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We had been walking for only a few moments, but I could feel Alex at the edge of consciousness and unconsciousness

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We had been walking for only a few moments, but I could feel Alex at the edge of consciousness and unconsciousness. He was trying very hard not to inconvenience me any further than he already had (which might I add, was a fucking lot)... but the grogginess and alcohol soon won over.

It didn't take him long before he stopped processing what he was saying before he was saying it. "You smell like a tree." He mumbled into my neck. I involuntarily gripped his thigh tighter as I carried him.

I wanted to say it was from the intense smell of liquor.

I wanted to.

"Just hush up. We're almost there."

"I feel like a very small jellybean in your hands."

I cracked a grin.

"These glasses aree mmaking it incredibly hard to lay myy head flat... but without them I wwouldn't be able to seeee. Have you ever found yourself in one of theseee?"

"One of these what?"

"Predicaments." I turned my head slightly to catch a glimpse of Alex through my peripheral vision. He looked asleep, yet every so often, slurred and incoherent words would fumble past his lips.

I was just making it back to Brad and Miles when he finally dozed off.

"Looks like you found the kid. What happened to his leg?" Miles asked, concerned.

Brad chimed in as soon as he had made it out of his tent. "Yeah, what happened to his knee?"

I gave them both a raised eyebrow. Last time I checked, he was my assistant. I wasn't sure why it concerned these two.

"Just a scrape. I'll look at it." I rushed that last part quickly before helping the sleeping Alex into my tent. As soon as I laid him down on the blow up mattress/sleeping bag, he stirred awake.

"Are we taking more shots?"

"Not the type of alcohol you're gunna like." I mumbled back before pouring a good amount of rubbing alcohol on his cut. That woke him right the hell on up. Just enough to land a swift kick to my chest.

"Fucking hell, Alex." I groaned. He was still the thralling about in agony.

"Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow." He whined. I shushed him as the cooling Neosporin was applied next. He looked miserable and there was nothing more I could do but let him rest with his freshly bandaged up leg. I was about to move away from the bed when his hand grabbed mine.

I glanced down at it.

Then him.

His eyes were squeezed shut, but they slowly opened up to look at me. My hands reached over slowly to pull his large framed glasses off. Without them, I could see his eyes better. Much better.

"Will you-" he choked. The words took time to form. "Will you stay a little longer? The night is creepy as shit out here."

I stared at him. Even in this drunk state, he couldn't hold my gaze for longer than a few seconds. I sort of liked the slight fear I evoked upon him.

"Sure." I answered finally.

That brought a small smile to his lips. It then faltered slightly when I shoved him over to lay down.

"Woahwoahwoahwoah I-I-I- didn't- I just meant-"

"If I'm staying any longer, I'm sleeping. Move over more." I replied. He almost immediately shimmied to the very edge of the bed... One tap and he literally would have fallen off. I let out a deep chuckle that made him tense up further.

However far away from me he had drifted off to sleep, I couldn't miss his intoxicating smell, myself.

He smelt like roses.


Somewhere during the course of the night, I had managed to get Alex away from the edge of the floor mattress. It wasn't until I woke up at around 5:30 the next morning, did I then realize just how close he actually got.

I woke up to the scent of Alex... everywhere.

He had scooted closer to me, yet there was still a rift that felt like the size of the Grand Canyon between us. Being this close to Alex made me realize a few things:

1.) Alex had really long thick eyelashes that fanned the part beneath his eyes.

2.) Alex had allergies. Terrible terrible allergies.

"Alex." I nudged him softly. He slowly opened his eyes. Or at least tried to. They were puffed so shut, his eyelids had been transformed into tiny slits.

"Christian." Alex mumbled. "What's up with my face?"

"I think one of your allergies has flared up." I replied. His hands shot out to feel around his skin in complete horror.

"I can't even tell where my eye lids end and cheeks start." He whispered. I couldn't help but smirk at that.


Alex was the first to get situated in the company car while Brad and I were still loading up the extra backpacks. "This was stellar gear, Miles. Heavy duty yet practical and lightweight. All in a sleek industrial design. Customers are going to eat this stuff up as soon as it hits the shelves." Miles beamed at my words of admiration.

"Let's hope your target audience is no where near as handicapped as Alex." Brad blurted out. Alex hid even further inside the hood of his sweatshirt. I shot Brad a look that kindly invited him to shut the fuck up. My assistant's self esteem couldn't take much more after this.

He looked defeated and miserable as we said our goodbyes to Miles and hopped in. "Can we agree to never drag me on a camping trip again?" he whispered just loud enough for me to hear.

"I think you did great. As for the allergies, I assumed you were joking about that part. I didn't know you'd turn into a chipmunk overnight." Alex shot me a glare through the rear view mirror.

"I'll have you know that this is very normal. Many people are allergic to pollen... and grass... and dust mites... and cats... and specific tree bark..."

"Oxygen too?" I joked. Alex just looked back out the window in irritation... but there was the smallest grin playing at his lips.



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