After thanking Adam and giving him a hug, Aaron head back to Smithy, a storm was raging overhead and Aaron was cursing himself, He didn't want to wreck what he had with Jackson, Jackson had done that already.
He noticed the outline of a figure heading towards him, he squinted through the sheets of rain and recognised the figure to be Jackson.
Jackson sighed with relief as he approached Aaron. "Aaron? Where've you been?" He asked, his voice thick with panic.
"I went to Adam's."
"Thank god. I had a horrible feeling you'd gone to Mickey's."
"I've already told you that I've forgotten about that!" Aaron snapped.
"Yeah I know, But I know what you're like! I've been out here ages looking for you!"
"Yeah well if you hadn't said what you did I wouldn't be out here would I?" Aaron asked, failing to notice the tears that were still pouring down Jackson's cheeks.
"I'm sorry, Aaron. What do you want me to do? I never meant for you to find out like that, but I do. So much. I can't shake that feeling off, Aaron." Jackson sobbed. "I'd do absolutely anything for you. Hence why I gave that guy his refund. I didn't wanna be the one standing on that bridge in a few weeks, scattering you."
Aaron felt his defences weaken slightly "That was never going to happen Jackson."
"You don't know that Aaron. You already said to me you couldn't bear to lose me. Well think of this as my way of returning those feelings. I know you'll probably never return mine…"
"Jackson, It's not that. You scared me. I didn't know what to do. And in those situations I did what I do best."
"Why do you still seem so scared of it all Aaron? There's noting wrong with being gay. What are you so scared of?"
"Rejection. I've dealt with it all my life Jackson and when I realised who I was those fears came back. I don't want to be rejected all the time." Aaron sobbed.
Jackson pulled Aaron into a cuddle, the storm still raging above him, both boys were soaked to the skin. "Come on, Let's get inside before we get ill. Talk to me, Aaron. but I'm giving you this ultimatum Aaron. I cant take this anymore, you either Let me in or you let me go."
Both boys had returned to the cottage they had both dried off and Pearl made them a pot of tea. She was still insisting that Jackson needed fattening up, so cut them each a slice of cake she had made earlier that day.
"She's a godsend, that woman." Jackson half smiled as Pearl left the boys alone
"Yeah, she is. Shes done so much for me and Paddy."
Jackson sat down on the sofa with Aaron sitting on the table opposite.
"So, talk to me. Tell me what's going on, Aaron."
"It scared me Jay. REALLY scared me. Everyone who I thought loved me had turned their back on me and left me. My dad, doesn't exist as far as I'm concerned and he probably thinks the same about me. I sometimes wonder if Mum would of made such an effort if I wasn't gay and didnt try to...you know. I stupidly lost Clyde... I had a horrible feeling you were going to do the same."
"I'd never do that to you."
Aaron nodded, the tears flowing down his face again. "Yeah I know."
"I just…I need to know how you're feeling Aaron, Even if you don't feel the same. I just want to know what is going on inside that head of yours."
"I don't know Jay. I'm so confused…I like you, I really do, but I don't know if it's love. I care about you, so bloody much it hurts, and it hurts when I think of all the times I lost you. I don't want that to happen again Jackson. I don't love you like you love me. Not yet. I just…I don't even know how it feels."
Jackson nodded understandably "Aaron, look at me, It's ok."
"But I've broken your heart right? The fact that I don't think I can say it back yet, If you want rid of me then say. I'll stop all the chasing like I have the previous times. If you wanna go, then go."
"I'm not going Aaron. It's upset me that you don't feel the same but, Like I've said before, this is your first proper relationship, I don't expect you to be head over heels in love with me. I just….I wanted you to know how I felt, I just didn't want it to happen in that way. I don't even know if you'll ever love me back."
Aaron nodded and leaned in to kiss Jackson. "Just let me try? I want to be able to love you, Jackson. I just don't know when I'm going to get there. But I need you."
"And you know I'll be here. I actually feel like a bit of an idiot now. Telling you that."
"But at least I know you mean it. And that you're not gonna walk away from me like everyone else has. Promise me you'll stay?"
Jackson smiled and nodded "I promise, Aaron. And even though you don't feel it, I'm going to say it again. I love you. And I'm not letting you go."