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The Wall of Winnipeg and Me: Chapter 30


Why was I still doing this?

Why?

Why hadn’t I just said, “Van, who gives a shit whether you can run a marathon or not? You did more than you ever imagined you could. Who do you have to impress?”

As much as I hadn’t wanted it to, life had taken its toll on my head and confidence. Since everything happened, I’d barely been able to add another mile and a half to my distance, and that was pushing it. I walked and bitched while I did it, and afterward, I was so tired and my knee ached so badly, I crashed out on the bed after my shower and refused to get up.

Every sign said doing the marathon was a terrible idea.

Nothing changed the fact that I missed Zac’s company, and the way he motivated me to keep going even when we were both cussing about how stupid doing this was.

I had to do it. I’d trained for months. Not finishing wasn’t an option.

I could do it.

I wasn’t freaking the fuck out. Nerves weren’t making my hands shake. I wasn’t subconsciously rubbing over my ring finger every few minutes, searching for that token of Aiden he’d given me that I’d left at home because I was too scared to lose it. Aiden’s necklace was tucked under my shirt for good luck. Surrounded by so many people who were smiling and just seemed so fucking stoked to participate, it honestly disheartened me a little.

Twenty miles. I could run twenty miles. That was something to be proud of, wasn’t it?

I had barely thought that when I mentally smacked myself. Of course twenty miles was something, but I’d put my body through hell for these last few months for what? For this.

If I didn’t do this, I needed to get my ass kicked. Even if I came in fucking last, I had to finish it. Screw it.

I shook out my hands. I could do this.

“Are you Vanessa Mazur?” a voice to my right asked.

Finding a woman wearing a T-shirt that said she was volunteering at the marathon, I forced a smile on my face and nodded. “Yes.”

She thrust out a cell phone in my direction. “You have a call.”

A call? Gingerly taking the basic flip phone, I watched as she backed away before raising it up to my ear. “Hello?”

“Muffin,” the deep voice answered.

I pulled the phone away from my face and took in the screen, recognizing the number. “How the hell did you get this number?”

“I didn’t. Trevor did. I tried calling your cell, but it went straight to voicemail,” Aiden explained.

“Yeah, I left it in my pile of stuff,” I pretty much stammered, still trying to process that he’d somehow, some way, gotten in contact with me. He hadn’t called me since he’d left. We’d only communicated via text message, and the sound of his voice went straight to my heart.

In what had become a typical Aiden way, he asked, “Are you all right?”

“No.” I looked around to make sure the woman who handed me the phone wasn’t listening. There were too many people around, all living their own lives, worrying about themselves. “I’m trying to talk myself into doing this even if I come in last,” I admitted.

“You’re about to run a marathon. Do you think it matters if you come in last as long as you finish it?” he asked.

I blinked and let the anxious tears pool in my eyes for the first time. “But what if I can’t finish it?”

The voice on the other end let out a sigh. “You can finish the marathon. Graves aren’t quitters.”

Graves. Graves weren’t quitters. I didn’t want to cry. I wasn’t going to let myself lose it now of all times. At least not completely. “But I’m not really a Graves, and I haven’t even been able to finish twenty-six miles, much less twenty-six point two. Not once. I’m dying by twenty.”

“Vanessa,” he rumbled my name in a way that felt like a caress to my spine. “You’re a Graves where it matters. I don’t know anybody else who could do what you’ve done. Come out on top of what you have. You can do this. You can do anything, do you understand me? Even if you limp your way through the last sixteen miles, you’re going to finish it because that’s just who you are.”

This weird hiccup thing crept up my throat, and the next thing I knew, I dropped my hand away from my face to control myself. It didn’t take long, but it was the most difficult control I’d ever tried to get ahold of. With a few deep breaths, I put the phone back to my ear, emotion overwhelming my nostrils. “In case I die on my run, I want to tell you something.” I wanted to tell him I loved him. Fuck it. What the hell had I been waiting for?

He was a good man. The best type of man—for me at least. The more I thought about what was between us, the more I picked up on the breadcrumbs he’d been leaving for me for some time now. He cared about me. He more than cared about me. I knew it from the bottom of my soul.

“Tell me afterward. You’re not going to die,” he replied, smoothly with conviction.

“No, I need to tell you now just in case,” I insisted.

Aiden let out a sigh. “You’re not going to die. Tell me afterward.”

“But what if—?”

“Vanessa, you can do this. I’m not doubting you for a second, and you shouldn’t be doubting yourself either,” he demanded. “I know you’re hurting right now, but I’m willing to bet none of your sisters would be able to do what you’re about to do.”

He’d gone for the killing blow. The one thing in the world to resuscitate me. Aiden got me and he got me good. “I’ve got this,” I said in a muffled voice. I had to have this. There wasn’t a choice, was there?

“You’ve got this,” he repeated with more conviction. “You can do this.”

Now or never right? “I’ve got this.”

He made a light noise, a tender one. “That’s my girl.”

His girl? “I am?” I just outright asked him, hoping more than a little he wasn’t just… that was stupid, Aiden wouldn’t just say that.

“The only one,” he said it like there was no other choice in the world.

How could I not tackle universes with that kind of possessiveness from the most driven man I’d ever meet? “I might not be able to walk after I cross the finish line, but I’m going to do it. Can I call you after I’m done when I’m lying on a hospital bed?”

“You’d better.”


I have been through some shit in my life. I knew what pain was, I’d dealt with it on and off for years, sometimes more on than other years. I understood the basics of working hard and succeeding. And I liked to do my best at everything I attempted. I always had, and I wasn’t going to worry or wonder why that was.

But the marathon…

I’d prepared as much as I could to run it, considering everything. I knew my limits and my body.

But after that fifteenth mile marker…

Everything began to shut down.

I wanted to die.

Each step began to feel like hell incarnate. My shins were crying invisible tears. All my important tendons and ligaments thought they were being punished for something they’d done in another lifetime.

And I wondered why the hell I’d ever thought doing this would be my crowning achievement after my long road. Couldn’t I have just raised money for a charity or something? Was I too young to be a foster parent?

If I lived through this, I could do anything, I convinced myself. I’d do an Iron Man competition, damn it.

Okay, maybe I’d prepare for a triathlon if I finished this prison sentence.

If I finished it.

If.

If I didn’t die. Because it sure as hell felt like I was on the cusp.

I was thirsty, hungry, and every step sent a streak of pain straight up my spine and into my head since I’d begun to lose my stride and run sloppier. I might have had a migraine too, but my pain receptors were too focused on everything else to notice.

But I thought about Aiden, my brother, and Diana. I thought about Zac.

And I closed my eyes and pushed. Each mile got harder; hell, each foot became more difficult to move. I was slowing down because I was crossing into the Underworld.

But I could die after I crossed the finish line, because I hadn’t trained and busted my ass for months not to. If anything, I became more and more determined to drag myself across the finish line if it came down to it. By the time I made it to the last mile, I was more limping and lurching than even walking. My calves had locked up on me. My shin splints were going to be a serious pain in the ass for weeks to come, and my quads were shredded.

Honestly, I felt like I had the flu, Ebola, and strep throat combined.

Thinking back on it, I wasn’t sure how the hell I managed to cross the finish line. Sheer will and determination, I guess. I’d never been so proud of myself or pissed off at myself than right then.

I thought I started crying, mostly because every bone and muscle in me was crying, and because I couldn’t believe I’d actually made it.

But when I spotted that giant, brown-haired man bee-lining through people like a runaway train, I definitely started damn near bawling. People cheered me on, but I couldn’t find it in me to thank them because I wanted only one thing and it wasn’t close enough.

I wanted the big-headed mirage coming toward me, and I wanted it three hours ago. I wanted it two weeks ago.

Even from the forty feet that separated us, I could see him through my blurry eyes, frowning as he found me mixed up in the crowd. I dropped to my knees, ignoring the personnel that surrounded me, making sure I was okay. Realistically, I knew I wasn’t dying. Not really.

It was just… traumatic. And all I wanted was a hug, a shower, food, and a nap.

Mostly though, I wanted that human-sized steamroller barreling through the people who separated us with even more urgency. He was like Moses parting a sea of people. The second he stopped in front of me, I held my arms out and let him grab me under the armpits, deadlifting me before engaging those giant biceps and pulling me up to be eye to eye with him. I didn’t appreciate that incredible feat of strength because what he did afterward…

I threw my arms around his neck and he hugged me. In front of everyone, he hugged the living shit out of me as if he hadn’t walked out on me and left me alone when all I wanted was him. I wrapped my legs high above his hips like a spider monkey, not giving a crap about the wedgie my shorts were giving me, much less that there were photographers, who were supposed to be busy taking pictures of the marathon runners, circling The Wall of Winnipeg and me in our moment.

Yeah, I cried into his neck and he pressed his face against my hair. His words were low, reassuring, and whispered.

“That’s my girl. That’s my fucking girl.”

“What are you doing here?” I practically bawled into him.

“I missed you.”

“You what?”

His arms tightened around me. “I missed you very much.”

Oh hell.

“I had to come see you,” he continued on.

“You were here, and you didn’t tell me?”

“I didn’t want to distract you,” that low voice explained, his hand cupping the back of my neck. “I knew you were going to do it.”

His words only made me want to cry more, but not necessarily just tears of joy. “I’m dying. I need you to get me a Segway. I’m never walking ever again,” I blubbered.

“You’re not dying, and I’m not buying you that,” he said.

“Everything hurts.”

Was he laughing? “I’m sure.”

I realized I didn’t care if he was laughing at my expense. “Can you carry me?”

“You’re insulting me, Van. Of course I can.” I thought he kissed my cheek, but I couldn’t be sure because my eyes were closed and I was scared to open them and find that I was dreaming and imagining this all happening. “But will I?” he asked.

I only embraced him tighter and squeezed my exhausted thighs around him as much as I could, which probably only lasted three seconds total. It was a miracle I managed to do that, honestly.

I was pretty sure his mouth grazed my temple and I sniffled, pausing. “Are you kissing me?”

“Yes. I’m so proud of you.”

“Okay,” I whined with a sniffle. Yeah, I hugged that big neck even tighter. “Will you take me home, big guy?”

My no-nonsense, no-bullshit Aiden said it. “After you walk around for ten minutes to cool down.”


“You need to replenish your carbs,” Aiden said as he came into my room with a plate in his hand. On it was brown rice, black-eyed peas, an entire avocado, what looked like roasted and sliced squash, and perched on the edge was an entire apple. He had a glass of water in his other hand and a small bottle of coconut water tucked under his arm.

I sat up in bed with a yawn, tossing the throw I’d slept wrapped in to the side. “You’re an angel.” I still couldn’t believe he’d come back. It didn’t seem real.

He walked over to the side of the bed, dropped his hip on the edge, and passed over the glass of water first. “Did you have a good nap?”

Considering I’d gone straight from the car to the bathroom, where I’d sat in the tub cross-legged and showered, and then dragged my way back to my room and passed the hell out, I felt pretty well. The muscles in my legs were incredibly tight and even my shoulders felt extremely tense. I felt ill, but I figured that was only because I should have eaten more than the two bananas Aiden had shoved into my hand on the car ride back and the bag of mixed nuts Zac, who had been waiting on a bench after the marathon, shared with me.

“Yeah,” I told him, chugging down half the water before taking the plate from his hand and digging in without another word.

I caught Aiden watching me when I took the time to look at him, but I was so busy inhaling the food, I didn’t do it much. About three-fourths of the way through my plate, I finally wiped at my chin with the back of my hand and shot him a grateful smile. “Thank you so much for making that for me.”

“Uh-huh.” He pointed at the corner of his mouth. “You have rice right there.”

Wiping at the spot he was pointing out, I asked, “How long was I asleep?”

“About three hours.”

Three hours? Shit, I didn’t think I’d slept that long.

“Van.” Aiden’s face swam into my groggy vision. “What were you going to tell me before your run?”

Aww shit. Shit, shit, shitHad I completely forgotten about it? No. I’d thought about what I’d told him at least a thousand times in the four hours it took me to run. I’d wanted to kick myself in the ass for saying anything at least half the time. The other half of the time, when I was reminding myself I was amazing and I was running a marathon so I could tackle the world and Iron Man competitions, I felt like I’d done the right thing.

With a plate of food he’d cooked for me on my lap and a bottle of coconut water in between his massive thighs and an empty glass on my nightstand, I was going to tell Aiden I loved him.

I loved him. I loved him so much I would do just about anything for him. I loved him enough to risk spending the next four and a half years of my life with a man who would more than likely divorce me and move on with his career.

Because fuck it, what was life if you didn’t live it and make the most out of it? What was life without loving someone who cared about you a lot more than he cared about anyone else? That was my truth. Aiden had hugged me and told me he was proud of me in front of reporters and strangers alike, when he held on to his privacy with both hands.

And it hadn’t been fake.

I could do this.

I would.

Because I would rather tell him than spend the rest of my life wondering about what would have happened if I told him he meant the world to me. That he was the first new person in my life I completely trusted. That I could settle for being number two in his life until he had more time.

So I said it, even though my fingers were gripping the plate so hard I was worried it would break. I made myself look him in the eye as I did it. “I was going to tell you… I was going to tell you that I love you. I know you said you don’t want a relationship, and I know things between us are super complicated—”

The plate in my hands was taken away.

“—but I love you. I’m sorry I’m not sorry. I didn’t want to be—”

“Vanessa.”

“I don’t want to be someone’s number two or number three priority because sometimes I like to be greedy—”

“Van.”

“—but I can’t help how I feel. I’ve tried to stop, I swear. But I couldn’t.”

Then it came. “Shut up.”

I closed my mouth and frowned at the bearded face frowning down at me.

“Did you listen to anything I told you when you finished your run? I’ve missed you. I’ve missed you so much you can’t begin to comprehend how much. I didn’t want to leave you. I kept trying to talk myself out of going. Why do you think I never brought it up?”

Now that had me thinking. “But… you didn’t say anything when you left. You took Leo.”

“You didn’t ask me to stay.” He squeezed my hands. “I took Leo because I couldn’t take you. I assumed you wanted to stay with Diana and do your marathon because you didn’t feel the same. I was going to ask you to come with me.”

“You were?”

That handsome, wonderful face leaned closer to mine. “How do you not know that you mean the world to me? I haven’t made it clear enough?”

“I don’t know,” I stuttered. “Do you love me?”

His gaze was so intent the entire world seemed to stop. “You tell me. I never stop thinking about you. I worry about you all the time. Every beautiful thing I see reminds me of you. I can’t finish my practices in Colorado without wishing you were around,” he said in a steady tone. “You tell me what I feel.”

With a burst of strength I didn’t think I had in me, I made myself get up to my knees and leaned over to press my mouth against his.

And I wasn’t surprised when Aiden instantly wrapped an arm around my lower back and pulled me into him, his mouth tilting to the side and opening. With a swipe of his tongue across my bottom lip, I opened my mouth and let it brush against mine, slow and hesitant, exploratory.

Aiden kissed me like… good lord, like we were having slow, intense sex. At least the kind of slow, intense sex I’d seen in porns before.

Our chests were sealed against each other’s, his arms were around me and my hands were in his hair, and we just kissed. We kissed and we kissed and we kissed the shit out of each other like we did that day in his room before everything.

It could have lasted for five minutes or it could have been for twenty, but when he finally pulled his mouth away, I let out a cry right onto his mouth.

Aiden’s sigh wafted over my chin as he planted that sexy, full mouth on one side of my jaw and then the other, his palms cradling the sides of my ribs possessively. “Your door is open and Zac is here,” he said into my skin.

“Damn it,” I whispered.

He chuckled. “Later. I promise.”

“You do?”

He hummed and kissed my cheek. “Finish eating.”


I woke up on my side hours later. So many hours later it took me a second to remember where I was. Why I was where I was—Aiden’s bed. After I ate another small meal, I’d gone to his room and laid down, asking if Leo was fine with Leslie, who had stayed on babysitting duty with the precious blond prince in Colorado. I remembered getting really tired and beginning to doze off.

Apparently, he hadn’t kicked me out of his bed and had instead tucked me in, and at some point in the night—or maybe he’d done it from the beginning—Aiden had come up behind me and wrapped an arm around my waist.

Which was exactly where and how I found myself in that moment.

I was awake, on my side with Aiden directly behind me, grinding his erection into my bottom as his hand snuck between my legs; those fingers were touching me low. Low. Right where my entire body centered. Right where I could tell how wet and anxious I was after so long.

How long has this been going on? I asked myself before I accepted that it didn’t matter.

I was squirming, moving my hips at the sensation behind me and in front of me. The long pipe under his clothes pressed hot against my butt; strong fingertips rubbed over the thin cotton of my panties and pajama pants. That big chest I admired on a daily basis was aligned with my back, molded to it.

He rolled his lower body and I rolled against him. The feel of him big and hard behind me was seriously the most amazing thing in the world. His mouth latched onto the nape of my neck, kissing, then biting where it met my shoulder. I panted. Aiden rubbed me lightly where I wanted him the most and I choked on the sensation, reaching behind me blindly to sneak my hand between our bodies. I cupped him, or as much of him as I could, and stroked up and down over that thick ridge that seemed to go on forever from the base.

“Aiden, please,” I whispered when his fingers circled over the too-damp material covering the seam between my thighs.

He answered by nipping my earlobe before sucking it between his lips.

Aiden,” I repeated, gripping him hard in my hand before adjusting my position and slipping between the elastic of his boxer briefs and the hot skin of his lower abs. The short, bristly hairs at his root tickled my palm for a moment before I wrapped my palm and fingers around his base. My palm slid over from the tip of his erection all the way to the firm sack just below his base. I gave his balls a squeeze before doing the motion all over again. All that silky, hot skin brushing over my hand, his slick, damp tip painting a line over my fingers, palm, and inner wrist.

Without a warning, he yanked the hem of my pants down to my knees, and while I was still reacting to that, the fingers he’d been using to rub over my panties hooked onto one side of the scrap covering me, and he tugged the material over. “Yes?” he asked, brushing a big, blunt finger over my exposed sex.

“Yes.” What else was there to say? To beg for?

His hips withdrew from my backside before he returned, the mushroomed tip I’d been rubbing a second before prodded at me from behind.

Drawing my knees up to my chest as much as I could without doing anything to the pants knotting my legs together, I stayed on my side. He nudged his penis a little more at my opening, prodding with the not-so-small head below his waist before I opened my leg a little… and he surged. In. Inside of me. Hot, long, and so fucking hard I might have choked a little.

Slowly, he stroked his way inside, channeling his way into me.

Slowly, I pushed back and sucked in a breath when he bottomed out.

The swift intake of air Aiden took turned into a growl.

Each thrust gained momentum, all the way in, all the way out. Flesh parting around hard muscles, clinging and squeezing. His hand snuck up inside the front of my shirt, over my belly button, up and up until his fingertips pinched a nipple between them. His other hand made its way over my head to grab my hand, holding it in front of me against the bed.

He pumped and pumped his hips, the sound making a slapping noise against my bottom. He hit a spot inside me that was too much, making me squeeze my legs tighter together, only making it that much better.

I tipped my head back and his lips caught mine, kissing me. Ruthlessly, his tongue dove in against mine, consuming everything I had in me. Aiden rolled his hips and pounded. His kissing was relentless. His fingers going from one breast to another, rolling and pinching the small nubs that wanted him more and more every second.

“I want to come inside you,” he whispered into my ear.

That was all it took. I cried out. Coming. Coming.

Then Aiden groaned, low and sexy, he thrusts faster, more relentless and offbeat. His hips slapped mine, the noise wet and almost sloppy. With one more solid push, he thrust in completely and made this hoarse sound as he came, holding me to him so close and warm. The place where we met was wet as his erection twitched and pulsed inside of me.

I kissed him, swallowing his groans, enjoying the way he involuntarily moved inside of me. With a gasp, he pulled his mouth away, his hand letting go of mine to latch around my chest, pulling me into his frame, letting me love the feel of him warm and a little sweaty around me. He was panting. Hugging me. That big body wrapped around me, his penis only slightly softening.

I couldn’t find a single word to say that would be appropriate for what I was feeling right then, much less come up with a sentence that would do the moment justice. Settling my head under his chin, I let out a rattled exhale of exhaustion. Aiden’s hand cupped my breast, his mouth lingering at the space below my ear. I was boneless, painless, ecstatic, and relieved. When his palm squeezed my breast, I tipped my head back and searched for his mouth. Aiden, in that way of his that always knew everything, found my lips. His tongue met mine, tasting, exploring, savoring.

As the minutes dragged on, Aiden hardened. I felt that thick muscle inside of me lengthen, and continue getting longer, driving me instinctively back toward his hips, driving him deeper. Filling, so damn filling. But it was more than that elemental need for an orgasm that turned me on. It was Aiden’s body, his warmth, his mouth, the way every part of him was big and how perfectly in control of himself he was.

I loved Aiden. I more than loved him, and that made all the difference.

When he pulled out of me at the same time he ripped his mouth away, this noise that sounded like a whine came out of me for only a split second as his hand trailed down the front of my thigh. “Come here,” he said in that rocky rough voice that was lower and huskier than normal. He ran his hot palm up my hamstring before palming one of butt cheeks. “I want you on top of me,” he whispered. “I need you,” he used the same words he’d used on me so many months ago.

I didn’t need to be told twice. Getting to my knees, I went to his side, a little nervous, a little shy despite what we’d just done. Aiden was sprawled on his back, his boxer briefs were caught on his massive thighs just below the pink sac I’d been fondling minutes ago. Nestled into the base of rich brown pubic hairs, his swollen penis bobbed shiny and wet with his come and mine down to the root, the shaft mauve-colored against the trail of dark hair starting at his belly button.

“You are the sexiest man I’ve ever seen,” I blurted out, shaking my head as I took his lower body in again.

The small smile that crossed his face sent a shiver down my spine. He reached forward and brushed the pads of his index and middle fingers along my two lower lips. “You have no idea what you do to me, Van. No. Idea.” He repeated the motion. “Do you want to know how many times I’ve jerked off to you in this bed? In the shower? Every day I wanted a little more from you and a little more, and it hasn’t been enough.”

Good grief.

The only thing I knew for sure I wanted in that moment was his shirt off. He must have been thinking something along the same lines because his fingers went to my shirt. Before I knew it, it had been thrown to the floor, my underwear tugged off and flying in the same direction. As Aiden pulled his shirt over his head, I pulled his boxers down those muscular legs taking my time to touch those impressive muscles, my thumbs streaking up the inside of his thighs on the way back up.

Without a word, with those eyes burning a path all over my breasts and face, Aiden sat up reaching for my hips. His lips caught my nipple in the process. I was on my hands and knees straddling him a moment later, dragging the seam between my legs over the straining erection at the center of that endless body.

And then I was reaching back, aligning that broad tip against me, fully aware of how wet I was from him coming in me and loving the idea he didn’t care. His moan got lost in mine as I sank onto him slowly, his mouth hovering over the nipple he’d been sucking on. Aiden’s hands guided me to move over him. His lips urged me on, catching one breast and then the other, moving to the space between them with peppered kisses.

When I rocked back, sheathing him in me completely, Aiden laid flat on his back. His chin went high, the tendons along his neck straining. I swallowed up the sight of him naked, those wide shoulders against the pale gray of his covers, his sculpted pectorals rising and falling with his choppy breathing. My two favorite things to take in were the ridged muscles of his six-pack flexing on and off, and seeing my thighs along his hips and sides.

I couldn’t stop myself from leaning forward, planting one hand on the mattress beside his head, the other going to the center of his chest, his skin was hot, his muscles hard. One of his hands went up to cup the back of my head, bringing my face down for him to catch me in an open mouth kiss. We were in that position, still linked with our lips when he started drilling his hips up. We were still making out when I came, my inner muscles rippling, lost in my orgasm, when his penis twitched and he let out a hoarse groan, coming again.

I pretty much collapsed on him at that point, breathing harder than after I’d finished the marathon, more euphoric than ever in my life. Our bodies being aligned was overwhelming. His heart beating under my chin was more than I ever could have imagined.

His arms wrapped around my back, keeping my breasts against his slightly sweaty chest. Aiden hummed above my head, “I love you.”

And I hummed right back, my entire soul swelling. “I know.” Because I did. “I love you, too.”

“I know,” he said in return. The closeness between our bodies more apparent than ever in that moment.

“You really want me to go to Colorado with you?”

“What have I told you about stupid questions?” he asked. “Yes, I want you to.”

I smiled. “Sheesh. I just wanted to make sure. I want to go. I want to be where you are.” Before I thought twice about it, I told him what I would realize later was the most significant absolute truth in my life. “Home is where you are. I would go anywhere for you if you wanted me to be there.”

One of Aiden’s palms slid down the length of my spine, ending at the small of my back. He seemed to talk into my hair. “I don’t know anything about relationships, Van, but I know I love you. I know I’ve waited my entire life to love you, and I’ll do whatever I have to, to make this work.”

Maybe that was the thing about love I never understood before Aiden. Like football and art, like anything that anyone in the world has ever wanted, love was a dream. And just like a dream, there were no assurances behind it. It didn’t grow on its own. It didn’t blossom without food to feed it.

It was the greatest in its subtleties.

It was the strongest in its selflessness.

And it could be forever with someone who wasn’t afraid to never give up on the possibilities it presents.


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