So this is the last chapter in Not Again but there is a sequel being written now as well as a companion piece that will include one-shot like excerpts in Jane's pov from this story.
Also sorry for the late update. Life has been a doozie. There was a family death and then I discovered Hunger Games the books and then I got sick which I kind of still am. But here you have it. I'm starting to write again so hopefully the sequel will be up soon.
Thanks for all the readers who reviewed chapter 3 and favorite and followed.
He's always watched her. He finds her intriguing. Her ability to overcome any circumstance wearing her beaming smile is endearing to him. He didn't realize how much he needed the stretch of lips over perfectly white teeth from her to brighten his often dreary work days until now.
Now he watches for her.
Jane returned to work the day following their intimate encounter, but it is mere here say as far as he is concerned because he hasn't seen her. In passing or through the windows of her office. Her blinds are closed. Have been since her elusive return. He was inclined to believe Terry was covering for her boss, but his doubts were dispelled when he questioned Parker of her whereabouts. The firm partner told him she'd been swamped with multiple cases. Scavenging through boxes upon boxes of files, and when she wasn't in her office buried in files, she was out hunting down witness and pleading cases in court.
She is avoiding him. For the past two weeks, Jane has been skillfully avoiding him. So, he's camping out in his office, door opened, blinds drawn watching and waiting for her to exit the doors of her office. Word around the building is she came in earlier than usual and hasn't left once. For anything. It was five hours ago that some secretary temp told him this, and he's starting to worry.
Maybe they were mistaken and she's left the office. Or she never came in. He couldn't know for sure. And he certainly couldn't confront her here in the office. Jane is not averse to causing a scene, and he wouldn't put her in a position to air their laundry. It wouldn't look good for either of them. Therefore, he does what he's becoming quite adept at. Waiting. Either she'll show or she won't, but he has work to do and taking a break to stare at her door for a while won't hinder his progress.
Until he's completed his work that is exactly what he does. Finish a report. Stare at Jane's door. Search through legal briefs for incriminating evidence. Stare at Jane's door. Add said evidence to argument. Stare at Jane's door.
As his day is done, so goes his mild belief that he'll catch Jane today. Why did he permit himself to believe he would in the first place? He's been following the same routine for the past week with no results.
Initially, he'd given her the space he knew she needed. She needed time to mull things over. To process what had actually happened or rather not happened between the two. He didn't want to push her away by moving too quickly. Heck, he needed time to figure out what he planned on doing next. What he wanted from her.
It only took him a week to confirm the rapidly blooming love he's felt for her over the last several months. Distance couldn't make his heart grow fonder because it belonged to her. It had long ago involuntarily tethered itself to her unbeknownst to him and refused to return. Not that he wants it to. He loves Jane. Deep in his heart he believes he will only love Jane.
Pushing away from his desk, he tidies his office putting everything in its place before shutting out the light, closing and locking the door. He checks his watch as he makes his way to the elevator. It seems as though he's misjudged the time; it is not nearly as late as he thought it to be. He still has time to stop by his favorite bar for a bite of dinner.
Once on the elevator, he gets a little queasy, the feeling he gets when he's forgotten his lucky socks when he has to argue a big case. Right now he has that feeling. But he's not due in court for another week, however, his gut never lies; he has to have forgotten something. But what?
The bell dings. The elevator door slides open. He steps out in mindless determination.
The sun has set. The streets are alight. They flash into his glazed eyes. The focus of a madman shimmering therein. Or just a man. No matter, he finds himself exactly where he purposed himself two weeks ago. Though this time around the confusion and fear is nonexistent, yet he remains in the car grasping at every word, each piece of evidence for an argument he knows he has no business presenting, but will anyway. She has to know how he feels so that their transcendental moment can have accurate context. He loves her, and he doesn't want her to think otherwise. Worst case scenario, she believes he brushed her off because he realized he wasn't interested. Not the case. Not so bad scenario, she thinks he pitied her but decided not to take advantage. He could handle that. He may not be the hard hitting quick fire lawyer that Jane is but he can try. He has every reason to.
Stacy answers the door. She's surprised to see him. Jane told her what happened, but she suspects there were some bits left out. Jane wasn't as forthcoming with the details as she normally is. But she's not here. Working late, as has become her usual for the past couple of weeks. But he's here and he was here when Jane broke things off officially with Owen, so, she can totally siphon more information from him. He's usually open with such things; yet, he's being completely closed lipped. Upon realizing she's going to get nothing from him, she retires to her room leaving him to wait for Jane alone, offhandedly mentioning that her roommate texted her that she'd be home in ten.
Ten minutes. He has to wait ten minutes. They go by as any ten minutes do. Agonizingly slow. He would have felt more comfortable if Stacey would have kept him company. Time always flies when you're ignoring it, but when you're watching the hands on a clock tick, time might as well have stopped.
When finally he's given up the task of alternating between watching the door then the clock, she walks in. Back first.
"Hey, Stace, sorry I'm late."
He stands. She startles. Drops her bag. "Oh, Grayson. Hey?"
"Hey." He smiles the crooked one that seems to grace his face at times like this.
"Uh, I, um…," shaking her head clear of the cobwebs, "I forgot my, uh, scarf in my office. I should go back to get it." She turns to grab the door knob.
"Uh, Jane, you're wearing your scarf."
She giggles. "Oh, I am. I must have-"
"You've been avoiding me."
"Hmf- I have not…been avoiding you. I've just been…busy." It wasn't a lie. She'd taken on more cases per her request.
"Grayson, I was-"
"Okay, you got me. I've been avoiding you. Is that why you're here?"
"Kind of. I think we need to talk about-"
"It was no big deal. I was out of my mind. Thank goodness you stopped it when you did because that would have been a big mistake. You. Me. Big mistake. So you see we don't have anything to talk about. We both agree it was a mistake that shouldn't have happened. So, you can be on your way." The door is opened. She opened the door for him. There is a smile on her face big bright, but what he doesn't notice is her eyes. Filled with tears she can't allow him to see. And he doesn't notice the slight rise in her pitch that causes her voice to crack.
He's too preoccupied with the notion that she's kicking him out.
"Really, Grayson. It's okay. And if you're worried about me avoiding you, don't. We're friends. It's forgotten."
"That's just it, Jane, I don't want to forget it."
Startled two times over, Jane eyes buck and her breath hitches. "What are you saying?" she rasps.
He clears his throat. It's now or never. Maybe not ever, but much later than he would like. "I'm saying that I care for you. I more than care – Jane…I love you."
Her eyes belie nothing. Neither does her whispered utterance of his name. Yet he feels the disbelief rolling off of her in massive waves. "I know you may think this is coming from left field, but I assure you it isn't." He explains himself, but she doesn't respond. She does close the door and walk past him taking a seat on the couch. He doesn't join her not knowing where the line is. He's crossed one already resulting in this semi-zombielike state, but he does continue to speak. "I want you to understand the reason I didn't – why I stopped us from going any farther that night."
"You don't have to." She finally responds and it's definitely not what he wants to hear.
"I want to. I need you to know that I didn't want to stop. It's the last thing that I wanted to do, but I couldn't in good conscience let you go through with it considering the state you were in. Owen was your fiancé…and you had just broken things off with him and you didn't want to have…make love to me, and if we ever – I want you to want to…with me."
As he speaks he walks over to sit on the coffee table directly in front of Jane. Who immediately starts shaking her head the tears she previously held at bay trickling down her cheeks.
"I – Grayson…"
"Jane," he reaches forward cradling her cheek in his hand wiping away her tears with his thumb. He's secretly shocked to feel her lean into his hand. "It's okay. You don't have to say anything. I understand." He doesn't expect anything from her. "We will always be friends."
She jerks back from his touch. "Huh?"
"I get it. You don't feel that way about me. It's fine."
She shakes her head. "Grayson…I'm – now's not the-"
"I know. I'll go." He gets up to leave.
"Wait. That's not what I mean. What I meant to say is you're wrong. I do – I've had feeling for you since I met you. But now…I'm just not ready to dive head first into another relationship. I don't know when I'll be ready for something serious again. But just know that I do, Grayson." She places a hand on his well shaven cheek.
She has feelings for him, but she's not ready. She's just not ready. He can work with that. He didn't expect it, but he can certainly work with it. He's been waiting for his chance to be something to Jane and now he has that opportunity. He would wait for her. He'd be glad to wait for her. He grabs her hand from his face and moves it to his lips and places a firm kiss to her knuckles. "As long as you know that I'm waiting. Whenever you're ready just remember I'm waiting."
Tears are steadily streaming from her eyes when he leans in to kiss her softly on the lips. Then walks out of the door.