Alright everyone, here's the final chapter. Thank you all for going on this journey with me.
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"Is that the last box?"
"Uh... yeah. It is."
"So then its official?"
"Yeah... I'm officially moved in."
"So we're officially living together." I say with a smile.
Ok, we can all consecutively say "Finally!" now.
I honestly never thought this day would come. Cat and I are officially living together as a couple. I mean, naturally I after I aced my Figure Arts class a year ago I asked her to move in but it's been a very slow process. First she had to finish out her lease at her old place, which took till October of last year, then we had to find a replacement roommate that could actually stand Jade. This took another grueling lease of seven months till we finally found someone willing. That brings us to May, which was a month ago, when we started the slow transition to my place. She pretty much lived here for that whole year anyway, it just wasn't official till now.
"So... are you happy?" Cat asks with a smile.
"It depends, will it get you naked?" I ask with a sly smirk.
"It depends, what are you gonna do to me if it does?" She asks stepping closer to me.
"Well... it starts like this." I say kissing her lightly. "And ends somewhere around the bedroom"
"Somewhere around the bedroom?" Cat asks quirking up an eyebrow.
"Yeah, if we make it that far." I say moving in for another kiss.
"That's a good line, why didn't I ever use that line?" I hear coming from the other side of my closed front door.
Cat and I both freeze right before our lips touch and she furrows her brows. We both pull away from each other and look over at my door. We both hear a smack before a knock. I cautiously turn the knob of my front door an open it to reveal... the Grows. Perfect.
"Hey... guys" I say awkwardly.
"Hey lady" Mrs. Grow says with a smile.
"Vega" Mr. Grow says rubbing his shoulder.
"I know this is kind of abrupt and we really... really should've called first, but we wanted to give you and Cat a housewarming gift." Mrs. Grow says holding up a bottle of wine.
"Oh, wow. That's so nice of you. Do you want to come in?" I ask stepping aside.
"Oh no, we don't want to intrude-"
"Or interrupt" Mr. Grow says cutting off his wife. Mrs. Grow rolls her eyes as Cat pops out from behind me.
"Mr. Grow, Mrs. Grow" She greets.
"They came bearing alcohol" I say taking the bottle from Mrs. Grow.
"Great" She says taking it from me.
"It is, I swear 2007 was a great aphrodisiac year for wine. Got us a bottle and now I can't keep her off-UGH!" Mr. Grow finishes with his wife's elbow in his ribs.
"Anyway... we just wanted to say congratulations on graduating and happy housewarming." Mrs. Grow says plastering a smile on her face.
"Well thank you. Now that it's official, graduation and moving in together, it should be smooth sailing from here" I say as Cat disappears to the kitchen to put the wine away.
"Right, well, it took you long enough." Mrs. Grow sighs.
"I agree. We could've had a kid in the time it took you two to figure yourselves out." Mr. Grow interjects. "At least then we would be over the abusive pregnant hormones by now" He finishes.
"What?" I voice my thought. Mrs. Grow facepalms and Mr. Grow lets out a "whups".
"Well now that the secret's out, she's prego and I'm apparently the father." He says smiling at his wife.
"Oh my god! That's amazing, congratulations!" I say giving Mrs. Grow a hug. You would never notice with the pea coat she has on, but hugging her, I can definitely feel the bump.
"Mhm, told you 2007 was a great year for-"
"Honey, go get in the car." Mrs. Grow cuts him off. He winks at me and then slaps her butt before taking off at full speed to their car. She is so gonna kill him.
"He's excited" I say after a moment.
"You have no idea. Anyway, we should get going, tell Cat I said goodbye" She says hugging me again.
"Will do, tell your husband I say the same. See you later." I say as she walks away with a wave. I close my front door than skip over to Cat in the kitchen.
"Guess what?" I ask stopping next to her.
"You're pregnant." She says with a smirk.
"I'm not, but Mrs. Grow is." I say.
"Oh my god! Really?" She screeches.
"Yupp, just told me the news."
"That's amazing. I'm so happy for them." She says.
"It is..." I say stopping to look at her.
I don't know if it's because I'm caught up in the happiness for the Grows, or because I'm just happy about life altogether, but I'm just stopping to take her in. She is so beautiful. Even in jeans, a t-shirt, and her hair up in a ponytail, she is gorgeous. I love how she can do that. Beautiful without even trying. One of the many things I love about her.
Seeing her now and looking back at all we've been through, it just amazes me. I mean, I love her more than my passion. We made it. We jumped, we're in love, and I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. You know, if I think about the future and who I see with me, it's Cat. When I imagine waking up next to someone, it's Cat. Even when I close my eyes, it's all Cat.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" She asks confused.
"Like what?" I ask.
"Like you're thinking really hard about something." She says.
"Wanna go get coffee?" I ask.
"Uh... well it depends" She says shrugging off my change of subject. "Like a date, or a not-date?" She asks with a smirk.
"A date" I say matching her smirk.
"Really? Wow, I don't think we've ever been on a date before" She teases.
"We've been on tons"
"Those weren't dates, those were your attempts to fatten me before getting into my pants"
"Well they worked didn't they?" I say before getting a playful shove to the shoulder.
"Yes, but don't think you'll be so lucky tonight." She laughs.
"Sure" I say rolling my eyes. "Let's get dressed and we'll go" I say heading into our room. Our room. That feels good to say.
Right... so... where are my contacts. I can't drink coffee properly if I can't see.
I walk over to my nightstand and pick up my glasses. I put them on to search through the bathroom for my contacts. The only problem with Cat living here is the bathroom. I now have to put up with another flat iron, curling iron, an assortment of product, a million boxes of red hair dye, and that's not even half of it. But hey, this goes where Cat does, so I'm not complaining.
"They're in the top drawer" Cat says walking into the bathroom.
"Ah, thank you" I say opening the drawer. After I grab them I look back up to see Cat staring at me intensely.
"What?" I ask standing up straighter.
"Nothing" She says skeptically. What is she... my glasses.
"Ok, what is your weird issue with my glasses? Every time I wear them you stare at me and then ask me to take them off." I say.
"You really wanna know?" She challenges.
"Well" She starts, walking up to me. "I just find it really hard to focus whenever you have them on"
"Why?" I ask.
"Because" She leans in close to me. "It takes everything in me not to tear your clothes off and run my tongue all over your body."
"R-really?" I ask. Oh my god... I am wearing these forever. Every day. For the rest of my life. This makes sense now... she would always look at me so weird when I'd wear these.
"Oh yeah." She confirms.
"You know instead of getting coffee we could just-" I'm interrupted by a knock at the front door. Dammit.
"You get it, I'm gonna take a shower." She says before pecking me on the lips. Usually I'd stay for the undress, but I should probably get the door.
I walk to my front door, setting my glasses on the coffee table, and answer the door.
"Ah, to what do I owe the displeasure?" I say smirking at Jade.
"Don't look at me Vega, I'm not thrilled either." She glares. I roll my eyes and look over to her boyfriend.
"You dragged her here didn't you?" I ask.
"Yes. We're here to say congrats on the official move in" He says.
"He is, I'm not" Jade scowls.
"What do you see in her?" I ask.
"God knows" He sighs.
"Right" I laugh. "Well congrats on the move in for you too" I say lightly punching his shoulder.
"Thanks" He says.
"Exactly, so we should go finish unpacking. Bye" Jade says walking away. Oh Jade.
"You sure do know how to pick them James" I say.
"Yeah... pray for me" He says giving me a hug before walking after Jade.
God knows I love that guy but Jade? Really? Why not his other roommate, Rachel, what's wrong with her? But as weird as it is, she makes him happy.
Yeah, James and Jade. Never saw that coming. Jades just so... evil. And James is everything else. Apparently she was sold the minute he punched Beck and got his blood on her car. She also got the blood splatter design painted into her car not long after that. For whatever reason, James thought that was cool, then they started dating, then he moved in, and here we are.
I close the door with a chuckle then walk back to Cat and I's room. I change out of my sweatpants and into some skinny jeans before sitting on the bed to wait for her. Hmm.
"Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall ninety-nine bottles of beer, you take one down and pass it around, ninety-eight bottles of beer on the wall. Ninety-"
"Why don't you just sing the last line of the song? Then you'll finally know how it ends" I hear Cat say from the bathroom.
... I am an idiot. Why didn't I think of that 257 bottles ago?
"One bottle of beer on the wall one bottle of beer, you take it down, pass it around... uh..." How does the song actually end...
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
"I'll have a Grande cream-based frap with two pumps mocha, one pump caramel, an espresso shot, and whipped cream with caramel and mocha drizzle on the top." Cat says before the waitress walks away.
"Cat, that wasn't coffee, that was a shopping list." I say.
"Zip it." She says rolling her eyes.
"Hopefully I'll be unzipping it when we get back home" I smile. Another eye roll.
"So, how do you feel now that you're living with your girlfriend of a year?" She asks.
"Good. I feel good. You?" I ask.
"Perfect. I'm excited. I mean, this is big for us. It's not that now I have to spend every moment with you, it's that now I get to. I get to be with you." She says with a small smile. We just look at each other for a moment before I speak up.
"I love you"
"I love you too." She says taking my hand. "You know... um..." She trails off.
"What?" I ask.
"How different do you think our lives would be if I really had been pregnant?" She asks.
"Well, pretty different. You would've moved in immediately, we would've both gotten jobs, you wouldn't be in school. Lots of things would be different."
"I know about all that... but I mean, we would be parents. We would have a baby" She says with a hint of a smile.
"Yeah we would." I agree. Where is she going with this...
"And I think it would've been the most loved child in the world. We would be great parents." She finishes.
"Yeah probably" I could easily see Cat as a mother. She's so sweet, kind, caring. She has more love than anyone I've ever met. She would be an amazing mother.
"So what do you think about them?" She asks.
"Uh... well, I like them." I say not really sure of what she's asking.
"No I mean, would you ever want any? Like in the future?" She asks shyly. I grin. She is so cute.
"Absolutely." I say.
"Really? With me?" She asks, a smile forming on her face.
"Yes" I laugh. "Only you."
"Ok" She says with a huge smile. "I love you." She is ecstatic over this.
"I love you too" And those pesky butterflies are in my stomach again. After a month you'd think they'd go away.
"Oh, did you get James' email about our double date this Friday?" I ask as the waitress brings us our coffee. Oh coffee, how I love you. The Hot Spot has the best coffee ever.
"Um, I don't know." She says reaching into her bag to get her phone. I sip on my coffee for a bit as she digs around. Oh Jesus Cat, let me save you the trouble.
I pull out my phone and hit the speed dial for her number.
"Here" I say as she looks up at my phone.
"If I could say what I wanna say, I'd say I wanna blow you away
Be with you every night, Am I squeezing you too tight?
If I could say what I wanna see, I wanna see you go down on one knee
Marry me today, guess I'm wishing my life away
With these things I'll never say"
Cat's face is completely blank, as does mine. She slowly selences her phone and puts her bag back at her feet. She keeps her eyes trained on mine, an unsure and slightly scared look in her eyes. She swallows hard a few times as she tries to make out my expression.
"How long have you had that?" I ask breaking our silence.
"About a month" She answers softly.
"Really? You've felt like this for a month?" I ask.
"Yeah" She nods.
"Good." I say reaching into my pocket. "Because I've had this for about a month" I say placing a small black box on the table in front of me. I slowly slide it towards her then retract my hand to watch her features.
She looks from me to the box a few times before sliding it closer to her. She looks up at me one last time before opening it. The minute her eyes meet it she gives a small gasp and she looks up at me with sheer unbelief. She keeps going back and forth from me to the box. From me, to the engagement ring.
"Tori..." She says unsure.
"Marry me" I blurt out. Dammit Tori!
"What?" She gasps.
"No.. wait... hold on. I didn't mean to say that. I meant that... maybe this is rushed... I don't know. But I do know that I love you. I know that you're all I want. My head and my heart agree. It's you and no matter how many times you jump, I will always be there to catch you." I say as tears well up in her eyes.
And there, in the midst of The Hot Spot, I get down on one knee in front of her and take a deep breath.
"Will you marry me?"
She leans down close to me and puts a her hand on the side of my face.
"Yes" She says barely above a whisper.
"Yes?" I repeat. Tell me I heard that right. I didn't dream that.
"Yes" Cat says louder before pressing her lips against mine.
Tears are pouring from her eyes and I can't keep the smile off my face as I take the ring out of the box and slip in onto her finger. Cat looks at it for a moment and then before leaning forward and wrapping her arms around my neck. I wrap my arms around her and smile to myself.
She said yes.
Cat pulls back and kisses me on the lips again before a smile makes its way to her face. I sit back in my chair and she looks back at her ring again. She lets out a happy laugh before looking back up at me.
"I love you" She says.
"I love you too" I say back.
"And Tori?" She asks.
"You're making the face"
"What face?" I ask.
"The one where you like it"
I laugh and run a hand through my hair.
"Cat?" I ask.
"Yeah?" She answers.
"You're making it too"
And we deserve to after all this. We've been through thick and thin together. It was always Cat and it was always me for her. We trusted each other, we fell in love, and we jumped together. It was difficult and it was hard, but we made it. We love each other. We're going to get married. We're gonna have kids. And to think all of this came from a phobia of nudity. We didn't know it at the time but it was the start of all this. The start of us. We were painting some abstract picture of life that neither one of us understood. But now looking back on it, I do understand. It wasn't just luck. It wasn't just a phobia. It wasn't just life.
It was The Art of Falling in Love.
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Hello my Lotus Blossoms.
You can't imagine the smile on my face after typing that last line. As much as I struggled with this story, I did love it and I'm thankful that you did you. A lot of my heart and soul went into this and I want to thank you guys for letting me share it.
So, seven months, almost 400 reviews, and two all-nighters (counting this one) later, we give our goodbye to this fic. I'm gonna miss writing it.
All of you are amazing and I have no words to describe how blessed I am to have had your input on this story. Know that I love you all, every one of you. But to a few that really stood out:
First off I gotta give it to August Jade for being my first review. You are awesome.
Meaghan Gibson: Ah Ms. Gibson, always here and I find that very comforting.
Zinzu: My darling Zinzu, wherever you have gone, you must be just as adorable there as you were here.
SuperGRavyMan: You my friend are just made of awesome.
SadFace: Besides my desire to kiss you, you are truly amazing. You said all the right things at the right times.
Ginger: You always make me believe in myself when I'm down. Thank you.
Sloth: You also always had the right words I needed to hear.
Energywielder: Reading what you have to say just brightens my day.
Luz4mj1995: You also frequently put a smile on my face.
If I could get to you all and say something about how much you mean to me, believe me I would. You have all been the soul behind my writing and I truly love all of you.
All the songs used for the ringtones in this story:
I Wanna - The All-American Rejects
Finding Out True Love is Blind - Louis XIV
Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon
Rockstar - The Pussycat Dolls
Try This - J.R.A.
My Curse - Killswitch Engage
You Like Me - Natasha Bedingfield
I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz (I listen to the Christina Grimmie version)
Things I'll Never Say - Avril Lavigne
And to whoever is my 400th review, you are awesome and I thank you.
To anyone who finds this story post completion, don't hesitate to leave a review, I always love hearing what people have to say.
Alright loves, that's all for this story. You know Reviews = Love. Spread it around. Thick.