Part Four

Tristan laughed bitterly, staring at Rory with a pained look in his eyes. "I'll leave you alone now. If you don't stop me, I'll walk out of your life."

Rory felt numb as she watched him turn on his heel and walk away. She couldn't form any coherant thought. She wanted to stop him, she wanted to throw her arms around his neck and just kiss him. But she knew she couldn't do that. She couldn't just kiss him, not until he explained himself.

How could he just tell her he had loved her since highschool without so much as a warning? Didn't he realize how shocked she would have been? Rory didn't even have a clue that Tristan Dugrey had actually liked her. Even if she did know that he had real feelings for her, Rory wasn't sure that she would have returned his feelings. Tristan Dugrey was cocky, she didn't like cocky boys.

Yet, she couldn't deny the thrill of his touch. She couldn't deny how good it felt to be in his arms. She couldn't deny the fire she felt as his lips brushed against hers. But most of all, she couldn't deny the feeling inside her heart.

She had fallen in love with him. Unintentionally, she had fallen in love with her arch nemesis.

She couldn't let him leave now. She had never felt so deeply about someone in her life. She had thought she was in love before, but with Tristan, it was different. If this wasn't love, then Rory didn't know what was. She had to stop him from walking out of her life.

"Wait..." she blurted out softly.

Tristan whirled around at the sound of her voice. His posture relaxed and his eyes sparkled. He stared adoringly at her, his gaze radiated with love. A small smile graced his lips, showing how relieved he really was. He looked like a little boy, gifted with a balloon. He didn't look like the Tristan Dugrey she knew at Chilton.

Her tongue felt thick in her mouth. She opened her mouth to say something, anything. She wanted to tell him her confused feelings. She wanted to tell him how much she really loved him. But no words came out. She couldn't form how she felt for him. There was no possible way. How could you tell someone how much you cared for them, when you were telling them how much you hated them just a few seconds ago? It just didn't make sense. Rory tried to form some words, to prevent him from leaving once again.

She couldn't do it.

He stared at her, the smile on his lips quickly vanished. He looked hurt, the light in his gorgeous blue eyes fading. Rory willed herself to say something, to make him smile once more, but it was like she was frozen in time. She couldn't move. She simply couldn't.

Tristan just shook his head sadly, "You almost did it, Rory. I should have known that you would never love me."

He turned and began to walk away. Rory wanted to scream and shout. She wanted to throw herself at his feet, she wanted to make him stay. She didn't want him to leave, he had jumped to conclusions too quickly.

But she couldn't move.

The balcony door slammed shut with a thud. Rory gazed longingly at his figure through the glass door. Just when he disappeared from her view, tears welled up in her eyes, and she could move once again. Tears blurring her vision, she sank to her knees and cried.


Tristan felt cold.

For the first time since he set his eyes on Rory Gilmore, he felt cold. Of course, he didn't know it was Rory Gilmore in the beginning, but now he knew. He still couldn't get past how ironic it was. What were the odds of it being Rory Gilmore behind the mask? A million to one?

Tristan stopped, trying to get a sense of direction. He didn't want to mingle anymore. He just wanted to get out of here. He wanted to jump into his car and drive away. He wanted to go back to his room at the Hilton and wake up and find out that this was all a dream. However, he knew it wasn't a dream. The sensation of Rory Gilmore in his arms was something that could never happen in his dreams. It was too real.

Kissing Rory Gilmore with that kind of passion was something that Tristan knew he would remember for the rest of his life. Kissing the girl who you loved was different from kissing just another ordinary girl. He had never felt such passion in his life. No other kiss had come close to it. Even the kiss he had shared with Rory on the piano had been different. It was lovely, but it had been hesitant and shy. Tonight's kiss had been forward, ignited with lust. The kiss was more mature.

Tristan wished that he hadn't kissed her. He wished that he could go back. But he couldn't go back. After feeling her tender touch, he had fallen right back where he started. He had fallen in love with her, once again.

Tristan smiled sadly as he stared longingly at a couple near the punch table. They were laughing, even with their masks off. Tristan wished that he and Rory had that same experience. Reunions were supposed to be happy. Of course, he should have known better. Reunions were never happy for him. Even family reunions always turned out to be a disaster.

Tristan let out a sigh of relief when he saw the spiraling staircase leading towards the parking lot. He quickened his pace and headed towards the staircase, anxious to get out of the happy atmosphere.

It was suffocating him.

He let out a sigh of exasperation when he arrived at the foot of the stairs. It was rather narrow, enough for two people to go up and down as they pleased without any contact. However, a couple playing tonsil hockey blocked the entrance to the parking lot. Tristan knew his efforts would be futile if he tried to pass them, but it wouldn't hurt to try.


Rory felt hot tears roll down her cheeks. It was ridiculous, why was she crying anyway? It's not like she stopped him. She let him go, because she didn't know what to say. She should have grabbed his arm, until her ability to speak came back to her. Yet, she couldn't move. It was a weird sensation. It was as if she was paralyzed by her feelings.

And now it was too late.

She lifted her head and looked through the doors leading to the ballroom, hoping that he hadn't really left. Instead of seeing his handsome form, she saw random couples dancing happily, others were laughing and talking. It looked like the masked ball was a success. Most people would have said this was probably the best event of their whole college career.

Not for her.

This could easily rate as the worst event in her life. For all she knew, Tristan could be her destiny. It definitley felt like it when he held her in her arms. It was a feeling of certainity. She was supposed to be with Tristan for the rest of her life. She had never felt that fire burn so intensely before.

Of course, she could be mistaken. She thought that Dean was the one. She thought that her life would be a fairytale, that Dean would be her knight in shining armor. When they had broken up, she had been so devasted. Dean was like the air. She couldn't breathe without him. But slowly, as time went by she gained more self-confidence. That relationship with Dean taught her so much about life and it's ups and downs.

She still couldn't believe she let Tristan just leave like that.

She wanted to chase after him. But that wasn't conventional. Cinderella didn't chase after the Prince. The Prince was the one who chased Cinderella. Rory shook her head. Tristan would think that she was a little bit too desperate if she ran after him.

She should have stopped him before she looked like a desperate women.

But Tristan loved her. He really did. He wanted her to run after him. Besides, he could be the one. The one that Rory would never meet again. She had to do this. She had to swallow her pride and tell him her feelings. She needed to.

Getting up from the floor, Rory lifted up her skirt and rushed out the door. She frantically looked around, praying that he was still in view. She needed this. She needed to talk to him. Now. She rushed down into the middle of the dance floor so she could have a better view. Her eyes desperately searching for his form.

There he was.

He was obviously heading for the parking lot, trying to get away from the festivities. For the first time in her life, Rory was extremely thankful for public displays of affection. Hiking up her skirt even more, she tried to sprint towards him, but her shoes were not helping.

"No," she whispered angrily, as he got past the couple and disappeared from sight. She angrily, took off her shoes and ran faster, carrying them in her hands. People were starting to stare at her, but she really didn't care.

Even the couple on the stairs had stopped their make-out session to stare at her. "All the better," she muttered, pushing her way past them. She reached the room upstairs, and looked around. She saw a flight of stairs and rushed down it. She breathed in a sigh of relief.

"Tristan!" she called, "Wait!"

He didn't seem to hear her. He seemed to wrapped up in his grief to even notice. Tristan had got into his car and was starting the engine. She couldn't reach him in time.

This was pathetic.

Rory sighed, and her eyes moved towards her own car. She had parked close to the entrance because she knew she would have a hard time finding it. Now she was extremely relieved that she had done so. She quickly ran up to her car, and tried to open the door. It was locked.

"ARGH!" she shouted. She had forgotten to go the coat check-in in her rush to get to Tristan.

"Spare key."

She quickly whirled around to see Tristan's car was backing out of his parking spot. She rushed over to the front of her car and felt underneath for her spare key. Her mother was going to kill her for ruining such a nice dress. Her hand brushed against the case. Grabbing it, Rory quickly took out the key and jammed it into the lock. It unlocked without a fuss. She threw open the door and tossed her shoes inside. Starting up the car, she quickly pushed the gas pedal. Rory could see Tristan's car heading out, and she smiled in relief. She just might be able to catch him. "This is so Hollywood," she said, rolling her eyes with a laugh.


Tristan had a tight grip on the steering wheel as he drove down the solitary highway. The only car in sight was this Honda somewhere behind him. In around two hours, there would be a traffic jam as everyone from the ball tried to get to their hotel rooms. He had always been part of that crowd, and now the empty road just reminded him of tonight. The way Rory Gilmore had just let him leave. He still couldn't believe he had just walked out of her life. He couldn't believe that he actually promised to walk out of her life.

Now he couldn't even talk to her during those Chilton reunions.

Tristan rubbed his temples and sighed deeply. He was pathetic. But he couldn't help himself. He had declared those words out of anger and frusteration. He was tired of holding those words inside. He wanted her to know how she made him feel. She probably thought that he was exaggerating his feelings for her, but he wasn't.

Rory Gilmore was so clueless.

Tristan felt exhausted. It was the feeling of physical tiredness, it was that intense feeling of emotional exhaustion and helplessness. It was a feeling Tristan experienced during the fits of rage his parents went through while he sat alone in his bedroom. But this as different. This had to do with Rory Gilmore. This time, Tristan felt so human again. He never felt human when he played the dating game. He was good at it. No, scratch that, he was amazing at it.

Rory was right. He broke the rules. He broke the rules for her. She was the only one he could imagine breaking the rules for. She was perfection. Even her mild flaws made her perfection. Tristan rolled his eyes, "What's wrong with me?"

He wanted to hit his head on the steering wheel in aggravation, but that wasn't very wise. He didn't want to get into a car accident because of Rory Gilmore. That would just be too much. He would never forgive himself if he lost his basic motor skills over a girl.

Even if it was over Rory Gilmore.

Tristan glanced at his review mirror, prepared to change lanes. He stopped when he saw the Honda. It was too dark to see the driver, but Tristan sighed in exasperation. "Great! First I get my heart broken into a million pieces, then I get stalked by some random person on the street, ready to steal my belongings," he muttered.

Tristan rolled his eyes. He was being so melodramatic. He felt like he was starring in an episode of Dawson's Creek. This was ridiculous. Why would anyone be following him anyway? Testing the driver, he sped up. He frowned in dismay when it sped up as well.

It continued for around five minutes, and finally, Tristan was annoyed beyond belief. He was going to confront this freak. He was going to give him a piece of his mind. Tristan saw his chance when he saw the entrance to a local beach. He quickly turned, and sure enough, the fellow followed.

Tristan angrily parked his car and got out and slammed his car door, prepared to face his stalker. Suddenly, a wave of alarm swept through him. He was being daring. If this really was a stalker, he could be in danger. Tristan mentally slapped himself. He was an idiot. He really was an idiot.

The car parked across from him, and Tristan quickly considered the possibility of jumping back into his car and just driving away. The stalker could just eat his dust. Tristan's hand shot out to grab the door handle as his stalker climbed out.

He braced himself.

Tristan's mind whirled with confusion as he saw a feminine leg climb out of the car. His stalker was women? He was even more surprised when he saw her full body. Her eye makeup was streaked down her face, the front of her dress decorated with dirt and debris. Her hair was disarrayed, and she was barefoot.

"Rory?" Tristan breathed.

She didn't answer. Her blue eyes were glimmering strangely. Before Tristan could comprehend what was happening, her mouth covered his and was kissing him desperately. Tristan was breathless when she pulled away. He looked at her with a lost look in his eyes, "What are you doing here?" he whispered softly.

"I'm here because I love you," she whispered.

With those words, Tristan felt his heart soar. He had longed to hear those words for so long. His heart ached to hear them, and he knew that he would cherish this scene for the rest of his life. "Forever," he whispered, and with that, he leaned over for one more breathtaking kiss.