As promised, Margarita did her best to find out what had caused Allie to change her mind so quickly on the whole Seattle deal. But to very little avail. Since she had been hesitant to press her best friend for details, Margarita had been relying solely on grilling her baby cousin for answers since she knew that Jordan, more than anyone, would be the one person who would know what had happened, if not be the cause of it himself.
And Margarita was betting on the latter.
But her plan to grill him hadn't worked very well either, for Jordan had suddenly taken to avoiding her for the past few days. And Margarita Ventura was not a woman that took being ignored lightly.
Which was the exact reason why, three days later, at the butt-crack of dawn, she found herself banging on her cousin's apartment door like a madwoman. And was rewarded a minute later with a very startled and sleepy eyed Jordan opening his apartment door, half naked.
"Where's the fire?" He questioned when he realized who it was.
Margarita merely pushed passed him, strolling into his apartment like she owned the place.
Jordan raised an eyebrow. "Please, come on in. Make yourself at home." He said sarcastically as he closed the door behind her.
She dropped her purse onto the couch and turned around, arms crossed over her chest, and eyes narrowed accusingly. "So. What did you do?"
Jordan frowned. "I didn't do anything. I was sleeping, until you started knocking on my door like a crazy person."
Margarita rolled her eyes. "I'm talking about whatever happened between you and Allie the other day. I know something happened, so just tell me what it is."
A flash of recognition as well as annoyance filled Jordan's eyes. "It's none of your business." He said and made his way into his bedroom to grab a shirt to cover is naked chest.
Margarita followed. "Normally, I would agree with you. But when my best friend starts making rash decisions because of something you did, it damn well does become my business. So tell me, what happened?" She demanded.
"What makes you think it was something I did?" He pulled on a t-shirt as he spoke, his words slightly muffled when the fabric slipped over his head. "And what are you talking about anyway? What rash decisions?" He asked.
But Margarita ignored him, merely following him back out into the living room. "Don't give me that shit, Jordan. Of course it was something you did. You're the only one who has this kind of an effect on her. So spill."
He turned around, aiming a glare at her that would have sent anyone else running away with their tail between their legs. But Margarita merely stared back.
Jordan sighed. "I kissed her, okay? Not that I see how that's any of your business, best friend or not." He said finally, crossing his arms over his chest.
"You…" For once words evaded her. Margarita frowned. That was so not the answer she had been expecting. She plopped herself onto the couch. "Huh… Okay… now I'm really confused."
Although Jordan was still feeling defensive, he let out a long breath, knowing Margarita wasn't going to give up until she found out the truth.
And since he was just as, if not more, frustrated and confused as his cousin was, he began to pace as he explained everything that had happened between him and Allie.
When he was finally finished, Margarita felt much less confused and much more sympathetic toward her best friend and annoyed with her stupid cousin.
She frowned once more. "So, let me get this straight. You went over to her apartment, she comforted you for getting dumped, you apologized for being a selfish asshole, and then kissed her? And after all of that, you said your ex girlfriends name?"
He nodded, suddenly very tired.
Margarita nodded before picking up one of his pillows and chucking it at him. "You're such an idiot!"
Jordan blocked it easily, more than a little surprised. "Hey, what-"
But Margarita was still throwing anything she could reach at him and currently cursing at him in Spanish.
"I don't understand you," she switched back to English without missing a beat, frustration clear in her tone. "No wonder she was so upset and ready to leave! You're an idiot. You refuse to look beyond that giant nose of yours for years and focus on what's been sitting right in front of you for most of your life and then when you finally do, you bring up your ex girlfriend? Really?"
"What are you talking about?" he shouted.
"She's in love with you, you moron!"
Jordan stumbled back as though she had slapped him. "In love…?"
"Yes, you blind idiot. Honestly, why do you think she puts up with all of your shit? Why, even though she hates being put on display, she goes with you every year to your parents Christmas party? She's been head over heels for you since we were kids."
He shook his head. "If that were true, then why did she tell me she didn't feel anything?" he shouted back.
She threw her hands up. "Because she thought that the only reason you kissed her was because of Leah! Like some sort of rebound thing!" She said, as though it made all the sense in the world. Jordan, however, was completely dumbstruck. "What? That's ridiculous. Kissing her had absolutely nothing to do with Leah."
"Then what did it have to do with?"
"I…" Jordan looked away, his shoulders sagging in defeat.
Margarita suddenly felt a lot less annoyed with him, knowing she was pushing something that really was none of her business. She sighed. "Look, you can be a selfish ass sometimes, but I know you wouldn't deliberately hurt her. So there had to be some reason to make you kiss her…"
He looked back at Margarita, her knowing eyes seemingly drilling holes into him. But she didn't wait for a response. "Jordan you were right. It's none of my business why you kissed her and I don't want to know. But at least tell her why. Before it's too late."
At those words, Jordan felt an uncomfortable twinge in his stomach. As much as he didn't want to admit it to her, Margarita was right. There was a very big reason behind why he kissed Allie. He had been able to think of nothing other than that since, no matter how much he tried to forget about it like she asked. He cared for Allie in a way he never allowed himself to see before. Maybe it had always been there. He couldn't truly say.
But he knew that if he didn't at least let her know that he had finally realized how he felt, he would regret it for the rest of his life. With that in his mind, he glanced back up at his cousin who was studying him quietly.
He smiled softly as he asked, "Where is she?"
Allie stared down at the plane ticket in her hand and continued to tell herself she was making the right choice.
After all, it wasn't like she was moving to Seattle that second anyway. Obviously it would be necessary to look at apartments before moving to a completely new city. She was being a responsible adult. But somehow that line left a weird taste in her mouth.
Allie shook her head, stuffed the ticket in her back pocket, and carted her suitcase down the steps of her apartment complex. Hailing a cab, she told herself to quit being stupid. In all honesty, this had nothing to do with Seattle and everything to do with Jordan anyway. And she wasn't going to let him dictate her life choices, no matter how much she loved the stupid ass.
So when a yellow cab pulled up next to her, she helped the cab driver load her bag into the trunk before getting into the backseat after indicating her destination.
Leaning her head against the backseat, she forced herself to push her thoughts from her mind but was unsuccessful once more. The truth was that although Jordan had been nothing but supportive about the whole Seattle deal, the kiss was permanently burned into her mind. And Allie knew that even though she had been planning this trip way before the kiss had occurred, it had been just the thing to shove her into that cab in the first place.
And she knew that ultimately it was the rash decision that she was silently questioning.
Allie's head shot back up at the sound of her name and she turned trying to locate the source of the voice. As usual, the bustling streets of Manhattan caused faces to blur together as she looked out the back windshield of the cab. The cab driver began to pull away from the curb before a distinct thump on the hood of the car caused Allie to jump, and the cabbie to slam on the breaks. The man behind the wheel began cursing angrily in a language Allie didn't recognize, when a man stood in front of the car, waving his arms in a stop signal. Her eyes widened when she realized who it was.
"Jordan?" She asked in shock.
The cabbie turned to look at her. "You know that lunatic?"
Allie blushed. "Uh, yeah. One second," she said and opened the car door.
Jordan stood on the curb, breathing heavily as though he had just run down a flight of stairs.
Allie shook her head. "What are you doing? Are you crazy?" She demanded as she slammed the car door behind her, squinting up at him through the snow.
"I need to talk to you."
"So you throw yourself in front of my cab? You do know we have these fancy things called cell phones right?"
"This had to be done in person." He insisted.
"For God sake, Jordan-"
"I lied to you that day."
"What?" She asked, exasperated.
"When I said I didn't feel anything when we kissed, I lied."
"I don't understand." She said finally.
He shook his head. "The truth is… I've never felt anything like that before in my life. But then you said you didn't feel anything and it was like you hit me with a brick. So, I lied."
"No, please. Just, hear me out." He grabbed her hands, "I tried to forget about it. I just wanted things to be normal again, but I couldn't stop thinking about you. And then Margarita told me you were leaving and I realized that if I let you go without telling you, I'd regret it for the rest of my life." He took a deep breath. "I meant what I said. If going to Seattle makes you happy, then I won't stop you. But if you want to give this a shot, I'll wait as long as it takes. I just need to know, either way."
Allie swallowed thickly. She felt like she had a huge lump in her throat. "What about Leah?" she finally managed to ask.
"Remember when I said she thought I was cheating on her?" she could only nod. "It was you. It's always been you, Allie. I've always just been too blind to see it."
"So when you said Leah was right…"
"It was me finally seeing what's been right in front of me my whole life."
Allie shook her head in disbelief. She had always wished she would hear the words that were coming from his mouth, but couldn't believe it was actually happening.
Jordan took her silence as a bad sign and continued speaking hurriedly, "Look… if you really didn't feel anything, then I'll leave you alone- hell, I'll even pay your cab fare. But if you felt something too- even the tiniest spark- please, don't get back in that cab."
Allie stared at him. She couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"Hey lady, I don't have all day here!" The irritated cab driver announced, snapping her out of her shocked daze.
Almost on auto-pilot, she pulled her hands from Jordan's and turned back toward the cab. Jordan watched, his shoulders sinking in defeat, but as promised he said nothing. Allie said something to the cab driver causing him to grumble under his breath, before opening his door and walking around toward the back of the car. Jordan watched in confusion as he opened the trunk and dumped Allie's bags unceremoniously by her feet on the sidewalk before walking back toward the driver's side of the car.
Jordan felt the tight clenching of his stomach loosen slightly when she turned back toward him. She waited until the irritated cabbie got back into his car and sped off onto the street before looking back toward Jordan sheepishly.
"I'm still going to Seattle," she said, shrugging lightly. "Just not… right now."
Jordan stared in shock as she walked over to stand in front of him. "So you…"
A slow grin moved over her face at the surprise in his eyes as he trailed off, unable to finish his thought.
And then she leaned up and did the one thing he never expected her to do.
She kissed him.
And what a kiss it was. It was like all the pent up years worth of kisses combined into one. Jordan felt himself sink into her but for once he couldn't say he minded the feeling. Her lips were soft and warm against his and the rest of the clenching in his stomach loosened completely.
She pulled away from him and touched the side of his face softly. "Yes."
"Yes?" He asked when he was finally able to pry his eyes open to focus on her.
"Yes, I felt something. I always did. Yes, I want to give this a shot. Yes." Each yes was punctuated with a soft kiss, until she finally rested her forehead against his.
Jordan let a long sigh of relief.
He pulled her toward him, enveloping her small frame in a huge hug. He turned his face into her neck. "I love you Allie." He said softly.
She closed her eyes tightly and laughed to herself. "You have no idea how long I've wanted you to say that."
He leaned back slightly to look at her. "Sorry it took me forever."
She smiled. "Forever is good."
A.N: The End!
I feel like this summed everything up well, so I don't think I'm going to do an epilogue. Let me know your thoughts though and maybe I'll reconsider! ; )
I hope you liked it!
Thank you so much for the reviews from last chapter.