Chapter Six

A few hours later found Jake and Lorena cuddling on the shore and watching the tide begin to move closer. Tiffani and her new husband were out surfing. Lorena had, at first, rolled her eyes when Kyle had remarked on how groovy the waves were and Tiffani had stripped out of her wedding gown to reveal a white bikini. The two had been out on the waves ever since, and although Lorena still found it somewhat dorky to spend the afternoon after one's wedding surfing, she was glad, in a way, that Tiffani had not changed and realized that the two were definitely intended for each other.

Her fingers entwined around Jake's. She sighed happily as she leaned closer in to him. Kyle and Tiffani were not the only ones made for one another. She and Jake were definitely intended for each other, a fact Lorena had known since high school though it had taken him so much longer to accept it. Sam and Tony were also the perfect match. They had been together since flirting with each other online, way back when they had not known each other's Internet handles, and despite now being married, they had not changed in the least. They danced slowly along the shore.

Almost all the rest of the wedding party had gone. Some of Kyle's family were still riding waves, but even the Garrisons had left. Besides those few of Kyle's family, Kyle, the Dreams, and Lorena herself, only Sly and Allison still remained. Lorena's eyes sparkled as she watched the couple. Sly had not left Allison's side since her return, and even now he was sitting with an arm around her while his other hand gestured to the sky. Lorena figured he must have been describing the scenery to her and wondered if he, or any one, could describe the beauty of the sun setting over the ocean as they all celebrated their love.

"What are you thinking?" Jake whispered next to Lorena's ear, gently rubbing her arm.

She sighed happily, turned in to him, and kissed his neck. "How lucky we all are," she answered quietly.

He smiled. "That so?"

"Si. I mean, look at them, Jake. Tiff and Kyle, Sam and Tony, Sly and Allison . . . They're all as happy and as perfect for each other as we are."

He looked doubtful. "I dunno about that."

She looked back up at him. "Really?"

"Yeah." He lovingly stroked her long, brown hair. "I don't think any one could be as happy, or as perfect together, as we are." She beamed; he kissed her. Her lips slid open beneath his kiss, and their tongues slipped into one another's mouths. They rubbed against each other and moaned softly. Her hands cupped his face; his fingers buried in her hair. They lovingly caressed each other as their kiss deepened, growing steadily more passionate. She had never known the kind of love that Jake gave her, or the passion that he ignited in her soul, with any one else, and though their love was already amazing, and their passion all consuming, it only seemed to grow more and more with each passing day.

The radio had stopped playing, bringing Tony and Sam's dance to a halt. Sly had not risen to change the CD, and Tony looked at Sam with a grin. The Dreams had performed at the wedding dance, with Jenny taking Tiffani's singing role, and now the instruments sat untouched.

"What are you thinking, Tony?" Sam asked, her almond eyes twinkling with the happy suspicion of the plan she already knew her beloved husband was devising.

He shrugged his muscular shoulders, then pulled her along with him as he headed for the drum set. "I was just thinking it's a shame to let such fine musical instruments go to waste."

She smiled. "You'll play for me?"

"Always," he answered, grinning broadly, "and especially if you'll sing for me."

Her brilliant smile warmed his soul, as it always had since they'd first met. "You bet."

Tiffani and Kyle were just coming in from the final waves of the day when they heard Tony and Sam beginning to make music together. Tiff looked longingly toward the set up even as Mark joined in the singing and picked up a guitar. Not at all bothered by the fact that they were both still dripping wet, Kyle went up to his wife and hugged her. Taking her board from her, he told her, "Go."

"What?" she asked, looking at him in surprise. She grinned nervously. "It's our wedding, Kyle. I'm not going to - "

He stopped her before she could start babbling by cupping her face in his hands and kissing her lips firmly. "I'm going to be right here. Now go." He pushed her toward the stands.

Tiffani grinned and raced to take her place. Kyle watched her go, his whole face aglow with his happiness. He knew the Dreams would always be important to his love, and he'd never stand in the way of her happiness. He walked over to the growing band and laid their surfboards down together. Tiffani gazed lovingly at him as she started to sing.

Lorena was nuzzling Jake's neck when she felt him look up toward their friends. She pulled back, kissed him swiflty, and then told him as Kyle had Tiffani, "Go."

"What?" Jake questioned. He pulled her back into his arms. "Who said I wanted to go anywhere other than being right here with you?"

She pushed gently at him. "Go," she said, laughing and her eyes sparkling dazzlingly. "I've never stood in the way of you and the band; in fact, you know, I've always been your number one fan. Now go get back with them while you can. It may not last, but at least you'll have this evening to remember."

He grinned, grabbed her beautiful face, and kissed her passionately. Then he ran to join the others. Lorena trailed behind him, enjoying the view of him running from her almost as much as she liked to watch him coming toward her.

Jake picked up his old guitar. Some of the instruments were new, but this guitar was the very same one he'd played in the Dreams' last concert. It still felt so right in his skillful hands that it was as though he'd never laid it down. He grinned at his friends. They nodded in silent agreement, and Jake jumped into the chorus of the song.

Lorena started to dance before him just as she had when they were teenagers. Her eyes never left his as he and the others played. For one brief moment, it was as though they were back in Sharky's and had never left, but they had left. Time had changed. They had grown, and the Dreams, Lorena thought, beaming proudly, were better than ever. They were better than ever, and they would stay together, living in love and happiness, forever more.

It didn't matter that she was just a groupie to the world's eyes. What mattered was that she and Jake were in love, and that love would last forever after. It would never again be touched or otherwise dampened by the outside world. It would sparkle forever, grow better with each passing day, and even when the day came that Jake played his last, Lorena would still be there with him, and eternally thereafter, loving him forever more as he loved her for always and beyond.

Lorena looked to her left as a new set of soft, musical notes joined the song. This music was almost haunting and amongst the loveliest she'd ever heard. She was surprised to see Kyle making the music by blowing through a seashell. She grinned at him, understanding, at last, what Tiffani had seen in him, and then looked immediately back to her beloved Jake.

He was the only one for her and always would be. All the rest of the world dimmed in comparison, and soon, Lorena thought, her hands twisting around the flowers she held, they would all know it. Jake Sommers was her man, and though she'd gladly scream it at the whole world, she wouldn't have to to make their love known. Any one watching them with open eyes could see how infinitely much they loved each other, and soon, very soon, she'd be Mrs. Jake Sommers. Jake hadn't popped the question yet, but she knew he wasn't far from it and, besides, she'd caught the bouquet.

Their eyes met. Lorena blew a kiss at her beloved. Jake air kissed her back and kept playing.

A little ways across the shore, Sly and Allison had turned to watch and listen to the band play. They were still holding hands, but Sly had stopped trying to depict the scene at the beach to his lady love. Instead he just sat with her quietly, admiring the Dreams' music and the beauty of a sly plan come to completion. "You planned all this, didn't you?" Allison quietly asked him. "Not just to give Tiffani the perfect wedding away from the press, but to bring the band back together."

"Oh, yeah," Sly admitted, grinning from ear to ear. "You better believe it! Botta bing, botta boom, baby!"

Allison gently grasped his face in her hands and turned him to look at her. She beamed up at him. Her hands caressed him softly as she leaned up over him. "Botta boom," she whispered against his lips, and then she kissed him.

Everything was perfect, Sly thought as he kissed her back with not just major passion but also all the love that he'd always only truly felt for her alone. Allison was the only woman in all the world who he'd ever loved, and the only one he could, and Sly owed Tiffani a debt of thanks for bringing her back to him. He'd already paid that debt, however, as Tiffani would tell him later, by bringing the band back together and helping to fulfill all their dreams. All their lives were truly perfect and joyously completed now, after all these many years, and nothing would ever break them apart again!

The End