Saturday, November 9, 2013

Epilogue 3: Get Back

"I like this one," Libby decides, "The color suits you."

"Washed out peach?" Jacklyn snorts, "Pastels are your thing, not mine."

"Well, you can hardly show up to Portia's wedding in one of those animal print and sequin mini skirt things you like," Libby replies.

Jacklyn turns away from the dressing room mirror to face her mother, "Are you sure you don't want to add a 'slutty' onto that description?"

"Jacklyn, sweetheart," Libby sighs heavily, "Please, I just want you to look nice for Bill's daughter's wedding." And 'nice' of course doesn't include anything Jacklyn's closet, which is why her mother dragged her out to Beverly Hills to go dress shopping.

"I hate this fucking dress," Jack grumbles, but grudgingly agrees to buy it anyway, the same way she accepted her invitation to Portia's wedding. She and her new step-sister are hardly close, both being adults when their parents married and only they see each other during big family events. Unfortunately for Jacklyn, Portia's wedding is one of those big family events she's obliged to attend, like it or not. 

"You know, it's not too late for you to change your RSVP to include would be nice to se you together at the wedding."

"Mom, just, no," Jacklyn groans, "Don't involve yourself in this."

"I am involved," Libby answers, "This is a family matter. And it just pains me so much to see the both of you suffering like this."

"I doubt Nico is suffering now that he's escaped the hell we were living in," Jackie says sharply, "And I'm just fine without him, thanks, Ma."

"No, you aren't," Libby replies, "I'm your mother; I can tell when you aren't happy. You've been doing really well with you program,  and you've sobered up, but you aren't happy. And neither is Nico. Bill and I ran into him the other night while we were out having dinner with Portia and Rainier, he was sitting alone at the bar, and he's obviously missing you, Jacklyn."

"Well, it's not like he talks to me," Jacklyn sighs, "He barely even looks at me when picks Trill up."

"Maybe you should try talking to him," Libby urges.

"Maybe," Jacklyn reluctantly agrees, though she has some serious doubts. But, sooner or later, they will have to talk, if only to make this separation official. Jacklyn turns away from her mother, busying herself with the dress so her mother doesn't see her struggle for composure.

While Trill and Luca play skeeball under Debbie's supervision, Andrea pulls Nico aside for a private talk. "You know you're welcome to stay with us."

"Thanks, again, brother. But I'm good where I am."

"You can't live in a hotel forever," Andrea chides him.

"Why not? When we were on the road, that's how we lived. Why should this be any different?"

"Because it isn't right, not having a home, Nico. It's not right for Trill," Andrea says, "Kids need stability."

"And how is crashing at your place any more stable than staying in a hotel?"

"Because it's family, at least," Andrea answers, grasping his brother by the shoulders, "Her whole world has been shaken up by this separation. You need to do something about it, brother. Living in a hotel like a tourist isn't cutting it."

"I'll think about it," Nico promises, though the last thing he can imagine doing is moving into Andrea and Debbie's place.  But his brother is right, the situation as it is isn't really working, for him or for Trill.  But, just like the time when Jacklyn had kicked him out after his affair with Marilyn had been discovered, he's loathe to commit to any new situation, preferring a state of limbo to actually accepting a permanent break. 

"Daddy! I want to go on that!" Trill enthuses, pointing at the gyrosphere at the end of the pier.

"That's for grown ups, sweetheart," Nico laughs.

"They'll let me on if you tell them to," Trill insists.

His daughter has already gotten too used the idea that her rockstar father can get anything he wants. "Baby, that isn't safe for kids. Let's find another ride for you."

"Can we get ice cream?" Trill's attention turns to the next thing she sees.

"That, we can do," Nico agrees.

After ice cream, Nico and Trill commemorate the day with a photobooth picture.

"I wish Mommy could be in the picture with us," Trill muses quietly. Nico excuses himself to run off to the restroom.

"You should tell your Dad you want to go to Disneyland," her cousin Luca suggests, "And tell him to ask my parents to come, so we can all go together."

"Why can't you just ask your parents to take you?" Trill asks.

"Because they'll say 'Maybe later'. But they'll say yes if your Dad asks them."

"What if my Dad says no?"

"He won't, duh, because he doesn't live with you and your Mom. So, he'll take you anywhere you ask. It totally works, all the kids in my school with divorced parents do it all the time."

"My parents aren't divorced," Trill answers vehemently, "And I don't want to go to stupid Disneyland."

"Trill, baby, you are getting too big for this," Nico laughs when she jumps into his arms to kiss him goodbye.

"You'll come again next Saturday?" she asks before letting him put her down.

"Of course, sweetheart, every Saturday."

Her lips purse together in a pout, "I hate waiting the whole week to see you," she says.

"Me, too, baby," Nico sighs, kissing her again before letting her go.

He watches his daughter run into the house, turning to wave to him one last time before she disappears inside. As he's heading back to his car, Nico is surprised to hear Jacklyn call his name.

"Can you come inside?" she asks, "I want to talk to you."

Nico fidgets in silence, wishing he could avoid responding altogether. He'd been dreading this moment for weeks now, the day when their marriage would officially end. But the time has come, he can't pretend otherwise, so he grunts his assent and follows Jacklyn into the house they'd bought together when they got married.

"Say what you have to say," Nico says, arms crossed over his chest like a shield.

"You know what? This was a bad idea," Jacklyn sighs, backing away from her decision to try talking to him. She's  not gong to be able to break the wall he's built around himself, she'll only hurt herself by throwing herself against it. "You obviously aren't going to hear anything I have to say. So, forget it. Go."

Maybe it isn't what he thought it was going to be, Nico realizes, and drops his defensive stance. "I'm listening," he says, his voice low, lmost afraid to be heard, his eyes lowered, unable to look at her.

Jacklyn takes a deep breath. "First, I need to apologize to you. For all the shit I put you through."

"This is one of your twelve steps?" Nico asks, disappointed that that's all she wants from him now. "You don't need to apologize to me."

"I thought you'd be happy that I've been getting sober."

"I am, Jack," Nico says. Watching her drown herself had been slowly killing him as well as herself, and nothing he did or said could stop her decline. Everything he did just seemed to make it worse, any time he said anything, it ended in a fight. Leaving her was his last option, and maybe that's what got her into her program, made her get sober. He's glad for that, to see her back to the way she was before, in control of herself. But nothing else about their situation gives him any joy; she's obviously better off, and he's the only one left suffering. "You just don't have to apologize for it. Not to me." What the fuck can he do with an apology, when their family is broken?

She  doesn't know what she expected from him, really, but this isn't going at all how she wanted. Jacklyn takes another deep breath, steeling herself to keep pushing forward, to try to connect with him despite his obvious resistance, despite her own urge to just throw up her hands and give up. "I've been writing songs," she tells him, "I was thinking we could work them up..." Their marriage isn't the only thing on the rocks; their separation has put the whole band on hold. A hiatus probably isn't the worst thing, given how lackluster their last few albums were, but sooner or later, they'll have to play again, or break up.

Nico rubs his neck before he speaks, shifting his weight back and forth, giving her every indication that he's going to back out of this. "I don't think that's a good idea," he mumbles.

"So, you can't even play with me, now?" she asks, using anger to stop her heart from breaking, "We can't even have a professional relationship?"

"Professional?" he asks, his voice hoarse with sorrow, "If you want professional, hire a guitarist. When I play with you, my heart and my soul are in it, and there's never been anything professional about that."

They step closer together, close enough to kiss. "I can't play with anyone else, Nico," she says, "No one else can play my songs like you."

It's been so long since they've touched that the slightest brush of his fingers on her arm as he reaches for her sends a tingle up her spine and makes her nipples hard, aching for him.

"Are you staying for dinner, Daddy?" Trill asks, coming down from her room.

"Is that okay with you?" Nico asks Jacklyn, his voice gruff as he struggles to pull back from the moment they'd just had, the first hint of intimacy in what feels like years.

Jacklyn nods, too breathless to speak.

"Sure, I'm staying," Nico says, gathering himself to turn his attention their daughter, "What are we having?"

"I hadn't really planned anything," Jacklyn admits, still not oriented around her own kitchen.

"Can you make a pizza?" Trill asks her father, knowing who to turn to for a decent meal. 

Nico glances over to Jacklyn, who shrugs and says, "I probably have...stuff...for that. I think."

Nico scrounges together the ingredients for a basic pizza, and they all sit down for the first family meal they've had together in months. Trill chatters happily with parents, her excitement at this event more than obvious.

Jacklyn hangs back as Nico tucks Trill into bed later, letting him enjoy this time with their daughter. It had always been their nighttime ritual, and she knows how much Trill has missed it, and how much it must be killing Nico to not be here with like he used to.

"She misses that, you know, " Jacklyn says as the bedroom closes gently behind him. 

Nico doesn't say anything, but leans against the wall, recovering from the emotional depths that just being able to tuck his daughter into her bed at night have sunken him into.

"You have time to play one song with me," Jacklyn says, seizing on his vulnerability. He won't refuse her now, she knows. His wall has broken, and she only has to push a little to get back inside.

Their Pink Hell album had been a major success, not just in sales, though of course that's the measure that mattered to their label, but musically, it was the best they had ever been. After that tour, she finally agreed to marry him, and everything was perfect. Then, things started to turn, the next couple of albums just weren't as inspired, the stress of touring was wearing on her. She started drinking again, using coke and pills, whatever came into her hands while on the road. And they'd fight, every day, every night, all night, so that they could barely meet on stage without making their arguments public.

The song she plays for him now takes all that pain and crafts it into art, a work of beauty that reaches the heights she achieved with Pink Hell, and Nico is once again honored to be part of that process, to be the one to work her raw, emotive melody into song.

"That was amazing," he tells her, "You have to record that."

"My best work always come from pain. Everything I wrote when we were happy was crap," she says, anguished and bitter, "Now that I'm miserable, I'm finally writing good music again."

"That's bullshit," Nico says, vehement and earnest, "It's just that pain is the only thing you let yourself feel. You're so afraid of letting yourself be happy that you completely close yourself off to it, and you're too numb to write."

Jacklyn sits quietly, not moving or responding.

He said too much, he thinks as her silence persists, and turns away from her, whispering hoarsely, "I should go." The last thing either of them need now is another argument.

He stops suddenly as a ragged sob breaks her silence, "It's true," she whispers, "I was afraid that what we had couldn't be real. I was sure you were going to break my heart. So I broke it myself before you even got the chance. I ruined fucking everything."

Nico wants to take her in his arms and tell her it isn't true, that it's not what he meant, but that would be a lie, and not a healthy one at that, given her propensity to use drugs and alcohol as a place to hide from the truth.

So instead he gets on his knees before her and says, "I played my part in this mess, babe. It's not all on you."

He had come close to kissing her earlier, before Trill interrupted them.  But even if their daughter hadn't come in, he probably would have stopped himself, for fear of where that kiss would lead and the pain that opening himself to her again would expose him to. Now, though, he's beyond stopping himself and above fear, his chest torn open and heart poured out on the floor for her. 

"Oh, don't go," she moans as he rises, his lips pulling away from hers.

"I'm not going anywhere," he whispers, lifting her up with him.

"I'm taking you upstairs," he continues, "If that's okay with you?"

The time they'd lived apart, the distance he tried to create between them, all of it disappears when she's in his arms again, her skin under his fingers, her hand in his hair, pulling him down to her breasts.

"I've missed you, Nico," she whispers.

"I just want us to get to a place where we stop hurting each other," he says, "Can we do that, Jack?"

"I want to try," she answers.

They didn't make love very often when she'd been drinking, and when they did, it was angry and distant. In the months of their separation, the anger became sorrow and regret, and their lovemaking now is a song of healing, driven by a need for each other that had gone for so long unfulfilled. 

The lay together, afterwards, in a silence that begs to be broken, but which neither of them dare disturb, reluctant to start the discussion they know will have to come next.

"I should go," Nico murmurs, sitting up.

"Seriously? You're going to just walk away from this?" Jacklyn asks, reaching a hand out to stop him.

"I'm not walking away," Nico explains, "I just don't want Trill to get the wrong idea..."

"The wrong idea being that her parents love each other?"

Nico sighs, rubbing his chin, "You know what I mean, Jack. We shouldn't get her hopes up until we've worked this shit out."

Jacklyn places an arm firmly over him, preventing him from getting up. "We can work our shit out a lot better together than we have been while we're apart. Tonight was amazing. All of it, having us all together for dinner, seeing you with Trill again. I want you to be here in the morning when she wakes up. I want that everyday, and I'll do anything to make that happen."

"That's all I ever wanted," Nico says, "But it can't be that easy."

"I'm not asking for easy," Jacklyn says, "We have a lot of work to do to repair things between us. I just want you here for it, not living in some hotel. You belong here, Nico, with us. I know you ant it as much as I do. Don't be afraid to take it."

Nico falls back on his pillow. She's right, it's only fear that's making him hesitate. Everything had become so painful, and he didn't have drugs or booze to hide himself in like she had. Instead, he ran from it, tried to use distance as a shield. "You're right," he decides, "I need to be here."

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Epilogue 2: Risk of Serious Injury

"Lookin' good, Heather," Coby greets his sister with a kiss on the cheek as the family gathers around to greet him.

"Hey, squirt," he says, ruffling Dulce's hair, "Do you remember me?" The last time Coby had been back to L.A. for a visit, his youngest niece had still been in diapers, and Laurel had still been in grade school. Both girls have grown so much, and Heather very obviously has another on the way.

"Did you bring us anything, uncle Coby?" Dulce asks, jumping with excitement.

"So you do remember me," Coby laughs.

He doesn't have much time to catch up with Heather and Ulises before Rainier comes to pick him for his fitting.

"I dropped Portia off at the designer's before coming to get you," Rainier explains as they drive out to west side, "She's a big name in the fashion industry, working mostly out of New York, but she's recently decided to set up shop in L.A. She hasn't actually got an office space yet, but she's and old friend so she's agreeing to see us in her apartment," he finishes as they pull up to a high rise in Century City.

They take the elevator up to he penthouse and find Portia inside, modeling her gown for the designer.

"That looks perfect," Rainier opines, watching his fiancee turn and roll her shoulder.

"It is," Portia agrees, "Now we just need to get your best man fitted." She cast s a glance and a smile at Coby's direction.

"That's what I'm here for," Coby answers, not at all looking forward to being suited up, but resigned to doing what he has to for Rainier, who, besides his sister, is the one person he's kept in touch with since leaving L.A.

"I went ahead and got started on your tux, going by what I remembered about your size," the designer says, turning toward Coby while Portia and Rainier go off to change her out of her gown, "I can make any adjustments from there."

Coby stands in dumbfounded amazement. He recognized her, of course, as soon as he saw her face, heard her voice, but his head doubts what his eyes are telling him. She's changed, so much, but she's as beautiful as she was when she was his. Maybe even more beautiful, he thinks, watching the sweeping curl of her hair brush across her shoulder as her head moves. He stands, mesmerized, watching those lips he used to love to kiss, her eyes sparkling as she smiles. It's her, but he can't believe she's real, that this woman is what his Ti has grown up into.

"Rainier didn't tell you it was me, did he?" Stina surmises from Coby's bewildered expression, "He's such an ass sometimes." A sharp laugh coming from the dressing room, indicating that Rainier heard her comment and is thoroughly enjoying his little surprise. "Go try on your tux; it's on a hanger in the dressing room," Stina says with a smile, touching his shoulder, "We can catch up later, okay?"

Coby goes into the dressing room as Portia and Rainier come out, dons his tux and rejoins the group out in the mess of Stina's hastily set up home/office.

"You're a little broader in the shoulders than I remember," Stina observes, "So your jacket is a bit tight. But otherwise, it's a good fit. Just few adjustments and it will be good to go."

"I haven't changed much," Coby says hoarsely, the first words he's managed to get out since seeing her.  It's not like he's spent the last five years pining over her. He'd been too busy for that. But being back here, now, seeing her again, seeing how far out of his league she'd gone, it's like being punched in the gut, and he's left breathless, unable to speak.

"You're going to make him cut his hair before the wedding, aren't you?" Portia asks her fiancé in a low whisper.

"If I have to hold him down and cut it myself, yes," Rainier promises.

"I'd prefer you get a professional to do it," Portia laughs.

"Consider it done, my love," Rainier says softly, then turns toward Coby and Stina, "Why don't we all go out for a drink when we're done here?" he suggests, "We all have a lot of catching up to do."

Stina changes into something more appropriate for clubbing in Hollywood, while Coby gets out of the uncomfortable tux, and then the foursome head out together to the Cobra room for a few drinks. Most of the 'catching up' they do centers around Rainier and Portia's wedding plans. Coby remembers how freaked out Heather was in the weeks before her wedding, and she wasn't having anything anywhere as huge and formal as Rainier and his socialite fiancée are planning. If he ever gets married, he'll do it on the beach, no tux, no huge ceremony, just himself and his bride and a few close friends.

Rainier goes on about the upcoming rehearsal for the wedding, and Coby's part in it, but Coby has drifted off into his own inner world. He'd never put any real thought into getting married, but watching the tender glances Rainier and Portia share as they chatter on about their plans, seeing that intimacy, that closeness, while sitting so close to her, the only girl he'd ever really loved, fills him with an aching kind of longing. 

If he reached out for her hand, wrapped his arm around her shoulder, could it be like it was before? They had such a strong connection, despite their much had changed, but nothing, not even time, could break that bond. But as much as he wants to reach out and touch her, his arm stays at his side, his hands knit together in front of him, unwilling to try and be rejected. He wants to believe that somewhere inside her, she's still his girl, but it's been so long with no contact, and she's changed so much and lives in such a different world than his.

As soon as Coby excuses himself and heads for the restroom, Rainier takes Stina aside, "I need you to do me a favor," he says.

"What, more than slaving over tuxes ad gowns for your entire wedding party?" Stina laughs.

"I need you to make sure Coby gets a decent haircut before the wedding."

"I think you're overestimating the amount of sway I have over him," Stina says with a chuckle, "I haven't even heard from him in the past five years. He's not going to get a haircut just because I tell him to."

"Au contraire, you're the one underestimating yourself; you still have him as wrapped around your little finger as ever. He'd do anything you asked of him...and I'm asking you to get him to a hairdresser."

"Portia and I are going to head home now," Rainier says as Coby rejoins there group, "I'll leave you with Stina, I'm sure she won't mind giving you a ride home. You two must have a lot to catch up on." He takes Portia's hand and lead her out of the club before anyone can protest his plans for them.

"Are you playing matchmaker?" Portia laughs breathlessly as Rainier sweeps her up in his arms outside the club, "That's so sweet."

"Me? Non, those two are OTP. I'm merely facilitating Fate's plans for them."

"Let's go," she says, taking him by the arm and leading him to her car.

But she doesn't take him back to Heather's place; instead, they go back up to her apartment, where she brews a pot of coffee.

"So, you're living your dream," Coby says, sitting on the floor, leaning back against the sofa.

"I am," Stina agrees, setting her coffee cup down by her feet as she sits beside him, "That internship in Paris really kicked me into gear. And now I've made a name for myself, and I've got a lot of celebrity clients. So with the Oscars coming up, I've decided to open up shop back here in L.A."

"So, you'll be in town permanently?"

"Well, for part of the year. My business is still mostly based in New York, so I'll be bi-coastal. But, I'll be honest, I've missed L.A. You were right about that."

"Me? About what?"

"Do you remember that night, you took me babysitting with you, at your sister's place? We watched the stars together and you told me that I was sparkly and bubbly, and very L.A."

"Ah, yeah," Coby laughs, remembering. They shared their first kiss that night, "You told me to take it back." And she'd told him the kiss meant nothing, and that no one could ever know about it.

"I thought I was too cool for L.A. For everything, really," Stina says, "I was so wrong, about myself. About...a lot of things."

Stina scoots closer to his, leaning back against the sofa next to him. "I should apologize to you," she says softly.

"You don't need to do that," Coby says.

"No, I do," she insists, "I was a total cunt to you, and I know it. I even knew it then, I just didn't care how I hurt people."

"I don't know, Ti," he says gently, "I think you did care, in your own way."

"Well, I was a pretty shitty person, and a terrible girlfriend. You have to admit that."

"Yeah, being cheated on, dumped and then used for random booty calls kind of sucked," Coby agrees, "But I was just as bad."

"Not to me."

"No, not to you. You were different."

"I didn't deserve you," she says, whispering as she leans closer to him, her shoulder brushing his as she reaches a hand out to him. Her fingers brush over his bicep, her lips come so close to his, he could kiss her. She wants him to do it, it's as obvious as it was the night he first kissed her. But she pushed him away then...she wouldn't do that now, he knows. He could kiss her, and take off her clothes and make love to her right here on the floor, but much as he like to do that for her, for himself, something about the timing doesn't feel right, and he turns his face away from hers before her lips can touch his.

Surprised by his rejection, Stina's eyes sting with tears of embarrassment, but before they can fall, he's wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against his chest, resting his hand on her stomach. She remembers the day she came back to him, after she and Rainier had split, and how Coby hadn't wanted to make love to her right then. 'I just want to hold my girl,' is what he'd said then, and, nestled against his chest now, her hand stroking his arm, is a closeness that goes beyond what they would have had if they'd just given in to passion.

"Do you have anyone?" she asks, certain he doesn't, or he wouldn't be holding her like this now, but still, hesitant, afraid to hear that she may have lost her place in his life, in his heart.

"Nah," he says, "I mean, there was a girl in my bed yesterday, before I flew back here. But there's never been anyone serious. You kind of ruined me, Ti."

"I ruined you?" she laughs, exulting at the admission but trying not to show it.

"It's not like I ever compared girls to you, exactly, or sat around wishing it was you and not them. But still, I had this memory of what we had, and nothing I had with anyone else, no matter how good it was, as ever anywhere near what we were. So, I couldn't get ever serious with anyone, because it would never be like it was with you."

"It was the same for me. I mean, I used to tell myself that I was too busy for real relationships, but I could have made the time for one, if I really wanted to. But I knew it wouldn't be worth my time to try, that it wasn't going to be the real thing, so why bother? So I guess you ruined me, too."

"And now we're only good for each other," Coby says, squeezing her a little tighter.

"So tell me everything," she says, sighing a little as she nestles her head close to his neck, "Tell me about the places you've been, and the things you've seen."

So he tells about Bali, Oahu, Australia, all the places in the world he's surfed, until they both drift off to sleep on her floor.

"Mmm, sleeping next to you was always the best. You're like big teddy bear. Is it morning?" she murmurs sleepily, turning toward him as they wake together.

"It's still dark out. I think it's raining."

"So you're getting up to go surfing?" she asks, remember how he'd get up before dawn sometimes, leaving her alone in his bed to go catch his waves.

"Nah, I promised French I wouldn't risk any serious injury until after the wedding. I mean, I doubt anything would happen, but if I did break my leg or something and had to show up at his wedding on crutches, I'd never hear the end of it. So I can hang out with you, if you want."

"Hmm, I don't know, Coby," Stina laughs, "Staying with me might put you at even bigger risk of serious injury than taking on the big waves."

"You think?" Coby asks, not giving her time to respond before he attacks, tickling her mercilessly until she collapses in laughter beneath him.

And then, when tears of laughter flow from her eyes, then it's the right time for him to kiss her, to take off her clothes and make love to her right here on her floor. He takes her slow and gentle, remembering every inch of her body, inside and out, though it's been years since they've touched. Her heels dig into his buttocks as he rocks against her, moving inside her to find her sweet spot. A lot may have changed, but he still knows how to make love to her so she comes over and over again, just by getting into that exact and perfect position.

"Why don't we take this upstairs, to my bed?" she groans, rolling out from underneath him, "My back can't take much more of this."

"You have a bed?" Coby asks.

"Of course, silly," she laughs, "Did you think this was my whole apartment?"

"Well, it's big enough..."

She leads him up to her bed, falling down on to it beneath him, lifting her legs over his shoulders as he enters her again, rougher this time, because he knows what she likes, and all the ways there are to please her. 

"Damn, Coby," she sighs snuggling up next to him to get a few more hours of sleep before the morning breaks, "I don't suppose you'd be interested in a full time position as my personal sleep buddy and fuck doll?"

"I would, actually," he says, and his tone says he's not joking.

As blissed out and sleepy as she is, Stina makes the effort to lift herself up to look him in the eyes, "You're serious," she says.

"Totally serious," Coby says, "You know we aren't ever going to find anything better. So lets just accept that, we belong together."

"Even if you move back to L.A. permanently, I still have to travel  lot..." Stina says.

"Babe, we already proved we can be apart for years if we have to, but when we're together, it's like no time has passed. Wherever we have to go in the world, our home is with each other."

"Do you really think that will work?"

"Are you trying to talk me out of this?" Coby asks, "I think we can be together, Ti, we belong together. If you don't want that, just say so. "

"I do want it," Stina says, "I want you. I just don't want to end up with either of us getting hurt."

"We've already wasted enough time. I don't want to go another day without knowing you're my girl, Ti. You can still be who you are and work wherever you have to, and I can still surf, here or anywhere else. But at the end of the day, even if we aren't in the same city, I want to know you're mine, an that we're going to be together again soon."

"You are such a romantic sometimes," Stina sighs, "Okay, let's do it."