A/N: This is the last chapter and I hope you enjoyed this story!
Patrick stood in the kitchen for the longest time just holding the ring he had hoped to place on Emily's finger but never able to. He knew there might be some resistance with her saying yes. He even thought about it at one point whether or not this was a good idea tonight. He thought for a second right before the words came out of his mouth that he was going to just give her the ring as a gift but then he just blurted it out. He was ready to get married again and he didn't want to wait.
He sighed as he sat down. He was afraid this would happen, her saying no. Sure, now they probably weren't together anymore but he had to take that chance. He wanted to be her husband again. But she did say no. What was he going to do now? He had to talk to her. He wasn't going to just let her walk out. He couldn't, not again, no way.
Patrick stood and walked as fast as he could towards the door. He pulled opened the door and was ready to walk out only to be stopped when he came faced to face with four people. Ben, Abigail, Riley, and Jacqueline stood at his front door.
"Hey Dad." Ben said with a smile.
Patrick tried to give a smile to his son but it came out more sort of like a wince. How could he explain what was happening to them now? His son didn't like it when they got together he certainly wasn't going to like this. This was exactly what Ben was worried about. Ben didn't want this ending badly and it did, well kind of, almost. He didn't know what was happening. He just knew he needed to talk to Emily.
"Now isn't the best time." He said politely.
Ben frowned. "Why? What happened? Did you and Mom have a fight?"
Patrick stepped aside and allowed them to enter the house. "Sort of…" he said closing the door. He turned to his family and sighed. He really needed to talk with Emily. "We just had a disagreement and I think its best if you guys just head on out. We can all have dinner tomorrow, okay?" He smile came out a little weak and Ben immediately noticed this.
He sighed. "All right…where's Mom?" Ben turned and started looking in the living room and kitchen.
"Ben…" Patrick said trying to stop him. They just needed to go. They would only make it worse.
"Is she upstairs?" Ben said pointing to the stairs. He leaned over the railing and looked up. "Mom! Come on down here, please." He shouted.
"Ben, your mother is not upstairs."
Ben stopped and turned to his Dad confused. "Then where is she? Is she at home? Did she have an important meeting tomorrow?"
"She left." Patrick simply said.
Ben stared at his father like he was crazy. "What do you mean she left? You mean she left as in she had to make a run at the store for milk or…"
"She left me." Patrick watched as his son's eyes widened and he could see the anger and sadness in his son's eyes already. "Now Ben…relax…"
Oh that did it. "Relax?" Ben said anger very much evident in his voice. "You want me to relax?" His laughter almost reached the point of insanity. "You really expect me to relax after what you just told me? I said this would happen! I said that this had disaster written all over it!"
"Well…" Riley interrupted. "You didn't exactly say it had disaster written all over it. Your exact words were, 'this cannot happen. You two fight all the time. It will end badly.' See, no where did you say…" Riley stopped when he saw the deadly glare he was getting from Ben. "Shutting up now."
Ben turned back to his father. "I can't believe this. I told you two that this wouldn't end well. I told you that it was a bad idea. You always fight. You never get along. You couldn't make it work 32 years ago I don't know what in the hell made you two think it could work now! You should have listened to me!"
Now it was Patrick's turn to get angry. "Excuse me son but this was between your mother and I. Whether you liked it or not we were giving ourselves another chance. It was none of your business then and it still isn't!"
Ben sighed and gripped his hands into a fist. "What did you two fight about this time? Dinner? Socks? Or how about where to move the couch? I swear you two had the dumbest reasons to…"
"I asked her to marry me!" Patrick yelled.
The room filled with silence when as soon as the words left Patrick's mouth. They all stared at him, shocked and a little confused. He proposed. He proposed and he is here alone. That only meant one thing and suddenly Ben felt like a complete idiot.
"Oh…" Ben simply said after a few moments. "Dad…I'm sorry. Where did Mom go?"
Patrick shrugged and leaned against the wall behind him. "I have no idea. Probably home."
"Well, her car is outside." Abigail said from the sidelines.
That perked Patrick up. "What?"
"Yeah, it's still there."
That meant she hadn't of really left. They had taken separate cars when they came here but he just assumed she took it when she left. Maybe he should go find her and talked to her. She couldn't have gone far on foot. "You didn't happen to see her when you drove up the street did you?" They all shook their heads. Patrick ran his hand through his hair. He needed to talk to her. He needed to do something. He couldn't just let her go. "I need to talk with her." He started towards the door but was stopped by Abigail.
"Patrick…maybe you talking to her now isn't the best time." She pulled him away from the door and slightly steered him towards his son and Riley. "Maybe Jacqueline and I should find her and talk with her, okay?" Patrick, not wanting to give him but really having no choice because she probably wouldn't want to talk with him anyway, nodded. "Come on." Abigail motioned to Jacqueline to follow her.
Once they left, Patrick turned to Ben and Riley who gave him a small reassuring smile. "They will bring her back Dad, don't worry. In the mean time let's us have a drink and you can tell us how this all happened." Patrick didn't argue as his son led him toward the kitchen.
Emily didn't feel like taking her car. She knew to calm herself down was to take a nice long walk. Luckily Patrick lived in a good neighborhood for her to do just that. It was a little dark out. She didn't want to leave but she had to get out of there. She felt so overwhelmed by this sudden proposal…no hints…they hadn't been really dating that long. It just didn't feel like maybe the best time.
She sighed as she sat down on a bench in a park a few blocks away, or maybe Patrick was right. Maybe she was pushing their relationship to the side or keeping him out of the car as he lovingly put it. So what if she did keep some feelings to herself. They didn't need to be brought up. It would only bring up things from the past and she wanted things from the past to just stay there. It would only make things worse between her and Patrick, not that they couldn't really get any worse now.
He said he didn't want to be with her if she didn't marry him. Maybe she could talk to him. Tell him that if waited a little while they could eventually get married but not now…she wasn't ready, it was too soon.
"Emily?" she heard a voice said in front of her.
Emily looked up to see Jacqueline and Abigail exiting a car. She didn't really need them to see her now. She had been crying and her face was all puffy. It wasn't a good scene. She tried wiping away the tears that still stained her face but she was sure they would know what she had been doing out here in the chilly evening.
"Are you okay?" Abigail asked, taking a seat next to her. "Do you want to talk about it?" Emily shook her head. She didn't want to talk about it now. It wasn't a good time but Abigail surprised her. "Well that's too bad because I find talking about it helps. Ben and I didn't talk when we split for a bit and a lot of good it did. We had to face near death to actually find each other again. Do you want that to happen with you and Patrick…again?"
Emily sighed. "I just…he proposed."
"We know." Abigail said with a soft smile. "I suppose you didn't yes right away."
Emily laughed and shook her head. "No I didn't. I couldn't believe he had proposed. I just…had to wrap my head around it first and once I was able to speak I just…said really the first things that came to my mind."
"You never want to do that when a guy proposes. I did that and it cost me months of heart break."
Emily looked at her future daughter-in-law with curiosity. "What are you talking about? You told me when Ben proposed that you said yes immediately."
"Well…that was the second time he proposed actually." Emily's eyes shot up and Abby nodded. "Yeah, he proposed around the time we broke up and he moved out. In fact the reason he moved out. He wanted a new step and…" Abigail sighed as she stared at the diamond ring on her left hand. "I was just afraid. I was afraid of things changing. What if it didn't work out? I had cold feet even before the wedding." She said with a chuckle. "I regretted not saying yes because then maybe we could be married right now already. Why are you so afraid of Patrick? You can tell me."
Emily shook her head in denial. "I'm not afraid to say yes. I just know we are not ready."
"Yeah, we're not ready." She repeated. "I just feel we need to take some time to get to know each other a little again."
Abigail had to laugh. "I am sorry for laughing Emily but I have never met two people who knew more about each other. You two…you are so in tune with each other that you don't even realize it." Emily gave her a questioning look. "For example when we're out…you two automatically reach for each other without missing a beat. You both finish each other sentences, stories, and you both know what each other's likes and dislikes and even the flaws, despite all of both your flaws you still love each other. I mean, after 32 years of separation you get back together because you care for each other, doesn't that say something?"
Emily shrugged. "It does but I want the proposal to be at the right time and this just…"
"Emily…" Abigail said with a warning tone. "Tell me the truth."
She could feel the tears coming on again and this time she let them fall instead of holding them back. "I already failed at it once Abigail." She sniffed and Jacqueline handed her a tissue. She gave a small thanks as she dabbed her eyes. "I don't know if I can handle hurting like that again. When I left 32 years ago, it broke my heart to do it. I almost came back the next day but I knew if I wanted Patrick to start working on this marriage besides just me I was going to need to stay strong. I actually thought he would come after me but he didn't. He let me go and I don't know if I can handle that again. I mean, just tonight he let me walk out. What does that say?"
"I think it says…" Abigail started. "That you need to let go of the past, you two are willing to give one another a chance and I have seen Patrick working on your relationship. He doesn't want to lose you again and just tonight he wanted to come after you but he didn't because we wanted to see you. We thought that would be better."
Emily looked up. "He was going to come after me?"
Abby nodded with a smile. "Yes, he wanted to talk to you and I think you should talk to him. You should stop worrying because yes, there are no guarantees this second marriage will work out but there are no guarantees in life. You're going to have to work on this marriage but if you do that then you should have nothing to worry about." Emily was stunned in silence and was unsure of what to say or do next. Luckily someone knew exactly what to do.
"Emily…" Jacqueline said placing a gentle hand on her arm. "I know you've only known me for two short months but when I see you with Patrick I feel the love between the two of you. I know it sounds kind of corny but it's the truth. You two have more love for each other than most couples I have seen and I imagine being in love like that is just an amazing feeling. Do you honestly want to lose that feeling?" Emily shook her head. "Well, then I suggest we get in the car and we go back to the house because I am sure there is a lot of talking needed to be done there." Emily didn't say anything. She just allowed Abigail and Jacqueline to lead her to the car.
Once back at Patrick's house Emily walked through the door with caution. She wasn't sure what she would be greeted with when she opened it but she was surprised to find no one behind it. Abigail and Jacqueline followed shortly behind her and they made their way into the kitchen. There they found Ben, Riley, and Patrick sitting around the table, all of them nursing a drink of brandy.
Patrick looked up when he heard foot steps and his heart jumped in his throat when he saw Emily standing there. He immediately stood up, not sure what else to do. "Em…" He began to say but fell short. He wasn't sure what to say. Maybe she should do all the talking.
"Come on guys." Abigail motioned for Riley and Ben to follow them. "Let's give them some privacy." Ben and Riley obeyed Abby and followed the girls out to the living room.
Emily and Patrick stood in the kitchen by themselves in silence for a few moments, unsure of what to say or where to begin. Emily wanted to say a whole lot but it was going to be hard for her. "I just…" "I…" They both chuckled as they tried to speak at the same time. "Ladies first." Patrick said with a smile.
Emily gave him that sweet, sweet smile and stepped forward. "You were right." She took a breath before looking up into his eyes. "I had been shutting you out. I just didn't want to get hurt again."
"I would never hurt you again Em."
She nodded in agreement. "I know. I know. I just…I'm not good with my feelings. You know that." She took another deep breath. This was extremely hard for her. "I've never been very good at expressing them. I was so afraid of what could happen in the future between us. I mean…32 years ago I left and you didn't come after me and I wanted you to. I wanted you to come after me. I wanted to stay with you but I wanted you to want me to come home. I wanted you to stop playing silly treasure games…of course now I realize their not silly but…it just seemed you wanted the treasure more than you wanted me and I didn't want that to happen again. I didn't want to feel that once again."
Patrick took a step forward and took her hands into his. He was grateful when she didn't pull away. "I wanted to come after you. I wanted to come after you then and I wanted to come after you tonight but Ben and them…" She nodded, giving him the indication she knew. "If I had known you had wanted me to I would have. I should have anyway, even if you rejected me." He rubbed his thumbs across the top of her hands. "And that is why I took a chance on tonight. I want to marry you and I felt if I didn't ask then I would never know. I just had to know."
"Why did you give me the ultimatum?"
"I know I shouldn't have done that. I wish I hadn't but I just felt that if we weren't going to get married…I just shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry. I now realize that I love you and I will take you anyway I can get you. Whether you do marry me sometime down the road or we just date the rest of our lives with having a house here and a house in College Park because I love you too much to lose you again."
Emily didn't say anything for a few seconds, which worried Patrick a bit but he was completely surprised by her next statement. "Ask me again."
"Huh?" He asked dumbfounded.
Emily wiped a few tears that had escaped from her eyes while they had talked and gave him a smile. "Ask me again, please?"
Patrick grinned and took her left and kissed the top of it very gently. "Emily Margaret Appleton…" She almost cringed at her middle name. "Will you do me the greatest pleasure and become my wife…once again?"
Emily took a deep breath before smile and nodded. "Yes, Patrick Henry Gates…I would love to." Patrick grinned and brought her into a passionate reunion kiss. It was the best kiss she could ever hope for and she wasn't sure about their future but she knew she was willing to give this another go because she loved him so much.
They had stayed like that for a few seconds before they heard a soft sniffling in the doorway. Emily broke the kiss and turned, only to roll her eyes when she saw Riley standing there, dabbing his eyes with a tissue. "That…" He sniffed. "Was so beautiful!" He started bawling again and walked forward, bringing the older couple into a group hug.
"Riley!" They heard a voice as footsteps marched down the hall towards the kitchen. Ben and the girls appeared in the doorway. "We thought we told you to keep away from the door."
He sniffed a little more and a turned to Ben. "It was so beautiful." He repeated and he then went over to Jacqueline and placed his head on her shoulders. She just smiled and rolled her eyes as he patted his head.
Emily laughed and wiped her eyes again. "So…" Patrick said getting her attention. "Can you wear this now?" He held out the new ring he bought her and she nodded, holding out her left hand for him. He slid the ring onto her finger and kissed her once again.
"So this means you're getting married now? For sure?" Ben asked. Emily nodded and then he smiled as he brought his mother and father into a hug. "Congratulations."
"Awww…" Riley said, still sniffling away. "Family moment."
Ben just chuckled and smiled at his crazy family. "At least waited two months the second time around." He said as they sat down at the table to try to salvage some of the cold spaghetti.
"Well, the first time you got married you only dated or barely knew each only for a month…at least this time you waited two months."
Patrick shrugged. "I'm just looking forward to the honeymoon. We never did have a real honeymoon."
Emily smiled. "That will be nice."
"Two long wonderful weeks in the Caribbean."
"Yeah…wait…what?" Emily turned to her fiancé with a curious glance. "Caribbean?"
He nodded with a smile. "Yes, I think a little sun will be nice."
Emily shook her head. "No way are you getting me under the sun and in a swimsuit. We are going skiing or Paris."
"Where in the world are we going to go skiing at? It's May!"
"We can wait until winter."
Patrick shook his head. "We are not waiting that long."
Emily shrugged and dug into her reheated spaghetti. "Fine…but we're not going to a sunny beach resort either."
"So you say. I think a little tan would do you good."
"I don't tan I burn!" She argued.
"Bring sunscreen…we're going to the Caribbean."
Emily glared. "No we are not…Paris and I don't want to hear another word about it."
Ben shook his head and took a drink of his brandy as he watched his parents fight. He loved his parents dearly and he was happy for them but sometimes they could be annoying and ridiculous. Of course then they wouldn't be his loving parents if they didn't fight over everything.