They say people do a lot of stupid things for love.

I'd never fully understood the saying. Or that fact that it existed at all. You humans and your little sayings, thinking that they could actually be helpful in some mild way. Thinking that they would ease someone's troubled mind. They're really trivial you know. The sayings. They don't actually mean anything.

Sorry. Sometimes I do ramble off when I'm trying to make a point.

Yes. People do stupid things for love.

Me?

I've done so many things.

I dare you to call anyone of them stupid.

I'd lived a hallowed out shell of a life. I don't belong here. I'm not like anyone else.

Please don't think I'm making excuses. The last thing I'd ever want is for you to feel sorry for me. I don't need your understanding and I don't need your pity. I just want you to listen. You can do that can't you? I can promise what I have to say will be interesting. It's not everyday you get to hear a story like mine. So listen up. Because I only feel like saying it once, and I hate repeating myself.

***

He was so beautiful when he slept.

I don't think Isabel had ever seen him like this. I doubt she would have taken the time. Maybe if she had I wouldn't be here. Because I know the effect that girl had on the male species. All the mind warping in the world wouldn't have done any good to erase his thoughts of her if she'd only loved him back. I don't want to think about that. It never happened so there's really no point in dwelling.

I tried to keep my eyes on the road. Driving so late at night didn't require that much concentration and I could stare at him for periods in time without the worry of getting into a head on collision or something. I hadn't seen another car on the highway in the last 2 hours. I watched his chest rise and fall, the only movement in his otherwise peaceful form. I left the radio off, they never played anything good at this time of night, and I much preferred the soft gentle sounds of his rhythmic breathing. It was peaceful. Something I don't think he'd known the last few months of his life. He knows it now. When he wakes up it'll be gone, but at least he knows it now.

I was tired.

The images I'd put inside of his head. The images I'd put inside of everyone's head...

The strain of all my work was finally taking its toll. I didn't think it was such a smart idea to keep driving, but I had to put as much distance between that town and us as possible. I forced myself to concentrate on the car. I didn't need to get into an accident. A real one that is. Not after I'd spent so much energy staging a fake one.

Irony take mercy on me.

It was all for love.

I wanted to pull over. I wanted to push back the console and snuggle up to his sleeping form. To wrap my arms as much as I could around his waist and nuzzle my head into his chest. I felt the smile before it formed and for once I let it come. It's funny to think that I had to allow myself to smile. I'd done it so often, in front of so many people. But none of those were real. My smile was worthless to me. It was fake. It was plastic. The thought of sleeping close to him like that made me smile, and for once, it was real. I would have loved to fall asleep next to him, but I didn't think pulling over on the side of the highway in the middle of the Arizona desert at two in the morning would have been such a hot idea.

I wished cars had autopilot. I would have just leaned back in my seat and watched him. It would have made the trip so much more enjoyable.

I thought about the first time I saw him sleep. It was only the second night after we'd first kissed; the thought still makes me happy. He made me feel like a person. Not some *thing* or some *one. * But a person. No one in my entire life up to that point had made me feel like that. He made me happy to be Tess Harding. He'd finally shown me who that really was. Such a sweet caring boy. If you had asked me two years ago if I ever thought a human would have made me feel that way I would have said you were crazy. And then possibly turned your clothes into a tiger suit.

Anyway.

I'd woken up in my empty house with the need to be near him again. I got in my car, drove swiftly but carefully (I didn't need Valenti or one of his lackey after me) to his house. Outside of his window I could practically feel him through the wall. It was no trouble to get the window open. Just a quick flick of the wrist and a small amount of power. I crawled into his room, noting the mess of papers and guitars on the floor, and moved toward the bed. When I saw the sheet tangled up around him, saw the way he curled himself up in them, I froze. I'd wanted to crawl into the bed next to him, wanted to put my arm around him and let sleep claim me again. But when I saw him I wouldn't have dared to disturb him. Instead I sat casually on top of his desk and watched him. I stared for hours without realizing it. I could have stared forever.

I was gone before he woke up.

I took a hand off the wheel and reached over the smooth away some of the hair that'd fallen on his forehead. So peaceful...

I thought about the last time I'd watched him sleeping.

Before my plan really started to unwind.

Before the madness started.

It was the night those clones of us had shown up. "Dupes" I think someone called them. I forget who. He was passed out on a lawn chair in the UFO museum. He'd been mine for awhile then. I'm not exactly sure how long, it wasn't something I kept track of. I just know since the day he offered to tutor me for computer class, the day he came inside of my house for the first time, the day we kissed... Well, from then on he was mine. The need for Max was just a facade.

Of course I never let him remember what we did together.

I never let him remember telling me he loved me.

I never let him remember me telling him the same.

He has a small fault.

He is fully incapable of lying.

I knew he never would have been able to keep what we were to each other away from him friends. I really didn't need to give Liz or Maria anymore reasons to hate me. I didn't need to give Isabel another reason to think I was trying to take someone away from her. I still pretended to pine for Max, and no one ever doubted my sincerity about it. They had no reason not to. I don't think they could have accepted the fact that I would have wanted someone else. Well maybe Kyle, they could have seen that. But he really wasn't my type even though I said I was a little disappointed. Men need their egos stroked more than people think.

Sorry. Off track again.

I stood watching him. I can't tell you what drew me to him. This human. Oh I knew my reasons. But to break it down into words that someone else could understand... I don't think I could do that. It was in that moment I decided that he was going to come with me when everything bad I knew was going to happen happened.

I don't know how long I watched him that night either.

It felt like forever.

I barely noticed when my 'dupe' walked up next to me as I stood. Ava her name was. She didn't say anything. She'd barely said anything that night at all. I had a hard time believing someone who was supposed to be me could be so damn timid and not be faking it. Maybe she was for all I knew. She blew town the next day anyway. Leaving Max and me with the other psychos.

Anyway, we stood there watching him sleep. I glanced at her and she smiled faintly, her lips curving so slowly, like she was afraid I'd yell at her for it. Still, she looked at me like she knew exactly what I was thinking. She might have even felt a fraction of what I was feeling then. Maybe it ran in the genes. I still don't know what made me make my declaration.

"He's mine," I told her. I didn't really have to. She knew. If anyone else would have been looking at me in that moment they would have known too. But no one did. No one ever did. It was kind of surreal the way we both stood there looking at him.

I had made up my mind.

When all was done with what needed to be done, he was coming with me.

Damn it.

Stupid coyote.

Keep your eyes on the road Tess.

You don't need to waste all that effort you used to bring him along.

I want him to wake up soon. Not right this moment, but soon. As much as I love watching him sleep, he'd already been out for ten days. I'd hidden him at my old house, it was still in Nasedo's fake name and no one ever went there. No one ever questioned that it was his body they buried that day. I made sure of that.

He's so beautiful when he sleeps.

But I want him to wake up soon.

I want to say "I love you Alex."

I want him to remember.

***

"I'm dead."

It was the first thing that came out of his mouth when he finally woke up.

It sent me into an automatic flashback of the Sheriff saying nearly the same thing. The despair on everyone's faces. My tears at the mere idea that it was true. I knew it wasn't. But the *idea* of it. Sometimes I still shiver when I think about it.

"I'm dead," he said again.

I didn't know how to reply at first. How would you respond to that? Waking up one day after your last clear thought was the sight of a big rig coming at you head on? I know that's what he saw. I'm the one who put it there.

Not knowing what else to do I pulled over to the side of the highway. The sun had finally risen after so many hours of driving in darkness and I didn't fell weird about stopping. I'd put enough time and enough distance between Roswell and us. I moved to touch him but he shied away from me. His hands clutched wildly at the door. His next words hurt me more than I would ever care to let on, but it didn't make them any less true.

"You killed me," he said as he finally got the door open and fell out of the car before getting up and running. I sat frozen in my seat. He couldn't have possibly known it was me. Not after all the energy I'd put toward it. Maybe it was some kind of posttraumatic stress thing. He did remember being dead after all. I watched him run along the side of the highway. He didn't get far, his legs were still unused to moving and he stumbled to the ground a lot. I got out of the car and walked slowly behind him. I watched as he collapsed to his knees in the dirt.

He didn't try to get away from me again when I got close to him. He stayed hunched on the ground. I moved in front him and saw the tears. Immediately I was sorry for the pain I'd caused. He never asked for what I'd given him. I don't think anyone in his or her right mind would have. He wasn't going to run again. I think he realized that he didn't have anywhere to go.

I ran my hand gently through his hair.

He didn't shy away this time.

"Alex," I said softly.

He didn't reply, but he did wrap his arms around my legs and began to sob incoherently. I smoothed out his hair and cooed him like I'd seen mothers to do babies crying in the park. No one had ever done it for me. I wasn't sure if I was doing it right.

"I'm dead," he said quietly.

I kneeled down so that our faces were close to see the definition of our pores. I let my eyes run over that handsome face I'd spent so much energy keeping mine. I needed him, just like I need you, to understand. It was all for love. All the lies and deceit. Max, the baby, Antar. That was a cool trick wasn't it? The flash of silver light blazing across the New Mexican sky. I hadn't gone anywhere. I just made everyone think I had. After they finally left I went to my old house, picked up Alex, and boom. Here we were. I said his name softly again and before I could help myself, pressed my lips softly to his. It had been too long since I'd kissed him. I felt the tears still running down his cheeks. How I wanted them to stop.

I broke the kiss and looked him in the eyes. I placed my fingers gently on his temples.

All for love.

I let him remember.

***

The road spilled out before us like an endless snake of concrete and yellow paint. The sun beat down on the car relentlessly, and reflected its warming yellow glow across the dirt, brush, and mountains. We were still in Arizona, still in the desert. I couldn't wait to get away from it. I'd had enough of staring at nothing but barren landscape. A whole year in that lousy town in middle of nowhere was long enough. I was tired of being nowhere. We still had Nevada to drive through, and after that California had the Mojave Desert to go through. Who knew how long it was going to take, but I couldn't wait.

Watching the road pass unchanged underneath us didn't bother me a whole lot. Not like the rest of the view. Nasedo and I used to travel by car a lot. He said it gave me an opportunity to see the Earth more closely than in an airplane. I looked over at him. His expression was the same as when we finally got back into the car. Eyes locked forward with seemingly no life behind them, his face a blank slate and jaw set tight. It was almost scary to see him like this. But I had to allow some small liberties in his reaction to everything. It was a lot to take in.

He wanted to drive.

I knew he was an exception to a lot of typical 'guy' things, but his reasons were that male ego thing again.

The need to feel in control even in the slightest bit when you suddenly found out that control was only an illusion. That no one had any idea what was going on or what they were doing. People still liked to believe they had control over everything. Delusion was another human trait that I didn't fully understand. Pretending something wasn't wrong, or that something didn't happen wasn't going to make it magically disappear. It was kind of disappointing to see that Alex did this too. But he was human after all.

At first I didn't want him to drive. He still seemed so out of it. I was afraid he might do something crazy like try to crash the car on purpose because that's the last thing he knew even though I let him remember everything else. It was like that old guy in the Shawshank Redemption, when he tried to kill another inmate so he could stay because he knew nothing else. As much as I didn't want it to, Alex kind of reminded me of him those first few hours after he woke up.

He left the radio off, which was fine by me. I didn't mind the quiet so much though I didn't realize how dull it could be. I only found it enjoyable when I watched him sleep. Nice and secure in a warm blanket of silence. With the way he was acting now I almost missed him sleeping already.

He showed no emotion of remembering anything. That much I should have expected, even though I wanted nothing more than for him just to show what he felt for me. I could have made him show me something. But I was tired of controlling his mind. I wanted him to be to be himself around me without having to forget it all at the end of the day. I wanted him to be with me. I wanted him to *want* to be with me.

He hadn't said a word in hours.

My only consolation was the fact that he hadn't let go of my hand.

***

We stopped at a gas station just outside of Phoenix. He didn't get out at first. I thought he was just going to sit there and not do anything so I opened the door and moved to get out but he still wouldn't let go of my hand. I turned to look at him. He was running his hand slowly across the top of the steering wheel and staring at it like he hadn't been steering it for the last few hours.

"My car..." He said so quietly I wasn't sure if he was talking to himself or me.

"What happened to my car?" He asked.

"It's gone," I replied.

"Why?"

"My car was better," I said. Don't ask me why I said something so lame. It was the first thing that popped out of my mouth.

"Gone," he muttered. "All gone."

He finally let go of my hand and got out of the car. You know that saying about how you don't know you miss something until it's gone? (Yes I know, more sayings when I said that I didn't understand them. Go figure.) Half a second after his skin broke contact with mine I wanted it back. I missed the warmth no matter how cold he seemed to be. I got out of the car and stood next to him at the gas pump. He was watching blankly as the pump slightly rattled as it refilled the tank.

He looked so lost.

My heart wrenched painfully at the sight of him like that. I knew he remembered everything. I made him remember. He didn't know how to deal with it. I had to do something. But what? I told myself I was never going to mindwarp him again and had no idea what else to do.

"Alex?" I asked softly.

"Alex?" I said again when he didn't reply.

He finally noticed me when I took his hand in mine again. His palm was still kind of sweaty from holding it so long in the car.

"How are you..."?

Damn. Why was this so hard?

"How are you feeling about all of this?" I asked numbly.

He didn't say anything at first, just stood there looking at our linked fingers.

"I..." He began.

I waited patiently.

"You... I..."

"Go ahead," I encouraged.

"Why am I here?" He asked.

I think I gasped. Or blinked. Or did whatever people tend to do when they heard something they weren't expecting. The question was the last thing I expected. I gave him memories back. I let him see all the time we'd spent together. That entire month I'd kept him hidden away in Las Cruces so we could finally be a couple without having to hide from everyone. It would have been so obvious to everyone else. I still can't believe they bought the Sweden trip. What school district have you ever known to do an exchange program for such a short period of time? And who would voluntarily go to Sweden in the wintertime anyway? I took him away because I'd wanted to. I took him because I wanted him. It nearly made me cry he still had to ask. I mean, I showed him the rainy day when we... When we finally...

I let him see all that, he knows what we did, and he had to ask?

"Alex," I said quietly and stepped closer to him, wrapping my arm around his waist. He didn't shy away. I pressed my head gently against his chest, he was so much taller than me, and held him like I'd wanted to do for that last ten days. I wanted to show him why he was here. I wanted to show him why I'd gone through all the trouble of bringing him with me. The plan was going to go through no matter what. I knew that. I had worked on it for so long. I didn't have to bring him with me. I wanted to.

"I love you," I mumbled into his shirt. "Don't you know that?"

"I do," he said after a minute. "But it's all... I mean it's all too..."

"Much?" I filled in.

"Yeah," he replied.

I squeezed him tighter and smiled to myself as I felt his arms wrap around me. It felt so nice to get what you've been wanting after days of nothing. He didn't kiss me. I don't think he was ready for that yet. I knew he would eventually. It was just a matter of time.

I finally made him see.

***

I was driving again by the time we crossed the Nevada border. The last time we stopped for coffee at some run down looking roadside cafe he just handed me the keys and hopped in the passenger seat. I was glad. I was getting bored sitting there not doing anything. I breathed a sigh of relief when the Nevada sign came into view. It meant we only had about another four or five hours of bland desert scenery.

I almost suggested a little side trip to Vegas but wisely kept my mouth shut. Our last trip there wasn't exactly the best experience we ever had. He still kept quiet. Only asking questions like "where are we now?" And "where exactly are we going?"

I didn't really have an answer for our final destination. I hadn't fully decided on a place yet. California was all I knew. Somewhere in the northern part of the state. I'd been to LA once and didn't like it much. Nasedo and I had lived in San Francisco for a few months when I was twelve. I don't remember too much about my time there. But I remember liking it well enough to want to go back one day.

"Everyone thinks I'm dead?" He asked out of the blue.

He seemed so focused when he asked the question. Like the real Alex magically appeared next to me as if nothing had happened.

"Yes," I replied.

"They think you're back on your planet?"

"Yes."

"What about my parents?"

"Your dad seemed..." I didn't know if I should have told him. I did anyway. "He was really upset."

"My dad?" He replied surprised.

"Yeah."

"Huh. What about Liz and Maria?"

"I think you know the answer to that."

"I guess."

"Are you mad?" I asked.

"About what?" He replied

"You know..."

"About the one way ticket out of my life? Not really. I mean, I guess I should be but I'm not."

"Really?"

"I'm not mad Tess." He assured.

I coveted the warmth that spread through me when he said my name.

He didn't say anything more that, he just kind of lost focus and stared out the window again. It almost seemed like the conversation hadn't existed at all. I think he had to keep reminding himself what was real at what wasn't. I let him see everything but that didn't mean he understood it all. I could feel his mind working overtime as he sat there. Trying to define all the images I'd fed him. Trying to process the feelings he had for me. I knew they were there. His feelings that is. Back at the coffee shop some trucker had tried to shoot me a line and Alex threw his arm protectively around my shoulders. Yeah, I know it was kind of a Neanderthal move but that didn't make it any less sweet.

"I never really went to Sweden did I?"

"No."

"I didn't think so. You know it's strange. I can still feel the snow crunching underneath my boots if I think about it," he said.

"Do you remember Las Cruces at all?" I asked.

He looked over at me and smiled, gently taking one of my hands off the wheel and holding it firmly in his. I smiled back at him. He did.

He let my hand go and closed his eyes. I can see that he was in another round of fighting what was real and what wasn't. I can't imagine what was going on inside of his head. I'd put so many images there I doubt even I could sort them out.

"What about Max?" He asked. "The baby?"

I knew I could have kept that from him. He'd already been asleep when I concocted that little piece of fiction for everyone to swallow up and believe. I can still see the shock on Liz's face. The hate and contempt hidden underneath that innocent face of hers. I knew everyone hated me even more for it. I could have easily let the false pregnancy escape his knowledge but I wasn't hiding anything. I let him see what it took. I let him see what I was capable of.

He would want me anyway.

He had to.

***

We were in some diner in Bakersfield.

Sunny California.

No more boring desert.

I was watching him devour a turkey club sandwich, fries, and an orange soda. What was it with him and orange soda? Even in his state of confusion it was nice to know some things remained a constant. He was so hungry I don't think he was really chewing. To the casual observer, namely our waitress Jaime, it would have appeared disgusting. Her upturned nose was a clear indication of that. She didn't know he hadn't eaten in days. She probably just thought he was a pig. I didn't mind the loud chomping of his food. I knew he was starving.

He held my hand from across the table.

It was already sweaty from another hours long marathon of holding it in the car. I'm not complaining. Don't you think for a second that I am. But the second he said "Isabel" I wanted him to let go. It was the last name I wanted to hear from his mouth. My mind blocked out the rest of his sentence afterward.

I didn't even realize it when I grabbed the ketchup bottle.

I didn't even feel it when I turned it to mustard.

To barbecue sauce.

To vinegar.

I didn't grasp the fact that I was speeding up the molecules, or that the glass was weakening. I could have cared less that it was about to explode. The fire that those three syllables ignited in me was scary even to myself.

Isabel.

Always Isabel.

I'm afraid that the green-eyed monster had gotten hold of me when I didn't have to control myself like I had to at the prom. That kiss on the dance floor. Fire. Watch it all burn. I never kissed Max. It's just what I wanted Liz to see. What I made Liz see. Hearing her name again I would have sent that ketchup bottle into a violent burst of glass shards and sticky glop and cared less about doing so in front of so many people.

The thing that stopped me?

He called me goldilocks.

Yes, even I roll my eyes at the obvious pet name. But that doesn't make me like it any less. He first called me that when we were in Las Cruces. After we had just seen some lame foreign film at some rundown theatre near the college there. He kissed me under a streetlight in a scene straight out of some old 40's romance. He ran his hand through my hair, twirled on the ends and leaned in to gently inhale its scent. It was so sweet of him. I'd never had a pet name before. I'd always been Tess. Only Tess. And while I don't exactly love his name for me, I love the fact that he gave it to me.

I looked at him as the name fell from his lips. Saw the smile he only saved for me. Saw the Alex I'd come to care for more than myself. Saw all the fun we'd had and the times we spent together. It seemed like some of the confusion weighing on his mind lessened. He seemed to be focusing on me.

Turned out he wasn't even asking what Isabel thought about everything that happened. He only wanted to know if she had hated me too. You know, since she was my first friend when I moved to Roswell. Since we had that girl/alien connection. He didn't ask if Isabel was sad that he "died." He didn't ask if she was terribly heartbroken about it. His question didn't involve him or his former feelings for her. He was only concerned about me.

I reached across the table and held his hand again.

He smiled.

And for the next few minutes he was my Alex all over again.

It wouldn't last long.

He still had a little ways to go before his mind would clear.

I could wait.

I wasn't going anywhere.

***

Neither of us felt like driving anymore after we left the diner.

My butt was getting sore from sitting down so long and my hands calloused from holding the steering wheel. What a time to forget my hand lotion. Alex didn't want to drive because he was having flashbacks of the accident again. He leaned against the fender of the car and I thought he was going to throw up because he ate so fast, but he was mumbling something about changing lanes and how everything was a lie. I thought it best if we got a motel room somewhere and just rested for the rest of the day. Luckily there was one right across the street.

The place wasn't exactly the Ritz.

Hell, it wasn't even a Motel 6. But the beds were clean. I guess that's all that really mattered. There was a small dilemma about there being two beds. I didn't want to sit on one alone and only watch him from a few feet away like I had to in the car. But I didn't know if he was ready for us to sleep together in a bed again. If he was going to sleep at all. I sat down on the one furthest from the door and waited to see what he would do.

He stood there in the doorway, eyes darting back and forth from the bed I was sitting on to the empty one. It was kind of cute. He walked slowly around the edge of the first bed and I geared up for the feeling of disappointment when he paused in front of it. But then he kept moving and sat down next to me. It would have taken forever to catch the butterflies in my stomach.

"I remember..." He began.

I put my hand on his leg and waited for him to go on.

"I remember kissing you at the Crashdown," he said. "That day when I filled in for Maria and Liz was still upstairs checking on her mom and Michael was out back on his break. I remember you walking back into the kitchen. I was throwing some more fries into the fryer, and you snuck up on me."

I rested my head on his arm, smiling so wide it made my mouth feel numb.

"You smiled at me. God I remember that smile. Like there was no one else in the room. Yeah, okay, no one else was in the room. But you know what I mean. You looked at me like I mattered. And then you kissed me. I remember that. I remember feeling good for the first time in so long."

He looked down at me. The lost daze in his eyes fading away even more.

"Isabel never made me feel that way," he said. "Not really. She was too wrapped up in her own thing. She didn't love me."

He lifted his hand to run along my cheek.

"Not like you did."

I couldn't tell you what I was feeling at that moment. No words could possibly convey one fraction of my emotions. He was telling me exactly what I wanted. And he wasn't telling me because it's what I needed to hear. He was telling me because it's what he felt like saying. What he felt.

I didn't let him keep talking after that. He didn't need to say anything anymore. I just pulled his lips to mine and gave him new memories.

The kind I didn't have to make up myself.

***

I think it was around midnight when I woke up.

He wasn't lying in the bed next to me. For one brief moment I'd thought he left me. That he'd hopped in my car and ran all the way back to Roswell. The dread that followed the thought... Well, I could go through the rest of my life without feeling that again.

I heard something shuffle in the bathroom. My lungs released the breath I didn't know I was holding and I draped the sheet around me and walked to the bathroom. I couldn't explain what exactly he was doing. Well, actually he was just staring at himself in the mirror, running his hand along the reflected image rather than his own flesh. But it seemed like there was more to it than that. I just didn't know what.

"Alex?" I questioned.

He finally noticed me then and the smile he gave me made my insides feel all liquidy. Yes I know. How cheesy was that? One thing I learned in all my lying was that you couldn't hide the truth. Oh you could make someone not see it, but that didn't mean that it was gone. The truth at the moment was that my heart was beating like some silly schoolgirl and my stomach formed little knots at the way he smiled at me. I'm not making anyone not see the truth anymore. So I could admit to feeling like this.

It's easier than I thought it would be.

"Sometimes it all feels like some weird dream," he said quietly. "Like at any moment I'm just going to wake up in my bed to the sound of my alarm and everything would be the same."

His words stung me at first. I had to fight the urge to turn away from him. I had to keep my now trembling hands on the sheet or it would fall. I think he saw the shock in my eyes because he raised his hands to show that he hadn't meant anything but it.

"Is that what you want?" I managed to ask.

"No," he said moving to put his arms around me.

"No?"

"Of course not," he told me.

"Are you sure?"

"I was just saying it felt like that sometimes. That doesn't mean I want it to be that way."

God I felt so weak and stupid then. I was stronger than that. You know that don't you? No one could be that weak and done what I'd done.

No one.

And yet a few measly words from him and I'm ready to collapse into myself like a turtle hiding in its shell. My need for him scared me yet again. But this time I knew why.

It was something beyond my control.

The only time anything had been beyond *my* control was the time that stupid bitch congresswoman got the drop on me. In my entire life that was the only time. I know what I said about control being an illusion. I'm surprised you couldn't tell that I didn't mean me. I was the goddamn puppet master. I controlled everything.

I didn't control this.

His arms tightened around me and I felt him kiss the top of my head.

I guess we both had some confusion to deal with.