Fingers like fire. They covered me, enveloped me until I was absolutley lost with in them. His lips were smooth like sandpaper on my skin. They moved over me, carefully finding somewhere new they could explore. Warmth, as they found my lips. Aching as his tongue found mine. Eyes like stars, drunk on beauty. Somehow, we were in a room, a dark orange room, bathed in firelight. A rug, that was all. Strange and seductive. I could not pull away from him even if I wanted to. My entire body hurt, hurt with happiness. So perfect, so beautiful I could fold in on myself. Soft tendrils of hair on my chest, kissing my shoulder. My small hands in that hair, returning him to me. My lips covered his, my hands wandering over his pale shoulders.

Hands on my thigh, pulled me closer. Our legs tangled. His breath in sharp bursts as he disconnected and connected our lips. And then. Everything changing. His hand clutched mine, fingers entwining. Arm around my waist as we lay together. Supporting me, keeping me safe. Kisses on my closed eyelids, eyelashes, nose. Chin over my shoulder. Skin to skin, body to body, heart to heart, soul to soul. We became each other. Where do I stop? Where does he begin? Hand around the back of my head, leaning me down, down. His hand trailed down, over my skin, making me shiver. It rested on my heart. I could feel my heartbeat under his fingertips. Feel his warmth above me.

His long dark hair. His greener than green eyes. I knew this face. I knew this person. This was all intoxicatingly just right. His eyes were so curious as he looked at me, stared at me, as if he wanted to know all my secrets. He smiled a smile that spread through his entire face, to his green eyes. So beautiful, so beautiful. So heartbreakingly perfect. My emotions rushing through me like a wave that could not wait to meet the shore.

And then...sunlight. Filtering through my window, onto my head. My tired eyes opened slowly, taking in the sight of my pure white room. Nothing was out of place, and yet everything was. This wasn't where I'd just been. I'd just been in a strange room, where light danced and I felt so perfect and beautiful. I'd been somewhere that else, somewhere, someone...different. Someone who would let a boy touch her, kiss her like that. Someone who would lay so close to a boy that she swore their hearts were connected. That couldn't have been me.

I lay in my white bed, with the duvet up around my shoulders, a grimace on my face, thinking. I couldn't stop replaying the dream over and over in my mind. I tried to tell myself it was because it was so blasphemous that I needed to sort it all through, but I knew it was because the dream made me feel so tingly, from my fingers all the way down to my toes. I closed my eyes and felt the rush of feelings, happiness, beauty, perfection, harmony, everything come back to me in a swoop. I couldn't help it. The dream was wonderful. But still unnerving. I knew the boy, even though I knew I shouldn't have. I'd seen his face so many times at school since I'd moved here in fifth grade. He had a poetic face that seemed to hide all the secrets of the world, with greener eyes than grass in the pinnacle of summer.

But I still should not be dreaming about him, and that was the only part of the dream that upset and disconcerted me. I couldn't even imagine why I'd even thought of him. My mother had told me that sometimes, dreams helped us sort through things, but what I needed to sort through with him, I had no idea. We were so far away from each other that I wasn't even sure he knew I existed.

"Clio, are you up?" my mother's voice came from the other side of the door.

Licking my lips, I croaked out a quiet "Yes, I'll be downstairs in a minute!" and struggled out of bed. The cold of my room was a shock for my nearly bare body. I looked down at the floor of my room and saw my black sweatpants, the ones I usually slept in, on the floor in a heap. It had been a cold November night. What would have made me so hot that I had to take off my sweatpants? With a blush, I suddenly knew the answer, just as an image of his lips on my neck forced its way into my mind.

I picked up my sweatpants and dressed quickly in dark, straight jeans and a striped Polo shirt. I ran a brush through my straight, light hair and made sure my diamond ear bobs were still secure in my ears. Picking up a cashmere cable knit Cardigan and my bookbag, I headed downstairs where I was greeted by two Iron supplement pills and a glass of water. I took them straight away, such is the life of the anemic. When I was dignosed with anemia when I was fifteen, I wasn't surprised. I'd been tired all the time. It wasn't a huge deal, not like being diabetic. I take Iron supplements everyday, and if I forget, I get even more tired than I already am. But I don't forget.

My mom picked lint off of my sweater and scrutinized me, the way she always did. "You look very nice," she said at last and I breathed a sigh of relief. If I was looking shabby, she'd make me change. I only smiled slightly in return and passed by her to pour myself some cereal. It was boring shredded wheat, but having a mom who constantly worries about her diet means no interesting food. And half of the food she did eat was Weight Watchers food, which left my dad and I to our own devices. I ended up cooking for the both of us, most of the time, while my mother ate a microwave dinner.

When I finished the cereal and started slurping the remaining milk, I got a glare from my mother. Sheepishly, I put my bowl down and once again picked up my school bag, just as my dad was walking down the stairs. "All right, well, I'm going to school now. See you later," I said to both of them, very awkwardly. We were a strange family, connected by a small thread that somehow ran through each one of us that was always, at one point or another, threatening to break.

"Bye Clio," said my mother.

"See ya, kiddo," came from my dad. I gave them both sympathetic smiles and escaped out the door. It always bordered slightly arduous, being with them and all. It was only one of the times that I'd wish my older brother, Trent, still lived at home. He always knew how to make everything easy and comfortable. I was too slow, clumsy and awkward. I was the one who always had a head filled with complete nonsense. I was the one they shook their head at. I'm the one everyone shakes their head at. No one gets mad at me anymore when they catch me not listening to them. Not even the teachers.

Walking to my silver Volvo, I was suddenly vicegripped with a fleeting feeling of pain so beautiful it made me want to cry. In my head I saw fingers coming together, clasping like lovers. His chin over my shoulder, holding me close and tightly, keeping me safe and secure in his strong arms. His hand on my heart, my heart beating so loud. I pushed it out of my head. This was silly. Tomorrow, or even maybe later in the day, I'd forget about this dream and that boy, that boy that I shouldn't even be thinking about.

I drove to school, very distracted, which actually was not much different than I usually drove. It was a wonder I hadn't gotten into an accident in the five months I'd had my lisence and thus, this car. I didn't drive with other people, and not just because it wasn't allowed, I knew some friends who hadn't had their lisence for long enough that still drove others around. I wouldn't put anyone elses life in my own hands, I wouldn't be careful enough with it, I knew. My hands made the turns, my feet pressed down on the pedals and I was at school before I even had time to notice. I parked quickly and badly, in the back of the parking lot, where I wouldn't be in anyone's way.

My feet dragged as I walked to meet my friends, a usual habit of mine. It wasn't as if I walked deliberatly dragging my feet, I just tended to shuffle like a senile eighty year old man.

"Clio! Clio!" I heard my name as I got closer and closer to the school. I looked up to see three of my friends standing around my best friend in the entire world, Helena Carmichael. With wavy black hair, high eyebrows and high cheekbones, Helena looked like an exotic princess, only more seductive and gorgeous in a way that I would never be. A pang of envy, which by now, was normal, went through me, but I smiled and waved to my friends. Helena ran up to me and caught my arm, practically dragging me towards our friends, talking this and that about a boy who had been following her around all yesterday. My other three friends enveloped me and then we were like a large, amorphous mass that was moving in an aimless direction.

I almost wanted to laugh. We never had any idea where we were going, we were nomads. But we were a pack of nomads. We would wander, but we would not wander alone. We refused loneliness as if being alone was a plague. I was in the middle of this conglomeration, and it was in this safety of a cacoon that I saw him.

Today should not be different. I usually saw him at least once a day, he was not hard to notice. I shouldn't care that here was coming the boy I'd had a dream about, the one I couldn't keep my mind off of. My eyes flickered from him and away, as if he could see into my mind and read my dreams. But it was no use. Even when I wasn't watching him, I was, out of my periphery. It was not his clothes that marked him as odd. His clothes were fitted jeans and a black long sleeved teeshirt. It was the way he carried himself that made him different, unique...or as the gossipy girls in my school would say, 'freak'. He walked too straight, and his green eyes never seemed to look at anyone. His jaw was always set into a peaceful line and I don't think anyone had ever seen him smile. He didn't look angry, or upset, he just looked as if he always had a place to go and people to meet, even though he had no friends. I'd never heard him speak.

But I couldn't help it. His face was one of such haunting elegance that matched the smooth way he took his strong, quick strides. My bones ached for him, and I wanted to break from my amoeba and touch him the way he touched me. I wanted to lace my fingers with his. I blinked, several times, my heart pulsing louder and faster as he walked by. I even turned my head to watch him go and I was verging on tears when I realized that he hadn't even noticed me. He didn't even know who I was.

"Carson Knight is so weird. He never talks to anyone." The whisper was from Ella Stark, the girl next to me. I looked at her as she looked at us, head bent low, voice quiet, gossipy, mean. I swallowed and looked back at his retreating form. I shut my eyes tightly for only a moment, pulling on every want and desire that had ever pulsed out of me, wishing that I could forget about that stupid dream. That I could forget about Carson Knight's green eyes smiling down to me, his skin against mine, his lips on mine, his fingers, him, him...

"Yeah. What a freak," I muttered back, turning my head forward to see the nods of agreement from my four friends. Our comments sparked a conversation in them about the losers of the school and I let my friend's chatter rise high above me and engulf me so wholly that I had no chance of ever escaping.