Author's Notes:

Before I get into the Legal stuff, I want to say thanks first to my Editor, Pete. He always does a wonderful job. Second, I want to thank my Readers. You guys are the best. Okay, these characters are not meant to resemble any living or dead persons. I make no apology to anyone who is offended by anything in this story. If you do not agree with the idea of guys being in love, then find something else to read. Let me know what you think of the story by emailing me at

_Hnstskr4@aol.com_

Copyright 2008-2014 by Chuck B.

 

The Journey Begins

Chapter 20

Our Date

 

My phone chimes and I glimpse at the display to identify the caller. I have been avoiding people all day because I feel a bit depressed. Steve's calling, so I answer the phone.

"Hello, babe, how are you?"

"You need to drop whatever it is you're doing and get cleaned up; I'm coming to get you and I have a few surprises in mind for today."

"How much time are you giving me to get ready?"

"You have fifteen minutes to make yourself presentable."

"Fifteen minutes? You have to be kidding me!" Knowing Steve, he will not give me anymore time either. I wish he would just hang up and let me go now, so that I can get myself in gear.

"See you in exactly fifteen minutes, you better be ready or I'm dragging you out... butt naked if I have too."

"Okay, Steve, I'll be ready, so just chill on the whole dragging me out naked talk."

"I love you, Eric."

"I love you too," I say. I hang up my phone, select some nice looking clothes, grab a towel, and then hit the shower. After my shower, I put on my deodorant, splash on some cologne, and then get dressed. I hurry down the stairs and I almost run into Sarah.

"Where are you going smelling all nice?"

"You know, I'm not really sure. All I know is that Steve called and told me to get myself ready because he scheduled a few surprises for me."

"Eric, enjoy yourself, but you and Steve be careful."

"Thank you, Sarah, and don't worry; we'll be careful."

I don't like leaving her, especially since she is just a few days away from her delivery date, but Steve is eager to surprise me.

= = =

Five minutes later, there is a loud honk from out in front of the house. Looking out the window, I see Steve's car in our driveway. As I walk to the door, I call to Sarah, "Steve is here, so I'm leaving."

"Okay."

As I open the door, Steve is staring at me and waving me forward. He honks the horn again and yells out the window for me to hurry up. "I'm not getting any younger, dude, and that surprise is waiting for you, man. I still have one more thing to do before we leave, so come on, guy, let's do this already."

I can see him getting antsy, and I am starting not to like whatever is going on today. When I open the car door, I look over and see Steve holding a blindfold in his left hand. I am very worried right now about whatever this surprise is that he has planned. "Is that really necessary?" I ask.

"Yeah, it's a part of the surprise that I have for you, so just relax, babe."

I step into the car and put on my seatbelt, and my heart begins to pump faster. Steve will not hurt me, but that blindfold is really making my stomach churn. Steve reaches across my lap and then puts the blindfold over my eyes.

"Can you see at all?"

"No, I can't see a thing, and I don't like this, Steve."

I hope his surprise is worth it, because otherwise I just might hurt him for doing this to me. I can't see anything, but I can hear and feel the car start and Steve pulling away from my driveway.

= = =

Steve drives the car for several blocks before he comes to a stop. With this stupid covering over my eyes, I have no idea where, we are, but we can't be out of the city.

"Is there any chance you'll let me know where we are?"

"I'm not going to say a thing to you about our location."

I take a few deep breaths in in an attempt to relax a bit. The keys are jingling, so he must have pulled them out of the ignition, and then the door opens. Although I can't see him coming around to my side of the car, I can hear him walking up to the passenger door. He opens it, reaches across me and removes the seatbelt. Suddenly, I can feel his breath on my lips and the warmth of his lips on mine. He takes my hands and, ever so slowly, I stand up. He had better make sure that I get to wherever he's taking me without me falling and getting hurt. He leads me forward, and as we walk, I can feel the cement of a sidewalk, and then the softness of grass. We come to a stop and then I hear something opening... a gate? The next thing that I'm aware of is the smell of roses wafting through the air, so we must be near a garden.

"Where are we?"

"I already told you, I'm not telling you anything. Would you just let me amaze you, please?"

I want to know; knowing our location would help me feel a little bit calmer. Steve moves me forward, and then we stop again.

"Okay, we're going to sit down," he says. Then, ever so slowly, Steve and I both lower ourselves to the ground, and we manage to do it without hurting ourselves. Once we are on the ground, Steve again kisses me, and that lasts for what feels like forever. He might be kissing me, but I can still hear someone walking towards us and setting something on the ground.

"Lunch is here. I hope you like the selection, because it looks great. Eric, open your mouth."

Apparently, Steve is going to feed me my lunch; that's not quite what I was expecting, but I'll go along with it. He puts something into my mouth, and immediately I start chewing it. It was a finger sandwich made of wheat bread with ham on it. The sandwich really did not wow me at all; I have had better sandwiches elsewhere, but somehow, the fact that Steve gave it to me made it all that much better. Steve then feeds me some vegetables; I can taste carrots, water chestnuts, potatoes, sweet potatoes and bell peppers along with onions and mushrooms. I do not know who made them; it certainly wasn't Steve, but they were the best tasting vegetables that I have ever had in my life. I absolutely loved them. Next, I feel something on my lips, and when I stick my tongue out to lick my lips, I can taste chocolate. It's when I take my first bite that I realize what I felt was chocolate covered strawberries.

"Mmmm!"

"I take it that you like that, Eric?

"Yes, I do."

Steve brings something cold to my lips, so I open my mouth. I'm expecting chocolate ice cream, but what I get is much better than that, I can't place the flavor, but it is sweet and fruity. All I know is that I want more than one spoonful of this heavenly food, that is, if you can consider this food.

"What was that you just gave me?"

"Honeydew melon sherbet, did you like it?"

"Are you kidding? I love the heck out of it."

Right after I finished my sentence, I feel warm lips on mine, and I realize that Steve is giving me yet another kiss.

"Babe, I love you more than anything in the world."

"Why the blindfold?"

"Eric, my mind is made up; I want to be with you for the rest of my life. I love you. I know we sorted out the mess from the camping trip, but I wanted to do something special for you; your blindfold is a part of this date. You make me so happy."

 

His kisses mean everything to me; I love him and everything about him. Steven is my life. My eyes do not need to see Steve to know that he loves me, and I love him more than anything in the world. Steven has been incredible.. The reservations that I am experiencing have nothing to do with how I'm really feeling; instead, these uncertainties are all about us lasting past high school graduation. We're young and feeling changed. So when Steve says `for the rest of my life' or `for the rest of our lives', it does not mean that we will last. Yet hearing those words coming from Steve's mouth makes me feel so much better. All these emotions are wearing me down and getting the best of me, and right now, all I want to do is weep. Tears are starting to cascade down my face, and I'm sure the look on Steve's face would tell me that he's hurting... if only I could see him. I'm sure he is looking at me with eyes that are pleading to me to stop crying.

"Eric, why are you crying?"

I know he wants to rush in and try to fix whatever is wrong with me, but instead, I know he'll wait for things to cool down a bit before he begins any serious discussion. For some unknown reason, I have convinced myself to believe that Steve and I will not last beyond high school, and it is killing me right now. College is going to come with a whole passel of problems that we might not be able to survive. Distance will be the most difficult of all those problems to overcome. I trust Steve completely, but I'm not sure that I trust myself not develop feelings for someone else while I'm off at college and away from him. Steve is too important to me, and I don't want to take a chance on losing him, so I need to overcome this emotional nonsense. These issues running through my head will only damage our relationship if I don't resolve them.

`Why won't Eric talk to me? He has to know that this silence is killing me.'

Steve wipes my tears away, and then retrieves something from behind me. The next thing I know, he's removing my blindfold. Instantly, I recognize my surroundings as Jason and Shaun's backyard. Steve moves back around, so he can see my face, and he's smiling, at least that is positive thing.

"I wanted today to be special, something that you'll write about in your journal at the end of the day today."

I want to explain to him that the day is special just because he's here with me, but that would be extremely cheesy; I'm afraid that it would detract from the experience. I pray that if we do last, that Steve keeps his romantic side; hopefully, we can protect this flame and keep it alive and burning brightly between the two of us. Steve leans in and kisses me on the lips again.

"I have something for you, and I think you'll love it."

Steve slowly glides his left arm around, bringing a beautiful bouquet of roses into view. There are a dozen flowers altogether, three red, three pink, three white, and three peach colored. I can't believe that he went out of his way and bought me a dozen roses; it amazes me.

I am taking in everything that has happened so far today, from the kisses to the roses, and it has left me feeling speechless. Steven, time after time, has shown just how special he is to me, and today he has proven it again. I'm still ready to weep, but this time, they'll be happy tears, not tears of sadness. Today has been incredible so far, and it can only get better.

Steve takes my hand and looks deeply into my eyes and all that anxiety from earlier returns.

"Eric, I have to admit something to you, and it's pretty big. I'm really worried about us being together in the future."

I honestly was not expecting Steve to say that he was nervous about our future. The same thing that has me concerned is also bothering him. It certainly makes me feel better knowing that I am not alone in all of this stress.

"Steve, we've been worrying about the same thing, I just don't know how I feel about all of this."

He does not look surprised by what I said, but he does look anxious, and it is starting to show through.

"I think we need to carry on and enjoy today."

Steve needs to choose his words carefully; I don't agree with this whole `carry on and enjoy today' line.

"No, we need to get this out and into the open."

All of a sudden, Steve looks into my eyes and I find myself wanting to `carry on and enjoy today'.

"You know what, Steve? You're absolutely right; we do need to just take our relationship one day at a time, and we should enjoy each day we have together."

I guess we both want to agonize less about the future and ponder more about this time we still share. It is going to take effort and determination to make our relationship last, but it is well worth the fight to stay a couple. I hope that time will be on our side, and we won't find any temptations or distractions along our paths.

 

While we're talking, Shaun comes out to take pictures. Shaun never asked us to pose; he's allowing us to experience our sweet personal moments. He captures us sneaking kisses and looking at each other longingly. Steve must have wanted pictures to remember the day. He actually planned a nice time for us, well, for me actually, but what matters most is that we are together.

 

My phone's ringtone sounds again and Steve watches as I retrieve the instrument from its holder to see who is calling.

"Who is it?"

"It's Sarah."

Before I can answer the call, Steve grabs the phone away from me. It would appear that Steve is going to answer.

"Hello, this is the cutest guy alive."

Sarah must be a bit surprised to hear Steve's voice instead of mine. In order to prevent interruptions to our date, Steve kept me away from the phone, and in the process, I get to observe him showing his lovable and super cute persona.

"Sorry, Sarah, but Eric just isn't available right now." He looks at me and grins with this impish look on his face, as he seems to be really enjoying this phone conversation. I wonder how Sarah will punish me for Steve's actions. "Yeah, he is busy, really busy."

I am more than a little puzzled by Steve's behavior. I understand why he's doing this, but it would be equally easy to ignore the phone call. Usually he's polite, but this is out of character for him. A part of me appreciates my boyfriend's actions; I enjoy him being sweet and kind, even though he is lying to my sister and stealing my phone away from me.

"Don't worry; I'll make sure he comes home safe and sound."

After a few more seconds, Steve ends the call and returns my phone. All he does is smile, and then he kisses me, but this time... this time, it is different somehow. I'm not sure if he knows it or not, but I feel as though a jolt of electricity is traveling down my body to my crotch. Yeah, his sweet kisses just gave me an erection, but the more amazing thing about my boyfriend is that he completely ignored it.

= = =

Jason comes out of the house carrying a bottle of what appears to be champagne; Shaun follows behind him, carrying a tray bearing four wine flutes. They set the glasses and the champagne on the patio table, which is when I realize that the `champagne' is actually sparkling white grape juice.

"Eric, Steve, what we are about to do isn't on the agenda for today, but after watching the two of you, we decided this was worth the intrusion into your day," Shaun said, as Jason began to pour the sparkling grape juice into the glasses. Shaun passed the filled glasses to Steve and me, and then he ran into the house to retrieve something special for him and Jason. This time it would appear that the bottle actually contains wine. As he hands Jason's glass to him, they turn to face us.

Shaun pulls out a piece of paper from his trousers pocket and starts to read from it. "We wrote a beautiful toast fit for a wedding, but since this isn't your wedding, we are going to toast to the two of you finding yourselves in each other's arms for now, five years from now, and beyond. Cheers!"

We clink our glasses together and drink to our continued happiness and everlasting love. We see Shaun and Jason are kissing to seal the wishes, so Steve and I kiss too, after which we continue to drink from our glasses. When the glasses are empty, Shaun and Jason, collect them, turn and walk back to the house. We, Steve and I, embrace and kiss each other yet again.

Steve pulls away for a moment, takes out his phone, and starts his music app. He begins with `N Sync's `This I Promise You', and then he looks at me and takes my hands.

"Babe, will you dance with me?"

"Yes, I will."

Steve pulls me into a hug as the song begins to play; something about being in his embrace makes me feel so safe. For the next three minutes, we enjoy the feeling that comes from being close. If only this feeling could last for the next sixty years, then this day will be well worth it.

The music stops but Steve doesn't let go of me, instead, he kisses me again.

"Eric, I love you, and I'll always love you, now and forever."

I can feel Steve's heart beating through his chest, and it brings tears to my eyes, happy tears.

"I had better get you home."

"Can't we just stay here for a little bit longer?" I don't want to go home and I can see in Steve's eyes that he would rather stay here in our embrace as well.

"I'm sorry, but we have to go."

`I guess I can't always get what I want.'

Steve grabs his belongings and I, likewise, grab my roses, and together we walk across the street to my house. One last kiss, then Steve turns and walks to his car.

= = =

Sarah greets me as I enter the house.

"Wow, Steve really wanted to make an impression, huh?"

"Yeah, I think that I love him more today than I ever have."

She can see that my eyes are all aglow, and it seems that she can see into my heart somehow.

"I'll be right back," I say. Then I excuse myself so I can take my roses up to my room. On the way, I stop in the kitchen and get a large vase from the cabinet; I fill it half way with water and arrange the flowers in it before continuing up to my room. Placing them on my dresser, I smile and do my best to keep joyful tears from flowing again, as I turn to exit and return downstairs. Sarah is still sitting exactly where I left her on the couch, so I join her. As she looks at me, a look of concern washes over her face

"Want to tell me what's going on with you?"

"Everyone keeps saying that Steve and I will always be together, and I am just not sure that I believe it."

She remembers those days when Mark and she went through the same thing together.

"It stinks when your heart tells you one thing but your mind tells you another, it's even worse is when your mind makes more sense than your heart."

Eric doesn't want to admit it, but his sister is right.

"Yeah, it does."

"I feel as though we've had this discussion already, but let me ask you a question. What does Eric want?"

I know exactly what I want, so I tell her, "I would like to be with Steve for the rest of my life and beyond. I want to be with Steve forever, but I'm not sure how to let go of the doubt that is running rampant through my mind."

"Stop right there, if you want to be with him then you have to let go of this doubt."

"Well Sarah, how do I stop the uncertainty?"

Sarah smiles as she looks deeply into Eric's eyes.

"You kick it to the curb and you start believing."

Eric feels as though he's in some sort of fairy tale or something. He doesn't have any reason to doubt their relationship, so he might as well start believing in love.

"You have to find a way to get yourself back on track," Sarah says as she reaches over and hugs her brother.

`I know Steve is worthy of believing in, and that means only one thing, if Steve is worthy, then so am I. We can remain together for as long as we are willing to fight for each other, and we can work through any problems that we might encounter.'

"Did you enjoy the date?"

Eric's smile was so brilliantly large that it seemed to light up the room.

"I'll take that as a yes."

`Right now, I want to be wrapped in my boyfriend's arms; in fact, the world could end and all would be well as long as Steve was there by my side.'

= = =

I go back to my room to find something to do, and, as Steve predicted, there is something calling out to me. I take my journal from its nook on the shelf and retrieve my trusty black pen. Opening the journal to the next blank spot, I put my pen to the paper and begin to record the day's events.

"Dear Journal,

Steven surprised me today by calling and telling me that he wanted to take me out on a date. He was incredibly impatient, and when I got into his car, he put a blindfold on me. I think it's the most nervous a time that I've ever spent around him. He arranged for this great lunch, well, mostly great; the sandwiches could have been better, but yeah, everything else was unbelievable. He presented me with a dozen roses of all different colors. The most amazing event, though, was a kiss that he gave me. I think maybe I've felt something like this one other time, but it was the type of kiss that leaves one not only wanting more, but makes one stiff in the crotch. I feel bad because I had doubts the entire time. I feared that we might not last into the future, but now I know that we will last, as long as we continue to fight for it. Babe, I love you, now and forever."

Returning the cap to the pen and closing the journal, I crawl onto my bed and lay down for a brief rest. I slept until Mark called me for dinner.

 

= = =

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