A/N: There once was this story I clicked on, it was called The Debt. Now I had read so so many stories at this point and I had seen the authors saying, "Friend me, follow me..." but there was only one I actually did at that point. That was Delphius Fanfiction. I was so taken with her story that I did. Well she accepted and a few weeks later I was shocked to get a PM from her asking if I write. Well I did but I had nothing but a few blurbs here and there that I never had a full on conclusion to. But after some invites, MUCH! encouragement I found the guts to combine a couple of the crappy starts I had and came up with Steel Resolve. To say she has been an influence is putting it mildly. She has been a friend, a confidant and frankly a kick ass bitch! So for her and her love of Emm I have pulled this little fluff pieces out of the back of my head for her birthday! Happy Birthday Del! You are one kick ass bitch and I hope you keep on rockin on! You are an inspiration and I know that not only will you have my back but you will help to hide the bodies!

Chances Taken

I had no idea if he would show or not, but it was like that everyday. I sat and waited. I watched and then went back inside. It had been this way since I first spotted him back at the start of summer.

I was up early as always. Finally the weather had warmed and I was able to take my coffee out to the deck. Sipping my coffee and reading the paper on my tablet, I looked up toward the waves and I saw him. He was running with a dog, wearing nothing but shorts and a beanie. His muscles were well defined, with each stride showing off an eight pack. His broad shoulders gave way to arms the size of my thigh. My mouth watered as I watch the disappearing view of a strong wide back and tight ass.

I had never seen him before around here, but this was a beach community and with summer beginning, it was common to see new faces. I was for sure happy to see his - well his body really - because it was hard to make out the face from this distance.

I took a chance the next day, and the one after that. I was waiting for the day he didn't show and his vacation was over, waiting for the day when I no longer have a reason to get out of bed. But all through the summer, he was there. Some days a run past, others working out with the aid of the benches. Some days I would spot him a bit further down, coming out of the water. I looked for him on the street side, thinking he must be close since he chose most days to spend most of his time close to my house. But I never spotted him, I was beginning to think I had finally snapped. That my author's brain and shut-in ways had taken over and I was imagining him - I had created the perfect man and now I am seeing things. Well, I thought that for a moment - until I realized the few others on the beach took notice too. There was no way you couldn't. The man might as well have a neon sign above him screaming sex.

I fear as the weather turns he will be gone, so I am going to relish in every second I have watching and weaving fantasies. Taking my coffee and tablet today was no different, I sit and wait. There he is, the shorts replaced with track pants, the sweaty chest covered with a white t-shirt and the pace is a walk with the dog instead of a run. He seems to be slowing along with the season.

How long can I wait? I saw him the first day I moved here. I was out running with Maverick and I saw the glint off his white coffee mug and then the flash of red hair. I was always blessed with great eyesight and I liked what I saw. I tried my luck the next day and the day after that, going a mile out of my way to work out where he might have the chance to come down and talk to me. But he never did, with the season winding down and the weather growing cooler, I would soon be taking my workouts inside to the gym. Just as well though, it was probably all in my head. Him waiting for me, watching me. No, damn it! I know he was watching me! I could feel his eyes on me, feel it like a laser.

Today as I approach, I see the flash of red and the white cup, his usual sleep pants and V-neck T-shirt, his hair a mess from sleep. I feel a nudge at my leg and look down to see my dog had brought me a stick. Taking it from him, I give it a throw and he takes off after it. Watching my dog run after the stick and bringing it back again and again, I feel him watching. I don't look back at the beautiful man, but I do spot another stick and take a shot.

After my message is written, I whistle after Maverick and make our way down the beach. We usually circle around street side. I often wonder if he watches on that side too - maybe from a window. I paint a fantasy about him, a whole life for him - what his name is, what he does for a living, whom he might love. No, not that honestly. It has creeped into my thoughts a time or two, but I try to keep a happy fantasy of him.

In my version, he is single. He is just waiting for me to rescue him from his castle. Okay, a bit girly, but my gay comes out a bit more when I am in my head.

Once again, I go about my day. Auto-pilot is my best friend during the work hours. Ever since I started my new job, I knew I should care more and give more, and I try - but in the downtimes he invades and I can't help it. Right now, my thoughts are on "Did he see my message? What did he think? Will I get a response?"

I watch as he picks up a stick and bends down. I have no idea what he is doing, but he straightens, calls his dog with a sexy finger whistle and walks away. I watch as he disappears out of sight. Looking back to where he had bent over with the stick, I see he wrote a message. All it says is 'HI' in block letters. I feel the blush creeping up and I go back inside. Sitting in front of my laptop, watching the cursor blinking at me, I try to put myself in the world of my books. I try to concentrate on the murder unfolding and the main characters fighting the sexual tension. But my mind wanders. How would Kate handle this if it was Garrett down there on the beach. But then I feel the flush again. Of course, she would be down there finding a reason to talk to him, question him. Putting my elbows on the desk and my head in my hands, I try to figure this out. How can I have all this in my head, but my body and real-world mind will not get in synch?

I have always been painfully shy. I have friends, but just a few that I feel comfortable around. It always took me time to speak when I met new people. Even then, I rambled on and often stuck my foot in my mouth. But I wish I could speak to strangers. I would give anything to march down there, shoot out my hand and introduce myself.

The day was crap for writing. I kept finding myself on the porch watching as his simple message disappeared. By dinner time, not a line was left. That night I dreamed of him, dreamed of a life where I wasn't paralyzed by talking to someone I didn't know.

Waking hours before the usual crack of dawn, I am hit with the need to respond. At least I owe him that much. I have no idea how. I may be a writer, creatively minded, but I am also socially awkward to the point of being painful.

"Suck it up, Edward! Get out there for once before it's too late." Grabbing a bottle of water and a Sharpie, I scribble on it and rush out of the house. When I get to the sand, I realize how easily it might be missed so I grab a stick and copy his "HI" and draw an arrow in the sand to the water bottle sitting there. I only hope that the grey sky and the smell of rain keeps most everyone from the beach. There was a time when I thought it would even keep him away, but it never did.

I walked a bit slower today. I didn't want to get there and see that I scared him off. I thought about him all day and night - trying to figure out why I am so drawn to him, what has had me coming back every day for the past three months. I never came up with an answer. Instead, I kept on my path I prayed that it wouldn't all end today.

When the large wood-and-glass house came into view, my heartbeat sped up. I strained my eyes to see if he was there, but I can't see him from the distance I'm at. The dreary day and hazy fog makes it hard to make out too much. But that might be a good thing, it will delay the disappointment. I keep my eyes down to the sand in case he is there. In case he isn't, I don't want to think how irrational it is for me to be crushed if he isn't.

Then I see a light in the dark. Block letters, smaller than mine and then a line in the sand - an arrow. Following it, I smile and grab the bottle on the bench. He has written on it - the lettering is a beautiful elegant flow. 'Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.' I smile as I uncap it and take a long drink. Opening my eyes, I almost choke on it. He is there, and closer than ever before - at the railing with his hands white-knuckle tight around it. He has a nervous smile as our eyes meet. I feel my knees shaking a bit. His cheeks redden, his head ducks and he's gone.

"That's it, Mav. Tomorrow, I up the game." I can't keep the goofy-ass smile off my face the rest of the day.

It's much cooler today, or maybe it's the fact that it is just earlier than I am usually up. Whatever the reason, I am a man on a mission. Dressing for the weather, I slip into my soft grey jeans, and a matching henley, throwing on my favorite dark grey sweater. Grabbing my keys and thermos of coffee, I say a silent prayer and head to the garage.

My heart is pounding and my hands are sweating even with the cooler temps and early hour. I took a chance with the message in the sand and was rewarded the next day. Hopefully this isn't a step into stalker land. If it is, I will gladly take the restraining order.

As I reach my destination, the second thoughts creep in. Then the fates step in just as they seemed to have at the beginning of the summer. As I step off my Vespa, there is a stick at my feet. Looking out to the ocean then up at the sky, I smile. It is like a sign - like it was left in just the right spot at the right time to tell me "Yes, this is what is meant to be." Leaving my scooter where it is on the boardwalk, I go far enough out in the sand and write my message.

"Now I wait." I reaffirm it to myself. I won't erase it. I will sit and wait, no matter how long. I will wait all day. I will wait forever until we meet.

Waking at the normal time, I am nervous and excited about what I might find today. I took a leap yesterday and I am hoping the fates reward me. I saw the bottle gone yesterday. There was no note - no message - but I had hoped it was him that took it.

It scares the hell out of me, and even my inner voice is stuttering and stammering. But after a day filled with "what ifs and whys," I had had enough of myself and had decided if I ever want a chance, I need to take a leap. So here I am, pouring my coffee. For a change, I am in loose jeans and a hoodie about to step out onto the deck. Setting my cup on the table, I know I am delaying looking out, but every minute I stall, I give myself a chance to back out. It also gives me a chance to garner strength. The strength wins out - I look up and my heart falls a bit. I don't see anything. Taking a step forward, I see something though - straight lines in the sand. With another step, I see more - letters, a message. I tilt my head, confused and I read the message. Then see the arrow.

I am all the way to the railing and look down. My heart is thudding as I gasp. I don't know what comes over me as I am running back to the sliding door, shoving my feet in flip flops and rushing down the stairs.

The sand message was simple and there was no other way to answer the question. This is all that felt right. In the sand was 'Join Me?' with an arrow pointing to the road. I couldn't see him, but I felt him. I felt that draw like I have for months now. For the first time in my life, the nerves were gone and just the feeling of hope was there. I take a second to breathe with my hand on the door, but nothing holds me back. Opening the door, there is the soft light of the rising sun behind the breath-stealing beauty of my dream man.

He looks nervous, looking to the west and rubbing his finger across his palms over and over again. He is sitting sideways on a classic Vespa in a soft sweater and jeans. But who cares about the clothes! For the first time, I am getting a real good look at his face. My heart stops for a minute. I could never have guessed that my far-off view and dreams could have been paled, but they are.

His eyes are a sparkling blue and I can't seem to look anywhere else as they turn to mine. I want to take in his whole face, but his eyes have me fixated. Glued to my spot in the open doorway, I am frozen. Then he stands. He seems to dwarf me and my foot twitches to move back, but I hold it in place.

"Hi, um, I thought, ah well, maybe, we could, maybe . . ." He looks even more nervous than me and it puts me at ease. He runs his hand over his buzzed dark hair before looking up from under his long lashes. Then he smiles and I see a deep dimple and dazzling white straight teeth. His hand leaves his head and stretches to me. "I thought maybe it was finally time to - I don't know - meet, talk?"

I search for the words. I am so freaked out that I will stutter and he will laugh. But I take a deep breath and meet his out-stretched hand. "H-hi, I'm Ed- Edward." OK, not too bad on the stutter there.

His hand meets mine and is a bit clammy, but firm yet gentle in it's grip. "Emmett, Emmett McCarty. It is amazing to finally meet you. I thought maybe you might want to - I don't know - grab some coffee or something? I just, um, well, I ahh . . ."

Normally I would be running for the hills or slamming the door and locking myself in by now, but there is something about him that tells me there is nothing to fear. I find myself nodding as he climbs on his scooter and looks back to the seat behind him. I take a deep breath and a nervous swallow. Closing the door behind me, I take a chance. I nervously and awkwardly climb on behind him. Reaching behind me, I try to find somewhere for my hands to no avail.

"I'm afraid you will have to hold onto me." Emmett says over his shoulder. The dimple and humor in his eyes is all I need to go with it.

The minute my hands find the perfect spot on his hips, he lets out a long breath before pulling out from the side of the boardwalk. I am lost in the wind in my face, filling my nose with the smell of him. I am sure I have gone insane now. This has to be my mind playing tricks. There is no way this is me, here with him. Then one of his hands covers mine and pulls it around to rest low on his stomach and I feel the heat of his body and know this is real.

I was nervous as hell. I had no clue if he would come down or lock me out. I heard the sliding door open. I heard the steps on the deck. I was confident when I wrote the message - gave myself a good pep talk as I waited. But as the minutes passed, the doubt crept in. Then I heard him come out - the clink of his cup on the table, the slow steps as my message was revealed to him, the rush of movement. In the seconds between the slam of the sliding door and the downstairs door opening, I don't think I took a single breath. I'm not even sure my heart beat. But then I felt his eyes on me. I still couldn't look up to his face. I had to calm myself, make sure I wasn't a bumbling fool when I spoke, maybe even give him the chance to speak first.

When he didn't, I stopped my nervous hand-rubbing and slowly looked up. I was struck by his - well there was no other way to put it - beauty. His hair was a rumpled mess of sleep and probably nervous tugs and his eyes were jade orbs dominating his face. He was nervous. He was looking downright scared shitless. But he was here, he took the invite and was in front of me. So I blurted out the invite to talk, fully expecting him to say "Thanks but no thanks," but he didn't.

When he spoke in a bit of a stutter, I am sure my blush matched his. When he climbed behind me, I had to settle myself a minute. The build up, the watching, the waiting all summer had me ready to turn and take his perfect full lips with my own. Instead as we headed down the path and his hands found a place to rest, I moved one then the other to a better place. With just those 10 fingers and those two soft warm palms on me, I finally felt like I could breathe again - maybe even for the first time.

We really didn't speak when we first got to the little cafe' down the way - just little glances back and forth. I could tell he was nervous and I sure-as-shit knew I was. But it wasn't until he was talking to the waitress that I realized something was wrong. At first I was worried as he stumbled over his words, but then I saw a bit of something familiar. The ringing of the hands, the only brief eye contact, the stutter. Reaching across the table, I pried the napkin he was shredding from his hands.

Squeezing his hand gently, he finally made eye contact. "It's OK. I understand." He looked up with worry on his face and a tinge of pink in his cheeks.

"I d-d-don't u-usually do things like this." The red is even brighter now.

"Me either, I get nervous meeting new people. I more often than not wind up putting my foot in my mouth and coming off like an idiot." His hand has turned in mine and his fingers are twisting in mine. "But I don't really think of you that way - seems like we have known each other all summer."

"You mean by my stalkerish activities?" He says it barely above a breath, but I caught it.

"Well in that case, I am guilty as well." his eyes shoot to mine. "I kind of worked out there, because I was hoping you would come out and meet me. I actually live about a mile down. It's just that I saw you the first morning I moved here and you - I don't know - fascinate me."

He shakes his head and looks a bit relieved when the waitress gives us our food. His thank you is low and given with a head nod.

We eat in silence for a bit, but my nerves can't take it for long. So like I always do, I start to ramble.

"So um, I'm twenty-eight and I just moved back from the coast. I was doing an internship in sports medicine. I really loved it, but I missed it up here. But I just got a job at the, um, UW sports clinic. So ya, I start there next week," I look up and he is finally looking at me head-on, no hiding eyes, a slight smile playing at his lips. "Sorry I ramble." He smiles a little and shakes his head.

"I like it - makes me feel a little less like a social freak." His voice is soft and quiet, but it sets my pulse racing. I am hopeful for more. "I kind of have this terminal case of fear in meeting people."

"Listen, you aren't a freak and I can wait as long as you want to. Take your time and if after this you don't feel like saying anything, I will take you home and leave you to your life. I just - I don't know - there is something that tells me to try. Kept telling me to try all summer, so what do you think?"

I wait as his hypnotic eyes search my face. It could have been a second or a year, but I never once felt uncomfortable as he studied me.

"Okay." That was it. That was all he said the rest of the time at the diner, but I kept the conversation going on my own. The funny thing is, it never felt lonely. His face said everything I needed to keep it going. Usually I don't like to go on about myself and if I talk more than a little bit, I feel like an idiot. But not with him. With Edward, I felt like I had found home.

He was a force, like nothing I has ever been around. I took a leap and his hand. I went against everything that my 25 years was telling me. My ingrained habits - giving into my neurosis was not an option as soon as I took in his whole face. His smile was so warm and almost childlike in the joy he found from me just opening the door. There was no way to fake that kind of innocence and honesty. It was plain as day. He wanted to meet me, know me. And so I took his hand, I climbed behind him and I took a chance.

I am forever writing about the lives of others - creating drama and mystery, but hiding behind a keyboard and a screen, talking through the strength of my characters, wishing I could do the same.

Emmett's nervous rambling, opening himself up to me has me entranced. I can't help but search his face and memorize everything - the way his lips curve up on certain words, the deep dimples when he amuses himself, the way his eyes sparkle as he talks about things that he really cares about. It all felt calm and right. I feel my confidence growing.

Sitting behind him on his scooter, I felt stronger than ever and not looking him in the eyes, I think I can finally talk.

"I'm an author. I write a pretty popular mystery series." I tell him quietly, but close enough to his ear that I know he can hear me. I know he does as he has a short intake of breath, then lets out a long one in relief. "I don't do press or book signings, because I have panic attacks. I do have friends. I'm not a total shut-in. But I am not very good with people."

He doesn't stop to try and face me. He doesn't interrupt. he just keeps at the same speed with his ear turned towards my mouth. He is doing what I wish so many others would - he is letting me open up as I feel comfortable.

That day we drove for a few hours, just up and down the beach. And for the first time in my life, I felt no pressure to talk, I just did. I shared my thoughts and my life. It was like I was spilling it out on the keyboard, but instead it was in his ear.

The goodbye was awkward with a little finger wave from me, but he was beaming as he pulled away.

Day after day, I woke to a new message and a new adventure. Everyday it was met with the same feeling of "Will he be there?" I think it was just how I was wired. But he was there, through the rain and wind and cold, and the rare sunny warm fall days. He told me all about himself, about his life and family. He was the one to do most of the talking, but I was feeling myself open up to him. It has been thirty-seven days - well, that is since we first talked, but it seems like a lifetime. We talk in the mornings face to face, then close out our day talking on the computer. I find those hours at night the most comfortable and familiar. A blinking cursor and New Roman letters, in blue of course, the smiley faces and lol's were where I could really open up. But I found it also meant the mornings getting better, easier - even a kiss hello now. I touch my lips and remember this morning, I hadn't even thought twice when I opened the door. His smile, his dimples were matched by mine, his hand went to my hip for a quick hug and I took a leap and touched my lips to his. He gasped but recovered quick, and it sent a tingle through my whole body.

Tomorrow I make him breakfast and invite him into my world.

Honestly I had no clue what I was in for after that first day. I was always going for the confident guy - the one that took over - so that all I had to do was stand there and look good. But my minor social problems were paled by Edward's. Yet everyday I beam with pride when he joins in a conversation with me, or better yet, doesn't hesitate to touch me - even a small kiss yesterday. Baby steps.

Today was a rarity. Not only was it the first time we would spend the whole day together, it was also the first ime he was letting me in to his home, into his world. Not that I had asked to go in. I was content to sit back and wait on him. I let him set the pace and when I left him yesterday, he invited me to spend the day. I tried not to look to eager, but inside I was jumping up and down like a teen girl invited to meet Justin Beiber.

I huddled deeper into my sweater as I rang the bell and waited for him to answer. Even though the cold October wind stung my skin, my palms were sweating. I thought of how he would feel letting me in completely. Would it make him uncomfortable? Would he feel safe and let the ever-present tension go?

As the door opens, I let the nerves go and take him in. He is in a soft green T-shirt and loose jeans, but I have to bark out a laugh when I get to his feet. They are encased in gorilla slippers, well the heads really.

"Very nice, Edward. Is there something I should know? Do you have a fetish I should be worried about?" He blushes, but though his head dips some, he does bring it back up to meet my eyes.

"Um, no, they were a gift from a reader. In my third book, the killer was in a gorilla suit." He really didn't need to tell me that. I had been devouring his books since I found out he wrote them. On the written page, he was brilliant. The way he painted a scene with words took you there.

Opening the door wider, I step over the threshold and take in everything. The house is a work of art itself - glass and wood, angles and turns. The colors are neutral, which I am sure is meant to show off all the photos and art and let them shine.

"This is amazing, Edward." I'm not sure where to look first and I have only seen a few square feet of the place.

A soft chuckle from him shocks me. I have heard humor in his soft voice before, but never really a laugh. "Come on, let's eat, then I will give you the grand tour. My mother designed it and she would murder me if she knew I had someone over and didn't show it off."

His ease in speech is new, but it is a good sign. All fears are put to the side and it is confirmed that, yes, he is best at ease here. There is no stutter there - no hesitation in his words.

The kitchen was just as amazing as the entry and the glimpses I got along the way. The breakfast was a beast-like man's dream.

"That has to be the single best meal I have ever had, Edward." He beams as I push away my cleaned plate. "You really didn't need to go to the trouble."

His smile is full of flushed cheeks and lash flutters and for the first time, I really get the draw of twinks. "No trouble, Emmett. I just combined three days worth of breakfasts for you. I just shopped like I was feeding an army."

At first I am stunned stupid because he went to so much trouble for me. Then he burst into a full out laugh and I am struck by the wonderful sound.

"You really are too easy, Em. Really, it's nothing. My brother Jake eats like this all the time, so I am use to making it when he is home from college." His face is like nothing I have ever seen, not on him or anyone else. I realize why - I love him. There is no doubt I am head over heels in love with this man. I want to shout it, but know it will scare him, so I do the next best thing - I throw my napkin at him.

He catches it and shakes his head. We cleared together and loaded the dishwasher. Not a moment of it was awkward. There wasn't a lot of talk, but there didn't need to be. Afterward, he gave me the grand tour, ending it in his study. He really looked at ease in here.

"So are you working on the next one?" I try to sneak a peek at the notes on his desk. His hand quickly covers them and swoops them into a drawer.

"Oh no, big guy - no spoilers, even for you." I try my famous pout, but even that doesn't work. It does, however, make him laugh and that did work on my heart and, um, other places.

"I knew I should never have told you I started reading them, then I could get all the inside scoop on what is gonna happen with Garrett and Kate. I know something big is coming." I quirk a brow and scan his face for a clue. None. He just shakes his head and makes sure there are no more clues on the desk.

"Sorry hun, I still wouldn't have shared. The only person that sees it before the readers is Rose, my editor. So, not gonna happen big guy." His eyes sparkle and I think for the first time I am really seeing the true Edward Cullen.

Looking around the room, there is lots of light from the glass wall and sliding doors - the other walls are shelves upon shelves of books. Then there is his desk - it looked like a total mess, chaos in the form of papers and toys.

"So this is where the magic happens then?" I rest my ass on the desk and cross my feet at the ankles.

Then my mouth is hanging open and I am pretty sure I may have been drooling as he cocks a smile and looks down for a moment and then back to me. He stalks to me like a cat and as he reaches me. One hand presses on my abs and the other on my neck.

"Not all the magic is in here, but it's a place to start." His lips meet mine and I gladly give in. He tastes like orange juice and cinnamon, but yet he smells like him, my own heaven. His lips were soft, but the pressure was firm and as our tongues touch, there was a fire, a bolt of lightning. Within moments, we are out of control and moving fast. The room is filled with whimpers and moans. It takes all I have to push him back.

"Edward, baby, we need to slow it down a minute." His lips are puffy and red and his eyes are glazed over. He looks like sex.

"Sorry, I . . . ahh I g-got carried . . ." There he was losing his confidence again. I had to stop this quick. Grabbing his face, I peck his lips then smile at him.

"You in no way can take blame for that, babe. I loved every second of it - of you." He gasps and I smile at how red his cheeks turn. "But I really don't want our first real kiss to end in my cumming in my pants in two minutes flat."

He nods. "So you loved it? Me?" He is fishing and now I am blushing.

"Well um, ya. Not the best way to say it, but . . ."

"I think it was perfect."

And it was, days turned to weeks and weeks to months. Every day we grew closer and by the time we hit springtime, we still haven't gone all the way but we are good. Great really, I couldn't have asked for a better partner. Tonight we are celebrating his book release. Nothing fancy, just us and a few friends but it feels bigger. I don't know why, but it is something about the looks he has been giving me - the soft touches. I feel like I'm on the edge of my seat waiting.

"Ready big guy?"

I nod at him, "For anything."

I can't believe how much has changed. I mean - I'm no social butterfly, but with Emmett's love, I'm getting there. Everyday I try something new - I live, really live. Tonight will be the biggest adventure of my life - also the biggest risk. I stand to gain everything or have it all disappear like the dream I have often thought and feared it was.

Watching him in front of the mirror, I am assured he is indeed real. Real and unbelievable, I watch him at times and try to figure out how I am so lucky. He always tells me he was the lucky one - blessed with patience, determination and one hell of a great body. I always laugh at him when he says that, but I can't find fault in any of it. That is why tonight is so important, he thinks it's all about me, but it isn't. I take one last look at him in his dark grey suit and sharp white shirt and sigh.

"Ready big guy?"

The look he gives me as he notices me steals my breath.

"For anything" - and I hope his statement is right.

The small get-together was in a special spot, a place that I knew he would understand.

Taking his hand and leading him out to the deck, I chew the inside of my cheek raw. It has been a long time since I was nervous around him. Really - since the morning he first came to breakfast. But now I feel like puking and shitting myself all at once - not exactly a romantic act at this moment.

I see the confusion wash over his beautiful face and it makes me smile. He was expecting Rose and her husband Peter, but tonight they were merely players in this. When he thought they had arrived, it was just them dropping off Emmett's favorite meal and to tell me the favor was done.

"Babe?" I pull him over to the table and hand him a pilsner glass and grab my wine. He is precious when he is confused. It doesn't happen often. "Where is everyone?"

"I thought we would have a private moment. I know I have been difficult to say the least. Closed off most of the time and trapped by my own 'quirks' as Rose likes to say, but tonight I wanted to bust past my own, well, shitstorm that takes up much of my head." For an author, I sure have a hell of a time with speaking words.

"Edward, baby, it's . . ." I know he is trying to bail me out before I panic and turn into a stuttering idiot again. His kind eyes and sweet smile say it all. He always wears his emotions in his eyes.

"No, let me finish. I know it has been weird. We have never really gone about things in the normal way. I mean - we haven't even had sex really yet . . ."

"I have no complaints, baby." He tries to pull me closer. I squeeze his hand and try to finish.

"I know, but let me please finish." He gives me a nod and takes a long drink of his beer. I nod back and pull him closer to the rail at the front of the deck. His eyes never leave mine and I can see the worry in his eyes. "We have never done things like normal people. But that is because we're not normal people. We are us. We are unique, we are weird and we are in love. And though we have no idea if we will even enjoy sex with each other - hell, I don't even know if I will like sex at all." His fingers tighten on mine and I chuckle. "Don't worry, I am sure I will love it."

My virginity has always been an issue for him and a non for me. I know what I want and have experimented plenty. For the love of god, I am 25 and gay - I know what I like. I've just never had a partner.

"I wanted to plan something huge - over the top, shout it to the world - but in the end, I chose this. The way that will mean so much more because it is us." He looks utterly confused and adorable.

"What? I'm . . ." I cut him off and turn his head out to the beach. I think he may have stopped breathing.

"Emmett? Are you OK?" In an instant, I'm in the tight vice of his arms being swung around.

"OK? Fuck, Babe, I am over the moon!" His arms grip even tighter.

"Emm, can't . . . breathe. . ." His arms loosen and my feet touch down again.

"Sorry, it's just, wow . . . I don't know what to say. I mean . . ." He looks to the beach and to me.

"A yes would be nice," I plead.

"Yes! A million billion times yes," and he seals it with a kiss that I will never forget. It was passionate and said love and forever.

Breaking our kiss, I nuzzle into his neck and then look over his shoulder. Down on the beach where it all began surrounded in candles - two words, simple block letters.


I took the biggest chance and thank god I did.