Five months later, things were still going well. We had setled into a nic cohabitation arrangment at my townhouse Jared would create gory art on his computer while I knitted next to him; we'd commute to work together every day; I cooked dinner most nights, because, well, that was just easier.

We bought a television together: he was horrified that I was so TV-free, but horror turned to delight when, one night, I asked him to help me buy a TV. We drove down to the local electronics store, all giddy and excited. I told him my budget was $500; he convinced me to pay $650 for a nice, flatscreen model. "You can spend $500 for a piece of crap, bu stay within your budget. Or if you'd spend just more, you'd get something you could really be happy with. $150 isn't that much when you're already spending $500, babe." I finally agreed with Jared. The man knew his TV's. However, the theme of this talk would come up several times in years to come.

Next, we bought a motorcycle, an old, used Ninja with a huge racing exhaust. The thing sounded like an angry jet plane when he'd rev it up. We would fly at 100 MPH, and get to work in about 5 minutes, compared to the 15 minutes it took by car (and at legal speeds). This was good, because with Jared, we were always running late. The bike was a lot of fun.

And of course, we made love nearly every single day. Every room in the house was "christened", including the kitchen counter, the stairway, and the little strip of carpet between the two bedroom closets. Outside of the townhouse, there was his car in Roy's driveway, my car in a deserted parking lot, my car again but on the commute home (don't worry, traffic crawls at 2 MPH for 10 minutes - there was nothing else to do), and later Jared's office, after he was promoted at TDM to the MIS department.

One night, we lay in bed. I listened to the change in Jared's breathing as he slowly drifted to sleep next to me. He looked so peaceful and serene, as if of all the places he could be in the world, he knew he belonged here, I closed my eyes and prayed to God, hoping that this time He'd give me an answer:

Hey God, so here I am with this guy that all my friends and family still hate. But he makes me so happy. God, I never knew life could be like this - so full. Compared to the last six months, I feel like my whole life before Jared was just a shell of an existence, nothing to get excited about, good or bad. So tell me - will you tell me this time - is Jared the one? Is he the one I'm supposed to be with for all eternity? Thanks in advance, Amen.

I woke up the next morning. Jared's arms were wrapped around me, and he held me to his side. My mind was clear, and I knew the message I received from God:

Hey Iris, what do you think?



A/N Thanks for all the wonderful support you've given me throughout the writing of this story! I can't believe how kind my reviewers have been, really. For anyone who's sad this story is done, Don't despair, this is not the final ending, just the end to this part of their story. You see, Jared and Iris are still pretty young, and they'll have a few more adventures still.

In fact, he sequel, if you're interested, is now up: Jared and Iris on the Road to Marriage!