The  sun rose  to indicate the start of the day but Ray had been up a few hours beforehand as he ticked off the lists of camping equipment and supplies  from the tent right down to  S'mores but a part of him wondered if the last bit  was a good day the chief had leant him  two sets of fishing equipment  as he hopes he recalled Clara had been fishing before but he was happy to remember   Clara wasn’t a fussy eater so he packed whatever he could that was easy to cook by the campfire as he finished  each box he  placed them by the door  even though  the thought of spending the weekend with Clara made him happy he  was worried  if Clara would like the spot  but it was a late Valentines gift due to  he was at the firehouse on shift on the day  even though  the gifts  arrived he wanted to do something special  he took out  one of Claras delicious valentines cookies  he slowly ate as he took out  a  fake rose   it was the only thing he could get but  on the other hand he thought  it will last forever .



!0.45 came and went before Ray realised as  he opened the door  taking the beginning of the  bags down  to  a  Red land rover placing them in the boot as he  made several trips up and down the steps to his apartment as he  took one final look making sure he had everything  before closing the door for the last time till Monday afternoon as he placed the  food in the back as the boot was closed his stomach growled as he realised with all his organizing he had forgotten to eat  as he walked around to the driver’s side he  took his seat as he  tapped through the sat nav  for taking away drive through  as  a Mcdonald's  bleeped up  he  closed his door and starting the engine he set  off  following the directions  the sat nav  directed  as he  reached the line  it grew to a snails speed as he  pulled out  his cell pressing the name  Clara ( very cute GF)  he thought to himself if Clara saw that he would turn redder than the primary colour red  as he text 

 Hey Clara, 

 About 15 minutes away from you   just forgot to have breakfast  this morning so picking up Mcdonalds  would you like anything  

Love 

Ray x


The cue slowly went down as he reached the tannoy “ hi can I have two chicken burgers and two galaxy Mc flurries and Fanta please “ the tannoy said the price as he drove up paying for the items as he saw them on the console he headed towards Clara’s home. Ray smiled as he passed the spot where he parked the first time  he met Clara  and  he didn’t expect how things turned  out  he slowed as he turned onto her drive  as he slowed to a stop in the spot he normally parked as  he opened the door  getting out as he took the Mc Donalds items placing it on the driver’s side as he  reached behind  lifting the waterproof satchels placing them under his arm as he picked up the items on his  seat as he picked them up and closed the door as he walked across the driveway stopping  in front off  the door  as he thought about  how he was going to knock as he looked at the  Fanta and meals  in his right hand and Mc flurries in the left  so he  decided to knock  with his foot gently,


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It had been a long time since anyone had taken her camping, her mind drawing her back to the year before her father had died. Summer had been there annual time to go, each year Clara's father would take her to the same spot, a perfect place for going fishing, if one knew the right place to look. Luckily her father was brilliant at it, he had always been a great outdoors man, she wondered if Ray was too. Ahh Ray, the man she had fallen in love with, Clara never thought she'd ever be this lucky in her life to meet such a special man, but life had a funny way of surprising people. 

Even though it had been a long time since she had gone camping she still remembered the things she needed to bring and items that usually weren't necessary, she slipped in her things into a waterproof duffel bag and brought it downstairs. Clara was fully dressed and in her hiking boots, knowing full well that most camping spots you usually have to hike to get there. 

With everything packed and ready she checked her phone, noticing she had gotten a text from her soon to be camping buddy.

Hey baby, thanks for thinking of me, just got your text, don't really need anything but if you bring me anything (which i know you probably did) I'll eat it a little later,

With love, Clara 

When she finished typing the reply, she slipped her phone back in her purse and went over to the cupboard to grab a glass of water, just as she was about to pour the water in there was a knock at the door. She set the glass down and walked over, opening the door to be greeted by her wonderful boyfriend, carrying quite a bit of food. "everytime, " she muttered, reaching out her hands to help him out, a smile on her face. 

She set the bags on the counter, and with both their arms free she walked (briskly ran) to give him a proper greeting. With a light hug and a soft kiss, she smiled up at him. "Good morning," 

Ray smiled as he gently wrapped his arms around the woman he loved hugging her gently as he smiled “ good morning “ he gently kissed her lips before raising his hand to her cheek stroking gently no matter what Clara was always happy to see him as he was just as happy to see her and the thought the weekend of Ray and Clara made him smile more “ how have you slept “ he smiled as he listened looking into her eyes as he held her

“ i brought some extra dry bags in case you need them  as we are gonna be a few hours away from evermore.” he smiled  looking into her eyes again “ im looking forward to just you and me  no bar no firehouse no  emergencies “ he smiled “ and I hope I membered he correct Mc flurry flavour “ he smiled  as he  steps back looking at her “ and you look beautiful as always “he gently raised her hand  as he spans her  gently  before holding her securely so she didn’t fall Shall we  get your things in the car  we dont need to go yet but saves us worrying “ he smiled gently



 Ray sat gently on a stool as he  held Clara’s hand “ so you know i am carrying a rifle  but I've never had to use it cause of you know but to look normal I am carrying    but on a lighter note do you know how to fish “ he smiled gently “as it is my first time “ he smiled  




People would say that Clara and Ray were still in the honeymoon stage, and yes maybe they were right but Clara was always happy to be cared for, the "how'd you sleep?" and the "how are you's" rolled off his tongue easily, and it wasn't just that he asked, it was that he always cared to listen. She returned his kiss and pulled away to look at him. "I slept good, even considering how excited I am," and she was very excited she had packed some of her things already a couple of days ago because she was so eager. "How did you sleep?" she took a minute inspecting his eyes to see if they showed any traces of exhaustion. "Did you have a shift last night?"

She took the bags and gave him a nod. "Thank you, I think I've packed enough though," she had two bags full, with things she thought she would need, she also brought some binoculars she hoped she would be able to use those, "I brought my camera, I'm hoping to get some lovely shots," another one of her new year's resolutions had been to take more photos, so far it had been a little slow but she saw this as a perfect opportunity. 
"I'm glad it'll be just the two of us, but I don't mind when you have to run off in an emergency, it's the responsibilities of a firefighter, I understand, work calls," she said. Clara never wanted him feeling as if he didn't give her enough time, she loved that he was doing what he wanted to do, it didn't hurt that he liked helping people. She smiled widely at the ice cream, "Of course it's the right flavour, I practically love them all," she took it in her hand, grabbed the spoon and took a big bite full, "it's ice cream, who'd say no to that,"  

"Sure, let's put them in the car, then we can sit for a minute, eat some food, then it's driving. We're taking your vehicle, right? Because I'm not sure if my car can handle the trail," she asked.  
"No worries, my dad had a gun at one point too, but he was never that good with it," Clara had spent enough time in the woods to know that most people brought one along for hunting. "Yeah, my dad taught me, it was one of his favourite things to do, I can't wait to show you," 

Ray smiled as he looked to Clara  “no-no shouts at all and no bar shift  “ he chuckled “I was just up before sunrise to make sure 3 times I packed everything “ he walked over to the girl he loved  wrapping his arms around her  as he smiled “ the only  cell phone will be turned off  it will be  you me  the camp  the stars and oh yea  glens somewhat cooled down chicken wings  he felt  bad  about as he put it I nearly blew the poor girls head off with the hot sauce  so his apology is in there but  this weekend it is just going to be me  and you “ he smiled as he leant forward kissing her lips gently 



Ray smiled as he listened he let go of Clara gently as he   picked up her items carefully “ well if its still there  there isa platform above the camp there are good shots of the horizon from there “ Ray  pointed a finger to the sky as he laughed” and i checked no flash floods this weekend “ he chuckled  as he headed  to the truck opening the boot as he carefully placed her items next to hisas he closed the boot returning to  the girl of his dreams with a few brisk steps as he walked in he saw Clara  tucking in to her mcflurry   as he  took his burger and began to eat  as he smiled  putting the burger down between bites “ what are you looking forward to  this weekend “ he smiled as he listened “mine is 1 spending a un interrupted weekend with you , shows you my favourite sites  and on the way back take you to a  bookshop  that  you don't know about “ he smiled as he finished off his burger  before looking back at clara “ you know i could not decide  what one to get you  it was either that flavour or the milky way mini stars one “ he smiled gently as he rose to his feet tossing .his  wrapper in the bin “ Are you ready miss Carter “ he smiled as he gently offered his arm

He smiled as he gently leads her out the door stopping to let her lock-up he went over to the passenger's side door holding it open as he waited before moving towards the driver's seat as he typed the postcode in as he pointed in the direction of where he thought the campsite “ next stop perfect spot for stargazing “ he quickly changed the direction he was pointing when the sat nav directed “ he laughed “ don't worry I know where the camp is I left reminders “ he gently set off as he moved out of  Claras drive and onto the road the satnav directed as they reached the long straight road he gently held his hand out to cuddle or hold Claras hand.

"Well I'm sure even if you forgot something we'll make do," she responded, happy to see he had gotten a little break from work, this weekend was probably something he needed more than she did. Clara stepped into his arms and smiled wide. "Just me and you, huh?" she teased. "What in heaven's name will we do?" Her first thought is she might want to read to him some of the books she had picked out, it was one of her favourites and poetry always sounded so good in the wall of the forest trees. 

Clara tried to contain her excited sequel but had no use, the thought of actually capturing images of the sunrise, sunset and the roaring campfire brought her a lot of joy. Words were wonderful but pictures...well they had a way of coming alive and stealing your breath away. "Good to hear, I'm not sure my rainboots would withstand a flood," it didn't help that she was on the shorter side. "Thank you," she mentioned motioning to the bags he was carrying to the back trunk. She took a few bites of ice cream and when he returned her ate some burger, not the most nutritious of meals but she was glad to see he was remembering to eat. She stopped for a second eating, "That might be pretty difficult, a bookstore I haven't been to? In this area?" she added and resumed eating thinking about his question to her. "Spending time outdoors, just us, we haven't spent a full twenty-four hours together yet, so this will be our chance, maybe doing some reading, doing some fishing will be fun too," she took another bite, this ice cream would be gone soon if she didn't slow down. "It's delicious," she mumbled between a bite, apparently manners are forgotten with really good ice cream. She took his arm "Yep, I'll finish this on the drive," 

As a gentleman, he helped her into the vehicle and then she set her ice cream in the cupholder. She slipped on her seatbelt and watched as he started on the navigation, she laughed as he switched directions. "Getting lost would be an adventure too," she suggested. She wasn't worried about where they ended up as long as they were together. She watched him turn and move along the path to the highway reaching over to hold onto his hands, she smiled gazing out the window. 

Ray smiled as he  hit the main road out of Evermore as he smiled "once we reach a certain  point it will be around an hours walk till we find a tree with 3 Rs and a bit of a scorched tree  " he blushed a little as he chuckled " don't tell Earth Initia that " he smiled as  he eyes occasionally  wandered over to the girl he loved  before focusing back on the  road as the final few buildings left  there  eyeliner as they hit the open road " SO what  is your first  thoughts on the hat we can do  apart from setting up camp " he chuckled gently as  he smiled as they continued for a couple of hours before  pulling into a diner and  petrol stop  as he smiled turning off the  engine  he leant over kissing Claras cheek"  it felt like an eternity " he blushed as he got out of his walking quickly  towards Claras  side opening the door Carefully " if you want to go  into the diner ill join you  after I've just filled  the tank " Ray  filled up the tank  shortly  walking  into the  diner joining  Clara at a table .



He smiled as he sat opposite smiling “ Just got to pay the chef to watch the truck for the night and we can get going “   he noted the waitress as he raised his hand for her to come over as she got her pen out “ could I have 1 coffee and 2  apple pies to take away and 4-day travel pass” he handed the money over to the waitress would you like anything before we go Clara “ he gently placed his hand outstretched on the table I wasn't that fact he was possessive he just had demons he wasn't ready to reveal and feeling her hand against his calmed him  “     where the gate says Northgate we just got to walk around an hour and we will be there “ he smiled gently hoping she would enjoy the site.





"What's the story behind the tree and the three Rs? You can't just tell me something like that a not explain," She teased as they left Evermore behind. Clara couldn't remember the last time she'd taken a trip out of town, besides the time she had been looking for some family with a friend, but that felt like forever ago. "I'm not sure, maybe we can start a campfire and roast marshmallows, you can tell me stories of other times you've been camping, after all between the two of us, you are the expert." She kept turning to look over at him, the man she loved, the man whose blue eyes could hold an ocean and whose emotions were never too far off the surface. 
The drive continued on and somehow it flew by, easy laughter and chatter flowed between them, it was easy to fall into the little bubble of happiness they created. The pine trees seemed to grow taller as they passed, a few clouds in the sky seemed to paint the world with a touch of majestic beauty, it was perfect. Ray pulled over into a gas station, a small diner close by, as if on queue her stomach growled. Apparently, Ray was good at knowing when she needed to eat, cause, of course, she had forgotten with everything so beautiful they had passed by. "You missed my lips," she teased. Clara thought she was the shy one, but every time he kissed her, his cheeks turned a shade of pink, she loved that about him, but she couldn't help but tease him. Putting him out of his misery she leaned over and kissed him. "Sounds good, I'm starving," she answered. 

Of course, the diner was quiet and surprisingly busy, a quick stop for truckers or travellers like themselves, the wallpaper was peeling at the sides and the linoleum floors were outdated, but the smell coming from the kitchen could have rounded up the pickiest of eaters. Wafts of bacon, pancakes and that sugary sweet syrup-filled her nostrils, the lively chatter in the diner brought a smile to her lips. It felt like a page out of one of her novels. She sat down at a booth, the waitress bringing over some water and a laminated menu.  before quickly scurrying off. The door opened and a bell chimed, and in a few short steps, Ray joined her. She watched as he called over the waitress and she jaunted down what he asked for. "I mean if one of those pies are for me I should be good," she replied. If not she'd get her hand on a cinnamon roll, the ones in the bakery tray with icing oozing off the top.  His hand landed on hers and she flipped his palm open so she could intertwine their fingers, a shadow of the past sweeping over his eyes. She'd be here for him whenever he was ready. 
"Walking sounds wonderful, I feel like I've been sitting forever," she mentioned. 

"Of course one is for you  the energy boost will get to camp" ray smiled as he thought  about Claras  question " well the first time I was here  I just ran no hiking gear  just me and my lighter and  for 5 days I wondered     on the last day I found the site we are going to  but I made my way back here  when I need  space again  I  came here but I had forgotten where it was spent the best part of a day  looking for the camp  so as I   returned I  scribed an R  every half-mile  so I would  find it again  the scribing is trackers and hunters trick my father used when he was smuggling  stuff in the state  the gang  that  brought it to the state lines  left a trail of markings  and they would let father know  what the symbol was  and we would follow it “ he smiled as  the pies arrive “ one of the best pies in the state “ he smiled   taking a bite of his   “  im no expert just learn to survive  “he smiled can always teach  you some  if you like “ he chuckled as  he  listed to Clara about sitting  to long “ trust me when  we get to camp you will be wanting that seat “ he teased .




They exited the diner  some time later   as they walked   back to the truck as ray opened the boot holding up Claras backpack so she could put it on and adjust  the straps accordingly  “ all strapped in “ he smiled gently as he put  his own on    attaching the food bag  to his  rucksack as  he pulled  out wrapped up box  hoping she liked the gift   he went out especially to get them  it was 2 hiking sticks with Claras name  inscribed on them “ partially why i was late today “ he smiled as he took his own out of the side panel “ i've got fishing rods and a solar radio if we need it” ray  raised a finger as he remembered the lat thing” he unlocked a  bottle panel taking the rifle out as much  he didn't need it  they needed to look human  he attached it to his bag as he smiled “ looking forward to  the weekend in the wild “ he gently kissed her lips  before walking  to the entrance of the forests  stopping in front of a tree  as he removed a little moss to Show Clara  a R carved into the wood”  if you see a R exactly like this  say  as  thats the direction we have to head ok “  he put once stick  on his bag as he held out his left hand” you will definitely love the view when we get there” he smiled 



Clara listened to his story intently, Ray didn't talk about his past a lot, and Clara understood why, but every time he did Clara saw little pieces of who he was being placed, though as much as she loved when he opened up to her, she would never push, it was something she had always felt was the right thing to do, they all had pasts that were sometimes too painful to talk about. "Well, I look forward to seeing all the carvings," A map to guide them where they would be staying. When the pies arrived, and once the waitress departed she took a bite, closing her eyes, gracefully containing a moan. "You're absolutely right," It was definitely one of the best pies she'd ever tasted. "Do we have to go camping so far, maybe we'll just live in this diner for a couple of days," she half joked. "Compared to me, definitely an expert and you'll most certainly have to teach me, what's the first lesson?"
She shook her head, "I'll probably regret my words later but for now I've got all this energy, and I can't wait to stretch my legs,"

The pie must have evaporated because it was gone way too fast, Clara was sure she couldn't have consumed it that quickly but nonetheless, it was gone and they were off to go camping, she'd ask Ray to take her back on the way home, maybe get a whole pie this time, to take home, she promised herself. Ray helped strap her in, and she realized why this wouldn't be as easy as hiking or just regular walking. "All good," she muttered even though the weight on her back was heavy, she hoped she wouldn't embarrass herself and fall over, It's just like a stack of books she repeated to herself, it'd be over soon enough. The walking sticks were beautiful, and she thanked him over and over again, at least now she'd have something to hang onto. "You didn't have to have them engraved," she sighed, she loved how he was always going the extra mile. She leaned up and kissed his cheek, "You're too sweet," 
Clara looked over everything and nodded. Following him as he pointed out the first R, "Are they all hidden or just this one?" she asked. She slipped her hand in his and took the first step. "I'm sure it's breathtaking," 

Ray smiled as he walked into the woods keeping at a normal pace with Clara  as long as the R's are on the left we are good" he smiled " what are you looking forward to this weekend "?  he asked questions  they continued to walk stopping every 10 minutes or so   showing Clara the next R on the trail   and hid it again to put off any other  hikers as he smiled " are you up for break  there a bit of incline where you will need all your energy  to stay stood up  a break" he held  Claras bag as  he waited for her to  unstrap herself before  placing   it down on fallen log  before placing his  own down " we are around 10 15 minutes away " he smiles ashe sat on the log as he watched her " do you like deers  as in Bambi  " he looked down  to the ground as he pointed  to the deer tracks" maybe 6 hours old "

After 20 minutes Ray rose to his feet   as he put his backpack on as he   held up claras letting herself get  strapped in " nearly there" Ray smiled "  it was the one place he loved  and now he was sharing it with the woman he loved   he started to walk the distance required stopping as he looked around  slipping on the lege of the hill coming to a stop on his back as he burst out laughing " I'm alright " he got his self up " take he path to your left there is a rope to help you down   ill wait for you at the bottom " ray  moved quickly to where  the  end of the rope lay picking it up he pulled it tort so it was easier for Clara to get down  after a few minutes she was down she smiled  taking her hand as he waited at the edge of the campsite " you ready " he smiled as he pushed a branch away to show the camp 

Clara decided to keep an eye out as best as possible but realized Ray probably had a better idea where all the Rs were hidden. "Definitely the "sleeping under the star" part of the trip, I've never really done it before, and I can't wait till we can go fishing, my father used to love fishing and I always feel a little closer to him when I fish.  What about you, what are you looking forward to?" she asked. Even though she spoke about her father she wasn't saddened as she used to be, the times where her heart literally hurt when thinking about him, apparently time did help to heal. 
She watched as he pointed out the Rs, and with the talk of a break Clara nodded eagerly, she wasn't that tired yet, but if some hard hiking was coming up she wanted to be prepared. "Yeah, that sounds great," she said, thanking Ray for helping her with her backpack and sat down on the log, and when he sat down beside her she reached for his hand. "Deer are pretty cute, I remember reading Bambi when I was a kid, my mom used to read that to me along with Alice in Wonderland," but he knew already that Alice in wonderland was one of her favourite books as a child she had mentioned it to him on one of there dates. When he pointed out the tracks she smiled. "I didn't know you could track, where did you learn that?" 

Ray helped her after the break and she was getting excited to arrive at the campsite, the beautiful trees towering ahead made the view hard to see from here. The sight of watching Ray disappear from her eyesight made her jump, "Ray," she screamed, following after him looking over the fall, she heard his laughter and released a breath. "Are you sure, you're okay," once reassured, Clara couldn't help but tease him. "Getting tired of walking you just had to slide down?" 
Following his instructions she grabbed the rope and walked down slowly, watching her step. Accepting the hand he offered at the bottom. "You worried me, you sure you're fine?" she asked again, she wanted to be absolutely sure, so she reached around to feel his head, "There were no rocks?" checking for a concussion she weaved her fingers through his hair. But eventually, he must have got sick of her fussing because he moved some leaves and showed her the camp, breathtaking was the only word that came to mind, how could she be so lucky to find a man who wanted to show her his most secret place, hidden in the woods. "It's...." she couldn't seem to find the words. 

Ray smiled as he walked into the clearing as he placed his bag down at the log by the fire as he smiled  holding Clara's bag as he smiled,," ok.  Ve Got it if you would like to disengage from your bag and have a lol around " he smiled as he placed the. Bag next to his " the tent is  to your right  bathroom on the other side of the cave   and" he moved out his arm showing the lake ," this is the lake  home away from home " he smiled as he wrapped  his arms around Clara as he smiled," this weekend. Me. You-  and this perfect place for the weekend " he pulled out his lighter with his free hand  lighting it as he focused on  bringing the  flame to the. Fire place " did I !ention you look stunning  this evening " he smiled as he raised his hand to stroke her  cheek as he leant into gently kiss her lips .



Ray smiled as he looked into her eyes " shall we get the tent up and running before  we do what ever we like " he smiled as he gently let go of Clara as he  walked to a log over looking the lake. As he. Unwrapped a material pulling it over the branches  to provide  shelter before. Walking back to Clara  as he picked up his ruck sack " I brought two tents   either you can have a single to your self or  can share with e ," he blushed a little as he took out the   tents   unwrapping them placing  them. Along the cave area   with where the poles should be " he smiled as he looked to Clara" I pro!use you I'm ok. If I wasn't I would say








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