Disclaimer: Yeah, I still don't own.
A/N: I got so many lovely reviews on my last chapter, so thank you all bunches for that! They definitely made my day! In this second/last chapter, we will see if Marshall is able to talk to Mary…over phone or by seeing her. Thanks to BuJyo for her FANTASTIC betaing job! She is amazing! So I hope you all like this…enjoy!
After my horribly embarrassing crying spell, I must have worn myself out and managed to sleep through the night because when I woke, the sun was rising. I remembered what happened, but refused to start crying again. I checked my phone and rolled my eyes at the 13 missed calls, all from Marshall. That man just needed to relax. He knew I didn't want to talk to him and you would think he would've gotten the hint after I didn't answer the first five times!
I heard a knock on the door and couldn't help but sigh. I definitely didn't want to see anyone. I also had no idea who this could be. I hadn't ordered any room service, Faber wouldn't have come back and Mr. Cabana boy couldn't have taken his SAT's yet!
When I found Marshall on the other side I almost fell over. "Marshall…what're you doing here? How did you know where I was? How'd you get a flight so fast and how'd you get the desk clerk to tell you my room number?"
Marshall smiled. "I asked Stan where you were. I kind of let him think it was an emergency with a witness, so..."
"Fantastic," I groaned. "And now the others?"
"Well, a marshal's badge comes in handy when one is looking for the next flight out no matter what," Marshall said.
I gasped. "I can't believe you abused your badge. You never let me do that!"
Marshall shrugged. "I wouldn't have had to do it if you hadn't called me, gone on some crazy rant and then didn't answer any calls after said rant!"
"I was asleep," I defended myself.
"Two seconds after you called me?" Marshall asked me unbelieving. "You had to get him out of here first."
"How did you know Faber was gone?" I asked. He was being incredibly telepathic today. Well, more than he usually was when it came to me.
"Well, I was flirting with the desk clerk to get your room number and she told me that if things didn't work out I could come down there with her," Marshall began. I made a face, I didn't want to think about him with any skanky desk clerk who had probably slept with every man in the city. "I asked her what made her think it wouldn't work. She said she knew a man had checked in with you and he had checked out sometime last night. She said she heard through the gossip train that he stormed out and she assumed I was the reason, and the girl in this room might get another man for tomorrow night. Besides, there is no way you would be standing here talking to me for so long if he was still in there."
I chose to ignore the desk clerk's remark about me for now and I rolled my eyes at Marshall's way of talking about Faber. It was like his name was a dirty word. Of course, in Marshall's book, Faber was probably a lot of things, none of them being remotely good. I couldn't leave a chance to tease my partner about the desk clerk just out in the open like that though. "I hope the desk clerk was at least hot."
Marshall connected his eyes with mine and right away I could tell what I said was coming back to bite me. "She was nothing compared to you."
I dropped my eyes and grumbled, "I guess we're being serious today. Come on in. We aren't having this conversation while you're standing in the hall."
As soon as Marshall got in the room I closed the door behind him and began, "Okay, Marshall, you need to listen—"
"No," Marshall refused. I just looked at him. "You said a lot of things on the phone last night. Now it's my turn to talk. You just sit there on the bed and listen to me."
I glared at him and wanted to disagree so badly. On the other hand, this was Marshall and in the end he would probably win this argument; no, he would win this argument, no probably about it. I also really didn't want to get into an argument with him right now.
He waited until I sat down to begin. I again marveled at how well Marshall did know me. He knew I wouldn't agree with him out loud and my sitting down would indicate my consent. He also didn't start talking until I "agreed," knowing that I wouldn't really listen to him until I had done so. Also, if he had started talking I could say I didn't have a chance to tell him I agreed, therefore I hadn't listened. Oh yeah, there were all kinds of ways out of this. Of course, all those ways were nixed because of Marshall. No other guy would know this about me…and know all the ways I could simply get out of an uncomfortable situation.
Marshall rolled his eyes and moved to stand in front of me. "You can stop marveling about how well I know you now."
My eyes widened. "Was I…talking out loud?" I really hoped I wasn't, because that could prove to be very embarrassing. It would also make convincing Marshall he wasn't right for me and wouldn't be happy with me very difficult.
Marshall smiled. "No, you weren't. I just know you, which brings me to start contradicting almost every point you made in your rant on the phone. First off, your life is not defined by the few train wrecks you've had. Life is defined by things that you do regularly. And what you do regularly is save people's lives. Think about how many people wouldn't be alive today if you hadn't told them to sit down, shut up and listen to the rules of WITSEC. Think of how many people wouldn't be alive today if you hadn't changed their name and been ready to kick ass if anyone came after them. Your life is defined by being a U.S. Marshal, almost as much as mine is. You know what the witnesses need, but don't handle them with kid gloves. If something is dangerous, you'll tell them, but then you'll also reassure them that you're going to do everything in your power to protect them, and you do. Not to mention I put my life in your hands every time we go out together. If I thought your life was a bunch of train wrecks, I definitely wouldn't do that! When I think of you, I don't think of some woman who can't keep her life together as my partner. I think of an amazingly compassionate, strong, caring, kick ass woman who I am proud to call my partner."
"You're such a girl," I muttered.
"Shut up," Marshall told me calmly. "I'm not finished yet." He, of course, was the only one who could tell me to shut up and get away unscathed.
I heaved a big sigh, but agreed to let him continue. Of course, I didn't say he could continue, but he would know. I really needed to not listen to him. If I did, I might start to believe him. I already semi believed him about what he just said. And believing him is a disaster because I have to convince him he would be better off without me.
"You knew what you were doing with…him," Marshall continued. "Since it didn't get very far, I'm not sure you could rightly call it a train wreck…maybe a detour. You were trying to get away from thinking about my diatribe, but did you ever wonder why you were thinking about that so much? Why you wanted to not think about it?"
"We discussed this on the phone, Marshall," I reminded him. "I didn't want to think about it because it would be a disaster."
"You're wrong," Marshall told me.
"I'm not wrong!" I cried. "I may not be as smart as you, but I'm definitely right on this. I'll be just like I always am. I'll be obnoxious and rude and you'll get annoyed."
"You're always obnoxious and rude and I always get annoyed, but it has never had disastrous consequences as of yet. I'm still here," Marshall countered.
"I'll also try to rush this," I argued. I had many arguments as to why this would be awful. I was not going to let something as uncertain as a romantic relationship ruin the great friendship I had finally made with someone.
Marshall shook his head. "I won't let you rush this."
"You're a guy," I pointed out. "Guys don't have enough self-control." I had a lot of experience with guys. I also knew that when offered the prospect of sex they didn't turn it down. Then again…this was Marshall.
Marshall smiled. "I know I'm a guy, although I didn't think you did. Other guys may not have enough self-control, but I have plenty. After all, I've been watching you for seven years and I've yet to try to rummage around in your panties."
I rolled my eyes trying not to smile about his metaphor. He would say something like that. "I've never offered it to you before. You were always too scared that I'd run for the hills to try anything…and I probably would've run. If we got together I'd be offering it to you…"
"I'll still have the same amount of self-control," Marshall vowed. "I don't want to rush this, and I'll be able to tell if what we're doing is going to go too far and I will be able to stop it before it gets there."
I rubbed my lips together. He was good. It seemed that he did have a counter argument for everything that I was coming up with. I only have one more solid argument for us and if that doesn't work, I don't know what I'll do. If this one doesn't work, I might have to give in. I can't start pulling things out of the air, because Marshall will know that's what I'm doing. I shook my head. How had I let him get to me? How had I let him become so important? I'm such a fool.
"Are you finished yet?" Marshall asked. "I'm telling you, this can be good."
I scrubbed my hands over my face. "No, it won't. We have established that you know me; well, I know you too. Maybe not as well as you know me, which definitely says something about the kind of friend I am, but that's an argument for a later time. Because I do know you, I know things about you. I know you have never wanted to be anything but a US Marshal. I know that has been your dream. While I have spent my life running away from my name, you have spent your life running toward yours. I also know there's something else you've always dreamed about. You want a nice house, a two car garage, a white picket fence, two bicycles in a nice front yard, 2.5 kids, a dog and a beautiful wife who will greet you at the door with a kiss, have dinner on the table when you get home and who'll be wholesome and…domestic. I'm not that, and I'm positive I'll never be that. That's just not me and I don't think I can make that be me. I don't like garages…they remind me too much of basements and I don't like fences because they make me feel closed in. I've never wanted to feel closed into any house in my past…especially not with Jinx and Brandi inside. Plus, I'm not too fond of kids and they certainly don't come running when they see me. I think I might even scare dogs off as well and I'm nowhere near wholesome and domestic. Therefore, this relationship that you think you want will never work out. I just can't make myself be domestic and I don't even want to be domestic. I'm pretty sure I can't be a good girlfriend to you when I won't be domestic."
Marshall actually smiled. Why in the world would he be smiling at that? "If you ever became domestic, or even wanted to be domestic I'd think something was severely wrong with you."
I narrowed my eyes at him and he laughed and continued. "You're right, Mare. At one point, I did want that. I still think it would be nice, but I don't have to have it anymore."
Well, that shocked me. "Why? Why don't you have to have it anymore?"
Marshal shrugged. "I have found something…or someone…I want more than that dream."
I swallowed and I could feel my eyes widen slightly. I'm scared to death because I think he might be talking about me, but I hear myself asking, "Who?"
Marshall stared into me with those searing blue eyes. "You. I want you more that all the nice houses, picket fences and the domestic women in the world."
Yep, he was talking about me. I closed my eyes for a minute and just let the feeling of being wanted by someone wash over me. I don't think I have felt that way since before my father left. I mean, Brandi and Jinx wanted me, but it never felt quite like this. Marshall wanted me more than anything else. He's crazy! Marshall was also being quite brave all of a sudden. He has never outright told me that he wanted me. Not even his diatribe, as he called it, was that forthcoming.
I opened my eyes and squinted at him. "Are you sure? Are you positive you'd rather have me with all my craziness, emotional baggage and rudeness than someone who was nice, normal and…domestic?"
Marshall nodded. I saw a spark of hope flash in his eyes, but it was gone almost as quickly as it had come. I felt bad for making him so unsure of me, of him, for all these years.
"And when you decide you don't want me and you'd rather have that dream…" I trailed off.
"I'll never decide that," Marshall said with enough conviction to almost make me believe him.
"But if you do," I continued. "You still aren't allowed to leave me…at least, not unless I want you to."
Marshall smiled. "Should I ever take leave of my senses and think I've decided that, I still don't plan on leaving you."
"Promise?" I asked. This idea of a relationship, especially if Marshall is going to do it my way, is starting to sound decent.
Marshall looked at me, hope now filling his blue eyes. "I promise."
"Okay," I finally agreed. It was funny though. I didn't feel scared anymore. I felt…freer. This was something I had never felt with any of the other guys I had been with. I also felt something that might have been happiness. Of course, I have never been truly happy, and can't remember what that feeling felt like when I was with my father, so I'm not sure this feeling is happiness.
Marshall's eyes got wider. "Okay?"
I smiled and put my hands out for him to pull me up off the bed. When he did so, I looked him in the eyes. "Okay."
Marshall's smile spread across his whole face and it's questionable as to whether I've ever seen him this happy before. I smiled too. I couldn't help it, his happiness was contagious. I was becoming a little more certain that this unfamiliar feeling was happiness.
He brought one hand under my chin to hold it up and then he kissed my forehead. He kissed both of my cheekbones and, I'm no dummy, I knew where his mouth was going to end up next. He licked his lips and connected his blue eyes with my green ones. His lips hovered over mine. It was like he was waiting for some kind of sign from me. I didn't know what kind of sign I was supposed to give him. Suddenly, I realized what he was doing. He was asking me if I was sure about this. He didn't want to kiss me if I wasn't sure. Bless him. I decided to take this into my own hands, and I connected my lips with his and initiated our first kiss.
A couple's first kiss is a funny thing. It can be uncomfortable, with teeth and noses bumping. It can be hesitant, as each person doesn't know what the other person will want. It can also be rushed for many reasons and sometimes that can ruin the relationship before it has even started. There is also the prospect of the kiss being awful, after all, a person never knows how good their partner really is at kissing. It is rarely, if ever, perfect. In fact, I assumed it took at least a few tries to make a kiss with a person perfect. At least, I had, until Marshall and I kissed.
I had assumed it would be rushed, but Marshall obviously has more self-control than I gave him credit for. If someone had seen us kissing they definitely wouldn't have thought it was our first kiss. I couldn't believe it…it was almost, if not absolutely perfect. As soon as I connected our lips, he took over the kiss. I hate giving away control of anything and everything, but something was telling me letting Marshall take control was not a bad thing. Whatever that something was, I'm going to have to start listening to it more often, because it sure was right. Marshall is an amazing kisser. He started off slow, something I never would have done, I like to get down to the good stuff right away. He took his time with slow, lazy kisses against my lips. When I thought I was going to have to take things into my own hands again, he slowly ran his tongue across my bottom lip. I opened my mouth to him with a moan, one that he matched with his own sound in the back of his throat. My mind was occupied with how I could get him to make that sound again when his tongue caressed mine and all rational thought fled my brain. He explored every inch of my mouth with his tongue and suddenly I wanted to explore his as well. I fought with his tongue for dominance and finally he let me have control. I explored his mouth as intently as he had explored mine and I found myself wanting more. I wanted more of his kisses, I wanted his hands to touch more of me (his hands had somehow become fisted in my hair when I wasn't focused on them), and I just wanted more of him. When I brought my hands to the buttons of his shirt and slowly started to unbutton them, he pulled back from my lips. He gave me one last gentle kiss and removed his mouth from mine completely. He didn't relinquish all contact so fast though. He rested his forehead against mine and let his hands slide down until they could rest lightly on my hips.
I pouted. "What're you doing?"
"Remember when you said you would rush this?" Marshall asked and waited until I nodded to continue, "And I said I wouldn't let you?"
I nodded again and began to see where this was going. "Well, this is me not letting you rush this," Marshall told me.
I smiled. "So, now what?"
Marshall sighed. "Now, you stay here and finish your vacation and I go back to Albuquerque."
I gasped. I didn't expect him to leave. I wanted him to stay here with me for the rest of my vacation. "You're leaving?"
"I have to," he told me. "Stan can't afford to have us both out for the rest of the week. Not to mention you would manage to get me to stay in this room with you. Even if I did get another room we would both manage to fall asleep in the same one and that can lead to disastrous consequences where you and I are concerned."
"You don't trust me to keep my hands to myself?" I questioned playfully.
"Oh, I trust you about as much as I trust me," Marshall said. "And as I have said before: I'm a guy and I'm only human."
I tried not to smile. I had vowed, sometime during that amazing kiss, in the small part of my brain that was still rational, to try harder in this relationship than I had in any others and I didn't think seducing him was a good way to start. After all, if that first kiss was so incredible, I can only imagine what other kisses with him will be like. Yes, I could live off of those kisses for a while. "Okay, you should probably leave. It would be pointless to fly back now though. You wouldn't make it there in time for the morning anyway and I think you should stay the night."
Marshall looked at me skeptically until I said, "I promise to be good if you do."
Marshall laughed out loud. "You don't have to worry about me as much as we do about you."
I flipped my hair over my shoulder. "Oh really, now. How do I know you aren't secretly a Casanova just waiting until I'm at my least guarded?"
Marshall raised his eyebrows mischievously. "I guess that's just a chance you'll have to take." He brought his lips down to mine and I couldn't find it in me to break the kiss so I could form a witty reply.
Later that night Marshall and I were laying in the one, queen size bed this room had. I was lying on my left side and so was he. We weren't exactly spooning, because I'm just not that kind of person. Well, with Marshall I probably could be, but we were keeping in mind the promise we had both made to be good. He was running his fingers through my hair though and I couldn't help but marvel at him. It was truly remarkable that he could make something as simple as that feel so intimate. I have never just laid with someone, hardly even touching, and felt this content. I could definitely fall asleep to the rhythm of his fingers.
"Mare," Marshall whispered. "Are you asleep?"
"Not yet," I informed him, rolling over so I could see his face. "Why?"
"There was one thing I was wondering about," Marshall said, moving the hand that was running through my hair to rest lightly over my waist.
"What?" I asked.
"When you called me on the phone," Marshall reminded me. "You said that people as wonderful as me don't come along every day, and that you don't deserve them. What made you think that you don't deserve people like me, more specifically, me?"
I sighed. I had thought maybe he had forgotten about that particular part when he didn't mention it earlier. If we were going to be in a relationship, I had better start off by being completely honest. It really didn't take much convincing on my part to be honest because this was Marshall. "In my whole life, I've never been truly happy. I was happy before my father left, but then after, everything was awful and as my life went on, I thought, you know, maybe that's why my father left. Maybe I didn't deserve to be happy. I also don't think I've ever been truly loved. My father even went and got another family and it's questionable as to whether he really loved me. Saying it in letters and meaning it are two completely different things. I also thought I didn't deserve to be loved."
Marshall softly kissed me. "You do, you know. You deserve to be happy and you deserve to be loved. Everyone deserves that and I have to say, you are the most deserving person I know."
"You're biased," I accused Marshall. He definitely was. "But anyway, that's why I said it. I didn't think I deserved you because you definitely make me happy (yep, I had figured out what that feeling was now) and you…love me?" I couldn't help but make that last part a question. I was just so used to not being loved…or being loved in exchange for room and board or something, like Jinx and Brandi.
"I'm glad I can make you happy," Marshall told me. "I try, you know." I smiled at that. Marshall was being completely serious. He really does try to make me happy…and I have to admit, he does a pretty good job. I definitely need to do something in return…like try my hardest to make this relationship work.
"And I do love you," Marshall continued. He nudged me and rolled me back over on my left side. He scooted closer to me, slung his right arm over my waist and tangled his fingers with mine. His lips were very close to my ear as he whispered, "And I plan to spend the rest of my life showing you just how much."
Well, that's the end. What do you think? I hope you liked it, this is actually one of my favorites. So, please review! Give me as many wonderful reviews as I had for the first chapter…or more if you feel like it! And if you didn't review the first chapter…you could always review this one! Trust me, reviewing is fun! Thanks!