AN ….This story began as a collaboration with anonymousgg16, with her encouragement and the editing help from ClaudiaCleland I decided to publish my first story.

This story begins in May 2016, Rory returned to the east coast in 2013. After working on the Obama campaign she worked as a freelance journalist. A news broadcaster began to follow her stories and offered he a job as an intern. He then took her to NBC and when he left to be the Executive producer at CBS he asked her join him as an assistant producer. In 2014, Rory loses her grandfather Richard Gilmore and she meets the love of her life. But tragedy strikes again, not once but twice. This story will tell how she survived these terrible losses and finds her forever love with the help from her friends.

I hope you enjoy this story.

Chapter 1

"I'll miss you," Rory whispered. She was standing at the security checkpoint, wrapped in the arms of her fiancé, Ace Gerrard.

"I'll miss you, too. I'll only be gone for a few days this time, though," Ace promised her. He was a correspondent for CBS, and he was headed to England and France on assignment.

"I know you have to go, but I hate when you leave," Rory whispered.

"Just two more months and we'll be married, mon amour." He hoped he could get her to focus on their upcoming wedding rather than his departure from the States.

"Two months," Rory replied dreamily. "I can't wait to become Mrs. Gerrard."

"I can't wait either. Now, I have to go or I won't make my flight," he warned.

"Hmm... that would mean you have to stay here with me," Rory joked.

Ace chuckled and shook his head at his fiancée's antics. "That would mean I would have to take the next flight and I would be late for my assignment. I'll see you in a few days."

"Promise you'll come home safe, okay? I love you, mon amour," Rory whispered. She had fallen for the teddy bear of a man standing in front of her and had latched onto the popular French term of endearment when she'd heard it.

"And I love you, mon trésor. I'll call you as soon as I can," Ace promised. He wrapped his arms around Rory tightly and kissed her deeply. Their relationship had always been one that was full of emotion and unbridled passion. He'd heard stories about how shy and reserved she had been with exes, but she'd never been that way with him. He pulled away and kissed her forehead.

"Au revoir. Je t'aime," Rory said as she pulled away from him.

"Au revoir. Je t'aime, mon amour. Je reviens vite," Ace replied. He kissed her once more and walked through the security checkpoint to find his gate.

Rory watched him as he waved just before he was out of sight and blew him one last kiss before turning and walking back out to the parking lot to find her car. She got into her car and smiled as she pulled out of the parking lot.

She hadn't been looking for love when she'd met him, but he'd captured her attention. Their courtship had been intense and exciting. Her mom and Luke were unsure of Ace at first, but Rory was firm in her declarations that their opinions of him didn't matter to her. They'd traveled the world together on assignment from time to time and had settled in Manhattan in 2015. That had been a difficult year for Rory. Her mother had passed away from ovarian cancer, and she never would have made it through that loss without Ace by her side. He'd proposed on New Year's Day in 2016 and they'd made plans to wed a short eight months later. Rory finally had it all - a thriving career as a producer at CBS, an amazing fiance, and soon she would be married.

Rory Gilmore had just left her office at the CBS studios on 57th Street. She was on her way to meet her best friend, Steph Vanderpool, for lunch at her favorite Italian restaurant, Bocca di Bacco. She arrived at the restaurant first and gave her name to the hostess. The hostess led her to her table and Rory ordered a glass of chianti for herself and one for Steph. The two girls were meeting to go over Rory's wedding plans. As she was sitting there waiting for Steph, her mind wandered and she thought about the day she met her fiance.

It was a beautiful spring day in May 2014. Rory had been working as a freelance journalist and had traveled to Washington DC for the annual correspondents dinner. Having worked on the Obama campaign trail, she attended these dinners which were a great way for her to network with fellow journalist. She was standing at the bar talking to some fellow reporters when this handsome reporter came over to their group.

"Bonjour, Chris," said the handsome man, "I have not seen you on many assignments. How is your family?"

Chris Cuomo was standing beside Rory and turned to his friend. "Ace, how are you? Have you returned to the states now for good?" he asked as the two men embraced.

"Ace", like in "Ace reporter?" Rory asked with a big grin. It had been a long time since she'd heard that name.

Chris laughed. "Excuse me, Rory. Let me introduce you to Acelet Gerrard, better known to all of us as Ace. Ace, this is Rory Gilmore, better known as Leigh Hollow in our circle."

Acelet took Rory's hand in his and kissed it. "Enchanté," he said.

"Quite the charmer," Rory said to Chris.

Ace was mesmerized by her. Not letting go of her hand, he continued. "You have the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen."

"Yup, you know how to charm the ladies." Rory smiled and turned to her friends and waved goodbye. "Well, I will catch up with you later," she said as she left the group. Rory walked over to another group of reporters and kept her eyes on Ace. Ace was six feet tall, with wavy brown hair. He had an air of confidence as he stood there talking and laughing with the journalist she had been talking too. She had never seen him before and she thought she heard a French accent. She asked Nora Roberts, who was standing beside her, for more information about Ace Gerrard.

Nora leaned over and whispered, "He is one of the newest up-and-coming journalists. He is a graduate from the Harvard School of journalism and CBS is very interested in him."

Rory was remembering the day she met her fiance when Steph approached their table.

"Why the silly grin, Gilmore?" Steph laughed as she sat down.

"Oh, just thinking about Ace," Rory responded and chuckled

"Well I would be thinking about that sexy reporter too. How is Ace?" asked Steph.

"Good, great actually. He left yesterday on assignment to go to England then over to France. He should be back by the end of the week." Rory explained.

"I don't know how you two can plan a wedding with him flying all over the world," Steph said.

"With my wedding, I wanted Colin there beside me making all the decisions."

Rory laughed and just then the waitress came over to their table to take their order. Both girls ordered a salad and a side of bruschetta.

"So Rory, only two more months until your wedding. Are you getting excited?" Steph asked as she took a sip from her wine glass.

"Steph, I have so much to do. I'm so glad you could meet me for lunch today before we go for our dress fittings. When we finish I thought we could check on the venue, at the Loeb Boat House in Central Park. Did I ever tell you that was where Ace took me on our first date?" Rory asked.

The waitress arrived with their salads and the girls began to eat. In between bites of food the girls continued to discuss the wedding plans. Just then Rory's phone buzzed.

"Hello, Rory Gilmore speaking," Rory said as she answered the phone. Rory looked at Steph and motioned that she would step outside to take the call.

When Rory hadn't returned to the table in ten minutes Steph became worried. She looked out the door and couldn't see her. Steph motioned to the waitress for the check. She gave her money for the check and went outside looking for Rory. Rory was outside leaning against the wall of the restaurant with tears streaming down her face.

Steph ran over to her and put her arm on her shoulder. "Rory, What's wrong?"

Rory looked at Steph. "He's gone…" she whispered.

"Who's gone? What are you talking about?" Steph asked her

Rory took a deep breath. "Ace… he's dead."

Steph looked at Rory in shock. She took out her phone and called her driver. She put her arms around Rory, and Rory sobbed.

"Rory, is that what the call was about? Who called you?" Steph whispered to Rory.

Rory could barely talk. "The station, the call was from Nora."

As the two women were talking the town car pulled up. Steph guided Rory into the car and asked the driver to take them to her apartment which was not that far away.

Steph spoke softly. "Don't worry about anything, we will go back to my apartment and I will make some calls and we will get more information."

Rory just nodded her head and continued to cry. When the women got to Rory's apartment, Steph had Rory go to the couch while she poured her a glass of wine. She brought the drink over and handed it to her.

"Drink this, Rory, it might help. Who would you like me to call?" Steph said as she gave her the glass of wine.

Rory took the glass and set it on the table. She looked up at Steph with tears running down her face. "I am not sure. He promised he would come back to me. How did this happen?"

Steph put her arms around her friend and gave her a hug. Rory sobbed and kept repeating "How did this happen?" Steph got up and led Rory to the spare bedroom in their loft apartment. She told Rory to lie down and she would make some calls.

Steph shut the door and pulled out her phone. The first number she pushed was Colin's. It went right to voicemail and then she remembered that he was in court most of the day. She immediately called his office.

"McCrae and Knight Law Firm, how can I direct your call?" said a voice on the other end of the line.

"Hello, Kathy," Steph said to the receptionist. "This is Stephanie McCrae, can you connect me directly to Martin Knight?"

"Martin Knight here," Marty answered his phone when his secretary patched her through.

"Marty, this is Steph and I need your help. I am in the city having lunch with Rory Gilmore, and she received awful news. Could you get a hold of Colin for me? She is in shock, so I took her to our loft apartment in the city," Steph explained.

"Sure, what else can I do to help?" Marty asked. He hadn't thought about Rory Gilmore in eight years. He wondered what could have happened; it was unusual for Steph to call Colin at work.

Stephanie thought for a moment. "You know, Marty, I think you can help. I need someone to make phone calls for me. Rory wasn't in the right state of mind to ask questions or take in the information she received. We need someone who can cut through the red tape and call CBS and find out what happened."

"Umm, yeah. I'll be right there. I have nothing on my schedule that is pressing," Marty said as he was standing up getting ready to leave. "Let me get a car and I will be there in about an hour."

"Thanks, Marty, I appreciate your help."

Marty left his office and addressed his secretary as soon as he saw her." Kathy, I need you to cancel any meetings for the next few days for myself and Colin. Something important has come up and I have to go to New York. You can reach us on our cell phones, but please try to handle anything that's not urgent."

He called the car service and then got into the elevator. By the time he got down to the lobby the town car he used was parked out front.

"Hello, Rocco. Thank you for coming so quickly. I need to get to the Silver Towers at 620 West 42nd Street in Manhattan as quickly as possible," Marty said as he got into the car

"Of course, sir," Rocco said as he pulled out into traffic.

Marty picked up his phone and dialed Colin's personal cell phone. He was in a deposition meeting with some of their clients.