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Alive. I wasn't lying when I told him I feel alive when he touches me. I can feel every blood cell that rushes through my body. Every molecule of oxygen that enters my lungs. I'm obviously not getting enough of it, I'm feeling increasingly light headed as the moments pass.

I can't get enough of him. It's not enough that our lips meet, I need to feel his skin beneath my fingertips. The warmth emanating from him is tantalizing. It draws me closer, it draws me in.

That's not all of it though. There is something more than carnal passion that makes me want to feel him. It's more than just raging hormones that set my nerve endings on fire. It's him.

Pacey Witter.

My childhood enemy. My nemesis. My sparring partner. My punching bag. My friend. My confidante. My protector. My fan club. My guardian angel. My rock. My inspiration. My past, present and future. My heart. My everything.

Everything that he is brings me to life.

I feel like I'm everywhere at once. I am the sky. I am the earth. The wind. The rain. I am every girl who's ever falling in love after just one kiss. The amazing thing is that I can be all those things, be everywhere, feel everything, and still just be Joey Potter kissing Pacey Witter.

Who would have thought? Me and Pacey. Pacey and me. Us. Kissing.

A kiss I initiated no less. Things definitely change. But I wouldn't change this moment for anything. Except to maybe make it last forever. Because as wonderful, content and alive as I feel right now... it will all change when we pull apart.

I'll look into his eyes and see guilt. My own guilt reflected back at me in his eyes. There was never supposed to be an us. Joey and Dawson, yes. A Joey and a Dawson, yes. A Joey and a Pacey, yes. But never Joey and Pacey. The taboo couple. The two people who's hatred for each other was supposed to outweigh any kind of romantic feelings.


Why were we forbidden from each other? Why were we sworn enemies for so long? I never even thought to question it until now. As far as I can remember it's always been that way. We started out Kindergarten disliking one another and it stuck. I still remember the day I met him as vividly as if it had happened yesterday.

It was the first day of Kindergarten, the very first recess of the day. I remember stepping on onto the playground and seeing the bright yellow twisty slide at the end of the playground. As far as I was concerned it was the only toy there. I had my sights set on it. I made a bee line for it, eyes wide, practically skipping from excitement. I was a five year old on a mission.

It took me ten minutes to climb to the top. I was all alone at the top of this huge castle, looking out over the playground. And there it was the entrance to the slide, begging me to go down. With a big smile I hopped onto the shoot. I went careening around the first turn and then all of a sudden. There he was. Attempting to climb up the slide. Typical of Pacey. We crashed and went down the remaining two turns in a tangled mess. Hatred at first site.

No one really did anything to change it. As much as Dawson complained he seemed to enjoy our verbal squabbles. He never did anything to stop us. It came to be what everyone expected of us. It was how we were defined. The roles Dawson cast us in.

Jen was his mysterious dream girl. I was the trustworthy best friend forever. Pacey was the rebellious sidekick, whose soul purpose was to make him look good. Then there were his parents, the happy and horny married couple. That's the way we all stayed until things began to unravel and we realized that Dawson wasn't the director of our lives. It started with his parents and Gail's affair with Bob. Then Jen broke out of the role as the pure as snow virginal queen ready to teach Dawson about life and love. Then me, I wasn't Joey Potter his best friend for life anymore. I was Joey Potter the object of his undying affection. His other half. His soul mate. Hah! We were fifteen, what did we know about soul mates? Lastly, Pacey. He went from the horny no-good town joke to the ambitious, intelligent, loving, do-gooder boyfriend type. Even if he never stopped being horny.

It's like we were released from these preconceived molds. It seems now almost inevitable that Pacey and I would find each other. Once we were free of the roles Dawson cast us in and we grew into ourselves it makes sense. He and I didn't spend much time together for the second half of sophomore year together. He was always with Andie and I with Dawson. But this year... this year, he became my best friend. Funny, Dawson's the one who brought us together.

I got to know this extremely intelligent, extremely funny and extremely selfless man. A person I hadn't been allowed to know... not with King Leery calling the shots. He knows we're close friends now, he even pretends to be okay with it. But this... this he'll never be ready for. It was inevitable, fate almost. The blinders Dawson forced on me were removed and I was able to see the real Pacey.

And to know him is to love him. I was just never allowed the opportunity to know him until now.

I need to be closer. I move my hands down his cheek. They're trembling. I trace the contours of his neck So soft and smooth. Warm and sinewy. I keep moving until my hands reach the lapels of his jacket. I slip them just under his breast pockets. I feel him tense and inhale sharply. He stops kissing me back. He thinks I'm going to push him away.

I smile against his kiss swollen lips and dart my tongue out to trace his upper lip. I only wanted to feel his heart beat, to be that much closer to him, to know he feels as alive as I do. His lips resume their dance with mine and he relaxes into me. I want nothing more than to climb under his skin and stay there warm, protected and loved forever. But I'll settle for my tongue in his mouth. It's pure maddening languid heat, it touches me to the core, sending shivers down my spine. He tastes sweet, like a mild honey, enough to keep me going back for more. His tongue slides deliciously along mine, coaxing me deeper. Enticing me to explore.

I can't keep my heart from bursting out of my chest. It's pounding echoes through my body filling every vein. Pounding against he walls of my chest, aching for his. I take his hand from my waist and direct it to rest over my heart.

"Jo," he breathes against my lips. We pull apart, just barely. Our lips still brush. I can't bring myself to move them from his. Our laboured breaths mingle in the cool night air.

I'm going to cry. I can feel it building, tingling beneath my eyelids. I've never felt anything as fully and completely as I feel him. There's this overwhelming ocean of emotion that I just can't contain any longer. It has found an outlet in my tears. It's as though every moment of my life has been building to this crashing crescendo of emotion. I feel it in my ever cell, the air around me, the ground under me and the man in front of me.

Alive. It's just one word. A simple combination of five letters. Yet it describes so much of what I'm feeling right now. The dictionary describes it as being in existence and full of life. Being in his arms held so tightly with such tenderness, the whole world just falls away. There is just Pacey and I... and right now that all that I desire. He's all that I need. Being with him, holding him, touching him, kissing him... it's what I've been waiting for. For the first time in my life, standing here in the flickering firelight on a late April evening, I am alive.