Saturday, July 10, 2010

An Alternate Beginning

 Okay! Hey guys, this is N.S. Katherine. This is the first entry I have of a change! 

Here is what would have happened instead of the phone conversation between Katie and Robert in Part 4.

This starts a whole new turn of events in the story and changes how their relationship builds. You'll see how that is possible. 

If you think this idea is horrendous, let me know! Otherwise show me you are pleased and more will be provided! 

Thanks a bunch!!! 

I laid on the couch just after Tristan had left for her date with Joe. The guy who actually used the number he asked for.

Frustrated again, I changed the channel and grabbed my big box of junior mints from under the couch. I turned off the TV, it wasn't helping, and rolled over onto my back when I glanced the newspaper open on the coffee table, my ad for house-sitting catching my eye.

I had house sat before for neighbors and I found that I actually really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd bring in some more money for school if I could. It had to be within thirty minutes of my school though, that was the biggest requirement. Pay was negotiable as was pretty much everything else.

I'd had the ad running for a few months already and no one had hired me. I guess not many people went on long vacations between winter and fall. Maybe in the summer though.

I'd let it go one more week before I took it down.

No one liked to call me. Even when they said they would.

I was so annoyed with how disappointed I was! I mean, not every celebrity could be as good as Joe. Not every guy was as good as Joe. Most just don't call…

I flipped over and buried my face into the throw pillow.

My luck with men never seemed to change. I was always left waiting for the damn phone to ring.

I suddenly stormed up, giving myself a head rush and wobbling before my sight came back. I headed straight for my computer.

I was going to find a distraction from feeling sorry for myself.

Checking my e-mail, I found that I actually had some, but it was probably spam and nothing more.

But there was an e-mail I didn't recognize, I almost deleted it until I read the subject.

"Regarding House-Sitting Advertisement"

I felt like I was about to eat my words, but wouldn't let myself get my hopes too up.

I opened it and read the letter.

Hello. I know this is going to sound very strange, but I cannot tell you who I am until you are at least possibly able to take the job.

I promise I am not involved in anything illegal, I just need my privacy.

I am not positive if my house is within your preferred distance from your school, but I know it is only about nine miles away.

This is all I can say for now.

If you would please consider taking this job we could discuss it further. Write back and then I can give you a number to call.

I sat back, hardly believing my eyes. It was just so odd. Who on earth could be sending me this email?! Was it dangerous?

Ug, I really didn't need this right now.

I was going to wait for Tristan to get home and see what she thought, but at the same time, I felt like I couldn't not reply. The writer almost seemed…desperate.

I hesitated with the mouse over the 'Reply' button a moment, then I clicked it. Cautiously I typed:

Nine miles is definitely close enough to my school. I'd like to say I can take the job, but I need more details.
If this doesn't work for you I'm sorry.

Write back as soon as you can or you can give me a call at…

I put in my number, signed my name, and held my breath before I sent it.

The second the page had refreshed and told me that the e-mail had sent I was regretting putting my phone number.

There were so many reasons why that was a mistake. They could be some rapist of pedophile or something and I just gave them my phone number!

I put a movie on that I knew I hadn't seen in a while so that I wouldn't have to think about it, but the longer I was alone the more afraid I became.

My heart started to race when I heard a car outside a little more than an hour later. I froze when I heard the front door open, then was instantly relieved when I saw Tristan walk into the room.
I grinned the whole while as Tristan told me of her night. I truly was excited and happy for her, but I was having a hard time ignoring the terrible anxiety in my gut.

Why was that e-mail making me so nervous?

I still had my computer on my lap and snuck a glance at my e-mail. There was a reply. I felt nauseous.


My head snapped up. "What?"

"You didn't hear the last five things I said, did you?" she frowned.

"No," rubbed me eyes, "I'm sorry, I-"

"Did he call?" she perked up hopefully.

A glare flickered in my eyes for a millisecond. "No. I got a strange e-mail about house-sitting and it's bothering me."

Tristan's eyebrows furrowed. "How weird?" she asked cautiously.

I sighed, opened the e-mail and turned the screen toward her.

Her frown deepened with each line. "Oookaayy…"

"Yeah." I concurred.

Tristan folded her arms and sat on the edge of the chair, thinking.

"What if they're a celebrity or something?" she pondered.

"I don't even know. They didn't seem confident at all."

Tristan shrugged. "Socially awkward for sure." She gasped. "What if they're a total psycho with D.I.D.?"

I had to laugh, "Said the Psychology major."

"Well, they could!"

My laughter was cut off by the sound of the phone ringing. We both eyed it as it rang again.

"Shit." I mumbled.

Tristan turned to me with a look that said, "Are you going to answer it?"

I got up from the chair, and picked up the phone with a slightly shaking hand. I swallowed. "Hello?"

"Uh, hi. I just, um, e-mailed you about the…house-sitting job?"

My jaw dropped and my stomach was in my throat. The British accent was unmistakable.

I swallowed the shock and gritted my teeth slightly. "Yes."

"Okay, um." He let out a long breath. "More details…I'll be gone months at a time, several times, and…I'd cover the cost of food and gas, electricity, and whatever else you'd need."

I blinked.

"Oh, and, if I got a pet, say like a dog, would you be able to care for it?"

"Oh yeah. I'm good with most animals. Dogs are easy." I answered, having perked up a little.

"Okay." He breathed again.

"So, um." I began feeling a little awkward myself. "You'd be needing me to house sit more than once?" I asked.

"Yeah. Pretty regularly." He answered.

I nodded, then finally began taking notes. "Address?"

"Oh yeah." He said like he'd forgotten what he was doing.

I wrote it down, even more sure I knew who he was. I knew the address and it had been for sale for a while, and was quite expensive.

"And I'm Robert Pattinson." He said cautiously, as if afraid of my response.

I didn't bother jotting it down. "Okay." I said, forcing myself to perk up. "When do you want me over to go over the usual?"

"Oh, yes, how about Monday?"

"That's fine." I answered.

"Alright…I'll…see you then?"


"Okay, bye."

"Bye." I set the phone down carefully, then let my frustration return.

Tristan had one eyebrow up, with the most confused expression on her face.


"That was Robert Pattinson." I answered with attitude, I was really irritated.

"What?" Tristan gaped. "Did he say anything about-"

"Nope." I interrupted.

"What the hell?" Tristan muttered as I turned off my laptop.

"That's for sure." I answered. Taking my computer to my room and then grabbing some towels to take a shower and try to relax.

I walked out of my room with the towels in my arms and Tristan was still sitting on the chair, frowning. I stopped.

"Nice jacket." I muttered, then smiled.

"Oh shoot!" Tristan looked down at the leather jacket she was still wearing. "I forgot to give it back."

"Looks like it went better than you were letting on." I teased.

She grinned back. "Well I hadn't finished telling before you stopped paying attention!"

I stuck my tongue at her. "Finish spilling." I said, sitting down next to her again.
It was Sunday, and I was pacing back and forth in my room nearly fuming. As promising as this potential job was sounding, I didn't want to do it. Well, I didn't want to work for him. This was the point where I would normal be figuring out what would appropriate to wear, but I was deeply considering not even going. 

I couldn't believe that he didn't call! He's the one that asked for my number!

My pacing picked up speed.

And then when he did call he didn't even say anything about it! Like he'd completely forgotten! Which, he probably had the second a five foot ten blond walked across his path. I wanted nothing to do with him.

I stopped and grabbed my head with a groan.

But I needed this job. I could just be annoying.

I began tapping my foot, then it stopped.

No, I'd probably get fired pretty quick. Then what could I do to-

A perfectly wicked grin crawled up my face and I stormed out of my room. "Tristan! I have an idea!"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Part 18-Busy

<---Part 17

Planning the perfect wedding for Katie in three months was going to be a bit stressful, but I had it covered. The pages spread chaotically all over the table seemed a bit daunting. I was going through my binder looking for today's task when my phone started to vibrate on the table. It was still on silent from last night so I picked it up to see who was calling.

The caller I.D. on the screen read Joe and was a picture from a few months ago. It had been nearly a week and a half since we had spoken. As I stared at that picture I just shook my head.

I didn't want to hear what he had to say. Now wasn't the time, and I truthfully didn't know when would be. He would be at the wedding in four months, that I was sure of, he had promised Katie. But would I even speak to him before that? It was hard to say with the way we left things and the way I was feeling now. Another time maybe.
Putting the phone down on the table I turned back to my work.
Ladies and gents, (well mostly ladies ;) ) this is the end of the first book that we have decided to post on the site. 

There will be a, what we would like to call, "Grace Period" in order for any and all new readers to get up to speed. You can find links to all of the parts in chronological order here. We also are wanting to see if there is enough interest for us to bother beginning to post our parts of the second book. We have a lot more of the second than we do the first and consequently the writing is somewhat better. Yes, we have been very busy.

So, don't be sad and bug us to no end if you want more! 

Yours Always! 

-K & M

Monday, June 7, 2010


Hey guys! As you know we are avid supporters of the arts, especially Literature in all forms, be it reading it or writing it. We consider ourselves lucky to be surrounded by many talented artist, musicians, actors, directors, writers, and just great friends. Some of our friends have their own personal blogs or sites and we are proud supporters of their work. Bellow is a picture of a button we have given out to them declaring our support. If you see it on a page it is from us and will link you back to this site. Also we will soon have a section on the side of the page with buttons that link to the sites we support. If you want you can check them out. They are really good friends of ours and we are proud of everything they do. Thanks for you time, love, and support.

With care,
N.S. Katherine & R.D. Mundell

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Part 17-Yes


It was Valentine's Day and we had spent the entire day together. We were now in L.A. in his apartment. Robert held me close to him as he did at the beginning of every night and I was content in his arms.

"I'll be going home later tomorrow." I reminded him, trying to start a conversation, he was oddly silent.

He sighed and stroked my hair, "I know."

I took his hand and inspected it in between mine. "And then in a couple weeks I'll start school again and you'll start working."

He didn't respond.

"I'll really miss you." I mumbled, feeling somewhat childish.

"But you don't have to miss me." he said quietly.

I looked up and met his ever changing eyes boring into me.

"You don't have to go."

I stared at him not understanding.

"You don't have to keep going to school-well, unless you want to- but I can take care of you." His eyes scattered about my face.

"Don't go." he said. "Stay with me. Please, come with me." He was holding my face as if he would never, couldn't ever let go. "Marry me." he begged.

He held me in place with his eyes and I hardly believed my ears. My throat constricted and I barely felt like I was breathing.

"Yes." I managed to say.

"Ah." he moaned as if in relief it was almost like he had been holding his breath.

Robert's eyes lit up like I had never seen before and he kissed me passionately and I kissed him back with just as much longing.

It is impossible to be flying and falling at the same time, yet that was exactly what I felt was happening to me at that moment as we both submitted to our humanity.
I stared at the morning light on the ceiling as a million emotions swirled in my chest, but I didn't dare think. Robert was still asleep next to me, but I didn't dare look at him. I hardly dared to breathe.

Giving up on resting anymore, I shuffled out of the covers and changed, grabbed an extra blanket, wrapped it around my shoulders and went downstairs. By the time I reached the last step I had decided what I wanted, needed to do. With a determined walk I made my way to the entertainment center. I fired up a Guitar Hero game and put on headphones so I didn't bother Robert upstairs. I picked the heaviest song that I could complete and turned up the volume until it pounded in my head. I played the same song over and over going faster and harder each time and my arms began to ache. It was so loud that I didn't notice Robert until he was pulling the headphones off of my head.

"Katie." he said softly.

I ignored him continuing to play the song, starting to fight the urge to cry.

He put one arm around my waist and the other hand on the guitar.

He said my name again, pulling the guitar out of my grasp. I gave up and let it go turning around burying my face into his chest as I burst into tears. He dropped the controller on the floor and held me to him tightly, one hand on my head.

"It'll be okay." he repeated over and over as he tried to calm me.

"I love you." I stuttered. "I love you so much Rob." I kept saying as I wept.

"I'm so sorry." he whispered.

"It's not your fault." I whimpered.

He took my face into his hands making me look at him, "It's just as much my fault as it is yours." He softened, "I didn't stop either."

I shook my head at him unable to say more.

"We'll fix this." he said once we both calmed down, "We can go and get married today."

"No." I said as I wiped a few last tears from my face. "I promised Tristan years ago that she could be maid of honor no matter who the groom was. We need to do this right."

"You're right." he sighed, holding me close again.

He kissed my head gently then went off into the other room.

He came back a moment later with a closed fist.

"Asking you to marry me last night wasn't my plan, but since I did, and since we're doing this right, I need to give you this."

Robert knelt on the floor in front of me, taking my hand and opened it laying his fist on my palm. He then opened his hand slightly and something fell out of it into mine. He curled my fingers over the object, kissed my hand, and then pushed it back toward me.

With my hand shaking I opened it. On my palm rested a ring, the most simply beautiful and elegant ring I had ever seen, and it hung on a silver chain. It was perfect.

"It's to replace your old necklace. I've noticed you still reaching for something to hold every once in a while from your neck, so here you go. It's to be discrete about the whole thing too, at least for a while." he explained timidly.

Robert then took it out of my hand and stood, stepping behind me and putting it around my neck, clasping it. I traced the loop of the ring it was pleasantly cold against my skin.

I kissed him once he faced me and then I was in his arms once again.
I walked in my front door without a word and Robert came in behind me with my suitcases.

"Katie!" Tristan squealed from the kitchen running into the front room with a huge smile across her face.

I placed a smile on my face as I said hello and then I hugged her a little longer than I usually did. When she pulled away she smiled. Then took my bags from Rob and shuffled off to my room.

Rob took my hand and I turned around as he kissed it.

I went into his arms as he whispered, "I'll be back as fast as I can, a week at the most, and then we can get this all taken care of."

I let out a large sigh thinking about the many jobs ahead of me including telling Tristan, and only Tristan, what had happened.

"We can do this." he said making me look him in the eyes to show me that he truly believed it.

"I know." I answered truthfully.

He then kissed me softly, but fully.

Tristan had apparently returned, because when he pulled away he said, "I have to go now. Bye Tristan." Then to me, "I'll call you, okay?"

"Mmhmm." I answered.

Robert held me against his chest and we swayed like he was trying to comfort me by rocking me back and forth.

"I love you." he whispered in my ear.

"I know." I said into his chest.

He ran his hand over my head and kissed it, then went out the door.

I stayed where he left me, one arm wrapped around my stomach, my fingers gently touching the ring under my shirt while staring at the floor.

I sighed.

"What?" Tristan asked, I could hear the suspicion in her voice.

I continued to look at the floor without seeing it.

"You're going to really miss him this time, huh?" she asked kindly.

"No." I let out starting to feel frustrated. "That's not it."

I turned quickly and stalked off to my room.

"Then what is it?" she asked not angry.

She followed me into my room where I sat in the middle of my bed holding my knees to my chest.

I had tried to prepare myself for this explanation, but, like every time I discussed something that was hard, when it came to actually saying it my voice was caught in my throat.

I screamed a curse to the ceiling and held my head in my frustration.

Then seeing Tristan's confused and somewhat horrified face realized my only option.

I dove for my laptop and, as fast as I could, typed out everything that happened.

Once I finished I had her come and sit on my bed, handing her the computer.

She took it sitting up against the pillows. I sat next to her and laid my head on her shoulder as she read, pulling the ring out and holding it in my hand.

When she finished she set the computer down on the bed and wrapped her arms around me and kissed my head. She didn't say anything. She didn't need to. She knew the pain and confusion Rob and I were both feeling. Pain because we had made a grave mistake and were extremely disappointed in ourselves. Confusion because even though we knew that what had happened was wrong and that we hadn't wanted it, we didn't necessarily regret it. It had been an amazing thing even if it had occurred at the wrong time.

And even though we couldn't change the past, couldn't necessarily make it right, we weren't going to let it happen again.


It was the day after Katie got back. I hadn't slept well, thinking about what I would say to Katie. As I lie awake I was surprised at the conclusion I came to.

I went out into the living room and found Katie sitting on the couch, a blank stare on her face. Slowly I lowered myself down next to her. I brushed some hair from her face and wrapped my arm around her shoulder.

"Katie?" I spoke softly.

"Hum?" Her stare didn't move. I could tell she was blocking out most thoughts, trying to sort them carefully.

"Can I tell you something?"

She blinked suddenly and her face twisted a bit, as if she feared what might be coming, as if I would give her some lecture but she slowly shook her head yes.

"I wanted to tell you… I'm… I mean…" I searched for the words. "Katie, I'm not disappointed in you."

This shocked her out of her trance and she looked up at me, a bit shocked.

I smiled softly at her. "Honey, I trust you, trust your intuitions and judgments. And truthfully, I trust Robert too. I know that if it was the wrong time one of you would have stopped it. You both had many chances for that. And I don't feel that what you did was wrong. Yes, you're not married, but I see so much more in the relationship you have than I see in most modern marriages. I see you two together and it fits. I'm not disappointed in what happened. I just wanted you to know that." Then I got up to leave.

Katie grabbed my arm before I could leave. I tensed. Her eyes were soft, slightly clouded, as she searched my eyes. "Really? You mean all that? I mean all of it?"

My body relaxed and I sighed. "Of course, Katie. Every word."

She sighed and smiled at me. "Thank you."


"So." Katie's eyes lit up. "We're getting married."

That was no surprise to me, Katie had already told me. "I know."

It was Robert's turn to smile at me. "Ya." He took Katie's hand and stared at her for a moment. She stared back and I started to feel as if I was intruding on a private moment but at the same time I was glad to be sharing this tender exchange with them.

Slowly, they both turned back to me, still holding hands. Robert was glowing. "We want you to plan it."
I knew that my face had broken into a huge smile. Katie always said she would let me plan her wedding, but I had never really thought it would happen and now I was getting the chance.

"We want to get married before Robert has to leave again." Katie said.

So I sighed and turned to Robert. "So when do you leave?"

"Two weeks."

I think I might have fainted for a second. "WHAT?! But the… and…. Oh… two weeks?"

Robert laughed. "But I'll be back in three months for the wedding."

I breathed a small sigh of relief but the panic must still shown on my face because Katie was trying a hard as she could to hold back a laugh. Then I quickly got up, deciding not to waste any precious time. As I felt the room I picked up the phone and let out a small panicked whimper.

I picked up the phone book and flipped through it. As I dialed the phone I heard Katie's muffled footsteps behind me. She leaned over my shoulder.

"What are you doing?"

"Shhh… I'm on the phone."

"To who?"

"This really awesome cake place. Yum. The make the best chocolate and butter cream cake ever!"

Joy washed over Katie's face as she wrapped her arms around my shoulder and sighed. "Thank you." She breathed.

After I got off the phone I returned to the living room where Katie and Robert sat laughing. I plopped down across from them. "So, what's my budget?" I asked with a small smile.

"Oh how does 20,000 sound?"

I smiled evilly. "Oh, I can work with that."


I had my arms folded on the back of the couch with my head resting on them. I was watching Tristan bending over the phone, her fingers stroking the phone book pages as though they were pages of scripture. I tilted my head as I watched her talking frantically though I didn't really hear what she was saying, my melancholy state of mind fogging my surroundings.

I sighed quietly. We'd already gone to three stores today and spent at least two and a half hours in each. I really hoped she wasn't trying to get to any more before they closed. I was tired and hungry and even though I did like what things we had decided on, I felt no attachment to them. Something was off.

I realized with a sinking feeling what we were doing. We were rushing to get married to make up for our mistake.

Instantly, I countered the thought. No, he said that he was planning on asking me in the next few days, so in all reality, we'd probably be doing this exact thing right now regardless of what happened.

I held onto that truth as if it would be the only thing keeping me breathing at that moment.

Tristan hung up the phone and gave me an unsure smile. I smiled back just as unconvincingly. Then the phone rang and I about jumped over the back of the couch as Tristan jerked a little then answered it.

"Hello? …Oh yeah here she is."

Tristan handed the phone to me and I took it cautiously. Why didn't this feel right?

I turned around and sank my bottom onto the cushion. "Hello?"


My heart plummeted. It was Rob, but I could tell from his voice that something wasn't right.

"What's…wrong?" I asked carefully, not sure if I wanted to hear the answer.

He sighed, and sounded frustrated, but guilty.

"They're thinking of taking longer with filming." He blurted in one breath.

I paused. "For how long?" I was surprised by how small my voice was.

"At least a month." He answered his anger rising.

"Oh." I let myself fall slowly sideways, curling into myself gently.

"Just-I'm so sorry. I'm trying to convince them, but-it's not like I can tell them what to do, and-"

"It's okay." I interrupted.

This made him stop. "No, it's not okay." He murmured.

"We'll figure it out." I said, beings it was the only thing I could say and be completely truthful.

He sighed. "Yeah. I'll let you know when I find out more."


He sighed again, but it was more releasing.



"I love you. Really…I do…so much."

"I love you too." I managed to say, my voice beginning to catch in my throat.


"Bye." I whispered. I hung up the phone and let it gently fall to the floor.

Four months.

It would possibly be four months after we'd gotten engaged that we'd be getting married.

And after four months I could possibly be-

I sighed internally, not allowing myself to finish the thought.

"It's highly unlikely." Tristan said with authority.

I had voiced my concern with her after I had first come home and we discussed my body's cycles before and after the fact.

"Okay." I nodded, not looking at her, still skeptical.

It might have been scientifically unlikely, but that didn't make it impossible.

I curled tighter around myself on the couch. We might have really messed up and how could I face everyone at my wedding knowing that? 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Part 16-A Trail of Roses

<---Texas Part 2 and Diamonds

Joe smiled. "So what do you want to do for Valentine's Day?" He asked. 

"Oh. I don't know. As long as we do it together."

"Hum." He seemed to be pondering something. "How about dinner and a movie?"

I smiled and grabbed his hand, "That sounds great.
Valentine's Day. I had a date, after classes of course. Two to be exact.

It wasn't going to be that bad though. My first class was English with Mrs. Ryane, one of the best teachers ever. After that was Art Appreciation with Mr. Black, and frankly that class was pretty fun. So this was a day I was looking forward to.

Mrs. Ryane was taking roll and I was causally chatting with the girl next to me.

"Tristan?" Mrs. Ryane called.

"Here." I said a turned back to my conversation. 

"Can you see me after class?"

Everyone looked at me. "Ya." I said, now extremely nervous.

Class went well and it was fun, but in the back of my mind I wondered what I did wrong. After class I hung back and waited for everyone else to be out the door before I went up to Mrs. Ryane's desk.

She looked up at me and smiled. "You're not in trouble, dear." She said as she opened a drawer to her left. "I just wanted to tell you that a nice young man stopped by and asked if I could give you…" She reached into the drawer and pulled something out. "This."

It was a single long-stem red rose. A red black ribbon tied a note to the stem. I was choked up a bit. There was no mistaking who that 'nice young man' was.

My hand shook a bit as I took it from her. "Thank you." I stuttered.

"He seems really sweet. Happy Valentine's Day." Mrs. Ryane said, telling me it was ok if I left now.
I couldn't take my eyes off the rose as I walked from the room. The note read "For all the Smiles…" It was initialed J.J. at the bottom.

What a gorgeous and romantic gesture. I couldn't help but think witch of his brothers helped him plan it. As I walked to my next class I slowly spun the stem in my fingers. The whole way I was playing different scenarios in my head about thanking Joe.

I sat down in class and set the rose across the top of my desk. The girl to my right was watching me. "That's pretty. Who gave it to you?"

"My boyfriend." Wow. Joe Jonas. My boyfriend. How strange.

"What's his name?" She asked in a normal tone, but to me it was dripping with disaster.

I tried to think fast but nothing was coming. Finally I blurted out "James." A lie.

"Oh. He must be sweet. My boyfriend doesn't send me flowers."

She believed me. "Ya. He is really sweet to me."

Mr. Black walked it and sat some things on his desk. He went to gather some things from the back of the room and as he passed my desk he stopped for a second. "Can you hang back after class for a minute?"

Again? "Yeah. Yeah I can."

Great. What was it this time? Was it for the same thing? I doubted that. So what had I done wrong? Had Mr. Black graded our papers? Had I failed?

Through class I was going to be thinking about it again. Or so I thought. Class started, and it was amazingly interesting. There was no room in my brain to think about what was after class and when we were released I had almost forgot I had to stay behind.

I stepped up to Mr. Black's desk as the last students trickled out. Sighing I smiled, "You wanted to see me Mr. Black?"

He looked up from his paper and over his glasses. He smiled at me. "You know you have a very romantic young man in your life…"

What? Really? Joe again? I bit my bottom lip and smiled. "Thank you?"

He laughed and started to pull something from under his desk. He looked around and then in hushed tones said "Mr. Jonas asked me to give you this." He started to bring something up on to the desk, but shock must have shown on my face because he froze. "My dear, what's wrong?"

"You… I mean….. Did he tell you who he was?" This wasn't good. The flying felling I had been having in light of the romantic turn of events quickly turned to a falling panic.

"No. I have two teenage daughters." He chuckled to himself.

"Mr. Black…."

He cut me off. "Don't worry. I understand you guys want to keep this more of a secret. That he did tell me. I won't tell anyone. On my honor."

I sighed in relief. I knew that he would keep his word. My smile was back. "Thank you." I said yet again.

He brought up the object he had been holding right out of my sights. Another rose. As I always told Katie, I felt all mushy inside.

I took it from Mr. Black and slowly flipped open the card that was tied to this one. "For all the laughs…" I had a big smile on my face as I left them room, thanking Mr. Black again.

Absent mindedly I walked to the information center to pick up some of my work. Then I headed back to my car. It wasn't a really long walk but my mind was traveling a hundred miles an hour, yet still it was clouded.

I opened the door to my car and froze. On the driver's seat, another rose. Now how did he do that? I didn't really care. Quickly I sat and read the new note, "For every kiss…"

The notes had gotten more sentimental. But I really liked it. What more did he have in store for me?

I had a hair appointment in town and I barely made it. My hair-dresser was a sweet guy named Lyle. I had gone to him since I was in the sixth grade. He felt like extended family.

Walking into the shop I smiled as Lyle looked at me through the mirror. He was cutting the hair of an older lady. "Happy Valentine's Day!" He smirked.

"Same to you!"

"Have a seat. I'll be done in a sec."

Slowly I sat on a big bench that was pushed against one wall. As I did this I picked up a stack of old magazines. I scanned the pages, read the gossip, and laughed at how I now knew that the majority of stories were just truths blown way out of proportion. But it was still interesting.

I had decided to be brave. I was getting a haircut. Not just a trim, a cut. A style. I picked one out of a big style book and stared at it nervously, trying to picture my face in the place of the models.

Lyle said goodbye to his other client and walked over to where I sat. "So what are we doing today?"

About an hour and a half later I walked out to my car. I flipped my hair and ran my hands through it. Then I leaned over and looked at the back window. Smiling back at me was my reflection. My hair was just so different, but in a good way. We had thinned it, added layers, and added some bangs. I really liked it.

As I drove home I kept twisting pieces of hair through my fingers. Right as I turned on to my street the roses in the seat next to me caught my eye. I had to wonder what was waiting at home. Opening the door the house I smiled as Katie walked into the living room at the same time I did.

She had on the powder blue dress and white over coat we had bought her. Spinning around she laughed a bit as her dressed puffed out a bit and then she came to a stop in the middle of the room. As she looked at me her eyes got really round.

"Your hair!" She rushed forward and brought her hands up to my hair.

I smiled and laughed as she pushed some of it around.

"It's… and you… Bangs!" she smiled at me. "It's so cute."

"Thanks. And you look great!"

Her brow furrowed and she placed a hand on her hip. "I can't get the hair right. And I don't know how I should go about doing the makeup."

"I'll help." We both laughed a bit.

"Oh!" she seemed to be remembering something. "I have something to show you." A mischievous smile spread across her face.

"Oh no. What?"

Katie walked around behind me and covered my eyes with her hands.

"Where are we…"

"Shh! Just walk forward."

Slowly she guided me to my room and led me inside. I had my eyes closed tight and a smile on my face. "Katie…" I said impatiently.

"Ok. Open!"

I opened my eyes to see my room just as normal. Furrowing my brow I looked at Katie. "Well, to be honest, I though you to would have made my room look like a cupid doll attacked it."

Katie laughed. "Well, we were going to. But… we talked about it and though it was a bit much… Instead we got you this." She side stepped to reveal a black dress hanging if front of my closet.

It was amazing. "Oh! Wow!" I walked up to it.

Katie stepped out the door, "Try it on." She closed the door behind her.

Quickly I slipped the dress on. Katie had done a great job because it fit great and was really cute. It was tight around my chest, pleated, then belled out. I swayed back and forth a few times before calling Katie back in. As she opened the door and I turned to look at her something on the bed caught my eye.

Another rose.

"It fits!" She chimed happily.

I picked up a rose that lay on top of a letter. The note tied to the stem red "For all the little moments…" 

Katie walked up behind me and hugged me. I turned and hugged her back.

"I owe you so much. I wanted to do something for you for once." She touched my hair. "The letter just tells you when the driver will pick you up…"

I held her back. "The WHO?!"

Katie smiled, apparently still knowing more about the evening ahead than I did. "Well I couldn't drive you. I have plans to. And Joe will be busy getting ready…"

"Isn't it a bit risky having a driver pick me up here?"

"Not here. You'll meet them later. But right now we should be getting ready…"

I smiled. "I have the perfect plan for your hair."

We spent the next hour and a half laughing and getting ready. I got Katie's hair done first then her makeup. Then my makeup.

Katie was now running around get everything she would need. She even got my stuff together for me. I laughed as she finally stopped running and sat down in an arm chair.

The door bell rang and I went to get it. Robert stood on the step with what looked like a dozen roses in his hand. "You look nice Tristan." He smiled at me.

"Thank you." I smiled back. Spur of the moment I reached up with one arm and gave him a quick hug. "Happy Valentine's day. I hope you have a good time. Ring the bell again and I'll send her to the door." I winked and playfully shut the door on him.

I walked back into the living room. "It's for you." I told Katie just as the bell rang again. I gave Katie a big hug as she got up to leave. "Have a good time, Ok?" I squeezed her a bit tighter, "And thank you."

Robert hadn't shown up to much before I had to leave so it wasn't long till I was on my way to my rendezvous point. Once there I was surprised to see a black SUV waiting for me. I got in the back seat. It was a longer ride than I was expecting.

We were pretty far up into the mountains when we stopped. Dusk was just gracing the land around us. I hadn't seen a house for miles but we stopped in front of a huge scenic looking cabin. The driver dropped me off out front and left me.

I had to stand there staring for a few minutes. A hill sloped down to the cabin and the ground leveled out somewhere behind it. From this angle I could see that the front door, even though it was at ground level in the front of the house, was actually on the second story. It seemed like it had been pulled from the pages of a fairy-tale.

Slowly I walked down the cobble-stone path to the front door. It was open and I let myself in. There were some rooms off to both sides but the level was mostly a living room. The back wall was lined with large windows and had a veranda doors in the center that led to a red wood balcony. Out the window I could see that the sun had set and it was getting dark quickly and the lighting was turning the grayish color that it does as the dusk falls.

From the letter I got I knew I needed to go down stairs. The stair case was to my right. The railing was a dark wood like the rest of the house. I walked down and had to gasp. This floor was almost the same as the one above it only there were no other rooms. It was entirely a living room. One wall was a kitchen and a dining room table out from that. But that was a minor detail and did not attract my attention.

All the furniture had been pushed against the walls, leaving the entire floor free. Candles flickered from random places all around. Some sat on the arms of the couch and chairs and some just sat flickering on the floor.

The back wall was completely windows. The veranda doors on this level were left open. They led out to a large porch that over looked the forest and a glittering lake. I walked out onto the porch. The railing all around had candles sitting on it. A large section of the edge was stairs that led down onto a large grassy area. Trees surrounded the area.

A large blanket and a basket lay directly out from the steps. They were a good distance from the deck. On the railing next to the stairs lay a rose. I walked over and picked it up. The note on this one was red "For all the ways you love me…"

I heard someone moving behind me as I twirled the stem in my fingers. Slowly I turned to face Joe standing in the door. Behind his glasses his eyes grew wide and he smiled. We both slowly walked towards each other and met in about the middle of the porch. In a leisurely movement Joe stretched his arms out and wrapped them around me, pulling me in close to him. He pressed his lips to my forehead and sighed.

"You look amazing." He whispered to me.

"Thanks." I said shyly. "You too."

He was wearing white button up shirt, tie, jeans, and a nice dress jacket. The sleeves on his jacket were rolled to just above his elbows.

Slowly we rocked back and forth, as if we were dancing. Then Joe pulled away and held me at arm's length. I looked into his eyes and sighed. It had been a long time since I had seen him, let alone really look at him. 

He brought one hand up to my hair and brushed my bangs.

"I like it." He smiled at me. Then he looked me up and down. "Thank you Katie." He mocked.

 I slapped his arm. "Joe!" I crossed my arms over my chest and turned my back to him.

"Kidding…" He laughed and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. "Kidding." He kissed the side of my head in apology.

I sighed. "I know."

"I missed you." He told me.

I turned back to Joe and brought my hand to the side of his face. "Joe." I smiled at him and brushed my thumb over his cheek bone under the edge of his glasses. "I missed you too."

Light, weather it came from the candles or the moon that now shown bright overhead I didn't know, danced in his eyes. "Come here. I have something for you." He took my hand and led me down to the blanket. He crossed his legs and sat down Indian style on one side of the blanket. "Sit." He invited.

Kicking off my shoes I took my time sitting down, working to keep myself covered with my dress. Once I was sitting I looked across at Joe. A smile danced on my lips. "So, what is all of this?"

"Dinner." He smiled at me as he started to pull things from the basket. "I cooked it for you…"

"Oh no." I let my shoulders fall and acted disappointed. "Are you sure it's fit to eat?"

He handed me a plate. "Ha ha. Very funny."

"Joking." I told him as I looked down and traced the edged of the china with my fingers.

Unknown to me Joe had pulled out his Polaroid camera. I had a small smile on my face as I looked up. To my surprise a bright flash lit up around me.

"AH! Joe!" I hid behind my plate, a bit too late.

He laughed as he shook the picture. "You're so cute."

"You could have told me…"

"But then it wouldn't be so… real." He said happily.

I leaned over and snatched the camera from him. "Give me that." I scooted over closer to him and leaned in next to him. Stretching my arm out I held the camera pointed back at us. "Smile."

Dinner was actually really good. Katie had told him how to make one of my favorite dishes and he had done well. As normal when we were together, we laughed a lot. I loved that Joe was wearing his glasses. It was such a personal part of him and it just felt more private, special.

We talked as we ate and the night air settled around us. I shivered a few times and Joe took off his jacket and draped it around my shoulders. He rolled down the sleeves of his shirt to make up for the loss of the layer.

After we finished eating we put our plates back into the basket and moved it off the blanket. Stretching out, we lay next to each other looking up at the stars. Joe had one arm around over my head. I rested my head on his shoulder smiling up at the sky.

Even though we talked often we still found a lot to talk about. And even when we fell into moments of silence, it was amazing. I was content to lie there in is arms. As we both watched the stars, neither of us notices as they disappeared and clouds filled the sky.

Lighting flashed through the sky and a clap of thunder rolled through the air. I sat up strait. "What?" I turned my face to the sky as a few drops of rain fell onto it. "AH!" I jumped up laughing. Joe followed suit.

The rain started to poor down as we gathered the stuff around us. We danced back up to the porch, laughing and spinning as the rain fell against our skin.

Once back on the porch I looked down over myself. "I'm all… wet."

Joe laughed. He was watching me with a gentle expression. "And very beautiful." He said.

I spun around once then shook my head, making water fly. Joe and I both laughed.

We sat down on the porch and watched the rain on the lake below us. I had my head rested on Joe's shoulder and he rested his head on mine.

After a while we fell silent. We sat like that for a few moments, then Joe took one of my hands. "I love you. You know that, right?"

I raised my head and looked at him. "Of course I do. And I love you too. Why?"

He reached up and brushed some wet hair from my face. "Sometime… when I'm gone for a long time… I just need to know that you know I love you. I can't always tell you or show you that as often as I would like to."

"Joe." I smiled and kissed the hand he had on my face. "You find ways to show me you love me that you may not realize. I hear it every time we talk. I see it in your eyes every time I see you. I can feel it when you touch me." I raised our hands in the air and pushed our palms together. "My only wish is that you know in the same way how I feel about you."

He smiled at me. "I do know." He took my face in both hands then kissed my forehead. "I know."

I smiled up at him. "It is nice to hear it every once in a while though."

He laughed.

We sat there for a while, talking and just being together. I said something about dancing and Joe looked up and smiled.

He propped himself on his elbow. "May I have this dance?"

I turned my head raised my eyebrow at him. "What dance?"

He smiled and took my hand. We got up and he led me back into the house. "Joe what are you doing?"

He didn't answer me but picked up a small remote and hit a button. Somewhere a radio clicked on. The song was slow. Joe pulled me to him and we started to sway.

"Can I show you something?" He whispered in my ear.


Joe pulled back a bit. He placed one hand on the small of my back. He reached up with his other hand and took one of mine.

"I rented this movie…" He explained as he started to step, leading me in a ballroom dance. "And it taught me basic steps."

He spun me and pulled me back to him. "I thought it was something we might like to do some time."