Me: Hey everybody! I finally got in the best mood to write a story on Wild Card. Go me! Well it's partially because I'm really in the mood to write something but I'm totally stumped on my fiction Birds And The Bees, which kind of sucks big time considering I haven't updated it in like forever! Anyway, this story starts at the end of the last episode of Wild Card in Season one....you know when Marcos like proposed to Zoe right after she had finished kissing Dan in the elevator. Don't you just love when they do cliffhangers like that on the season finale? I don't...it's a pain but I soooo cannot wait until the next season comes on! It's gonna be great. Anyway, I don't own the characters so don't sue me! Catch you afterwards.

******

Zoe sat in shock across from her tall, dark, and handsome boyfriend. The beautiful diamond sat in the palm of her hand, soaking in back-washed champagne. Marcos grinned at her waiting for a response and then lessened his smile when she didn't say anything.

"Zoe?" He asked. Zoe didn't answer. Her mind raced at what to respond with. Did she really want to marry Marcos? What about the very passionate kiss with Dan? What was she going to do?

"Marcos." She finally said. The sound of her voice made his smile fade even more.

"Ma'am? Ma'am are you ok? I saw you practically choking and I got here as soon as I could. Can I get you something?" A waiter said, interrupting them in concern.

"Yes. I'm ok." Zoe responded, now looking at the waiter.

"Was there something wrong with the champagne? Let me get you a new bottle on the house."

"No, it's ok. I just...swallowed to hard." She said slowly. Half of her mind was still concentrating on the ring in her palm and the other half was concentrating on what the waiter was saying. Zoe placed the ring on the table and picked up her napkin to dry her hand off. "I think I need to use the restroom. I'll be right back." She said quickly and headed off to the restaurant restroom without even a glance towards Marcos. When she got in there she leaned against the counter and was breathing very hard. Next, she pulled her cell phone out of her purse and dialed. Sophia answered.

"Hello?"

"Sophia! Oh my gosh, help!"

"Zoe?? What's wrong? What's going on?!" Sophia asked concerned. She was lying on her couch with her fiancé at her feet, massaging them.

"Marcos.....he..."

"What?" She sat up now and Peter looked at her even more concerned.

"He proposed to me!" The words spilled from Zoe's mouth and another woman entered the restroom, smiling, so she turned the other way and continued talking to Sophia. "The ring was in the bottom of the champagne glass and I almost choked on it! And then I spit it out and....."

"And what? What did you say?"

"I didn't say anything. The waiter came over and oh my gosh, Sophia, I'm a mess right now."

"Let me guess. Because of a certain someone named Dan Lennox."

"You guessed right. Sophia, I don't know what to do. Dan kissed me. In the elevator after work and oooh! it was such a great kiss."

"He kissed you?" Sophia asked, not expecting that. Peter kind of got the gist of what the two females were talking about and decided to ignore them by going into the kitchen but Sophia didn't care. She was more concerned with Zoe.

"He kissed me. And I'm not talking about a little grade school peck. I'm talking passionate, long damn kiss with tongue. What am I going to do?"

"I can't tell you what to do Zoe. It's up to you. Are your feelings for Marcos strong enough to marry him or not?" Zoe didn't answer. "Zoe? Zoe?" Sophia called. "Are you there?"

"Yes, I'm here."

"Well?"

"God, I don't know." Zoe said and faced the mirror. She was wearing a beautiful pink dress and her hair was done up so she would look perfect for her date. "I got dressed for this date tonight thinking 'Oh it's just another evening out with Marcos.' And then Dan kissed me and I thought 'Wow!' and now Marcos proposed to me. Sophia, I've never had these kind of feelings for a man until Marcos and then Dan happened and I'm so confused about my feelings for him. I know there's a connection. There is a connection with both men. Marcos is so good with the kids and Dan is the dream guy you know? I just don't have any clue on what I'm going to do."

"Well, obviously you can't say 'yes' to the proposal if you're this confused." She responded.

"Yeah, I have to go. He's going to think I drowned in the sink or something." Zoe said sarcastically and it made Sophia chuckle. "I'll talk to you tomorrow."

"Bye." The two women hung up the phone. Sophia went back to Peter and Zoe took a few deeps breaths before heading back to the table. Marcos was holding the ring now, looking at it but not smiling.

"You're back."

"Yes, I am." She said while sitting. Zoe fidgeted uncomfortably without looking at him.

"Zoe. You turned out to be more shocked then I thought you would be."

"Marcos." Zoe hesitated. "That is such a beautiful ring and this is so romantic."

"But." He said, knowing what was coming.

"I'm just not ready. This is all too much for me to handle right now." He frowned and looked at the ring. "Marcos, I think you are such a great guy and I really enjoy being with you and having you spend time with Taylor, Cliff, and Hannah."

"But you're not ready for marriage. For commitment." She nodded in response and looked at him apologetically. There was a long pause before he spoke up again. "Ok. I can wait."

"Really?"

"It's going to practically kill me but hey, love does that right."

"Love?" She asked.

"Yeah, love. What? Did you really think I would propose without loving you? Zoe...you're the first girl that I've loved in a long time and you know that. Maybe I didn't come out and flat out say 'Zoe, I love you.' But I hinted and I thought you got that." Zoe kept quiet for awhile and eventually the food came and the waiter could sense some tension between the couple.

"You know, I really don't feel that hungry anymore." She said staring at her food.

"Well then we can just talk." He responded, taking another sip of his drink. Zoe nodded nervously. "What were you saying before you almost choked on well....the ring." He finished the sentence quietly.

"Huh?" She responded. Once again, her concentration was on two different things.

"You said that something funny happened at work. What was it?" He asked. Zoe's eyes widened. She had been about to tell him about the kiss she had with Dan before he proposed, but then she had completely forgotten about it when he did. "Zoe?"

"It was nothing, just something stupid that doesn't matter." She lied trying to cover it up. There was another long, awkward pause between them. "You know Marcos. This is really uncomfortable right now. I think I just better go."

"Oh, ok." He responded slowly. Zoe stood up and grabbed her purse and then looked at him again.

"I'm sorry. I really am Marcos." She said before turning and half running to the exit of the restaurant. He watched her leave and then pulled out the ring he had placed in his pocket after she said no. Marcos had a real look of disappointment on his face and people where staring at him from all directions, even some of the waiters.

***

Zoe had tears running down her cheeks on her drive home. The night had completely taken her by surprise and she had no idea on what she was going to do. She knew that she hurt Marcos by turning down his proposal but he told her that he would wait. But then what about Dan? It wasn't that late but it was past Hannah's bedtime so she had expected at least the youngest child to be asleep when she got home. Before entering her home, Zoe wiped away the tears as much as she could. Taylor was sitting on the couch with Julian, the next door neighbor and Cliff and Hannah were no where in site.

"Aunt Zoe? You're home early."

"I didn't feel well and we were tired so we ended the night shorter than usual." She partially lied, heading for the stairs. Taylor got up and walked over to her before she was completely out of the room. Zoe's mascara had run down half of her face from the corners of her eyes and Taylor could tell she had been crying.

"I don't think that's what really happened." She said while pulling her aunt back down the steps she had taken. Julian got off the couch and joined them. "What did happen Aunt Zoe?"

"I don't want to talk about it right now ok." Zoe said annoyingly and started back up the steps. Taylor let her go and looked back a Julian.

"I should go see what's wrong. This has got to be big."

"Ok, then I'll just head home."

"Thanks for helping me baby-sit Julian. I appreciate it."

"Anytime Taylor, you can count on me."

"Thanks." She said again and they looked at each other for while. Eventually he made a move and gave her a hug and then left. Taylor stood there for a while and then headed upstairs. She knocked on her aunt's door and walked in when she got no response. Zoe was sitting at her desk, still in her dress. "Aunt Zoe?" Taylor asked.

"Taylor." Zoe answered in an annoying voice. "Did I not make it clear that I don't want to talk right now."

"You just seemed so upset. I just wanted to be there for you like you were there for me when that whole thing with Ryder happened, you know?" Taylor said innocently.

"I know sweetie. I'm sorry, I just didn't have a very good night."

"I can tell that much. What happened?" She asked concerned. Zoe hesitated and then turned around.

"Marcos proposed to me."

"Oh my god! Aunt Zoe!" Taylor's eyes got wider and she ran to sit across from her Aunt on the bed. "What did you say?" Zoe looked at her niece and hesitated again.

"I said no." They were both silent for awhile.

"Is it because of Mr. Lennox?"

"Why does everybody think it's always because of Mr. Dan Lennox?" Zoe asked. Taylor just looked at her. "Ok, is it that obvious that it's because of Dan?" This time, Taylor nodded. "Oh god...." Zoe sighed and went into her bathroom.

"So, how did he take it?" Taylor asked.

"Marcos?" Zoe asked and she nodded. "I knew he felt disappointed and everything but he said if I needed time, that's what he would give me, which makes this even harder because that is so sweet...." The two women were silent while Zoe got dressed into her pajamas. "I need some sleep." Zoe said after a while.

"Yeah, I should get some to." Taylor stood up and made her way to the door. "Goodnight Aunt Zoe, I love you."

"I love you Taylor, goodnight." Zoe responded and then shut off the light and went to bed.

***

The next morning Zoe came into work as usual but this time she felt awkward being there. She was a bit worried and nervous about seeing Dan after that amazing kiss they shared the night before. Dan saw her come in and go into her office and then decided to join her.

"Goodmorning." He said while standing at the door, holding his coffee. Zoe had been turned around putting papers in a file cabinet when he had greeted her and it made her jump. "Off to a bit of a rough start today Zoe?" He asked, laughing at her.

"Very funny." She said now facing him. They fell silent as he stood there and looked up and down her body. She had decided to dress plain that day so she didn't make herself look too sexy in front of him. A black and blue pin striped suit with a light blue scarf around her neck and her hair hanging around her beautiful face. Dan seemed to think she looked even sexier because he knew what she was trying to do.

"So, how are you?" He asked finally.

"Fine." Zoe walked towards the door and past him. He followed her as she made her way to the coffee to get some for herself. Nervously she poured the hot, black liquid into her cup and added some sugar and cream.

"Not your usual talkative this morning Zoe. Is something wrong?" He asked.

"You're really getting a kick out of this aren't you?" She asked now looking up at his face and into his eyes.

"Why, I have no idea what you're talking about Ms. Busiek." Zoe rolled her eyes at his response and headed back to her office, slamming the door behind her and shutting him out. She sat down in front of her computer and signed into her email account.

"You've got mail." The computerized voice said and it startled her. There were two messages in her email. The first one she opened was from her best friend Candy. It said:

Hey Zoe! Girl, I just got back to Las Vegas and started my job today. It's ok but it is nothing like when I used to work with you. I'm sorry things happened the way they did when I came to visit you. You know I am and you know that I would never intentionally hurt you Zoe. You are my girl and you always will be. So, how is Dan? I think there is something you should know Zoe............when I was dating him for that short period of time well, something happened. We were kissing one night and getting pretty.....you know...into it and he said your name. He said, "Oh Zoe." That's how I knew that I wasn't the right woman for him. You are Zoe.....you are and I know you have Marcos and you are really started to fall for him and I also know that you have that connection with Dan that you told me about and...Zoe I may be a blonde, but I'm not dumb enough to not realize the connection between you two. You tried to cover it up because I took interest in him but now that's over so..honey he's all yours and I just want you to be happy Zoe. You know I love you and all that I want is pure happiness for you. So.....I guess what I'm getting at is..what are you going to do?

Love forever and always from your girl, Candy!

Zoe read the letter twice and couldn't believe that what happened between Candy and Dan really happened. Did he really say her name in the middle of kissing her best friend? Zoe saved the email because she wasn't in the mood to respond right away and moved on to the next one. It turned out just to be a work bulletin. A few minutes later she was getting ready to sign off when the computer made the noise, telling her that she had another email. The sender was Dan Lennox. Zoe's head snapped in the direction of his office but his mini-blinds where closed. Nervously, she opened the email and started to read.

Zoe,
I know that kiss between us caught you by complete surprise but I thought it was worth it. Will you meet me tonight for dinner at my apartment around 7:30? I think we need to talk.

Love, Dan

Zoe started at the email and thought it through. After a few minutes she responded.

Dear Dan,

Yes. I will meet you tonight for dinner at your apartment because I think we need to talk about this. A lot of things have happened the in the past twenty-four hours and I need to sort through them. I'll see you this evening at 7:30.

Yours truly, Zoe

Dan received the email and sat back with a grin on his face. 'Yes.' He thought. 'Finally.'

***

That night, Zoe went home early to get ready for her date with Dan. She was extremely nervous about it since she had just turned down a marriage proposal from her boyfriend. She showered and dressed. Hannah came in when she was spraying her best perfume. Neither Cliff nor Hannah knew about what happened the previous night.

"Oh boy, Cliff she's putting on her best perfume."

"She must have another date with Coach." He said entering the room with Hannah and Zoe there.

"No, I do not have a date with Coach." She responded.

"Then who?" Hannah asked curiously.

"Yeah, who else is there now Aunt Zoe?" Cliff stated sarcastically.

"For your information, she has a date with Mr. Lennox." Taylor said entering the room.

"Kids, can we please not do this." Zoe pleaded, heading for her purse and checking herself once more in the mirror. The three kids all shrugged and followed her downstairs and into the foyer. She grabbed her coat. "Taylor, you're babysitter again. No Julian this time please. He's a nice boy but....just not tonight all right?" Zoe said and Taylor nodded. "Cliff, Hannah, be good for your sister. I don't want any complaints. It's Saturday so you shouldn't have any homework because you should have done it yesterday when you got home from school, right?" The two younger children looked away in guilt. "Finish it so I can check it tomorrow all right. I have no idea when I will be home but it shouldn't be too late. If you are asleep when I do though, goodnight and I love you guys ok." Zoe said quickly, heading for the door.

"Have fun." Taylor and Hannah said while Cliff was silent and watched her go. When they heard the car drive off, Taylor immediately reached for the phone and dialed the number of one of her closest girlfriends, Cliff went back upstairs and to his room questioning how his Aunt could do that to his coach and teacher, and Hannah went to the TV with a bag of chips.

Zoe arrived at Dan's apartment building within fifteen minutes of driving there. On her way up in the elevator she thought about how she needed to find out which guy she wanted and she had to do it fast. A gut feeling told her that Marcos wasn't going to wait around forever and if Dan turned out to be the guy she rejects, she doesn't want to go back to Marcos and have him not be there. Dan answered the door with a smile and two glasses of white wine. She set her purse down in the foyer and accepted the drink. Zoe was still extremely nervous about being there. The two didn't talk much while eating dinner. They hardly spoke a word that involved anything besides work. After dinner they placed their dishes in the sink and Dan poured them some more wine.

"I finally got you alone Zoe." He said quietly.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, every time I tried to ask you out for coffee or anything, we always seemed to be interrupted somehow."

"Oh." She said slowly. They fell silent again. "This was a lovely dinner Dan."

"Thank you. I enjoyed preparing it for you." He responded and inched closer to her. "They stared into each other's eyes for minutes and they both started breathing a little heavier and faster. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"Maybe. What are you thinking?" Zoe asked nervously.

"I'm thinking about kissing you." He said and his face got inches away from hers as he took the wineglass out of her hand and set it on the counter. She nodded in agreement and he knew it was time to make his move. Dan's lips slowly touched Zoe's and his hands held her arms. The two had shared two other kisses before but none like this. The other two were long, fast, and passionate while this one was long, slow, and romantic. Zoe loved it and it showed her that he could do all styles of kissing a woman. They broke from each other and a deep sigh came from her. "I've wanted to kiss you like that for a long time Zoe." He said eventually. Zoe looked up at him.

"Do it again." She said with a smile and he kissed her again. She rapped her arms around his neck and his went around her torso. Slowly, their pace increased. Dan led her to the living room area of his nice apartment and slowly laid her down on the couch and placed his own body on top of hers. They're kissing didn't stop and her hands slid up the back of his shirt, rubbing his bare back. He had muscle and she liked it. Dan's hand moved up and down her sides and eventually down her thigh, while the other one held her face, neck, and hair. Zoe couldn't believe what was happening. Her heart raced along with her mind. All of a sudden she pushed him away. "Stop."

"What?" He asked confused. Zoe looked at his face and her lipstick was all over his lips. "What's wrong?"

"I can't do this." She slid out from under him and straightened her clothing.

"Why not? Is something wrong?" He asked. He already knew something was obviously wrong, he just didn't know what. Zoe was quiet as she headed towards the foyer to get her coat on. "Is it me?" He asked as he followed her to the foyer. She turned around with her coat on to find him standing only a few inches away from her.

"No, it's not you. It's me. Dan, you're a sexy man who I want to do that with, but I just can't. Not right now anyway." She said and then picked up her purse and placed her hand on the doorknob. "I'm sorry." It was the second time she had said that in the past day and she was sick of it. Zoe looked at him one more time and then headed out the door. Dan stood there confused with his clothes tangled and lipstick on his face.

*****

Me: Hey everybody! That's chapter one! How do you like it so far??! It's taken me forever to write because I've had so many distractions but I did finally get it done and I hope you guys like it. Reviews are welcome and wanted. Bye!