Yaghan, noun: a look shared between two people with each wishing the other will initiate something that which both desire, but neither wants to start.
Two Years Later
It feels like it's been forever since you died, but in fact, it's only been a little over two years. Is it wrong to say that I'm doing okay without you, that I may be doing even better? It feels wrong to say things like that to you when you're not there, but had you been, I don't think it would be any different.
You should know that I don't hate you anymore. I'm no longer angry with you. While I don't understand your reasons for what you did or agree with them, I've accepted them and moved on. I used to wonder what drew you to them, though. What caused you to string along not only myself, but another woman, too. Neither of us deserved that, Edward, and I really hope you knew that. Or at least, that you do now.
Almost immediately as I began to wonder, though, I realized how futile it was. How it was always going to be impossible to try and understand you. So I stopped.
I moved on, Edward, is what it amounts to. It wasn't easy, but finding out about your secrets didn't make it harder.
I feel like maybe, I should thank you, but that would be absurd. I can't help but think though, that if you hadn't cheated on me, if you hadn't kept all those secrets and said all those lies, I never would have truly been happy. I would be with you, and I think we both know that we weren't the right match. If it weren't for your betrayal, your infidelity, I never would have ended up with Troy.
That's right, Troy, the man I hated so much. I can't help but wonder sometimes what would have happened if you had been a different man and hadn't decided to approach me even after Troy confessed that he was planning on doing just that. Would Troy and I have somehow connected that night? Would I have not wasted years with you and missed out on so much time with him? Either way, I know that you're not to blame; I'm the one who didn't give him a chance, regardless of your pursuit or not.
Either way, we're together now and Edward? I'm happy. I'm really, truly happy and I love him more than words can say. I can't even attempt to articulate it. He and I are happy together and he is the most beautiful, wonderful, good person I know. If it weren't for your friendship with him, your ties; I would have never gotten to know him, and so for that, I thank you.
A part of me will always love you, Edward. I don't know what part of you it is loving, because it occurred to me a long time ago that I never really knew you, not like I thought I did. I never made you truly happy and although that used to kill me, I now see it as something that is just fact. Something I couldn't control and not something I should hold against you or myself.
Everyone thinks I should hate you, but I know despite all your faults, despite everything that happened, there was some good in you, Edward Guerin. I don't know this from your words or actions, but from the friends you had. They are such good, strong men, Eddie, such amazing people. There had to be something about you to pull them in, to make them love you for so long. There had to be something for an amazing person like Troy to have such unwavering loyalty towards you.
I hope, somewhere in our years together, I caught a glimpse of it, too.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing Edward, I hope you are peaceful and I hope you are happy.
Wishing you well,
Dropping the letter on the grassy patch in front of the tombstone, Gabriella sighed, shifting on the ground where she sat and resting her hands on her stomach. She hadn't been to Edward's grave in so long, since his funeral, really. She hadn't the strength to come immediately after his death and she hadn't the desire once she found out the truth about their life together.
Now sitting beside the tombstone that depicted his life span and name, she felt very little at all and was contented with that fact. There were fresh flowers resting against the stone, and the ground around it was maintained, so she didn't think it was that he had no visitors at all. She bit her lip, wondering briefly if maybe leaving the letter there was the wrong thing to do.
No, she thought, as she stood up. She had stopped living her life for Edward ages ago, and she wouldn't start doing so again. Leaving the letter here was for her, letting go of whatever bad will she had towards him in the past. Pressing her lips to her fingers, she then touched his tombstone and stood.
"Goodbye, Edward," she said, letting her fingers linger there a moment longer. "Be happy."
And with that, she walked away.
Gabriella giggled as Troy hovered above her, their fingers enlaced and resting beside her head on the soft pillows. He kissed her happily three times before trailing down her jawline, down to her neck and the peppering kisses over her collarbone.
"Say it again, babe," he murmured against her skin, continuing his descent on her body, placing gentle kisses over the swell of her breasts and then tracing over her ribs. Still giggling, she unlaced their fingers and threaded her own through his soft hair.
"Troy," she said, "I've said it nearly one hundred times. How many more do you want?"
"A hundred more! It feels more real that way, Gabriella," he said in between kisses as he lifted the hem of her shirt, exposing her smooth stomach. She giggled even more as he began to kiss her bare skin, clutching strands of his hair between her fingers. "Say it again, Gabriella, one more time."
Coyly raising an eyebrow, she ran her fingertips over his forehead and urged him to look up at her. "One more time?" she asked as he raised his head.
"One more time," he said softly, making his way back up her body and connecting their lips briefly. "Just once more."
She leaned up and kissed his lips gently, before pulling back and looking straight into his excited blue eyes. Smiling softly, she whispered the words he longed for her to repeat.
Troy burst into a grin at her words and kissed her all over her face, his lips ghosting over her cheeks, her nose, her jaw and her chin. "Again, Gabriella," he said as he kissed down her neck, past her chest and landed back at her stomach. "Again!"
Gabriella laughed delightedly as he wrapped his arms around her middle and kissed her bare stomach again. "We're going to have a baby, Troy," she said, threading her fingers through his hair once more.
"Oh god," he said happily, "I can't believe it." He stilled his movements and let his cheek rest against her stomach, smiling slightly as he did so. "A baby," he sighed, "a baby, a baby, a baby."
Feeling her own grin burst across her face, Gabriella couldn't help but give her own happy sigh. "A little me and you. God, Troy, can you believe it?"
So much had changed in her life in the last two years. Edward had died, thus breaking her heart, and then she had learned that he hadn't been faithful to her, repeating the process. She had hated Troy and now she loved him more than anything in the entire world. He had built her up again, made her see a side of herself that she hadn't thought possible and more than that, she had seen sides of him she never knew existed. Each one had only caused her to fall deeper in love with him.
Six months earlier, Troy (after much encouragement and prodding from Gabriella) had taken a loan out of the bank and opened his own studio across town. It wasn't New York, no fancy office or stick-thin models. he and Troy still lived in the red brick house with Chad and the others, though they had long ago lost the boundaries between what was her room and what was his. Things were now 'theirs' or 'ours', never 'his' or 'hers'. Chad often joked that it was a shame that their bedrooms were not side by side, because then they could just tear down the wall between them and combine them. The joke didn't have the same punchline affect he had wanted, though, when Troy and Gabriella agreed with him.
Being the sole couple in the household had more negatives than it did positives. They were constantly receiving ribbing from their friends and alone time was never guaranteed, but rather elaborately planned. Neither of them would have changed it for the world, though, despite the annoyance on both their end, and their housemates.
It was all about to change, though, Gabriella thought as she stroked Troy's soft hair as he rested his head on her stomach, his hands rubbing the sides of her waist gently. The glint of the ring on her left hand caught her eye and she smiled fondly, a shiver running through her as she was reminded of what it meant.
She was engaged. To Troy. She and Troy were engaged. They were engaged to each other. They were going to get married. In two weeks. She still remembered the day he had asked her nearly eight months ago. He had been so nervous, and while his proposal hadn't been anything grand and elaborate like Edward's, it was more perfect than she could have ever imagined.
"I know it seems fast," he said as she sat down on their bed in shock. Troy had simply returned home one afternoon and entered their bedroom with a velvet ring box in his hands. "But I keep walking past that jewelry store and I keep walking in and I keep looking at this ring," he had muttered, "and I keep thinking that it would look so perfect on your finger. We've only been together a little over a year, but Gabriella, I can't imagine my life without you."
He had swallowed, looking down at the ground nervously. "Everything about us has been fast, and I think...I think that's the way it's meant to be. I...I understand if you want to wait, but just know that the moment you're ready, we'll do it. We'll take the plunge. I want you forever, and I just feel like...like you should know that. That this is the best way to tell you."
He had glanced up then, finally looking at her. She was sitting on the bed, her face flushed and eyes watering, hands pressed to her mouth. He had swallowed harshly, anticipating her answer anxiously. He bit his lip, glancing away. "Say something, anything," he begged. God, he had felt like an idiot. Why did he buy this ring? He had strolled into the jeweler's nearly everyday for almost two months, and everytime he had contemplated buying the ring. Now he just finally had. But why? Would she even say yes?
"Ask me," she whispered and he looked back at her startled.
"What?" he asked and she rose to come stand in front of him.
Bringing a hand up to his chest, she looked up at him with watering eyes. "Ask me," she said so softly he had to strain to her hear her. "Ask me, please."
Swallowing harshly, he nodded, opening up the ring-box to reveal a simple princess-cut diamond set in a platinum band. Taking her hand in his, he smiled nervously.
"Marry me, Gabriella," he had whispered. "Marry me and make me the happiest man alive."
Gabriella had burst into tears then and threw her arms around his neck, kissing him passionately as she said yes over and over again over his lips.
Now the wedding was merely two weeks away. Fourteen days. In fourteen days, they would walk down the aisle and she would be Mrs. Gabriella Bolton. In mere days, they were going to be moving into their own house together and in nine months they were going to be having a child. Their own baby.
"I think I can hear the heartbeat," Troy whispered against her skin and Gabriella laughed.
"Troy, honey, I'm not even at eight weeks yet," she said softly, "besides, you can hear that sort of thing on an ultrasound, not with the human ear."
"Nope," Troy said, pressing a kiss just above her belly-button. "I'm certain. Think I feel a kick, too."
Gabriella threw her head back and laughed. "Okay, now I know you're full of it, Bolton."
Coming to lie down beside her, Troy enlaced their fingers and buried his face into her neck, nuzzling the skin with his nose. "You're just a non-believer, Bolton," he said, twisting her engagement ring around her finger playfully.
Placing her fingers underneath his chin gently, Gabriella brought her lips to his and kissed him softly. "Hey, I'm not a Bolton just yet, you know," she said, their kisses slow and languid.
"Maybe not," he said, connecting their lips once more. Pulling back, he continued. "But you will be soon enough. God, Gabriella," he said, laughing, "we're going to have a baby. A baby!"
"Yep," she said, kissing his jaw. "A little me and a little you. A little boy or a little girl."
"Hmm," he said thoughtfully, running a hand over her cheek. "Bet you they have your hair."
"I hope they have your eyes," she said softly.
Kissing her on the nose, he closed his eyes contently. "I hope they're as smart as you."
Closing her own, she snuggled closer to him and sighed as he wrapped his arm around her waist. "I hope they're as talented as you are."
"We'll teach them how to play basketball and soccer, how to paint and sing," he murmured, his hand creeping underneath the hem of her shirt to rest on her stomach. She shivered at his touch.
"You can teach them photography," she said and Troy grinned.
"Oh, god, I'm going to take so many pictures," he laughed, opening his eyes. "You do realize I am probably going to take a picture of you every single day from now until the baby is born."
Gabriella's own eyes flew open. "Why?" she asked.
"Because," he said, bringing his lips to hers, "I want every single second of this documented. My god, I still can't get over it."
Gabriella placed her hand over his, feeling her eyes water slightly. "Hey, Troy?"
"I love you."
Feeling his heart still flutter and skip in his chest, he kissed her gently once more. "I love you, too."
"Do you really have to move out?" a voice asked quietly as Gabriella taped another large cardboard box closed. She glanced up and saw Jeff standing there in the doorway, a smirk on his face.
Standing up, Gabriella smiled and folded her arms. "This sounds awfully familiar, Jeffrey," she said teasingly, "I think I recall the same thing happening about a year and a half ago."
Jeff shrugged, leaning against the doorframe. "Maybe so, but damn, are the circumstances different now. But seriously, do you guys really have to go?"
"We weren't planning on staying here forever, Jeff," she said softly, kindly. She and Troy had long ago known that one day they were going to have to leave the house and that things would ultimately change. They hadn't been looking forward to it; the house and the people here held so much for them...but at the same time, they were eager to be on their own. To live a life together, to have their own house, to start a family...now it was all happening, and she knew it was difficult for the others to take in all at once. She herself was still adjusting to it.
"Yeah, but you guys set off like, a domino affect," Jeff said quietly, "now it's just gonna be me and Jason, with Chad moving into Taylor's apartment next month and all. Who's going to cook for us?"
Laughing, Gabriella smiled, a hand resting on her stomach again. It was becoming a habit and she knew she was going to have a terrible time attempting to break it, so she decided she'd rather encourage it instead. "You can always find new housemates, Jeff. Ones who can cook."
"Yeah, but it's not the same," he said with a shrug. "No one can make grilled tomato and cheese sandwiches like you."
"I'll tell you what," Gabriella said, leaning over to pick up one of the boxes on the ground filled with Troy's camera equipment. "Once things are settled with Troy and I, after we come back from the honeymoon and set up the house, we'll have you over for dinner at least once a week."
Jeff's eyes lit up. "Promise?"
She nodded. "I promise."
Jeff grinned brightly. "It's a deal," he agreed, "but I still don't think you guys should move out right away. I mean, you can always stay here after the honeymoon."
"Jeff," Gabriella said slowly, "I really don't think you guys want to deal with us as newly weds. Even more than that, I don't think we'll be wanting to deal with you."
Jeff blanched. "That...is a good point. Besides, Troy's already found the house hasn't he?"
"Yep," she replied, stacking the box on top of another. "He made an offer a month ago and we're set to move in this weekend. Even though I haven't seen it..." she explained with a roll of her eyes, "but he swears he wants it to be a surprise. I am hoping that he made a good choice."
Jeff watched as Gabriella stacked a box on top of another and winced. "You had might want to hurry up...Troy's going to be home soon and if he catches you doing any of that lifting, he'll freak out at you and murder one of us for not watching you and making sure you didn't."
Gabriella frowned. "I'm not some fragile doll you know," she said indignantly. "I'm just pregnant."
"Exactly," Jeff said slightly exasperated. "You're pregnant. With a baby. A baby that is one half of you and one half of Troy, and therefore, to him, you are breakable and glass like." Draping an arm over her shoulder he began to lead her out of Troy's room and over to the stairs. "Come on, anyway, take a break. The mail is here and there's something that looks awfully like a very late RSVP to your wedding."
"What?" Gabriella said, her brow creasing. "We sent those out nearly four months ago, who could it possibly be?"
Jeff shrugged. "No idea. Did you have any people not respond at all?"
Gabriella rubbed her temples, thinking of a couple of invitations she had sent out that had received no reply. One had been to Edward's parents, but she had sent it out of courtesy, more than anything. She hadn't imagined they would be too thrilled to attend the wedding of their son's old fiancee to a man who was supposed to be one of his best friends. There was another, but Gabriella hadn't expected a reply to that one either...but if it was either one of them, she really hoped it wasn't Edward's parents.
For more reasons than one.
"Oh, this means we're going to have to squeeze in extra place settings," Gabriella said, feeling suddenly stressed. "Taylor is going to kill me when I tell her we have to rearrange the table seating again."
Jeff frowned as they walked into the living room. "But isn't the wedding in like, two weeks?"
Gabriella nodded. "Yes. That's why I said she was going to kill me." She noticed that Jeff had a funny look on his face and she stopped walking. "You okay?" she asked, concerned.
"Annabel's single again," Jeff blurted out and Gabriella raised her eyebrows. For the past year, Annabel had been in a dramatic relationship with Colin from the video game store, and despite how many times Jeff had said he was okay with it (and his many failed dates with her friend Melanie), Gabriella knew he still carried a torch for Annabel.
Jeff swallowed. "Yep. So I was thinking of asking her to the wedding."
Gabriella nodded. "That sounds nice, Jeff. But as your date? Do you think...is that what she wants?"
Jeff shrugged. "I don't know," he answered honestly. "She rejected me once but...I feel like things aren't finished between the two of us and I'm not ready to quit just yet." He glanced up and his eyes met hers. "I mean, Troy never gave up on you, after all."
Flushing slightly, she smiled. "No, he didn't," she said softly as she walked past the couch to see Jason slumped over on it, face down. She bent down and knocked his viking helmet off his head and he jumped.
"What? What?" he asked, panicked before letting his head fall back down to the pillow. It was dollar beer night the night before. Giggling to herself, Gabriella waltzed into the kitchen as Jeff tried to peel Jason off the couch. As much as things changed, some still stayed exactly the same.
"Hey, Chad," she said, entering the kitchen and pecking him on the cheek in greeting. "How's my favourite friend?"
Chad grinned. "Very good, thanks," he said happily from his spot at the stove where he was stirring tomato sauce. "How about you? How's the packing coming along?"
Gabriella leaned against the counter, exhaling sharply. "Good. We're almost finished and hopefully, we can move our stuff into the new house by the weekend." She scoffed before adding, "the new house that I haven't even seen."
Chad laughed. "It's a beauty, Gabi," he said, turning down the heat on the stove and letting the tomato sauce simmer. "You're going to love it."
Gabriella gaped at him. "You've seen it?" she exclaimed, "and I haven't? How unfair!"
"He only wants to surprise you, Gabi," Chad said calmly and the woman beside him sighed.
"I know, and I know I agreed to it in the first place, but I'd just love to see it for myself," she bit her lip, "see where our family is going to live."
"That sounds so weird," Chad said quietly, "you and Troy are going to have a family. God, I can't believe it. But it sounds wonderful, it sounds..."
"Right," Gabriella finished for him and Chad nodded. She smiled, her hand resting on her stomach yet again. "I know. I can't believe it, either. I am ridiculously happy." She looked at Chad and saw that he too, looked genuinely happy. "How about you? How's your packing going?"
Chad turned back to the stove. "It's going good, but it's no where near close to being finished. Thankfully I still have some time as Tay's still renovating."
Taylor and Chad's relationship had blossomed over the past years, turning into something that was strong and full of commitment. Gabriella grinned at him. "You thinking of popping the question any time soon?"
"After seeing all the stuff you and Troy went through planning your own shindig? Not likely," he joked, but the scarlet blush on his cheeks and the way his hands started shaking slightly told her another story.
"I'm really happy for you, Chad," she said earnestly and he smiled back at her.
"I'm really happy for you, too, Gabi," he responded, smiling, "but speaking of your wedding, there is an envelope on the table that might make you and my girlfriend a little frazzled."
"Oh!" Gabriella said suddenly, "that's right! Jeff mentioned this!" Walking over to the table, she picked up the iridescent envelope and tore it open. "I really, really hope this isn't from Edward's parents."
Chad shuddered. "Me and you both."
Once the envelope was opened, Gabriella saw that there was not one, but two pieces of paper inside; the RSVP card and a piece of hot pink stationary. Unfolding it, she felt a smile spread across her lips at the curly silver hand-writing on the page.
Reading over it quickly, grinning to herself, Gabriella set the paper down and looked up at a curious Chad.
"Well, it can't be from Edward's parents," he said, "cause you would not be smiling like that. Who's it from?"
Smiling slightly, Gabriella grabbed the cordless phone and began to walk out of the kitchen. "A ghost from our past," she said with a chuckle. "I have to go call Taylor and tell her that we have to change up the seating arrangements."
Chad winced. "Good luck with that one," he said and then walked over to the table and picked up the piece of paper Gabriella had abandoned.
"Gabriella," it said simply, "So freaking sorry for not responding to this sooner, things have been crazy and it turns out my bitch of a neighbor has been getting my mail and only decided to tell my brother two weeks ago. He only decided to share the news yesterday. I'm surrounded by idiots, honestly. Either way, ecstatic at the news and congratulations! Any way you can squeeze in an extra spot for me and a plus one (Zeke loves weddings—don't ask)? I'd hate to miss this special day! Send me an e-mail regardless of the answer; it's been too long!"
And despite everything that had happened, Chad couldn't help but smile to himself, too. Somehow, given everything, the wedding would have felt incomplete without the sparkling presence of one Sharpay Evans.
"I really think I should hate you for this," Gabriella said from the passenger seat of Troy's truck later that day. "I mean, I let you buy our freaking house. What if what you picked was totally ugly?"
Troy rolled his eyes as he navigated the roads. "Okay, first of all, I casually mentioned that I might have seen a place and then you promptly said that if I thought it was good, it was good and to buy it because you were too stressed out with the wedding plans to want to deal with anything else," he explained, "this has since been orchestrated into a surprise for you, something to keep your spirits up when you fight with the florist. Don't be getting all negative on me now."
Gabriella folded her arms. "Don't you throw that back in my face," she said, furrowing her brows.
"Oh yeah?" he responded, turning down the street. "What's the worst that could happen?"
"I'll be mad at you," she said simply, turning to look out the window, "and in turn, your child will be mad at you. You sure you want that?"
"Our child," he began, "would not be mad at me because he or she would know their mother was being irrational and not happy about something that was, essentially, for her own good." He reached across the seat and rubbed her stomach softly. "Isn't that right, little one?"
"Nope," Gabriella responded stubbornly, batting Troy's hand away. "We are mad at you."
"Really now?" he turned down a street that would hopefully one he would turn down many times for many more years.
"Yep," she said, noticing that they were slowly down. "Are we almost there?"
Troy turned into the driveway of his destination and grinned. "That depends," he said, cutting the engine. "You still mad at me?"
Looking through the dashboard at the house in front of her, Gabriella shook her head. "Not if this is our house."
Laughing, Troy opened his door and ran around the front of the truck to open Gabriella's. Grinning, he swept down and pecked her lips, before helping her out of the truck. "Well, then, we're here."
Gabriella looked at the house in awe. It was two stories, beautiful white brick covering the walls with ivy growing up and down the sides. A small garden filled with soft purple flowers was in the front and there was a stone path leading up to the front door. The windows were large and a huge oak three was on the front lawn. Looking to the side, she spied a small garage with a dark green door and she grinned.
"So far, you've done well, Troy," she said, taking his hand in hers. Her heart thumped as he smiled at her.
"Want to see the inside?" he whispered and she nodded, feeling anxious and excited all at once. Gripping his hand so tight her knuckles turned white, she watched as they walked up the stone path and he stopped at the door, finding the appropriate key and putting it in the lock. He turned back to smile at her.
"Ready?" he asked and she nodded, feeling her insides burst as he swung the front door open.
She gasped as they stepped inside. "Troy," she breathed. "It's...it's stunning."
And certainly it was. The house was large, slightly bigger than the red-brick house, with high ceilings and dark hardwood floors. The walls were a soft creme colour and were adorned with white crown molding. To her right was a large staircase the spiraled against the wall, leading to the second floor. She looked behind her and saw a small sitting room by the front door, and glanced down the hallway to see that it led to a living space and the kitchen. She turned to Troy, who was looking at her with expectant eyes.
"You like it?" he asked hesitantly. "It's okay?"
Feeling the tears well up in her eyes, Gabriella stepped forward and kissed him boldly before wrapping her arms around him. "It's beautiful," she answered, pressing her forehead to his shoulder. "God, it's everything I could have every asked for and more."
Running a hand through her hair, he kissed her forehead and smiled. "I saw it and I just knew that it was our home, you know? Different from what we're used to, but our home, nevertheless. It's got three baths and four bedrooms. The master bedroom is gorgeous, wait till you see how large the windows in it are."
Lifting her head, Gabriella smiled at him. "Four bedrooms? Including the master?"
Troy nodded. "Yeah," he said, "The master, one for the baby and two...two for whatever else comes along."
"Whatever else comes along?" she whispered, feeling a tear fall down her cheek. The implications of that sentence made her heart pound. Chad, Jeff, Taylor, Jason, family members, other guests. More children. Her heart swelled as he brought a hand up to wipe away a tear.
"Yeah," he whispered with a smile, "for whatever else comes along."
She kissed him soundly then and he responded back eagerly. Never would they have thought they'd end up where they were, standing in the house that would be their home. Never would they imagine they'd fall so deeply in love that the years that they would experience for the rest of their lives would be coloured by it. Never would they imagine that nestled between them was a child that would grow to be one of the most beautiful human beings they could imagine. Never would Gabriella have imagined walking down the aisle and seeing Troy standing at the end of it, even though he imagined seeing her walk towards him nearly everyday for three years.
The house would be one of love and laughter, with pictures adoring nearly every free surface they could find. Their refrigerator would be covered in Polaroids of stuffed animals in a few years and their kitchen table would occupy more than just three seats. Their parents would come for visits and offer information on tea and flowers and every holiday would be a joyous occasion. They'd burn dinners and they'd get next to no sleep when more than one family member was under the age of five in a few years, and they'd fight every now and then. But at the end of the day, they'd be in each others arms, their love stronger than they had ever imagined.
For right now, they had each other and they were each other. Everything else could wait, but it would come. Pulling away, Gabriella smiled excitedly at Troy and bounded down the hall to the kitchen. "Come on, Troy!" she said, laughing, "Let's explore!"
Chuckling to himself, he followed his fiancee into the kitchen where she was standing looking out the screen-doors to the spacious backyard. Coming up behind her, he wrapped his arms around her stomach and pressed a kiss to her shoulder.
"There's a rosebush on the side of the house, you know," he whispered, "just underneath the window of the master bedroom."
She stilled, her breath catching in her throat. "Really?" she choked out, leaning back into his chest. "What colour?"
He smiled as she rested her hands over top of his and laced her fingers with his, both of them cradling the life they had created beneath their palms. Then softly, he pressed a kiss to her ear and answered her.
Oh wow. It's finished. I think I am going to cry.
Okay, business first. The last and final track is up at my livejournal along with a link to a download of the full mix incase you are curious and didn't download any of them (hi, Tiffany). I've also added fun album art in place of the banner...ha ha. :)
I never expected this story to garner the response that it did and I am so happy that so many of you found such enjoyment in it. Thank you to each and every one of you who read, reviewed or shared your thoughts; they mean the world to me and I'm so glad you came along this crazy adventure with myself, Troy and Gabi. You really are what kept me motivated and kept me going.
Thank you to all the girls at FF for their constant encouragement, channeling and warm welcome and the lovely ones on my LJ whose enthusiasm and friendship is wonderful. Thank you to Tiffany and Silvia, for being my Twitter cheerleaders and awesome friends. Thanks to my mom for unexpectedly reading this one evening; by the time she gets to this author note, though, I imagine this story will have been completed for some time. ;)
Thank you to Angie for following her dreams and encouraging my own. And thank you to my best friend, Jacqui, for constantly listening to me ramble about chapter plans and for being the amazing friend that you are, and for, in this case, most importantly being so borderline insane that she inspired Annabel and helped shape her into the oddity that she is.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you all.
Now I must sleep cause I have a super early staff meeting at work. :( I get free food, though.