A/N: Hello Readers! Wow, it's been a ridiculously long time since I've been on here, hasn't it? My goodness, I think it's been almost six months now! I do want to apologize to everyone for keeping them waiting for so long, but college is a time for huge changes and I honestly have had neither time nor inspiration to finish this story and continue writing others. I am so honored, however, to have such wonderful reviewers who have stuck by me for such a long time! You guys rock! And to the newer readers who have been adding my stories to their alerts and favorites, you guys are absolutely amazing and I feel so proud to have a story that's good enough to be in people's favorites! Yay!
I would like to state, for the record, that I am not officially back from my hiatus. This semester is still long and I need to make up for a few academic blunders from last semester :/. I do, however, want to dedicate this last and final chapter of Dance With Me to Wendy (aka Wolfwhisperer) for writing me a ridiculously long review/PM begging me to finish it in time for her birthday. So, despite the fact that her birthday is still 3 weeks away, HAPPY BIRTHDAY WENDY! This one's for you!
I'd also like to say thank you to all of you guys for being such amazing reviewers and readers and keeping this story alive. Now I can finally say that I've finished it! YES! :) On with the finale of Dance With Me!
His hand held hers as they gazed longingly into each other's eyes, the priest's words barely penetrating their love-hazed brains. Tears of pride and happiness slipped down Miley's cheeks, threatening to ruin the makeup she had put on that morning. As she gazed at the one man who'd always been there for her, she wondered how different her life would now be. She realized it wouldn't matter if it was different because it would be a good kind of change. She turned to the priest as he uttered the words that would change her life for good.
"I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."
The couple turned to each other and kissed, causing the church to erupt in cheers. Pulling apart with large smiles on their faces, the blonde and brunette turned to the spectators, the golden rings on their fingers glimmering brightly in the light. Miley smiled brilliantly, her heart swelled with pride and love as the priest spoke his final words.
"May I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Robbie-Ray Stewart!"
The audience clapped enthusiastically as the two lovers all but sprinted down the isle. Miley watched as her father and Francine Jovanovich – now Stewart – exited the church. Taking a deep breath, she grabbed the bouquet at her feet and proceeded to follow them out with her brother, Jackson, as she had rehearsed millions of times before. Everyone smiled at them as they passed and many of the women commented on how beautiful she looked as the Maid of Honor. The men clapped Jackson's back and offered their congratulations to the Best Man. They smiled politely at them but continued to walk, wanting to congratulate the newly married couple before they left to take pictures.
Quickly finding them outside, Miley launched herself into her father's arms with wet, happy tears staining his tuxedo. He wrapped his arms around her tightly and squeezed, still unable to believe that his family could once again be whole. Jackson walked over to his new stepmother and embraced her warmly, officially welcoming her into the family.
The party was in full swing by the time the Stewarts reached the reception hall. The wedding photographer had taken longer than expected, but they didn't mind – it was a beautiful, warm June day in Malibu anyway. The hall erupted into cheers as they entered and they rose to their feet in honor of the new couple. Miley laughed silently as a red flush graced her father's cheeks, but she sobered when she noticed a blonde figure out of the corner of her eye. Her gaze flickered over to him quickly and when she caught his eye, a small smile graced her lips. He nodded to her in acknowledgement before quickly slipping into the crowd.
Feeling someone touching her arm, Miley looked to see Jackson holding his arm out for her to take. She smiled warmly at her brother and slipped her arm into his, letting him escort her to their table.
Taking a seat, she looked out at the dance floor and watched as her father and Francine had their first dance to the tune of Etta James' "At Last". They swayed together, never breaking their gaze, and Miley couldn't remember a time her father was ever this happy since her mother had passed. Looking upward, she knew her mother was smiling down on them all, happy that her family could finally release the past and move on.
As her gaze traveled back to the dancing couple, her eye caught a glimpse of the same blonde figure from earlier, though this time he was closer to her table. She watched him longingly as he chatted with the bride's family, his gaze constantly flickering toward her. He slightly inclined his head toward the doors leading to the outdoor patio, signaling that he wished to see her alone, and as she moved to do so, Jackson's hand once more touched her arm.
Turning to see what he wanted, Jackson alerted her that the father-daughter dance was about to begin and that their father was patiently waiting for her on the dance floor. Blushing at her obliviousness, she quietly thanked her brother and proceeded toward the dance floor, taking her father's open hand when she reached it. The audience applauded politely as the two began to dance to Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" and the women sighed as Mr. Stewart spun his daughter around the room. Miley grinned at her father.
"My, you sure managed to get better since the last time we practiced. As I recall, you stepped on my toes more than six times," she giggled as her father playfully frowned at her, "Obviously you and Francine have been 'practicing' extra hard before the wedding."
"Now when did my daughter's mind fall into the gutter?" Mr. Stewart teased, "And yes, we did 'practice' – multiple times, in fact." Miley lightly slapped her father's arm in response to his crude remark.
"I believe that was information I could have lived without, Dad," Both Stewarts chuckled lightheartedly, enjoying their playful banter throughout their dance.
As the song continued to play, Miley's eyes unwillingly sought out the blonde figure, something that didn't go unnoticed by Mr. Stewart. When she finally found him, she sighed deeply and, once again, stared longingly at him, wishing to be in his arms once more. She was startled when her father leaned forward and whispered softly in her ear.
"Go to him, Darling. It's ok."
Miley gazed guiltily into her father's eyes, knowing that her father's wedding was much more important than her romantic fantasies. He only smiled warmly at her and nodded, silently telling her he did not mind. Tears pricked at her eyes and she wrapped her arms tightly around him, silently giving her thanks. The crowd gave a collective 'aw' at the heartwarming family moment before applauding loudly at the end of the song. Miley pecked her father's cheek before exiting the dance floor and slipping through the patio's doors.
Closing the doors behind her, she leaned against them and released a heavy sigh, glad to be away from the large crowd of people. She breathed in the warm night air and gently pushed off of the doors, walking to the patio's railing which overlooked the Malibu skyline.
As she looked out into the horizon, a warm pair of familiar hands encircled her waist and brought her flush against a strong torso. Smooth, masculine lips placed soft, butterfly kisses along the creamy column of her neck, causing her fingers to tighten their grip on the railing. She relaxed into his embrace, her neck involuntarily lolling to the side, granting him more access for kisses.
His lips made a scorching path upward, from her neck to her jaw to her ear, where he proceeded to kiss the one spot that made her absolutely weak in the knees. She didn't care that he had her under his spell, or that her control was completely obliterated, or that she was acting like one of those idiotic females in romance novels. She had, unwillingly, accepted this a long time ago and was past the point of caring.
She was, believe it or not, absolutely, positively, totally, completely, and utterly in love.
How she had gotten to this point, she wasn't sure. What had started out as a casual hook-up turned into a wickedly complicated romance. Their sexual tension evolved into something she couldn't explain, yet she was perfectly happy with the inability to explain it.
They were not dating, yet they were together. They did not like each other, yet they were in love. They did not just have sex – they made love.
She didn't know what it was about him that made her like this. Was it his silky, golden locks? Or his piercing sea-green eyes? She honestly could not say, but despite her curiosity, she knew that it didn't matter.
She was his and he was hers.
She moaned as his hand skimmed her breasts, her knees almost buckling beneath her. His grip on her waist tightened as he held her, allowing her to feel what she was doing to him. His name escaped her lips in the form of a low groan.
Jake growled lightly in her ear before spinning her around and crushing his lips to hers, pushing his pelvis into her own. She sighed blissfully at the contact as her own arousal began to grow in earnest. They ravished each other; lips on lips, hands on bodies, legs wound together. She did not want this to end, nor did he, but they knew that there was still a wedding party going on inside and that their time was short.
Sadly she pulled away from him, her hand rising to cup his cheek. He closed his eyes at the contact and nuzzled into her warmth, causing her to sigh.
"You know that we need to go back," she whispered, not wanting to break the comfortable silence of the patio, "They'll be looking for us soon."
Jake only nodded reluctantly, acknowledging the truthfulness of her statement. Miley's hand slipped from his face as she moved to leave, pausing briefly before finally removing itself. She was almost to the door before his voice stopped her.
She turned to look at him, curious as to what he wanted.
"Dance with me," he whispered huskily before stretching his hand toward her. Her lip curled upward into a wry smile as she slipped her hand into his, silently accepting his offer.
After all, how could she refuse?