A little over two weeks later, Jessica was packed and ready for her next trip. Since they'd gotten back from their Thanksgiving trip, Seth's things had little by little started moving from his home to hers. Other than going to work, he spent all of his time at her house. Everything had gone well…until now.
"Seth, I have to go! You knew this trip was coming!"
"Just because I knew it, doesn't mean I like it!" He stumbled and grumbled. "This isn't even about this trip and you know that."
She brushed a hand through her hair. "I can't do this." She held her hands up in the air like in surrender. Just then Mort walked in. Jessica pointed at him. "Mort, could you please drive me to the airport?"
Seth interrupted, "Jessica, I will drive you to the airport like always."
"Mrs. F. I don't know—"
Jessica interrupted. First to Seth, "I am not riding anywhere with you right now." Then to Mort, "Listen Mort, you can either drive me to the airport or I'll be forced to call a cab. Now what'll it be?"
Mort looked momentarily at Seth who nodded his head and then to Jessica, "Okay, sure. I'll drive you."
Without looking back at Seth, Jessica picked up her bag and headed out the back door. When Mort caught up to her, she was already in the passenger's seat. "Now Mrs. F. are you sure you don't want to go say goodbye?"
Still flustered, she began to rant, "Goodbye? Do you know what is even going on?"
"No, but I just thought-" After being interrupted, he knew to just start driving.
"He knew my job before we started dating! Now he thinks it can magically change!"
"Did you give him-"
"I told him we'd talk about my new contract and we have for weeks!"
"So what has-"
"Just because it hasn't formed to his specifications doesn't mean I'm not trying!"
"I'm doing all I can! We both have busy schedules."
He decided to stop even trying to speak and just let her rant most of the way to the airport. Once she stopped, he didn't even try to say anything. Instead, he just turned up the radio and let her mind reel.
Once she was on the plane, guilt set in. She never should have left without saying goodbye at least. But her stubbornness would never allow her to admit her mistake out loud.
Her trip was awful. She missed Seth terribly and regretted their fight more than she could describe. There were moments when she wanted to pick up the phone and call him, but she knew their discussion to clear the air needed to be in person.
Once her plane landed back in Maine, she rushed to the front of the airport to find a taxi. She was shocked to hear her name being called once she got outside. Looking towards the yell, she saw Seth waiting for her at his car in the pickup lane.
She walked slowly to him. He came around the car to open her door. "Seth, what are you doing here?"
"Give or take once or twice, I always pick you up from your flight, Woman!"
"But I didn't think-"
"Well you thought wrong."
Speechless, she got into the car. They were well down the road before she spoke again. "Seth, I think we need to talk."
"We'll talk when we get home over dinner."
She choked up and tears came to her eyes. It might have been a simple slip, but he had just referred to her house as his home. It took a few moments for her to gather herself. She cleared her throat. "Seth, I have something I need to tell you."
She was shocked when he pulled the car over to the side of the road. He reached in the back, picked up a stack of newspapers, dropped them on her lap and continued on the road ahead without a word.
She looked down at the stack of papers. Each one was opened to the 'job' section of the classified ads. She had no idea what she was looking for so she started browsing the top paper which happened to be the 'Cabot Cove Gazette'. Being a small paper, her eyes fell upon what she thought she was supposed to find. There was an ad for a doctor. It mentioned it being a partnership and that furnished accommodations were available.
Shocked, she flipped to the next paper and found the same ad. She looked at a few more and also found a slip of paper with several names and phone numbers of newspapers from surrounding states.
"Seth, what is this about?"
He reached across the car and placed his hand on her knee. "We're almost home."
Again, the use of the word 'home' made her speechless. At his somewhat silent request, she sat quietly in her seat. Once they entered her kitchen, she smelled the chili on the stove. Seth went immediately to turn the burner back on.
Not able to stay silent another moment, Jessica asked, "Can I set the table?"
Seth simply took her by the elbow and led her to the door of the dining room. With a wave of his hand, "I already have, Jess."
She stared for a moment and at only a whisper, "There's a candle on the table."
"A-yuh. Dinner will take about a half hour to warm up." He turned her in his arms and looked into her eyes. "I know you usually like to freshen up after a flight, but how about we start that conversation you've wanted to have so that once dinner starts, I can just gaze into your beautiful eyes through candlelight?"
She wanted to fling herself into his arms, but chose to simply nod and headed for the kitchen table, picking up her carry-on bag on the way. She wanted to tell him what she'd done, but was cut short when he started speaking as he poured them both coffee.
"The moment you walked out of the door, I knew what a fool I'd been. This whole time all I've been talking about is what you could do to make things better. While you were gone, starting on the day you left actually, I realized that I was the one that could make some changes to help us."
As he sat down he held up a hand. "Uh, let me finish. So I started with the 'Cabot Cove Gazette'. There they gave me all the numbers I needed for papers all the way to upstate New York. I'm past retirement age, Jess. I'm not ready to give it up totally, but there is no reason why I can't find a partner to help me run my business. That will free me up to travel with you more and even be with you more at home. There will be times when you're writing and want me out of your hair or you have appointments or lunches with other friends. This will give me something to do to make sure you still have your space."
She waited a moment, to make sure he was done and then began. "Seth, I changed my contract."
She pulled out some paperwork from her bag. "I changed my contract." When he reached for it, she grabbed his hand. "You are more important to me then this contract."
"But Jess, they said they wouldn't go for any lower of a commitment than the last one we presented."
"Seth, listen to me. You are more important to me than this."
He started to flip through the pages and read her notes in the margins. Even though he could find most of the answers on his own, he still asked, "What did you tell them?"
"I told them that my contract would only include me writing two novels. I also said I would only be travelling 50 days next year. I also told them that you had to be able go with me for half of those. Any additional times that you wanted to go with me would be arranged by us."
"H-have they agreed?"
"I don't care, Seth. If they don't sign, I won't have a problem finding another publisher. I've already told them that. I'm sure they will send it in the mail soon. If not, I'll take the next step."
"I can't believe you did this."
"I can't believe you did what you did for me."
He dropped the paperwork, went to her and drew her up into his arms. "Jess, I will do whatever it takes to make this work. Sometimes, though, my stubbornness gets in the way."
With a smirk and tears forming in her eyes she replied, "Mine too, Seth." He leaned in to kiss her, but stopped. Her brow gathered in confusion. "What's wrong?"
He cleared his throat and straightened up. With his left hand still at her waist, he lifted his right as he said, "Nothing." His right hand fell on her cheek, and his eyes delved into hers. "I love you, Jess."
Her breath caught momentarily. She hadn't known how much she'd been waiting to hear those words. After hearing them, she knew how much she wanted to say them back. "I love you too, Seth."