So what was this so called dream job in Seattle? An assistant, thats what. An assistant to the director of sales in an ad agency. She would be filing, sorting, and answering phones until her head exploded. Zoe didn't have the heart to tell her friends- she knew the looks on Sam and Michelles faces would have stopped her from going. They would have broken the small amount of resolve she had left. Even if everything Sam had said was true; she needed her space, she needed her own time- she didnt really want it. She was angry at herself for wanting to leave her friends and her life, but angrier still for them accepting it almost too easily.
These were her thoughts as she taxied down the runway in seat 12 B. No one sat on either side of her. No one spoke to her until the drink cart passed by. When she reached Seattle she felt completely, and utterly alone. Getting up from her seat no one so much as glanced in her direction. I'm terrified." she thought to herself. Everything would be new. Everything would be different. She didnt know anyone here, and she was already missing her friends, her family. She flipped open her cell phone to turn it on, noticing she had forgotten to charge it before she left.
" Great. Now I can't call anyone either." with her last tether to her friends gone she made her way past the throngs of people waiting past security to the main doors. Her luggage should have already arrived, she had most of it shipped. It was raining, of course, and it felt appropriate. A bit like a cliche romance novel- although she could now understand why it often rained in movies when the main character felt down. It matched the mood perfectly.
" Excuse me." she was roughly shoved aside by a man in a business suit who had clearly suffered one too many blackberry coma's, and her purse, her dead cell phone, everything she had fell into the very large, ( A/N: and conviently placed, don't you think?) puddle by the cab he had been determined not to miss.
" Damn it! Damn this city with its never ending rain! Damn cell phones! This sucks!" she cursed, causing many a head to turn. What a great start to a new city.
When she finally hailed down a cab without it being stolen , she gave the cab driver her new address. She would be living near Lincoln Park, in a small one story house that even had a tiny garden. It would be just big enough for her, and maybe a dog. Or a cat. She wavered between the two as the taxi drove through the streets, every now and then stopping for a red light.
" Is this your first time in Seattle?" the cab driver must have been bored- Zoe noticed his radio was broken, and by broken she meant smashed. She met his eyes in the rearview mirror and answered
" I just moved here actually. First day. "
" Well we have the best city in the world, and I am not lying. I have lived here all my life.." Zoe was grateful for the interruption. She could wage an inner battle later, when she was unpacking. By the time she reached her house she had learned he had been married 26 years, had 11 kids, and 7 grandkids. His favorite singer was Willie Nelson, and he thought baked Lays chips were the best thing since sliced bread. She thanked him when she got out, tipping him.
" Enjoy it. This is a magical city." she wanted to tell him everyone thought that about her city, but she was too busy noticing that the lights in her new house were on. As the taxi drove off she thought about who to yell at when her electric bill was sky high. The thought of a fight cheered her up a bit- maybe she could even get them to pitch in to pay some of it. Who knew? Realtors were finicky people. She found the key on her keychain and opened her front door, expecting to see rooms with unpacked boxes. Instead she not only found everything unpacked and put away, but there was music playing and she swore she smelled something cooking. She could hear Civil Twilight singing 'Quiet in My Town', a song she not only loved but which fit her mood perfectly.
" What the fuck?" she murmered in disbelief.
" Well tell me how you really feel." a voice came from behind her, strong and low. " I mean do you have to go around cursing like that? What will the neighbors think?" there was a look of mock reproach on Shane's perfect face, but his eyes twinkled as a way to say he was far, far, from reproachful.
Everything she had been feeling for the past year, all the angst, all the anger, and all the worry left her. All she could think was Shane is here. She ran at him full speed, knocking him over. They tumbled to the floor in a tangled mess, Zoe landing on top of him with a huge smile on her face.
" You conniving jerk. Where have you been?" she had meant for the words to come out harsh and demanding; instead they came out quiet and with longing.
" Well I had to quit my job. And in the process I had to get screamed at in the street by your crazy loyal admirers, find your new address, and unpack everything. Oh and I had to give you this." he squirmed for a moment before pulling a small box out of his jeans pocket and gently rolling her off him.
" You have to be standing for this part." Zoe did so, unsure of how she had got to her feet in the first place.
" Zoe. I know this is the last thing you expected, after everything I have done in the last year. I tried staying away from you- that didn't work. I tried putting my career first and clearly that definately did not work. I have loved you every minute of every day I have been away. I tried denying it, I tried ignoring it, and the only time I felt complete in this last year was when I embraced it. You amaze me every day Zoe, with your grace and your strength. I am not sure how I would have handled everything if the roles were reversed. What I am trying to say is that I love you. I want to be with you every day for the rest of forever. So why don't we make forever start today?" and he opened the box. Inside was a gorgeous ring, something only an idiot would say no to, espically hand in hand with a proposal like that. Yet she found herself thinking back to the thoughts she had in the taxi, and on the plane. How she needed to start fresh. Looking into his warm eyes it was hard to refuse, but she hoped he would understand.
" No." his smile fell. " But I would like you to move in with me."
" And how does the work?"
" I think we need a good solid year of actually being a couple before we get engaged. A good solid year to prove that we can do it, together. With our jobs and our friends and new town. I came here to start over. Will you do that with me?"
He paused before answering. " I would do anything for you. Fine. No engagement today." he got up off his knee and smiled. " But I am proposing again tomorrow. And every day until you say yes."
" Shane that isnt the point-"
" I want you to be my wife Zoe, and thats all there is to it." he met her eyes and found them excited, happy.
" Well I guess we'll see how long it takes, wont we."
" Yes we will. Now come on, I made chicken enchilada's." as she walked with Shane into their new kitchen, she felt good about her decision. She was following through on what she had promised her friends, but she would figure it all out while falling head over heels for Shane. Again.
It took 4 months and 6 days, also known as 128 proposals, before Zoe finally said yes. Shane had done everything from taken her scuba diving for a proposal to sky writing to proposing one morning, with breakfast, in bed. The morning she said yes she had found Shane asleep on the couch, having come home late from a teachers meeting. She still couldnt believe how well the students had taken to him, and was glad he had chosen something that didnt involve him getting kidnapped or shot at. As for her, her assistant job had actually led her into advertising itself, something she found she had a knack for. She was still an assistant, but she was much more involved now. She worked with the director now more than she worked for him. Best of all though- she hadnt felt alone in a very long time.
When she had walked downstairs she noticed that he had the ring, which he had tried so valiantly to give her, on the coffee table in front of him. She sat down beside him and stroked his cheek with the back of her hand to wake him up.
" Morning sleepy head." he smiled at her. She could live off those smiles- they made her feel like she was the only girl in the world who had ever been this loved.
" I take it you are making breakfast, oh woman I love so much that wont marry me?"
" That woud be correct. Not stop being a smart ass and get off the couch. Do you want to go on a run with me before we eat?"
" Absolutely. Let me get changed." he came back out in less than five minutes, in sweats and a black FBI tee. She couldnt believe that after all this time, she still swooned. They headed out the door together, starting slow before working up to a fast run. It would taken them about 15 minutes at this pace to do the 11 miles to their favorite spot in the park. They hadnt been there in a few weeks and she had missed watching the sunrise. Thank goodness for slow saturdays. As they ran flat out she noticed Shane kept shooting glances at her and she laughed, playfully shoving him.
" Watch the road you goof." she got a smile in return.
When they made it to the park Zoe sat down on the closest bench and leaned into the nook of Shane's arm once he got comfortable.
" Are you happy Zoe?" he murmured.
" Extremely." she waited to see if he would respond but instead he tipped her chin up to kiss her softly on the lips.
" If I can promise every day will start as wonderfully as this, and only get better , would you marry me?" Zoe smiled. Of course she would. Looking into Shane's eyes she knew she had resisted long enough. They belonged together- they needed one another and completed one another.
" Yes." She laughed as she saw his double take, before his the face splitting smile appeared.
" Really?" as she nodded he picked her up and spun her around. " Well then I get to give you this." Pulling the ring from God knows where she felt tears pricking her eyes as she let him slide the ring on her finger.
" I love you Shane."
" I love you Zoe."
The wedding was three weeks later, in a small church in Cabo, on the beach. Shane had made all the arrangements as a suprise. She wore a white strapless gown with a green sash, and her blonde hair was long and wavy. Shane looked amazing in his tuxedo, as did Sam, who had brought his pregnant wife with him. Michelle was, of course, her maid of honor. Her family watched on as they vowed to love, cherish, and be there for one another through thick and thin. Zoe knew she couldnt have made a better choice as he pulled out vows he had written himself, as yet another suprise. The day had been full of them.
After the wedding he gave her an envelope with two plane tickets to Europe.
" Oh Shane, this is great!"
" Well only the best for my wife." she liked the way that sounded.
" Well do you want your wifes present?" she teased.
" I told you not to get me anything." he sounded apprehensive.
" Well its sort of for both of us."
" Okay..." as she put his hand to her belly his eyes widened and she answered his silent question with a nod.
" We are going to have a baby."
Finished! To everyone who kept reviewing, thank you. I know it was a bit rushed, but to be honest, if I didnt write it now I probably wouldnt have. So I hope its an ending that you can all appreciate or acknowledge as plausible. Thank you all for your kind reviews, and if I start a new story, please review! Thank you again for reading this- thats more than a slacker like me deserved. Thank you all again.