Chapter 3

Steph's POV

"Joe listen to me okay? I'm not going to lie to you, I did sleep with Ranger…." Before I could finish he spun around and stared right into my eyes.

"I can't believe you slept with him! Stephanie I love you! I swear on my love for you I have never so much as thought of another woman than you," he paused for what seemed like an eternity and said under his breath, "in my life."

I closed the distance between us, "What are you talking about?"

"Shit Stephanie! You are the only girl that I have ever loved; you were the first girl that I had a crush on! You remember that time we played Choo-Choo? Yeah well that was the first time I had done that, Jesus I think I started loving you since the day I turned eight years old!" He paced around the kitchen as he yelled, "I can still remember when you got your first boyfriend, Johnny Swaza. I swear I had never felt such jealousy when I saw you two walking down the hallways at school. I wanted to punch that guy's face in, and I did the day I saw him kissing you." He stopped pacing and looked me dead in the eye he kinda had a smile in his own, "Didn't you ever notice that all your boyfriends got beat up right after you had your first kiss with them?" I shook my head, but as I started to think about it I realized that he was right. "I was just so jealous of them that I did the only thing that I knew how to, I beat the shit out of them. I hated how they would walk around with you right next to them, I hated how they got to sit with you at lunch, I hated how they could just talk to you."

"I don't get it? Why if you claim you were in love with me, then why didn't you ever say anything to me? Why did you go out with all those other girls!?" I was totally lost here. What the hell was he talking about? He has loved me all these years and I have never known?

"All those other girls meant nothing to me, I swear too you Stephanie it's always been you. I used to talk to you…."

"No Joe, you never talked to me in high school. Not once."

"Okay you're right, I never talked to you in high school. You know why?" Before I could answer he continued, "because for one you always had a boyfriend and don't even deny that because to me it seemed like you always did, and two, God damn it you were the only girl that made me stutter when I so much as thought of you, you were the only girl who if I even started to walk up to you my stomach would drop, I'd get sweaty and I was so scared to say something stupid around you. I hated what you did to me I hated it! But at the same time I couldn't stop loving you."

My head was spinning, I felt like I was going to barf so I sat down on the kitchen chair and put my head between my knees, "What about the day when you came into the bakery?' I was kinda scared of his answer.

"I don't know what happened but when I walked in you were there, you looked so…delicious…. that I could not help myself." He got that far away look in his eyes, I could tell he was remembering that day and like a stupid girl back in high school I blushed.

"You know all this time I thought that you just took any girl you could before you left for the navy and I just happened to be there."

Joe's POV

Did she really think I thought so little of her? I mean did she really think I thought she was just a one time kinda deal?

I forgot all about my anger for a moment and I bent down in front on her and held her hands in mine, "No, Steph that day was the best day of my life. I finally got to do what I had wanted to do since I was fourteen years old. I was so stupid but I had these dreams that when I got home from the Navy you would be there waiting for me and that you would tell how much you had missed me and that you loved me." He got up and walked away from me, "I sure was wrong huh?"

"When you got back, I was engaged to Dickie. Why didn't you say anything when you got back?"

"Same reasons I didn't say anything to you in high school. Plus I thought you were happy and I didn't want mess up your life."

"God I wish you had messed up my life," I jumped up and practically flew into his arms. I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him like I had never kissed before. It went from tender and soft to hard and reckless. But then all of the sudden Joe stopped and pulled away from me.

I knew it was my turn; I had a few things to explain to him too.