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    Nephylim
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Love You Always - 1. Never Hide from Love



Daniel was burning like a dark star. The party was in full swing and he was right at the centre. That’s the way it always was but tonight more than ever.



They were outside in the garden, every tree and bush lit by thousands of tiny fairy lights mirroring the myriad stars that seemed to have come out just to join in the celebrations, shining brighter than they ever had before, straining to illuminate the scene of gaiety below. And amidst them, like a pearl among diamonds, the moon hung full and low, smiling serenely at the antics of the people who looked up and smiled.



The effect was to create a magic realm, cut off from reality for a brief time, enfolding them in a swirling, glittering world of music and laughter. A realm full of beautiful people, in beautiful clothes creating an energy that was almost frightening in its intensity it’s power.



And yet it all paled and became mundane next to Daniel. He was lit by an inner fire that reflected on everything and everyone he touched, bathing them in reflected glory. Connor watched him as he moved from group to group through the garden; dancing, laughing, speaking with the passion that infected everything he did.



He was a creature of faery; tall and slender, his long black hair flying around him as he moved with a fey grace that made every step, every movement, seem like a dance. Among all the beauty in the garden and the skies there was nothing and no one who could compare.



Biting his lip Connor turned away and walked to the end of the garden where a low wall was all that separated it from the edge of a cliff that overlooked the dark waters of the North Sea. Although it was the height of summer a breeze lifted his hair and his lips tasted of salt. Staring out over the miles of empty blackness he felt an answering chasm open in his breast and darkness engulfed his soul.



Daniel was his best friend. They had been inseparable almost since they were old enough to crawl across the floor and pull each other’s hair. Born within days of each other to families who had been connected by both friendships and rivalries that stretched back generations, they spent their childhoods sharing functions, events and later boarding schools.



Daniel had not flourished at school, although academically he was the more able. Being frail and ephemerally beautiful did not make for an easy time among the rough and tumble, testosterone fired walls, of a single sex boarding school. The fact that he suffered from epilepsy did not make it easier.



At first he had sunk, becoming more and more withdrawn, speaking to no one, spending as much time as possible alone in the grounds, reading insatiably from the well stocked library and making his own studies of the plants and animals that inhabited the wilder parts of the gardens. But Daniel was not a quitter. He was full of fire even then and slowly, leaning on Connor every step, he had fought his way into the hearts of his fellows, students and masters alike to the extent that he was made Head Boy in their last year and many of the students who had made his life most miserable in his first years were here tonight as friends.



After school Connor had gone to university in Oxford and then on to London where he had been called to the bar only six months ago. He was now serving a pupillage at an eminent barristers chambers in the city although he planned to move home once he was qualified, and one of the reasons for that was Daniel.



Never stable Daniel’s epilepsy had grown worse over the past few years and he had been forced to drop out of university although he had fought hard against it well into his second year when it had been evident to everyone else that he was struggling to cope half way through his first. That was Daniel all over, a fighter, never giving it, going on well past the point when others would have given up and turned back.



Tonight was Daniel’s birthday. He was twenty three. Connor had come home from London especially for the occasion. He did not come home much these days, and there was a reason for that. He had not wanted to come this time and he so, so did not want to be here tonight. The sole reason that he was here at all smiled and waved at him from across the garden as he glanced over his shoulder.



Beth was Daniel’s sister. Small dark and very beautiful she was two years younger than her brother and already on her way to making a name for herself as a fashion photographer. She adored Connor and it had broken her heart when he moved away. She kept in touch, more often than Daniel did, and it had been she who had told him about the surprise birthday party and begged him to come. He had resisted for a long time, knowing that it hurt her, that it would hurt Daniel and then had given in knowing that it would hurt him.



Absently rolling a cigarette Connor gazed outwards with eyes as dark as the sea that commanded his gaze. The sounds of the party seemed distant behind him, faded into a low hum, above which he heard only the sound of Daniel’s laugh.



Suddenly, shockingly he was spun around by the arm, a glass of red wine thrust into his hand.


“Come on Con. You’ve been brooding long enough. I know you, you’ll be here all night. Later you can tell me why you’ve been hiding but I have something to show you first.”



Connor froze, caught like a rabbit in headlights, blinded by the burning light of the strange purple eyes that still shocked him rigid. Daniel laughed and turned away, towing him through the crowds towards the house.



Pausing frequently to speak to people they both knew, the two men finally reached the house and slipped in through the French doors and then through the hall to a room that was referred to by the family as the ‘play room’. When Beth and Daniel were children it had been filled with toys and now housed toys of a different nature. Beth’s camera equipment was set up here and part of it had been partitioned off as a darkroom.



Away from the noise of the crowds Daniel chatted excitedly but Connor barely registered the news that Beth had been given the opportunity of an exhibition of her photographs at a local art museum. Albeit that the opportunity had been procured through their father who was an active patron of the local arts, it was still an excellent opportunity for the world to see her undeniable talent. Daniel pulled out a portfolio case and carelessly tipped the contents onto the large viewing table and Connor’s world jerked to a halt and froze as his eyes scanned the photographs.



They were all of Daniel, mainly in black and white and every one was flawless and breathtakingly beautiful in lighting, composition and content. Beth was a talented photographer and her subject made her task all the easier, enabling her talent to be shown to its highest effect.


“It’s a bit embarrassing to tell the truth. It seemed like a good idea at the time and we had loads of fun taking the photos… but the thought of my image hanging in a museum, with all those people looking at me, judging and commenting…. It’s a bit weird. I can’t help wondering what they’ll think, if they’ll see who I really am.”



Stunned Connor picked up one of the photographs. It was black and white and taken in the local woods. There was a river with a rope swing and Daniel was flying out over the water, suspended in mid air, his hair flying out around him and his eyes laughing into the camera. There were others when he was coming up out of the water with diamond droplets all around him but this one was the one that caught Connor’s attention because Daniel was flying and that’s what Daniel did… he flew, sailing through life, the good times and the bad, untouched by either.



“No.”



“Huh?”



“No, they won’t see who you really are. How can they? Who you are is too big… to wild to ever be captured on paper, no matter how talented the photographer.”



Daniel went still, his eyes seeming to be enormous in a delicate, pale face, the colour so pure it seemed to draw the colour away from everything else around them so that the room was dark and colourless. There was a moment of such intensity that the world around grew hushed, no sound penetrating the instant but the beating of two hearts.



Then a shadow passed over Daniel’s face and he frowned. “Why did you go away?”



“We’ve had this conversation before. I have told you. The prospects are better in London. I need to be in the City to get my career off to its best possible start.”



“You don’t care about that, you never did. You’re father is a High Court Judge, your career was always going to have the best possible start.” He dropped his eyes, still frowning. “I missed you. You’re my best friend Con and yet… this last year… I’ve needed you and you haven’t…. You don’t come any more, you don’t call, you don’t write.”



He raised his eyes again, confusion and hurt suppressing the fire although they still burned in Connor’s eyes. He looked away and shrugged.



“Have I done something? Have I upset you, or hurt you?”



Connor’s eyes snapped back, stung by the pain in Daniel’s voice. “No. Of course you haven’t. I just… I just got caught up in… everything. London’s a big city, there’s a lot going on… I have a new life.”



“Have you left me behind?”



Again the raw hurt slashed at his heart and he had to be careful not to soften, not to let the cracks show and he worked hard to keep his voice light and bluff. “Now you’re being silly. You’re my best friend. You will always be my best friend. How could I possibly leave you behind? You’re always with me.”



“It’s been a hard year Con, I’ve needed you.”



“I didn’t know.”



“If you had answered my calls you would have.”



Something came close to collapsing within the fragile icy heart of Connor’s self control and, despite himself he softened. “I know, and I’m sorry Daniel, I’m truly sorry. I know I’ve been an idiot but… but… it’s complicated.”



“You don’t have to talk about it, you know that. I’ve never forced you to talk about anything I know you find it difficult to express your feelings and things.” He laughed. “Not like me… it seems as if my feelings spill out all over the place all the time.” Then he sobered again. “But… it has been hard for me Con. I’ve needed your strength, your perspective. Please stay for a while.”



“I don’t know… I have to get back. I have things…” He stopped lost in the glittering depths of his friend’s eyes.



“Please. At least until…. until…after.”



For a moment he wavered, teetering on the brink of a chasm so deep there was no end to it. Then he nodded, unable to refuse him. “Alright. A few days.”



Daniel’s face lit up and Connor could not help but smile. “Thank you.”



“So…. how are you? I mean… really, how are you coping?”



Daniel ducked his head, his hair falling forwards to hide his face and his voice was hoarse, so unlike him that for a moment Connor almost reached out to him. “I’m scared Con, scared rigid. I wonder all the time if I’ve made the right decision, but it’s the only decision. The seizures have been getting worse and worse and all the different medications are making me crazy.



“I’ve been in hospital six times this last year and three times I almost didn’t come out again. It’s affecting my heart now and I feel… I feel…. I have seen I don’t know how many doctors and they all say the same thing. I have thought about it and thought about it but, as scared as I am I can’t escape the fact that surgery is the only option.”



He looked up at Connor again, the fear raw in his eyes, emotions chasing themselves over his face, close to the surface as always. “I’m sure you’ll be fine.”



“I’m not. I have read a lot about it and I know the risks. For god’s sake I am going to have part of my brain removed. Okay, it’s not a very big part and I can live without it… but as what? There are high risks of neurological problems and I don’t know who I’ll be when I wake up. I’m scared that I won’t be me.”



“Daniel, you’ll always be you. How could you be anyone else? There is so much fire in you that there’s no way taking away a tiny part of your physical body is going to be able to change your being that much? There is so much more to you than that?”



“But what if it affects my memory? If I don’t remember things… if I don’t remember you?”



“Don’t worry. I won’t let you forget me.”



Daniel smiled. It was a hesitant smile but a real one. “You see why I need you?”



“Yeah. I see. I’m sorry Daniel.”



Their eyes met and again there was that intensity that made the world hold it’s breath. “You promise you’ll stay?”



“I promise. I won’t go back to London until I know you’ll be alright.”



Suddenly, with a mercurial shift of mood that was typical Daniel he grabbed Connor’s arm and dragged him back out into the party, bright and burning again, as though nothing had ever happened.



The next day Connor left it very late to go and see Daniel. In the end Beth telephoned him.



“Where are you Con? You said you’d come round.”



“I know, and I will. I just had some things to take care of.”



“I don’t know what’s going on with you but whatever it is please can you put it aside, just for a couple of days. Daniel needs you, we all do. He’s sick today. He had two seizures in the night and one this morning. The doctor came and wanted to take him in a day early but he wouldn’t go. I’m afraid for him Con, please come… for both of us.”



And so, within half an hour he was meeting Beth at the front door. She threw her arms around him as soon as she saw him.



“Oh Con, I’m so glad you came. Thank you. Daniel’s asleep but he’s been asking where you are all day. He’s in the sitting room. I’ll go and make coffee.”



Daniel was sitting on the sofa, his feet up covered with a rug. The table in front of his was strewn with various bits and pieces and the television was on, although he clearly wasn’t watching it as it was showing the kind of political discussion programme that Daniel hated. He was asleep, his hair spread out around his shoulders like a hooded silk cape. For a moment Connor couldn’t move, could only stand and stare. Even tired and ill he was so beautiful.



Daniel stirred and opened his eyes looking up at him drowsily, then his eyes filled with recognition and immediately cleared. He grinned delightedly.


“You came.”


“Of course I came. I told you I would. Beth says you’re not feeling so good today.”



“No. Not so good.” He was frowning. “Come and sit down, there’s something I want to talk to you about, while Beth isn’t here.”



He sat up, pulling up his knees to make room for Connor on the sofa next to him. Hesitantly, feeling acutely uncomfortable Connor sat down, half turned towards him. Daniel hung his head, hugging his knees.



“I have been thinking. If… if things don’t go so well…. I mean if I… if I can’t.” He sighed deeply and looked up his eyes cutting into Connor like lasers, shaking him to the core. “If I die, or I’m not… myself. I want you to look after Beth.”



“Daniel, don’t be ridiculous. Nothing like that is going to happen.”



“Maybe, but still. I know she likes you and trusts you. I have seen the way she looks and you and I think… I hope that maybe… maybe you like her too.”



“Woah. Daniel stop this. Nothing is going to happen to you and if it does…. Well, of course I’ll take care of Beth, I would always do that but.,.. but there’s nothing, nothing like that between us.”



“Are you sure? I mean… I always thought there was, especially since… well the last few months you were around you seemed to change… I thought… and then when you didn’t come back….”



His words hit Connor like a sledgehammer and he shook his head, his eyes wide with shock and horror. “You thought that I stayed away because I had feelings for Beth?”



“Well yeah… kind of.”



“No.” He shook his head vigorously, his heart pounding. “Daniel that isn’t it, that isn’t it at all.”



At that moment he almost ran but he held himself in strict control repeating over and over. ‘I can get through this. I can keep this under control.’



“But then why? Why did you just disappear? I keep thinking about the last night we were together and going over and over it wondering what I did to upset you. I honestly can’t see it. We had such a good time. We got blasted and we were still laughing when you fell asleep on the sofa and then… then the next day you were all weird and barely spoke to me and then you were gone.



“At first I was a bit puzzled, wondering what was eating you but then when you didn’t return my calls I got angry and then I… I don’t know what I did… where it went wrong. I thought we were best friends. Friends forever, that’s what we always said.”



“Of course we are.”



“Then what’s changed between us? Why are you looking at me as if this is the last place in the world you want to be?”



His eyes were wide and pleading and Connor began to tremble. A tide of feeling rose in him, almost choking him and reminding him why he had decided to cut all ties with his best friend. His voice was strained and rough when he spoke.

“That’s not true.”



“Yes it is. You’ve been like this ever since you came back. You can’t even look me in the eyes. What is it? What have I done?”



“Nothing. Daniel it’s nothing like that, nothing you’ve done, nothing….”



“Then what? Look at me and tell me I’m wrong. Connor look me in the eyes and tell me that nothing’s changed, that you are still my best friend and you still want to be around me.”



And he tried… he really tried but he couldn’t bring himself to look into that face, knowing that if he did Daniel would see more than he wanted him to see in his own.



“See, you can’t. There is something wrong. What is it?”



“Daniel I…. please, it… it’s nothing.”



“No! It is not ‘nothing’. Something is eating at you. You’ve changed so much I don’t recognise you any more. I thought…” his voice became wistful, his eyes misting. Glancing up Connor felt as though his guts had been ripped out of his body at the vulnerability in his face. It had never been more obvious that Daniel was ill and he had never looked more beautiful. Connor felt almost physically sick.



“Con, where did it go wrong? I truly believed that we would be together forever, no matter what, that we would always be best friends. I thought we had something really special… I thought you loved me.”


“Daniel, don’t say things like that.”



“Why not? Oh for fuck sake Connor… I thought we knew each other better than that. This is not about stupid juvenile issues of sexuality. You are my best friend, you have always been there for me, at least until now… I don’t have to be gay to love you.”



Connor felt as though Daniel had slapped his face and, on impulse he got to his feet and turned away. Daniel stood up, panicking.



“Wait, don’t go. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean… I didn’t mean to push you, to be so hard on you it’s just… just…. Connor I need you. I’m afraid, I’m so afraid. Please.”



Connor turned and was horrified by the look on Daniel’s face, the tears that, despite himself were running down his cheeks. “I’m always here for you when you need me Daniel. You know that.”



“I thought I did. Will you come to the hospital tomorrow? Will you be with me, please?”


“I don’t know. I…”



“Please Connor. I need your strength. Please.”



He looked so desperate, so frightened that there was nothing… nothing Connor could do to stop himself reaching out. He pulled Daniel into a rough embrace and held him tightly. “Of course I’ll be there for you. I promise. I’ll be with you the whole time.”


“Do you really promise Connor?”



“Of course I do. I promise Daniel. I promise.”



Daniel pulled back, but not far, just far enough to look into his face. They were more or less the same height. Connor still had his arms around him and he had to exhert a great deal of control to stop himself for shaking. He closed his eyes straining desperately to keep that control. When he opened them Daniel was staring at him, his face filled with a strange kind of pain.



“What is it? Why is it so hard for you to be here with me? Something’s changed, I can feel it. You say you’ll be there for me but you say it as though it hurts you. It’s gone hasn’t it? Somewhere in the past two years the friendship we had died, and I never noticed. I thought… I thought… if I could just get you here then I could find out what went wrong and put it right… but I can’t can I? I can’t put this right. I can’t…



His lips trembled and more tears spilled from his eyes. Connor knew that he should walk away. Right there and then he should have walked away, but he couldn’t. Daniel seemed so frail and vulnerable that he wanted to give him his strength, to hold on to the fire in him and make him strong again.



“Daniel I….”



“It’s alright. I understand. You’ve moved on with your life and I haven’t. You have a new life in London, new friends. I’m part of your past, and I..... I’m... I understand. I won’t hold you back.”



With dead eyes he turned away and Connor couldn’t let him go. “No! That’s not it. That’s not it at all. I could never leave you behind you are too far ahead.”



Daniel turned and raised heavy, exhausted eyes to him. “Then why Connor? Why?”



Connor was shaking now, his whole being tormented and in turmoil. Standing there, still with his arms around Daniel, looking into his eyes, hearing the pain in his voice, the weariness, he could bear it any longer. He’d always known that this would happen sooner or later, that at some point it would get too much for him to be able to contain. His burning eyes scoured Daniel’s face, so familiar, so confused, so open. He was just too goddamn beautiful.



“Because of you Daniel. Because of you.” He looked even more confused, even more hurt. “Because I knew that if I stayed here, seeing you every day… or even at weekends then sooner or later I wouldn’t be able to bear it any more. Sooner or later the pain would get too much and I would… I would have to…”



And then the pain got too much and, pulling him roughly closer he kissed him; deeply, passionately, desperately. At first Daniel was stiff with shock and then for a brief intense moment he relaxed and surrendered before he began to struggle and broke free.



“Connor! What the hell….? What….what are you doing?”



Connor stared at him, at his wide, horrified eyes and was struck by a pain so deep and raw that he almost doubled over. “Daniel I…. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…. I should never have come.” And then he turned and ran, hearing Daniel call behind.


“Connor, Connor wait, please… please Connor, please wait.”



But he didn’t wait. In the hall he ran into Beth, literally and didn’t stop to help her clear up the mess. He didn’t stop until he reached home and, when he did he threw his clothes into a bag and got straight back in the car and headed for London. By the time he got there he had over thirty missed calls from Daniel and Beth and ignored them all.



All night he tossed and turned, haunted by the look in Daniel’s eyes just before he ran and haunted even more by the one sweet moment of surrender beforehand. By the morning it was unbearable and he decided to go to work to distract himself, gnawed by guilt at the fact that he was breaking his promise to Daniel… but how could he face him now?



He tussled with a difficult brief involving considerable research and legal thought. Normally he was able to lose himself in such things to shut out the world no matter what problems or issues were assailing him. Normally he could forget Daniel, but not today, today he was all he could think about, and it wasn’t helped by the fact that the phone calls continued. In the end the turned off his phone and threw it into a drawer. He still had his work phone which neither Daniel nor Beth had the number for.



By lunchtime he was ready to admit defeat and pushing the papers aside he strode out of chambers and into the crazy bustle of London. After eating lunch at his favourite restaurant he wandered aimlessly through the crowds, going nowhere, seeing nothing, being buffeted by the flow.



It was about 4 o’clock when his work phone rang. He jumped and checked the number both fearing and hoping… it was his clerk at chambers. Hopelessly disappointed he answered to be told that an important client was on the line. With a sigh he took the call.



“Connor?”



“Beth, what the hell?”



“Connor, I’m sorry I got your secretary to lie but...”


“She’s not a secretary she’s a clerk?”



“Whatever, but you wouldn’t answer and I had to speak to you.”


“Alright, you’re speaking to me.”



“Connor, please come. I don’t know what you and Daniel fought about last night but please, please… if you have any friendship, any care left for him at all… please come.”



“Beth….”



“Connor, you don’t understand. Don’t hang up, please listen.” She sounded almost hysterical and, the terrified hammering of his heart changed its tone and reason for being.



“Alright. Speak, I’m listening.”



“It’s been awful Connor. Daniel has been awful. He wouldn’t tell me what happened but when… when you left he collapsed. He kept saying that he had driven you away, he was inconsolable. The only thing that calmed him down was the fact that he would see you today and would get a chance to explain.



“When you didn’t come he was… he was… he made them postpone the surgery, kept waiting and waiting and getting more and more upset and in the end he was frantic, almost hysterical and the doctors were afraid he would push himself into a seizure and they had to sedate him and they went ahead with the surgery.



“I tried to ring you then but you still didn’t answer. I thought that… that if you knew that whatever he did he was sorry, that you might come, be here when he woke. But you didn’t answer. I didn’t know what to do.”



“He didn’t do anything Beth. I didn’t leave because of anything he did. I left because of what I did.”



“Connor, it doesn’t matter, nothing matters. Listen to me. The operation… there were… problems. The seizures have been affecting Daniel’s heart and it stopped. They… he… they brought him back but he’s really sick Connor. He’s in a coma and they don’t… they don’t know if he’s going to make it. Please Connor, please come.”



“No… no that’s not possible… I can’t… I won’t… Beth… I’m sorry… I’m so sorry that I….”


“Connor, please come.” She was sobbing, he could hear the heartwrenching hiccups at the other end of the phone. He could feel her fear and shared it and in he end he could bear it no longer and the pain of going was outweighed by the pain of not going.



“Yes, of course I’ll come. I’ll be there in a couple of hours.”



“Thank you Connor, thank you so much. I need you.. Daniel needs you. I know…. I am sure that if you are here, if he hears your voice…Please hurry.”



“I’ll be there as soon as I can Beth. Try not to worry too much. You know Daniel… he’s a fighter. He’ll be alright. I’m on my way.”



Connor should never have driven. He completed a two hour journey in a little over an hour and it was a miracle he made it alive. All the way his mind was racing, dominated by a vision of wide, shocked, purple eyes and a brief moment of sweet surrender when the promise of what could be had seemed…. possible.



He parked the car outside the entrance not caring whether he received a ticket or even if the car was towed, caring only that he got to Daniel as fast as he could. Beth met him in the hall and threw herself into his arms.



“Connor. I am so glad you’re here. It’s awful… it’s so awful.”



“Calm down Beth. I’m here now. It’s going to be alright.” She nodded, her eyes wide and frightened. “Has anything else happened since you last spoke to me?”



“Yes. Daniel... he… he’s been calling for you. He… even when he was asleep. They wanted him to be in a drug coma for a while, to give his brain and heart time to recover. They put him on a breathing machine to give his body complete rest but he fought it, he fought it all and it made him so ill. He got feverish and delirious. They had to let him wake up. He’s tormented, torturing himself over whatever it was that happened. He’s barely conscious, not even aware of what’s going on around him but he keeps saying over and over that he’s sorry he drove you away. What happened Connor? What did he do?”



“I told you. It isn’t what he did. It’s what I did.”



“Then what did you do? What happened that made you turn your back on your best friend when he needed you most?” Her voice had gone cold and hard and she shook herself. “I’m sorry Connor, but you weren’t here. You didn’t see how bad he was. I have been so frightened. I thought we were going to lose him… we still might.”



“It’s alright. You don’t have to explain to me. I understand.”



“What happened Connor?” They stopped and she put a hand on his arm. “Something happened a long time ago didn’t it? Something changed in you and last night you told him what it was didn’t you? You told him and then you ran away.”



Connor hung his head, unable to look at her. “Something like that.”



“Tell me Connor, please.” her voice was soft now, understanding, making it impossible for him to speak. He shook his head. He had already seen the look of horror in one set of dear purple eyes and he was not about to see the same look in the other. Gently Beth took his face between her hands and looked deeply into his eyes. He tried to turn away but she held him.



“Are you in love with him Con?”



His head snapped up, his eyes wide. “What? No I… I… I… How…. how did…?”


“How did I know? I have eyes. I have seen the way you look at him, the way you are with him. Did you tell him last night?”



“I…. “ he nodded dumbly, feeling cold and numb. “I kissed him.”



“That was brave. You ran when he pulled away?”



“Yes. I saw…. I saw…”



“You saw someone taken by surprise Connor, that’s all. You have no idea how much he loves you… he had no idea how much he loves you, not until last night. I think he does now.”



“What? No, you’re wrong. I saw…. I saw the look in his eyes.”



“You saw shock. He had no idea. He’s Daniel, Connor. Daniel breezes through life in his own world. It has never occurred to him that you feel that way about him, or that he might feel like that about you.



“I repeat… you haven’t seen the way he’s been. He’s beyond distraught because he believes he has driven you away by rejecting you. He’s fought anyone and anything to find you… and I mean fought them, physically. You should have stayed Con, you should have known him better, trusted him.”



“Maybe, but I have been so afraid Beth. That’s why I left. I thought that if I wasn’t around him it would fade… and it did, in a way. But I am possessed. I dream about him, wake in the night with the ghost of him in my arms and I weep. It hasn’t faded, not in the slightest. And as soon as I saw him at the party I knew that…. that I’m lost, completely and utterly lost, forever. I should have left then.”



“Why? Have you not listened to what I have been saying? He didn’t realise it, wasn’t aware of it last night, at least not until after you had gone… but he loves you Connor. Daniel loves you.”



For a moment his eye lit up with an impossible hope but then they went flat and dull again. “No, that… that’s impossible Beth. I would have known. I would have seen.”



“Would you? You were so afraid of the way you were feeling for him I wouldn’t be surprised if you went out of your way NOT to see.”



“Beth I… I can’t… I can’t think…”



“Then don’t think… but please, please don’t hurt my brother Con, not now, not when… when…”



“I swear it. No matter what. I won’t hurt him Beth.”



Smiling she took his hand and drew him through corridors to a small private room. “Wait here. I am not sure that this is something mother and father really need to be part of.”



She disappeared into the room leaving Connor standing awkwardly in the corridor, his heart pounding so hard he could hear it, a deafening thump in his ears, drowning out the screaming of his mind which swung from hope to fear moment by moment.



Daniel and Beth’s parents were strong and powerful people and, as is often the case when such people were forced into situations where they were helpless they were crumbling. They both embraced Connor, with open gratitude pushing aside suppressed accusation which he saw, understood and took to heart.



“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I let Daniel down, I let you all down. I promised to be here and I ran away. I’m sorry. I will never let him down again.”



“Connor, you don’t need to explain yourself to us. You are like a second son, always have been. We know you. We know that you wouldn’t have done this if you didn’t think you had to. But please… please, do whatever you have to do, no matter what it costs, to calm and reassure him. We have been so afraid.”



Connor’s stomach twisted and he hung his head. “I’ll do anything, anything I can. I won’t let him down again.”



Without further words they hugged him and then allowed Beth to lead them away.



Connor opened the door, the pounding of his heart impossibly increasing even more. He had no idea what to expect but it was just Daniel. He had a bandage around his head, tight across his forehead under his hair, which was wild spread across the pillows and over his shoulders. The head of the bed was raised and he was half sitting his head turned to one side, although as Connor entered he murmured and moaned and turned his head jerkily to the other side.



His chest was bare apart from the twisting ropes of tubes and wires connecting him to the medical equipment and Connor could see that he was breathing quickly, his skin misted with a fine sheen of sweat, as though he had a fever. One arm was bandaged, a bright splash of colour on the pristine white bandages evidence that it was still bleeding, seeping through the bindings. Connor remembered the Beth had told him Daniel had fought, physically, to stay conscious and aware and clearly there had been a cost. He shivered. If it had not been for him, if he had been here as he promised... Unconsciously his eyes widened as the thought took him further than he was comfortable with. If he had been here from the beginning Daniel would not have been so stressed going into surgery, would he still have…? Shaking his head he refused to allow his thoughts to progress further along that path.



“Daniel?”



He had not expected a response but he got one instantly. Daniel moaned and turned his head from side to side on the pillow, struggling, fighting to surface. Connor was a little alarmed at the violence of his reaction and tried to soothe him, stroking his hair and the side of his face.



“Daniel. It’s alright, it’s Connor. I’m here. I won’t leave you. I’ll stay.”



As soon as he felt the touch of his hand Daniel grabbed it and held on tightly, desperately as his struggles intensified.



“Daniel, stop it. You will make yourself ill. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here. Please take it easy.”



Connor sat down on a hard wooden bench at the side of the bed and took Daniel’s hand, gently releasing it from his arm and closing his fingers around it, squeezing tightly. Daniel relaxed a little although he still twisted his head on the pillows, fighting for consciousness.



With his other hand Connor stroked his face, wondering at his temerity. He was fearful, so fearful but made bold by Beth’s comments and the sight of Daniel, so beautiful, so strong in his determination. Braver still he leaned over and holding Daniel’s face with his hand to stop the struggles he kissed him, gently at first and then more deeply. When he raised his head Daniel was staring at him.



Suddenly Connor was afraid, more afraid than he had ever been. Had he gone too far? Daniel’s eyes were unreadable. Was he shocked, horrified, sickened or…. or was he glad.



“Con…you’re here.” His voice was soft, barely above a whisper, his eyes glazed and heavy. And yet… and yet there was so much… so much in those words. Connor’s eyes filled with tears.



“I’m sorry Daniel. I’m so sorry I let you down. I promised I would be here, and I wasn’t. I was a fool, a cruel fool and I am so sorry.”



Daniel raised his hand and touched Connor’s lips. He shook his head. “No. It was my fault. I… you scared me. I shouldn’t have… I just wasn’t… I hadn’t...” He stopped, closing his eyes and compressing his lips. He was struggling with something different now and Connor held his breath, hardly daring to hope. He was still holding Daniel’s hand and he squeezed it.



Daniel was quiet for a long time but Connor knew from the pressure of his hand and the strain on his face that he was not falling asleep. He was still breathing fast and raggedly, still struggling. A tear squeezed out from under his closed eyelid and ran down the side of his face. Connor was horrified. What had he done?



“Daniel. Don’t… don’t cry. I never meant…. I tried so hard not to. I thought that if I stayed away…. if I didn’t see you it would get easier to fight it… but it didn’t. I can’t help it. I’m sorry.”



Daniel opened his eyes and stared up, his look intense. “Tell me.”



“Tell you what?”



“Tell me how you feel.”



“How I feel? Frightened. Terrified that I’ve ruined everything, that I am going to lose the most precious thing I have ever had in my life. I’m half crazy not knowing what to do, what to say. I have fought with this for so long, loved you for so long. I have watched you and tried to be your friend when all the time all I’ve wanted… all I wanted…” he faltered to a stop, his mouth dry and his heart pounding.



“What? What did you want Connor? What did you want from me?”



“I wanted to…. to… I wanted to…” there was something in Daniel’s eyes that gave him strength and he pressed on. “I wanted to hold you, to tell you how much I love you, how the thought of you possesses my soul. I wanted to tell you how beautiful you are, how your eyes fill with light when you smile, how your lips make me want to… to…. Most of all I wanted to kiss you.”



For a moment Daniel looked completely dazed, his eyes drifted away from Connor’s face and turned inwards. Then he swallowed slowly and his eyes flicked back clear and burning. “Then kiss me.”



“What?” Connor was stunned, frozen by the emotion in the voice and the look that burned holes in his soul. He had dreamed of this for so long, never daring to hope, fearing, berating himself and now…. now…



“Kiss me.”



Connor could feel Daniel’s lips tremble, wondered if he was as sure as he sounded that this was what he wanted. He kept the kiss gentle and light and then would have pulled away but Daniel put his hand on the back of his head and stopped him, his face inches away. His eyes scored Connor’s face, burning with something strange and wondrous. Pausing for a moment, trembling Daniel slowly swallowed and licked his lips, Connor could feel his heart pounding, then he slowly pulled Connor’s face towards him and raised his head from the pillow to meet him.



It was the first time that Daniel had truly responded to a kiss, the first time the Daniel had kissed him and Connor felt as though the world was shuddering to a halt around them. The kiss grew hot, desperate and deep as though somehow they were both searching for an anchor in a world gone insane.



Daniel moved his hand from Connor’s head to his back and pulled him down hard against him. At first Connor resisted, afraid that he would hurt Daniel, dislodge the medical equipment, but there was nothing he could do because to struggle would only hurt him more.



To feel Daniel’s arms around him, his lips pressed against his, to hear his heart beat hard and fast against his chest was almost more than Connor could bear. It was what he had dreamed of for so long, what he had hoped for and feared more than anything else and now it was happening he could barely accept it, barely stand it and he groaned aloud.



Daniel responded by pulling back, pushing Connor’s head away just far enough to be able to look into his eyes. He was crying, tears running down to soak his hair and the pillow beneath his head.



“Daniel….”



He shook his head, beyond speech.



“Daniel, if this isn’t what you want…. You won’t hurt me, won’t drive me away.”



Daniel shook his head again and Connor realised that he was shaking.



“Daniel, are you alright?”



“Hold me.”



“Daniel…. what’s wrong?”



Daniel closed his eyes and took a deep shuddering breath, shaking his head. “I….I’m not….it’s not…” He opened his eyes again, the shaking intensifying and Connor began to be afraid.



“Look, maybe we should stop. Shall I get someone?”



“No. It’s….it’s not… not…” Relaxing his hold he allowed Connor to pull away and he sat down again on the bench. Daniel reached for his hand. “I… never knew.” He blinked slowly, his eyes looking bruised. “I… knew I loved you but… but I never…. never realised…. Oh God.” He closed his eyes and his face twisted as though in pain. Connor was frightened again.


“Daniel, let me call someone.”



“No. You don’t understand.” His voice was stronger now, but more desperate, more pained. “This isn’t about my head, it’s about my heart. It hurt so much when you went away but I didn’t… I didn’t know why, not really. I have been so blind and I’ve hurt you…..”



“No, don’t say that. I hurt me. I did, because I was too… stupid, too scared, too weak. I should have stayed with you. I should have spent every moment I could looking into your eyes. It’s I who have been cruel, especially when I knew you were ill, I knew you needed me and I was too chicken shit to come to you.”



“You’re here now.”



“Yes. I’m here now and I will never leave you again. I swear it.”



Uncertainly Daniel’s lips twitched into a smile, his face lightening as a shadow of his old smile brought a glow to his eyes. “This time I’ll hold you to it no matter what.”


“This time I’ll keep my promise… no matter what.”



Daniel smiled again, and blinked with heavy eyes looking exhausted.



“You should be asleep. I have done enough harm to you today. I won’t be responsible for more. I will stay with you Daniel, I’ve promised that and I will keep my promise no matter what. Rest now. We can talk when you are stronger.”



Daniel nodded but his eyes continued to bore into Connor’s and his hand gripped his with surprising strength under the circumstances. Tenderly Connor reached out with his other hand and stroked Daniel’s face. Daniel closed his eyes and sighed.



“I have never seen anyone, ever, who was so beautiful, so pure, so amazing. It makes my heart hurt to look at you. I will never get tired of staring at your face, you take my breath away.”



Daniel opened his eyes and they were drifting. Nevertheless he smiled, a slow gentle smile that lit up his face and Connor’s heart with liquid gold. “I love you Con. I always have. I want to be with you forever.”



“And you will. You will… forever. But for now… go to sleep. Get strong so that we can leave this place and… and get to know each other all over again.”



Daniel nodded, finally allowing himself to sink. He kept his eyes fixed on Connor’s face to the last moment when his eyelids finally sank and with a sigh his hand slipped through Connor’s fingers.



Connor sat for a long time, watching him breathe, struggling to process the emotions that were assailing him. He couldn’t believe that it had happened, that after all of the heartache, the fear, the turmoil, it had finally happened. He had never truly dared to believe. He was filled with such a sense of wonder, of deep and abiding tenderness that he was helpless to stop it spilling from his eyes and flowing down his cheeks unnoticed and unheeded.



He was startled by a nurse who came in to check on Daniel. She thought that he was upset because of Daniel’s condition and reassured him. He nodded and smiled experiencing a sudden release that brought a lightness of spirit he had not experienced for a very long time.



Sitting at the bedside, watching the nurse work, Connor felt a feeling of peace steal over him, a sense of awe and wonder that nothing could diminish, not ever the surroundings, the circumstances. He was here, with Daniel and Daniel loved him.



Much later in the stillness of deep night Connor opened his eyes to find his face pressed against something soft and rough. It took him a moment to realise that it was the blanket of the bed. He had fallen asleep sitting on the bench, his head sunk forward, his arms crossed above. He sighed. His body was stiff and he knew that when he moved it would scream pain from every muscle and sinew.



A gentle touch on his head startled him but still he did not move as the hand moved to caress him, to stroke his hair, running it through the fingers, twirling it, touching it. He shivered with lazy pleasure and smiled into the fabric.



“I know you’re awake.”



Daniel’s voice was very soft, but stronger than it had been before. Connor raised his head and Daniel let his hand slide from the back of his head to caress his cheek. Their eyes met and locked and something very much like electrical current crackled between them.



“I didn’t mean to wake you.” He caught himself and grinned. “Hmm… yeah… yeah I did. As beautiful as it is there is only so long I can stare at the back of your head without getting bored.”



Connor sat all the way up stretching to ease stiff muscles and grunting with pain as they protested. He looked around. They were alone.


“Where is everyone?”



“How am I supposed to know? I was asleep. Besides… who cares? I’m glad it’s you and me.”



“Really, and why would that be?”



“Come here. I’ll whisper it in your ear.” Connor leaned forwards presenting his ear. At the last minute Daniel raised his hand and turned his head. For an instant they stared into each other’s eyes, so close that Connor could fell his breath soft on his face. Then Daniel smiled and closed his eyes, lifting his head to kiss Connor and it was the sweetest, gentlest kiss he had ever had or imagined.



When they parted Daniel’s eyes were dark and shadowed. He smiled but there was a sadness in him that made Connor frown. He flicked the long strands of dark hair away from Daniel’s face and caressed his cheek, lightly brushing his lips with his thumb. Daniel closed his eyes and tilted his head back as Connor’s hand moved lower, running the thick locks of hair through his fingers and following them down across his throat to his collar bone, then brushing them aside, stroking the hollow of his throat and sweeping his hand up over his shoulder.



Daniel opened his eyes and they were hot and hungry. “I don’t want to be here.” Connor snatched his hand away feeling as though he had been slapped, tears springing instantly to his eyes.

“I… I’m sorry. I… if you don’t want…”



“What?” Daniel looked confused now, a puzzled frown between his perfectly arched brows, his full lips parted. He was painfully beautiful and Connor had to look away.



“What’s the matter? What’s wrong?” Suddenly he laughed. “Oh. Con, you’re an idiot.”



“What? What do you mean?”



“I didn’t mean…” He reached out and pulled Connor into his arms, exerting force where he would have resisted. When Connor was half lying across him, their faces very close Daniel kissed him gently and briefly and smiled at him. “I didn’t mean that I didn’t want to be with you….. just not here. I want to be somewhere else, anywhere where I can…. I can….” Holding Connor’s eyes, stunning him with the sheer glory of his eyes, he tugged his shirt free of his trousers and slid his hand inside to caress the soft, warm skin of his chest. Connor shuddered and his eyes rolled closed.



Daniel rested his hand over Connor’s heart feeling the violent hammering, and smiled. He let his head fall back, relaxing against the pillows and gazing up into the face of his best friend, the blonde hair tussled, the blue eyes closed in ecstasy and his heart was full. His body felt strange, prickly and hot and strangely restless. There was a dull ache in his head that made him feel slightly nauseous but there was a far more intense and insistent ache in his belly that swept away all care for anything else.



Daniel’s eyes half closed as Connor, with his hand still resting against his heart, leaned forwards and buried his face in his hair. His breath tickled his ear as his lips kissed the sensitive skin on his neck and sharp white teeth nipped gently. Daniel groaned and pushed Connor away from him, far enough to free his hand. Taking Connor’s hand he raised it to his lips and kissed it, caressing the fingers with his lips before laying them flat against his side and guiding them down beneath the sheets.



Connor pulled away. “Daniel I… we can’t. This is a hospital. People come in and out.” Daniel grinned, a blatantly dirty look in his eyes, making Connor laugh. “Stop it.”



“I can’t stop it Con. You… you touched something in me and it opened like a flower. I am filled with… with… you. I want to touch you, to feel you touch me. I want to lie with you and feel our bodies pressed together. I want it so bad it hurts. There’s an ache in my belly and a fire in my guts and the only medicine that will heal me is you. And I can no more stop it that you can stop the tides.”



“I have created a monster.”



“You created nothing. I am my own creation. You merely woke the beast.”



Connor touched his face, gently, tenderly, wonderingly. “No.” he smiled, his eyes glittering in the semi darkness. “not the beast… the beauty… the true beauty that is the wonder of you. It shines out of you, your eyes. Even now, in this place, sick as you are, you shine and I want to bask in that shine forever.”



“For ever and ever. I will love you always.”


“I have loved you always, and always will.”



Daniel was breathing fast, his lips parted, his eyes shining, almost feverishly. “Then show me.”



He pushed the sheet down and taking Connor’s hand laid it against his belly which contracted under the touch.



“Daniel I…. I don’t think….”



“No, don’t think, don’t think, act.” Pressing down hard with his own hand, trapping Connor’s beneath, he pushed it downwards. Connor moaned, his fingers digging in to the soft flesh making Daniel draw in a sharp breath, his stomach contracting.



“Daniel this is so wrong. You are ill, in hospital. We can’t.”



“Why not?”



“Because you’re not well, not well enough, not yet.”



“That’s not fair.”



“Maybe not. Get better and then….”



“Make me better Connor. You can’t just lift me up and let me fall like this. I need more. I feel…. I feel….” His eyes were huge, filled with stars and distant as the Milky Way. “I feel like I have a fever, like I am delirious with desire, standing on the brink of a chasm and I want to fall, to feel what it’s like to fly, to be caught in the arms of an angel. Nothing can stop that, nothing.”



“Be patient, my love. You will be well soon, and then I can take you home and have my wicked way with you while you are still too weak to fight me.”



Daniel smiled but it came nowhere near his eyes. “I can’t be patient. There is no question of it. I am already falling and you have to catch me or…”



“Daniel, you’re insane, completely insane.” Connor smiled but Daniel was frowning, his eyes intense, distant, strange. Connor frowned. “Are you alright?”



Daniel didn’t answer, he was staring upwards, his eyes flickering, unaware. Connor was alarmed. “Daniel?” Staring down into his eyes it was very clear to Connor that Daniel could not hear him, Daniel was no longer there.



Suddenly frightened Connor pressed the buzzer that summoned the nurse, hastily straightening the sheet and his shirt. He looked up with anxious eyes as the nurse bent over the bed, softly calling Daniel’s name, laying a hand gently on his head. And then everything seemed to happen at once. Daniel gave a strange moaning cry and the steady beep of the monitors that had become so much part of the background sounds that Connor had filtered it out of his awareness suddenly faltered and jumped and then the room was full of people and before he quite knew what was happening Connor found himself alone in the corridor with the door shut in his face and a pain in his heart that was almost physical in its intensity.



Time stretched to infinity and collapsed back on itself every time the door opened and someone came or went, then stretched again, to fall time after time like an axe against his neck. Was he being punished? Was it too much to want… to desire? Had he sealed the fate of the one he loved simply because he loved him too much. Crazy thoughts, these and many more assailed him relentlessly and he paced the corridor, half crazy with fear, tortured with guilt, haunted by doubts and most of all by the abject terror that he would never hold Daniel in his arms again, never taste the sweetness of his lips, never see the golden light in his faery eyes.”



A nurse came out of Daniel’s room, looked around and seeing Connor hurried to him.



“What’s happening? Please tell me what’s happening to Daniel.”



“Where are his parents? Are they still here?”


“I… I don’t know. I was asleep when they left. Why do you need them?”



“The doctor would like to speak to them. Could you check the relatives room please?”



“Why? Why does he need to speak to them? Won’t you please speak to me.”



“Please… I have no time…. if you could just check for me.”



She hurried off and Connor, left alone, was more frightened than he had ever been. For a brief dizzying moment he had no idea what was expected of him, no idea where or what the relatives room was. He fought down the impulse to burst into the room and MAKE them speak to him and turned on his heel to comply with the nurse’s request.



And now they were sitting round the bed in silence. It was almost midday and the sun was streaming through the window making the room stiflingly hot. No one noticed. No one spoke, no one moved, no one had slept, no one but Daniel.



They had taken him away, done tests, scans, investigations and all the time he had slept, slipping away, further and further with each hour that passed. And all they could do was sit and wait, watching as he slowly shut down and failed.



Connor sat, as silent and still as the rest of them, but inside he was in agony. Frequently he was assailed with feelings of certainty that if only he could take Daniel in his arms, hold him close, he could suffuse him with his own strength, give him what he needed to fight on, to survive. Time after time his muscles twitched as he almost got to his feet and once or twice he actually did, but he could not find the courage to go to him and every time he sat back or strode over to stare out of the window. It would almost be better if he left, if he got out of the stifling atmosphere and back to the real world beyond, to run, run, run and never stop until the pain in his heart eased and he knew peace.



But he knew that this would be never, that if he broke his promise to Daniel again, left him again, then no matter what happened he would never know peace again and there was no way he could ever run far or fast enough to escape the guilt that would gnaw at his belly every waking moment and explode inside his brain during sleep.



Finding the inactivity intolerable he got to his feet again and walked over to the window. It overlooked the front entrance and there were always people coming and going, every one with their own stories of suffering and loss and love. He shuddered. He was in the middle of a horror story, a nightmare that lurched from bad to worse with the cruel interjection of bliss between to make the bitter sweet cocktail the more unbearable.



“Connor, wouldn’t you like to take Beth to get something to eat? It can’t be easy for you to be here.”



Easy? Easy to sit and watch his lover, the one person in the world he would have gladly died for, hover between life and death sinking slowly, falling with no one to catch him. And there was nothing he could do, nothing. He couldn’t even hold him, whisper to him the words he wanted him to hear. ‘I’m sorry. Sorry I waited so long, sorry I was so afraid, sorry I let you down, sorry I couldn’t give you what you needed, what you wanted. So Sorry.’



“No. It’s not easy but… I feel that I owe it to Daniel. Why don’t you go?”



His soul was screaming… yes go go go go. Leave me here, alone with him, let me touch him, hold him, tell him how I feel. But they didn’t go, they loved him too and so they stayed and the hours crawled by.



At seven o’clock the doctor came with the test results and the news was all bad. They wanted to put Daniel on life support but his father wouldn’t let them, although his mother begged. Connor agreed with his father…. it wasn’t what Daniel would have wanted, Daniel who was so free, so full of fire.



And so they waited and pondered chances missed, opportunities lost, the price of fear and indecision and Connor ached. It started as a gnawing pain in his stomach when he thought of the past, the glorious dark star that was Daniel, the light that he had brought into so many lives, and it had grown and almost choked him when he thought of his kiss, his touch. The lips grown so cold and the long deft fingers, still and lifeless. He longed to touch them and the ache grew so that he could not bear it. Now he wanted to run, to leave and run as far and as fast as he could and he didn’t much care where… but he didn’t because he knew that the ache would run with him.



In the end he could bear it no longer and no longer cared about consequences or cost. Daniel’s father was standing at the window, his mother sitting on the bench at the side of the bed holding his hand with Beth on the other side. Connor went and stood behind Beth, looking down. Beth turned, took one look at his face and relinquished her place to him.



“Mam, Dad… I’m hungry. Will you take me somewhere? Connor will stay with Daniel.”



Connor smiled. Bless her but it was too late now, it didn’t matter. He barely heard the replies, knowing that they would be reluctant, negative and not caring. Consuming Daniel’s face with his eyes Connor lifted his hand to his lips and kissed it. Despite the humidity the fingers were cold, unresponsive. He leaned forwards and rested his forehead on them, sobs welling up in his breast, bursting out of him without him being able to do a single thing to stop them.



All the fear from the past two years, the pain of being apart, the confusion, the hurt, the indecision; all the suffering from the past few days all of it came bursting out like a lanced boil and he was lost in it, barely feeling the arms around his shoulders, not hearing the shocked but comforting words.



When he finally calmed down and became aware of his surroundings again he was alone. Feeling strangely at peace he wiped his eyes roughly on the sleeve of his shirt and stood up.



“I don’t know if you can hear me Daniel but there is something I need to tell you. I am so so sorry that I let this happen, that I let it get too late to tell you how I feel. You have no idea how much I wish that I had told you sooner, that we could have had time together, that I could have given you what you wanted, what you needed. I can’t take back that time, I can’t live it over again but I will never stop wondering what we could have had, wishing….



He blinked away tears, his vision blurring then clearing to find that Daniel was looking at him, his eyes barely open but aware.



“Daniel!”



Daniel’s lips moved but Connor couldn’t hear what he was saying and so bent closer.


“Kiss me.”



The kiss was gentle and tender, over too soon and it almost broke Connor’s heart completely. Through eyes swimming with tears he watched Daniel rally his strength and force his eyes all the way open to gaze up at him shining with something indefinable.



“Hold me.”



“Daniel, I don’t think….”



“Don’t think, just hold me.”



Connor was about to say that he couldn’t; that he wouldn’t be allowed but when he looked into Daniel’s eyes he realised that he was again allowing fear to rule and he could deny him nothing.



It took him a little time to work out how to lower the rails at the side of the bed and then he carefully climbed up, avoiding the equipment as best he could, and slid his arm under Daniel raising him so that his head rested on his chest and put his other arm around him, holding him.



At first Daniel lay, quiet in his arms until he wondered if he had fallen asleep again but then, with a great effort he leaned back his head to look up and him and raised his hand to touch his face. The world fell away. He did not see the door open and the family return, neither did he care. All he saw, all he cared about was Daniel’s eyes and his touch.



Locked together in a world outside time something passed between them that was sacred in its intense purity.



“Con.” Again he had to lean close to hear the words. “I…” Daniel gasped as some indefinable pain gripped him but still he held on raising his head and reaching up to put his arm around Connor pulling him down into an embrace as he kissed him for, what they both knew was the last time. When he raised his head Connor was surprised to see that Daniel was smiling, a radiant wondrous smile that lit up his eyes making them sparkle like crystal.



“I’ll never leave you Con, never. I love you always.”



Before he could answer, before he could respond in any way, before he could even smile the light went out.

Copyright © 2010 Nephylim; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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I have to admit that i have read this story several times.... I love it so much....thanks for sharing it...

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On 09/08/2011 06:40 AM, dreamon said:
I have to admit that i have read this story several times.... I love it so much....thanks for sharing it...
Aww thanks hun. I'm so glad you liked the story. it was quite hard to write for quite a few resons but it was very rewarding. When I first posted it I was ragged for not giving it a happy ending but that's just the way it was. Life doesn't always provide happy endings. I'm glad you liked it anyway :)
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I loved it, and though it wasn't a 'happy ending' you dealt with it wonderfully.

Poor Connor, Daniel is at peace but Connor is left to pick up the pieces and move on from the only true love of his life, and what could have been.

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On 10/27/2011 02:14 PM, Mike00 said:
I loved it, and though it wasn't a 'happy ending' you dealt with it wonderfully.

Poor Connor, Daniel is at peace but Connor is left to pick up the pieces and move on from the only true love of his life, and what could have been.

Well, it wasn't that i wanted to write a story with a sad ending and when I started to write it I had intended Daniel to live but it just kind of happened and I never argue with my muse... well almost never :) Yeah, Connor's in a shit position. Part of me says serve him right and part of me says he really doesn't deserve it. I think he throws himself into his work for a while using it to dampen the pain. Maybe he even turns to drink but then, after a few years of misery he meets a beautiful man who drags him out of his depression and they live happily ever after |:)
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I got chills reading this story. Beautiful, and the imagery in your descriptions of Daniel was so touching.

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On 05/24/2012 02:02 AM, joann414 said:
I got chills reading this story. Beautiful, and the imagery in your descriptions of Daniel was so touching.
Thank you :) I'm glad you enjoyed. Daniel was beautiful. It's sad he had to die but in the end he just wanted to go
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I really dislike sad endings. They make me... sad. <_<

 

I really, really, really, wish Daniel had lived.

 

Beautifully haunting, this story will stick with me. Great job.

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On 08/10/2012 05:50 PM, SoullessCynner said:
I really dislike sad endings. They make me... sad. <_<

 

I really, really, really, wish Daniel had lived.

 

Beautifully haunting, this story will stick with me. Great job.

Not all stories have happy endings. Such is life. Thank you for your comment. I kinda wish Daniel had lived too, he was a really sweet guy but that's the way the story led me :) You seem to be choosing all the sad stories. Not all of them are sad you know :)
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So I went from one sad blistering and crying tale to this one thinking that I might get a happy ending. Now I am not just a puddle but a sea of tears. Buggers to hell...this isn't supposed to happen...

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On 09/19/2012 03:16 PM, CW Prince said:
So I went from one sad blistering and crying tale to this one thinking that I might get a happy ending. Now I am not just a puddle but a sea of tears. Buggers to hell...this isn't supposed to happen...
Reat assured you've probably got all the crying done in one go...we relatively. I only have a very small percentage of my stories with really sad endings and I think you've hit them all. :) Thanks for the review
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On 01/28/2014 01:30 AM, Suvitar said:
I thought the first half of the story was heartbreaking, but it was nothing compered to the ending :,(
Not all stories have happy endings. This one isn't entirely bad, though. At least Connor stopped running away.
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Devastating ending!
A love gone unquenched for so long, with such a bitter ending.
I don't think Con could go on with such loss, especially knowing at the end what he really missed out on and that he was loved so fiercely in return. Such cruel fate to live and be left with.

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Like I said ur stories always leave me wanting like the is a a part 2 somewhere don’t really like ur endings 

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18 hours ago, Sussins said:

Like I said ur stories always leave me wanting like the is a a part 2 somewhere don’t really like ur endings 

The ones with sad endings generally don't, but you've been unlucky in choosing all the ones with sad endings in one go :D I think you've read them all. Although, if you've not read it I'd advise you avoid Curved Balls.

 

The vast majority of my stories have happy endings :D

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