Good day my fellow word lovers. How goes it? Good, I hope.

Anyway, here goes Halo- Part 2. I hope you enjoy it! Sorry for the long wait:

I had never known Adam to be a take-charge, demanding fellow, but once the idea to have a party lodged itself into his head he sprung into action.

"We're definitely going to have to clean this place up…," Adam commented, surveying the area once again. "Would you guys be free Friday after school to help me clean it up and then set up the stuff?"

"Sure!" Clare exclaimed, becoming more excited about this party by the minute. She turned to give me a pointed look after I hadn't answered for a few moments.

What could I say? It wasn't like I had a social life outside the two of them. Besides, I had obviously already gotten myself in the middle of this- no point but to make the most out of it. "Of course I'm free," I said, nodding at Adam.

"Cool," he smiled at me, "Fiona's going to love this!"

I looked down at my watch. "Oh, shit," I said, shocked. "We have to get back to school. Lunch is over in five minutes."

"To Morty!" Clare declared, already running toward the hearse. Adam and I quickly followed. On the ride back to Degrassi Clare pulled a notebook out of her backpack so she and Adam could brainstorm all the practical things they would need for the party. Clare volunteered to make invitations so we could start handing them out the next day. They made a list of decorations, snacks, music, and anything else that seemed necessary to put this party on its feet. Every now and then I would remind them of something they forgot, and offered my services to set up a DJ table. Adam seemed pleased, floating on Cloud 9 at the mere idea of the party. I couldn't imagine what he would be like when we got to the actual event.

Sneaking back into the school was tricky, but we were able to slip in though the back door. We had gotten back just as lunch was ending, so the halls were full of students. We molded effortlessly into the sea, so it was like we had never left at all. You would think that a school on 'lockdown' would be harder to cut class and then get back into, but it seemed easy enough. Maybe it was just because I had so much experience with sneaking in and out of school.

"I'll see you after school," I told Clare, giving her a quick peck on the cheek. She nodded and headed down the hall in the opposite direction. On my way to class I passed the wishing star table. I had considered buying one for Clare earlier in the week, but now I had an even better idea. The stars were a cute idea, no doubt, but Clare was special, so I had to do something more original than buying a lame wishing star. Unfortunately, I was going to have to go shopping…

My afternoon classes were dull, and didn't really hold my interest. I found myself doodling random shapes across the pages of my notebook instead of taking any relevant notes. School was easy anyway- it wasn't like I really needed to pay attention. Finally, the final bell rang and I made my way to my locker.

"Hey, cutie," I greeted Clare as I walked up to our lockers.

"Hello, handsome," she replied.

"Got any special plans for your afternoon?"

"I was going to go home and work on the invitations I promised Adam," Clare said, "Why?"

"Well, do you want some help with the invites? I thought I could drive you home, we could hang out a bit." I smiled hopefully at her.

"Of course- I would love that," Clare grabbed my hand and we made our way to Morty.

"How was class?" I asked Clare as we pulled out of the parking lot.

"It would have been better if you were in them," Clare winked at me.

"Everything's better when you add me to the equation," I shot back playfully, and Clare giggled, but rolled her eyes at me. After a few minutes of comfortable silence we arrived at Clare's house.

"Mom?" Clare called out, "Dad?" Clare disappeared into the kitchen looking for them. I noted all the boxes that took up any empty space in the house. It gave the room a desolate, abandoned feel. "Hmm," Clare walked back into the front room, snagging back my attention, "It appears that they are not home."

"Should I leave…?" I started to back toward the door. I didn't think Clare's parents would be too thrilled to find Clare and me alone in the house without their consent. And it wasn't like I was batting a thousand with them to begin with.

"No," Clare said immediately, and then blushed. "I don't like being alone in here with all these boxes around. It gives me the creeps." I nodded, understanding. "I'll just call them and let them know you're here."

"Sounds good to me," I shrugged.

Clare pulled out her cell phone, dialed, and held it to her ear. After a few moments she frowned, and left a voice mail. "Hi mom, it's Clare. Eli dropped me off at home, and I asked him to stay. We'll just be studying, but I thought you'd want to know anyway. Give me a call when you get this. I love you. Bye."

The look on Clare's face broke my heart- she obviously wasn't comfortable with having me over without permission, but she didn't want to be alone in the house. I could practically feel her indecisiveness surround me.

"Just say the word and I'm gone," I assured her as I crossed the room to wrap my arms around her waist. She melted into me, placing her head on my chest.

"In a hurry to leave me?" Clare joked, trying to make light of her sudden worry.

"Nope- in a hurry to please you," I whispered into her hair. She shivered, and quickly stepped out of the circle of my arms. Before I could catch myself my face slipped into a mask of hurt, but I composed myself after a moment. "Did I…do something wrong?" I asked her, confused.

"No!" She assured me, "I was just…nothing." She blushed a deep shade of red and pushed past me to run up the stairs, taking them two at a time.

I stood in the middle of Clare's living room, bewildered. What the hell had just happened? I walked over to the stairs, but Clare had disappeared into her room. "Clare?" I called up. When she didn't answer I slowly walked up them, and stopped in front of Clare's bedroom door. "Um, Clare, is everything okay?" Still no answer. "Can I come in?"

"Give me a minute," Clare replied shakily from the other side of the door. I relaxed a little after she answered. I had started to worry that she was hurt or something. After a few more moments passed without Clare opening the door I sunk down to sit against the wall. Suddenly Clare popped out of her room, laptop in hand. She had changed out of her uniform and into an old, ratty t-shirt and some pajama pants. I smiled.

"Nice outfit," I commented.

Clare let out a nervous laugh, and started toward the stairs. "Let's work in the kitchen," she threw the comment over her shoulder.

I launched off the wall and caught Clare's hand before she could start down the steps. "Are you going to tell me what's going on with you?" I raised my eyebrows at her as she slowly turned to face me.

"Nothing's going on," Clare blushed and averted her eyes.

"The hell it isn't," I challenged her. "Did you honestly think I would swallow that lie, Edwards? I know you too well for that. Something's making you nervous. What is it?"

"I, um, don't think we should talk about it," Clare's blush deepened. Her face was practically purple. I thought back to what I had said before Clare had pulled away from me…I gasped putting it together.

"Clare Edwards," My laugh echoed though the hall, "You were having dirty thoughts, weren't you? You know you don't need to be embarrassed. We are at your house. Alone. That doesn't mean anything has to happen, though." I couldn't help the smirk that made its way onto my face.

Clare frowned, "Like I said, I don't think we should talk about it."

"So, I'm right?" I asked excitedly, following Clare down the stairs.

"No," Clare said, turning to face me when we got to the bottom.

I stood on the last step, and leaned down over Clare. "Liar," I accused her softly, brushing my lips over hers. Clare narrowed her eyes at me, but didn't deny it, or pull away.

"You're enjoying this way too much," Clare whispered back before turning on her heels and walking into the kitchen.

"Is there something wrong with that?" I asked her. She was right, though, I was enjoying this. Just a few short days ago Clare had been on my front porch, practically begging me to sleep with her. Now, she has one passing thought, and she is beyond embarrassed. Was I not supposed to find that funny?

"Nope," Clare answered, turning on her laptop and getting to work, "it's just annoying."

"Please," I scoffed, coming up behind her to place soft kisses on her neck, "You love me."

"You're awfully cocky this afternoon," Clare replied, snarky but a bit breathless.

"Nah, being with you just puts me in a good mood." I trailed my lips up and down her neck.

"Usually, it puts me in a good mood, too," Clare shot back with weak sarcasm.

"Really? It sounds to me like you are in a good mood. Or, perhaps, just in the mood," I joked with her, nibbling on her earlobe.

I felt Clare tremble involuntarily, and I smiled. "I'm never going to get anything done if you keep distracting me," Clare grumbled, but her resistance cracked. She swiveled around in her chair to face me, planting her lips solidly on mine. I was surprised at how eager and hungry she seemed. The deeper our kisses got the more worried I became that I wouldn't be able to stop myself. Abruptly, I pulled away, and walked to the other side of the table to sit down. Clare's lips jutted out in a pout that she didn't seem conscious of. She eyes questioned me as I tried to steady my breathing.

"That was…intense," I chuckled and the understatement.

"Why did you, um, stop," Clare asked me.

"I wouldn't have been able to had we continued," I admitted, staring at her light pink lips. They were so soft and delicate. 'Stop it,' I scolded myself mentally. Clearly I shouldn't be left alone with Clare; I had trouble controlling myself. "We should get to work," I told her, and she nodded, turning her attention to her laptop. I pulled out a lab report from my backpack I had to finish for my Chemistry class, and we sat in a loaded silence for a while trying desperately to focus on our work. After about forty minutes of the torture Clare's foot hooked around my ankle. I looked up at her, but she stayed focused on the computer screen. The only thing that gave Clare away was the small smile on her lips. I narrowed my eyes at her, but turned back to my work, hooking my foot around her free ankle. A full-on footsy war commenced under the table while we kept our faces composed and focused; I refused to be the first to crack.

Finally, Clare erupted into giggles. "I can't take it anymore," she surrendered. "I don't think I have ever kept a straight face for that long."

"It was impressive," I complimented her, smirking.

"I'm done," Clare declared proudly, nodding at the computer, "Want to see?"

"Of course," I told her, pushing out of my seat to cross over to the other side of the table. The invitations were bright and eye-catching. They also included all the information Adam had asked Clare to add. "Nicely done," I told her, kissing the top of her head before returning to my seat. Just then Clare's mom walked through the front door.

"Hi mom," Clare chirped. "Did you get my message?"

"Yeah, darling, I did. Hello, Eli."

"Hi, Mrs. Edwards," I smiled at her. She quickly returned the smile, hug up her coat, and walk toward Clare. Her mom gave her a kiss on the top of her head almost in the exact same spot I did. Then, I could almost swear I saw her glance down at Clare's hand to make sure the purity ring was still there. I could have just been a little paranoid, though.

"What have you two been up to?" Mrs. Edwards asked, narrowing her eyes at me.

"Mom, I told you, we were studying," Clare assured her. I silently held up my lab report as proof. Mrs. Edwards nodded at it, satisfied.

"What were you working on, Clare-bear?" her mom asked her. I smirked hearing her mom call Clare 'Clare-bear'.

"Well," Clare started, "Adam, Eli, and I were planning to throw a party on Friday for the kids at Degrassi. The lockdown is really stressing them out, so we're trying to give them some time to unwind. I was making the invitations. I'm all caught up on homework, so it wasn't like I neglected school to make them." Clare added the last part almost as an afterthought.

"That's nice, I guess," Mrs. Edwards smiled slightly. "You kids deserve a party, I suppose."

Clare beamed. "So you're okay with it?"

"Sure, sweetie, just be home at a reasonable time."

"Not a problem," Clare assured her happily.

"Can I trust you two alone down here? I'm really tired, and I was hoping to go take a nap when I got home…," Clare's mom trailed off.

Clare jumped out of her chair immediately a shadow of worry crossing over her face. "Is everything okay, mom? Can I bring you anything?"

"No, it's fine. I'll just be upstairs if you need anything," Mrs. Edwards assured Clare unconvincingly. She gave Clare a pat on the cheek, and trudged up the stairs.

"She's been doing that a lot lately," Clare whispered, her brows furrowing together. She seemed stuck in her spot, watching her mom ascend the stairs.

"Doing what?" I asked for clarification, walking toward Clare so I could wrap my arms around her waist from behind.

Clare let herself fall back into me. "Sleeping," she murmured. "I think she's depressed. This divorce is really kicking her butt."

"That's understandable," I assured Clare. "Just keep an eye on her. If it gets any worse, suggest a doctor." I leaned down and kissed her shoulder lightly.

"Okay. Thanks, Eli." Clare's hands found mine at her waist, and she snaked her fingers through mine.

I glanced around the kitchen noticing the time displayed in big, green numbers across the stove. I had two hours before the closest department store closed, and I needed to stop there before heading home. Not to mention, I hadn't told my parents that I wasn't coming home- not that they'll mind that much, but it probably would have been considerate of me to have let them know.

"As much as I hate to," I began, placing another kiss in the crook of Clare's neck, "I have to get a move on. You'll be okay here now that your mom's home, right?"

"Sure," Clare said, unwinding herself from my grasp. "I'll walk you to the door." She kept hold of one of my hands and we walked the few short strides to the door. I slung my backpack over my shoulder and leaned in to give her a quick peck on the lips.

As I pulled away, Clare clasped her hands behind my neck, and pulled me back toward her. She kissed me slowly and sweetly. It was almost exactly the same as our first kiss- short, passionate but subdued, perfect. "Bye, Eli," Clare whispered, her breath fanning against my face as she broke away.

"See you tomorrow," I replied before slipping out the door. Damn, I could get used to this comfortable point Clare and I had reached in our relationship. Something was nagging in the back of my mind- a cynical thought telling me that all good things eventually come to an end. But, I ignored it, pushing it back into the recesses of my mind where it would stay unnoticed.

I quickly made my way to the department store closest to Clare's house that sold jewelry. After a half hour of confusion, I finally found the jewelry counter among the maze of merchandise. After another twenty minutes of confusion I found the perfect necklace. It was a small white gold star with one diamond embedded in the middle. The chain was delicate- it was perfect for Clare. I paid and made my way home, satisfied.

I found my mom sitting in the living room, watching the news. She looked up as I walked in the door, eyeing the small bag I had clasped in my hand. "Someone went shopping," She said, a knowing smile lit up my mom's face.

"Yeah, who?" I asked sarcastically.

"Very funny, Eli- what did you get Clare?"

"Just a necklace; it's not a big deal mom. I'm going to shower." She chuckled, but dropped the subject, turning her attention back to the television. I was glad to see that she wasn't really upset that I hadn't informed her of my absence. She had probably assumed I was with Clare anyway.

I showered and crawled into my bed, once again surveying my room. I was just so amazed that we had been able to clean out one half of it. My room looked so different, and I was still adjusting.

I sighed and rolled over on my side, allowing peaceful slumber to envelope me.

The next morning I threw on my uniform, made sure the gift box was in my backpack, and headed to school. I found Adam and Clare at the picnic tables across from Degrassi's front steps. Clare handed the invitations to Adam, and he read over them once, looking pleased.

"Good morning, friends," I greeted them, slipping my arms around Clare's shoulders.

"Hey, man," Adam smiled at me, "Your girlfriend does good work." He winked at Clare.

"Thank you," she answered. "It was for a good cause."

Adam blushed. "Let's hope so. Well, I'm going to start handing these out! I'll see you guys later." With a final smile Adam ran off.

"May I escort you to your locker, Madame?" I held out my arm to Clare.

"Sure," she laughed, linking her arm with mine. We walked up the front stair and headed directly to our lockers. I shoved my backpack inside, but carefully removed Clare's surprise first.

"So," I started, turning to Clare. "You know that secret party that's going down on Friday?"

Clare turned to me, raising her eyebrows. Thankfully, she played along. "Yes, I might have heard something about that."

"Well, the invite specifically told me to bring my crush. So, I was wondering if you would go with me, Clare Edwards." I pulled the box out from behind my back, offering it to her.

"What's this?" Clare asked shocked.

I placed the box in her hands, and started to explain. "I thought about getting you a wishing star, but then I decided you deserved much more than that. Open it," I prompted.

Clare slowly removed the lid on the box and gasped. "Aww, Eli, it's so pretty. Of course I'm going to the party with you. You didn't even need to ask." Tears built up in Clare's eyes, and she looked up to meet my gaze. "Can you put it on me?"

I removed the necklace from the box and walked behind Clare. As I worked the clasp I told her, "Of course I had to ask. How rude would it be of me to just assume you would go with me?"

Clare laughed, turning back around to face me. "You're such a gentleman. Thank you; I love it."

I quickly kissed her forehead. "Good. I'll see you in English." At that I started down the hall. I looked back once to find Clare still watching me, the charm on her new necklace clasped in her hands.

XXX

The rest of the week passed by quickly, if uneventful- Adam continued to freak out about every detail concerning the party, Clare helped him get through it with her super organization skills, and I was basically along for the ride. When Friday finally rolled around Adam kicked it into high gear. All day Adam was obsessing, second-guessing, and driving Clare and me insane. After school he ran up to Clare and me at our lockers.

"Come on guys," Adam yelled, breathless, "We've got a lot of cleaning and setting up to do!"

I looked at Clare and rolled my eyes. She giggled. "Be nice- he's stressed," Clare warned me under her breath.

"Yeah- he's stressful, too," I shot back. Clare smacked me lightly on the arm.

"We're ready," Clare assured him, hoisting her bag higher on her shoulder. "Morty awaits!" And with that Adam and Clare raced down the hall, and out the doors. I couldn't help but smile at the image of my best friends running toward my hearse like mad-men. I shook my head, and took after them at full speed.

"Slow pokes," I yelled as I passed them, reaching Morty first. I unlocked him, and slipped in. Clare and Adam followed closely behind, laughing breathlessly.

"Dude, I didn't know you were so fast!" Adam said.

"I'm not," I told him, "You two are just unusually slow." I winked at Clare. She shook her head at me, trying to catch her breath. "Who's ready to get this show on the road?" I asked them both. Adam and Clare raised their hands, erupting into more laughter. "Then away we go!" I said, turning Morty on, and peeling out of the parking lot.

We shortly arrived at the party site, and hopped out of Morty. The three of us walked up to the crumbling structure, looking around. "We have got a lot of work to do," Adam said, wincing. And with that, we dove right in. Clare started to fill the trash bags that we had brought along with plastic cups, pieces of paper, and other random items while Adam and I started to move the large planks of wood that were strewn across the area out of the way. We placed all the trash by the broken down car that was a few yard off to the side. After about an hour of hard, diligent work the place was looking a whole lot better. We all stopped to look over our handiwork.

Finally Adam spoke. "We have our party pad," he announced, obviously approving of our work.

"Not bad," I decided, "I can definitely see romantic potential. Stop making me look bad." Adam rolled his eyes, smiling. Clare shook her head at me in disagreement, making me smile as well.

"You really like Fiona, don't you?" she asked, turning her attention to Adam.

"Is it supposed to hurt this much?" he asked, only slightly kidding.

"Oh, yeah," I answered truthfully, immediately. "That's the good stuff, my friend." I glanced at Clare out of the corner of my eye- thinking about all the crap we had to go through just to get to the happiness we were at now. But I would do it all again in a heartbeat for Clare. No doubt she was worth it.

"Well, she better be worth all this work," Clare said, showing the first signs of worry. I had to admit, I was a bit worried about Adam myself. He had placed every last ounce of his hope on this party, and if something went wrong…well, I didn't want to imagine anyone hurting someone as pure and kind as Adam. Fiona would have to answer to me if she screwed this up.

"Guess I'll find out tonight," Adam told Clare softly. I could clearly hear the worries in his voice as well.

We still had a lot of work to do, and someone needed to lighten the mood, so I clasped my hands together to get their attention. "Okay, who wants to help me run this long-ass extension cord?"

"I will," Clare volunteered happily, and we walked out to Morty to start unloading equipment I had been storing in there for the past day. I set up the DJ booth after Clare and I had ran the extension cords that would give power to not only the booth, but the tiny, white lights we had brought along. We also had large, colorful circles that had small lights in the middle to add flare to our party place. Adam started to wrap the tiny lights around all the trees that were in the same area as the broken-down church. When he had finished with that, I got the small step ladders I brought out of Morty, and we strung the big, colorful lights across the top of the structure. The effect was supposed to be a starry, bright 'roof' of sorts. As Adam and I worked on that Clare set up our ice bar that Adam had requested, stung a hammock, and placed small candles all over the place.

Once we were all finished, it was five 'o' clock. "It looks amazing," Adam told us, beaming. "Thanks for all your help."

"It was not a problem at all," I assured him having actually enjoyed myself the past few hours.

"So," Clare started, confirming our schedule, "We'll all go home, change, and meet back here at 6:30 to put on the final touches."

"Sounds like a plan," I said, and Adam nodded. We all headed toward Morty after looking over our party pad once more. We really did do good work. Or, I should say, Adam did good work.

I dropped Adam off at home first. "Did you need a ride back there at 6:30?" I asked him as he started to get out.

"Nah," Adam assured me, "I'm going to make Drew give me a ride. He'll be going tonight, anyway. Thanks, though. I'll see you later."

"See you," Clare called after him as he walked up to his front door, slipping inside.

"Next stop: The Edwards' castle!" I declared playfully. "I bet Morty feels like a taxi today…poor guy." I patted his steering wheel in sympathy.

"I think you love your car more than you do most people," Clare giggled.

"You only think? Huh. I thought I was making it obvious."

Clare let out a loud laugh. "Of course; what was I thinking?"

After a short ride I pulled up to Clare's house. "I'll see you at 6:15, okay?"

"I can't wait," Clare smiled at me before getting out of the hearse. I drove to my house and quickly showered before picking out a party outfit. I decided on my grey button up, my black vest, and, just for kicks, I added my dark red scarf.

After checking my reflection in the mirror I was satisfied. Tonight was going to be amazing. I checked my watch, noticing that it was 6. I was going to have to leave soon to get Clare, so I found my mom to let her know where I was going to be that night. She told me to have fun, and I was out the door.

At 6:10 I walked up to Clare's door and knocked. Clare opened the door. She was wearing a beautiful knee-length, short sleeve dress. Tiny rose buds made up the pattern, and a pink scarf was draped across her elbows. I smiled; great minds think alike. "You look ravishing tonight, my love," I told her. Clare blushed, and gave me the once over.

"You're not looking to shabby yourself, prince Charming. I like your scarf."

I laughed. "Ready to go?"

"Yeah, just give me one second." Clare turned back into her house. "Mom, I'm leaving! I love you."

Her mom's response was muffled, "I love you, too. Have fun- hi, Eli!"

"Hi, Mrs. Edwards…bye, Mrs. Edwards!" I called up the stairs. "It sounds like your mom's warming up to me- at least a little bit," I amended, grabbing Clare's hand as we walked to Morty. I opened the door for her, and she slipped in.

"She definitely trusts you more, that's for sure," Clare smiled at me as I slipped in behind the wheel. "She wasn't even upset with me when she found us alone Tuesday night. She even asked about you a few times during the week. It's, like, a miracle or something."

"Or something," I agreed smiling. Her mom had definitely been checking to make sure Clare's ring had still been on her finger. I wasn't at all paranoid.

When Clare and I reached the church, Adam and Drew were already there. Drew was sitting on the hood of the old car, and Clare glared in his general direction. Ever since he had been an ass to Alli, Clare went out of her way to be mean to him when we were over at Adam's house. Well, as mean as Clare can be.

Adam was flitting around the area- turning on all the lights and lighting the candles. I walked over to the ice bar and started to unload the drinks that Adam had apparently brought along. Clare set up some snacks next to me.

Finally, when it seemed like nothing else could be done, Adam collapsed in the hammock. "What time is it," he asked, his voice exhausted.

"6:57," I promptly replied. "It's almost show time." Adam pulled himself out of the hammock and straightened out his shirt.

After a few minutes of standing around people started to arrive, one of the first being Sav.

"I'm here to provide the music," he informed me sadly.

"Is, um, everything alright?" I asked him, my brow furrowing in concern. Clare shot him a worried look as well.

"I don't really want to talk about it. Thanks, though. I'm just going to lose myself in the music." I lead him over to the table, showed him how to work it, and let him do his thing.

Adam greeted most of the guests while Clare and I hung close to the ice bar just watching everything happen. It didn't take long for the once abandoned church to be filled with people and activity. Only an hour had past, the sun had gone down completely, and the party was in full swing.

"We actually pulled it off," Clare said proudly, smiling at Adam.

"I guess we are the party throwing types," I joked, bemused. It really was amazing how much everyone was enjoying themselves. Even Sav, who had come in looking depressed, was rocking out to his song selection. Drew, who had been pouting alone on the car for a while, had finally gotten up to hit on every girl he could. This thing was definitely a hit. And yet it was missing a crucial ingredient…"Any Fiona sightings?"

"I anticipate a grand entrance any minute now," Adam declared. I smiled, but I was worried that she hadn't shown up yet. Or, I suppose a better word would have been anxious; Fiona's absence made me anxious. I looked at Clare to see that she was wearing a similar look of doubt.

"I hope so…," I whispered low enough that Adam didn't hear me.

Just then KC ran up to Sav at the DJ booth, going on about Jenna having the baby. I raised my eyebrows; this party got crazier by the second. Sav followed KC away from the party, and Adam looked around. "Um, I guess I had better make sure the music doesn't stop. You two- go enjoy yourselves," Adam commanded, slipping behind the booth and grabbing Sav's iPod that was hooked up to the system.

"You heard the man," I looked at Clare and waggled my eyebrows, "let's dance."

After a few songs of whirling around on the makeshift dance floor, Clare and I returned to our spot by the ice bar. Adam was no longer behind the DJ table; Sav had taken his spot back. I tried to find Adam amongst the packed bodies, but I didn't see him anywhere. I checked my watch- it was 10 and I didn't think Fiona had showed yet.

"What's wrong?" Clare asked, noticing my distracted nature.

"Where do you think Adam ran off to?" I asked her.

Clare immediately looked over at the DJ booth, but saw that he wasn't there. "I don't know," she replied softly, her eyes joining mine in a scan of the crowd.

"Adam?" I asked, spotting him as he ran toward Clare and me.

"I've got to go find the princess," he told us, passing Clare and me in a mad dash to the gravel path.

"Adam," I called after him again, worried. "I hope everything is going to be okay."

"Well, if it's not, we'll be here for him," Clare reminded me, and I nodded.

Adam never returned, but the party went on in full swing for another hour or so. By 11:45 people had started to thin out, and the activity become more subtle, soft.

"My feet hurt," Clare sighed, leaning her head on my shoulder. I draped my arm around her waist, supporting her weight.

"The hammock's free," I whispered in her ear, "Want to cuddle?"

Clare turned her head up to look me in the eye, "I'd love to." We walked over, and I crawled in first, patting the space next to me after I was comfortable. Clare slipped in, trying not to tip me out, or step on me. After she was finally in, Clare curled up against my side I wrapped my arm around her, pulling her close to me, and she placed her head on my chest. I sighed, content. I could fall asleep right where I was; I had never been so at ease in my life.

"The stars are out," Clare commented staring out into the night sky.

"What's your wish?" I asked her.

"If I say it out loud, it won't come true," Clare joked with me. I thought about my answer to that question. If I could wish for anything in the world- what would it be? I felt Clare shift just slightly beside me, and her scent surrounded me. I couldn't think of a single thing I would wish for because all I could ever want but never deserve was right here in my arms.

I squeezed Clare tighter against me. It was crazy how much I loved her. "How cheesy would it be if I said that…mine already has?"

Clare looked up at me, wonder in her eyes, but she didn't say anything. She didn't have to- everything was perfect.

After a few moments, though, she spoke again. "This party's what everyone needed." She sighed.

"Thanks to Adam," I added, "He's a hero." I could hear Clare laugh softly.

"I hope he's okay," she murmured softly.

It was probably horrible of me, but I had a hard time thinking of Adam at that moment. I was just so wrapped up in this blissful moment with Clare that nothing else mattered to me. I kissed her softly on the head, and then closed my eyes. Had I believed in a god, I would have prayed to them that this moment with Clare could last forever. But, it couldn't, so I pulled her as close to me as possible and enjoyed the moment while I still had it.

Okay, so I considered going on, and I even had an ending worked, but that moment is just too cute and perfect to continue on from. It literally made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to write it.

You know the drill- let me know what you think. =)

Also, I'm going to wait until all the new shows part of In Too Deep come out before I continue with my Eli point of view stories. Because I'm dealing with the delicate art of adding scenes in I don't want to add in something that doesn't coincide with what the writers actually give us. I will continue; I just will wait until I know the whole story. I hope you guys don't mind too much.

However, until then, I will be working on other material. So, I'm not disappearing by any means. Those of you who really enjoy my writing won't have to go without it for very long. I already have a few ideas bouncing around in my head, and I can't wait to see if you'll like them.

Thanks so much for reading. Look out for my new stuff. I love you guys. =D