Four seasons had come and gone since the fateful night Langston revealed that she and Cole had had an affair. In their separate parts of the world, Markko, Starr and Langston came to know the bleakness of winter, the promise of spring, the fullness of summer, and the harvest of autumn. Eventually spring did roll around again and it was a season full of hope. It had been over a year since Cole's death and Langston wanted her friends back, she wanted her family back. She hoped she could find the right words to tell them how much she missed them. She had met a guy named Hunter and they were getting along well. He wasn't Markko, maybe, but she realized no one else ever would be. He wasn't Cole either but she was realizing that she had loved the idea of Cole more than she had ever loved the man himself. He had represented the unattainable, the forbidden, the fire she had wanted to be burnt by just once. And she had been. Just years later. She was ready to put the past behind them but would they ever accept her into their lives again? She had no choice but to try because she missed Markko and Starr so much. So, so much…
She went back to Llanview. Her home. As she walked the streets she had travelled as a child, she realized how much she had missed this place. She knew Markko was living in a loft near the outskirts of town, coming up with ideas for his brilliant scripts. She walked there the first day she arrived and knocked on his door.
She waited anxiously, bouncing on the balls of her feet, until he opened the door. When he finally did, she was afraid he was going to toss her to the curb like trash but he actually invited her in.
"What are you doing here, Langston?" He asked.
Langston shifted from foot to foot. "I missed you," she said. It was just three words but it said so much – maybe more than Markko was ready to hear. But once again he surprised her.
"I missed you too," he said. "But you know there's no going back for us."
Langston nodded. "I know. I actually … met someone."
"Me too," Markko admitted.
"Wow that's great. I hope she treats you … a lot better than I did."
"Gretchen treats me well," Markko said. "I am actually really happy with her. For the first time I'm not looking over my shoulder wondering when the other shoe is going to drop."
"You love her?"
Markko nodded. "Yeah I do. What about you and your guy?"
Langston shrugged. "It's not true love but I really enjoy his company at least. I had true love once and spoiled it really bad."
"I'm not here, Markko, to try to win you back. At least, not into a romantic relationship. I just miss us. Our friendship. The way we could just be, you know. I miss Starr and you, my best friends ever that I can't and don't want to replace. I know I don't deserve another chance with you two. I know I screwed up so badly but I miss you guys. If there's any way I could ever make up for what I did, I want to try."
"Because my life is so incredibly empty without you two. And because sometimes I just wonder if you two miss me as well."
Markko slowly nodded. "We do. I talk to Starr a lot. She misses you too, Langston, even if she isn't ready to tell you so."
"Do you think she ever will be?" Langston asked as tears moistened her eyes at the idea, the hope, of having Starr back in her life.
"I don't know. I suppose you have to ask her. She's coming down this weekend to introduce us to her 'new friend'."
"Wow. She met someone too, huh?"
"Yeah although she insists they are just friends right now. But I don't think any of us does 'alone' very well."
Langston smiled a bit. "You're right, we don't… Look, Markko, I just want to spend some time with you and her, just the three of us, can you arrange it? I know I shouldn't ask-"
Markko nodded. "I think it can be arranged," he said.
The rest of the week passed slowly. Langston was sure Starr was going to refuse to see her and she cried about it. It wasn't until Sunday afternoon when she was thinking about heading back to California when Starr finally reached out to her and Langston reached back. Langston had been thisclose to booking a flight home when there was suddenly a knock at the door of her room at The Palace.
She heard someone call out "Room Service" and she shook her head. She hadn't ordered Room Service.
But still she went to the door and opened it. She was shocked to see Markko standing there with none other than Starr. Markko had a triumphant smile on his attractive face and while Starr looked sheepish, she was smiling a little too. "Starr?" Langston choked out over the emotion that was building in her throat.
"Hey, Lang," Starr said. "Sorry that we just dropped by like this but-"
Langston shook her head. "No, don't be sorry. I am so glad you're here. Come in." She ushered her two old friends into her room and they gathered in the suite's sitting room.
The conversation was stilted at first. They asked each other about mundane things (like, "what do you think of this weather?") but when Langston realized she could take the small-talk no longer, she found it in herself to apologize.
"Starr, I am so sorry for hurting you and Markko. I will regret that until the day I die." Her eyes sheened with tears as did Starr's.
"Did you love Cole?" Starr asked, twisting her hands in her lap.
"Honestly, I think I did in a way," Langston said and saw Starr's expression crumple. "But he didn't love me. He always, always loved you, Starr, and only you."
"How could he do that to me then?" Starr asked, imploring Langston to make her understand.
"I think he was just broken over losing his mother and you two were having some problems. He just needed to reach out to someone, anyone, and I was there."
"Yeah you were," Starr said and for a moment she looked extremely bitter before shaking her head. "I just don't want to be angry anymore. I don't want to keep hating Cole. He's gone forever as is my sweet daughter. I want to be able to mourn them without being angry … I want to remember Cole as the great father he was and yes, he was the love of my life."
Langston nodded. "I am sorry I wasn't there for the funeral service. I just didn't think you'd want me to be when you found out."
"I needed you there, Langston. I needed my best friend."
A tear dripped down Langston's cheek. She didn't know what to say anymore.
"I still need my best friend," Starr finally continued and to Langston's shock, Starr reached out and clutched her hand. "I still need you, I really do. I don't know how sometimes I will make it through this. You and Markko … I need you both so much."
"We'll be there," Markko said, finally speaking up. He squeezed Starr's other hand.
"We will," Langston agreed. "Nothing will come between us again because I won't let it."
The tension between them lasted awhile longer but slowly they began to really open up to each other. The accusations and anger and resentment seemed to melt away during the long hours they spent talking and eventually it was just three best friends sharing their lives together, once again. By the time Starr and Markko were ready to leave for the night, Langston knew three things for sure. One, she had been forgiven somehow by her friends, deserving or not. Two, she would never hurt them that way ever again. And three, she knew that they were all going to be just fine. Yes, just fine.
A new season had arrived and it was time to embrace it.