Well, this is the end!!! I hope you have enjoyed this story I certainly have :)
I want to dedicate this story to every single author who has made me love romance novels, from the very start :)
And to all of you who have read it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE
I hope you keep reading my stories in 2008, if not, I still wish you the very best.
Love you all,
Ps- New story coming in a few days, probably it's going to be Anyone bu You, it features a minor character from Written in The Rain: Lord Trevelyan.
Pss- Read my friend Stella's Finally Found, there is a link to it on my profile
Psss- I've been editing and reviewing my Sugar Rush and Don't Say You Love Me, check them up when you guys got time!
When We Meet Again
At first, Val didn't really notice. That first day after they had brought Lynie from the hospital, Jack had gone off to work – after Lynie assured him that she was feeling just fine – and called a couple of times during the day. When afternoon fell, Jack simply drove over to Val's house and helped around, inspected the work on the fence between the lawn and the beach, watched cartoons with Lynie, took Fudge for a walk ate diner with them and helped Val to put Lynie to bed.
And then he simply invited himself to Val's room and stayed the night. And then the next one, and the next… basically he just never left.
Soon his things began to show up all over Val's house, and Val found that instead of having her serviceable 21 inch TV she now had a 36 inch plasma screen, then some day she noticed that among Lynie's Barbie and Disney's movies and Nana's old Hollywood movies and Val's own romantic comedies, movies like Die Hard or Alien or Star Wars began to show up in the TV room.
Before Val knew it, Jack's red land rover was parked in her garage every night and he had taken over three of her drawers plus some shelves in her closet, and his toothbrush was next to hers in the master bedroom's bathroom.
Jack went home to Val and Lynie every night, he was always there when Lynie had to got to check ups because of her arm, and was there when her cast was removed. The three of them had gone to Office Depot to buy Lynie's school supplies when fall had rolled around and Lynie had held both her parent's hands when they took her for her first day of first grade.
One day, Val realized that he had a picture of Lynie and Jack wrapped up in a dark blue blanket in a frame and on her desk at her office in the Valentine Bear's headquarters. She remembered that she had the one who had taken that picture that time Jack had taken Val and Lynie (and Fudge) camping the last weekend before summer ended, Lynie's purple cast was still visible, if very dirty and so filled with signatures there wasn't a single clear space on it, under the blanket.
All of these things should have tipped Val off, but she was so happy she never stopped to appreciate these individual facts in the context of the bigger picture. So it wasn't until an afternoon in late November when it finally hit her. She was home, and Nana was busy cooking dinner, so Val had occupied herself with sorting her mail while they waited for Lynie and Jack to arrive. That's when she noticed at least three letters addressed to Jack (two bank-statements and the cable TV's bill), and she finally realized…
Just then the front door swung open and suddenly Lynie and Jack were standing at the doorway of the dining room where Val was sting at the table, the pile of letters in front of her and Fudge barking and running around Lynie's ankles. Jack had picked Lynie from her karate class, so Lynie was wearing one of those white pajama like suits and her hair was in two little braids and she was holding Jack's hand. Jack, on the other hand was wearing charcoal grey dress-pants, a crisp white shirt and he was carrying a blueprint holder, his briefcase (Lynie's birthday present to him, courtesy of Val's credit card, Val's own birthday gift to Jack had involved lingerie and some creative uses of chocolate sauce…) and Lynie's backpack.
Val looked from one to the other before finally blurting out a surprised "You live here,"
Lynie giggled and picked Fudge up, "Oh, silly mommy," she said and went to greet Nana before going up to her room to change.
Jack crossed the room and stopped in front of Val, he bend down and kissed her like he had missed her all day – which he had – before he answered to her statement of 'you live here'.
"I sleep next to you every night, I would hope you had realized of that."
"I know you sleep next to me every night," Val said, blushing, "and sometimes we don't sleep at all, but that's not what I meant! All these time I thought you still had your own apartment…" she added waving around his letters.
Jack took the letters from her. "Oh, yeah, that, I had my secretary change my official address a couple of weeks ago."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I thought it was obvious." Jack said with a shrug. "I mean, you're here, Lynie is here, Nana is here… why would I be anywhere else?" He asked innocently. "I never liked that awful apartment anyway, the building didn't even admit kids or pets! So, I sold it."
"Do you mind?" Jack asked after pulling Val to her feet, taking her chair and then sitting her up on his lap. "Would you cast me off to the streets?" He added, kissing Val's face and her lips over and over until Val lost her train of thought.
"No," Val said finally. "I would not cast you off to the streets." She added, kissing him fully, taking advantage of the fact that Lynie wasn't back yet and Nana was staying in the kitchen, for now.
"Good to know," Jack said, smiling wickedly.
Then, of course, because so is the life of a couple when they have kids, they were interrupted by Lynie had changed and came down demanding food.
It took two more months and a trip to Chicago for Jack to propose to Val. In truth he had been thinking about it for a while but he didn't want to spook Val when things were going so well and Lynie was so happy. Unable to wait any longer, Jack had pretended he had a business trip to Chicago and asked Val to come with since it was the city where they had met, sort of, and all that.
Val was reluctant at first, not because she didn't want to go but because she had never left Lynie behind, whenever Val had had to travel in the past, Lynie had tagged along. This time, however, Nana said that it just wasn't possible for Lynie to miss school, and Lynie had all but packed Val's suitcase and waved her away with a big grin on her face.
It didn't take a genius to figure out there was no business meeting for Jack when, upon arriving in Chicago, the first thing he wanted to do was jump in bed with Val, and every time during the flight when she had asked who he was meeting or when, Jack had changed to subject.
Finally, after making love a couple of times, Jack admitted that it had all been a ploy to get her alone. They spent the next day re-tracing their steps from eight years prior – it wasn't raining this time, just cold, so they could linger – they even made out in front of the Marriot to commemorate the time they had first kissed there.
During the following days, Jack took Val around, showing her the city and introducing her to his friends from college and all. It was a perfect little holiday for just the two of them… but he hadn't quite worked the courage yet to ask the Big Question… he kept putting it off, waiting for the perfect moment.
Said perfect moment arrived just as they left. They were waiting in the boarding room for their flight back home to start boarding, and Val was busy looking through her bags, making sure she hadn't forgotten the presents they had bought for Lynie and Nana.
Once all packages were accounted for, Val noticed Jack was quiet.
"Is there something wrong?" She asked, moving to sit closer to him.
Jack squeezed her hand but stood up.
"You know, all those years ago I came back here in the morning, looking for you, thinking I could still catch you before you left; but I was too late. I thought my life was over when I couldn't find you. And then there was Uncle Max and there couldn't be an us… and I think part of me died when I left you. When I lost hope, I found you again, and I found Lynie and it was like coming alive after so many years. And now I feel ready to start a new part of my life."
"And what part is that?" Val asked.
"The part where you are my wife." Jack said, kneeling down. "Would you?" He added, opening a small, velvet box in front of her.
Val barely saw the sparkle of the ring Jack was offering her; she was too distracted looking at Jack, looking into his eyes before jumping into his arms and screaming "Yes!" just once, at the top of her lungs while she made them tumble to the ground before he kissed them.
Some people at the airport where annoyed, but most of them clapped when Jack and Val finally came up for air.
When they arrived back home, it wasn't the presents that made Lynie the happiest, but the news that her parents were getting married.
She giggled and jumped all over and around them, and then turned to Nana and said, with a dramatic flair worthy of any stage: "Finally they will stop living in sin,"
Val blushed to the roots of her hair, but Nana and Jack laughed so hard and so long that Val had to smack them a couple of times with a pillow before they quit it.
They got married a few months later, in June, in a cute little backyard wedding, with Lynie as the cutest flower girl ever to toss petals all over, she and Fudge (now a quite big, and rambunctious almost-one-year old dog) wore matching light blue bows, Lynie on her hair and Fudge around his neck. Nana was resplendent, of course, wearing a lavender dress.
Jack was very handsome wearing a dark blue Hugo Boss suit that Lynie and Nana had chosen for him. And Val… Val was glowing with happiness, she sparkled so much that no one really noticed, or at least they didn't comment on the fact that her baby-bump was beginning to show beneath her off-white wedding dress.
Val and Jack were both very confident as they stood up before the minister, holding hands, and saying their vows, for it had taken them so long and so much to get to where they were that there could only be happy days ahead.
End of Chapter Twenty
End of When We Meet Again