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Leo

By:Mia Sheridan

CHAPTER 1


Evie is 14, Leo is 15



I'm sitting on the roof outside my bedroom window, staring up at the dark night sky, watching my breath plume in the cold November air. I pull the ratty pink blanket more tightly around myself and rest my head on my knees, tucked tightly to my chest. Suddenly, a small stone lands on the roof next to me and then slides back down the slight incline to the ground. I grin as I hear him begin the climb up the ramshackle trellis on the side of the house. One more pound, and that dilapidated thing won't hold him. That doesn't matter anymore though. He won't be here to climb it. My heart squeezes painfully at the thought but I school my expression as he makes it over the ledge and crawls towards me, all gangly limbs and shaggy dark blond hair. He smiles big as he sits up next to me, showing me that small gap that I love so much between his front teeth. I sway towards him and we sit forehead to forehead for several minutes, staring into each other's eyes before he sighs and sits up straight.

"I don't think I'm going to survive without you, Evie," he says, sounding like he's holding back tears.

I bump my shoulder on his, "That's a little dramatic, don't you think, Leo?" I say, trying to tease a smile out of him. It works.

But then the smile disappears and he scrubs a hand down his face. He pauses for a minute and then, "No. It's a fact."

I don't know what to say. How can I comfort him when I feel the exact same way?

He looks over at me again and we look into each other's eyes once more.

"Why are you looking at me?" I ask, using a line I know he'll understand. It was the first thing I ever said to him.

His expression doesn't change for a minute and then a slow smile spreads over his face. "Because I like your face," he says, grinning bigger now, showing me that gap again, and delivering his own line perfectly. He's skinny and scrappy and shaggy haired, and he's the most beautiful boy I've ever seen. I don't ever want to stop looking at him. I don't ever want to stop being near him. But he's moving across the country, and there's nothing we can do. We met in the first foster care home each of us were sent to and he's my best friend in the world, the boy I've grown to love intensely, the boy who makes me want to stay awake because reality is finally better than my dreams. But he's been adopted and I'm so happy for him to finally have a family because it's so rare for that to happen to teens. But at the same time, my heart feels like it's bleeding inside my chest.

He's looking at me intensely now like he can read my mind. Which of course, he can. Maybe I'm an open book, or maybe love is like a magnifying glass straight into the souls of those who own your heart.

He keeps looking at me silently for several seconds and then I can tell by his expression that he's made a decision. Before I can wonder what that is, he leans towards me and brushes his lips softly across mine. Tiny sparks seem to ignite in the air around us and I shiver slightly. He scoots closer to me, and holds my face in his hands. He looks straight into my eyes, his lips still inches from my own and whispers, "I'm going to kiss you now, Evie, and when I do, it's going to mean that you're mine. I don't care how far away from each other we are. You. Are. Mine. I'll wait for you. And I want you to wait for me. Promise me you won't let anyone else touch you. Promise me you'll save yourself for me."

The whole world has stopped and it's just us, sitting here on a roof in the middle of a November night. "Yes," I whisper back, the word reverberating through my mind, yes, yes, yes, a million times, yes.

He pauses, still staring into my eyes and I want to scream at him, "Kiss me already!" My body is heady with anticipation.

And then his lips are on mine again, and THIS is a kiss. It starts out gentle, his soft lips nibbling at mine tenderly but something inside him shifts and suddenly he is running his tongue along the seam of my lips, asking for entrance and I open to him, letting out an involuntary moan, and hearing me, he moans back. His tongue flirts with mine, caressing, gently dueling and I feel like my body is going to implode with pleasure at the taste of him. We fumble along for a few minutes, and even our inexperience is delicious in its exploration. We are learning and memorizing each other's mouths. But before long, we are like two dance partners, moving in perfect synchronicity, living out a passionate choreography of lips and tongues.

I lay back on the roof, holding him to me as we continue kissing. We kiss for hours, days, weeks, a lifetime perhaps. Our kiss is blissful oblivion. It's too much and not nearly enough.

It's my first kiss, and I know it's his, too. And it is perfection.

Suddenly, I feel something wet and cold hitting my cheeks and it brings me back to the here and now. I open my eyes and he does too, as we both realize that big, fluffy snowflakes are falling down around us. We both laugh with wonder. It is as if the angels arranged this show just for us, making the most memorable moment of our lives that much more magical.

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