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realized that i need you
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When Payton had first told Luna that Aaron had not come home, her stomach clenched. It was a selfish sensation, really. What right did she have to be worried? Payton was all but frantic and though she had done a very good job of not showing it, it was something that seemed to bubble just beneath her skin. Shopping had been an attempt at distraction for the younger girl and Luna wouldn’t ruin it by asking too many questions. Payton was Aaron’s sister; she should
be worried. If blood didn’t earn her the right to care for him, the fact that she was convinced she was to blame did. However, Luna had spent the rest of their shopping excursion in growing concern that Aaron’s anger wasn’t the only thing that had driven him away. She realized, with painful clarity, that she knew
where Aaron was. The fact that Payton didn’t was cause for concern because whatever it was that had inspired him to leave was enough that he hadn’t even let his family know. If there was one thing she knew would never change with Aaron, it was his connection to his family. If Payton was left in the dark then there was more to worry about than her choice of boyfriend, no matter how many Man Rules it violated for Brayden to be dating his best friend’s kid sister.
She and Aaron had spoken the night before on that silly “instant messenger.” She didn’t like the impersonal form of communication and the more he said the more she wished he would just come over. They could sit side-by-side and she could hold his hand and everything she wanted
to say to him would be easily communicated through the way she would thread their fingers together. In words, she sounded… pathetic. Typed onto a screen, her affections were reduced to black and white and desperate all over. There was a difference between enthusiasm and obsession and she feared with a screen between them, she was crossing a line. But she was worried for him. She wouldn’t say
she was worried because that was a challenge and because he hadn’t been particularly talkative, even on screen. He just reiterated that he needed to “get away.” Luna had been scared to ask what from because his answer could be, simply, her.
Aaron had been acting strangely since her arrival and though they had been able to spend that night at the bar—which she had squandered by drinking too much, too fast, to her dismay when she woke up in her sleeping bag ten hours later with only slight recollection as to how she had gotten home—she had hoped they would be able to spend more time together. It was her intention to make Thunder Cove home and a large part of the incentive to stay was her friendship with Aaron. If that didn’t exist anymore…
She didn’t want to think about it that way.
Of course it existed. He had hugged her so tight that first day and whenever she replayed the moment in her head she could hear the reverence in his voice. He had missed her; he couldn’t believe she was back. Was that the same as wanting
her back? Maybe not. Either way, it was only half his decision and Luna was willing to do everything in her power to ensure he knew how available she was—how much she wanted him to be part of her life. And how much she was willing to do to make him want her in his. Apparently, she was willing to drive to Canada on a whim just to see him. He was upset; that much was clear. Just because he didn’t want to be in Thunder Cove at the moment didn’t mean he wanted to be alone and he had continuously reassured her throughout their conversation just now that he was not trying to get away from her.
With that in mind, she told him she was on her way. Some routine packing—two changes of clothes, basic toiletries, a medium-weight jacket (Canada ran a little cooler this time of year) and of course, treats. Everything was better with treats and she wanted him to feel better. Then they could talk about whatever was bothering him.
She may have been speeding. Olympia to the small, secluded provincial park he had mentioned was about seven hours driving and it was times like these Luna wished she could sprout wings. Her mother had fallen ill just a few months after Luna had set off for college and she had done a fifteen-hour drive in close to ten because of how worried she’d been for the woman who had raised her. This was a bit like that. She was used to traveling alone and her truck was used to being pushed far beyond the limits of any other well-cared for motor vehicle. There was music to keep her company and sometimes she would even switch to talk radio and talk back to the disc jockeys to keep herself focused. One of the things her father worried most about when she was out on her own was that she would allow her mind to wander and unwittingly fall asleep at the wheel. For a lot of this trip—with only a stop for gas and once for a vegetarian burrito—Luna practiced what she would say to Aaron when she got to him. Her speeches varied, depending on the hour, from full-fledged heart-felt confessions to smacks on the back of the head for being so silly. She didn’t want to give too much heed to the thought that maybe he wasn’t jumping at the opportunity for them to finally spend time together because there really wasn’t any place for her in his life anymore. There was a place. She would make a place. She had to.
Her father would be happy to know her accident was not due to falling asleep at the wheel. He would be happier still to know it was because she was avoiding A MOOSE in the middle of the road. As she had begun to take more side roads and get off the beaten path—Aaron really did want to be alone, didn’t he?—the snow that began as flurries started to come down in torrents. Her truck was made for off-roading so of course her windshield wipers were more than equipped to fight off ice, but as her headlights caught a majestic creature in its beams, Luna had become distracted. It had been such a long time since she’d seen a moose and she had forgotten, for only a moment, that she was driving. At the last second she swerved hard-left, avoiding the lumbering beast but managing to turn the truck directly into the most stubborn ditch she had ever encountered in her life. A few minutes of angry—then desperate—utilization of her four-wheel drive proved fruitless. The snow had stopped falling, but it left her in a sort of icy, beautiful darkness. The map said she was only about twenty minutes’ drive from her destination. She could walk that, easy. It would be just like those months in alpine tundra, only the air wouldn’t be nearly as thin. Wrinkling her nose at the lacking signal on her phone, Luna bundled herself up before she exited the truck, pulling her bag onto her back and thanking whatever deities were listening for her thick boots.
As an experienced hiker, a twenty minute drive should have taken about four hours to walk. That wasn’t taking into consideration the climate or the terrain. About three hours into her journey Luna felt like she was on her last legs. Her backpack was heavy; her entire body was sore from lifting her legs so high as she trudged through the snow and though she had eaten that burrito only a few hours ago, she was so hungry. These were complaints she had learned to keep to herself as a child, but now they were pounding in her ears. Again, she looked to her phone. Even less of a signal than before—one tiny bar—and barely enough battery life to last for the next ten minutes, probably. Not that she could tell; she was terrible with technology. She might have to set up camp. With an exhausted sigh and a shiver that pealed through her, Luna finally settled near a tree, making up a solid lean-to with some thickly needled evergreen branches and twine she carried in her bag. God, she hated the cold. But it was only for the night, right? Curling into as tight a ball as possible with the wind behind her, she closed her eyes and set her watch to beep in three hours.
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Luna & Aaron</div>
<div style="width: 360px; font-family: vijaya; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0px; font-size: 14px; padding: 5px; line-height: 96%; color: #004E88;"> words: 1467 | outfit: here
| lyrics: "First Day of my Life"
- Bright Eyes | notes: let me know if you need edits dear, sorry for the length! </div>