Wow. I thought I would never get this chapter up. I'm SOOO sorry to everyone for taking so long. I started a new job and they have me working a lot. On to of that I've been getting prepped for college. I start and the beginning of next year. I'm so nervous!!!

Well, again, I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry. I swear I will try to update on a more regular bases from know on!

Hold On

Chapter Six: The Perfect Gift


Blake's POV


"Blake," I heard Jay yell from the next isle over, "Hurry the hell up. I don't want to be late because of your apparent lack of taste!" There was an odd mix of humor and anger in her voice.

We were out shopping, just the two of us. Although, I began to regret asking for her help. It was Caleb's birthday, and I had yet to buy him a gift. I had procrastinated for far to long, and now there I was, twenty minutes before we were to be at the restaurant, and I was scurrying around desperately looking for a gift.

"I can't find anything Jay," I pouted, "I don't just don't now what to get him."

"Damn it Blake," she said, now mysteriously next to me, "You're a gay man and you can't shop! What's up with that?"

I just stared at her. That was the first time she ever actually used the word 'gay' to describe me. Sure, we talked about guys all the time and she clearly accepted me for me, but never in all the time I had known her had shed openly called me gay. It was odd, but not unpleasantly so.

"I'm sorry," I said, avoiding her eyes. She always had a way of staring me down when she was frustrated.

"No, don't be sorry," she said, walking backwards toward the store entrance, "Be quick. I'll be waiting in the car. If you're not out in ten minutes, I'm leaving you." She blew me a kiss from afar and dashed for the doors.

"Damn," I whispered to myself, "Think Blake, Think." I was hitting myself over the head. How could I put this off all week? I would feel like such a jerk to show up with no gift.

'I bet Brent would have gotten Caleb something by now,' I thought to myself. Damn it. Ever sense last weekend, all I heard the girls talk about was this guy Brent. All I heard about was that damn kiss. Every time I think about it, my stomach clenches. My blood boils. A sense of urgency sweeps over me. What happens if Caleb really likes him? What if tonight is my last chance to tell him how I really feel?

"I need the perfect gift," I kept telling myself over and over. I needed to get him something personal, something from me to him that he could look at and remember… me...

That's when I saw it. I was walking aimlessly pass the jewelry, thinking nothing of what I saw as I passed. But out of the corner of my eye I saw it, a white gold chain necklace. It was simple yet elegant, with small links and a symbol of two entwined hearts, which separated to create two separate charms, hanging from it.

"Perfect," I whispered to myself. "Excuse me sir," I said to the man behind the counter. His back had been toward me.

The man behind the counter turned to me and smiled devilishly. It was one of those looks you expect to see on a used car sells man to have, clever and sneaky.

"What can I do for you today young man." The tone in his voice was insulting. He was speaking down at me, not to me. I didn't like him the least bit.

"Yes," I hesitated. Did I really want to know how much the necklace was? It was the perfect gift, but I knew I'd been crushed if I was unable to afford it.

"Yes?" The man mocked.

"Yes," I said more sternly, "How much this that necklace." I pointed to it through the glass case.

"Oh that one," He said, his smile getting wider, "That one is a beauty. I must say you have taste young sir."

If only Jay had heard him say that.

"You didn't answer my question."

"Your right, I didn't," he was using that tone again, "Because I know you can't afford it."

"Try me," I was trying to sound as imposing as possible.

"$90," He said, "And that just for the chain. The charm is another $40."

I knew it. I couldn't afford it. All I had was $75 and my dad's credit card. And I knew He'd kill me for buying something that expensive simply for a friend's birthday. But Caleb was more then just a friend. You don't have strong urges to kiss 'just friends'.

I looked up at the man. "I…" I stopped. I had to get out of there. Jay was waiting.

I walked out of the store rather solemnly, hands in my jacket pocket. It was freezing outside, and the first snow of the season was impending. Jay was parked just outside, waiting rather impatiently. I climbed in quickly, not wanting in cause her temper to rise.

She looked over and noticed I wasn't holding anything.

"You still didn't find anything," she said in disbelief.

"I did," I said, glancing over at her quickly, "But it was really expensive."

"How expensive?"

"$130," I said flatly.

"Oh…" she didn't say anything. She just put the car in drive and started toward the restaurant.

We pulled up minutes later. Jay reached back and grabbed a gift bag from the seat that contained her gift for Caleb. She looked up at with sympathetic eyes.

"Hey Blake. If you want, we can say this is from both of us," she smiled lightly at me, "I wouldn't mind."

"But I would. That's from you and you alone."

I climbed out of the car into the bitter air. We both walked briskly into the restaurant.

We spotted Lisa and Beth sitting in a far corner table with Nathan. Caleb was nowhere to be found.

"Hey babe," Nathan said as we approached. He stood, pulled out her seat like a gentleman and kissed her quickly.

"Where's Caleb," Jay enquired, "This is his birthday right?"

"Yes it is my birthday," A voice said from behind her.

Caleb stood there, with a tight white shirt and loose jeans. And red, swollen eyes.

"Caleb…" I said softly looking him with awe. It looked as if he had been crying for hours.

"Its nothing," he said quickly putting on a rather fake looking smile. "I'm hungry, lets eat."

We all ordered, no one bring up Caleb's rather solemn entrance.


Caleb's POV


It was bitter cold out. Clouds rose with each breath I took. It was also dark; night had crept long ago. I had gone out for a walk, as had become habit for me, and found myself once more in the city park. It had become like a rather interesting routine. I never walked to the park; rather I just went for walks and ended up at the park, if that makes any sense.

I sat down on the swing set, overlooking the river. It was oddly unnerving. The beautiful lights that normally shown over the glassy surface where extinguished. It was three in the morning and all the clubs and shops on the other side of the river had all closed for the night, leaving me without my usual visual illustrations across the water.

Thoughts of dinner flooded my mind. It had been my first birthday without them, and it had taken its toll on me. I had broken down in the restaurant bathroom only moments before Jay and Blake made their arrival. The food was fine at that, what little of it I actually ate that is. And the gifts where all nice as well. Lisa and Beth had pitched in to buy me a few hours at a local message parlor. Nathan had gotten me a book of piano sheet music, most of which I already knew, but I smiled and thanked him with out letting him know. And Jay and Caleb had gotten me photo album, to record all our memories of senior year. The first few pages were all complete, flashing pictures of our their first few months and some of the days following my arrival.

I had noticed though, when Jay had said the gift was from her and Blake, he seemed on edge and looked at her with almost fiery eyes like she had said something wrong. But she only smiled at him and nothing was said, so I was quick to dismiss the gesture.

The surface of the river began to stir as a gentle, yet frigid breeze began to blow through. I was pulled from my thought, how every brief before being plugged into my memories.

"Caleb, would you please but your seat belt on."

"Do as your mother says son."

"Richard, shut up and keep your eyes on the road, I'll deal with him."

"Don't talk to me like that, I have as much right to discipline him as you do. You baby the boy to much May, that's why he is the way his."

"God damn it Richard, don't talk like that. And keep you damn eyes on the road.

"I said leave me alone woman!"




"Caleb!" I was snapped out of my thoughts, silent tears slowly flowing. I was quick to wipe them away, not wanting anyone to see me in such a state.

I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked up to see Blake's kind eyes looking back at me. His hands quickly moved to my back and he gently pushed. The swing began to move back and forth slightly, Blake pushing me, neither of us saying a word.

Then he stopped.

I didn't hear him move, nor did I see him on either of the swings around me. I was afraid to look behind me. I was afraid of what I might see. I was afraid I would see nothing, afraid that the entire event had been nothing more then a fantasy… a dream.

Then he passed in front of me a slowly walked towards a bench on the edge of the river. He only looked back at me once, as though asking me to follow him… I did.

I hesitantly sat down. Being this close to the water was frightening for me. Sense that night, this had been the closest I had been to any large body of water.

"You were crying," he said softly.

"What do you mean?"

"At the restaurant. Then again, on the swing set. You were crying." He never looked at me. Maybe he was afraid of what he would see.

"No… I mean…"

"You were crying," he repeated, "And I wish you would tell someone."

I looked over at him.

"There's nothing to tell," I said rather flatly.

"That's bull shit," He sounded almost angry, finally looking at me intensely.

"What?" I was beginning to feel uncomfortable.

"Sense the day you arrived, all Jay, Lisa. Beth and I have been trying to do is get you to open up to us. To talk to us, sure; you hang out, and laugh and joke." He paused for a moment, "But there is an ugly black shadow hanging over everything you do. I tcauses you pain Caleb, and it hurts me to see you like this."

"Blake, just stop," I said quietly.

"No, I won't stop. Not until you tell me what it is that can make someone as beautiful as you feel so ugly."

"Do you mean that?" I asked in shock.

"Yeah I mean it. I will not leave you alone, you will not have a waking moment where I'm not breathing down your neck."

"No," I said shaking my head, "About the other part. Do you really think I'm beautiful?"

A small smile formed across his lips as he reached out with his right hand cupped my face. "No…" His thumb slowly caressing me skin, "To call you beautiful would be an insult. You are so much more then that."

I felt a lump form in my throat. I couldn't say anything. All I could do was close my eyes and lightly nuzzle into hand. After a moment, he dropped his hand and I opened me eyes.

"Now please Caleb will you talk to me?"

He still expected me to talk. But what would I say. I was forced to live that night over and over. How could I be sure that verbalizing it would not only make it worse? I stood slowly, turning my back to with my arms crossed over my chest; the cold was becoming more pungent.

"Fine," He said, a hint of spite in his voice, "But I'll be back to see you tomorrow."

I had to do something. I had to say something, or he would be gone.

I turned around quickly before he had a chance to even stand.

"It was raining that night. It was raining and it was cold………….. My parents and I where coming back from a dinner party at some high class museum opening. I was sitting in the back, ignoring my mom. 'Put your seat belt on' she said over and over. But I just ignored her. I was good at that, ignoring her I mean. She never punished me."

I paused looked up to see if he had been following me so far. He only nodded.

"Then my dad started yelling at me. 'Listen to your mother' he said. Then my mom started yelling at my dad. He wasn't watching the road. He wasn't watching the road an..d… and… it was raining." A tear rolled down my cheek. "There…. There was a truck………………. It had lost control and came into our lane." And another. "My dad… he… he swerved to miss it, but ran off the road." And another. "We went off a small ledge and into….." and another, and another, and another, "We went into the river."

I wanted Blake to hold me then. I wanted to feel his arms around me. But he hadn't moved. He still sat in on the bench, determined for me to tell him the whole story.

"They where knocked unconscious…. I… I got out of one of the windows. It had broke… I tried to swim up, I really did. But my legs, they were hurt really bad. I couldn't get to the surface. I tried and tried but I couldn't. Everything began to get fuzzy. My… my arms felt heavy… and… and…….. that's all I remember. I woke up two days later to find Jessie asleep next to me in the ER."

I couldn't stop crying. I hurt I so many ways. I felt so weak, so vulnerable. I looked at Blake, hoping to see so sort of comfort from him. But he wasn't looking at me. He had his eyes closed and his face in his hands. I turned away from him again. I body was shaking, partly from the cold and partly from my weeping.

Then there was an eerie silence, one that was broken by the crunching of leave and then….

"Shhhh…." I heard him say into my right ear. Then I felt his arms begin to wrap around me. I still cried.

"Shhhh…" he said again, "I'm here for you."

I turned in his grip so we were face to face. He brought one had to my face to wipe away my tears before dropping them all together. I saw him reach into he pocket as though he was going to get something. I was confused. What could he possible be getting?

"Turn around," he said softly, "Turn back around and close you eyes."

I did what I was told. I found it oddly weird. What was this all about? Then I felt him pulling my hair back. Then I felt something fall across my neck.

"Now turn around," He said, "And open your eyes." I did just that, and looked down at what he had put strung around my neck.

I was in shock. I was a necklace. A white gold necklace. The charm was gorgeous, a flowing heart. Then I looked at Blake's neck. He was wearing the same it too, he had on the same charm.

"Blake," I said in wonder, "I can't take this… it must have cost you a fortune."

"Yes," he said, wrapping his arms around me again, "You can take it. And you will take it."

"But why?"

"Do you see these two hearts," I looked down at the two charms. "They connect. They are a symbol of love."

I looked up quickly, not believing what I had heard.

"I love you Caleb," He said with the utmost certainty.

"I…." I could only stair into his eyes, "I… I mean… I lo… love you… Blake."

He smiled that perfect smile of his. And I smiled as well.

Our faces began to inch closer together. One of his hands moved to the back of my neck. Our lips met, tenderly and warmly. Then he parted his lips. As did I. And for the first time in months I felt as though everything was right. I felt like everything was ok.

Our kiss was interrupted by a cold sensation on my check. And then another on my nose. We both looked up to see a curtain of white falling from the sky. The years first snow. It fell around us, so beautiful and serene. I leaned forward, kissing Blake again. He smiled at me afterward.

"The perfect gift," I whispered into his ear, "This was the perfect gift."

To Be Continued…

Well there you go!!! I almost cried writing this cause I bring back memories of my first kiss, which Is what gave me inspiration for the chapter. I must say this chapter has been written, then re-written. Then completely deleted and written again. Then re-written. I wanted to make it perfect. Well, I'm not sure if the final product could be call perfect, but its as close as I can get and I'm happy with it!