Okay let's try this again. Apparently I am NOT very good with technology. Thanks so much for all the support- I am determined to finish this story.

Chapter 8: Feels like home

Jack walked into his condo just outside of LA. Feels strange to be back here…been gone so long that hotels feel more like home. He let his mind wander to Elizabeth. It had only been a day since she left for Boston and he still hadn't heard from her. Not that he expected to but hey a guy can dream. It was hard but he tried not to read too much into it. There's a 3hr time difference, plus she is probably exhausted from travelling. Should I text her? Or am I being too pushy? No don't text her you idiot…. I just miss her. Over the next few hours Jack unpacked and made his apartment semi livable again, stopped in at the local Whole Foods to stock up on some much needed grocery items. Honestly he was doing everything he could think of to keep his thoughts off of Elizabeth.

By the time Elizabeth landed it was the middle of the night. She was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. The words from Jack's letter still swirled around in her head. Her father had sent a car to take her home. Figures he couldn't bother coming to pick me up himself, she her and Charles separated she moved in with younger sister Julie. Growing up Elizabeth and Julie had always been close. If she was being honest it was Julie that had inspired her to take the acting job. The youngest Thatcher daughter was always one that forged her own path in life. Never seemed to care what her family or friends thought of her. She quietly made her way up to her bedroom, not wanting to wake her sister. As much as she missed Julie, she just wasn't in the headspace to talk. I just need sleep. My brain can't even process what has happened the last 24hrs.

Sun streamed into the bedroom and Elizabeth stirred, thankfully her exhaustion took over last night and she slept like a rock. After rubbing her eyes, she rolled over to checked her phone. She told herself it was to see the time but secretly hoped Jack had sent her a message. He said he'd give me space, he's not going to reach out until I do. She took a deep breath and shook off the thoughts, slowly making her way downstairs. Julie was sitting at the kitchen island sipping coffee and scrolling through her phone.

"ELIZABETH!" She jumped up to give her a hug. "I've missed you so much. I can't believe I didn't hear you come in last night. We have so much to catch up on." Elizabeth was so relieved to see her sister. If anyone could help her make sense of things between her and Jack it was Julie. Though Julie was a hopeless romantic at heart and had a history of running headfirst into relationships.

"Oh Julie, I've missed you so much too. It been such an amazing experience." She made her way over to pour herself a cup of coffee. Julie gave her a questioning look. "For someone that just told me how amazing of a time you had you sure don't look happy. I feel like there's more to this story….." Elizabeth sighed and took a sip of her coffee, I may as well tell her…

"I'm not lying, the job was amazing. I stepped so far out of my comfort zone and gained so much confidence and knowledge about myself."
"But…." Julie interjected. Elizabeth rolled her eyes, clearly her sister knew her too well, and continued her story,
"So the co-star I was working with Jack." Julie nodded knowingly, Elizabeth may have mentioned him in her texts over the last 6 months.

"He's so sweet and we had such a great time together. We really did become great friends." She took a deep breath before continuing. "When I was leaving he gave me a photo of us together during the first week together. He wrote me a note, saying that he wanted us to be more than friends, that he was falling for me…." By now Elizabeth was pacing the kitchen looking uncomfortable.
"Well, do you want to be more than friends?" Julie asked, not one to sugar coat anything.
"That's the thing, I just don't know if can let down my guard. After Charles and I broke up it took months for me to feel like myself again. With Jack I don't think I could recover." Elizabeth ran her hand through her hair and joined her sister on the couch.
"Lizzie, from the sounds of things Jack is a COMPLETELY different person than Charles. He really does care about you and has been so supportive during you time in Vancouver. Plus you know me I'm always one for romantic gestures, that letter and photo combo would have done it for me." Julie gave her sister a teasing look and Elizabeth rolled her eyes. emI guess Julie has some points. It just so hard to let him in completely. He's not someone that I could ever get over.

It took awhile for Jack to into a restless sleep. Try as he might he couldn't get Elizabeth out of his head. He still hadn't heard from her since he'd sent her off in Vancouver. Jack rolled over for what felt like the hundredth time, he groaned when the clock read 6am. emUgh, may as well get up and go for a run. /emHe spent the morning catching up on the housework that had built up over the last 8months. Jack had his brother Tom check on his place but they had different standard when it came to cleaning, his apartment wasn't up to his usual standards. The next time Jack looked at the clock on the stove it was almost 12pm. He yawned. I don't think I've had any coffee yet. No wonder I'm still tired. Over the course of the morning he had lost track of his phone. He scrolled through the notifications, a couple missed calls from his brother, mum and agent. Then he saw Elizabeth's name pop up, she had finally sent him a message.

Hey Jack. Sorry I haven't called. Still recovering from jet-lag haha. Thanks so much for the photo. Can we chat about everything when I come to LA next week? Please don't over think this. Elizabeth xoxo

Jack re-read the message over a few times. Sure it wasn't the exact outcome he had hoped for, but the chances of her calling and professing her love to him seemed a tad unrealistic. He shook his head at himself. Jack you are ridiculous, pull yourself together man.

Hey Lizzie, don't worry I'll be here to talk whenever you are ready. Missing you Jack xoxo

The next week flew by for both Elizabeth and Jack. They had full schedules that were spent catching up on the lives that had put on pause the last 6months. Between visits with family and friends there had been little downtime. However, they had managed to steal a few moments to send each other texts but had little opportunity to really connect with each other. Before she knew it Elizabeth was packing up her suitcase to fly to LA. I can't believe that I'm going to see Jack again, I have no idea what to say to him, she sighed. the closer she got to the day, the more her anxiety increased. She missed seeing Jack everyday, but still was struggling with the idea of taking their friendship to the next level.

Lost in thought she walked through the arrivals gate, "Elizabeth!" She heard her name and looked up, surprised to see Jack staring at her with signature smile. In his hand he had a small bunch of dahlia's. "Jack, what are you doing here? I thought they were sending one of the drivers." She smiled and gave him a quick hug, and he handed her the flowers with a shy grin. "Well, that is true. However yesterday I had a meeting with the director and a few staff. I offered to pick you up. Figured that I could give you a tour of LA before we start work tomorrow, " He Shut up Jack you are rambling again. /emBefore he could continue Elizabeth spoke. "I should have known. Hey maybe while we are at the airport you can find some poor traveller to run over." She gave him a playful shove.
"Jack grabbed her luggage and they made their way to his car. It had been years since Elizabeth had been to California. She took a deep breath of the ocean air. Suddenly she was brought back to their last night in Vancouver. Just the two of them sitting on the beach over looking the water. I remember everything about that night.

"Elizabeth…." Jack's voice brought her back to reality. "So I figured we could drop off some things at your hotel and then I play tour guide." The brunette nodded. "Yes Jack that sounds great, looking forward to seeing the city. It's been years since I've been to LA.

An hour later the two them were walking together on beach near Santa Monica Pier. They had falling into a comfortable silence. I guess I should tell him. I love being his friend but I just don't think I can risk things changing between us. Elizabeth took a sip of her smoothie. "Hey Jack, so about your note. I've been doing a lot of thinking about what you said. We work so well together and I'd hate for anything to change that." She stopped and sat down on a beach, finding the courage to look at him. If he was disappointed or upset she couldn't tell which offered some consolation. "You've been such an amazing friend to me and I don't want to lose you." She gave Jack's hand a gentle squeeze. Only friends, well I guess I'll have to make it work. We have so much fun together. I'm sure it's just a crush and over time I will get over over it.

The realization that he hadn't responded to Elizabeth hit him like a ton of bricks. "Don't even worry about it. You are stuck with me as a friend." Jack gave her a reassuring smile. "Seriously it's totally fine. I'm totally fine." He wasn't completely lying. It wouldn't be easy but if he had to he could get over

Before Elizabeth could catch her breath, the week was already over. I only have another two days with Jack before I'm back to Boston for 5months. She sighed, but was determined to make the most of their weekend together. Earlier in the week the director had informed them that their series was picked up for another season, this time with a TV movie included.

Jack invited Elizabeth to spend Friday night with him and his family. At 5pm Jack drove to pick up Elizabeth, he had enjoyed spending the week working with her again. Suddenly he was hit with nerves, she's meeting my family, hopefully they don't scare her off. I hope she doesn't think that this is a date. I told her I was okay with being friends. Jack's mum could be a bit brash but always had his best interest at heart and Jack's brother, well younger brothers had a knack for embarrassing older siblings.

Elizabeth was waiting in lobby when she saw Jack pull up. He looked relaxed and causal in jeans and a t-shirt. emHe looks so cute, those eyes….WOAH! Elizabeth back it up. You told him that you wanted to be friends. JUST FRIENDS. She took a deep breath and walked outside to greet Jack. The pair exchanged easy conversation any anxiety or nervous feeling had quickly fallen away

Before Jack knew it he was pulling up to his mum's driveway. Jack opened the door and called out, "Mum we are here."

A woman responded with, "In the kitchen." Elizabeth followed Jack down the hallway into centre of the house. Jack's mum, bother and uncle were all mulling around the island. There was a loving, exciting energy floating around the room. It was loud and there was so much laughter and conversation. A stark contrast from family dinners she was used to. I don't think my family has ever laughed this much together.

Jack walked up to his mum and gave her a big hug before doing introductions. "Hey Mum, this is Elizabeth. We worked together in Vancouver. Remember I told you about her. " Jack turned to his co-star, " Elizabeth this is my mum Charlotte." The older woman wiped her hands on her apron before pulling a surprised Elizabeth into hug. "Oh Lizzie, it's so nice to finally meet you. Jack hasn't stopped talking about your adventures together in Canada." Jack looked at the ground, trying not make eye contact with Elizabeth. "Hi Charlotte, thanks for inviting me for dinner. You have such a lovely home."

Jack made his way through introductions with the rest of the family. His brother Tom behaved for the most part and kept the embarrassing stories to a minimum. Elizabeth loved watching Jack interact with his family. He's so sweet with his mum. Gosh the way Tom and him banter reminds me of my relationship with Julie…

Charlotte stood up and started to clear away the dishes. "Oh Ms. Thorton let me help you." Elizabeth spoke. Jack's mum tried to wave off her help but Elizabeth wouldn't let it happen. The two women worked together loading the dish washer. "Lizzie, would you mind helping me and start up a pot of coffee." Charlotte asked as she put the pie in the oven. Elizabeth nodded and busied herself with the task at hand. "You and Jack are close…." The words came out more as a statement than a question. Elizabeth turned around, "Umm…yeah I guess we are. We really connected during our time in Vancouver and became great friends." Charlotte gave her a knowing smile. "Well my Jack isn't one to bring home his "friends." Just keep that in mind." She gave Elizabeth's shoulders a gentle squeeze as she grabbed the dessert. Am I really that obvious? Could I really let him in? She followed Jack's mum into the dining room.

"I haven't laughed that much in a long time." Jack broke through the silence as they made their way to his car. Elizabeth smiled, "It was a really awesome night. Thanks so much for inviting me tonight. You and Tom are hilarious together." They pulled onto the highway as the conversation lulled Elizabeth noticed the song playing on the radio.

Something in your eyes
Makes me want to lose myself
Makes me want to lose myself
In your arms
There's something in your voice
Makes my heart beat fast
Hope this feeling lasts
The rest of my life
If you knew how lonely my life has been
And how long I've been so alone
If you knew how I wanted someone to come along
And change my life the way you've done

Something about the words pulled her in. She glanced over at Jack who was concentrating on driving. There was something about the way the light hit him. Words from Jack's mum floating around her head. Am I really the first person, first girl he's brought home? I just can't believe how welcoming his family was it was like I belonged there...

It feels like home to me
It feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way back where
I come from
It feels like home to me

This song….what a perfect way to end the night. To hell with fear I have to tell him…he's not Charles. What if this is worth the risk. 1"em

"Jack I umm…." Before Elizabeth could finish the sentence there was a loud bang and everything went black.

A semi truck a few cars in-front of them had blown a tire, Jack tried to stop but it was too close.

"Elizabeth!" Panic was starting to set in, Jack shook the women next him. She was unconscious but clearly still breathing. Elizabeth began to stir, "Jack….I umm….what happened?" She looked confused and disoriented. "Shh…it's okay, you're okay." He spoke softly trying to keep her calm. "I have called 911, they should be here any minute."
Jack moved closer to Elizabeth, looking her over. It was then that he noticed her leg was pinned between the dashboard and her seat. "Jack….my leg…it hurts." She looked at him with sad scared eyes. He inched closer to her and began to run his hands through her hair. His main goal was to keep her calm and relaxed. "I know I know…it won't be long now. Focus on your breath." He was breathing with her now, trying to keep himself calm.

It felt like hours but the sounds of sirens started to move closer. "Elizabeth, the ambulance is coming….you are going to be okay. I'm so sorry…." Elizabeth's voice was soft. "Jack it's okay, it's not your fault. Just keep talking to me…." The song that I had played on the radio was still floating around in her head. She was in so pain but being with Jack gave her a sense of peace. She knew that no matter what happened Jack would keep her safe…

Feels like I'm all the way back where I belong
A window breaks down a long dark street
And a siren wails in the night
But I'm alright 'cause I have you here with me
And I can almost see through the dark there is light
If you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I've waited for your touch

If you knew how happy you are making me

I never thought that I'd love anyone so much

It feels like home to me

It feels like home to me

It feels like I'm all the way back where

I come from