He grinned when the door opened, and she stood before him. She returned the smile and opening the door wider grabbed his wrist and pulled him in. He wrapped his arms around her waist and lifted her off her feet before kissing her. Kissing her is so different from all the other girls. Sure she is a great kisser and she has incredible full lips. After kissing her though there's a haze. You're left completely vulnerable until the lingerence wears off. At first he hadn't enjoyed feeling left so open. No one is supposed to see him like that. It didn't matter. She's never hurt him. Not intentionally at least…

"Mmm g'morning," she whispered against his lips. He smiled and nuzzled his nose against hers.

"I missed you. Why did you leave this morning?" The smile disappeared and she slipped out of his arms back onto her own two feet. He tried to hold her to his chest but she gently pushed back.

"Timber?" He frowned and watched her slightly pace in front of him. "What's the matter?"

"My grandparents are here. They'd be so disappointed…I wasn't supposed to leave last night." He crossed his arms stubbornly over his chest. There's no love lost between him and Mr. and Mrs. Mayfield. They don't try and pretend that they like him. It's more than obvious they think their granddaughter deserves better than him. He agrees but isn't going to yank himself out of the picture.

"Great…guess that ruins my plans for today." She bit down hard on her bottom lip. This is the last thing she wants. She loves both her grandparents and her boyfriend dearly. Her parents don't have a problem with Jeremiah.

"Please don't start. They don't come down often."

"Yeah right," he grumbled rolling back his eyes. "This is only the third time this month. I don't think we've spent a weekend together for a while now."

"Jeremiah they think they're doing what's in my best interest."

"And what do you think?" She sighed and walked over to him. Trying to take his hand he held it tightly to his body. He's pissed, she groaned inwardly to herself. I hate when he puts up a wall.

"I love you," she said simply and firmly. He visibly relaxed enough to let her take one of his hands. She held it gently with both of hers and brought it up to her lips. "That's not what I think. It's what I know." He smiled again feeling a little better. That was until…

"Jeremiah…it's early isn't it?" The voice came from the top of the stairs. Timber didn't move her eyes from Jeremiah's face. He did look up at Mr. Mayfield. Dislike washed across the older man's face and stayed as his granddaughter back faced him.

"Good morning Mr. Mayfield. I actually came to see if Timber wanted to go have breakfast with me." His lips formed into an 'o' and then shook his head. At that gesture he knew he wouldn't be spending this day or the next with her.

"The whole family is going out for brunch later. This is going to be a weekend for the family." Timber flinched uncontrollably at her grandfather's harsh words. It was like he was rubbing it in her boyfriend's face.

"I'm sure mom and dad wouldn't mind if he came along." Jeremiah lowered his head and looked at her.

"Don't waste your breath princess. I wouldn't be fully welcomed." She shook her head though. Never has she just given up that easily. Her grandparents will get to know him and love him just like everyone else does. He's sweet and genuine. What could they be thinking? Why do they hate him? They didn't even give him a chance.

"Daddy!" she cried when the front door opened. Her father looked startled but then shook it off.

"Good morning sweetie…hello Jeremiah." He then looked up the staircase when he notice the tenseness of the boy's body and his daughter's hurt face. Nodding, "Nole."

"Jason," he mumbled and went back to one of the guestrooms.

"Now that he's gone what's wrong?"

"You know I love grandpa but," she paused and sighed heavily. "I hate how he treats Jeremiah. Grandma does it too. He's my boyfriend and I approve of him. Why can't they?"

"Your mother's parents are stubborn and rude. They hated me too for the longest time. Actually I think they still do." He chuckled to himself. "They wanted their daughter to marry a doctor." He smiled small and came over ruffling his baby girl's hair. "They have such high standards for you. You're gonna be a third generation Mayfield doctor. They just don't want anything to hold you back."

"I won't be a Mayfield doctor though. I'm a Jamieson and Jeremiah would never do that." Jason smiled reassuringly at Jeremiah.

"Of course not sweetie. Me and your mother know that." He transferred the newspaper to his other hand and patted Jeremiah on the back. Leaning forward he whispered so only the boy could hear. "Fuck my in-laws and get her out of here."

Jeremiah felt good again and once her father disappeared lifted her into his arms again. She buried her head against his neck and wished she hadn't left last night. Instead of leaving this morning she'd still be in his bed curled up against him. Kissing her temple he pulled her away and out of the house. She hadn't stopped him. Thinking it was so they could be outside alone to say bye she opened here eyes when he placed her on the hood of his car.

"Your dad gave me permission to take you away. Where do you want to go princess?" He tucked a golden strand of hair behind her ear and traced

"Anywhere as long as you're there."

Timber can feel the tenseness in Jeremiah's body. They're sitting in the grass slightly leaning against one another. Her arms are wrapped around one of his. She can feel his muscles are tight. If he wasn't wearing a hat she could see his eyes. He's wearing it low casting shadows over his gorgeous face.

"Are you going to tell me or do we have to play fifty questions?" He groaned inwardly. She always seems to know everything. He never gets to sulk.

"I'm fine," he lied. She knew that and the fact hurt her. Keeping her emotions in check she released his arm and slid away slightly. They weren't touching anymore and neither liked the feel.

"Don't do that to me Jeremiah. I'm not one of your stupid cronies. You can't feed me crap."

"Why can't you just let it be? Why is that I have to explain everything? Can't you just let it be?" He turned his head to her and glared. "Damn woman let things be." She moved even further away and sat on her knees. It'll give her an easier transition to get to her feet and run.

"Why should I let you? Then you can wallow in self-pity because I don't care?" He smirked.

"Whatever Timber."

"Did I miss something? When did you become an asshole Jeremiah?" He couldn't believe she said that…and to him! If she wasn't a woman she'd have a black eye. He kept his hands to himself but raised his voice and his eyes took on daggers.

"I'm an asshole?! What in the fuck does that make you? Ms. Perfect always in your god-damn books. Just a walking bitching brain!" He didn't need to say more. That was more than enough. She jumped to her feet but didn't run. He stayed on the ground but still looked more intimidating.

"Fuck you! I can't believe you just said that!"

"Don't like the truth? Well the truth hurts doesn't it?" She could hit on his insecurities just like he did hers. It would be simple. All she'd have to do is call him a dumb jock. She couldn't do it though. Hurting him would hurt her three-fold.

"Yeah I guess it does. Anymore you need to get out? Come on Jeremiah! I'm not letting it be." He then finally stood. It was such a quick smooth movement that she was sure he was going to hit her. He didn't and hasn't ever. Jeremiah stood in front of her with death in his eyes. They were aimed directly at her.

"Stupid bitch. You think you're gonna be a doctor? Who would want to go see a prissy bitch?! I'd rather give myself triple by-pass surgery than trust anything with you!" She stood in front of holding everything back. Why is he doing this? She doesn't deserve this!

"You know what's even more ridiculous than the thought of you being a doctor? Me ever being your boyfriend! How stupid can I be! I hate you! I hate you and any memory I have with you."

"Fine," she said keeping her voice even somehow. "Whatever you want Jeremiah." She brought up her right hand and slipped off the ring he had given her. It had a promise ring but now it wasn't anything. Still holding it all back she took his hand and placed the ring into it. She closed his fingers around it and looked up into his face. The hat still hide his face. She needed to see his face so she reached up and knocked it off her head. It seemed like it fell to the ground in slow motion as his face appeared unaltered.

"Bye Jeremiah," she said having to bite down hard on her tongue. He didn't respond. His face haunted her as she walked away. Anger, confusion, hate, sadness, disgust, longing…but she didn't turn back and he didn't stop her.

He laughed and she buried her face into his shoulder. It was so cute he couldn't help it. She's always doing something cute. If Marisol was here she would be laughing too. Their friend went off tagging along with some cute guy.

"Oh come on honey. I wasn't laughing at you."

"Well you weren't laughing along with me. I didn't find it humourous." Her voice was muffled against his shirt. He bit his tongue and bent his head down placing his lips at her ear. She shivered immediately at the light contact.

"You didn't see it now did you? It was so cute I couldn't help myself."

"I'm not cute and I don't do cute things. Truth be told I'm not your little pet."

"I know. You're my princess." She lifted her head and smirked at him. He gave her a smile in return and kissed her before she could throw daggers from her eyes.

"Mmm. I hate when you kiss me." He frowned not liking the sound of that.

"Why is that?"

"Because I forget everything I'm about to say or why I'm mad at you." That brought his heart melting smile back. It works on every girl and she is not excluded.

"You weren't mad at me. Actually you were telling me how much you love me."

"Oh?" she asked raising an eyebrow. "Was I?" He nodded and with an arm around her waist stroked his thumb on her hip.


"You're such a wounded little boy aren't you? Always needs to be reassured that you're loved." Her fingertips lovingly caressed his cheek. Everyone thinks they know Jeremiah but truth be told only she does. They all love the thought of him. The town is behind their all-star athlete. That's crap. He's not at all two-dimensional as he projects in public. In fact he is a hurt little boy that needs that reassurance. His home life wasn't always as good as it is now.

"Well then let me tell you that there's no way in words I can describe how much. I can only show it in my eyes when I look at only you or when I automatically reach for your hand because I know you're always behind me." She softly kissed his lips placing a hand on his chest over his steady beating heart. "I love you so much Jeremiah," she whispered tenderly against his mouth.

He brought his head back and looked weakened. She smiled softly at him. He looks so adorable like that.

He bent forward and before whispering in her ear took a little nibble. Her ears and her neck are two of his favorite spots to kiss her. She immediately becomes mush when he does it. "Show me?"

She took his hand and pulled him out of the booth of Joe's. He followed obediently looking down at their fingers entwined. Her hands are so tiny and she has nimble slender fingers. No jewelry, he noticed. She never really wears any. The ring…it'll look good on her.

He was thrown roughly against a row of lockers losing his breath and getting an immediate headache. It wasn't a surprised to see a furious Marisol. She was breathing heavily and her nails dug through his shirt to his skin. Of course she's going to be pissed at him. She's Timber's best friend, and they always talk. He had said some horrible things to her. Things that he wishes he could take back. The ring he wished was back on her finger was on a chain around his neck hidden under his shirt. If all possibly he'd get her back. Even if he has to beg he'll get on his hands and feet and grovel.

"I know Marisol. Kill me already because I can't take any of it back." Her face screwed up and tears started cascaded down her cheeks.

"Do you have any idea on what's going on?!" He frowned shaking his head. Marisol has never cried in his appearance before. He's sure she does cry, but he's never seen her do it before. The thought scared him. She can't be so upset about their break-up.

"What's going on?" She didn't respond. A chocked sob escaped her lips making an anvil fall directly on his chest. "Marisol what's wrong?"

"Timber," she croaked tightening her hold on him. Her nails pierced his skin most likely drawing blood and taking his skin. He didn't notice. When she said Timber's name his body started to uncontrollably tremble.

"What about her?" She shook her head not answering. "What about Timber?" he asked louder. She bowed her head sobbing louder. It was scaring him worse than anything he has every experienced. Roughly he grabbed her shoulders and shook her.

"Dammit Marisol! What's wrong? Where's Timber?" People were beginning to stop and watch. They all knew and loved Timber. She's brilliant, popular, beautiful, sweet, humourous, and a great girlfriend to Jeremiah. They all see how happy she makes him.

"Last night we went to Morgan's party. She was upset, but she didn't drink. I watched her and made sure. We stayed a few hours but then went to leave. Some guy came up and started flirting with her. I've never seen him before, and she didn't know him either. He was coming on to her…whispering in her ear…playing with her hair…flirting." Jeremiah stood stoned face although his chest was tightening so fiercely he felt his oxygen supply lessing. The thought of another guy touching his Timber made him both furious and upset.

"She wasn't liking it but went along with him. I tried and finally got to pull her away. I told her not to do this. That she still loves you and you two could work it out. But then," she paused and chocked on another sob but then continued. "Then she said you didn't love her anymore and no one else would." He felt vomit inch up his throat. How could she ever doubt that he could stop loving her? It was impossible!

"She went back to him and then they talked for a few minutes so I couldn't hear. Then she went to his car and was gonna leave without telling me. I grabbed her and stopped before she could get in. I told her not to leave with him. She argued with me, but I couldn't let her go. The guy…he wasn't you. She shoved me down though into a bunch of people and got into the car. By the time I was able to get up the car was speeding away." He didn't enjoy the fact she got into a stranger's car. Something's wrong through. Marisol is crying. Something must have happened to Timber. That guy did something. If he touched her I'll kill him, Jeremiah thought.

"Where is she?" he finally asked. He doesn't care if something happened between them. Nothing will matter until he can hold her and apologize.

"That's just it Jeremiah. I-I don't know. Her parents have called the police and there's a search party. She's…she's missing." He felt like falling to his knees. Timber is gone. Timber is gone? Timber is gone! It can't be happening. I'm gonna kill him, Jeremiah promised to himself. Once Timber is back and alright I'm gonna kill him. First I'll beat the shit out of him until he can't move then I'll kill him!

"Jeremiah! Where are you going?!"

"To her house," he called without looking back.

She threw an arm out reaching for him. All she got was his side empty and the sheet cold. That made her frown. He would have to be gone for a while to make it cool again. She sat up and leaning over the side of his bed picked his shirt off the floor. After buttoning a few buttons she picked up his boxers and slipped them on as well.

"Jeremiah?" she whispered softly. It's possible that one of his siblings are in the room across the hall or next to his. They always just drop by for a few days and then leave again.

He didn't respond so she made her way to the bathroom. She's not about to step out of the door. That little move sent his mother in fits. She doesn't like Timber at all and especially dislikes the fact her son is sleeping with her.

The bedroom door opened before her feet stepped on the cold tiles. Jeremiah grinned at her making her stop in his tracks. Usually when she spends the night he looks giddy but he looks somehow happier. Almost as if the car model actually comes with the car.

"Come here," he said holding open his arms for her.

"My hair is a mess and I haven't brushed my teeth yet. I have atrocious morning breath." He chuckled but shook his head.

"You look beautiful, and you do not. I never have a problem with kissing you in the morning." She smirked but went finally to his open arms. He embraced her tightly just like he always does. If he doesn't hold her firmly then she might disappear. She won't be his best friend, girlfriend, lover, and the one and only love of his life. So what if he's only seventeen? He knows there will never be anyone else for him.

"Thanks love," she murmured against his bare chest. He must have went in his drawer and got another pair of boxers. She's wearing the ones he had on last night.

"You know," he said holding her back slightly so he could admire her supple curvy figure. "You look better in my clothes than I do."

"What can I say? I can make a potato sack look sexy." She was sarcastic and teasing him. He nodded though.

"I don't ever doubt any of your abilities. Especially after last night." Her cheeks flushed a tint of pink making him smile. A temptress and an innocent in one. Lucky is an understatement for him.

"Shush you. So where did you go?"

"I had to get something."

"Something?" she lifted an eyebrow at him. He shook his head.

"Must you always be so adorable? I think I could eat you right now with a spoon." She rolled her eyes back and poked him with her finger in the chest.

"No flirting so early in the morning. I can't retaliate quick enough yet."

"Okay," he laughed and led her back to the bed. She sat at the foot while he still stood.

"Jeremiah what's wrong love? You look like your about to play a football game by yourself." That's what I might feel like afterwards if this doesn't work out, he thought.

"I went to get this," he said holding out a small ring. She hadn't seen it before when he came in. Looking up at it took a minute or two for her eyes to focus. Once she saw the platinum ring with a small diamond her breath caught in her throat.

"I know we're still young and you want to be a doctor. You know I'd never stand in the way of that. I just…I want," he sighed and bowing his hand sank to one knee in front of her.

"I just want to spend the rest of my life in your arms. We don't have to get married until after medical school. This doesn't even have to be an engagement ring…just a promise ring."

She curled a finger under his chin and lifted it so she could see his brilliant emerald eyes. He looks like that insecure innocent boy again. One minute he can be a strong secure man, and the next the little injured boy. She loves both of them deeply. Without them she wouldn't be herself. Just like Jeremiah wouldn't know how to be himself without her she wouldn't know how to be herself without him.

"I know I should have planned this out better. If I had a better speech prepared you-." He was interrupted by her mouth. It was sent firmly on his. He smiled while returning the kiss. The answer is obvious now.

"No. No. No. No." His voice was low and hoarse as he repeated it over and over again. Even if he wanted it be louder he couldn't make it. His throat is raw after hours of vomiting just about everywhere. It's his head too. After he snuck up the stairs and sat in front of her old door to her room he banged his head against it. With every no came a loud thump.

"Jeremiah," a soft gentle voice whispered. Normally he would associate the voice with tenderness and comforting. Not with his mother though. He didn't look up or answer her. She doesn't belong here…not at the wake. Timber was always nice to his mother, but the older woman hated her for unbeknownst reasons to either of them.

She knelt down beside him and reached out to stroke his hair. He quickly jerked his head away avoiding any touch for her. She sighed softly and sat down on the floor. He doesn't eat, talk, or sleep. Well he does talk occasionally but not to her. He'll speak to Marisol or Timber's parents but not to her. Her own son won't even look at her.

"Jeremiah at least look at me. Sitting here sulking and wallowing in self-pity isn't gonna bring her back" He ignored her and continued to knock his head against the door.

"Dammit Jeremiah!" she said raising her voice. "It's not going to bring her back! She's dead and" she stopped quickly. His head had snapped up scaring her.

"Thanks for pointing out the obvious mother. My girlfriend is dead. Now we can go back to the happy home life now huh?" He smirked and pulled his knees up to his chest.

"I know you're upset, but the pain won't last forever. It may not like seem like it but it will."

"Right mom. I forgot you know everything. So when did you lose your soul-mate?" Her mouth opened but then closed again. "Don't start rambling bullshit to me when you have no idea what I'm feeling. The pain isn't just going to go away. It's just gonna get worse! I won't see her anymore in the mornings sleeping in my arms. She won't be here to leave my shirts smelling like her perfume or my pillows to smell like her shampoo. I won't hear her laugh, and I'm afraid I'll forget what her voice sounds like. There won't be any of her books lost under my bed anymore or papers scribbled with notes and my name in the margins. I won't be able to feel her soft skin or her touch. No more quick kisses just because she wants to." He stopped and wiped the tears off his cheeks roughly. "I'm so scared that I'll forget what she looks like. I couldn't handle that. Not after I found my soul."

He started to sob uncontrollably with his forehead on his knees. His mother tried to wrap her arms around him to comfort him but he shoved her away. It was so rough she fell back on her butt and looked at him bewildered.

"Don't ever touch me! This is all your fault! You put all those insecurities in my head! Because of you I pushed her away! She thought I didn't love her anymore! You said all that bullshit that was so far from the truth!" He jumped to his feet glaring down at her. It was similar to the look he had given Timber almost a month ago. This time the look was pure hatred. He wasn't unsure of what he was saying and wanted to take it back immediately after it left his mouth. This time he meant all of it.

"I hate you and if I could I'd wish you were dead instead of Timber! I hate you!" he yelled so loud all the talking stopped in the house. Quickly he moved closer to her and she flinched afraid he's hit her.

"You've never been a real mother," he hissed and ran downstairs and ignoring all the confused pitying faces out of the house.