It's unhealthy how much I love Charlie. Seriously I've already named any possible sons I have after him.


Molly didn't realise it until her feelings crashed into her like a speeding-horse. She didn't realise the clammy palms or the racing pulse until that evening. It was an evening like any other: an evening spent by the lake, just the two of them, no Tommo because he was still in school, and they weren't.

The sun was setting, just like any other day. That smell of late summers and golden sunsets lingers on her: clinging to her skin and work clothes. It seemed to smell just like Charlie.

They were lying down, the over-grown grass obscuring his face from her view. The last of the sun warmed her bare legs – her dress had ridden up a little bit, she hadn't cared about Charlie seeing her legs; he was only Charlie, after-all.

Everything was silent, except from the breathing of her friend, and the huge absence of Tommo. She tried not to notice it, she tried to feel the exact same way she felt when it was all three of them – that feeling of contentedness. But it was startlingly, shockingly obvious that Tommo made them . . . them.

The sound crunching grass replaced the silence as Charlie shifted upright; looking down at Molly in the most intense way she had ever seen. "Moll," he said to her, frowning thoughtfully.

Molly smiled up at him in encouragement. "What's wrong, Charlie?"

"Nothing – not really. Just..." And that's when she got trampled by years' worth of compressed and unknown feelings. Her heart rate increased and her breathing became ragged. It was the sheer intensity of his stare, the look in his eyes and the slight downward curve of his rosy lips that did it.

Molly sat up, too, and bit her lip. "It's just, Moll…" He didn't say anything else and it was the first time that she saw defiant Charlie Peaceful stutter. It made a small smile curve her lips. He wasn't good at showing his feelings; Molly knew this.

She expected an awkward silence to hang in the air but instead she got his lips on hers. They were soft and warm and everything she hadn't imagined them to be.

They pulled apart, and no awkward silence ensued because Charlie starting grinning.

She blushed. He was grinning and butterflies were erupting in her stomach. Strange, unfamiliar feelings, foreign to her, ravaged her body – and she didn't want them to leave. Ever.