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When You're Around
Chloe filled her plastic cup up with punch and turned around when she heard her name being called. She smiled at her friends as they waved to her. It was the week before Christmas and she and Randy had thrown a holiday party for all their friends and family. She spotted her parents talking to Randy's parents through the crowd and she weaved her way over to them.
"Hey mom, dad," She said as she gave both her parents a hug. She turned and smiled at Randy's parents. "Bob, Elaine, I'm so glad you guys could make it," She said as she also gave them hugs.
"Oh of course, we couldn't miss it." Elaine said with a smile to Chloe. "And it just looks absolutely beautiful in here Chloe, I love what you've done with the place."
Chloe smiled as she looked around the room. Even though there were Christmas decorations everywhere, she knew Randy's mom was referring to the new design of the room itself and the rest of the house. "Thank you, as much as I liked Randy's bachelor pad, he and I both agreed it had been time for a change." Truth was she really had liked the dark and masculine feel to his home but a warm and welcoming color palette was a little more her style.
"Randy mentioned you were an avid golfer?" Chloe's dad directed at Randy's dad.
Bob nodded. "I try to get out there as often as possible."
"Well Randy and I had plans to go tomorrow and I was wondering if you would like to join us," Joe asked, eager to get to know the man better.
Bob smiled. "That'd be great actually; Elaine and Lindsey are going to be taking over the house tomorrow baking cookies."
Elaine nodded as she seemed to just get an idea. She turned to Jean. "I would just love it if you joined us! Lindsey loves you; she would be so excited,"
Jean looked unsure as she glanced at her daughter. Chloe nodded her head, telling her to go. "Well that would be great, but only if you're sure, I don't want to impose on your family time together,"
Elaine tilted her head to the side and grinned. "But you are family,"
Chloe and her parents both smiled at the thought. "Ok then, yes, I would love to join you."
Elaine smiled. "Great!"
Seeing her parents and Randy's dissolve into conversation made her happy to see that they got along so well. "Well, if you guys will excuse me, I'm going to go talk to my friends for a little bit,"
"Oh of course dear," Jean said before turning her full attention back to Elaine.
Chloe walked off in search of her two closest friends and found them standing next to the fireplace laughing together. "Hey girls, I'm so glad you came," She said, wrapping her arms around the both of them.
"Of course we came!" Jess said with a grin.
"Yeah, any time to come into this huge house, I'm game!" Rachel joked as she sipped her punch. "Seriously, it's beautiful Chlo,"
Chloe smiled. "Thank you," She said before raising her glass in her left hand to her lips.
Rachel and Jessica's eyes both zeroed in on the ring on their friends finger. "What the hell is that?" They both demanded, their hands reaching out to hold the hand in front of their faces.
Chloe giggled. "Is this what I think it is?" Jess asked, her eyes connecting with Chloe's. Chloe nodded happily.
"Oh my god Chlo, this is beautiful," Rach said as she looked at the rock from every angle.
"How did he do it? When?" Jess asked, so excited for her friend.
Chloe's grin couldn't have gotten any bigger. "Just last night! We were out to dinner and after dessert he just dropped to his knee, pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. It was just so simple but so perfect," She let out a dreamy sigh as she too glanced down at her ring and the meaning behind it. "I'm so lucky, I just couldn't ask for more."
Jess and Rach both let out aw's before embracing their friend happily. "Congratulations!"
"Thanks guys, and you'll both be my maids of honor for sure." She said. They quieted down and Chloe reached out a hand to touch Rachel's belly. "And what about you miss mom-to-be? How are you and the baby doing?"
Rachel smiled as she instinctively rubbed her hand over her still growing belly. "Me and the baby are doing just fine."
"And what about daddy? How's Adam doing?" Jess asked to her very happy friend.
Without missing a beat, Rachel let out a groan. "Do not get me started on that man."
Chloe furrowed her brow and looked at Jess to see if her friend knew what that comment was all about. Jess just shrugged. "What do you mean? Is he not happy about this?"
Rach rolled her eyes. "I wish! No, instead, every single time he looks at me he gets this sickeningly smug smile on his face and goes "I did that to you" or "I put that baby in you". God, how do I live with that arrogant asshole?" She questioned. She'd moved away from St. Louis and in with Adam just a couple weeks into September.
"She says the sweetest things doesn't she?" Adam asked with his signature grin as he walked up to his baby mama, wrapping his arm around her waist. He looked down at her lovingly before looking back up at her friends. "Just last night she called me the biggest jerk on the face of the planet. I told her to stop saying these things to me, at least in public, they get me so hot."
Chloe and Jessica just laughed but Rach gave her boyfriend a shove. "Get out of here. We're having some girl talk."
Adam grinned before leaning down and placing a slow but short kiss on her lips. "Oh, but before I leave, Chloe, congratulations on the engagement." He said looking at a smiling Chloe. "You guys deserve it,"
"Thanks," She said before he walked away.
Rachel couldn't help but watch Adam leave. "Damn he's hot."
Jess laughed. "You just called him an arrogant asshole."
"Hey, just because I'm honest doesn't mean I'm blind." This caused another round of laughter. "And you know what? Even though my hormones are all out of wack, I've never had this much amazing sex in my life."
"Oh my god," Chloe said bringing a hand to her mouth. "TMI!"
"I'm serious! I'm all emotional and jump on everything I think he does wrong. We have these heated fights but they end in the absolute best make up sex." She closed her eyes as if she was remembering their latest romp. She opened her eyes and blushed when she saw her friends staring at her. "Well, it's true. You guys will figure it out when you have kids,"
"Definitely not having kids any time soon," Jess added.
"Maybe not but I'm so excited you're moving down to Tampa!" Rach said with a smile. "I can hardly wait; I miss you guys seriously more than you realize."
"Yeah but now I'm gonna be all alone up here!" Chloe exclaimed. Even though she was very happy for her friends and the lives they were living, she hated not being able to drive over to their houses whenever she wanted.
"Aw, Chloe, you'll be fine." Jess reassured. "You have Randy and Linds."
Chloe shrugged. "You're right but you guys are my best friends. When are you moving again?"
"Well I was going to wait a while but my lease is up at the end of the year so John and I decided to just move ahead of schedule. So I'll be heading down the first week of the year."
Chloe let out a sigh. "Well even though I'm sad you both are going to be so far away, I'm glad you and John are happy and progressing forward."
Jess grinned. "Me too. I mean, after Josh, I was pretty doubtful I'd find someone else. But I really love John and I'm so excited to be living with him now."
"Sex," Rach said. She made an ecstasy face and then mouthed. "Oh my god the sex!"
Chloe laughed. "God you and your sex tonight!" She said and grabbed her friends punch, sniffing it. "Did anyone spike this?" She joked.
"They better not have," Rachel said as she rested her hands on her stomach protectively. "Or I will kick their ass."
A second later John walked over, greeting Jessica with a kiss. "Hello ladies, you are looking beautiful." He said, hugging each of them. "Congratulations on the engagement," He said to Chloe who thanked him. "And Rachel, pregnancy looks great on you."
Rachel frowned. "Did Adam put you up to this?"
John looked at his girlfriend confused. Was it something he said? "Anyways," He said changing the subject. "You girls don't mind if I steal my girlfriend away do you?" Both the girls shook their heads and watched as John led Jess away from them.
Rachel and Chloe stood in the same spot, surveying the people around them. Rachel's eyes landed on Randy's ex, Sam. "So you're ok with that?" She asked, nodding her head in Sam's direction.
Chloe looked where her friend was signaling and smiled. "Well, I'll tell you that we're not friends but she's definitely gotten better. She's got a boyfriend now-"
"Who is quite yummy," Jess interrupted as she looked at the man with his arm around Sam.
Chloe just rolled her eyes. "Anyways, we are civil."
"Well that's good, very adult of you." Rach said.
She shrugged. "Well I try."
Rachel saw movement out of the corner of her eye and turned to see what it was. She saw Adam on the other side of the room, motioning for her to follow him. She grinned. "I think I'm being summoned."
Chloe looked to see what she was looking at and smiled when she saw Adam and Rach making some major sexy eyes at each other. "He looks like he wants to devour you," She noted.
Rachel turned to her friend and smirked. "I know, isn't it great?" She asked rhetorically before practically skipping off to her boyfriend.
Chloe shook her head as she looked around to see where her boyfriend was. Just as she turned her head, a pair of strong tattooed arms wrapped around her from behind, pulling her into a muscular body. "Looking for me?" Randy whispered in her ear before placing a kiss just below her lobe.
She smiled as she turned around in his arms, wrapping her own arms around his neck. "Actually, I was. You haven't been ignoring me, have you?"
His eyes darkened. "Never," He said before kissing her sweetly on the lips. He moaned into her mouth, never getting tired of her lips on his. "God, I cannot wait to marry you."
She let out a sigh at the words. "Me neither," She smiled as she remembered just how she'd met him. "You know when you came into my classroom that one day, I never thought we'd end up here."
He grinned. "I did," She raised a questioning eyebrow. "You see it was all a part of the plan," He explained as he leaned in close, his lips grazing her ear. "First I had to get you on a date, then one date turns into two and so on. Then comes the risky move of living together. And just when you least expect, marriage." She laughed. "You put up a good fight at first but once you went on that first date, I knew I had you."
She rolled her eyes playfully. "Oh please, I practically had you begging me to go out with you."
He pulled back as if wounded. "Oh no, Orton's do not beg,"
"This Orton did," She shot back, cracking a smile.
He licked his lips before grinning. "All right, maybe you're right but now you're under my spell." She laughed as he leaned down to kiss her neck.
"Daddy!" Linds exclaimed, breaking up the couples intimate moment. "Can I please open a Christmas gift now?"
Randy looked down at his daughter with a smile. "Sorry baby, Christmas isn't until next week, you'll have to wait."
She pouted. "Really?" Randy nodded so she turned to Chloe. "Chloe, can I please open a gift?" She gave it a shot.
Chloe smiled. "I'm sorry Linds, I'm with your dad on this one."
The girl hung her head in disappointment. Randy hauled the girl into his arms. "But I do have something for you. Remember when I told you Chloe and I are getting married?"
Linds nodded and smiled at Chloe. "Yeah, we're going to be family now!"
Chloe couldn't help but grin at her words. "We sure are."
"Well, Chloe and I were wondering if you wanted to be our ring bearer." Randy asked.
The little girl furrowed her brow. "What's that?"
"It's the most important job of the whole wedding. You're going to hold the rings that we give each other." Randy explained.
Lindsey smiled. "Really?" Randy and Chloe both nodded. "Yes! Can I go tell grandma?"
Randy laughed and nodded, setting his daughter down on the floor as she ran off to his mom. Chloe wrapped her arms around him, squeezing him tightly. He embraced her and tilted her head up to his, placing a passionate kiss on her lips. "God, I love you,"
She smiled against his lips, giving him a small peck. "I love you too,"
A/N: So sad that is story had to come to an end but it was time! Hope you all enjoyed it, i know i did. A big thanks to everyone who read, reviewed, favorited and/or alerted this story, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Don't forget, I am posting my new story Dear John this weekend, probably Sunday, so look out for that if you are interested!