Jackson was still sat at the kitchen table in Smithy Cottage, the flow of tears constant. His head shot up as he heard the door open, expecting it to be Aaron, it was his mum, and her face drained of colour when she saw the mess her son was in.
"Jackson! What the hell has happened? Has he hurt you?"
"I've messed up, mum. I've REALLY messed up!"
"Is this something to do with that argument earlier on? Has he hit you again?"
"No Mum. This is something I've done."
"Why can't he understand you were protecting him? It could of easily been him instead of Clyde." She soothed, wrapping her arms around her still sobbing son
"I know. That's why I did it. I don't want to see him get hurt Mum. And I did something stupid and I've pushed him away."
"What's happened Jackson?"
"You know you said to me the other day his stubborn streak is part of why I love him? Well I do. I DO love him Mum. It slipped out during the argument. I wanted to tell him when we were in Lanzarote. But I knew how he'd react."
"What did he say?"
"Nothing. Just what he normally does, Freaks out and runs away. I've ruined everything Mum. What if he doesn't want me back? I can't lose him."
"I thought he didn't want to lose you either?"
"That's what I thought. I thought I was doing this to help him. Paying off Mickey. He was devastated when Clyde died. I didn't want to see anyone else get hurt."
"He'll be back, Jackson."
"I hope so Mum. I really do. I just wanna be sure he's ok. If he's stormed out because of what I've said and he's had some kind of run-in with Mickey...I'll never forgive myself"
"You paid Mickey off though" Hazel replied, still cradling her son
"I know. But something doesnt feel right Mum, I've paid off Mickey but what's to say Aaron's not round there now? he could be in serious trouble Mum."
"Then let him deal with it, Jackson. He's big enough and ugly enough to deal with things himself. You're not gonna keep picking up the peices Jackson. When I first met him, i said to myself, i said "Hazel, he's a good looking boy. Jackson's picked a good 'un." Boy, how wrong was I? He can't keep doing this to you Jackson, And the more you take him back, the more he's going to walk all over you."
"I know. He's an idiot, He doesn't think about things, but i can't let him go Mum. Not without a fight anyway." Jackson replied, pulling out of his mother's embrace. He wiped his eyes and grabbed his jacket, to start scouring the village for his boyfriend.
"He's in love with you?" Adam asked, trying to get it clear in his head
Aaron nodded, his head still resting on Adam's shoulder "I…I don't know what to do, Adam."
"Aaron, You need to tell him how you feel."
"That's the problem. I don't think I know anymore. I thought I did..you know..when we were in Lanzarote. I just can't deal with it. I've never had anyone say that to me before Adam and I don't know what to do."
"Paddy loves you. I love you.."
"Yeah but that's different. Jackson's my boyfriend Adam, I just..I wanted to have a good time. I didn't want to be in this position so quickly. I wanted to have fun Adam, not a relationship but I just can't bear letting him go."
"Then you need to tell him this."
"If you dont want to lose him Aaron you have to. He's probably out there looking for you now."
"I know. I've broken his heart by not saying it back. This it Adam. I've lost him for good."
"You don't know that, Aaron."
"I do. I just...I don't even know what its supposed to feel like. Whether i do love him or not."
"Aaron, Nobody truly knows what love feels like. You just know. If you can't bear to be without Jackson, and you're happy with him, and you can see some kind of future together, then that's pretty much love mate. Look at me. I would never of thought I could be in love at 18. But I wouldn't change Scarlett for the world. She means everything to me. And the way you act around Jackson...All flirty and smiling. I've never seen you like that Aaron. Not even with Holly. When you're with Jackson, and you're in a good mood, which is rarer than Cain being in a good mood, you're a totally different person."
"I know. I care about him, A hell of a lot. and i do have really strong feelings for him. i just..I dont know whether that's love yet."
"Then you've got your answer Aaron. You know what you need to do. If he loves you, like he says he does, He'll understand."