The Knights of the Round Table

Part II

It was raining again. Now that we had the pool to enjoy, August seemed to have day after wet day. We tried swimming a couple of times in the rain, but the air tended to be cool and it wasn’t as much fun.

Instead, one wet day, we were at our Knights’ table in the coffee shop, talking about nothing consequential. Liam was sitting with his back to the door. I was on his left, and Dylan and Howie were in the other two chairs.

As we talked, Dylan looked up and said, “Uh-oh!”

I glanced where he was gazing and saw a rather large, muscled boy with two other large boys behind him. He was standing a little behind Liam and grinning. “Well, looky here,” said the boy. “If it isn’t the faggots.” Then he looked at me and went on, “Looks like you guys are robbin’ the cradle. Who’s your little friend?”

At that, Liam, his face impassive, rose and turned so he was facing the boy. “Well, if it isn’t Wyatt Beck,” he said. “When I heard you, I can’t say I was surprised to see who it was. Why don’t you just go away like a good boy and leave us alone?”

It can’t be said that Liam was face-to-face with Wyatt because the other boy was at least a head taller than Liam, so he was actually looking at the bigger boy’s T-shirt.

Wyatt pushed towards Liam, poking him in the chest and saying, “We meet again at last, little fairy.”

By then he had Liam backing up so the table actually moved a little, but Liam stood his ground. “Last warning, Shit Face,” he said.

Wyatt just laughed.

With no more talking, Liam’s right knee shot up and slammed into Wyatt’s crotch. Wyatt’s cup of coffee flew onto the table, splattering its contents on us as he sank to the floor, holding his balls and yelling in pain.

One of the baristas started over with some towels to wipe away the spill, but Liam held his hand up and she stopped.

Looking down at the groaning boy, Liam said quietly, “Wyatt, I’ve been waiting for over four years for this. I guess we’re even now.”

A man wearing a suit who had been sitting at another table came over and looked down at Wyatt. “Get up and get out, Wyatt,” he ordered.

Wyatt looked up at him. He tried to stand but needed help from his two friends. Slowly, they made their way out of the shop, Wyatt still holding himself, limping and groaning.

Liam looked at the man and asked, “You know Wyatt?”

“Oh, yes,” the man replied, laughing a little, “Wyatt and I go way back.” Then he asked, “Liam, do you go looking for trouble or do you just attract it?”

Liam smiled. “I guess I just attract it.”

The man looked at the rest of us. Nodding, he said, “Hello, Dylan, Howie. You boys doing okay?”

They both nodded.

Then he looked at me and said, “I don’t believe I know you. Are you new around here?”

Without giving me a chance to answer, Liam said, “This is Teddy Brewster. Teddy, this is Detective Simmons. He helped the three of us with a little problem back in the spring.” Turning to the detective, he said, “Teddy moved into town right after Christmas.”

Suddenly, I knew. He was the policeman who had dealt with Ryan. Tentatively, I held out my hand and the detective shook it. “Glad to meet you,” he said. “You moved in next to the Ackroyds, right?”

There was dead silence. Finally I nodded.

“Boys,” he said, looking at all of us, “give me some credit. I’m not stupid you know.” Then, speaking to me, he added, “Look out for these boys. They seem to attract trouble.” With that he returned to the table where he’d been sitting.

Liam sat and looked at me. “Did you figure out who he was?”

I nodded. “That’s why he knew you three but not me.”

“Right,” Liam replied.

“Can I ask something?” I said.

“Sure,” Liam replied, sitting down again.

“Why did you say to Wyatt that you’d been waiting four years to do what you did?”

Liam got a funny look on his face and then he looked at Dylan.

“Tell him, Liam,” said Dylan. “It’s all water over the dam now and I don’t mind.”

So Liam told me his story of Halloween when he was in the sixth grade. He ended the story with, “Wyatt was one of the two boys.”

“Who was the other?” I asked.

There was silence for a moment as a look passed between Liam and Dylan.

At last, Dylan said, “I was, and I felt awful about it. At the time I was trying to deny to myself that I was gay and I guess what I did that night was part of the denial. Liam’s brothers dealt with me and Wyatt much more kindly than we deserved. They could have called the cops but they didn’t.”

“It took me a long time,” added Liam, “but as I got to know Dylan and learned that he was on the side of good…” He and Dylan both grinned. “I forgave him, and we’ve been good friends ever since.”

Since we had been splattered with coffee, we decided to leave the shop and go home to change clothes.

On our way out, I stopped at Detective Simmons’ two-person table and sat down. He was working away on his laptop. He continued to work for a minute although I was quite sure he knew I was there.

Finally, he looked up and smiled. “Hello, Teddy,” he said.

“Hi,” I replied, shyly.

“I just wanted to thank you for not outing me to the whole world.”

He smiled. “You’re welcome. I see my job as helping and protecting people and since Ryan confessed there was no need to bring you into it.” He paused for a moment and then asked, “Are you okay?”

“Yes, sir. I’m still hurt and sad, but the other boys are helping me so I’m okay.”

“Can I assume that your parents know what happened?”

“Yes, sir…well, sorta. Liam didn’t tell them the whole truth, just enough to get by.”

“As long as they’re aware and looking out for you, I don’t see a problem.”

“Neither do I. And thanks again.” I rose and we shook hands before I left the shop.


Labor Day fell on the following Monday. I was scheduled to go to a freshmen orientation the next day and school would open on Wednesday.

Saturday night, I felt a little soreness in my throat but didn’t think much of it. However, the next morning when I awoke, my throat was achingly sore, making it very hard to talk or even swallow. I tried to call my parents but couldn’t, so I went into their bedroom, where they were just getting up. I pointed at my throat and croaked out the word, “Sore.”

Mother took me back to my bedroom and told me to sit in my desk chair. She looked at my throat with a flashlight and then took a swab of it. She went downstairs for a few minutes and then returned saying that I had strep throat and she was putting me on antibiotics.

On Monday, my throat felt a little better, but I stayed in bed.

I croaked to my parents that I was supposed to go to orientation on Tuesday, but they both said there was no chance of that.

The next day they called the school and told someone that I had strep throat and wouldn’t be in until the following Monday at the earliest.

So, I lay in bed trying to read or on the couch watching TV and feeling sorry for myself. How was I going to figure out the school if I missed orientation? How was I going to know what went on in my classes for the first three days?

On Thursday, I was feeling better and begged my parents to let me go to school, but they were adamant.

By Sunday I was totally recovered but still feeling sorry for myself. In the afternoon, I had three visitors. As they trooped in the door Dylan asked, “Don’t you think it’s a little bold to be truant the first three days of school?”

We all laughed, even my parents. I told the three that they were welcome to use the pool although I wasn’t yet allowed to. Then I realized my parents were there so the boys wouldn’t skinny dip. Howie laughed as he saw the realization on my face.

“We’re good,” he said. “We just came to see how you’re doing.”

I told them I was fine and asked about their first days back. We talked for a bit before they got ready to leave. As he stood at the door, Liam said, “Teddy, look for me inside the front door of the school tomorrow and I’ll help you get squared away.” I thanked him and they left.

Why is it, I wondered, that it’s always Liam who takes care of me? Like the other day at the coffee shop or today when he told me to find him at school? When I thought about it, I felt a little flutter in my stomach as I wondered if he really liked me and if I really liked him. Well, I was pretty sure I liked him as a friend, but beyond that I had no idea.

Monday morning I rode my bike to school and went in. Sure enough, Liam was right inside the door. He took me into the office and introduced me to the secretary, who said she hoped I was feeling better and handed me my schedule, my locker number, and a pass introducing me to my teachers. I thanked her and assured her I was feeling fine.

Liam looked at my locker number and escorted me upstairs, down a hall, and to my locker. When I’d stowed my book bag, only taking out what I’d need for the first couple of periods, he directed me to my homeroom and said he’d be back to take me to my first class.

In the homeroom, I showed my pass to the teacher. She welcomed me and showed me where to sit. When homeroom began, she introduced me to the rest of the class, gave a couple of announcements, and then took attendance. That was really about all we did, and twenty minutes later we were dismissed.

Sure enough, Liam met me outside my homeroom door. As we walked to my next class, he explained the room numbering system and how to find the rooms I needed. Then he left me at the classroom door, saying that I could probably figure things out from there and he’d meet me at lunch. “If you run into any problems, just ask. Everyone on this floor is either a freshman or a sophomore, and they’ll be glad to help you.”

I did, in fact, manage to find my rooms for the rest of the morning. I even had my gym clothes so I could dress in the locker room and go out on the field for PE. Naturally, I looked around in the dressing room. I knew nearly all of the boys from middle school, so I didn’t see much new, although I observed that a few of the boys had grown in their privates and even had a few pubes.

Liam found me at lunch, and we decided to eat on a big open space, the quadrangle, since it was a nice day. When he asked about my teachers, I said that they seemed to be okay for teachers, although I didn’t see any of them as being really friendly with their students. “That’ll change some as the year goes on,” he said. “I think teachers begin the year by being a bit strict, but then, when they know their classes better, they can ease up a little on most of us.”

After my last class of the day, Liam met me at my locker and we walked out to our bikes together.

I thanked him for his help, saying it was really useful, and asked if he was coming to my house to swim. He nodded and we rode our bikes together, arriving about twenty minutes later.

Dylan and Howie arrived soon after that, and when I assured them my parents weren’t home, the three of them stripped and went into the pool. Sadly, the pool had been forbidden to me until Wednesday, so I just sat and watched, making snide comments from time to time.

When they got out of the pool, they dried themselves and sat naked on the chaise lounges with me. I realized that they too had grown some in their important areas over the summer. I, on the other hand, hadn’t. My privates were still small and I had no pubes, even though I certainly could masturbate, come and shoot a little.

When they left, a little before 5:00, I went into the house and started on my homework. Mother and Father both came home in time to eat. At supper, my parents asked me the usual parental questions about how school had gone and about my teachers. I told them what I knew and they seemed satisfied. I didn’t tell them that I hadn’t spoken a word in any class all day. I knew that would concern them, but I just didn’t want them interfering or giving me useless advice at that point.


It soon grew too cold for outdoor swimming. I met with The Knights two or three times a week, but even though they occasionally asked, I didn’t join them in Dylan’s bedroom. I understood why they were doing what they were doing. I knew from experience that after you’d had really good sex, you missed it terribly. Their way of dealing with it was to have sex with no commitment. While I certainly didn’t disapprove, I wanted to keep sex for a meaningful relationship, and I just didn’t have one.

School plodded on. I was doing well in my classes, and Liam and I had lunch together, often with Dylan and Howie. By Thanksgiving, I was occasionally contributing in classes.

Almost before I knew it, December had come and everyone was talking about Christmas. The stores were decorated and Christmas songs blasted from loudspeakers. I loved the real Christmas carols but hated the ones about Santa Claus and reindeer and sleigh rides. As for “Jingle Bells”, it wasn’t even really about Christmas.

Our family celebrations were always low key. We didn’t have a tree, we didn’t put up decorations, and we just exchanged small gifts. Often, at least one of my parents had to work. As my mother had told me the year before, “When a baby decides to come, it comes. You can’t say to it, ‘Today is Christmas. Come back tomorrow.’”

She did have to work on Christmas Eve, so only Father, who would have to work the next day, and I were home. I found him sitting in the dark in the living room, sipping a drink.

“What are you drinking?” I asked.


“But you never drink.” I knew that the only reason my parents kept liquor in the house was for the rare times when they entertained others.

“I know,” he replied, “but I just felt the need of some tonight.”

“Why?” I asked.

He sighed, put down his drink, and answered, “Teddy, I love my job. I love being able to help kids, even save some. But I hate Christmas at the hospital.”

He was silent for a bit and I didn’t say anything, knowing he would go on when he was ready.

At last he said, “Everything is so phony at the hospital on Christmas. All the parents are there and, when it’s safe for a patient, siblings are too. Everyone is laughing and pretending to enjoy themselves, including the patients. But I can see in the parents’ eyes how scared they are, how they’re thinking that this might be their child’s last Christmas.

“The little children are just enjoying the day. They don’t yet understand what their disease could mean. By nine or ten years old, though, the children know. They know that they’re in the hospital fighting for their lives. And I can see it in their faces. They’re trying to be brave for their parents.

“Later, when the last hugs have been given and the families have gone, there’s always a very depressing silence. Then I hear children begin to cry. The nurses and I go from bed to bed, room to room, trying to comfort the kids, but it never works.

“I know we can’t save them all, although we can save more than we used to. Whenever I lose a patient, I’m sad, but I keep going, trying to help the others and taking comfort in the ones we are able to save. But the Christmas sadness never seems to go away.”

He sighed and sipped his drink.

I wanted to say something, something that would help him, but I couldn’t think of a thing. After all, I was just a kid, one who had never experienced what those children in the hospital were suffering through.

At last I asked, “Can I go with you tomorrow?” I didn’t really know why I asked, but somehow I wanted to be with him and to understand more of what he was experiencing.

“Really? Are you sure?” I nodded my head. “You’re willing to deal with the sadness?” I nodded again. “We’ll ask your mother when she gets home.”

At first my mother didn’t want to agree, but I finally talked her into it.

So, early Christmas morning, Father and I rode the nearly empty train into Boston and entered the hospital. He gave me a gown and a mask to wear, saying that I shouldn’t touch anyone because some of the children’s immune systems were compromised by their treatments. Of course, because it was Christmas, none of the children would have treatments that day, although some did have IVs in their arms.

Soon after 9:00, parents and families began to arrive. I went around the ward, talking quietly with kids who didn’t yet have visitors. A few would not have any because their families lived too far away, but most of them had someone by the end of the day.

I heard, “Merry Christmas,” called over and over. The nurses were going around, acting very cheerful, and quietly doing what needed to be done. Father was talking with parents and children. He was right, on the surface everything seemed happy and joyful. But there was an undercurrent which I began to pick up as the day progressed.

At five o’clock the visitors had to leave, and I could feel the change in the ward as children began to cry.

We only stayed until 6:00, when the next shift took over. As I removed my gown and mask, I was in tears.

“Yes, do cry,” my father said quietly. “It’s good to express what you’re feeling right now.”

We rode the train home. Mother had prepared a nice Christmas dinner with roast turkey. I tried to be cheerful for Mother and Father, remembering then that the children at the hospital had been doing the same thing for their parents. Mother seemed fine, but Father was pretty quiet.

The next day, Mother and I talked about what I had experienced. I guess she was debriefing me. She said that there were often sad moments for doctors but that the good times far outweighed those. I knew that was true, but it took me some time to recover.

Part of my recovery was talking about it with my friends, so the next time The Knights met, I told them about my Christmas. As I talked to them, I cried some, but it was a good cry, a purging cry. I felt good about being able to tell them what I’d done and what I’d felt. I realized I couldn’t have said all that two or three months ago. They all understood, and soon they turned the talk to other subjects.


Spring was late coming that year. Just as the snow would melt, we’d have another storm and needed to clear six or eight inches of snow off the driveways and walks.

Finally, in mid-April, we began to have some warmer days, and soon the trees were beginning to bud out.

A few times on Saturdays I went to the hospital with Father when he wanted to check on certain patients. While I knew that the older kids were still dealing with their mortality, for the most part they seemed upbeat.

Every once in a while, a well-known sports figure would show up: a player on the Celtics, the Bruins, the Red Sox, or the Patriots. The kids were always told when one of those was coming and they were really up for the visit. Some of the men were great with the kids while some of them didn’t really know what to do or say. But they soon overcame that hurdle and were chatting with the children as though they’d known them all their lives.

There was a little boy, Bobby Thomas, who’d been admitted right after the holidays. He was six and looked fine to me, although he had no hair. That was common there. The treatments kids were getting caused them to lose their hair.

The first time Bobby saw me he laughed and said, “We’re twins.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said, reaching for something on his table. He handed me a photo of himself, with a mop of bright red hair.

I laughed, “I guess we are.”

We talked for a while and then I went to see some of the other kids.

In the days that followed, Father said that Bobby asked for me every day. “Don’t get too attached to him, Teddy,” he advised. But somehow, I couldn’t help it. He was so cute and friendly. He lived in Connecticut, so he only saw his parents on the weekends.

One Saturday I met them by Bobby’s bed. “Are you Teddy?” his mother asked. When I said I was, she and his father both thanked me for visiting their son.

Bobby was his usual perky self. We all talked for a while before I made my usual rounds.

On the way home, Father and I talked about Bobby. He said that the boy seemed to be responding well to his treatments. I was glad. I didn’t want to lose him.

But three weeks later, as we rode in on the train together, Father said, “Don’t be surprised when you see Bobby. He took a turn for the worse and there’s nothing much more we can do for him.”

When we walked into the hospital, I went straight to Bobby’s bed, where his parents were sitting. I could see they’d both been crying.

Mr. Thomas suggested to Bobby’s mother that they go get some coffee and leave me and Bobby together for a few minutes.

After they left, I sat in one of the chairs and took Bobby’s hand. He looked terrible. He was very pale, even a little gray I thought. When I sat, his eyes were closed, but when I took his hand, he opened his eyes and looked at me. And then he smiled weakly.

“I knew you’d come,” he said so softly I could barely hear him.

I said something or other totally inconsequential. What was important to him was clearly not what I said but that I was there.

He sighed before saying, “Mommy says I’m gonna be with Jesus, soon. She says then I won’t be sick or hurting anymore.” He paused as though gathering his thoughts. “That’s okay, I guess. I’ll miss Mommy and Daddy, but I love Jesus and I know he loves me, so I’ll be happy to be with him.”

He stopped and closed his eyes. I thought he was asleep, but then, without opening his eyes, he said, “Mommy cries a lot but she says it’s not because she’s sad for me, it’s because she’ll miss me.” Tears formed in his eyes. “I’ll miss you too, Teddy.”

I thought this was not the time to be reassuring and promising he’d get better. He wouldn’t, and I knew it. “I’ll miss you too, Bobby,” I said as tears ran down my face, “but I’ll never, ever forget you.”

When his parents returned, I said my last goodbye to Bobby and hugged him, even though I wasn’t supposed to touch him. What harm could it do now, I thought. His mother hugged me and thanked me for being there. I didn’t really have the heart to visit any other kids that day, so I sat in the lounge and waited for Father.

As we rode home on the train, Father said, “It’s tough, I know. Sometimes I think the ones who die are better off. Their bodies have betrayed them to the point where they just can’t survive, and usually, like Bobby, they’re in a lot of pain. Of course, we can give them something for the pain, but they still feel it unless we sedate them to the point where they’re not conscious at all.”

At supper that night, I announced, “I think I know what I’m going to do with my life.” When I told them my idea, they both seemed very pleased.

On Monday, I asked Liam if we could talk after school. “Do you mean with Dylan and Howie?” he asked.

“Not this time. Can it be just the two of us?”

He saw that I was serious, so he agreed.

After school, we rode our bikes to my house and went up to my room. None of The Knights had ever been there. He looked around, studying my posters and looking at my books.

Finally he sat and asked, “So, what’s up?”

I told him about the kids in the hospital. I told him about Bobby, how cute he was and how, in a way, I thought we loved each other. Then I told him about my last visit.

“I want to tell you something, and I want you tell me if it’s a stupid idea.” He just looked at me, seeing the tears in my eyes.

“I’ve decided what I want to do with my life,” I said. I almost added, ‘When I grow up.’ That would have been stupid.

Liam nodded, and I went on, “I want to go into medical research. I want to find cures for kids like Bobby. I want to do what I can to help people, especially kids, to have better lives.”

Liam gazed at me for a minute, and then said quietly, “Teddy, I don’t think that’s stupid at all. I think it’s a great idea, and I know you’re smart enough to do it.” He reached over and gave me a big hug. I hugged him back. It was the first time except for when we were in the swimming pool that we were really body-to-body, but I didn’t think of it as anything but his encouraging and comforting me.

Three days later, when my father came home, he handed me an envelope.

“He died, didn’t he?” I asked.

My father just nodded.

Inside the envelope was a note, which read,

Dear Teddy,

If you are reading this, then you know that Bobby died today. He was not conscious, and his passing was very peaceful.

His father and I want to thank you for being there for Bobby. Your visits meant a great deal to him, and he always made sure to tell us when you had come.

His funeral will be private and in Connecticut. If you wish to attend, you would be most welcome. Your father will know where it will take place.

I’ve enclosed a picture which Bobby said he wanted you to have.

Thank you again for everything,


Priscilla Thomas

I cried when I read the note. I looked at the picture for a long time, trying to cope with him being gone. It was the one he had shown me. In it he was smiling happily and his mop of red hair shone brightly in the sun. Was he with Jesus, as he said? Frankly, I didn’t think so. I believed that when you died, you didn’t have an afterlife, but I knew he was comforted to think he would, and I knew that believing that didn’t do any harm. At least he was no longer sick and in pain, and for that I guessed we should be grateful. But gratitude wasn’t what I was feeling at that moment. I felt deep sadness, as though I was just hollow.

I talked with my parents, deciding not to go to the funeral. I just wanted to remember him as he was in the photo, cheerful and smiling and happy.

I went up to my room and put Bobby’s photo on the mirror over my dresser where I would see it every morning and where it would strengthen my resolve to go into medical research and try to save kids like Bobby.


For the rest of the school year I worked very hard. I knew I’d need excellent grades to follow the plan I’d laid out for myself. I worked especially hard on math and science. Oh, I wasn’t a drudge. I still spent time with The Knights. In any spare time I had, I began to go online and find websites about the human body. I studied them and learned about all sorts of things, from the human skeleton to the circulatory system. I was fascinated and sometimes had to control myself with the other Knights so I didn’t bore them talking about what I was learning.

Liam and I didn’t continue spending time alone together, but I felt that somehow, the day we had talked about my idea, we had grown closer.

Spring came, and the days grew warmer. Sometimes when I rode my bike to or from school, I began sweating and I knew that it would soon be time for the pool.

At my urging, my parents called the pool company a little earlier than usual, and a man came to fill the pool and treat the water with the proper chemicals.

The first day The Knights came to my house after school, it was gloriously warm. There wasn’t a cloud anywhere, and the deep blue of the sky promised a long summer with lots of swimming.

We all stripped and, after quickly using the outdoor shower we jumped in the pool. We swam and played tag, water polo, and volleyball. We laughed and dunked one another and for the moment I forgot all about my work and my studying, and just became a teen enjoying time with other teens.

The year before, after we’d been swimming, we’d shower and then sometimes ride our bikes to the edge of the town to Wally’s Ice Cream stand. The ice cream was made right there and, if there was any better anywhere, I didn’t know about it.

After swimming that day, we went to the stand for the first time that summer. I got rocky road, which I loved, but I have to say I’ve tried a lot of flavors and never found one I didn’t like.

And so, the summer began, with its hours of leisurely swimming, eating, and just hanging out. I turned sixteen that summer and would be a sophomore in the fall, while Liam would be a junior. Dylan and Howie would be seniors, and would soon be going off to college, so we made the most of our time together.

One day, near the end of the summer, my parents and I were just finishing supper when the doorbell rang. I said I’d get it and went to the door. Liam was standing on the porch.

“Hi,” I said, wondering why he was there.

“Teddy,” he said, “can you go to Wally’s with me? This is on me.”

“Sure. Will Dylan and Howie be there too?”

“No, it’ll just the two of us.”

I was puzzled, wondering what he wanted, but I told my parents where I’d be, hopped onto my bike, and rode with Liam to Wally’s.

After we got our ice cream, we sat at a table, silently enjoying ourselves.

At last, Liam said, “Teddy, I want you to know that I’m no longer going to Dylan’s house.”

I knew that must have meant he’d stopped having sex with Dylan and Howie.

“Why?” I asked quietly.

“Because I decided I wanted sex to mean more than it did at Dylan’s. Oh, I enjoyed it, but there always seemed to be something missing. I decided I wanted to stop and wait until I could share it with someone I really cared about.”

I nodded, understanding, because that was the way I felt too. The problem was I didn’t have anyone who I really cared for that way. Well, nobody I was about to declare myself to.

He went on, “Teddy…I was wondering if maybe we could spend more time together, just the two of us.”

Oh my God. Was he saying what I thought ─ what I hoped ─ he was saying? We sat in silence for what seemed a very long time but was probably no more than about thirty seconds. At last, I took a big breath, and said, “Yeah. I’d like that.”

He looked across the table and said, “Come and sit beside me.” When I did, he took my hand and we simply sat, bodies touching, hands sweating with the emotion, minds whirring, or at least I know mine was.

When we left the ice cream stand, we rode towards my house but he asked to stop off at a neighborhood park. The park had a playing field but also lots of trees. Taking my hand again, Liam led me into the trees to a spot where we couldn’t be seen.

Turning, he pulled me close and kissed me gently on my mouth. I was surprised but I responded willingly, pulling him even closer and returning his kiss.

“I think I’m falling in love,” Liam said softly before he kissed me again. “How do you feel?”

“The same,” I said breathlessly.

“But I think we should go very slowly. We’ve both given our hearts before and been badly hurt. Neither of us wants that to happen again, so can we just take it easy?”

I nodded.

We kissed again, a long, wet, wonderful union of two hearts and mouths, and then we left the park.

I don’t know about Liam, but I floated home about three feet above my bicycle.