For The Thrill Of It

Chapter Thirty: I love you.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything mentioned in the following fanfiction, except for the character of Kristen Shaw. She is of my own design

She sat hunched over on her bed, her arms cradled in her lap as she looked across the room to where her vanity was, her face stony and her eyes dead.

How had it come to this?


"How can she be reassigned, she's just a cadet?" Kirk said, hobbling down off the platform as he walked closer to the view screen, her knees buckling as she fell down into his now vacant Captain's chair, her head whirling and her heart barely beating. She was being reassigned to another ship in five days. A ship without James.

"Starfleet has tasked her to the Yorkshire. Based on your and Scotty's reports, she seems very competent. She'll complete her training there" Pike informed them, the bridge going quiet again as everyone focused on her. She was sitting in the chair with her hands ling in her lap, her eyes locked on the view screen as she watched Pike look at her with stern eyes, giving her a nod.

"But you put her here so that she could learn from me," James said firmly, using his good hand to gesture to himself. She saw the tension in his back and neck as he stood in front of the control panel with Chekov and Sulu at either side of him, both the Helmsmen and Navigator's eyes trained on the screen as well.

"I know that, Kirk. But Starfleet has spoken. She's been assigned to the Yorkshire," Pike said definitively, the sound of rustling paper filling the bridge as Pike looked down for a second.

"Pike . . . ," James pleaded, his voice going quiet but echoing amongst the bridge because of the silence.

"Look, Captain. If I could help you, I would. But they're adamant about it," Pike said once again with firmness, his blue eyes steely as he looked into the bridge.

"No one else can go? No recruits from the Academy?" James pleaded again, Kristen's eyes trained on the back of his skull. She could almost feel the desperation in his voice as he spoke, knowing that he didn't want her to leave almost as much as she didn't want to.

She couldn't leave. Not after everything they'd been through.

"The bulk of the recruits are working in the Cestus system updating our ships' warp capabilities. And all of our senior engineers are on their individual ships, where they are needed," Pike explained, his eyes still trained on everyone.

"And you can't pull one?" James asked, shifting his weight onto the cane as he leant on it, supporting himself.

"You don't think I asked them that, Kirk? Trust me, I suggested a million different options for them. But they're set on getting her there. If she performs admirably aboard the Yorkshire, she'll graduate and become an officer. That's their mindset," Pike said, shaking his head a few times before looking back at them, his eyes tired now and if she spotted it right, sad.

"Is there anything you can –"

"It's done, Kirk. There's nothing I can do. Like I said, Cadet. Five days," Pike said with finality before giving them all a final nod, his face disappearing from their screen a second later.


She leant back and rested against the two packed duffle bags behind her, the room feeling empty and dank. The two bags behind her contained all of her worldly possessions, clothing and all. She'd been dreading packing for the past three days but she knew it was time. She had two more days aboard the Enterprise and she knew she'd be so busy with prepping for reassignment and saying goodbye to even remember packing.

The past three days were some of the tensest, most hesitant days she'd ever gone through. It was as if everyone was tip toeing around her, acting as if nothing was going to change. She'd walk into a room and people would stop talking immediately, the silence setting in heavily. It was unnerving, but at the same time, she knew it was silly to expect otherwise. They were just trying to be nice and considerate by not talking about her while she was around, which was both a blessing and a curse. Sure, they didn't talk about it while she was around, but when she would walk into a room thinking about something else, her thoughts would automatically revert back to her reassignment.

She still couldn't comprehend what had happened. She'd been sitting by his side, helping him recover and then a second later she was being told that she was leaving within a week. It had all happened so fast that she hadn't had time to process it all. And since James avoided talking about her leaving like it was the plague, she could assume that it was the same for him.

She heard the computer beep to her that someone was at her door, her voice ordering the computer to open it as she stayed sitting on her bed, her eyes trained on the boudoir.

"Hey, chica. How are you doing?" she heard Nyota say as the room suddenly filled by Uhura's signature scent of patchouli and sandalwood.

"Fine," she replied back mechanically, not looking up.

"I see that. You all packed?" Nyota asked as she flopped down beside her, the force of her body causing Kristen to crash into Nyota, rebounding off of her and then back into her duffle bags.

"Yeah," she replied again minutely, keeping her eyes off of the Comm Officer as Nyota got settled on her bed, gently nudging her with her elbow.

"Look, Kristen...I know we haven't talked about it at all, but I'm really sorry," Nyota said quietly after a few seconds, resting her head against Kristen's arm.

"Yeah. So am I," she replied back softly, finally looking away from the boudoir and over to Nyota who was looking up at with sad eyes, a frown on her lips as well.

"Have you talked to Kirk about it?" Nyota asked, finally bringing her head off of Kristen's arm and shifted herself so that she was sitting upright beside her, clapping a hand down on Kristen's thigh.

"What am I suppose to say? Hey, James, really sucks hat I have to leave, right? PS - Pretty sure I love you. Just thought you ought to know," Kristen replied back with sarcasm she hadn't seen in a while, her lips twitching upward in a smile that had been absent from her lips for the past few days.

"You still haven't told him?" Nyota exasperated, giving her a look of disbelief before giving her head a shake, her long ponytail swishing as she did so.

"I haven't exactly had the opportune moment, Ny. Between him almost dying and me getting reassigned and all," Kristen retorted, gesturing pathetically to the air in front of her as she leant forward to rake her hand through her hair, groaning fustratedly.

The idea of telling him had been lingering almost ever presently in her head ever since Pike had told her about the reassignment. She knew deep down that she should tell him how she felt, but at the same time she knew it'd just complicate things. He hadn't been dealing with it all very well and she didn't want to pile on yet another piece of potentially unwanted information on him.

"Still, if anything should spur you to tell him, it's this," Nyota pushed, rising off of the bed and moving to stand in front of Kristen, the Comm Officer's hands on her hips.

"The prospect of me leaving?" Kristen asked in clarification, raising an eyebrow as she surveyed Nyota's expectant face and aggressive body language.

"Yes! You should go, now," Nyota said as she leant forward and grabbed Kristen's shoulders, hoisting her up and off the bed into a stand position. Kristen protested, rolling her eyes and scoffing in laughter as Nyota walked around to her back and started to push her towards the door, Kristen's heels going to brake the movement.

"All its going to do is complicate things," Kristen whined, trying to stop Nyota from pushing her towards the door but letting herself go regardless, knowing that it was the right thing to do.

"Yeah, it's going to complicate things for the next two days. Seriously, if you were worried about complications, then now would be the best time, don't you think? Look, he's back in his room taking a shower. Go tell him," Nyota said as she pushed her out of the door, the pair of them stumbling into the corridor, Nyota's hands immediately going to Kristen's hair as she pulled out of the clip that was holding it up, fluffing up Kristen's curls.

"Nyota, I don't—," Kristen protested one last time as she swatted Nyota's hands away.

"Kristen. He loves you, I know he does. So just go tell him before it's too late. You don't want to live with that regret," Nyota said with finality as she gave her one final pleading look, using her eyes to gesture to the lift before turning to leave, heading down the hall to leave Kristen alone with her thoughts.


"I love you."

"Wait, what?"

It was as if she'd just stolen a car, yet about a hundred times better. She'd cut right to the chase after arriving at his room, hailing him and contemplating a speech to say when she saw him. However, when he'd come to the door wearing only a towel around his waist and his chest still glistening with water, her planned soliloquy went to the wayside. So instead, she went direct and to the point, spitting out what he was apparently not ready to hear. He was standing in front of her with a towel poised in his hand, half rubbing his head to dry his hair and half faltering from her words. He had a shocked look on his face, like he'd just been slapped, and the way he was looking at her was making her anxious.

"I don't know why. Well actually, I do. It's because you're amazing and kind and gentle and smart and funny and caring and compassionate. It's because you never really gave up on me, and it's because you're the first person in a really long time that I trust with my life. It's because you make my heart skip a beat every time you look at me with those insane blue eyes, and it's because I can't really live without seeing you every day. That's why I love you," she blurted out in one foul breath, letting it all out.

The second the words were free from her lips, she felt a weight being lifted from her shoulders. There it was, laid out in plain English for him to hear. She'd ripped off the band aid, jumped into the deep end, and all those other expressions used to describe doing something that was big. She felt the thrill of it all surge into her chest as she watched him react, the smile slowly fading off of her face.

"Kristen, I . . . uh . . . that's awesome," he stumbled, his face turning from shock to confusion, her heart stopping and dropping down into her stomach.

In the millions of different scenarios she'd run through in her head on her way up to his room, not once she did ever imagine him reacting like this.

"That's awesome?" she deadpanned, feeling the blissed out grin that had been on her face a second ago slide off her face.

"That's really, uh . . . nice of you to say," he said as he continued to stumble along, Kristen trying to decipher his body language. Apparently hearing that she loved him wasn't good news. At least, that's what his avoidance of eye contact and stony face was telling her.

"You're kidding me, right?" she exasperated as she looked at him expectantly, trying to revive her heart. It was all of a sudden hard to breath and her head began getting dizzy. That's awesome? Was he being for real? She just laid her heart out on the line and a 'That's awesome' was not the response she'd been hoping for.

"I've just, I've never . . . ," he mumbled, turning from the doorway to pad back inside, Kristen hot on his heels.

"What, told someone you loved them?" she replied aggressively as she cut him off, her blood beginning to boil.

This was bullshit. He loved her and he knew it, he was just too afraid to say it. She knew it in every fibre of her being; he loved her.

"Yeah," he said as he walked down the hallway and into his bedroom, Kristen still following him.

"Well, do you love me, too?" she demanded as he halted in his steps but didn't spin around, keeping his back to her. She planted her feet on the ground and crossed her arms over her chest, needing an answer. He'd shown her tough love every time she'd shyed away from him before and now it was time for him to get it back.

"I uh . . . don't know," he fumbled as he began moving into his washroom, shutting the door behind him.

"You don't know," she repeated, moving over to sit on his bed in order to keep from falling. Her heart was pounding in her chest, her breathing was laboured, and her mind was racing at a million miles a second.

This was not how it was suppose to go.

"No. I don't," he repeated, coming out of the washroom a second later dressed in black pants and nothing else, her body temporary distracted by the muscles on his chest before giving her head a good shake, snapping back to reality.

"Oh my god," she muttered, looking away from him and down to the floor, trying to keep herself together. She felt as if everything was falling apart; she was leaving the Enterprise, more than likely never to see it again, never to see him again, and he wasn't going to tell her that he loved her back.

"Look, I don't . . . Kristen, I really, really like you. More than I've ever felt for anyone else. Maybe I even love you. But I don't know," he said as he came over to her and knelt down in front of her, pleading for her to understand. She looked straight into his eyes, finding empathy literally pouring out of them but unable to buy it. This wasn't how she wanted to leave things. She wanted him to love her back and be proud to say it; not hesitant and unsure.

"Any idea when you are going to know?" she pressed, narrowing her eyes as she looked at her expectantly, trying to figure it all out. Why wasn't he just saying it out loud? And then she started second guessing herself; what if he really didn't love her? What if it'd all be in her head? Suddenly, she felt sick to her stomach in embarrassment. Everything was unravelling and she didn't know how to stop it.

"I don't know if it works like that," he replied back as she stood up, finished with this. She needed to get out of there. She already felt humiliated enough as it was, she didn't need him throwing salt on the wound.

"Yeah, well, it should. God, you know what? Let's just . . . I'm going to go," she said as she swept by him and walked briskly from his room, desperate to be alone to try and figure out what the hell she was going to do now.


"He said that it was awesome," she said as she swung another fist and hit the canvas bag, her body bouncing in position to stay active.

She'd come down to the gym after her encounter with James, reverting back to her old habit of how to figure stuff out. It was all so hard to believe; they'd been in a blissed out, you're the greatest thing ever stage just weeks ago and now, it was all gone. He'd been so unsteady, so hesitant when speaking to her today that it shook her very core. It was as if she didn't even know him. And on top of everything, she wasn't so sure now about whether or not he did love her. She knew deep down that she didn't need him to love her back but at the same time, she didn't want to leave the Enterprise without knowing. If he didn't love her, that's fine. But it was the fact that he didn't know that killed her.

"That it was awesome?" Nyota replied back from the treadmill she was walking on, giving Kristen the most surprised look with her eyes.

"Yeah," she confirmed as she gave the bag another punch, still bouncing.

"Wow, that's even more pathetic then saying thanks," Nyota commented as she got off the treadmill and walked over to Kristen, wiping some sweat from her brow with a small towel.

"People say thanks in response to an I love you?" Kristen asked as she stilled the bag with her hands, her breathing laboured and her heart racing from the exercise. She moved over to her sports bag and dropped onto the sparring mats, splaying out her limbs as she tried to cool down.

"What the hell do you think Spock said when I dropped those words?" Nyota chimmed in as she sat down on the mats beside Kristen, gulping down some water.

"All of a sudden, I can't wait to get off this ship," Kristen philosophized a second later, blinking as she looked up into the bright lights.

"Really?" Nyota asked, surprised.

"No. God, I can't imagine not seeing him every day. Just the thought of life without him makes my heart hurt," Kristen commented fustratedly as she flipped over onto her stomach, throwing down an angry fist onto the mat in aggravation. Between finding out she was leaving and the not knowing where things stood with James, she felt as if she had no control over anything anymore.

"Well, better go see Bones about that seeing as in twenty-four hours he's not going to be around, so you might want to look into getting something for your heart pains," Nyota commented, jabbing her in the side with her foot.

"Not helping," Kristen retorted as she looked up to give Nyota a glare, the Comm Officer looking at her sympathetically with a sorrowful smile.

"Hey, you know I'm just kidding. I know it probably sucks but hey, at least he knows. You can leave with a clear conscience now," Nyota pointed out, Kristen flipping back over onto her back as she laced her hands together and propped them underneath her head.

"I know it shouldn't matter whether or not he loves me back, but it does," she said aloud, finally vocalizing the thought that had been running through her head for the past few hours.

"Of course it does. People say it doesn't, but it does," Nyota agreed, nodding her head a few times as Kristen watched her react to her words.

"I'm all . . . confused. What if he doesn't love me?" she hypothesized, watching Nyota's face grow stern and scolding.

"Kristen. You used to steal calls for the thrill of it, right?" Nyota asked, taking the conversation in a completely different direction. It was so abrupt that she sat up, turning to face Nyota head on.

"Yeah," Kristen replied, still not understanding why Nyota was going with this.

"Do you remember the first time you stole a car?" Uhura pressed on, giving her an expectant look.

"Of course I do," she said, immediately thinking back to the first time she'd stolen a car. It was an old school Mustang, the car of all vintage cars to steal. She'd been so nervous and scared that she'd almost ripped out the entire key console during the hotwiring.

"Chance is it wasn't as thrilling the first time around as they are now, right?" Nyota pressed, raising an expectant eyebrow before taking another swig of water, chucking the bottle to Kristen.

"Right. The first time I stole a car, I was scared as hell," Kristen confirmed as she caught the bottle and took a drink as well, waiting for Nyota to elaborate.

"So maybe that's how Kirk feels. He's never told someone he's loved them before, and he's scared. It's completely understandable that maybe it was all a little overwhelming for him. And the fact that you just kind of spat it out of the blue probably didn't help," Nyota said wisely, identifying a point of view that she hadn't considered.

"So you're saying he loves me but he's scared of telling me?" Kristen asked in layman's terms, a confused look on her face as she watched Nyota nod her head extravagantly.

"Exactly. He's not used to taking that leap and feeling the thrill like you are," the Comm Officer noted, giving Kristen yet another expectant look.

"What am I suppose to do, Ny? I don't exactly have time to give him to figure it out," Kristen whined as she rose from the mats and took another drink of water, tossing it back to Nyota.

Uhura was right. Of course James was probably scared, she'd been nervous to tell him too. She just wished he could suck it up and just tell her though, as his parting gift. She didn't want to leave without hearing him say it.

"You don't need him to. You see the way he looks at you, and you feel the way he kisses you. He loves you, and never doubt that," Nyota said with such definitiveness that even Kristen believed it, rising to meet Kristen as they headed to their bags, Kristen leaving the gym with considerably more to think about than when she'd arrived.


She was set to leave in less than twelve hours. Her eyes flashed open every few seconds and glanced upward at the clock, watching as the minutes ticked by. It was unnerving but at the same time, she'd been thinking about the same thing for the past twenty four hours anyways.


She'd taken the entire day and mulled over what had happened between them and how she could fix it in the little time she had left. He'd managed to avoid her like the plague to; she spent her fourth and final day aboard the Enterprise saying goodbyes and training the technicians she worked with in dealing with phaser and transporter technology. It was in those training sessions did she realize just how much she'd learned; she'd only been here three months, but it as if she'd been here far longer than that.

He remained almost constantly on her mind. She wanted to see him; she needed to see him. After opening her eyes for the umpteenth time, she threw the covers off of her body and stumbled out of bed, walking over to the door, down the hallway, and to the lift. What had happened between them a day ago had been awkward, sure, but she didn't want to spend her last night alone. And she didn't want to leave the ship on such an unintended note.

The lift took her faithfully to his level and then her feet took over, bringing her promptly to his door. She sucked in a breath and hailed him, finding the door slide open much sooner than she'd expected.

"Kristen. I was just coming to see you," he said almost breathlessly as his eyes found her, giving her such a sweet, sincere look that her heart skipped a beat, Nyota's words coming to mind. You see the way he looks at you. Still, however, she noted the obvious tension. He was looking at her cautiously, as if he didn't know what to expect.

"I don't want to leave the Enterprise," she said swiftly, crossing her arms over her tank top clad chest. She looked at him nervously, unsure of how he'd react.

"I don't want you to either," he said almost a second later, Kristen feeling a rush of emotion as she watched him step forward and take her into his arms, letting the tension fall away.

"And I don't want to leave you," she whispered as she buried her face into the crook of his neck, enjoying for what would probably be the last time the safety she felt in his arms. She felt her heart ache, harder than it had before, as the reality of the situation hit her. In less than twelve hours, he wouldn't be here anymore. And life without him in it was a life she couldn't even imagine living; not after everything that had happened. He'd become a part of her, and she couldn't fathom living without it.

"I don't want you to either," he whispered back as she felt him press his lips against her temple affectionately. Eventually, she pulled away from him and looked up at him, feeling the sting from behind her eyes that signalled tears were coming.

"I don't know what I'm going to do without you," she said honestly as she cracked a smile, feeling her eyes film over with tears. She looked up to the light to try and stem them, but found no hope there, feeling tears beginning to spill from the corners of her eyes.

"Don't cry, pretty girl," he said almost inaudibly as he brushed away her tears with his thumb, looking down at her with the crystal blue eyes that still made her knees weak.

"I don't want to leave," she repeated herself as she felt more tears fall down her cheeks, watching from beneath the glassy haze of the tears his face grow full of emotion, his brow furrowed and his eyes genuine.

"I wish you didn't have to," he said as he took her face in his hands and kissed her, the sweetness of his kiss almost making her heart break in two.

"I'm okay with you not loving me back," she whispered a second later against his lips as she pulled away, opening her eyes to watch him react.

"What?" he asked in clarification, Kristen unable to read what was in his eyes as they flashed open, searching her own for some kind of answer..

"Nyota reminded me yesterday about why I used to steal cars. I don't need you to say it back. As long as you know that that's how I feel, that's all that matters. Telling you how I felt was the biggest thrill of all," she explained breathlessly as she took his face into her hands this time, rubbing her thumb over his cheeks as she smiled up at him, watching as his face passed from something indescribable to comprehension, giving her a nod.

"Okay," he said quietly before leaning down to kiss her again, sealing it all with his lips.


"All set for transport, Cadet?"

She looked over at James who was staring almost painfully at her, his face etched with sadness and confusion as she took a deep breath, looking back to the view screen where Pike was staring at her expectantly. She opened her mouth, hitching the two duffle bags she had over her shoulder before brushing some hair out of her face, letting out a deep breath.


Her mouth had been open to speak, yet it wasn't her voice that said that. The fifty odd pairs of eyes flew to James who was rising from his Captain's chair, his arm out of the sling and defiance on his face.

"Excuse me, Captain?" Pike said almost mechanically a second later, turning to look at James with disbelief. In fact, the entire bridge had stopped what they were doing and was now looking at James with nothing short of incredulity.

"She's not going anywhere," James said decisively, walking to her side as he kept his eyes locked on the view screen.

"Kirk?" Pike asked again, still needing clarification.

"She's part of this crew, just like the rest of us. I don't see you taking McCoy or Uhura," James noted Kristen's eyes flickering from the Captain to the Admiral as her heart began to speed up, trying to figure out what he was doing.

"I would have if Starfleet had asked me to," Pike sniped back, giving them all a stern look.

"You're the one that told me that it takes an entire bridge to run a ship. In the short time she's been here, Cadet Shaw has become an integral part of the Enterprise. It's abrupt and- and disrespectful for the Federation to just rip her from us," James said with such Captaincy that even Pike was taken aback, looking surprised for a split second.

"That maybe so, but the Yorkshire still needs an engineer, and you have two," Pike countered, his blue eyes steely.

"No, we have one and a Cadet. Which I believe is equal if not less than other Federation vessels," James pointed out, placing his hands on his hips in clear defiance.

"True, but your Cadet has demonstrated exceptional ability in her field. The Yorkshire needs someone of her calibre," Pike retorted, gesturing to Kristen with a hand.

"We need something of her calibre, here," James replied, pointing to the ground with a finger as he continued to glare into the view screen.

"Captain, the decision has been made," Pike said as he brushed away their argument, finally having enough of the back and forth they'd been doing for the past minute or so. The Admiral didn't need to argue with a Captain; what was done was done.

"No. I'm sorry, but I'm not letting her go," James said as he shook his head, folding his arms over his chest as his lips set themselves into a thin line. She felt her heart race even faster as she watched him fight with the Admiral for her, refusing to let her go. If he wasn't going to say that he loved her, she guessed this was the next best thing.

"You're not letting her go?" Pike asked in disbelief again, his face now etched with shock and surprise.

"No. I'm not," James said, giving his head another shake as his face stood defiant against Pike.

"Well why not?" Pike inquired, glaring through the view screen now at James.

The entire bridge had gone deathly quiet as they all watched the exchange, Kristen remaining still as she watched James' body language respond to Pike's question.

"Because," he countered lamely, faltering slightly.

"Because what, Captain?" Pike asked in clarification, looking at James expectantly.

"Because . . . uh," James said hesitantly, looking down from the view screen for the first time before looking over to her, his face less hesitant now and more scared. She shot a curious look at him before Pike spoke again.

"Because what, Captain?" Pike pressed, his face angry and frustrated now.

"Because I, uh. Love her," James stumbled a second later, her heart stopping all together. A collective gasp echoed throughout the bridge as she watched James remain tall despite what he'd just admitted, his face still anxious and unsure.


"Excuse me?" Pike asked almost a minute later, a look of utter scepticism on his face.

"I love her. I can't let you take her from us, from me," James replied, this time keeping his eyes off of her. She felt his words rejuvenate her heart as a smile began creeping to her lips, the butterflies reviving in her stomach and the ache of her heart changing to something of love.

"Kirk . . . are you serious?" Pike asked a second later, looking cautiously at the Captain.

"Yes, sir. Cadet Shaw needs to stay here. With us," James said as he finally looked over at Kristen, his eyes changing from hesitancy to definitiveness, giving her a grin as he gestured for her to take his hand, reaching out to grab it slowly.

"With you," Pike offered plainly, still in disbelief at the situation.

"With me," James confirmed, interlacing his fingers with her own as he stepped towards her, giving her one last searing look before looking back to Pike, a confident smile on his face.

"I'll, uh. I'll see what I can do, Captain," Pike said a minute later after watching them, giving a curt nod that they both replied to.

"That'd be much appreciated, Admiral," James said before signing off, the view screen going black.

He turned to look at her, Kristen all too aware of the fifty pairs of eyes trained on them.

"You're not leaving," he said quietly as he brushed some hair out of her face, giving her a small smile as his blue eyes glistened with something wicked.

"You love me," she countered, the small smile growing into a grin as she felt the butterflies fly around and her heart almost burst with some unknown feeling, her body on fire.

"Yeah. Yeah, I do," he confirmed a second later, giving a single nod before giving a smile.

"What made you sure?" she asked, searching his eyes for an answer as the duffle bags fell from her shoulders, feeling his arms snake their way around her waist.

"Nothing. When you came to my room a few days ago and told me, I knew I loved you. I just didn't know how to say it, and I was scared to," he replied honestly, looking down at her with such sincerity that her heart only swelled.

"And now?" she pressed, biting down on her lip to keep herself from outright grinning.

"And now, I realized that it was time to finally step off the ledge," he said, giving her a faint smile.

"Why now?" she asked, once again searching his eyes. She watched him open his mouth, poised to answer, before shutting it promptly. His eyes grew mischievous and an arrogant smirk came onto his lips as they opened this time to answer, his words seeming familiar yet different.

"For the thrill of it. There's nothing like the feeling of telling someone for the first time that you love them. It's the ultimate thrill," he said as his eyes flashed fiery down at her, her lips curving into an uncontrollable grin that was swept off her face a second later as he bent down to kiss her, her heart exploding with emotion as his lips pressed against her's in a promise that she knew some how he meant with all of his being.

((Author's Note: I need to first of all thank my beta, Jessica, for helping me get this story where I wanted it to go. Then I'd like to thank everyone who's ever taken the time to read and/or review my story. Your feedback has been nothing short of incredible and utterly supporting, even when I was in my slump. I never imagined getting so many faithful readers so like I said before, thanks again. I hope you liked this final chapter; I'm quite happy with how it turned out. It's been a real honour writing for you all so for one last time, thanks a bunch. I couldn't have done it without you))