its length I have broken it into parts. I really hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: All Charatcers are the property of CBS, Sony and Y&R. Any lyrics are also property of that artist.

Prelude . . .

This is a story of destiny and

fate. What if Mac hadn't run away from home and

never came to Genoa City? Would she and Billy

still have met at some point?

Mac and her mother, Amanda, had always

been close and Mac's life was pretty normal in St.

Louis. They pair lived on a small ranch outside of

the city and raised some animals. There were

boyfriends for Amanda but none was ever more

important then her daughter. Mac was pretty quiet

and kept to herself until she went off to college

in New York City. There she discovered a whole new

side of herself and also that fate was about to

began to work it's magic . . .

Billy's history, on the other hand,

was pretty much the same. He had lived with his

dad most of his life, first in Genoa City as a

baby, then in New York, before they came back to

G.C. when he was sixteen. At first, Billy was

less then pleased with coming back but he,

eventually, made friends and fell into line,

somewhat. He soon, though, began messing with the

'in crowd' and getting into all kind of trouble.

His father, and mother, who reentered his life to

his disdain, tried everything they could to steer

him right and managed to see him through high

school.

They then decided it was best, after

some final fallout, for him to go away to college.

He happily headed back to New York to start to

find himself, and as it turned out, find his

destiny, as well . . .

Chapter 1 . . .

"Come on, Mac . . . It's time to

start getting your groove on, Girl," bellowed her

close friend over the loud music in the jamming

club. Mac just shook her head with a sheepish

grin, still not believing she had let her buddy

finally talk her into doing Spring Break in Miami.

Her first couple of years of college, Mac was so

lost in her academics, she didn't bother with

partying and such. However, that all changed when

she and Tanya crossed paths. They met in their

creative writing course and became fast friends.

Next to her mother, Mac considered Tee, as she

called her, her closest friend.

She was actually so unlike Mac, it

made them that much more compatible. While Mac

was not one to back down when challenged, she was

pretty soft spoken until then. Tanya, on the other

hand, was a petite mocha beauty with a very

boisterous outgoing personality and didn't

hesitate to say what was on her mind. Once they

felt each other out, the two ladies began spending

most of their free time together. Slowly, Tanya

brought Mac more and more out of her shell, and

they started hanging at frat parties, going to

concerts and just experiencing all campus life had

to offer. That included dating, to which Mac was a

bit hesitant. She did allow her friend to set her

up a few times but quickly found herself

unimpressed with most college guys. They all

seemed so into themselves and swore they were

players. It annoyed Mac to no end. She, though,

didn't let those experiences damper all the fun

she and Tanya were having and planned to have that

week.

After getting settled into their

hotel, the duo set out to sample the atmosphere.

They got a early dinner before cruising about some

in their fiery red convertible rental car. Then

when darkness fell, they followed the horde of

kids to the 'Hot Spot', a trendy nightclub that

catered to the college masses. They entered to a

booming sound system and people dancing, talking,

drinking, and whatever. The variety of music was

fitting for the mixture of people, rock,r&b and

rap alternated at the exuberant crowd was engrossed

in each tune. The pair found an empty table and

had been sitting there all of ten minutes before

Tanya started in.

Mac didn't consider herself much of a

dancer, which made her weary of her friend's

request. She continued to prod but Mac remained

steadfast, "Tee, you know I'd just embarrass us

both out there . . . you go on and I'll hold our

table." Tanya, though, defiantly shook her head as

she retorted, "Whatever . . . you know you can

move that thang, Girlfriend, and besides, there's

no way I'm leaving you here like a bump on a log.

The whole point of this trip was for us, both, to

let our hair down . . . there's too much partying

and guys to be had. Mac, again, grinned and sighed

lightly at her buddy's persistence. Mac knew,

however, it wouldn't take long for this to turn

into another attempt to hook her up. Tanya told

her she thought a cute, fun loving guy was just

what Mac needed to loosen up more.

Mackenzie didn't see it that way, though.

She wasn't really shy around guys but she never

felt completely comfortable around them. She

didn't have much experience, as her mom had always

tried to keep her from 'complications' she said

came with them. She had gone to an all girl school

until high school and once there she felt so

awkward around boys, she barely hung out with any

and didn't really start dating until college. Mac

had a feeling this went back to her father not

being around. Her mother never divulged much

about him only to say he had a greater calling. It

hurt her to think anything could be more important

then his own flesh and blood. It was from that she

found herself confused about what to expect from

any man and when she brought that confusion to her

mom, she gave her usual, earthy, spiritual advice

. . . when it's right you will know. Well as of

yet, nothing had felt right, so Mac pressed on.

She didn't want to disappoint Tanya, but

the idea of dancing with strange guys just wasn't

doing much for her. So she, again, tried to talk

her friend down, "Trust me, I doubt, highly, I'm

going to find my soul mate out on that crowded

floor." Tanya gave her friend an incredulous

look, "Who said anything about a soul mate . . .

this about us enjoying our youth, Honey. We're

young, intelligent, beautiful women who have our

whole lives to think about that kind of stuff but

for now . . . " She paused briefly and gazed past

Mac, for a long moment, before concluding, "I see

two Mr. Right Now's checking us out from across

the room." Mac followed her gaze and was,

immediately, captured in the most sparkling blue

peepers she had ever seen. For a brief moment, it

was like they were in a vacuum. His bright eyes

only matched by his small but mesmerizing grin.

The blond hair hunk returned her gaze

relentlessly until Mac, attempted to regain

herself and turned back towards her friend.

"How do you even know for sure they're

looking this way?" she asked quietly,

contemplating that notion thoroughly in her mind.

Could a guy that gorgeous really be checking her

out? Tanya stood, this time, and clasped onto her

reluctant friend's arm, pulling her up, as well.

"There's more then one way to find out." Mac's

eyes quickly widened as Tanya began to tug her

across the room towards the two dapper gentlemen .

. .

Chapter 2 . . .

Billy was quietly taking in the chaotic

scene around him, absorbing the energy of the

deafening dance club. The placed was packed with

college students from near and far. All were going

like Energizer bunnies with no signs of slowing

down . . . all except Billy anyway. He wasn't much

into partying anymore. He'd seen the dark side of

it and didn't want to go back. He, though,

promised his buddy, Greg, he'd come out and have

some fun. So as the two friends hung out at the

bar surveying the scene, Billy allowed his mind to

wonder some, finally thinking of just how far he

had come since he'd been away at school.

When he first arrived, he had attempted

to keep up his party guy image that got him into

so much trouble back home but when his grades

suffered and his parents threatened to make him

come back home, Billy settled down quickly. He, at

that time, had no desire to go back to Genoa City.

He loved his family, especially his father and

older brother, Jack, but so much had gone on there

before he left he just wasn't ready to deal with

it all again. The biggest obstacle being his own

mother. While he loved her too, she was always so

meddlesome and controlling when it came to him,

making him not want to be around her at all.

In fact, she was the reason for allot of his

behavioral problems. She had all but bailed on him

when he was a young kid and only made appearances

when it suited her. Billy had still managed to

remain pretty tame though, until she reentered his

life when he was older. By then, he was so

resentful of their lack of a relationship, from

the start, he would constantly do things just

because he knew it would set her off. And back

then and, even some, today, he felt she deserved

the stress.

Then there was the other reason he wanted to

steer clear of GC as much as possible. It was the

place he had his heart utterly destroyed by the

one woman he truly thought cared about and got

him. Those wounds still hurting to this day. So

much pain and strife had come out of that town,

Billy just wanted to be strong enough to face it

when he finally did go back. His thoughts had gone

far away from the club scene and his friend was

doing all he could to bring him back. "Hey, earth

to Billy . . . Did you hear me? " said Greg while

waving a hand in front of his face. Billy,

finally, acknowledged his friend, turning to face

the muscle bound, red head, "I'm sorry . . . what

did you say?" "Where did you just go? You were

completely out of it," was his bewildered

observation. Billy just shook it off, not wanting

to go over the details," Nothing. I was just

thinking . . . anyhow what were you saying?"

Greg quickly let him off the hook as he

turned his focus squarely on a girl that was

eyeing him hard. "I said check out the talent over

there." He pointed towards Tanya and Mac, who had

yet to turn around. Billy smirked at his friend,

knowing he wouldn't stop until he had the lovely

woman's hotel number, "So is she your next mark?"

"Well, my friend, that depends on you," he started

mysteriously. Billy furrowed his brow before

replying, "I know I'm going to hate myself for

asking, but what can I do?" Greg put on a smooth

smile of his own as he slyly replied, "Keep her

friend occupied for me."

Billy quickly shot down that idea, "I don't

think so. I'm only here because you said you just

wanted to hang. I'm not looking to hook up with

anybody." "Come on, Bill. I'm not asking you to

marry the chick just keep her company so I can get

my mack on . . . please. Pretty please," he whined

with a fake pout. Billy sighed heavily at his

friend's antics and was about to shoot him down

again, not even wanting to put himself in position

to possibly be hurt like he had been before, when

the girl's friend turned and locked him in an

almost hypnotic stare. Her soft warm brown eyes

seemed to be peering inside of him. He couldn't

stop himself from smiling, lightly, at the tiny

brown haired beauty.

He held her gaze until she relented

and turned away. His grin never wavered after. He

then faced his friend, once more, and said, "All

right, but how are we going to approach?" Greg was

about to answer when he saw the girls rise and

appear to head towards them. He pointed Billy that

way and confidently said, "Maybe we don't have

to." Both guys then watched as the pair came,

temptingly, close to them only to stop at the edge

of the dance floor and began moving, together, to

a lively tune that was just beginning. Billy and

Greg eyed them for few moments before finally

removing themselves from their perches and heading

towards the two fair ladies . . .

Chapter 3 . . .

'Girl, I know this might seem

strange

But let me know if I am out

of order

For stepping to you this way

See I've been watching you

for a while

And I just gotta let you know

I'm really feeling your style

Tanya had began to dance freely to the

slamming tune, with Mac taking cues from her

buddy. They both were soon allowing the beat to

guide their bodies when Billy and Greg joined the

fray. At first, they casually danced around the

lovely pair, feeling them out. Tanya made sure to

make and maintain eye contact with Greg, sending

silent messages he was picking up loud and clear.

Billy, meanwhile, noticed Mac seemed a bit more

shy and was looking everywhere but at him.

He could sense the interest but didn't

want to push just yet. The floor, though, soon,

got crowded and they were all pressed a little

closer together . . .

Plus I had to know your name

And leave you with my number

And hoped that you would call

me someday

If you want you can give me

yours too

and if you don't, well I aint

mad at you

We can still be cool . . . '

Greg finally made his move, squeezing

between the two friends and dance exclusively with

Tanya. She grinned brightly as he moved closely

behind her, eventually, resting his hand on her

firm stomach that was barely covered by a white

baby doll tee. They proceeded to get to know each

other on the dance floor while Mac and Billy still

worked towards pairing up. She had been bouncing

to the music when she just noticed Tanya grinding

and moving with Greg. All she could do was

chuckle, knowing, her friend was not shy in the

least about stuff like this.

She then turned her focus, finally, to

Billy, who was now dancing before her. Again, the

two locked in a consuming and telling gaze as the

song blazed on . . .

'I'm not trying to

pressure you

Just can't stop

thinking about you

You ain't even really

got to be my girlfriend

I just want to know

your name and maybe

Sometime, we can hook

up, hang out, just chill . . . '

Neither could believe the effect they were

having with just a look. It was like they were

peering into each other's souls and both feeling

more comfortable with what they were finding. They

finally shared a small smile, that seemed to break

the ice, before starting to move more as a couple.

Mac, instinctively, brought her hands to his

shoulders and continued to flow while Billy

reciprocated the motion, placing his hands on her

hips.

The pair never lost eye contact as they

simply let the music and the moment overtake their

reservations and reasoning . . .

'Maybe we could,

go see a movie, Girl

Or maybe we could

hang out, Girl

Whatever you

wanna do

Just let me know

it's up to you."

By the time the song finished playing out,

both Billy and Mac had totally relaxed in each

others hold. They were now dancing like they'd

known each other forever. His hands were traveling

her slender sides from behind now, while Mac moved

more seductively in his embrace. Her hips were

lightly gyrated as her hands ran through her hair,

down her tummy and finally rested upon his.

And when a momentary silence befell the

floor, before the next tune was brought up, Billy

took the opportunity to introduce himself. He

spoke softly near her ear, causing her to shudder,

lightly, "By the way . . . my name is Billy

Abbott." Mac turned, slightly, in his hold and

looked up into his bright beam. She soon joined

him in that glow as she, softly,

replied," Mackenzie Browning."

Song Credit: Just Friends by Musiq

Chapter 4 . . .

Mac, followed by Billy,

casually made their way off the dance floor as

another tune started up. Greg and Tanya continued

to dance on while the other intrigued duo headed

over to the table the girls had occupied earlier.

Though, the club wasn't very conducive to holding

a conversation, the pair attempted to anyhow.

Before a word was spoken, their connection was

revealed with yet another deep gaze that

reverberated through them. Both were confused as

to how someone they had only just met could evoke

such a strong reaction. Just the simple look they

gave each other speaking volumes. The silence was

comfortable but brief until Mac finally broke it

with a pretty blunt question.

"So . . . Billy, do you make it a habit

of picking up strange girls in clubs?" Billy

remained quiet a moment longer, attempting to read

her. He finally figured out how he could proceed

and replied, playfully, "You shouldn't put

yourself down like that . . . I've met much

stranger women." Now had it been anyone else who

said that to her, Mac would have probably took it

as an insult and let them have it. Yet, when he

added that charming smile and a wink to boot, Mac

melted and joined him in the sweet grin.

"Cute, Billy, cute." Billy then took a fake

bow, "Thank you. I try." She laughed this time,

causing his heart to soar with the sweet sound,

and retorted, "You're a cut up, do you know that?

Are you ever serious?" Billy sobered up some with

that question and, again, stared deeply into her

eyes as he replied, "Yeah . . . when it matters

most." The look he was now giving her, though, was

more intense and seemed to be serious. It caused

Mac to shudder, slightly, and had her again,

wondering how this absolute stranger was having

this affect on her. Billy could see his gaze was

getting to her and it made him smile lightly to

know he was having an equally as strong affect on

her.

She was definitely not like the girls he

was used to hanging out with. She was

beautiful, with her deep brown tresses, matching

peepers, cute button nose and sexy full lips, but

she wasn't self promoting about it. No makeup but

still absolutely radiant. He was very interested

to know more about her. Mac, though, finally had

to take a break from his relentless gaze and

turned her attention to the dance floor and her

buddy, who continued to party up.

On occasion, Mac wished she could be

more like Tanya, willing to take risk and be more

outgoing. She, though, just wasn't used to out of

the ordinary things happening to her. Her whole

existence, until moving to New York, was always

pretty routine and comfortable. Things in the Big

Apple were way more fast paced then she was

accustomed to and a time or two, Mac had

considered going back to what she knew and felt

secure in back in St. Louis. However, a

determination she always displayed in tough

situations, prevented her from giving in. Backing

down from any challenge was just not an option,

which brought her thoughts back to Billy.

She now sat across from this gorgeous

young man and quietly wonder if this was an

opportunity for her to take that long over due

chance. Billy was having similar thoughts about

her. He had been hesitant to get involved with any

girl since his last experience in a 'meaningful'

relationship but with Mac, it just felt like a

viable choice now. He finally decided to see how

receptive she really was to him, by first, reaching

across the table and gently stroking her hand.

Mac turned and refocused on his handsome

face as he put on another small glow and

commented, "From the way you're looking out on the

dance floor, I get the feeling you're up for

another round . . . Shall we?" She returned his

beam but respectfully declined, "Honestly, I'm

not much of a dancer. I was only out there because

Tanya dragged me." I can't tell by the way you

were moving out there . . . you've definitely got

skills," he retorted. Mac blushed, brightly, at

his compliment while he kept the conversation

moving towards it's ultimate destination. "So . .

. how long are you in town for, if you don't mind

me asking?"

She quickly returned, "Till the end of

the week." Mac watched as an, obviously, pleased

response covered his sexy mug and Billy then

boldly proceeded with his next question, "In that

case, is there anyway I can see you again?" A bit

floored, not only at the brashness of the inquiry,

but that he was asking like he was unsure she

would agree. Here was this absolutely hot and

charming guy, seemingly, waiting with baited

breath for plain old her to agree to hang out with

him. Mac decided to play down her awe at the

situation and test his resolve, "Well, that

depends on what you mean by 'see' me." Billy gave

her a half smile, reading what she was doing the

second she spoke. He was again, impressed by her

refusal to act over interested in him like so many

girls before, who became giggling buffoons before

his eyes. He could completely understand her

playing her hand close to her chest but he was not

easily turned away.

Billy finally answered her question,

sincerely, "I mean just spending some time

getting to know each other a little better . . .

you know, maybe hangout and see the sights."

Again, Mac thought of how she might have reacted

had any other guy in the place had come to her

like Billy. She knew she would have shut them down

pretty quick but with him everything just seemed

to click. So this time, she easily replied, "I'm

sure that can be arranged." "Great! How about

tomorrow?" Billy came back immediately. Mac

couldn't help but chuckle at his exuberance as she

replied, "Wasting no time, I see." Billy shined

that gorgeous smile again, and responded, "You

know what they say, no time like the present."

She nodded before adding, "I think I

should run this by Tanya first, since we're here

together but if she's cool with it then I'm up for

it." Billy nodded this time and then turned his

gaze, as did Mac, to a curious voice, "Run what by

me?" She looked up into the eyes of her best

friend, momentarily, before glancing back over at

Billy with a bright smile. He reciprocated the

gesture as Tanya observed the exchange along with

something else equally as telling. Billy was

gently stroking Mac's hand on the table and her buddy

wasn't shying away in the least. That vision

quickly got her mind working and thinking this

might be a good chance for her friend to just let

go for a few days.

Yet before she could act on it, Mac

finally answered her question, "Billy mentioned

hanging out tomorrow and checking out the sights

and . . . " Tanya didn't let her finish her

thought, though, as she enthusiastically replied, "I

think that's a great idea. In fact, Greg and I

were just talking about the same thing, right?"

Greg, to busy touching and kissing on her, agreed

without paying much attention, "Yeah . . . uh uh,

what ever you say, Babe." Tanya nodded and grinned

down at the couple seated before her and finished,

"So it's settled. Tomorrow we all check out what

South Beach has to offer."

They all nodded in agreement with Mac and

Billy sharing another deep and telling gaze . . .

Chapter 5 . . .

After deciding to meet at Mac and

Tanya's hotel the following morning, the four new

acquaintances headed off their separate ways.

Tanya, though, grabbed on to Mac's obvious

interest in Billy and pounced on her about it the

second she stepped out of the shower in her night

clothes.

"So . . . you and Billy, was it, . . . you

guys seemed awfully tight earlier," she started

in. Mac cut her friend a little glare as she tried

to cover her true feelings, which were jumbled at

the time, "Whatever. He was being nice and I tried

to return the favor." Tanya rolled her eyes and

continued on, "Girl, please! I saw how he was

touching you on the dance floor and how you two

were vibin' at the table. Looks like you may have

found your Mr. Right after all." This time Mac

picked up one of her pillows on the bed and threw

it at her friend before attempting to laugh off

her assessment.

"Funny, Tee. We barely know each other's

names." Tanya, though, wasn't convinced and

persisted, "Well, the way you two were looking at

each other and touching . . . " "Knock it off, Ms.

Matchmaker. You know that's not how I operate,"

Mac came back even less convincing then before.

Inside, though, she was aware that what her buddy

was getting at was kind of true. When Billy looked

at or touched her, she felt totally overwhelmed .

. . to think someone she just met could have such

power was a bit frightened. Yet, she hadn't even

thought twice when he began to gently caress her

hand at the table. It felt so natural. Mac,

though, was still confused about the strong pull

he seemed to have on her already.

Tanya knew her buddy was in a state of

denial about what she was feeling for this guy, so

she tried to make it easier for to relax and go

with it. "Look, Mac, just have some fun with this,

OK? We have two hot guys ready to spend time with

us while we're here. Don't put so much pressure on

what it could all mean . . . Hell, in a week,

we'll all be going off our separate ways again and

we'll probably never see each other again." Mac

quietly took in her friends words and nodded at

the notion. "Yeah, I guess you're right. I promise

to try and have some fun and not think so much,

all right?" she finally conceded. Tanya was

heading towards the bath when she smiled and

replied, "That's all I ask." Mac returned her grin

before getting ready to settle in for the night.

Once Tanya was gone, Mac laid across

her bed and thought more about her words. It was

crazy, she knew, but the idea of not seeing Billy

anymore was saddening her more then she expected.

Mac wasn't sure how she would react to leaving him

behind after this but she knew, for now, she

needed to find out as much as she could about

Billy Abbott before they did part ways . . .

Chapter 6 . . .

The following morning, Billy and Greg

were in the girl's hotel lobby waiting for them to

join them and talking casually. Greg finally moved

the topic of conversation towards his friend

interest in Mac. Since he and Billy had hooked

back up in college, Greg had noticed how reluctant

his buddy was to get out and party with girls. And

when Billy finally explained about his experience

with his steady girlfriend just before he came to

town, Greg got it and cut him some slack. Not that

he didn't still try to hook his friend up every

chance he could. Billy, though, was nowhere near

as receptive to those beautiful, young things as

he was to a pretty, but not so showy, brunette he

had just met.

Greg eased into the topic, " So you and

this Mac chick seemed to hit it off last night . .

. " Billy cut his friend a knowing gaze. Billy

knew Greg was just dying to know what he really

thought of Mac but he wasn't ready to reveal the

his feelings yet. One, because they were still all

over the place. This alluring beauty had managed

to do something dozens of hot New York chicks had

not . . . get him thinking of hooking up with

someone again. He, though, still couldn't shake

his prior experiences from his thoughts. He had

been burned one time too many by the supposed most

important women in his life. He wasn't gun ho

about setting himself up for that kind of hurt

again. So with a light sigh, Billy finally replied

plainly, "She's a nice girl, and I think it would

be cool to hang out with someone like her. So

let's just leave it at that . . . for now."

Greg knew that tone and quickly backed

off, not wanting to ruin the day before it ever

got started, "Cool." Just as they finished their

little chat, Mac and Tanya came into view. Both

guys caught their breath as the lovely ladies

glided towards them. Tanya was sporting a light

pink velour shorts outfit. The short sleeved

hooded jacket that matched was slightly unzipped

showing off her abundant cleavage in a white crop

top underneath. Meanwhile, Mac went with a more

conservative but equally as attractive outfit. She

dawned a pair of blue jean skorts and a white off

the shoulder ruffled peasant top. Her hair was in

a French braid and her neck adorned a small cross

necklace.

When the duo finally made it over to

them, the guys remained in a quiet state of

appreciation. Tanya, though, quickly changed that

by being her boisterous self, "Hey guys. Cat got

your tongues?" Greg quickly obliged, "Damn, you

look hot." Tanya grinned brighter as she retorted,

"Thanks. I try." He looked her over again while

Billy finally found his voice and commented on

Mac's appearance, with a bit more tact then his

friend. "You look great too, Mac." She smiled

sweetly at him, "Thank you. You look pretty good

yourself." He really did in his blue jean shorts

and crisp white tee shirt, an ensemble that caused

Mac to added, jokingly, " You know, people who

don't know us might think we planned this." She

pointed to his outfit and then her own. Billy

grinned brilliantly as he retorted, "Now who's

cutting up?"

The two then shared a hearty laugh as

their friends watched on. They knew the pair had

connected from the first moment but neither was

ready to take the plunge so they continued to

observe and wait for them to figure it out. "Are

we ready?" chimed in Tanya again, breaking up the

jovial moment between the pair. Mac nodded,

"Whenever you guys are." "Let's do it then,"

replied Greg as he took Tanya by the hand and

began to walk towards the door. Mac and Billy

followed suit, with him guiding her out with his

hand at the small of her back.

Again, the simple action of him touching

her causing her to tremble lightly. They then all

headed out for a street carnival that they heard

about when they arrived.

Chapter 7 . . .

Once the quartet pulled into their

final destination and unloaded from the girl's

convertible, they were immediately engulfed by a

heard of other twenty-something spring breakers.

The crowd flowed like a river towards the many

attractions set up along the street as well as the

nearby beach. The friends sights soon came upon

the carnival festivities and all were pretty

impressed with the set up.

It wasn't some little make shift

affair but an actual fair setting. There were

games, attractions, like free concerts and shows,

and food booths, not to mention a nice variety of

rides, including a large ferries wheel overlooking

the whole scene. Mac, who had only recently gotten

used to the grandeur of New York, was the most

entranced with the energy of the festivities. She

smiled lightly at the beautiful beach back drop to

the activities and the atmosphere it encouraged.

Her thoughts, briefly, floating back to simpler

times when she and her friends would go to the

state fair back home. Billy caught her in her

moment of reflection and her sweet innocent smile

and responded in kind. He, finally, admitting to

himself how much even a simple grin from her

affected him.

The foursome had been standing at the

entrance of the carnival for some time with

people steadily flowing past them when, like

always, Tanya prodded them along. "Well, guys, are

we just going to stand here looking at it or are

we going to get our fun on?" Then without waiting

for a response, she linked her arm with her buddy

and then Greg and started tugging them towards the

action. Mac grinned brightly at her friend as she

allowed her to pull her along. Then instinctively,

before they could get to far ahead, Mac reached

out and snagged Billy's hand, receiving a powerful

but tender jolt from the contact. The two, again,

locked gazes and he squeezed her hand lightly

before following along side the others and into

the hub of the excitement . . .

By the time afternoon finally rolled

around, the gang had been through the whole

carnival, seeing and experiencing just about all

it had to offer from the attractions to some of

the rides and the food. They had goofed off with

some of the games too but as the day began to wind

down, Billy and Greg came across a game both

claimed to be the best at and promptly set out to

prove their point. Mac and Tanya watched in quiet

amusement as the two men went back and forth at

the dart throwing booth, spending ridiculous sums

of money to win a cheesy prize.

In the end, Billy proved to be the

better shot winning a bright blue teddy bear

dressed in a lather jacket and sunglasses, which

he immediately gave to Mac. She and Tanya fussed

over the cute little fuzz ball, causing Greg, who

could only manage to win a dinky pink and white

penguin, to shell out a few more bucks and

purchase Tanya a large purple T rex. Billy, of

course, harassed his friend relentlessly about his

pathetic skills and about having to buy Tee the

stuff animal. Tanya, though, came to Greg's

defense, kissing the dino and then him before

responding, "Don't listen to him, baby, I still

love my prize." "Yeah?" Greg returned. "Yeah . . .

he's a man eater just like me," she shot back

with a blazing grin before planting another

lingering kiss on his lips.

Mac blushed and smiled at her friend's

behavior while Billy quieted down and glanced

Mac's way, momentarily. She was holding on tightly

to the bear he had won for her and that made him

feel good. He really felt like she was something

special and he wanted so much to know more. As

they all strolled down the still crowded area,

their thoughts had turned to heading out and

resting up for the night cap later, but before

they could get all the way out, Mac had one more

thing she wanted to do before. She paused he step

causing everyone else to do the same and put out a

final suggestion.

"I wanted to do on more thing and then we

can go, if that's cool?" "What is it?" asked her

buddy who was wrapped around Greg, who was now

holding her dinosaur. Mac glanced over her

shoulder at the ferries wheel that loomed over the

event. Billy followed her eyes and smiled when he

realized where she wanted to go. He had always

enjoyed that particular ride and was glad to see

she shared his view. "The ferries wheel," he said

softly. She nodded, "I love those and I always

save it for last when I go to fairs and stuff."

They all stared over at the enormous contraption

and then back at Mac who prompted, "So are you

guys up for one more ride?" Billy was the first to

reply, "I'm game. Greg . . . Tanya?" "What the

hell," Greg finally replied and Tanya signed on as

well. "All right, let's get to it," was Mac's

bubbly response as she lead the group over to the

not so busy ride.

They were all soon loaded on, Greg and

Tanya in one of the caged seats and Billy and Mac

in the other. They then started their ascent in

the clear bright sky. Mac and Billy sat in virtual

silence at the beginning of the ride, both content

to just take in the picturesque scene below them.

The beautiful Miami scenery was breathtaking,

especially from so far up and was easy to get lost

in. Billy, though, eventually broke the silence

with a question that was completely out of the

blue but fitting to their situation.

"Do you believe in destiny?" he asked

quietly, bringing Mac's attention from her side of

the ride to him. He thought maybe she'd be put off

by his frank inquiry yet she never flinched as she

retorted, "Actually, I'm not sure what I believe.

My mother is a stark believer in fate and destiny.

She thinks everything and everyone had a path they

must travel that's already set. I'm not sure I can

buy into that, though, the idea is quite

tempting." "I hear you. I was sort of the same way

. . . " Billy started but Mac interrupted. "Was?"

He gave her that killer grin, once more, before

replying, "Yeah but after meeting you here, I have

to wonder . . . don't you think it's odd this

instant repoire we share? It's like we've known

each other for years yet we've only just met." Mac

nodded, cautiously proceeding with the topic at

hand, "Yeah, it is a little strange that we seem

to be drawn to each other just like that."

Billy just nodded to her words this

time as they both, once again, held each other's

gaze. Then just as they had spoke of, the pair

began to gravitate towards each other with little

thought. Mac caught a glimpse of his full sexy

lips and he did likewise with her. They were

inches from making their first physical connection

when the door to their carriage opened and their

friends stood at the door waiting on them. It

took them both a second to regain themselves and

the duo continued to think of what had nearly

happened as they all, eventually, headed back for

the car.

As they cruised back towards the

hotel to rest up and change for the evening, the

ride was pretty quiet with the exception of the

music blaring. Tanya and Mac occupied the front

seats while the guys took up the rear. Mac looked

out the passenger side and let her mind continue

to analyze the previous events with Billy. She

nearly kissed him . . . this guy she had known

little more then a day. Then she thought, why did

it feel like she had known him all her life? He

just seemed to fit. Her mind then flipped again,

but what if this was all her? What if this was

just a spring break fling to him? As sweet as his

words sounded on the ferries wheel, could it have

just been a line? She just wasn't willing to put

her feelings on the line unless she was sure and

right now she was anything but that.

Meanwhile, Billy was having the same

thoughts and, like Mac, he wanted to know if this

was real or just the moment taking control. He

needed more proof before he, too, could let go

completely . . .

Chapter 8A . . .

Mac, as well as Billy, were still

uncertain about what was really going on between

them. Both aware, though, the only way to know for

sure was to spend more time together. Neither was

willing to concede a thing until they were

positive the other was on the same page.

Luckily, it didn't take long for

them to discover just how truly in tune they were

with each other. After having such a great time

the day before, the foursome got together the

following day and, under Greg's suggestion, agreed

to try parasailing. Mac wasn't sure how she, the

least adventurous of them all, allowed herself to

be talked into something so daring. Her gaze then

trailed over to a very handsome Billy sitting at

her side on the speeding boat and knew his

presence was a big reason for her compliance. The

boat, manned by Greg, jetted out to open space and

finally came to a halt in the middle of the ocean.

Billy and his friend then went on

to explain to the girls how everything worked.

They had both done it numerous times and gave

detailed instructions on what the activity

entailed. However, the more they talked about it,

the more edgy Mac became. The thought of floating

in air behind a speeding boat was not an enticing

one for her. The others, though, were stoked and

talking about who would go first when Mac finally

spoke up. Quietly, she stated, "Look, guys, I

don't think I'm up for this . . . " she glanced

over at the chute and harness nervously before

concluding her thought, "this just isn't my sort

of thing." Tanya quickly interceded, chastising her

buddy, lightly, "What happened to going with the

flow and just having some fun, huh?" Mac rolled

her eyes as she dryly returned, "Maybe risking

life and limb is not my idea of fun, Tee."

Tanya sighed heavily as she glanced over

at an interested Billy and Greg. The one thing

that always annoyed her about her good friend was

her inclination to always play things safe. On

more then one occasion she recalled having to

literally force Mac do try something before she'd

get into it, including the dance she initiated

that got Billy and her together. She now had this

hot guy sweating her and it was all because she

took a chance. Tanya was determined not to let her

miss another opportunity being so damn cautious.

So in a firm, almost motherly tone, she went back

at her friend, rationally, "Mackenzie, do you

really think if this was that dangerous we all

would be preparing to do it? It's something lots

of people do everyday . . . it's fun and

different. Don't be a wet blanket." Mac was quiet

this time, contemplating what her friend had just

said. It was very rare when Tanya used her full

name and when she did and used that matter of

fact tone with her, she always made Mac fell like

a stick in the mud.

This time, however, she still wasn't

convinced this was the best idea. Mac's gaze then

trailed from Tee to the other occupants of the

boat. Greg's attention had long since been turned

to Tanya and her maroon two piece thong swimsuit.

Billy though remained interested, his vibrant blue

eyes exposing his sense of curiosity at how this

would all turn out. Mac could almost sense, just

from that look, him urging her on and as strange

as it sounded, she didn't want to disappoint him.

She had known Tanya for years, yet when it was all

said and done, it was the gorgeous stranger she

had only met a few days ago that was causing her

to relent a bit. It was crazy, in her head, to

feel this way but in every other part of her, she

didn't want to do anything to dim those bright

eyes. So finally, she sighed and proceeded to give

in, some.

She soon turned back to Tanya and

compromised, "All right, how about this, I'll see

how everyone else does and if it goes OK, I'll

give it a try. Fair enough?" Knowing she would

give in eventually, Tanya grinned happily as she

reached out and gave her friend a light squeeze

and replied, "Fair enough."

Once the two friends separated, the

were joined by the guys. "OK, now that we have

that settled . . . who's going first?" asked Greg

while now caressing the exposed flesh of Tanya's

back. Billy, who was standing behind Mac, was

about to volunteer when Tanya beat him to it. She

enthusiastically offered to take the plunge first.

"Suit me up." Everyone appreciated her excitement

and Greg lead her over to the harness and chute

and began securing her in the device. While he was

doing that and explaining a few last minute

details to her, Billy continued to quietly study

Mac from behind. He could tell she was still a bit

nervous about this whole thing, so he attempted to

soothe her concerns, some. Gently, he slid his

hands over her curvy, cut off jean clad hips,

causing that familiar jolt of energy to shoot

through them both again. Mac inhaled sharply at

his touch but didn't retreat from his hold, making

Billy more confident in what he did next. He

leaned in closer to her and whispered near her

ear, "It'll be fun . . . trust me." She shuddered

at the intimacy of the moment before slightly

turning in his hold and looking up into his

glowing face. Mac returned the beam, then without

out a thought, she replied, "I do."

That brief exchange pushing them closer

to the answers they sought . . . was this was

just a moment in time or something that was

lasting between them?

Greg soon finished prepping Tanya and

started the boat up again, sending her up into the

clear blue sky. As she contently gazed around and

below herself, Mac watched her friend in quiet,

while sitting at the back of the boat. Again, she

wished she could just be as bold sometimes. Her

thoughts, though, were interrupted by Billy's

sweet husky voice, once more, "Hey . . . " She

turned and gave her attention to him before he

continued, "You know, you really don't have to do

this if you don't want to. It's no biggie." She

gave him another small smile, appreciating his

continuing effort to make her feel comfortable.

Then in a more sure tone of her own, Mac finally

replied, "I know but I don't think it will hurt me

to try . . . after you, of course." Billy's grin

widened at her added levity, "Of course."

The pair then turned their focus back

to Tanya and silently watched her soar for a

while. Finally, though, she was brought back in

and Billy prepared for his turn while Tanya

described the view and feeling of being up there.

Mac knew this was just her way of trying to entice

her further but what Tee didn't know was after

Billy's continued encouragement, she was that much

more determined to give this new experience a try.

Billy took his turn like a pro and shortly after

he returned to the boat, Mac was next up. She took

in a deep breath and went over to let Billy get

her ready. He, though, was a having a few problems

doing just that, as his hands kept grazing the

soft exposed skin of her arms, stomach and legs

as her assisted her in putting on the harness and

chute.

Finally, they got her set up but before

he gave Greg the word, Billy took one of her hands

in his, gave her another killer grin and softly

reiterated, "I promise you'll enjoy it. It's

almost like being on the ferris wheel . . . only

better." Mac, again, reciprocated his glow and

squeezed his hand lightly before anxiously,

concluding, "I guess I'll find out." He gave her a

quick wink and released her as he gave Greg the

signal to go. Slowly, Mac made her ascent with her

eyes closed, at first. But before she could get

too far she heard Tanya's big mouth over even the

boat, "Open your eyes, Chicken! The view is

awesome." Mac smirked as she cautiously began

opening her eyes. By the time she reached the

zenith of her ride she was taking in the entire

scene, much like her friend had earlier. The view

was everything she said it was and more. It was

amazing seeing everything from above, from the

other people to the skyline and the birds in the

sky. Mac was engrossed by and more and more,

happy she decided to do this.

However, that joy would be short lived

and replaced by a moment of terror and then

realization . . .

Chapter 8B . . .

As she floated, comfortably,

through the air, Billy gazed upon her exclusively.

He, too, was having a tough time trying to figure

out how someone he had just met was having such a

profound affect on him. Anything she did and how

she felt touched him like nothing else had. Yet,

before he could delve further into those thoughts,

Tanya joined him and immediately began to sound off

on what she was observing between the pair.

"So . . . you really got it bad for

my girl, huh?" she put out there bluntly. Billy

broke his gaze away from Mac long enough to

respond, "What makes you think that?" "Please

Billy, it's beyond obvious that you are into her

and believe me the feeling is mutual," she

continued forwardly. Billy held her look for a

long moment, knowing she was right about his

feeling for Mac but still not convinced she was

there as well. He finally gave Tanya a sample of

that mind blowing glow as he returned, "She's

great but things are a bit more complicated, from

my point of view. I've had bad experiences, one in

particular, and I'm not sure I'm willing to risk

myself again." Tanya came right back, "Mac isn't

like anyone you've ever been around, though. That

sweet, caring woman you are seeing now is who she

is all the time. There is absolutely no risk in

being a part of her life. Trust me."

Billy nodded at her assessment, not

really needing to be sold on Mac as a person. He

could just feel how real she was. His hesitation

was more about his own past and not wanting to

repeat it, as far as relationship wise. As much as

he felt for her, which was a lot, he just needed

more assurance that this would work out. " I hear

everything you are saying but I still . . . "

Billy never got finish his thought, however, as

Mac caught both his and Tanya's attention with a

chilling screech. The pair looked up just in time

to see, a possible wind gust, whip the chute

holding Mac up around taking a horrified Mac with

it. She was flailing around, franticly, while

Tanya stood petrified watching her buddy freak

out. Panic, quickly set in for Billy, as well, but

he soon recomposed himself and assessed the

situation. He finally managed to get a still

planted Tanya to go tell Greg what was happening

and then Billy turned and began trying to pull Mac

back in. It was really hard with Mac still

struggling and the more he tried to remain calm

outside, was the more scared he was inside. The

thought of something happening to her frightening

him like nothing before.

Greg soon joined his friend, having

Tanya steer the boat while he helped . Together,

he and Billy pulled a terrified Mac to safety. She

had barely touched the deck when Billy immediately

engulfed the teary eyed and trembling beauty in

his arms and held on with everything in him. She

was barely returning the hold, as she was still in

shock. Greg had quickly gone back to relieve Tanya

and stop the boat once Mac was securely on the

board. When he came back to her side, he and Tanya

watched in silence, the continued embrace, Billy

and Mac shared. He was attempting to calm a

distraught and, lightly, sobbing Mac. Her tears

were light but no less heart wrenching to Billy,

who quietly started talking to her, trying to

soothe her more.

"You're Ok. You're Ok . . . I will

never let anything happen to you . . . never," he

whispered while continuing to hold her tightly. He

said those words with such conviction and without

hesitation, that it caused Mac to, for the first

time, return his hold as tenaciously. His words

instantly resonated with her and made her feel

more secure then she had felt with anyone, outside

of her mother. Everything she was feeling about

him at that moment, telling her this thing between

them had just been more defined.

Billy, too, was lost in this instance,

relaxing in her arms, somewhat, and finally

accepting that this was no fluke and that Mac

might just be the exception to what he had

experienced in the past. Both, after what had just

happened, were now open and ready to findout.

Chapter 9A . . .

Over the rest of their stay in Miami,

Billy and Mac used the time to get better

acquainted. Their friends, sensing the growing bond

between them, backed off and gave them space to do

just that. What the couple soon found was that

they had great deal in common. For one, they both

were attending school in New York, Mac at Columbia

and Billy at NYU and after that fact came to

light, the pair realized they also frequented some

of the same haunts in the Big Apple yet had never

crossed paths. Then there were some of the

smaller but still important similarities, like them

enjoying a lot of the same music, both rathering

to hangout with a few friends as opposed to

partying, and each feeling like family, for the

most part, was what was most important.

However, both had an exception to that

last belief. They began to talk on a bit more

personal level about their home lives and

families, a bit. Billy started by talking about

how close he was to his father, who raised him

basically on his own, and his older brother, who was

his closest confident. His face, though, began to

betray just the opposite when he spoke of his

mother. He told of the rocky relationship between

the two that continued even to this day. Though,

he didn't go into great detail, right then, he did

tell of how his mother only seemed to involve

herself in his life when it was convenient to her.

That lack of a stable mother figure in his life

had then set forth a chain reaction that now

affected any relationship he had with women. Mac

was a bit stunned at his revelation about girl

troubles, unable to imagine some one so handsome,

sweet, and charismatic having any problem keeping

a woman's interest. Yet, when he vaguely told of

one girl, in particular, he thought he was falling

for betraying him, it hit her how much of a toll

it had taken on him, his demeanor instantly

tensing up at the mere mention. This caused Mac to

not press further, for now, instead stepping up

and telling some of her own life story.

She started first by explain the tight

relationship she shared with her own mother, a

flower child in her own right. They were more like

best friends then mother and daughter, her mom

having had her when she herself was barely out of

her teens. The two had practically grown up

together solidifying their bond. However, she then

turned her somber thoughts to the other parent she

had never known. Mac couldn't understand why he

left and often wondered if she was the reason. Her

mom had often tried to dispel that notion but

when she refused to really talk of the man Mac

thought she was only trying to spare her feelings.

Billy listened, intently, as she had

done with him, and protectively thought to

himself, how stupid this guy was if that was why

he wasn't around. From what Billy had seen and already

gotten to know of Mac, he couldn't fathom anyone

not wanting such a sweet, loving person in their

life. Yet, the thing that truly caught them both

up and bonded them that much closer during their

talks was Mac's familiar revelation of how one

defective parent had colored her entire view on

the opposite sex. Mac had long since reasoned if

she couldn't depend on and trust the man that gave

her life then how was she to do the same with a

complete stranger.

It was another huge moment of realization

for the duo. Two people, who only just met, shared

so many similarities that it couldn't be a fluke.

That sentiment of fate and destiny they had

discussed in the ferris wheel was resurfacing and

holding more credibility for both now. The

overwhelming feelings they shared upon meeting

added to what Mac's mother had told her before . .

. when it's right, you will just know, and in

that moment of unified awareness, nothing had ever

felt so right for either of them . . .

Chapter 9 . . .

Again, a lot was becoming clearer

for the couple as far as the undeniable draw they

continued to have to each other. Neither, however

was completely convinced that this thing, they

were still weary of labeling, was strong enough to

endure outside of South Beach. Here they had no

distractions and plenty of time to focus in on

each other but back in New York, prior commitments

and pressures awaited to add extra strain to what

they were trying to build.

Billy, however, took it upon himself to

make a move to determine if they both wanted it to

work. He promptly arranged for them to spend their

last night in Florida together sharing a late

dinner and having a candid discussion about what

came next for them or even if there was a them.

Reservations were made at a casual yet quite

elegant beachside restaurant and once they

arrived, Billy knew by the look of complete joy on

Mac's radiant face, he had made the right choice

for setting.

The pair quietly stood at the entry way

of the quaint outdoor bistro and gazed over the

truly majestic scene before them with great

appreciation. As they both continued to survey the

intimate surroundings, both found themselves,

doing things to the other, without a thought.

Billy, blindly, began to caress the silky material

of Mac's stylish knee length peach floral wrap

around dress, while Mac, in return, rested her

head against his taut chest covered in a gorgeous

deep blue Ralph Lauren golf shirt and rested her

arm around his khaki clad waist. Both silently

revealed in the other's embrace and took in all

the sights and sounds of the lovely setting. From

the beautiful, low key set up the small tables for

two, each complete with a candle and small vase of

white lilies in the center, to the natural beauty

that accented the romantic atmosphere. The gentle

whipping of the breeze around them and soft sounds

of music and the lapping waves of the nearby ocean

already making the evening memorable.

As breathtaking as the scene was

and as much as they wouldn't have minded standing

there all night observing it, the waiter finally

came and showed them to their table, which was

right off the lovely little dance area set between

two sections of tables. The soft ballads that

continued to play from an unseen sound system

completed the magnificent evening that had only

just begun for the pair.

Once the waiter took their drink orders

and left them with menus, they soon turned their

focus to each other. Billy gave a glowing Mac a

gentle smile of his own as he dashingly inquired,

"So, do you like?" her eyes brightened at his

husky tone and she playfully retorted, "Beautiful

romantic setting with sweet handsome guy . . .

what do you think?" He grinned brighter and

blushed, a little, at her compliment, which didn't

go unnoticed by Mac. "Well, that has to be a first

for me," she lightly continued. Billy softly

questioned, "What?" "Making a guy blush," she

finished with a luminating grin of her own. Billy

shook his head while still smiling and jovially

replied, "I must be rubbing off on you . . . cut

it out." The two then shared a hearty laugh before

being interrupted by the waiter ready to take

their orders. After he had and left once more, the

pair got quiet again. Billy studied Mac closely as

she did the same. They both knew there was so much

still up in the air that needed to be decided

before they headed back to NY. Yet, neither was

in a rush to get to it as the moment was guiding

them right now.

As if on cue a lovely, tender song

began to roll off the system, prompting both to

react. Billy gave her another killer glow before

slowly rising from his seat across from her and

holding out a hand to her. She never waited for

him to ask her to join him as Mac, too, was

already coming to her feet and taking his

outstretched hand. The couple then glided onto the

dance floor occupied by a few other couples

already and locked in on each other, exclusively,

as the first verse came down . . .

'Lying alone in my room, don't

know what I'm gonna do

Trying to figure out if this

is it this time

Just can't stop thinking

about the way you make me feel inside

I just can't get you off my

mind, no matter how hard I try . . . '

Billy's hand, again, found their way to

the small of her back and tenderly massaged there

for a while before retresting to her curvy hips

and remaining there. Mac, in the meantime, had

moved her hands slowly up his forearms, over his

shoulders and finally locked them behind his neck.

The pair then simply held each other's unwavering

gaze, allowing their eyes and the words to the song

to communicate everything they knew was inside of

them both . . .

'Could you be the one for

me, could we dance the night away

I wanna give you

everything, though, I don't have much

Could you fall in love

with me, could you love me the rest

of my life

Could you forever be

the one for me this time . . . '

Feeling of never being sure they would find

this with anyone, clouded both their minds.

However, now as they tightened their hold, they

became more intrigued by the possibility of having

discover the one they were meant to be with. Their

embrace was becoming more intimate as Mac cuddled

closer to Billy, resting her head on his chest and

inhaling his clean scent. Billy, meanwhile, was

tracking his hands over her entire frame now as he

also nuzzled into the crock of her neck and let

out a sigh of total realization in their hug. Mac

shuddered at the warmth of his breath there and

then let out a breath of her own, knowing this

felt too perfect to be anything but right . . .

'I walk around in a daze, the

ice is melting from my heart

Can I ever know if you feel the

same

Are you the sunshine begging

me, come in from the rain

Or have you come into my life

To turn around and take your

love away . . . '

As though reading each other's

thoughts, both Billy and Mac soon sought and

reclaimed the other's gaze and shared a simple

grin that spoke volumes. They were obviously in

the same place now and as they gently rested their

foreheads together, they were willing to let that

realization stand on it's own for the moment. The

dance taking precedents over any words they could

utter . . .

'When I look into your eyes,

(Oh, oh, oh, oh)

They tell me that you're

mine, but I keep saying to myself

Could you be the one for

me, could we dance the night away

I wanna give yo everything,

though, I don't have much

Could you fall in love

with me

Could you love me the rest

of my life

Could you forever be the

one for me this time

Could you forever be

the one for me

This time.'

Soon after the song ended, they returned to

their table, hand in hand, and remained in a

silent but comfortable state of knowing. Billy

held onto one of her hands and lightly massaged

it, while the pair maintained a telling gaze and

sweet glow, understanding the conversation they

would soon have would change everything for them.

They, however, unanimously decided to hold off on

that talk until they could be completely alone,

instead sharing more light banter until after they

finished their meal. Once they did and paid the

check, Billy suggested a walk on the beach.

Mac agreed and the two were off,

strolling down the shoreline as the sun began it's

descent into the horizon. Mac was contently

carrying her heeled sandals in her hand, allowing

her toes to mingle in the slightly damp sand while

Billy had his arm draped over one of her shoulders

and his focus intently on her as she took in the

gorgeous sunset. He basked in her sweet innocent

radiance which gave him all the resolve he needed

to start this important conversation with her.

As the bright sky began to dim, Billy

paused his progress, causing Mac to do the same.

She glanced over and up at him and gave a

quizzical look that he responded to with another

breath taking smile. He then took both her hands

in his and held her sights as he spoke to her

passionately and sincerely, "Mac . . . I don't

want to lose this." Mac was a bit put off not at

the sentiment but the abruptness of his

proclamation. She shared his view but needed to

know what he thought this was before she replied.

"What do you think this is?" she retorted softly.

Billy relinquished one of her hands and gently

began caressing her cheek with his free hand as he

confidently replied, "I think you know better then

me . . . I have never felt this way about anyone,

especially someone I just met. It seems so unreal

but looking in your eyes and just being with you

tells me it's by far the most real thing I've ever

experienced in my life."

Mac was, again, blown away by his words

and the realization behind them. She was

definitely in the same place. So as his soft

fingertips continued to tenderly rub her face, she

closed her eyes and reacted to his touch as she

replied, "I don't want to lose it either, Billy."

Her eyes then fluttered open again to capture his

relieved and beaming smile. She reciprocated but

also felt the need to add, "But I do need you to

understand, I have never experienced this feeling

with anyone either or been in a true relationship

so I don't know a lot about what it entails." Billy

stopped her right there, not wanting to

overanalyze things right now. "Hey . . . we'll

find our way through together, OK?" he returned

sweetly. Mac nodded, "All right."

The two then turned and continued their

stroll a few steps further before finally taking a

seat in the sand and staring up at the , now,

night time sky. The stars shone brightly in the

pitch black night and both became enraptured in

the simple moment. Mac's head, eventually,

migrated towards Billy's shoulder and rested

there, causing them both to relax more and

continue to take in the flawless beauty around

them.

It wasn't long, though, before Mac had a

thought. Tanya's words about taking chances were

now echoing in her mind for some reason. Mac

decided this time to take her friends advice

without prodding. So in one of her boldest moves

to date, Mac lifted her head from Billy's

shoulder, garnering his attention. She then

reached out and caressed his jaw briefly before

leaning in and engaging him in what started as a

sweet simple kiss. However, the moment their lips

connected both became aware simple would never

describe their exchanges.

Their soft full lips danced intensely,

leaving them wanting nothing more then to stay

like this forever. Finally, though, the pair came

up for air, first sharing a look of amazement at

the feelings the kiss had evoked and then gentle

smiles between them, acknowledging they had found

something truly special in each other.

Song Credit: Could by Brian McKnight

Chapter 10 . . .

"So what do you think?" asked an

anxious Mac. Billy gazed down at the beautiful

creature draped across his chest, as they both lay

in the middle of her dorm room floor, watching a

movie. The question had caught him a little off

guard and quickly had him think back over the

things that happened over the past few months to

get them to this point. After the pair returned to

New York, they immediately grew that much closer

and were beyond happy to be together. The duo

spent as much time together as possible in between

school and other obligations. It took a great

effort, at times, but both found the extra work

only strengthen their bond.

The schedule they managed to forge

was faring well, as the couple took turns

commuting between each other's campuses, though,

mostly only on the weekends and talked on the

phone constantly. It was a refreshing experience

for both and they spent the time they had

together wisely, checking out the culture of New

York, not to mention the occasional hot spot. The

thing that they truly believed made their union

solid, though, was that they were always straight

with each other about everything and taking time

out, at least, once a week to just be together

with no outside distractions.

Which was what they found themselves

in the midst of at the moment. Billy had suggested

they order in and hang around Mac's dorm, since

Tanya was out for the night, and catch a movie.

Mac eagerly agreed, cherishing anytime they spent

alone. Though, their relationship had not yet

reached the physical level, something both felt

could wait until they stabilized their situation a

bit more, the times when it was just them were

always most fulfilling to both. This 'date night'

however was a little different and more somber, as

it was their last before finals. The pair had been

dreading that benchmark for some time, not only

because of the tests but what came after.

Once all the testing was done,

everyone would be packing up and heading home for

the summer, including them. Neither was looking

forward to being apart and had skirted around that

issue as long as possible. It had, though, been on

both their minds a lot. Yet, whereas, Billy had all

but resigned himself to the fact the would have to

play phone tag and email each other because of his

prior engagement in Genoa City, primarily getting

an overall view of his family's business workings,

Mac had been doing some thinking of her own. She

knew of his commitment to his family and, after

her latest chat with her mother, she decided to

run an idea by Billy she hoped he would consider.

"So are you going to answer me?"

she persisted with nerves getting edgy. She knew it

was kind of out of the blue but she thought with a

little tweaking of his itenary, they could swing

it and at least have a little free time together

this summer. It just made sense to her since, if

they were truly to be a couple this had to happen

eventually . . . why not now? Billy still hadn't

replied but did began to rise from the floor,

bringing Mac with him. Once they both ended up in

a sitting position on the fluffily carpeted floor,

he studied her curious face for a brief moment

longer and then finally found his voice and

replied, "You want me to go back to St. Louis with

you and meet your mother?" Mac nodded, glad he was

at least speaking now. "That's a big step, " he

quietly concluded.

Mac, for some reason, couldn't read

this particular look on his face and wonder what

it was all about. He seemed to be intrigued yet

unsure and she immediately wondered, out loud, if

she had pushed too far too soon. She sat up a bit

more, putting some space between them as she

softly, returned, "Look, Billy, I didn't mean to

just spring this on you and if you're not up to

it, I understand. I just thought . . . " She was

really afraid she might have freaked him out with

the whole 'meeting the parent' thing. Billy,

though, quickly laid those concerns to rest,

placing a fingertip over her lips to quiet her and

then tenderly answered, "It's not that I'm not up

to it . . . it's just, you really want me to meet

your mother?"

This time, Mac picked up on his tone that

conveyed, vague disbelief at her request. It was

almost as if he was insecure about her wanting him

to meet her mom. She tried to be as soothing as

possible, when she gently returned, "Yeah . . . of

course I do." She then reached out and cupped his

face in her hands and stared earnestly into his,

now, apprehensive blue pools before continuing,

"My mom has always been the biggest part of my

life and now there's you. I think it's time the

two most important people in my world meet, don't

you?"

Billy's nervous stare was replaced,

slowly, by a soft glow as he reveled in her touch

as well as her words. To not only know but feel

how much she felt for him with just her look ,

touched him like nothing else. She wanted him in

every aspect of her life and, for the first time,

he was almost ready to conceded he felt the same

way. first, though, he needed a little reassurance

from her on this possible trip. He turned his face

and placed a soft kiss in the center of each of

her hands before responding, "Yeah, but as close

as you two are, what if she doesn't like me?" Mac

gave him a sexy smirk of her own, knowing her

mother was just as eager to meet Billy as she was

about it. Then with a straight face but playful

tone she replied, "Then you're history." Billy

immediately broke into that trademark grin and

leaned in for a quick peck before coming back,

"Just like that, huh? I guess I better put my best

foot forward then." She laughed with him before

concluding, with a more serious demeanor, "She'll

adore you because I do . . . so, are we going to

St. Louis after we blow this joint?"

Again, Billy's beam shined bright.

There was no way he would deny her or himself this

opportunity. He'd just let Jack and his dad know

he'd be coming in a week late. "Yeah, you got

yourself a date . . . " He then paused briefly as

she pulled him into a deep hug. A thought of his

own coming to mind, he pulled back, some, and

added, "under one condition." Mac surveyed his

face again and asked for the stipulation, "Which

is?" "That after we go to your place, you come

back with me to mine," he finished happily. She

couldn't hold back her smile, not expecting, but

relishing the invitation, "Seriously?" He nodded,

"I want you to meet my family, too. Honestly, I

have talked you up so much to Jack, he'd kill me

if he didn't get to meet you." Again, with a quip,

Mac retorted, "No pressure there." This time

Billy tickled her until she finally gave him the

answer he wanted, "Yes. Let's do it . . . St.

Louis then Genoa City, here we come!"

Billy gathered her back into his hold,

pulling her up on his lap, and with their faces

barely an inch apart, he sweetly concluded, "It's

going to be great." Mac continued to beam, as

their lips migrated towards each other, and

faintly finished just before they connected,

"Definitely." The two then proceeded to enjoy the

rest of the night just being together, unaware of

all that was about to befall them once they left

New York.