“I never wanted this to happen; I didn’t want anyone to know,” his hands entwine with mine. “But you… you were persistent. I have to say, it annoyed the fuck out of me.” I had to smile at that, but his face was blank – serious. “I just wish…” he paused before a tear rolled down his cheek. “I just wish I could hear you say it. I wish I could be sure you mean it by the tone of your voice.” The struggle to hold back tears was complicated. “You don’t have to hear me say it to know that I mean it,” I whisper, looking into his eyes. “Marcus,” I wipe the tear off of his cheek and he looks into my eyes. “I love you.” And there’s a long silence. And I can feel my heart pounding slowly against my chest. And I lean in to kiss his soft, pink lips. And he moves back. And he walks away.