Here's the last and final chapter! Thank you all for reading!
The sun shone brightly in the sky and there was not a cloud in sight. It wasn't too hot and it wasn't too cool. The temperature was just right.
Kim smiled, looking out of the window. "It's going to the a great day," she thought.
For Tommy was finally coming home from the island.
He had been gone for close to three months and Kim missed him. After they had officially gotten back together, he told her about Anton Mercer giving him the opportunity to conduct experiments and study a bit more under his tutelage. She insisted that he go and that she shouldn't be the reason why he stayed, especially since she had to return to Geneva. After a long, lengthy discussion between Tommy, Kim, and Jason, who served as their tie-breaker, Tommy was going with Mercer. Kim told Tommy that she would be back in Reefside when he returned and that they were going to somehow find a way to make the long-distance relationship work.
Both offered to move to the other's location, but moving cities is rather different and less difficult than moving halfway across the world. They decided to try to rebuild their relationship and take things slowly. They both wanted to get to know each other again and each of them, though they didn't voice this to one another, decided that within the upcoming year they would move to be with each other.
"What time does Tommy get in?" asked Jason.
"At 6," Kim answered, not taking her eyes off of the window.
Jason glanced at his watch. "Well, you've got about 8 more hours, Kim. Step away from the window...I think it'll be okay."
Kim rolled her eyes. "Whatever, Jason. Shut up."
Jason laughed, running his fingers through his wet hair. He was feeling better and better everyday. He still had a scar running down his chest from the force of the blast that Kim hit him with, but he healed fast and well. He continued to work out as a boxer, but hasn't gotten back into the ring, yet. He and Adam were looking to open a dojo together to teach martial arts in Reefside. They were already in talks with Hayley Ziktor, a former classmate of Tommy's, to open something up in Reefside. Jason envisioned it to be something similar to the Youth Center and wanted young teenagers to be able to have a place to hang out at after school and on the weekends, like he and his friends did.
Kim was still living in Geneva with Aisha. She already began scouting out job opportunities in Reefside, to be closer to Tommy and Jason. She loved living abroad, but she felt like it was time to return back home. She's been away from a long time and she was in need of that California sun.
She glanced at the clock on the wall and tapped her foot impatiently. "Is the clock broken? There's no way it's only been two minutes since I last checked the time."
"Nah, that's just you," Jason said, laughing. "Eat something. And stop looking at the clock. It's just going to make the time go by slower."
"I can't eat anything, I'm too excited."
Jason laughed again. "Here." He threw a small bag of chips at her. "Munch on that."
Kim caught the bag swiftly and winced, hearing the sound of breaking chips. She opened it and started eating each chip slowly, trying to make the time go by faster.
"Hey, did I tell you that I talked to Shane yesterday?"
Kim shook her head. She wiped her hands on a napkin. "No, what'd he say? How's he doing? And Tori and Dustin? And Hunter and Blake?"
"They're all good. Shane and Dustin are still teaching full-time at the academy."
"What about Tori?"
"She's still teaching there, too, but she's currently in the process of trying to open up a surf shop. Kelly's helping her, I think."
"Oh, that's nice. I want to go visit them. See how they're doing firsthand and stuff. Maybe help Kelly out a bit at the shop, especially with Dustin teaching and Hunter and Blake off racing and all. How are they, anyway?"
"I think they're doing good. Blake's getting pretty popular out there, from what I could tell. But Shane said that they're having fun, so good for them."
Kim nodded. "Good that they're doing well now."
"Have you talked to Tori lately? I remember you saying that she's been trying to get closer to you."
Kim nodded again. "Yeah. I kind of felt a little bad for her. She's the only girl on her team with a bunch of boys."
Jason laughed. "Any other girl would probably completely love it."
"Not Tori!" Kim made a face. "Tori told me that she didn't have very many friends growing up. Only Shane and Dustin. Girls didn't really like her since she was a surfer and preferred sports to dolls."
"Good for her," Jason said, pumping his fist.
Kim nodded and was about to say something when she was interrupted by a loud knocking on the door. "Who's that?" she asked, jumping up to get the door.
Jason shrugged his shoulders. "Dunno..." He looked at the clock. "It's still pretty early, I guess..."
Kim carefully opened the door and screamed. "Tommy! What are you doing here! I thought you didn't come in until later!"
Tommy grinned and spun her around. "I...I guess I couldn't wait."
Jason noticed the hesitation in Tommy's voice. He shut the door behind them. "Good to see you, Bro." They gave each other a half-hug. "How was it?"
"It was...it was good." Tommy shrugged. "I dunno. Yeah, it was good, I guess."
"What happened?" asked Kim. She took his hand and led him to the couch.
"I mean, it was cool and all," replied Tommy. "It was...the end, I guess. I'm lucky to have gotten out of there alive."
"Was it-" started Jason.
Tommy shook his head. "No...nothing...evil-related, I guess. We...there was a big explosion and I just got out of there."
"What about Mercer or Smitty?" Kim asked, remembering the people he spoke about most in his letters.
Tommy looked down, sadly. "I don't think either of them made it."
Kim looked horrified. "Oh no. I'm glad you're safe, though."
Tommy nodded. "Yeah. I just barely got out of there. I think one of our experiments went wrong."
"You think?" Jason said.
Kim glared at him. She gave Tommy a tight hug and a long kiss. "Well, I'm glad you're here." She stood up and grabbed a piece of paper. "Here. That principal from Reefside High called...Principal Randall. I was able to get you an interview for next week. She said she's taking a chance on a young teacher, straight from college, so...there you go."
"Oh, thanks, Kim." He grinned at her, taking the paper and looking over the information that Kim had written down. "Next week?"
"Yeah, so don't forget!"
He smiled. "I'll try not to."
"Well, kids, it's time for my class," Jason said. He stood and stretched his arms above his head. "I'll be back in a few hours. I need to run some errands." He fist-bumped Tommy and gave Kim a kiss on the head. "I'll see you guys later."
Kim nodded. She waited for Jason to shut the door and lock it after him. "I'm really glad you're here, Tommy."
"I'm glad you're here, too, Kim."
She smiled and snuggled into him. "I missed you."
"And I missed you."
"So...I've been thinking."
"Oh, that's dangerous," he joked.
She playfully swatted him. "Shut up. But seriously, I've been thinking..."
"About what?" He leaned back and casually began playing with her hair.
"Moving here..." she said softly, almost shyly.
Tommy gave her a small smile. "Do you really want to?" he asked.
"Of course I really want to. I just...we've wasted so much time and...I just want to be with you."
"What about Geneva? Aisha?"
"I'll find a job here. And Aisha can survive without me. Especially if Rocky ends up getting into that school out there."
Tommy nodded a bit. "I just want you to be absolutely sure. You won't miss Europe, at all?"
"Even though you haven't seen everything that you've wanted to see over there? You want to be tied down over here?"
"I don't mind as long as I'm close to you."
Tommy smiled. "I have something for you."
"A present?" she asked, excitedly, clapping her hands. "Ooh, what is it?" She wrinkled her nose. "It better not be like...some old dinosaur bone or something."
Tommy laughed. "Now would I really do that?"
Kim nodded. "Yeah. You would, actually."
"It's not anything like that..." He reached into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a small box.
Kim's breath hitched in her throat. She inhaled loudly. "Tommy..."
He grinned and nodded at her. He slowly opened the small box and a ring with a small pink diamond was in the middle of it. He knelt down on one knee and smiled at her. "Kim...if there is one thing that I've learned over the past...year or so...it's that I can't take anything for granted. I love you...so much...and I can't imagine my life without you. I want...I want to know everything about you. And I want to experience anything and everything with you by my side. I love you, Beautiful. So, will you marry me?"
Kim quietly squealed as her eyes filled with tears. "Of course, Handsome. Of course, I'll marry you. I love you, too!" She knelt down and threw her arms around his neck. They hugged and kissed each other for a long time.
"But Tommy...we've just gotten back in touch. You've been gone for about three months..."
He kissed her forehead and the two of them moved to the couch. "I know. We don't have to get married right away. I do want to get to know you first, again. I already know that I love you and that I want to spend the rest of my life with you, so wait to propose?"
Kim grinned. "You always seem to know what to say, don't you?"
"That's how I was made, baby." He laughed and gave her another kiss. "Seriously, though. If you want to move here, you have a place. If you're not ready to move out here, that's fine with me too. We've learned from our mistakes and we know that we love each other. I'm not going to let you go again, Beautiful. You're stuck with me."
"Exactly what I wanted to hear. I love you, Handsome."
"I love you more, Beautiful."
And there's the final chapter! Thank you so much to everyone who've been reading - all the reviews, the alerts, and the favorites. I really appreciate it!
The ending is pretty vague on purpose...leaving the door open for a possible sequel, perhaps? What do you think?