Because fluff is fun
And Jack/Sarah fluff is even better.
She threw the front door open, fists clenched and skirts billowing around her legs. Furiously slamming herself inside the small apartment, Sarah tried unsuccessfully to calm down.
He mad her so mad.
She slaved away all day at her sewing, earning meager pay for her hats and scarves, while he was out rough housing with the boys all day, conning people blind and charming every other woman to cross his path.
I wouldn't be surprised if they were the reason we're practically broke, she thought nastily. What's a lady go for these days?
The thought was ridiculous, and she knew it – he would never be unfaithful. Still, it felt good to hurl insults at him, however stupid they were.
The reason for her fury was the same as it had been for the past three months – he was spending too much of his income. On what, she didn't know, but that hardly seemed to matter. She was twenty-two and still living with her parents, for Chrissake. All she asked was that he saved a few pennies a day to put towards their own apartment. Was that so difficult?
Maybe he won't do it because he doesn't want to live with you.
The thought came out of nowhere. Maybe he isn't planning to ask me to marry him!
Ooooh, the thought made her livid. If she'd dated Jack Kelly – granted, on and off – for six years only to find that he wasn't the 'marrying kind' … she'd kill him. She really would.
A soft knock on the door interrupted her thoughts. She looked through the peephole but saw no one. Bewildered, she turned from the door, prepared for more Jack-bashing – just to find herself staring at the man in question.
He was leaning casually against the window, arms across his chest and a smirk across his face. "Hey, beautiful."
She glared at him. "Don't you 'hey, beautiful' me," she snapped. "How did you get in?"
Jack arched an eyebrow at him, gesturing at the open window. "Same way's as usual. Fire escape." She crossed her arms over her chest, glowering at him.
"Well you'd better escape your way out of here before I do it for you." To her great consternation, he just grinned wider.
"Let's not fight," he suggested, opening his arms and walking towards her. She backed away, shooting him her best death glare and stamping her foot in warning. He stopped advancing, but looked amused. "You're really angry, aren't ya?"
She threw her hands in the air. "I just don't understand why you don't want to buy an apartment with me," she told him. "What could you possibly have to spend your money on that's more important than us?" She arched an eyebrow, challenging him to have a response.
He sighed, shoving his hands into his pockets. "There ain't nothin' more important than us," he promised, grinning a little. "It's just that I've been investin' in stuff. For the future."
She frowned. What did that mean? Was he planning on leaving her for something (or someone) else? "Like what?" She demanded.
"Like … stuff."
His evasiveness grated on her nerves and she stamped her foot. "Tell me right now, Jack Kelly!" He simply shrugged. "I swear, if you don't 'fess up in two seconds about what you're doing with that money … " Still he said nothing. "Fine," she snapped, turning away from him. "I'll guess."
This seemed to amuse him and he took a seat on the countertop, banging his heels against the cabinets. "Stop that," she ordered, and he immediately stilled. "Well … let's see. Hookers?"
He looked affronted. "No!"
She felt slightly relieved, despite herself. "An illegitimate child?"
He made a face at her. "Sarah."
"Well, it's hard to tell with you, Jack. You're always surprised when I think you're lying about something, but might I remind you of the little thing I like to call you're other life?"
Jack blushed, not looking at her. "Hey," he defended himself, "That was different. It was to keep me out of jail."
"Oh, and that's supposed to get me to trust you more," she told him dryly. "Well, fine. It's not a child. Are you … buying a house in Santa Fe?"
He smiled at her, his eyes glittering. "No," he promised, his voice soft. "I'm happy in New York. Santa Fe is a thing of the past." She smiled at him, feeling distinctly pleased with his answer. But as she opened her mouth to continue, he cut her off. "In fact," he said, "I think Santa Fe was a dream I had when there was nothing else to hold onto. But that's all different now. I have you."
In spite of her better judgment, she felt herself becoming less angry. "See, Sarah, that's what you are to me. Something good, you know? Like a sort of … flower in the desert, or something. That sounds stupid."
She smiled at him. "No it doesn't."
Jack grinned gratefully, seeming to gain his confidence. "Well, there you go then. A flower in the desert. I'm not real used to having people care about me, you know, and I know that sometimes I sort of – abuse that – but I do love you, Sarah." He was so earnest, his smile hopeful.
She threw her hands in the air. "I love you too. But I'd love you more if you'd tell me – "
But he was ignoring her, pacing across the kitchen. "And see, here's the thing. I don't feel quite … right without you. You're what keeps my head above the water. And neither of us is gettin' any younger and … " he took a deep breath, turning towards her and taking her hand as he sunk to the floor.
She gaped at him. You've got to be kidding.
"And, well, I'd like to make it official. Us official." He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a tiny box, flipping it open.
Sarah gasped. "Jack…"
It was beautiful, the most beautiful piece of jewelry she'd ever seen. A heart-shaped diamond set in gold, glittering up at her from garnet cloth.
"How did you afford … ?"
His eyes sparkled up at her. "Now do you understand why I wouldn't tell you where the money was going?" He asked as he slipped it on her finger.
She felt tears well in her eyes and threw herself onto his chest. "And to think," she laughed wetly, "I was angry at you!"
He grinned. "You're a woman – you can't help it. You were born that way." She hit him lightly across the chest.
"Don't let's get started," she warned.
"Actually," he told her with a charming smile, "I'm pretty sure that's what we're doing now."
He grinned at her, getting comfortable on the counter as his eyes followed her form around the apartment. "Lucky me," he murmured.