I carefully place the heavy book in the center of my chest box, watching the dust scatter around edges. Closing the lid, I dismiss all thoughts of what had happened with Malchior and turn away, facing the darkness that is my room. All of a sudden a feeling of sadness comes over me and I am faced with an intense desire to sink to the floor. I cross my arms, my body trembling and eyes wet, ready to collapse when a knock on the door sounds through the room. Raising my violet eyes to the door, my ears perk up to the sound of Gar's voice.

"Raven?" He asks, his voice muffled through the wall. I close my eyes, letting his voice wash over me. Gar. My team mate. My long hidden crush. My best friend. The same guy who called me creepy just a couple days ago. Once again I feel the tears rush into my eyes and mentally slap myself. Get a grip, Raven. He's just a stupid guy. My gaze drops to the floor as I stand, waiting, for him to continue.

"Um, it's me." A pause. "Look, I'm sorry." I can feel the thump of my heart as I start to move, crossing the room in timid steps. I stop when the door is a few feet away from me, staring at it intensely as I answer.

"For what?" My voice sounds meek and sad even to my ears. "You're not the one who..." I hear him sigh as he cuts me off.

"No. I'm sorry that..." Another pause and a deep breath. "I'm sorry that he broke your heart." As he says this, I can feel my heart ache a little more for what I once had. A hope that Gar and I could be together... before he hurt me. Before Malchior.

"I know it was all a lie. But he was the only person that ever made me feel like I wasn't..." I search for the right work, to make him understand. "Creepy." Lifting my hand, I rest it on my heart as I stare at the door. I pause before adding, "And don't try to tell me I'm not."

What he says next surprises me.

"Okay," he says. "Fine. You're way creepy." I close my eyes, taking a step back into the darkness. "But that doesn't mean you have to stay locked in your room." I almost miss his final words, spoken so softly, his voice so raw and pure.

"You think you're alone, Raven. But you're not." My eyelids open very slowly as I begin to walk to the door, my heart in my ears. I will the door open, staring ahead as the door slides open and there stands Gar, his large eyes full of compassion and worry. We stand there, locked in an intense gaze for a couple seconds before my emotions get the best of me. My body lurches forward and I feel my arms wrapped around Gar's neck, pulling him into a tight hug. I let out a breath of air, feeling the warmth of his body, smelling his musky scent. He wiggles his arms free and places them on my shoulders, pushing me back. I look at him blankly as he drops his arms, his mouth in a large "o".

"Uhh," He says sheepishly, looking down at the ground.

"Is something wrong?"

"No, Raven, no." He shakes his head, at a loss for words. I study the boy, watching as his feet tap on the ground. This boy who I've nursed a crush on for years, it surviving the quarrels and battles of our life yet fading to mere ashes due to simple words. And now, in this moment of honesty, I can feel the fire burn up in me again as I feel my love for him rekindle. The tension is thick in the air, and three more seconds pass before he speaks again.

"I just don't know how to say to you what I'm about to say." He blurts out. I stare at the ground, waiting for more.

"Don't worry, I won't get offended by anything." I murmur. I suddenly feel his hand on my shoulder but I do not look up.

"Raven. Raven, look at me." He reaches out his hand and tucks it under my chin, tilting my head upwards. Gar looks at me, his eyes searching mine. "Do you really think that I'm going to hurt you?" He questions. When I don't reply, he continues. "The last thing you need is someone to harm you. And though it may appear otherwise, I will never hurt you ever, ever, again. Because..." Gar stops abruptly, his eyes still watching mine, our breaths mixing. The butterflies in my stomach have turned into bats as I wait for the words that will never come but dear to God hope they do anyways. He takes a deep breath in and simply says,

"Well, I love you."

I feel his arms wrap around me as the light bulb flickers and his face comes closer and we are inches from kisses when I realize something that makes me stop in my tracks.

"Gar, no." I whisper and he pulls back. Wriggling out of his embrace, I stare at his shadowed face, watching his eyes wrinkle and his nose twitch.

"What's wrong, Rae?" He asks, concern lacing his words. It takes all I can not to jump back into his arms but God I know...

"Nothing's wrong, Garfield. And my name is Raven, not Rae." I say, keeping the emotion out of my words. He stares at me for a few seconds as I keep a stone expression set on my face, the one I have mastered for many years. Surprisingly, I see his expression morph into anger and I brace myself for the hurt I'm sure is to come.

"Nothing's wrong?" Gar asks, his voice hinting to the intense anger I feel flowing off of him. "Then why is it that one moment you're kissing me and the next you're devoid of emotion? I told you my feelings, take a huge risk, and after playing on my emotions for a bit, you just reject me? You owe me an explanation, Raven." He says, pushing out my name forcefully. I can feel the frustration build up inside of me as I stand up straighter.

"Dammit, Garfield." I say irritably, shaking my head. "You deserve somebody cheerful, somebody fun. Somebody who will make you the happiest man in the world. Somebody who laughs at your jokes and will play video games with you and won't make snarky comments." I feel the anger drain out of me, my voice becoming softer. "You deserve somebody who isn't creepy. You deserve the most perfect person in the world. You deserve better than me." The last sentence barely escapes my lips, the whisper dancing through the air and fading into silence. The 10 seconds I wait are the longest of my life. When it becomes apparent he is not going to respond, I speak again.

"That's why." I say, my voice strong and clear again. Pressing my hand against the door behind me, I turn away from him, leaving him standing in the dark and staring at the ground. "Goodnight, Garfield." The door is about to shut behind me when I hear him speak.

"I can't believe you feel that way." He says, incredulous. I stand in my room, watching him in the door way. Gar runs his hands through his hair, breathing out before stepping into my room, the door clicking behind him. I step backwards once, keeping my eyes on his body.

"I want to say everything to you, but when it comes time, I just can't." He walks towards me and this time I don't move. "So I'm just going to keep it short: you are the most perfect person in my world. You make me so happy I can barely stand it. There is no person better than you. You are the one I love, Raven, and I don't care what you or anyone else says because I'm just going to keep on loving you." His voice has gone low and his forehead is almost resting on mine. A new side of Gar that I have never seen before, shining through. Very gently, I shake my head, my blue locks moving to cover my face.

"But you could be so much more." I whisper to the floor.

"With you, I am myself." Gar says. "How can there be more than that?" Finally, I raise my eyes to his, searching for doubt. There is always some... but I find none. I can only feel his face coming closer to mine, finally closing the gap between us. The lightbulbs in my room pop, sending us into complete darkness but it doesn't matter because his lips have found mine and my hands are around his neck and he's stroking my hair and we're clinging to each other like theres no tomorrow. My heartache goes away as I let myself truly feel my emotions for him, the first time I have in years. His lips feel soft and needy on mine and my feet are swept from under me as I lose myself in the kiss. I can feel his fang gently prod my lower lip as he deepens the kiss, lifting me onto the bed. Finally we break, our breaths heavy as he collapses next to me. He grabs my hand in his as we lay together, catching our breath.

"Hmm." He says after a while, a playful edge to his voice. "So all I have to do to get the girl of my dreams to call her creepy."

"Ruined the moment." I say as he laughs, suppressing one myself. We lay in comfortable silence, hands entwined, hearts happy.

"Gar?" My whisper floats through the air.

"Yes, Rae?"

"I love you too." I can feel his smile in the darkness and the fire in my heart is ignited for good.