Author's note:

Hey everyone!

So as you can see, I've decided to take down this story. I'm very, very sorry, to anyone who was in the middle of reading the story or if you were planning to read it. I just...I know it's in dire need of a massive re-write, but even that wouldn't really work. It's really...messed up. But, I, by no means, want to take down the pretty reviews you all gave your time to leave me, so I decided to just keep this up, while removing the content. You guys stuck by me, even though this wasn't so great [in other words, it sucked]. Anyway, I need to thank each and every one of you who have reviewed or read this, because it means a lot to me...so thank you. Be sure to check out all my other stuff, because I'm not planning on removing those any time soon!

Again, I'm really sorry for any who were reading this, or those who actually liked it. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! :D

April 25, 2010.

One more thing, I've posted the LAST chapter of this story below, just for anyone who has not read the ending and are pissed because they didn't get to read it yet, and I already took it down. I'm pretty sure everyone's read it, but just in case, here it is!


Chapter Seventeen
Joyce's POV

There was something so incredibly sweet about stolen kisses.

Maybe it was the thrill of doing something that really wasn't supposed to happen, but it made every second even better.

We both knew that we were supposed to be taking time away from each other, and sometimes I'd feel like he really only thought of me as a friend now. Until he'd wander into my room in the latest of nights – when he was supposed to be sleeping on our couch after video games with Dylan – and kiss me like I'd never imagined possible. Some kisses were soft and gentle, and then there would be the ones that took both of our breaths away.

He would pretend it didn't happen, afterward. He would walk out of my room and we wouldn't speak about it; like it was the simplest thing ever. It was almost an unwritten rule that we weren't to talk about it. Just enjoy it for the moment.

I didn't know why we were both fooling ourselves. There were times where I would lay in my bed at night, thinking and unable to sleep. Because I couldn't really understand what was happening and why he was kissing me if he didn't want to get back together.

But I was scared that if I asked him about those late night kisses; if somehow, one of us brought up the topic unexpectedly, they would stop coming. There wouldn't be the faint tap on my door and Jerret wouldn't be there with that small grin that never failed to make my heart feel like bursting out of my chest. And there wouldn't even be those stolen kisses to hold on to anymore.

And I didn't really know if I could live with that.

Tonight had been one of those nights. I knew he would come today. It was past midnight and the whole house was quiet. He was supposed to stay downstairs, on the couch, like always. But there was that muffled tap on my door; he knew I was awake.

I always was.

I didn't want to think about what would happen if my mom found out that I'd been letting him into my room in the night. But, then again, she trusted Jerret like he was one of her own. He wouldn't ever do anything he'd regret.

We waited a couple of seconds like usual, and then opened the door himself. I sat on the edge of my bed, not looking up from the peach carpet of my room. I knew it was him.

Footsteps softly padded closer, and his weight pressed down beside me on my bed. He immediately hugged me close to him for a while, stroking my hair and innocently kissing my forehead. It was in those moments when I thought I could maybe die from the love he seemed to show me.

Then he dipped his lips down to meet mine. I always kissed back with the same fondness. And I always wanted more, even if I didn't know what to make of it. His lips felt like heaven on mine, something that I desired with all my heart.

When he pulled away, it was like there was something missing. I felt some sort of absence. Something that was supposed to be there, but wasn't. As if I could only be satisfied when his lips were so innocently caressing mine.

His green eyes pierced into mine again as he leaned in for another kiss.

This time, I gathered up all my willpower and pulled away. I didn't know what this was anymore. I didn't know if it was cruel; because we were taking advantage of each other, or if it was innocent. All I knew was I didn't like the fact that I couldn't kiss him whenever I wanted to. I didn't like the fact that the only times he made me feel wanted were those rare nights when he'd come into my room.

When we saw each other regularly, aside from these many nights, we would both pretend that we were completely fine being friends. We looked like teasing, happy friends and nothing more. But, now, it hurt too much and I didn't know how to handle the pain.

His eyes were searching mine; questioning me. He was worried, but he didn't utter a word. And, for the first time since those late night kisses started, I broke the silence.

"Why?" My voice wasn't smooth. It was rough around the edges and wobbly, but he understood me perfectly.

There was a long silence following that short question, and when I firmly believed that he wasn't going to answer me, tears started to gather in my eyes. I felt like I could almost hit myself, because I didn't exactly know why I was crying.

He pulled me closer to him and softly, with his thumb, he wiped away the escaping tears.

"Because I love you," he finally answered. "And I need you in some way, even if it has to be like this."

I starting shaking from my sobs, and he pulled me closer and tighter to calm me.

"Why does it have to be like this?" I whispered unsteadily.

"I told you, I need time." His voice came out rough.

Frustrated, I whipped my body away from him and stumbled back.

"How much time do you need, Jerret? Isn't it enough? Hasn't this been enough? Can't you see what you're doing?" I had been taking a step backward at every question and now I had reached the door of my room, planting my hands on the smooth wood behind me.

But, he'd been following each and every slow step and was now directly in front of me, his pained emerald eyes boring into mine. He placed his hands so they were circled around both sides of my body, making it nearly impossible for me to escape.

"What am I doing?" He murmured with lips incredibly close to my ear.

"H-hurting me." I took a shaky breath and put one hand to my heart as if to demonstrate where.

He moved his eyes to meet mine. "Isn't that what you did to me?"

"So that's what this is? Revenge? God, Jerret, I thought-" Feeling too disheartened and unable to complete my sentence, I shoved him away and with a swift movement, I heaved open the door, racing out of my room and down the stairs. Suddenly, I didn't care if anyone woke up, I didn't care if my mother found out that he had been coming to my room late at night. All I cared about was getting out of the house and getting away from Jerret.

It just stung, a lot. My eyes were – almost certainly – already puffy and bloodshot from crying so much. Yet, I still ran and ran until my legs couldn't take it anymore; until I had reached the park and dropped my weight down to the grass and cried some more.

I knew it was a bad decision on my part. The last time I had gone out by myself at late hours…I had almost been…

I didn't want to think about it.

I felt like I had enough to deal with on my chest right now.

God, everything that we had been through, everything that we came across; first, the misunderstanding that we had, where he thought that I didn't like him; that I thought the kiss we shared was a mistake. Then the point in time where he didn't know if I really wanted to date him. And the ordeal with dating him when I had an overprotective brother, who was full out horrified at the idea, came after that, resulting in more disagreements.

I could almost use my shaky fingers to count what else came after that.

There was the girl in English class, who was all over him, ending in a huge fight between the two of us. When that was explained, the problem was me. The fact that I was too terrified to fall even more in love with him, which issued in me not telling him that I loved him back. When in truth, I did, and still do, with every fiber of my being.

Then… then there was the assault I went through when I went looking for him. And, the worst straw was when I broke up with him. After that it all added up to the whole ignoring aspect and the fact that he was furious with me. Because I knew I was horrible for everything I did.

And then, now this.

Everything. All swarmed, meshing, and mixing together. It all ached so terribly. All of these obstacles swaying and blocking our paths; getting in our way, messing with our feelings.

As if fate didn't want us to be together, despite the fact that we loved each other. And I didn't want to live like that. I wanted to love the one that I loved, without anything more. Without the fights and without the pain.

I wanted, pure, guiltless love.

And I wanted Jerret.

So, when he finally found me, with his breathing so ragged and short, like he'd been running for hours, I couldn't control myself. With no regrets, I stood up and jumped on him fully. He was obviously surprised, as he fell down when I tackled him with my weight.

With him toppled onto the ground, and my body rested on top of him, I leaned up so my eyes could fully see his surprised ones. My hair fell around us in a curtain, almost as if shielding ourselves from the rest of the world. Right then, it was just me and him.

He laughed his soft, yet deep laugh. "Joyce?"

As my name passed from his lips and into the air around us, I gathered everything I could and pressed my lips down to his, in the sweetest kiss imaginable. It was mixed with tears, regret, and a whole lot more, but, nevertheless it was a shared kiss with Jerret. And that was all that mattered to me.

There were a lot of feelings and happiness included in the kiss too, as if everything that we went through together was mixed into that single kiss; almost sealing it.

Bounding everything tightly; making everything that had happened just float away with our last thoughts.

Because I knew that everything that ever mattered, and the only thing that mattered now, was us, together. Our short breaths coming together and our firm grasps holding on tightly, as if not willing to let go.

And I knew I wasn't letting go anytime soon.

Because he was inescapably and undeniably, the only one in my heart.

And it felt amazing.