Yeah! The story is officially completed. I am so happy. I hope you guys enjoyed reading it just as much as I did writing it .

Special thanx jediahsokaroxxIce WinifredJohonna Marieabovetherim| kanon| vixen519VaanarsRuleladydisdain91magyka95, shayi| sheyla| macias| lexii| everlastingdaydreamsg1ngersnapKJ! bookwrm121 iluvtoreadstorycrazy22Heartbreak WarfareMusafreen for reviewing.


CHAPTER 10

I've heard love is blind but is it supposed to make you stupid as well. Because I'm acting like a fool right now, staring at her like a complete moron. I'm surprised I'm not drooling. God! Why does she have that effect on me? Although she doesn't even notice that I'm even looking at her. Hell she didn't even glance at the backdoor to see what I've done for her.

I've opened my mouth almost three times now, to close it again. Come on, just say it already. Instead I blurt out "So, We have a cat now."

"We don't have to keep him," she says distractedly. "I can see if Tom wants him. He seems like the kind of cat Tom and Steve would like."

"Ornery?" I ask. "Mean?"

"Exactly," she says. I let it slide that she already made me go to CVS to buy cat food.

"Let's see how it goes," I say. "Though I really don't think I can live with a cat called Garfield."

"I know," She says unhappily "It's kind of like having a dog named Fido or Spot, right? But what could we call him instead?"

"I'm not sure," I say. "Pol Pot? Idi Amin?"

"I guess the real question is, how long is he staying," I say looking at her. "I don't want to give him a name and get all attached to him—assuming one could get attached to something like him—just to have him ripped away right when I'm starting to like having him around." Geez, complicated much.

"I'll talk to Tom in the morning," she says. She looks beat, worse than me. I guess almost getting shot at is more stressing. I shudder at this thought.

"That's not exactly what I meant," I say truthfully.

She finally looks up at me curiously. "Did I tell you what the EMTs said, back at the sports center?" I ask, changing the topic. WHY AM I SUCH A BIG COWARD?

"No," she says.

"My blood pressure's a hundred and sixty-five over ninety-four," I say.

"Well," she says sipping her scotch." You did suffer a debilitating fall."

"I'm supposed to consult with my primary physician," I say ruefully. "High blood pressure runs in my family, you know."

"You can never be too careful." She says nodding "Hypertension is the silent killer."

"You know what this means, though. No more Chips Ahoy! Nutella and Macadamia Brittle sandwiches for me." I say my voice close to a whine. And there won't be anyone to make me anyways, I add mentally.

"If your doctor puts you on medication, you can have all you want." She says shrugging.

"You've been home half an hour," I say frustrated leaning forward, "and you haven't even noticed."

"Noticed what?" She blinks confused. Did I mention she looks adorable when she does that. "What are you talking about?"

She jumps up excitedly when I point at the back door. "Oh my God!" she exclaims. "Cooper! When did you do that?"

I cross the room smiling broadly to stand by her side. She crouches down to admire my work .I show her how the door swings back and forth so easily. In my imagination this is when she declares her undying love for me and kisses me senseless, yep in my imagination. "After we got back from Rock Ridge. I ordered it a while ago. It only opens if you're wearing this special collar—that's the security feature, you know, to keep crack heads from using it to break in. It was really easy to install. The hardest part's going to be getting Lucy to use it. But I figured, with your dad gone, this'll make it easier on you when you're at work during the day. She'll still need her walks, but this way, if there's an emergency, she can let herself out. If she can figure out how to do it, I mean." I am rambling, I am so rambling. But that's what happens these days when she's in my close proximity.

It's when she finally raises her head high enough to look me in the eyes that I realized that her eyes are stained with tears. But even then they were something my imagination could never do justice, even with all the starring I'd done at them. I couldn't breathe for a moment. When I did, my mind began to whirl. Speak idiot! How many seconds have passed? Minutes? Hours? Millennia? Stop starring like an idiot! God she's gorgeous. Grab her, kiss her. No STOP. Close your most likely gapping mouth. Move! But to no avail. One last thought crossed his mind. This is what a stroke feels like. At least I'm dying happy. No better last image really. And then she was speaking.

"Cooper," she says a little uneasily. Is it because she knows she won't stay long enough for Lucy to use it? "This is so…sweet of you."

"Well," I say just as awkwardly. "I only got one security collar. I didn't know we were going to have two pets going in and out—"

"We're not," she assures me, looking at Garfield. "I'll find him a new home in the morning. Besides, he's an indoor cat, I'm pretty sure."

"I wasn't even sure how much longer you and Lucy would be sticking around, to tell you the truth." I say in barely over a whisper.

"Yeah," she says straightening up, but I notice she doesn't look my way "About that." Don't tell me you've agreed to that tool. He doesn't even appreciate what he's got. It's ironical really that I refuse when she asked me out, but now I'm in the same position. Although I doubt she loved me just as much as I do. I gotta tell her how I feel. Granted she may say no but at least I'll know how she feels about me, I reason. It's making me crazy not knowing.

"It's just," I say desperately wanting her to look at me. "When I told you a few months ago that I didn't want to be your rebound guy—"

"We really," she rushes cutting me off. "don't have to talk about this. In fact, I have an idea. Let's just go to bed. We've both had a really long, hard day. Let's sleep on it. Let's not say anything we might regret."

"I'm not going to regret saying this," I say. She finally turns to gaze in my eyes, which I note look a darker shade of blue in the dim light, and she looks even more beautiful-if that's even possible.

"You have a concussion," she insists looking at me closely "You don't know what you're saying."

"Heather." I say grabbing her hands strongly in mine. I like it when she doesn't pull back. "I don't have a concussion. I know exactly what I'm saying. Something I should have said a long time ago."

"Cooper," she says uncertainly. "Really. Can't we just—"

"No," I say firmly. "I know I said I didn't want to be your rebound guy. And when I said it, I meant it. But I didn't expect you to go out and find a rebound guy who was so—"

"Look," she grimaces. "I know. Okay? But—"

"—perfect," I finish.

"Wait. What? "

"I mean, I never expected him to ask you to move in with him ," I say in a rush. "Or that you'd say yes!"

"I—I didn't!" she says.

"Wait. You didn't?" I say squeezing her hands tightly. "Then when you were talking to Tad tonight—"

"I turned him down," she says. Please God, let me not be dreaming.

"What about your dad?" I ask cautiously. "The thing with Larry?"

"I turned that down, too. Cooper, I don't want to move in with Tad—he's not perfect, by the way. Far from it. In fact…we broke up tonight." she says. Hallelujah! Okay calm down my stupid heart. Just because she's single does not mean she'll go out with you. "And I don't want a new recording career. I love my job. I love living here, with you. Everything since I moved in here has been so great. I like things exactly the way they are. In fact, when I was getting shot at earlier, and I thought I was going to die, I was thinking how much I don't want anything to change—"

Her words are like music to my ears. "Yeah," I say. "Well, I wish I could say the same. Because I'm ready for a change."

I'll have to blame the alcohol or I'd never would have been this cheeky. I grab her waist and pull her to me and kiss her with all the passion I've bottled up for the past few month. She freezes for a moment and I fear that she really doesn't feel the same way, but she surprises me by kissing back with just as much enthusiasm. I lick her lower lip, asking for permission which she happily lets me in. She tastes like strawberries and a little like scotch, umm heaven. All I can think is how I don't ever want to stop and be closer to her.

"In case I haven't made it obvious," I say breathlessly "I think you should move in."

"Cooper, I already live with you," she mentions the obvious.

"I mean, really move in with me. Downstairs. My place, not yours."

"You'd have to start putting your stuff away," she says looking at my chest. I hide my smirk "No more fast-food wrappers in the office."

"Fine," I say. "Well, then no more investigating murders until you have your criminal justice degree. I was thinking October's a nice month to get married."

"Okay," she says inattentively but then suddenly she turns to stare at me. "Wait. What? Did you say—"

"Elope, I mean," I say slowly. "I hate weddings. But I've always liked the Cape in October. Not as many tourists."

"Elope?" she questions astounded.

"Unless you don't want to," I say hurriedly. How clingy do I sound? She just broke up with her boyfriend, for God's sake. "I mean, we can take it slow if you want. But considering the Tad factor, I figured I better—"

"Eloping is fine," she says.

"Eloping is a great idea!" she adds more happily. "Can we invite my dad?" A let out a breath that I didn't know I was holding.

"If you insist," I say reluctantly. I do hate weddings but if I admit to myself I just don't want to share her to anyone.

"And Frank and Patty?"

"Why not?" I say sarcastically, rolling my eyes at her ."The more, the merrier."

"And Tom and Steve? They'd be really hurt if we didn't invite them. So would Sarah. And Sebastian, if she's still seeing him. And Magda. And Pete, too. His daughters would make cute flower girls." She asks excitedly.

"Heather." I say stifling my laugh. "If we have that many people, it won't be an elopement. It will be a wedding. And I hate weddings."

"It'll be okay," she reassures me. "As long as your parents and my mother aren't there. We have to have witnesses anyway."

"In that case it's a deal."

"And I think we should keep the cat," she says.

"What cat?" I ask perplexed .Then I remember what or who she's referring to. "Oh, that cat. Fine. Just so long as we don't have to call him Garfield."

"I know," she grins. "Let's call him Owen."

"After your boss?"

"Yeah. Since in a way, his death is what finally brought us together." Whatever gave her that idea?

"I can assure you, that that is categorically untrue."

"Whatever you say. Can we kiss some more now?"

"That's the best idea you've had all night," I say wasting no time to comply to her wishes. Some time later, we move to the front hall still making out. Don't even ask me why, but I suggest we make love there for the first time. Maybe all the kissing and alcohol has messed up with my brain. Or that's what happens when you don't get laid in a long time, as in my case. But in the end we make it to my-our-room.


I run a hand for the millionth though my already messy hair. I tend to do that when I'm nervous. I pace the room anxiously looking at my watch.

"Relax Cooper" Frank says soothingly "It's going to be fine." I nod at him barely aware of his sigh when I continue walking. I take a deep breath, trying to calm myself down. Come on, it's not that. I can do it. You'll be wondering why I'm so edgy when the love of my life is finally going to be mine forever. I'm not having cold feet. Nuh uh. It's just I feel butterflies in my stomach, hundreds of them making me feel slightly queasy.

"It's time" Jordan calls. I should probably tell you this that Jordan is my best man. I surprised even myself by asking him, but he agreed readily.

I glance at the setting Sun making the sky look extremely beautiful. Even as I child I loved coming here, to Cape of all places. But all thoughts of the place and its beauty escape my mind when I see her walking down the aisle. She's wearing a simple white dress and her blonde hair down, just as I like. A white veil covers her face. But it doesn't hide the smile playing on her lips which seems to grow bigger when she meets my eyes making me slightly breathless.

"Cooper, breathe" Jordan says amused

She's finally in front of me. The minister is muttering something but I don't pay any attention. How can I when such a beautiful creature is standing in front of me? I absently say 'I do' after her and we exchange rings. After what seems like a millennia the minister says the word I'm itching to hear 'You may now kiss the bride'. I lift her veil and bend down closing my eyes-

RING RING RING

I groan frustratedly and shut off the alarm clock. Damn it , I was so close. Couldn't it have rung one second later? I turn around to the most beautiful sight lying next to me, naked. I blink a few times and when the Goddess doesn't disappear I sigh in relief. I was starting to think I imagined the whole night.

I gently remove a lock of her hairs from her eyes and put it behind her ears. She sighs contentedly and snuggles closer to my chest. I don't know how long I laid there staring at her and when I glance at the time I curse under my breath for the second time this morning. I kiss her forehead and move reluctantly out of the bed, carefully so as not to disturb her. I've never been this bummed to go to work, but today I am. Taking a quick shower and crouch on her side. Kissing her lips softly I make my way to office grinning ear to ear, knowing that from this day onwards she'll be there with me every morning.

THE END


R&R ppl