A/N: I wanted to finish this story with a nice short epilogue, but somehow the short didn't turn out to be so short and I wrote too damn much! Anyway, I still hope you like it, and since this is actually the end of this I want to thank everyone for taking your time to read and review, it really means a lot to me so thank you very much.
Can't Buy Me Love: The Final Chapter.
Already drifting off into a slumber, Maryse's body jumped involuntary as she heard in the far distance someone opening and then closing a door. The distinct sound was followed by a duller noise, faint but steady… almost buzzing.
Upon hearing that, her warm hazel eyes opened at once, trying to focus on something as she scanned the unfamiliar room around.
Her efforts to focus were in vain though, because even when she hadn't been fully asleep when the interruption came, her mind was having trouble crawling out of the tranquil state it has been submerged a moment ago.
Her brain just wasn't reacting as of yet. Also, the fact that it was pitch black inside the room she was into and that she couldn't see anything at all wasn't helping matters
For a second, as her eyes tried to get used to the blackness she felt slightly disoriented, but then her mind recovered itself from its lethargy and she suddenly remembered where she was. She was at Phil's place.
Closing her eyes and letting her cheek rest back over the pillow, the blonde Diva hummed, wondering why she wasn't feeling Phil's heavy arm circling her waist as it has been a moment ago. She was missing his warmth and the way his body felt pressed against hers as they both drifted off.
"Phil, are you here?" She asked in a faint whisper, but nothing other than silence greeted her back and she had to turn around so her hands could search for him.
But he wasn't there, the space he has been occupying was empty and she could feel nothing but the void his body left behind.
Pursing her lips, she made her hand crawl back over the rumpled fabric of the bed sheets, retreating back to her body so she could pull the comforter tighter against her body.
Where was he? Just a second ago she could feel him breathing against her and now he was gone. Could it be that she has been out for a quite a while without even realizing it?
She wasn't really sure, time was a blurry thing in her mind and in the darkness she couldn't just find her phone to check the hour.
Sitting on top of the bed, Maryse put her feet over the cold surface of the floor and shivered; she still couldn't see any source of light whatsoever and she was hesitant about getting out of bed. But wanting to know why she woke up to an empty bed in the middle of the night she ignored the feeling and began walking with tentative steps until she reached the door.
And wow, as soon as she stepped out the temperature dropped like fifteen degrees and for a second she wondered if she walked out into the bitter cold streets of Chicago instead of just stepping out of Phil's room.
It was just that it was too cold and the fact that she was wearing nothing but Phil's comforter to cover her nakedness didn't help her cause at all. It was also pitch black out there and she hesitated between snuggling alone in bed or venturing out to see what was going on.
Her feet suffered the consequences of her decision and she walked out, hurrying her steps until she made it into his kitchen.
And he was there, very much warmly clothed and sitting over his counter with at least three candles lit. It made her frown, especially once she saw the scowl on his face.
"What are you doing?" She asked in a groggy voice as she once again had to pull the heavy fabric of the comforter tighter to her body.
"The lights went out in this stupid building." He growled, his brows knitting together as he took out another candle to light.
"Well… that happens if you don't pay the bill on time, did you pay it?" She asked, her toes starting to get numb as they made contact with the floor.
Phil chuckled, "What kind of a question is that? Of course I paid it. But it seems like we have a storm here…" He replied, lifting his head so he could take a look at her. "And what are you doing out of bed? I got the generator going so that at least the room could get calefaction and here you are, out in the cold."
"Well, I woke up to a big lonely bed in the middle of a cold night and I wanted to know why." She said, shifting on her feet and starting to tremble because of the cold.
Phil eyed her over, his eyes taking in the sight of her as she remained in place. She blinked, knowing that she must be looking a mess; recently out of bed, hair tussled, pale as a ghost… "Better lonely than freezing; go back there, I'll go in a minute."
Maryse rolled her eyes, but instead of walking back the way she came she walked to him. "You know, now that I think about it, this is kind of romantic." She looked at him and smiled, resting the palm of her hands over his knees as he looked back at her. He wasn't looking very happy about the situation.
"Which part?" He asked in the lowest of tones as he lifted an eyebrow.
"You and me, candles, cold night, big bed… should I draw you a map?" She asked, smirking despite of the cold as he wrapped his arms around her to bring her closer.
His newfound closeness provided a dull sense of warmness in her, but even though she was still feeling very cold and she would rather take things back to the bedroom. At least over there it was comfortably warm.
"Oh okay, I was seeing it more like this; you and me, freezing, candles activating my fire alarm, shrinkage. For some reason I can't picture that as being a romantic moment."
Maryse hummed, snuggling closer to him so she could rest her chin over his shoulder. "You are no fun, Philip."
As he ran his hands down her back, Maryse felt as Phil chuckled against her ear. "First, I'm not an enthusiast of than name and second, didn't you have enough fun already?"
Smiling, Maryse bit on her lips and shrugged. "I like that name, it sounds very French…"
"It's not French, trust me. If I can help it I try to stay away from everything French." He replied, holding her tight so she wouldn't try to push him away.
But Maryse didn't try to push him away, she knew his ways already so instead she kissed him right below his ear and sighed. "That's not the impression you gave me back in that room; as a matter of fact… back there I could have sworn that you liked the French just fine."
She smiled at the memory; they had one hell of a good time earlier that night and just thinking about it made her feel a tad warmer. Hiss kisses, his touch… it was amazing that he just knew exactly what to do to make her lose all restrain.
"That's because you are not really French, you are French-Canadian. Yeah, that's almost as bad because Canadians come after the French in worst country but what can I do, I can't always win."
"You are just jealous because you were born here in the Second City, but in the second worse city in all the United States, just after New Jersey."
Phil laughed a raspy laugh. "You are delusional, sweetheart."
Maryse rubbed her feet together, hoping that the friction would warm them over. It didn't. "I'll tell you what I am, freezing." She said, the cold finally getting the best of her as she trembled in his arms.
Phil patted her behind and mumbled under his breath. "Go back to bed, I'll be there in a minute."
This time Maryse didn't have to be told twice, she pulled away from him, turned around and headed back into his room. Once she got there she hurried to throw herself over his bed and snuggled by herself as she waited a bit of warmth to creep into her system.
After a minute or two, the Chicago native walked back into the room. He was carrying in his hand a couple of candles and he placed them over his nightstand before climbing to bed as well. "Let's hope this won't fall to the floor and burn the entire building down."
With that said he took off his hoodie, staying in a red shirt and black sweatpants. Maryse on the other hand was wearing nothing at all; to be honest she wasn't sure where her clothes were and not minding either she just lifted the comforter so he could crawl underneath it with her. Once he was there and laying on his side, she pressed against him and breathed in.
"Oh la la, you are naked, mon cheri." He said in the worst French accent ever and Maryse just had to laugh at it. Phil on his part was not laughing as he was concentrating on blatantly checking her out.
"Hmm, are you back into liking French-Canadian?" Maryse purred as his firm hands ran down her hip and towards her tight. She liked how his touch felt against her skin so as a way to get him closer she sneaked one leg between his and rested the other one on top of them, pressing even more to his body.
Phil angled his face towards her and his eyes stared deep into her own hazel orbs. "I never said I didn't like certain French-Canadian, because I like her a lot, probably more than she knows."
After those words, Maryse just looked back into his eyes and took in a deep breath. "Of course you like her, she's naked."
"And that's very nice; but to tell you the truth, as tempting and lovely as that is, that's not what I like the most about her. You see, this woman likes to put on a tough exterior for everyone, including me, but there are times when she lets those walls around her shake a little and those are the moments I like the most. Her laughter is my favorite sneak peek into her so far, but I'm still waiting for those walls to crumble all the way down so I can see more of her."
Maryse looked down and pouted her lips. "Maybe you are seeing a wall where there is none, because I'm sure she has allowed you to see more of her than she has anyone else."
Phil didn't respond at that and she couldn't help but to wonder how the tune of their conversation changed so drastically. One minute they were playfully teasing each other and now this.
"But… wall or not, I think she likes you more than you imagine." She looked up to his hypnotizing eyes and shrugged. "I mean the silly woman thinks about you all the time, she can't even stay mad at you for long and she cares about you like crazy."
Phil's lips curved into a smile, the faint light of the candles reflecting in his eyes and making them look more intense. "I hooked her up real good."
Maryse rested her head over the mattress and kept her eyes on him. "I think you did."
"So, I'll take that she's not mad at me anymore and that she won't act as if coming home with me wasn't be worst thing she ever did, blackout and all."
"Hmmm, maybe she's still a bit mad, but not enough as not to want to be here with you. I would even bet that she would love you to kiss her right now."
"You think so?"
Maryse looked back at him and bit down a smile. "I know it."
After that little exchange, Phil made the attempt of getting out of bed but Maryse stopped him, grabbing him by the shirt and making him look back at her.
"Where are you going?"
"What do you think, I'm going to find her and kiss her like she has never been kissed before. Are you going to be alright here by yourself?"
Maryse opened her mouth wide and stared at him for a few seconds. Then she squinted her eyes and lifted a finger to him. "You… oh you are SO not going to get lucky with me until next year, I promise."
The tattooed Chicago native laughed out loud as he climbed on top of her. Over there he tried to kiss her, but Maryse moved her head to the side and his lips landed on her cheek instead. "Get off of me, go and find your little woman. I'll stay here, alone, freezing and sad."
"You are my little woman so I don't need to find another." He mumbled as his lips kept kissing her cheek and underneath her jaw and just about anywhere where they could reach.
"Yeah, well this little French-Canadian woman is sleepy and she wants her beauty sleep now." She replied as she tried to roll over to her side; but before she could move he held her in place, finally managing to kiss her full on the lips and lingering there until she gave up and kissed him back.
So they kissed underneath the comforter as their breathing mingled together, her hand flying up to the nape of his neck so her fingers could run up into his hair. It was a nice sensation, her skin gladly receiving the warmth his body was offering and her lips more than pleased with his.
But then after several seconds he pulled away to look into her eyes.
Even when they were no longer kissing it was a perfect moment for Maryse; his heart beating against hers, their eyes locked together and then the memory of the talk they just had. Sure, the conversation has been kind of cryptic but at the same time it said a lot; she was sure that the talk was going to be a turning point in their relationship and she was willing to put everything behind and start anew.
She was even considering very seriously staying there for New Year's Eve, just to be with him… as long as he and Colt didn't try taking her into that Chinese restaurant they mentioned.
"Do you really think Chicago is that bad? I mean this is Chi-Town!"
"Ugh, Phil! You don't have any sense of romanticism in you." Maryse chuckled, trying to roll to her side. Once again he stopped her.
"What, what did I say?"
"Nothing, you are just… ugh." Way to ruin a moment, "I'm telling you, if it wasn't because you already grew on me you would be in serious trouble."
"Come on," He laughed, kissing the corner of her lips. "I can be romantic, hell, I'll even get a tattoo that says romance and I'll get it just for you."
Maryse smiled, for some reason she liked that. But she shrugged and quirked her lips. "You have a lot of tattoos, how will that be different?"
"Because it will be just for you; you'll see, but for now: you and me, candles, big bed, you naked… me warming you up, you getting me naked."
Maryse laughed, circling his neck with her arm. "Is it next year yet? Because I don't like breaking my promises."
"Not yet, but I'm sure I can earn a few extra points that will make change your mind."
"Nah, I don't think so," She said, but when he kissed her she allowed him to do it and even kissed him back, when his lips moved to her throat and started to trace a path to her shoulder she encouraged him with a soft moan, and then when he started to pull off his shirt she helped him, succumbing once again to him.
It was done, she was prey of his lips and slave to his eyes and if truth be told she was willing to give it all and embark with him to whatever destiny had in store with them.
And for that she had to thank Ted, he showed her that money couldn't buy it all and that the best things in life came unexpected. Phil was her unexpected, from a kiss they had gone a long away and as she lay on his bed, with her eyes closed and breathing into his scent, she was sure that there was no turning back for her.