Author notes: So this is one of my first Emmerdale fan fictions. It is now beta'd. I hope it's good enough.

Disclaimer: The characters and overreaching plot belongs to ITV Studios. I gain no money from this. No copyright infringement intended. The original plot in this short story belongs to me as well as any original characters (OCs).

The sun rose above the small village, as the rays of sunshine peered in through the curtains of the small room in Smithy Cottage, Aaron woke up. He rubbed his eyes as he sat up in the bed and before he glanced over at the alarm clock. It was still early which meant he had plenty of time to get ready for another day. He then turned his head ever so slightly and took in the view of the man lying right next to him. There he was his... boyfriend? The word sounded strange even in his own mind. Years of denial had forced him to not acknowledge the word. Nothing was ever that easy though. He lied down again and stroked his hand over the toned body next to him and before he let it rest over the muscled chest, right above the heart. He could almost feel the steady beat of his boyfriend's heart. The other man then started to wake up and soon Aaron found himself staring into two brown warm eyes. The lips of the brown-eyed man curled into a cheeky smile.

"Gee... that isn't creepy at all, nope not at all," he teased. Aaron scrunched his face and stared at him for a moment.

"What'd you mean?" he asked.

"Watching me while I sleep," the other man replied with a wink.

"Div" Aaron replied and rolled his eyes. The brown-haired man chuckled and roused up from the bed. Aaron didn't move and instead watched as the back muscles rippled as the other man stretched his arms. They had been through a lot together. He had been there and supported him during his coming out process. He had always been there for him even as his violent ways almost broke them apart. He had forgiven him then. He loved him. But Aaron was scared; he was scared for those three little words. Then it dawned upon him, right now, as he watched him. He couldn't take it. He couldn't lose him.

"Jay?" he then asked. The other man turned and looked at him. It was a beautiful view. His hair all tussled, his eyes still touched by sleep and that hard body.

"Yeah?" Jackson replied. Aaron then sat up and wrapped his arm around Jackson's torso, placing his head at his shoulder and looked up into those gorgeous brown eyes.

"Don't ever leave me," he stated simply.

"Aw, are you going soft me?" Jackson responded with a smile.

Aaron rolled his eyes at what Jackson said. Sometimes his boyfriend could be very annoying, even though it wasn't his intention. The other man chuckled slightly and placed a kiss on his forehead. Aaron breathed in his smell and it that gave him some more courage. He needed this more than he had admitted before.

"Jackon I..." he begun but then he hesitated. He then closed his eyes for a moment and Jackson gave him a concerned look. "It's just that... Jackson? I think I love you," Aaron the continued. There it was, his soul laid bare. The look on his face was one of fear and panic. He was worried what this new chapter might bring.
Jackson swallowed. This was big he knew that, after how Aaron had responded when he said those three little words. He knew it took a lot of courage from Aaron's side to admit it.

"I love you too Aaron. I'm very happy you finally admitted it," Jackson replied with his breath stuck in his throat. "I want to be with you forever and ever," he then added.

"You're no proposing now, are you?" Aaron replied and scrunched his face. That might be a bit too much, too soon.

"No, you div," Jackson replied with a small smile. "But maybe one day..." he then added with a wink. This caused Aaron to look away from Jackson and to get quiet for a moment. As he did that Jackson got washed over by panic. Had he pushed Aaron too hard this time?

"Yeah... one day," Aaron then said. Jackson felt the panic subside. It was a relief that Aaron didn't go off on that. He didn't get particularly bothered by the other man's hesitation either. He knew Aaron all too well; the man needed time to admit anything.