**I do love the flash fics, and this week’s prompt is a fun one. A love confession. Enjoy!**
This was it. The final moment. Everything the last few weeks had been leading up to. Hell, the last few years. When I agreed to take this job, got this crazy harebrained idea, I knew it was make or break. I’d drawn it out as long as I possibly could, and since Seth was my best friend, and he knew I was working this job in between all the others, he hadn’t minded that it had taken so long. The fact that I was only charging him cost for the supplies helped too.
When Seth bought this house, the backyard had been a hot mess of weeds, gravel, and just a bit of grass. I’d transformed it into an outdoor oasis. Sod now took up the better part of the area and a brick patio with a fire pit led into the space from the back door. But the shining focal point was the koi pond, slightly off center, with it’s bubbling fountain and the creeping phlox, sedge grass, day lilies, and verbena surrounding it. I’d spent the most time on the pond, digging it by hand and getting it just right.
The pond had been my idea. The design had been mine. And it was the reason I was so nervous.
“Holy shit, Clay! This looks fantastic!”
Seth’s voice, the delighted praise in it, warmed my insides but my heart was pounding too. Because he was home earlier than I anticipated, and I wasn’t ready. I’d just finish putting down the last of the mulch, and though I’d cleaned up the yard, I was still covered in dirt and bits of bark.
I almost chickened out. I’d had the whole things planned, exactly how I was going to reveal it, but Seth had blown that out of the water. I could just pretend there wasn’t anything important. Take his praise and his check, and then have a beer on the patio with him. I was sure that’s what he expected to happen.
But he looked so good in his suit, and his eyes sparkled as he took everything in. And I…I needed to man up and do the thing. It was now or never.
“You should see it from above.” My voice shook a little, but that couldn’t be help. “Go upstairs and look down at it from your bedroom window.”
Seth eyed me, but he was excited at the prospect, I could tell. He laughed, and then jogged into the house. I could practically picture him as he climbed the stairs, and with every imaginary step, my heart crawled further up my throat until I could barely breathe. I almost ran, but before I could get my feet to move, his face appeared at the window.
He was grinning as he surveyed his land. And then his eyes went wide. The smile fell off his face. And then he was gone.
Fuck. Fucking fuck. I’d messed everything up.
I had to go, now. Before he got back. But just as I moved, he ran out onto the patio, his eyes still wide, all the color drained from his face.
“It’s a heart.”
“Uh, yes.” Christ, was that my voice? I cleared my throat.
“Clay, the pond is a heart. And all the flowers make it look…it’s a heart.” Seth shifted his gaze to the pond as if he could discern it’s shape on the ground, and then slid back to me. “Something you want to tell me?”
No way I could play it off as just a fun shape, because he knew. I could tell he knew. I took a deep breath. Cleared my throat again. Breathed again.
This was it.
“I love you.”
Seth went utterly and complete stock still. I wanted to laugh it off, pretend it wasn’t real. But I’d been in love with my best friend for years, and it was time I admitted the truth. If that ended things between us, then it did. But I couldn’t go on this way.
“I love you,” I said again, surer this time, voice strong. “And I wanted you to know.”
“Jesus Christ. Clay.”
And then Seth threw himself at me, and I had no choice but to catch him, dirt stained hands and all.
“I’m gonna get you dirty,” I muttered because he wasn’t saying anything. Just clutching my shoulders, his breathing ragged, jagged little puffs against my skin.
“I thought it was just me.” His voice was breathy, and a little shaky. Was he crying? I tried to pull back to see, but he just clung harder.
“No, baby,” I soothed, no longer caring about the suit. I’d buy him a new one if I had too. How long had I imagined him being in my arms? How long had he been my baby, but I couldn’t say it out loud? Seemed like forever.
“I love you too,” he whispered, then pressed his lips to my neck. Finally, he pulled back, and I saw the happy all over his face. “And that is the single most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me.”
“Just wait till your birthday. Baby, I got plans!”
He laughed, and kissed me, and I fell into it, tasting his mouth and loving the flavor. He was everything I wanted, and now I had him.
Guess my harebrained scheme wasn’t so crazy after all.