The summer air was humid as Oliver yawned and fanned himself a bit. The sun was beginning its slow descent below the horizon. Bugs buzzed around the creek as the horse Oliver was currently perched on dipped his head down for a drink. Subconsciously Oliver rubbed the animal's neck and gazed out at the thick stretch of forest before them. Keily was just behind him, pulling herself back onto her horse. "We should probably head back now." She commented, not really looking up from where she was brushing pieces of leaves from her mares coat. "Before it gets too dark, so we have time to brush these guys out and get them settled for the night."
"Of course. No problem." Oliver brushed a curl behind his ear and out of his face before joining Keily's side. His face twisted into a frown as he swatted away a few mosquitoes. "The bugs are getting annoying anyway."
Keily rolled her eyes with a small smile, "for someone who claims to like nature so much, you sure do complain about it a lot."
"No, just the bugs that bite" he argued, "I hate them. And so does she." Oliver fostered to the horse as she flicked her ear a few times at the sound of a fly attacking her ear.
"They don't bug me" Kiely shrugged and the pair began to head through the wide forest trail towards the Anderson family farm. Keily did most of the talking, though not a lot of it. Mostly the pair rode side by side in silence, enjoying the nature buzzing and chipping around them. With the sun setting the sky turned a pinkish-orange and fireflies were beginning to light up here and there. Oliver's head bobbed from side to side as the mare walked, his eyes set before him as he zoned in and out of thought. Keily was currently trying to catch a firefly as they rode.
Keily groaned as a stray branch brushed through her hair, pulling it slightly and leaving it messy with debris as her horse continued forward. Oliver looked over in curiosity, finally breaking out of his daydreams. "Oh, you have something in your hair, umm…Do you want me to get it out?"
"Yeah, I can't find it" Keily had picked out most of the little leaves, but a small twig was still caught in her locks. Oliver leaned over and plucked it out with ease, tossing it back into the trees. "Hey, Keily…"
"Well...it's just…" Oliver hummed as if he didn't know what to say. "Well, we've been dating for a long time now- almost a year."
"We have." She confirmed, "what's up, trying to remember our one year anniversary date?"
"No! I know the date!" Oliver pouted.
"Then what's up?" Keily giggled.
Oliver averted his give back to his horse and mumbled something Kiely couldn't hear.
"I said that I wanted to…"
"Oliver I can't hear you, use your voice." She teased.
Oliver had planned out what and how he wanted to say it, but his shyness was getting the better of him. "I was just saying that I-I uh wanted to tell you that I, uhm, I lo-love you." Oliver's face had grown red as he stumbled over his words and he immediately looked down with a guilty look on his face.
Keily watched him with a growing smile. Sure they'd both said it a few times before, more casually or through text messages as they said goodnight. "Oliver-" Keily stopped herself, watching as Oliver pulled his jacket's hood down into his face to hide. "What are you…?"
"I'm embarrassed." He mumbled.
"You're hiding under your hood because you're blushing?" Amusement was clear in her tone, "you're always blushing, there's no need to hide."
"It's not that" he sighed, "I wanted to say "I love you" for the first time without stuttering, but I messed it up." He pulled his jacket back into place with a frown and eyes that looked like they were ready to cry. "It didn't even turn out that special. I messed it up."
"Aw, no you didn't." Keily jumped down from her horse as they approached the stables and Oliver did the same. They walked the horses for the rest of the way.
"I did too," he argued. "I tried really hard not to stutter."
"You didn't mess it up, it was really sweet." Keily assured, "it felt like you like you weren't trying really hard and it just sounded right."
"Really." Keily turned to him with a smile, "I really don't care if you trip over your words, Oliver. You're always honest with them, and I think it's cute how shy you get."
"Yeah?" Oliver rubbed his arm with a small smile.
Keily nodded, but her face was beginning to grow pink. "and...I do love you back...you know?" Oliver nodded with a smile and red face to match Keily, who leaned over to kiss his cheek.