A/N- My other story 'Jude' has gotten away from me like a rabid puppy that's chewed through it collar. So I've given it this story as a chew toy to take it's angstiness out on. I'll be updating both now. I like writing lighthearted stories that make people smile, but for some reason I've been hit with the urge to write some angst. So, enjoy! And remember that whole thing about the narrator not always being a dependable source...yeah...

Warning: Slash, abuse, mild swearing

How Long is Forever?


Today is the proudest day of my life.

Walking across that stage, ridiculous gown and cap on, with my boyfriend Jesse in the audience, was the best feeling I've had in a long time. It was surreal to feel that piece of paper in my hand, declaring me a college graduate. All the while pomp and circumstance played in the background.

It's like time slowed down for a second, in honor of the moment. Of course, I almost missed my life altering moment; since I was too busy concentrating on not tripping on my gown like the fumbling idiot I am. At the last moment I heard Jesse call out my name, and I turned to see him grinning proudly. That's when it hit me. All those years of hard work and suffering at the bottom of the school hierarchy have finally paid off.

Now I'm walking into my favorite bar, where my friends are waiting for me. It's a quiet, neighborly sort of way and I can immediately spot my friends. I walk toward the rowdy table in the corner. It's just five of us: Jesse, two friends from my old part-time job James and Rebecca, and my cousin Sandy.

I frown for a moment at the absence of several people I had imagined being here for this: my parents, my childhood best-friend Ronnie, and other good friends. Somehow, over the last two years my relationships with them have disintegrated. The cause of that drift is my relationship with Jesse.

Shaking my head, I push those thoughts out of my mind. They might not want me, but I know who does.

I sneak up behind Jesse and put my hands on his eyes, like a little kid. What can I say? I'm high off life right now. I hear Jesse laugh in recognition and he swats my hands away. I move to stand next to him. I'm greeted by a chorus of hellos and congratulations from the others. I wave my hand in a general sort of greeting.

"Congratulations, Baby," says Jesse, putting his arm around my waist and pulling me down next to him in the both.

I settle in comfortably against his larger body. Jesse is too good for me, and deep down we both know it. He's way out of my league, and I really don't know why he stays with me. I'm just grateful.

Jesse's the epitome of cool, leather jacket included. With the looks of a Nordic god, all light blonde hair and icy blue eyes. Not to mention being 6'4 and muscular. And even though he has a few problems, he's a really sweet guy.

He kisses the tip of my nose and I giggle. I don't even bother trying to pass of my giggle as a manly chuckle. It's not.

Just like I'm nowhere near cool. I don't even own leather, being a vegetarian. I'm not tall or strongly built, or particularly attractive for that matter. I'm just…average. With my short dark hair and brown eyes, I blend into any crowd like the best of the wallflowers.

"So, did you pick what school you're going to be working at, Kaylen?" Sandy asks me, jolting me out of my depressing train of thought.

My degree is in history with a minor in education, so I've been applying to several high schools as a history teacher. I got two offers. One from Swift High, a poor urban school with a lot of problems, and Hidden Meadows Academy, essentially a rich kid's school. I had known immediately I wanted to go to Swift. It's where I feel I can really make a difference.

"I'm going to go with Swift." I answer excitedly.

I feel Jesse stiffen next to me, his arm tightening almost painfully around my waist. I know he wants me to pick Hidden Meadow. They're offering a higher salary. He's not working right now, and we need the money.

"He's going to Hidden Meadows." Jesse says, chuckling lightly, but with an edge of finality to his voice.

Silence falls on the table for a few minutes, the awkward moment getting the best of all of us. Sandy frowns and looks like she's about to say something. While James and Rebecca, whom I really don't know that well, occupy themselves looking at their menus. I squirm in Jesse's grip, until he loosens his hold.

The waiter comes to take our orders, finally breaking the silence. After that, things go back to normal and we spend the rest of the night drinking and eating in celebration.

Around 1 am, we all part ways. I hug Sandy, promising to call her later in the week. James and Rebecca leave holding hands, making me question how good of friends they really are. Jesse has been drinking hard and is now drunk. I only had a couple of beers, but decide to call a cab anyways. Jesse whispers something in my ear about continuing the celebration at home, and I grin.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Kay."

I'm on the floor, back against the wall of the kitchen, silently gasping for air. My hands are clawing uselessly at my throat, desperate for oxygen. I try to calm myself, forcing myself to take slow deep breaths, ignoring my bruised throat. My sight, which had darkened from lack of oxygen, slowly begins to recede, letting me see Jesse's worried face, just inches away from my own.

He's kneeling in front of my limp body, his legs between my own. His sky colored eyes, which only seconds ago had been ice, are filled with sorrow and remorse. I watch as a tear slides down the contours of his beautiful face, sliding down to the tip of his nose. It stays there for a moment, clinging to his pale skin, before falling away. The tear drop lands on the back of one of my hands, and I continue to stare at it. It is mine. His offering to me.

I look up, and our eyes meet. His blue and my hazel, mixing in a sea of emotion.

His hand touches my cheek with such tender care, it makes me forget their brutal strength as they pressed around my neck.

"You know I never mean to hurt you. It's just…I love you so much Kay. Kaylen…Baby. You know that don't you?" His voice is soft, barely a whisper.

I nod.

I know he love me. He didn't mean to hurt me. It's just that when he gets upset, he can't help himself. We had a fight about what school offer I should accept as soon as we got home and things got out of hand. I know I shouldn't have upset him like that. It's really my fault.

He smiles softly, leaning forward to place a kiss on the tip of my nose. I smile back.

"Let's go to sleep. Ok?" He asks, his voice already gaining some of it's life back. "We'll talk about it tomorrow."

"All right." I rasp, grimacing at the pain speaking causes.

He helps me up and we make our way to our bedroom. I avoid looking in the mirror that hangs on the far side of the room, by the dresser. I know there are already dark angry bruises forming on the sallow skin of my neck. An ugly reminder of what I made Jesse do. I grab some aspirin in the bathroom and swallow them painfully.

The next few minutes are spent in comfortable silence as we perform our nightly routine. Brushing our teeth, undressing, slipping into bed. We have been performing the same routine now for two years, and the familiar actions bring me comfort.

I burrow myself into the soft blankets, being careful not to jostle my tender neck. I hear Jesse turn off the lights. Tomorrow will be another day, and I will deal with it when it comes. But today, I need everything to be ok.

I feel the bed dip as Jesse slips into the bed besides me. I can feel him as he settles against the back of my body. His strong body warm against my skin. I smile at the way we fit together so well. I am already drifting off into sleep, when I feel the soft skin of his lips against the back of my neck. And I know everything is ok.

A/N: Please let me know what you think. I'm trying to be carefull not to make Kay into a stereotypical victim character, but I need him to react realistically for someone in his situation. Don't worry, things get better for him...eventually.