It was a little after ten when Darcy arrived at Half Moon Farm to pick Jess up.
Grabbing a sweatshirt off of the kitchen table as she went, Jess bid her parents goodbye and promised to be back within an hour of the end of the meteor shower.
"We'll be watching the shower too, so no funny business!" Mrs. Delaney called after Jess. A smile on her face lightened the message, though.
Closing the door after them, Darcy captured one of Jess's hands in his much larger one, and walked her toward his truck. "My lady," he said, bowing deeply as he opened the passenger door for her.
Laughing, Jess got into the vehicle. "Thank you, kind sir. May I remark, your manners are exquisite."
Darcy straightened. "Exquisite manners for an exquisite woman." Winking, he shut the door and circled around to the driver's side.
Jess hid her grin in the sleeve of her sweatshirt. As Darcy pulled out on to the main road, she settled back into the comfort of the seat. A graduation gift from his parents bought with some of Mr. Hawthorne's earnings from another successful novel, the truck was by no means brand-new, but was perfect in Darcy's eyes. "Working headlights, comfortable seats, and a clutch that doesn't stick? Sounds like a dream to me," had been his words upon receiving the vehicle.
Studying the road lit by the headlights, Jess was suddenly struck by a thought. "Where are we going?"
Darcy tossed a smile her way and answered, "You'll see." He took his hand off of the stick for a moment and squeezed her shoulder before returning his attention to the road.
Pulling into a dark parking lot, Darcy shut off the truck. "We're here!" he announced with a flourish of his arms. "Grab the blankets from the back seat and follow me."
As she stepped out of the car, Jess squinted into the darkness in an attempt to figure out where they were. Seeing nothing, she grabbed the blankets and returned to where Darcy was standing with a flashlight out and something else gripped in his other hand.
"Ready?" he inquired.
She nodded and trailed him to the middle of a large hill. "Nashawtuc Hill!" she realized, laughing. "There are some great memories here."
Darcy gave her a sideways glance as he knelt and spread a blanket. "Yeah, like racing toboggans and breaking your leg."
Jess pushed him slightly. "Fine, so that wasn't the best memory, but it was still a memory! And anyways, I think we've more than made up for that little incident."
A full smile returned to Darcy's face. "Good point. Anyways, are you going to sit down tonight or am I going to have to make you?"
Darcy rose slowly to his feet. Jess waited patiently until he was within a foot of her before turning on her heel and running sideways along the hill. She heard his laugh, which was quickly followed by the sound of his footsteps racing after her.
They spent a few minutes chasing each other, until Jess was giggling too hard to run straight. Darcy took advantage of her pause to take her into his arms.
Jess grinned and buried her face in his sweatshirt. They stood quietly for a while, before Darcy pulled away and asked, "Time to watch the meteor shower?"
They returned to the blanket and stretched out beneath the stars, placing the other blankets up over their bodies to ward off the chill of the night air.
Jess lay beside Darcy, his arm beneath her head and wrapped around her shoulder. She closed her eyes for a few moments, enjoying the peace and comfort that surrounded her. She had missed Darcy while he was away at college, and was determined to etch every part of the night into her mind. She listened to his soft breathing, letting herself drift off to the sound.
A tap on her shoulder made her open her eyes to discover Darcy smiling at her, looking like the happiest man in the world. "I didn't want to disturb you, but I think you may want to see this."
She gazed up into the night sky, unable to stop a sigh of contentment as Darcy tugged her body closer to his. They watched the meteor shower in silence, both lost in awe of the raw beauty.
After some time, when the last of the meteors had disappeared, Darcy turned his face to hers. "I missed you while I was at college. I looked forward to this night for so long."
Jess agreed softly, watching his dark eyes as they reflected the overnight sky and looked back at her. Slowly, he pressed his lips to hers. She shut her eyes, focusing on the feeling of the kiss, of the fact that she was kissing Darcy.
And after a certain time, they broke apart, unable to stop smiling as they stared up at the stars in the night.
Oh my goodness, you guys...I am so sorry that this took so long. I am not sure what I think of this second chapter, what about you? And I did change the name of the story, because "Stars" just seemed to fit better.
Also, as I said in that Author's Note, I was considering making this into a first-person point of view. Well, I am very conflicted about changing it. I was thinking about publishing this, and then if enough of you want the first-person version, I'll just add two edited chapters with that POV. Thoughts?
Thank you SO, SO much for sticking with me, and for all of the awesome reviews!