Chapter 10

"I thought I might find you here," Jackie said climbing up the water tower. Hyde merely shrugged and leaned against the railing looking out at the nighttime forest without really seeing it. "Why'd you finally sign the papers? You were pretty set against it," Jackie asked standing next to him.

"You were right," Hyde said flatly. " I was an asshole and you do deserve better. Forcing you to be with me wasn't going to make it better. I'm sorry," he added. "You're not saying anything," he noted.

"I was just agreeing with you," Jackie said flipping her hair over her shoulder. Hyde gave a mildly disgruntled huff and returned his attention to the forest. "So are you leaving again?" Jackie asked.

"Nope. I thought you wanted me in Ethan's life," Hyde began warily. "I thought that was our deal. I'm not giving up on my kid, Jackie" Hyde declared hotly.

"Good, because I would aim higher than your shins if you tried;" Jackie said simply. "So you're agreeing to the divorce because...." she added allowing her voice to trail off.

"I do want you to be happy," Hyde said with a dejected sigh, taking off his glasses and looking at her with a wounded and resigned expression. Although he wondered what she was thinking wearing a thin dress like that to climb the water tower he certainly appreciated the way it hugged her curves.

"What about you? Will it make you happy?" she asked cocking her head to the side slightly.

"I've thought too much about that. I need to grow up and really think of someone else's feelings for a change," Hyde confessed in a flat tone. "This seems like a good place to start," he finished in a hushed voice.

"I love you, Steven," Jackie said after a moment. "You just did it," she said when Hyde looked over at her in confusion. "Earlier today you asked me what I wanted from you. You just gave it to me. You finally put me first," she explained putting on small hand on his cheek. "Puddin' Pop, don't you know that's all I ever really wanted?" she said choking back tears.

"Jackie, does this mean what I think it means?" Hyde whispered trying to to get his hopes too high.

"On a few conditions, yes," she said resting her head on his shoulder and closing her eyes. She took a deep breath and snuggled closer to him even as she felt him slightly stiffen.

"What conditions?" Hyde said with trepidation, knowing Jackie it could be condemning him to a life of weekend shopping minion.

" No nurses, no strippers or whores of any kind. If you have a problem we talk about it you don't run away. Oh, yeah and could you stop burning me? It really does nothing for me," Jackie added with a slight laugh.

"Is that all?" Hyde said burying his face in her hair to hide the grin that was slowly spreading across his face.

"Oh yeah, if I promise not to demand presents except on special occasions can you toss out a compliment on how great I look no matter what I look like? I never get tired of hearing that," Jackie confessed not bothering to hide her smile.

"Deal," Hyde said with a chuckle. Now that was a compromise that he could live with.