Disclaimer- I own nothing at all.
A/N- Hello everyone! So here's the last chapter eeek! I've gone over it so many times, wanting it to be perfect for you guys... making sure there was a satisfactory amount of closure between them etc. So I won't hold you up any longer, I hope you enjoy it!
Her movements are slow and hesitant; watchful of your own. Every stir of her tea is churned by a shaky hand.
You're not quite sure why she's so nervous, you'd thought things were clear last night.
But you've both been sitting here for nearly twenty minutes, your words limited to polite hellos, and you don't know where to start.
Then, you think, "It's always been like this with her". You'd share a moment while out on a casual dinner after a long case or one day her flirting would dance across the line just a tad more than usual, and the next day, just when you'd thought your relationship could really progress, it was as if nothing had happened.
And you'd played her game, gone along with whatever she'd done, pretending just as she did.
But not today. Today you are wiser in a sense. This whole situation, you feel, has changed you for the better, and you aren't going to let her slip from your grasp this time.
"So," you begin, "we've been sitting here for a while and we haven't even begun to dig through this."
"Yeah," she says a nervous chuckle catching in her throat.
"Where do you want to start?" you ask, hoping that by giving her the control at first, she'll feel more at ease.
"Well... after last night-" she says slowly, embarrassment showing clearly, "I just feel like... you deserve to have as many questions answered as you need. I mean, if this is going to happen, I don't want you to-" she cuts off, her eyes searching the table in front of her for the right words.
"I get it Cal," you say relieving her of the current struggle, "and I appreciate it," a subtle smile squeezing the corners of your lips.
"Well... I guess one of the things that's kind of been in the back of my mind this whole time is... Why now? What has changed?" You say with little difficulty, despite the awkward feeling each word gives you.
"Okay..." she says breathily, and you can almost hear the gears turning away in her head.
"I just, really started to miss you Eric. Right after we – Jake and I- got engaged, I was seeing less and less of you, and we weren't even working scenes together at that point. I just thought that maybe once we'd been engaged for a while, you'd come around, and we could be friends again. And then you asked me to meet you at that restaurant, and I realized how much you were-" she stops, taking time to contemplate her words,"- how much you wanted to be with me, I didn't know what to think. After a while, I guess I started drifting from him, unintentionally ... and he lost it. He left, and then called me a week later telling me he was back on a month long op in New Orleans. He told me that he still loved me but we needed some time apart. That one month turned into... well , way longer and he uh-" she pauses, taking a sip of her tea, her hand noticeably uneasy, "he slept with one of the girls, apparently while he was on drugs, which he promised me he wouldn't do. After that, it was over for me," she says simply, shrugging her shoulders.
"Wow... Cal, I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you," you say apologetically, unaware that he had been that unfaithful to her.
"Eric, you know what, it's not your fault. It's mine. And, the whole engagement thing, I've thought about it and I was doing the exact same thing to Jake that I did to you. I started second guessing our relationship, and thinking more about you and I realized, especially after Jake left, that I was making a mistake. I guess before I was afraid that choosing to be with you would end up a mistake," she says her eyes sparkling with sadness.
You nod solemnly, basically because you're in awe at her openness. You chose to remain silent this time, keeping your eyes locked on her.
"And I didn't come to you right after, basically because I didn't think you'd want me anymore, and I needed some time to think things over and ... change some things, because I didn't want to end up hurting you again," she says, releasing a cleansing breath and massaging the pendant on her silver necklace.
"I almost didn't think you'd want this now, but I thought... the longer I wait, the harder it will get. And you've been so great, Eric. You've helped me when I didn't deserve it, when you had no obligation to... despite everything," she says, her emerald eyes filled with affection.
"These are the things that made me miss you these months. And the missing you, it changed- It changed into something bigger, that well, now that I think about it ... I guess was really there all along," she says her eyes squinting.
You could have seen her discomfort from a mile away, saying all of this. But she managed to convey her feelings, and tell you private things she would normally keep inside, never to be told. This continues to amaze you, and forces you to realize just how serious she is about this.
"I'm just sorry that- that I hurt you, and that I didn't recognize all of this a long time ago," she says quietly, her gaze forced downward by her shame.
"Thank you Cal," you state simply, letting the words sink into her.
"You shouldn't blame yourself for all of this. Things happen, people make mistakes. I was hurt and angry with you for a long time. But despite all of the pain we've both had-" you cut off, unsure of how exactly to word this (your feelings for her really could never be put into words), "- I mean, considering our relationship over the years, it would never have been simple," you say, not able to contain the smile brought on by this recent catharsis.
She looks up at you, her head cocking sideways, causing her golden hair to cascade onto her right shoulder, her eyes questioning yours; a smile gracing her lips.
"What?" She asks somewhat playfully, her demeanour completely changing.
"I don't know. It's just ... funny when it comes down to it- when everything pans out," you say still smiling.
"Funny?" she questions again, suppressing a giggle.
"Well... not funny, but-"
"I get it," she says her smile still evident, biting her lip as she turns toward the window.
You follow her gaze automatically, enjoying the warm light leaking in through the window onto her hair, lighting it up. You just stare at her golden strands, which look animated as she slowly observes the scene outside.
"You know what would be nice?" she says in a soft voice, breaking your hypnosis.
"What," you say, matching her tone, genuinely curious.
"A walk on the beach," she says simply, her eyes once again adverting outside.
"Yeah, that would be nice," you say slowly standing up.
When she doesn't look back over at you, you walk over to the till and pay for your beverages and grab both of your coats.
"Cal," you say from behind her in a whisper. Her head whips around as her attentive jade spheres find yours.
"Let's go," you say, handing her petite beige coat to her.
She complies by standing up, making just enough distance between you to slip her coat on, all the while her eyes locked on you.
You simply mimic her movements, slowly putting your coat on, maintaining eye contact with her. Only once do your eyes wander to the space between your bodies. Although it's not much, it's just a touch more than safe.
Gesturing toward the door with her head delicately, she begins to make her way to it and you, still mesmerized by your previous eye contact continue to stand there, an arm still only half into your sleeve. When she doesn't sense you following behind her she turns around to you, pulling your coat the rest of the way over your shoulder. It's only when you feel a silky, warm hand pulling you forward that you move.
Looking back at you smiling, she playfully copy's your tone from earlier, "Let's go."
Her eyes reflect the same familiarity they always had, but this time there was something more, something mysterious and wonderful. You aren't quite sure what exactly it is...
But you can't wait to find out.
A/N- Phew, I'm so excited to be finishing this. I feel like I accomplished something, and I am so grateful to all my readers, especially those who reviewed and kept me going, and made me feel happy with their wonderful comments/criticisms! It's those reviews that helped me so much and for that I thank you! I would really really love reviews for this chapter, in terms of the closure and really the chapter as a whole. I hope everyone is satisfied! Thanks for reading my very first (ever) story!
- A :)