Begin Again

Episode 18: Forever After

It was the day of Rufus and Lisa's wedding. Lily hadn't talked to Rufus since their fight. She had been too afraid to. Now that she had cooled off, she had decided that she didn't want things to be awkward between her and Rufus. Nor did she want to lose him as a friend. It would be painful to have him as just a friend, yes. But, it would be even more painful to not have him as a friend. So, as a peace offering, she had gone to FAO Schwarz and purchased the remote control helicopter that Rufus had fallen in love with. Sure he wasn't good at flying it, but he had loved it, and it would make him happy. It was a whole lot better to think of the helicopter making him happy than it was Lisa. The thought of Lisa making him happy was simply unbearable. She never understood how people could be happy for the one they love when the one they love is with someone else, nor could she understand even just wanting them to be happy. She loved him! She wanted him with her! How the hell could she be happy for him, or want him to be happy with Lisa? In Lily's opinion, people who said things like they just wanted their lover to be happy, or they were happy they found love with someone else were all full of crap!

Anyway, she certainly wasn't going to the wedding. She'd rather rip out all of her hair. It would be less painful than seeing the one great love of her life marry someone else—someone undeserving of him, nonetheless. So, instead, she had called Serena and asked her to come over. She knew that Serena was going to be heading over to Lisa's friend's house. Like Serena, her friend was a bridesmaid, and they were going to all go to the church together. Lisa had spent the night sat said friend's place after her bachelorette party.

Lily would give Serena the gift to give to Dan, who would be heading over to Rufus' after he dropped Serena off at Lisa's friend's place.

Lily took out a notecard that had a vase of lilies on the front. It was even scented like lilies. She then opened up the notecard, which was blank inside.

She thought for a moment about what she was going to write, then she wrote in it.

Dear Rufus,

I won't be attending the wedding today. I think you already knew that. It just hurts too much. I know I lost my chance, and Lord knows I had many. I do want you to be happy. I just wish it was with me instead of her. Nevertheless, I don't want us to not be in each other's lives. I don't want us to ever not be friends. You mean somuch to me, Rufus, and you alwayswill! I love you more than you will ever know. You are the one great love of my life, and I know you always will be. I'll never find another love like you, so I'm not even going to try. I've decided to live the rest of my life as a single woman. No man could ever live up to you, so why bother being with anyone else?

Anyway, I'm sorry I threw a book at you. You know me, I have a slight temper. I always have. Even so, I never should have thrown something at you.I was just hurt, and wanted you to leave before you saw me cry. I hope you think of me every time you see this. It was one of the best times I've ever had with you, the day you first laid eyes on this thing. Just do me one favor, okay? Don't fly it around any kids. ;) I love you, Rufus, forever and always. I'm just sorry it took me so long to realize exactly how much you mean to me. Love Always, Lil.

Lily proofread her note, then sealed it in an envelope, and wrote his name on the back. She then tucked it under the ribbon of the wrapped helicopter.

Just then, the elevator doors opened, revealing Serena.

Serena walked in, then headed over to her mother, and hugged her. "Mom, I'm so sorry! Rufus told Dan everything about what has recently gone on with you two. Dan told me of course. I honestly don't know how Rufus could pick Lisa over you."

Lily hugged her daughter tightly in return. She sighed. "Rufus and I have been through so much together. When you go through as much as he and I did together, it either makes you stronger, or it tears you apart. Unfortunately, it tore us apart. I guess it's my own fault, for always picking the wrong man over him. I let our marriage die."

"You can't play that game of who's to blame, Mom. Sometimes things just don't work out the way we want them to." Serena broke the hug, and studied her mother's face. Lily guessed it was to see if she was all right.

"Did Rufus tell Dan about Lisa drugging him?" Lily asked, walking over to her desk, and picking up the gift.

Serena nodded. "Dan can't see why Rufus is going back to Lisa either, but he agreed to be civi to Lisa for Rufus' sake. He says if Rufus can forgive her, then he supposes he can to. But he still thinks Rufus should have chosen you over Lisa."

"Did he tell Rufus that?" Lily asked, an eyebrow raised.

Serena nodded. "Rufus just kindly told him it doesn't concern him."

Lily sighed. "Well, he's probably still miffed at me for throwing a book at him."

Serena giggled behind her hand. "I would have loved to have seen that!"

Lily smirked. "He wasn't pleased. He was pretty angry."

Serena nodded. "I can imagine." She took the gift from Lily's hands. "So, what is it?" She gently shook it. "Is it fragile?"

"It's a toy helicopter. It flies," Lily answered. "It has a sentimental reason behind it," she then added upon seeing the confused look on Serena's face.

Serena nodded. "Got it."

Lily looked into her daughter's eyes. "Please make sure that Dan knows to tell Rufus to open it when Lisa isn't around. It's for him; not her."

Serena nodded. "I'll make sure he knows it. Don't worry."

Lily then looked her daughter up and down. "It's a pretty dress at least. The royal blue brings out the color in your eyes."

Serena grinned. "Thanks! Lisa let me have a say in it."

Lily smiled, not knowing what to say to that. It seemed, Serena didn't have a problem with Lisa despite Lisa having drugged Rufus, or despite Serena's claim that she thought Rufus should have picked Lily over Lisa. "So," she asked, deciding to change the subject. "How was the bachelorette party?"

Serena grinned. "We went to a strip club. Lisa refused a lap dance. She felt it would be being unfaithful to Rufus. She didn't even have anything more than one martini! The rest of us enjoyed the lap dances and a lot of martinis. What Dan doesn't know won't hurt him." Serena smirked.

Lily laughed. "It's funny how she can be a goody-goody at one moment, and a drugging conniver the next."

Serena nodded. "I know, right? It's weird." She sighed. "Well, I better be going. I can't be late for something like this!" Serena gave her mother a half hug. "Are you sure you're going to be all right?"

Lily half hugged her back. "You don't have to worry about me. I'll be fine."

Serena and Lily exchanged quick kisses on the cheek, then Serena headed to the elevator. "I'll call you later tonight, all right?"

Lily nodded. "All right. I love you."

"I love you too," Serena said right before the elevator doors closed in front of her.

Lily sighed once Serena disappeared from her sight. She had told Serena she'd be all right. She only wished her feelings would go along with what her mouth had said.

With another sigh, she headed up to bed. Right now, all she wanted to do was take a nap, and try to sleep through the stupid wedding that would ultimately tear her heart apart whether she was present for it or not.

~Begin Again~

Rufus looked at himself int he mirror. He straightened his bow tie, not feeling like a man who was just about to get married. In fact, it was quite the contrary. He felt like a man on his way to his own death sentence. It's not that he didn't want to marry Lisa. He did! He really, really did. It was just that, he felt bad for the way things had ended between him and Lily. He loved Lily, and even if they couldn't be together as a couple, he didn't want to not be friends with her. He wished she'd be at the wedding today. He missed her, and he hadn't seen or talked to her since their argument. He had been too afraid to call her. He knew she was angry, and he knew that she had every right to be angry with him. More importantly, he had hurt her. He didn't want to hurt her anymore. He almost felt that the best thing for her was to stay out of her life. At least that way he could no longer hurt her.

Anyway, he knew she wouldn't be coming to the wedding. It would hurt too much for her. That thought only made him want to kick himself. Here he was, wanting Lily to come to the wedding when he knew darn well it would hurt her to come to it. It seemed he kept hurting her even when he didn't realize it! Lily deserved so much better than him, and he knew it! It was good he was marrying Lisa. Maybe now Lily could finally have closure, and find a man that truly deserved her.

Just then, then door slid open, and in walked Dan. He was looking quite dapper, and holding a big, wrapped package.

"Special delivery," Dan said as he turned around to slide the door shut. He then turned and headed toward Rufus.

Rufus smiled. "Thanks, Son! You didn't have to get me a wedding gift. Being one of my best men is more than enough!"

Dan smirked. "It's not from me. It's from Lily. She gave it to Serena to give to me to give to you. She wants you to open it when Lisa's not around." He handed the gift to Rufus. "So, you might as well open it now."

Rufus took the present form his son, and examined it. To say he was surprised to be getting a wedding present from Lily was an understatement. "Did she seem angry when she gave it to Serena?" He pressed his ear to it in case it was a bomb. He knew Lily wouldn't really send him a bomb, but he was still suspicious as to what it could be.

Dan shrugged. "I don't know. I wasn't there, and Serena didn't say."

Rufus brought the gift over to the island, and carefully unwrapped it. His curiosity was getting the best of him. He saw the card first. He took it out of the envelope, inhaling the sweet scent of lilies. There were even lilies on the front of the card. It was undeniably from Lily. He opened up the card, and read the long note that Lily had written to him. She had used up every inch of the notecard. It made him smile. That was Lily for ya. She never could keep it short.

As he read the note, his heart sank. Lily loved him so much. It was clear in the note. He could feel every emotion she was feeling because he felt it too. He had all of those emotions inside him already. Reading her note to him had finally let them surface.

He folded the note, then quickly unwrapped the package, though the note had pretty much given away what it was. Sure enough, it was the flying helicopter that he had played with when they went to FAO Schwarz.

He smiled as he remembered hitting that boy with it accidentally, causing the boy's poor little brother to get blamed. He had Lily had laughed so hard that day.

The memory suddenly opened up a dam of memories. They all came rushing back to Rufus. He remembered first meeting Lily, the first time they had kissed, and the first time they had made love. He remembered old dates of theirs, he remembered proposing to her, and he remembered their wedding day. He remembered their most recent times together. He remembered and felt how much love he had for Lily. Then he thought about Lisa. He thought about all their firsts, and their dates. He thought about recent times with her, and he thought about his love for her. It didn't even come close to what he felt for Lily.

His face paled. He set down the helicopter.

Dan raised an eyebrow. "A toy helicopter? That's kind of an odd taste in gifts, isn't it?" He smirked.

Rufus pushed past him, not responding. He slipped on his shoes, grabbed his keys, then slid open the loft door.

"Wait. Where are you going? You have a wedding to get ready for!" Dan called after him in surprise. "You can't just leave."

Rufus looked over his shoulder at him. "I can't marry, her Dan. I'm in love with Lily. I don't love Lisa the way I love Lily."

Dan blinked his eyes in surprise. "Well, you sure picked a hell of a time to realize it!" He crossed his arms over his chest, and shook his head. "I mean, I'm glad you finally did, but—"

Rufus cut Dan off. "No time to talk! I have to go find Lisa and tell her it's over."

"What should I do?" Dan asked.

But Rufus was already out the door, and heading into the elevator. He didn't have time to answer questions. He had to find Lisa and break things off with her before it got any later than it already was.

As soon as he got down to the lobby, he ran out of the building, ignoring the doorman's congrats on his wedding day. He then hopped into his car, and took off, hoping that traffic wouldn't be too terrible.

The traffic wasn't great, but it ended up not being too horrible, thankfully.

He arrived at Lisa's friend's apartment complex. He parked in guest parking, then headed into the building. The doorman knew him, for he had been there many times with Lisa for small get togethers that Lisa's friend had had at her apartment.

"Rufus! Congratulations on your wedding day!" the doorman said

Rufus nodded politely at him. "Thank you."

"If you're here to see your future wife, I'm sorry, you just missed her. She and her wedding party just left about five minutes ago for the church."

Rufus held back a cry of frustration. "Aw, shoot! Well, thanks for letting me know." He pat the doorman's shoulder.

"It's bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding anyway," the doorman said with a wink and a smile.

Rufus smiled weakly back at him. "True. Talk to you later." He then took off, not even bothering to thank the doorman when he wished him good luck.

He sighed. He didn't want to have to tell Lisa at the church, but he had no choice now, he supposed.

He got to his car, jumped in, then headed for the church. Luck was no longer a factor, he knew. For the wedding had been doomed since the day he proposed. Actually, he knew, it really had been doomed since the day he met Lily.

~Begin Again~

Lily couldn't get herself to stop sobbing. She had slept for a little bit, but she hadn't been able to sleep for long. Soon, she had found herself wide awake, feeling too sick and depressed to sleep. She felt so depressed, it was affecting her stomach.

Since sleeping was out of the question, and she was majorly stressed out, she decided upon the next best thing to sleeping—drinking.

She headed downstairs and grabbed a bottle of red wine and a wine glass. She then headed up stairs with them, and straight into her bathroom, where she set both the wine bottle and the wine glass on the ledge of her tub. She then turned on the water as warm as she could stand it, put the tub stopper in, then finally poured some bubble bath into the water. She set the bubble bath down, then stripped down to nothing. Next, she popped a CD into her portable CD player, then turned on the player and pressed play. A compilation of mid-tempo songs began to play.

She got into the tub, and didn't turn the water off until the tub was almost overflowing. Then, once she was free to relax, she poured herself a glass of wine, and sank down into the bubbles. She sipped her wine, and closed her eyes, letting the soft music sooth her. She had chosen music that wasn't fast enough to un-relax her, but it wasn't slow enough to depress her even more than she already was. It was just the right tempo to let her relax, and try to take her mind off things. The lyrics were empowering. After all, she knew the very last thing she needed to hear when she was down was sad, sappy songs to make her feel even worse than she already did. After all, that would just be pointless.

She sipped her wine and listened to the music, then poured another glass of wine. The first glass wasn't working well enough to relax her. Actually, the way she was currently feeling, she had no plans to drink anything less than the full bottle. She needed it like a heart needed to beat. Just like she needed Rufus. At that thought, she refilled her not even fully empty glass, and then took another long swig of her red wine.

~Begin Again~

Rufus arrived at the church, and quickly parked. He saw Dan's car there. He assumed Dan had gotten tired of waiting for him. Oops! Oh well. He had more pressing things to worry about right now.

He shut off the engine, got out of the car, shut and locked his doors, then headed into the church. He figured Lisa would be changing in one of the rooms, so he headed straight up the stairs to the rooms.

Seeing as all the doors were open except for one, he knew exactly which room Lisa was in. He walked over to the door, and gently knocked.

"Who is it?" called Lisa's sister from the other side of the door.

"It's Rufus. I need to talk to Lisa, please," he called back.

"Say it through the door. You're not supposed to see her before the wedding!" her sister said. "Heck, I'm not even sure you're supposed to talk to her before the wedding."

"I need to talk to her in private. It's important," Rufus insisted. This obviously could not wait until the wedding.

There was a brief silence before Rufus heard Lisa's voice. "Oh, this is silly! I don't believe in stupid superstitions!" The sound of footsteps could be heard, and soon the door opened, revealing Lisa.

She smiled when she saw Rufus. "You look so handsome!"

Rufus felt his heart sink a little. This was going to be one of the hardest things he ever had to do. "And you look absolutely breathtaking." He meant it too. She looked so beautiful in her white Vera Wang wedding dress. The sleeveless gown had a tight lace bodice, and flowed down to the floor. It was poofy, and made her look just like a beautiful princess. Her hair was up in a curled updo, and had a diamond tiara locking it all in. Her eyes sparkled. She never looked more beautiful. Still, he had to tell her. And this time, there was no putting it off.

"Thank you." Lisa grinned, and did a slight curtsey. "What's up? What's important that you need to talk to me about?"

"Can we talk in private in one of the other rooms?" Rufus asked. There was no way in hell he'd talk to her in front of everyone. That would help neither him, nor her.

Lisa hesitated. "Is this going to take long? I have to finish getting ready."

"Please. It's very important," Rufus said, not wanting to tell her that she no longer needed to finish getting ready.

Lisa looked back in the room at her sister.

Her sister rolled her eyes. "Just go." She gave Rufus the death glare. "But if you make her late for her own wedding, it's on your head!" She pointed at him with a comb.

Rufus nodded his understanding, then quickly ducked into the room kitty corner from the bridal room.

Lisa promptly followed him.

"Shut the door please," Rufus said, almost losing his voice, he was so nervous.

Lisa did as told, then turned to face him. "Rufus, what's wrong? You're starting to scare me." She looked even more nervous than he felt.

Rufus looked her in the eyes. He sighed. He really didn't want to tell her this, but he had no choice. He couldn't marry her. Not when he was in love with Lily. "I can't marry you," he said flatly. He hadn't known how to say it, so he didn't even try to sugarcoat it. He just came right out with it.

Lisa looked sick for a split second, then she quickly made her way over to him, and took his hands in her own. "Are you scared? I am too, but we're gonna do this, and our cold feet will warm right up!" She smiled. "I love you, and you love me. We have nothing to be afraid of."

Rufus shook his head. "It's not cold feet. I'm in love with Lily. That's why I can't marry you. I've been secretly seeing her over the past month. I've kissed her, I've touched her, and I would have slept with her had you not interrupted us." Rufus continued before Lisa could question the last part of what he said. "We were making out and naked, and just about to make love before you came into the gallery the other day looking for me. I lied. I hadn't gone to get a hot dog. I was there. Naked with Lily."

Rufus looked at Lisa to see her reaction. He knew he hadn't planned on telling her all that, but he figured, he might as well. She deserved to know everything that he and Lily had been doing behind her back. He wasn't William, and it was about time he started acting like he wasn't, he knew.

Lisa's face remained emotionless, and she didn't say a word for a moment "Maybe seeing each other before the wedding is bad luck after all," she said in a half joking manner before going quiet again. She was then silent for a good minute this time.

Finally, Rufus couldn't take it any longer. "Lisa, say something. Please."

Lisa looked him in the eyes. "Are you still with her?"

Rufus shook his head. "Well, no. We got into an argument when I wouldn't break it off with you."

Lisa smiled. "We can still get married," she said simply. "We've both done things we regret. I worked with William and drugged you, and you kissed and touched Lily. Whether you were going to or not, you didn't have sex with Lily. You broke it off with her to marry me, so no harm done. I'll still marry you! I love you. Nothing has changed. I appreciate you coming to me and telling me this first instead of marrying me without telling me." She sighed with relief. "We're gonna be okay."

Rufus shook his head, feeling his heart break again. "Lisa, no. I can't marry you because I realized it was a mistake breaking it off with Lily, and not breaking it off with you right away. I am still in love with Lily, and she is still the one I want to be with. I can't marry you, I'm sorry!"

"But if you marry me, we can move out of the city. We can get you away from Lily. You'll eventually get over her, and realize your love for me was always stronger than your love for her was anyway. You've gone five years without Lily. More than that even! Your feelings for Lily are just an old part of you that is still hanging onto the memories. Once you marry me, and get her out of your life, you'll get over her, I promise! You and I can still have a very happy life together!" Lisa sounded frantic now. She grabbed his hands again, and smiled at him, the tattletale tears in her eyes showing that even she didn't believe her own words. She was grasping at straws and false hopes.

Rufus shook his head. "Lisa, even if it worked at first, I'd eventually still want Lily back. I love Lily, and frankly, I'm miserable without her."

"But what about me? Aren't you miserable without me?" Lisa whimpered.

Rufus sighed. "Not as miserable as I am without Lily. I tried to get over Lily by being with you. It worked for quite a while. I convinced myself I was more in love with you than I was with her. But I can stay away from Lily all I want, and I can try to marry you and be with you in hopes that I'll eventually fall out of love with Lily, but it's just a temporary fix. In the end, I'm always going to want Lily. I'm always going to love her more." He knew it was going to sound harsh to Lisa, but he was just being honest. He couldn't sugarcoat it. Otherwise, Lisa would think that he and she still had a chance.

Lisa sighed, then her eyes went from sad to angry in two seconds flat. Her eyes narrowed at him, and she gave him a look to kill. "Fine. You can have your stupid engagement ring back!" She threw it at him. "You can give it to your precious Lily!"

Rufus winced as the ring hit his face then fell to the floor. "Lisa, I never meant to hurt you. I didn't mean for—"

Lisa cut Rufus off. "You know what? Save me the stupid clichés. They're doing squat to make me feel better right now!"

"Lisa, I'm sorry!" Rufus tried, even though he knew it was lame.

Lisa, who had been turned around, whipped around to face him again. "Sorry? You're sorry? Sorry doesn't give me all the years of my life back that I wasted on you, Rufus! Sorry doesn't get me a husband! Sorry doesn't make your affair with Lily nonexistent! Sorry doesn't make you leaving me for her nonexistent!" She was shaking, she was so angry. She was yelling at him now, and her hands were balled up into fists.

Rufus swallowed hard. For a moment, he thought she was going to punch him. He knew he deserved it if she did. He shrugged. "I don't know what else to say," he said quietly, tears filling his eyes.

"Oh, don't you dare start crying!" Lisa snapped. "You don't get to be the victim here." She pointed at him. "You're the villain! You led me on, then you broke my heart!"

Rufus looked up at her. "I wasn't leading you on, I—"

"Shut it!" Lisa snapped, her eyes wild with anger, and her whole body trembling even more.

Rufus instantly shut his mouth. Just as he had never seen her so beautiful before, he had also never seen her so angry before. He knew better than to say anything more right now.

Lisa pointed at him again. "You decided not to marry me, so you can be the one to tell all our guests the wedding is off."

Rufus nodded. "Fair enough."

Then, without warning, Lisa reached out and striked him hard against his right cheek. "That can't get me the years of my life back that I wasted on you, but it sure felt good!" she said. She then lifted up the skirt of her dress, and stormed toward the door. She yanked it open, then stormed out in tears.

Rufus sighed, and buried his face in his hands. That had been even worse than he thought. He didn't care that she had hit him. In fact, he was glad she did. He deserved it, and he knew it. He just wished he hadn't had to break her heart.

After a moment of collecting himself, he sighed, then headed out of the room. He had to tell everyone the wedding was off. He wasn't looking forward to it, but he figured it was the least he could do. He owed at least that much to Lisa. But after that, he had to leave. He had a plan to get Lily back. Lily had inadvertently gave him the idea. He knew he had to put it into effect before it was too late.

Lisa's sister stopped him along the way. "Rufus, what the hell did you say to my sister? Why did she just run crying down the stairs?"

Rufus looked at her. "The wedding is off." He then pushed past her, ignoring her yells for him to come back and explain himself. There was no time for that. He'd let Lisa tell her what a monster he was.

He was shaking as he headed to the front of the church. He ignored all the stares at him as he walked down the aisle.

When he got to the front of the church, he spoke loudly. "Excuse me, Everyone, I have an important announcement to make!" he practically yelled.

The organist instantly stopped playing her music.

Rufus looked over at her, and nodded politely. "Thank you." He then turned his attention back to the guests. "I'm sorry everyone came all the way out here for nothing, but the wedding is off. Lisa and I are no longer getting married. I'm sorry to have wasted your time." Then, ignoring Dan, who had just placed a hand over his shoulder, he took off. He sprinted down the aisle, and kept on going until he was out of the church, and to his car. Then, he got into his car, and took off as fast as he could go without breaking the speed limit. He hadn't seen Lisa. He assumed she was long gone as well.

He hated that he had broken Lisa's heart, and he hated that he had left everyone hanging at the church, but he couldn't help it. It would have been worse if he had married Lisa. He also couldn't help it because he was a man on a mission. He had to get out of the church, and put his plan into action. He had lost Lily too many times before. He wasn't about to lose her again, especially when this could very well be his last chance to make her his.

~Begin Again~

Lisa cried as she packed up her things at the loft. She didn't know where she was going to go. All she knew was that she had to get out of there, and that she had to be gone before Rufus got home. Though, she assumed he was heading straight to Lily's, and would probably stay the night there. She sobbed even harder at the thought.

She came across a picture of her and Rufus on the nightstand. She picked it up and stared at it for a moment. His arms were around her from behind, and he was kissing her cheek. He looked so happy with her. But now Lisa knew it was a lie. Everything about hers and Rufus' relationship was a lie thanks to Rufus!

With a cry of anger, she tossed down the photo, causing it to shatter into several tiny pieces. Then, it having made her feel a little better, she went around the house, finding every picture she could find of her and Rufus. If it had a frame, she'd drop it to the floor, and watch it shatter. If it didn't have a frame, she'd tear it into shreds, drop them on the floor, and stomp on them, all the while screaming. She knew the neighbors must think someone was being murdered in there, but she really didn't care. In a way, there was a murder. Rufus had murdered their wedding, and murdered their life together. Most of all, he had ruined her happiness.

Once she could no longer find anymore pictures of them, she went back to packing her things. She hadn't brought too much to Rufus' place, but she did have two suitcases worth of clothes, and a favorite keepsake blanket of hers. She also had a toiletries bag filled with her bathroom supplies and hair stuff, and of course her makeup bag filled with her makeup. She stuffed all her shoes into a third bag, and then put her extra glasses in her purse. Then, she took out her phone, and called her sister up. She hated to admit what had happened to her. She was embarrassed, actually. But right now, she was going to have to push the embarrassment aside, she knew. She needed someone to talk to, and more importantly, she needed her sister.

So, she called her sister up, and told her over the phone what Rufus had done.

"That son of a bitch! I'm going to kill him! Where does Lily live? I'm going to go over there, and kill them both!" Debbie, her sister said.

"No, Debbie, please don't!" Lisa pleaded. "Just please come over to the loft and pick me up. All right? I just want to get out of here. You telling off Rufus and Lily will only make things worse. I'm begging you, please don't say anything to them. It will do no good anyway."

"It will do me good to knock their fricking teeth out," Debbie stated.

Lisa couldn't help but smile at this, despite her deep sadness. "Debbie, I need you right now."

Debbie sighed. "I'm on my way."

And, fifteen minutes later, Debbie was there as promised. "I'm taking you home to Dallas with me," she said simply as she grabbed two of Lisa's bags that were by the door. "You'll feel better at home."

The thought of going home to spend time with her sister, brothers, and parents, made Lisa feel better. "I'd actually like that." She smiled weakly. "Where is Mom and everyone?" Her brothers and parents had come down for the wedding as well.

"They don't understand why the wedding is off. I told them I'd let you tell them. They're back at their hotel, seeing about getting their flight changed for tonight. If they can't get it changed, then we'll go first thing tomorrow. Until then, you can stay in my hotel room with me. Don't worry. I'll help make sure Dad and our over protective brothers don't bash Rufus' teeth in. Even though, it would be a sight to see," Debbie said, playfully nudging her sister.

Lisa smiled at her sister. "Do you think Lily would still want him if he had no teeth? Do you think he'd still want Lily if she had no teeth?

Debbie shrugged. "I don't know, but we could find out."

Both sisters laughed together.

It felt good to laugh. Though, Lisa knew the tears would fall once she was alone again. She sniffled. "Can you take the bags out to the car please? I want to grab my favorite china, then I'm good to go."

Debbie nodded. "Sure."

"Thanks." Lisa said.

Debbie pulled her sister in for a half hug, and kissed her cheek. "Hey. You're going to be okay. I promise."

Lisa could only smile at her, for fear of crying if she tried to speak.

Debbie then took two of Lisa's bags, and headed out to load them in the car.

Lisa then put her shoes on, and slipped on her coat. Then, she grabbed her china, holding it with one hand while she held a bag handle with the other hand.

Debbie came back a few minutes later, and helped her with the rest of her bags.

Lisa paused at the door, looking at the loft one last time. She remembered all the happy memories she had had with Rufus in there. She'd like to believe it wasn't all lies. Surely Rufus had loved her at one point. Just not as much as he loved Lily.

She sighed. There was no use looking back. It was time to look to the future. Heck, maybe she'd move to LA, and try to further her music career. She could find another man, one who loved her and only her.

"Hey, maybe we could move to LA after a while. There are a lot of hot guys there. And hey, I heard Adam Levine is single again. If you ask me, he's a huge step up from Rufus Humphrey!" Debbie said.

Lisa grinned. Her sister always knew just what to say. She swore sometime she could read her mind. "You never know," she said with a smile. She then gave the loft one last look over, then slammed the door shut with no plans to ever return.

As she headed down the elevator with her sister, Lisa was still sad, but she felt a little bit better. Even though she no longer had Rufus, she had her family. And, right now, her family was just what she needed to get her through this. She knew that as long as she had them, she could get over anything. Even the loss of Rufus Humphrey.

~Begin Again~

Lily lie in her bed, sobbing her eyes out, and blowing her nose and dabbing her eyes with a tissue. She had no idea why she was watching a romance movie. She guessed it was because it was the only thing on TV she could find that looked interesting. This particular movie was about a woman who didn't tell her best friend her true feelings. She was in love with him, but was afraid he'd not return her feelings, and that it would ruin the friendship. He chose to be with another woman, not knowing that his best friend was madly in love with him. She could relate. Then, in the end, her best friend realized he couldn't be with the woman he was currently with because he had feelings for his best friend. He ran to confess his feelings to his best friend. The best friend admitted she felt the same way about him, they kissed, and then he picked her up, and carried her off into the sunset.

Lily sighed, and turned the television off. So much for relating. Real life was nothing like the movies, she knew. It was cold, harsh, and unforgiving.

Just then, the phone rang. She wasn't in the mood for calls, but when she saw it was William, her curiosity got the best of her. She picked up the phone. "What do you want, William?" she asked with a sigh.

"I was just calling to see how you were doing today. I know the love of your life marrying another woman can't be easy on you."

Lily almost started crying again. How did he know? "I'm fine. He chose to be with Lisa, and it is what it is. There's no use getting upset over it. I'm happy for him."

William laughed. "Yeah, and I'm Tom Cruise."

"If you just called to rub this in my face..." Lily trailed off, not knowing what exactly she could threaten him with.

"Did I not say that I was calling to see how you are? Where do you get rubbing it in your face from?" William asked.

Lily sighed. "I'm fine, really, but thank you for your concern." She was a little touched he had called to check on her. But it was too little too late. "So, what's wrong? Cassidy dump you already?"

"No, Cassidy and I are enjoying the beaches of Barcelona as we speak, thank you. Despite what you think, I do still care about you. We may not be right for each other as husband and wife, but you'll always be the mother of my children, and the first great love of my life. I care about you, and don't want you to be sad."

"Well, you should have thought of that before you cheated on me." Lily couldn't help it. She knew he was just trying to be nice, but she still held bitter feelings of resentment toward him. Especially now that he was sailing around Europe with Cassidy, the woman he had cheated on her with.

William sighed. "Look, Lily, I didn't call to argue, or rehash this. I just wanted to make sure you're okay."

Lily sighed too. "I'm sorry. Thank you for calling. I really do appreciate it. But, if you don't mind, I'd rather just go lie down now. I'm tired."

"I understand. But don't worry, Lily. Even if Rufus marries Lisa, the marriage won't last long. You'll get him back soon enough. You and Rufus are like boomerangs. One of you throws the other away, but no matter who does the throwing, you always come back to each other in the end."

Lily couldn't help but smile at this. For once, William had actually said something intelligent that gave her hope. "I just hope the boomerang's not broken."

William chuckled. "Are you kidding me? The Rufus and Lily boomerang is made of steal. Not even Superman could break it! Trust me, I should know. If Bart Bass was still alive, he'd agree."

"Have a good trip, William," Lily said, glad William couldn't see her smiling. She didn't want to give him the satisfaction.

"Thank you. Goodbye, Lily. And remember what I said."

"I will," Lily said. "Goodbye, William." She then hung up, feeling slightly better. Sure she still felt depressed, but at least now, she had hope.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door downstairs. Lily wondered who it could be. She looked down at her robe. It was all she had on besides her underwear and bra underneath. Not that it mattered. Though she felt a little better after William's call, she was too depressed to care about her looks. So, she headed down the stairs to answer the door in her robe. After all, what did it matter? What did anything matter now that she had her heart broken? It didn't.

She got to the bottom of the stairs, then walked over to the door. She unlocked the door, then opened it.

She didn't see anyone, but then she looked down, and gasped in surprise at what she saw.

~BA~

To say I was surprised to see the dollhouse I had been looking at that day I went to FAO Schwarz with Rufus would be an understatement. I bent down to look at it closer, and was surprised to see two dolls in it. They were sitting on the couch together on the bottom floor. The dolls were the girl blonde doll I had been looking at, and the boy brunette doll. The brunette doll was the one Rufus had picked out that looked like him. The blonde of course was similar enough to me. The blonde was sitting in the brunette doll's lap. The brunette doll had his arms around the blonde doll.

I looked around to see if the person who had placed he dollhouse here was still around, but I didn't see anyone. I looked back at the dollhouse, then suddenly, I heard a whirling noise. I look over to see the toy helicopter I had given Rufus coming my way. It flew right over to me, and hovered. It had a note attached to it, so I took off the note, and read it. It had the words, I want you back on it, only the want was crossed out, and replaced with the word need, therefore making it read, I need you back.

I looked around to see who had sent it. I knew someone had to be there. After all, someone had to be flying the helicopter. I had a feeling who it was. I just didn't want to get my hopes up even though all signs pointed to...

"Rufus!" I said in surprise as he appeared, the remote to the helicopter in his hands. He was still wearing his suit. "What are you doing here?" I asked carefully. My heart was beating so fast. I tried to calm down. Again, I didn't want to get my hopes up.

"I couldn't marry her," he said simply. "I got your gift, and read your note, and... Oh, Lil, I just couldn't marry her when I know deep down inside that you're the only woman I could ever love enough to marry! I love you more than I've ever loved anyone, and that includes Lisa. I know that's never going to change. Can you ever forgive me for taking so long to realize that?" His tone was pleading, and almost frantic now.

I started sobbing again, only this time it was out of pure happiness. I covered my mouth with my hand, and nodded. "Come in!" I said, then heading toward the door. I paused to pick up my dollhouse. It was heavy, so I just left it right inside the door to the side. I'd find a better place for it later.

Rufus came into the apartment, bringing his helicopter in with him. "I am going to be taking this one back. I bought another one since the one you gave me is back at the loft. I didn't want to go back there until I was sure Lisa would be gone," he said simply.

"It seems you've gotten better flying it," I said with a weak smile as I shut and locked the door behind him. I still didn't want to get my hopes up. I had to get the whole story before I could do that.

He grinned, and set the helicopter down on the coffee table. "Pure luck!"

I laughed at his words, and he sat down on the couch. I then sat down next to him, and we faced each other.

"So, what happened? I asked in practically a whisper.

Rufus took my hands in his, and looked me in the eyes. He sighed. "Like I said, the helicopter and note made me realize I simply could not marry Lisa. Dan gave me the gift, I opened it up and read the note, and then took off practically right after." He then told me the whole story starting from going to Lisa's friend's place to try to find Lisa, then having to go to the church. Then he told me how he had taken her into a private room, and told her everything—including telling her about his and my little frolic in the back room of the gallery. He told me how he had told her his heart belonged to me, and that if he married her, he'd still want me even if he started off happy with Lisa. He told me how she threw the ring in his face and slapped him, and how she had taken off. Finally, he told me how she had made him tell everyone that the wedding was off, and how he had then taken off out of the church before anyone could ask him any questions after announcing the wedding was off. "I wanted to get to the toy store to start carrying out my plan. I already wasted so much time I could have had with you. I didn't want to waste a second more! I also didn't want to risk you already having moved on without me," he then explained.

I smiled. "Rufus, how could I move on without you so quickly? We had our argument only three weeks ago. Also, if I didn't have anyone by the time you were supposed to be marrying Lisa, I certainly wouldn't have anyone by the end of the day." I couldn't help but find his having worried cute.

Rufus shrugged. "You never know. People tend to move on quickly when they get out of a relationship. They're too afraid to be alone."

I nodded. "I'll admit I was like that in the past." I squeezed his hands tighter. "But that was before I realized that no one could ever replace you. I was ready to be single for the rest of my life because I didn't want to get my heart broken again. I also knew that, if I couldn't have you, there was no use in even trying to be with another man. No one can ever compare to you."

He gently stroked my cheek with his right hand. "And no one could ever replace you. I was just too much of an idiot to see it before."

I gently nuzzled my cheek against his hand. It felt so good. "I was an idiot too. I never should have let you go all those times that I did."

"And, as I told you once before, I never should have let you let me go," Rufus said, his eyes lowered with love.

"Oh, Rufus, I just love you so much!" I said, taking his face between my hands.

"And I love you, my Love. I never stopped," he said, his eyes lowering even more as he inched closer to me.

"Neither did I," I said, for it was true. I then moved in to close the last bit of distance between our mouths. And, when our lips met to kiss, it was the most perfect kiss. I never wanted it to end. That is until Rufus got up off the couch, picked me up, and carried me up to the stairs. Then suddenly kisses weren't enough anymore. And this time, I knew they didn't have to be.

~BA~

They stood in front of Lily's bed, their eyes locked on each other's.

Lily made the first move as she unbuttoned Rufus' suit jacket. She took her time. This was something she had been waiting for for so long. There was no way she was going to rush it. She got it off, and let it slip tot he floor. Then, she got to work on the buttons of his dress shirt. Once it was unbuttoned, she slid that to the floor with his jacket. Next, she undid his belt, her eyes locked on his again.

After the belt was undone, she undid his pants, then slipped them down to his ankles.

Rufus stepped out of his shoes, and pulled his socks off, then stepped out of his pants. Then, he took over by slowly untying Lily's robe.

Lily closed her eyes as he slid it off her shoulders, then kissed down the side of her neck, down to her collarbone.

He reached behind her and undid her bra, then slid the straps off her shoulders, causing her bra to fall to the floor with her robe.

Lily slid his underwear down as he began kissing her neck again.

Rufus stepped out of his underwear, then gently laid her down onto the bed.

He got on top of her, kissing her passionately as he slowly pulled her underwear off, and dropped them to the floor.

He then went back to kissing Lily—even more passionately this time. Then, after a moment of kissing, and his hands roaming her body, he broke the kiss, and stared into her eyes. "Are you sure?"

Lily nodded. "So sure." She had never been so sure of anything in her entire life. "I need you, Rufus. I love you, and want to be with you. Make love to me, please?"

Rufus' eyes lowered in a way that Lily knew meant he was feeling so much love for her. He kissed her lips softly. "I love you so much, Lily."

"I love you too, Rufus" Lily said, her own eyes lowered and filled with love for Rufus.

Rufus kissed her, then began making love to her.

Lily held him closer, and kissed him some more. It felt so good to be making love with him. It felt good because she knew that Rufus was finally home with her—right where he belonged. And this time, she was never going to let him go, nor would she ever let him let her let him go. For this time, she knew they were forever.

~Begin Again~

Rufus continued to make love to Lily, finally feeling as if the void he had been feeling ever since Lily had left him the second time for Bart was finally gone. Lily had once again filled the void in his heart, and this time, he was never going to let her go. He would never let her let him go again either! He now realized, he could never live without Lily. Lily was his everything. She was the only great love of his life, and he knew that now. Lily was his whole world, and she always would be.

Lily moaned, and buried her face against his neck as she arched her back.

He repeated his actions that had just made her react like that. He wanted to give her all the love and pleasure she deserved. He loved her so much, and he planned on spending every day for the rest of his life showing her how much he loved her, and never again letting her think he loved another woman more than he loved her. He had loved Lisa, sure. But the love had had with Lisa didn't even come close to the love he had with Lily. No love ever could.

Rufus never wanted their love making to end, but eventually, neither one of them could hold on any longer. But it ended beautifully, and they continued kissing as they waited for their bodies to come down from their love high.

"I love you," Rufus said again. He couldn't help it. He loved her so much, it deserved to be said way more than just once.

"I love you too," Lily said, before pulling him into yet another kiss.

Rufus sighed in contentment, and hungrily and lovingly kissed her back. There was no doubt in his heart or his mind. With Lily was exactly where he belonged, and exactly where he would always belong.

~BA~

I reluctantly left Lily's body, but I knew it would certainly not be the last I'd be there. I rolled over to the left of her, but then took her in my arms, and kissed her some more. I couldn't help it. I was addicted to kissing her. After all, she was the woman I loved, and would always love.

She kissed me back for a few moments, then sighed happily, and smiled. "So, does this mean we're back together?" she teased as she gently trailed her finger over my chest. She kissed the spots her finger just left.

"Mm, you bet it does!" I pulled her closer, and looked into her eyes. I gently wiped some hair out of her beautiful eyes. "I want to start over. Let's forget about our past—at least the bad parts—and just concentrate on our future. We'll get to know each other again, and take it slow."

Lily smiled, and gently stroked my cheek. "Not too slow though. We waited long enough to be together, don't you think?" She smirked.

I laughed. "Good point!"

Lily stroked my hair. "But, I love your idea of forgetting all the bad in our past. From now on, it's you and me, and a new beginning. No more pushing each other away just because we disagree on something. Though, I'll admit, I did most of the pushing before. I promise to be more opened minded about things now."

"And I promise to take your feelings into consideration more, and talk to you first before I go making any major decisions," I promised.

Lily smiled. "Ditto."

"And most of all, we never let the other go," I added.

Lily smiled and nodded. "And we never let the other let us go. You know, William called me today to check on me. He actually said something intelligent."

I raised an eyebrow. "William? Intelligent? Now this I have to hear."

Lily smirked. "He said that you and I are like boomerangs. One of us throws the other away, but the other always comes back to the one who threw them."

I grinned. "Well, what do you know? I guess William did say something intelligent for once in his life. Write this one down for the record books!"

Lily giggled.

"So, did Cassidy dump his ass yet?" I asked.

Lily laughed. "Surprisingly no. They are supposedly very happy together."

"Until he cheats on her," I said, finding it hard to believe that William was capable of staying faithful to one woman.

Lily pulled me closer, and stroked my hair some more. "Let's not talk about William. I want to talk about you and me. I don't know if William and Cassidy will last or not. But I do know that I have a strong faith that you and I will last forever."

I grinned. "That's funny! I have the same faith."

Lily grinned too.

"Kiss on it?" I asked, an eyebrow raised.

Lily ran her hands slowly up my chest and kissed my neck. "I say we do more than kiss on it," she purred.

I moaned. She didn't have to tell me twice!

~BA~

They lie in each other's arms after their second round of love making.

Rufus kissed Lily's shoulder. "We're soul mates, Lil. You're mine, and I'm yours."

"Mm, always," Lily said, kissing him again.

Rufus kissed her back hungrily, feeling his heart swell with love for her. This was right, he knew. It was right and perfect.

"We're perfect together," Lily said, as if reading his mind.

"We always have been," he said.

"And we always will be," Lily murmured, restring her head on his chest, and closing her eyes.

Rufus kissed the top of her had. "Always," he agreed. And, as he closed his eyes to take a nap with Lily, her wedding vows to him echoed in is head just as they had before.

"I know that our future will be just like us: flawed and fragmented, and full of more love than I ever thought possible."

Rufus wrapped his arms tighter around Lily, and kissed the top of her head. He knew that she was right.

End of Season 1

Author's Note: First off, I want to thank every single of of you who read this first season. A special thank you goes out to those of you who reviewed. I read every single one of your reviews, and I look forward to them and adore them just as much as I adore all of you guys. Your kind words mean so much to me. Also, thank you for the constructive criticism, I know it will help me make this story better! Your good reviews make me want to keep writing!

Now, I have some questions.

1: Would you like a season two? If you continue to read and review, I for one am all for it. Now that Rufus and Lily are finally together, it's going to be all romance for them. There will be the usual problems, but nothing like this. Nothing big enough to last longer than an argument. But there will be arguments because, making up is the best part. Don't worry, I will not drag it out with them. They waited long enough to be together and are now going to only get better.

2: How do you feel about a Rufly baby? Would it ruin it for you, or make you love them more? I know Lily is older by now, but I can address that issue if it comes to that. After all, she's not quite past her child bearing years yet, even though this is five years later as Gossip Girl made it be at the end.

3: Would you like me to add the other characters in, and give them shorelines too? It will still be Rufly based, but I think storylines with the other characters would help fill the space so that it didn't have to be so drawn out to fill up space.

4: What did you think of this story, now that you have it all read?

The last thing I want to say is, I have a new MK story coming soon to my other account, so look for that! Oh, and if you want Season 2, it will be up sometime in September.

Thanks again for reading! Xoxo- Judy