Chapter Thirteen and Epilogue
I got off the phone with Tom, and sat with a pit of fear in my stomach. Daniel wanted to see me, but at work, in the office, in a meeting. After everything we had been through, after everything that we had done, he couldn’t visit me at home.
I spent the entire day worrying, and then a sleepless night, staring at my phone. He hadn’t answered my calls, and he hadn’t answered when I had gone to his apartment. Maybe he just didn’t want to see me anymore, at least not in a personal sense.
When I woke the next morning I dressed in normal work clothes and drove into the city. I parked my car, next to his which was already there and headed over to the elevator. My heart raced hard and fast against my chest, but surprisingly not out of nerves. I was about see the man I had fallen for, the man I loved... for the first time in almost two weeks. While had never been far from my mind, that alone had never been enough.
The elevator doors pinged open and I walked through the corridor and down the hall to the office. There were three or four balloons still in my office. I’d asked Tom to keep a few and deflate the rest. Being the dutiful PA he was, he’d done it. He was typing furiously on his computer when I opened the office door, but looked up when I walked in.
“Morning Ms Hallister. Mr Jackson is down in the meeting room, I’ll see if he’s ready?”
I nodded and swallowed the nerves clogging my throat. Tom picked up the phone and dialed the meeting room extension.
“Sir Ms Hallister has just arrived. Are you ready for her?” Tom looked up and me and nodded. “Alright sir, I’m sending her in.”
I smiled at Tom and walked back out of the PA office and down the hall to where the boardroom was. I took a deep breath, composing myself before I opened the door.
I stepped inside the room and closed my eyes, I didn’t want to look at him for fear i’d start to cry. This was going to be harder than I’d anticipated.
“Kyla.” Daniels voice cut through the room and my heart like a sharpened blade cutting through an apple. I had missed his voice, I had missed the way he said my name, I had missed him.
“Daniel.” I replied, forcing myself to open my eyes and look at him.
Everything came flooding back, the good, the bad and the ugly. But the good overruled everything else, it overruled what had happened in high school, it overruled the lies, it overruled my heart. His blue eyes buried their gaze in mine, and he walked across the room. He wore a suit, one I’d not seen before and his face was void of a smile. He was here for business, not me.
“Shall we sit?” he suggested, gesturing to the chairs around the boardroom table. I nodded, immediately pulling out a chair and sitting before my legs gave way. Daniel sat beside me and placed a large white envelope down on the table. I felt the tears line my eyes almost immediately. He was here to advise me he wanted out, this was it. Inside that letter held his intention to sell his half of Kystar and disappear from my life. I looked up at him, attempting to hold my resolve but failing miserably. A tear rolled down my cheek, then another and another until I was a crying mess.
Daniels hands cupped my face almost instantly, and he used his thumbs to wipe away the incessant tears. Our eyes met again, and this time he smiled, if only slightly. He shook his head and broke the contact. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about Jeff.” He said slowly. “It was selfish and not fair and you were right. I didn’t want to ruin our chances, I didn’t want you to back out of london.”
He stopped and sighed. “But I realise now, that I also didn’t want to be the one to hurt you with bad news.”
It hurt that he’d kept it from me, but I had spent too much time dwelling on it to know that I had been stupid to throw away what felt like love because of it.
“I get it.” I smiled. “I don’t blame you. I’m sorry I ran away, I’d change it if i could. I would have stayed and talked to you and...” I stopped talking, as my emotion got the better of me again. Daniel shook his head and grazed my cheek with the backs of his fingers.
“It had to happen the way it did.” he murmured.
“I miss you.” I admitted. “I don’t want you to leave.”
Daniel frowned and shook his head. “I’m not.” he replied. “Not unless you still want me too.”
I looked at the envelope and bit my lip. “That isn’t a resignation letter? You’re not planning to sell your half of Kystar?”
Daniel shook his head, i looked back at him and smiled. “Really?”
“I thought about it... when I thought there was no hope for us, I wasn’t sure I could stick around. I didn’t want to hurt you anymore, and I didn’t want to hurt me.” daniel smiled softly. “But with or without you, I can’t leave. I can’t imagine my life without you in it.”
I smiled and leaned forward, pressing my lips against his. Just like it had in London, his kiss took my breath away.
“Neither can I.” I whispered as we broke apart.
Daniel smiled, dropping his hands to mine, grasping and squeezing them. “I’m glad to hear you say that.” he breathed out.
“I saw the conference, and the balloons. But only a couple of days ago.” I exclaimed. “Daniel... I’m so sorry I didn’t know sooner. I hate to think of you hurting.”
“If I had to hurt my entire life from losing you, then it would be worth it. Because it meant once upon a time, even for a short time... you were mine.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever been anyone else’s.” I whispered. “Not truly. I think I’ve been waiting for you since I was a naive teenage girl with a crush.”
Daniel’s eyes softened and he shook his head. “You despised me in school.”
I smiled. “No. Ever since we met in the mall. I was enamoured. I knew you were the boy I would end up with. I could just feel it.” I bit my lip and looked away. “Then that party happened... and i shoved my crush into a bottle and corked it. Over time, well I guess the bottle got crowded... London was the tipping point.”
Daniel sat back in his chair, his hands still held mine. He closed his eyes and tilted his head. “That was you?” he said finally. “The girl I crashed into.”
“The one and only.” I replied. “It’s okay, I kind of blocked it from my memory too. At least... until I got back here and went crazy thinking about you.”
Daniel opened his eyes and shook his head.
“I was an idiot.”
“You were a teenager.”
“I thought you hated me.”
“I could never hate you daniel Jackson.” I smiled. “In fact, I’m in love with you.”
Daniel grinned and kissed me, hard but passionately. There was a reason we hadn’t kissed in High school, kisses like ours were powerful and soul consuming. We hadn’t been ready for what our kiss would have meant. We had needed the time and the space to grow. We needed to be prepared that this was forever.
“Kyla Hallister. I am in love with you too.” he grinned. “In fact.”
Daniel pulled something from his pocket and slid off the seat. He knelt down in front of me and took my left hand in his. “I don’t need time to tell me I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I don’t need to get to know you. We know one another better than anyone else because the truth is, we’ve been in a relationship for over ten years... I’ve never had to face living without you, because i’ve never had to. You’ve always been there. But once we took that step, once I realized just what you mean to me... Just working with you was never going to be enough again.”
Daniel opened his hand and produced small black box. He opened it and to my shock, he held a ring.
“I want to marry you, and have babies with you, and spend every morning waking up to your face... Please, put me out of my misery and say you’ll be my wife.... For real.”
I looked at the ring, and then up at Daniel, whose face was filled with hope. I had come into the office afraid he was going to leave, but here he was, on one knee holding a gigantic diamond. I looked around the room for the hidden camera, or ashton kutcher to jump out and proclaim I’d been punked, but it didn’t happen. We were alone, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
“Yes.” I replied, ignoring the tears rolling down my cheeks.
“Yes?” Daniel exclaimed, his voice cracked and his own eyes gathered water at the corners.
“Daniel Jackson, I’d marry you right here right now if I could.”
Daniel smiled, as a lone tear rolled down his cheek, He pulled the ring from the box and slid it onto my left finger. Once it was there he bent down and kissed it.
He stayed there, and his body began to shake. He was crying. I dropped down on the ground with him, meeting his bowed head with my hands. I lifted his face up to meet mine.
“Kiss me, silly.” I smiled.
He obliged instantly, there as we knelt in front of one another on the floor in the meeting room.
We got up off the ground and kissed again. Daniel pulled back and smiled. “It’s still early... how about I take my wife to be for some breakfast?”
“I’d like that.” I smiled. I looked down at the table to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything before we left, only for the large white envelope to capture my gaze. I picked it up and waved it in front of daniel. “What is this?”
Daniel smiled and looked at me like he knew something important that I didn’t. He placed his hand on my face and brushed a strand of hair behind my ear. “Open it and find out.”
I turned the envelope over and pulled back the opening and slid a thick wad of documents out. It was a contract. With Kystar an Star Family Talent Agency listed as the interested parties. I read through it, it was my proposal. I shook my head and looked up at Daniel with a frown on my face.
“But I walked out of the meeting... I outed us. I ruined the lie.”
Daniel shook his head. “Warren knew all along.”
“He what?!” I exclaimed, almost laughing.
“He investigated us long before we arrived. He knew everything. After you and I spent the night together I went and told him the truth. I didn’t want my poor idea to hurt your reputation. Turns out he knew, but your proposal had impressed him so much he didn’t care.”
My heart raced. We had won Warren over? Kystar was going global after all?
“I’m confused.” I stuttered. “So we thought we had this perfect lie all planned out, but Warren knew the truth?”
Daniel nodded and then smiled. “And after you walked out of the meeting, he could see the very obvious truth in our lies.”
“He knew I was in love with you, he could see it. I think everyone could see it but us.”
I smiled and placed the contract back down on the table. “Well we see it now.” I slipped my hand in his. “And right now, work can wait. I’d really like that breakfast you offered, and then, I’d like to take you home.”
“Is that right?” daniel grinned. “I think I could go along with that.”
“I guess I’ll have to put this place on the market.” daniel exclaimed as we walked into his apartment. I closed the door behind me and turned to look at him with a puzzled look on my face.
He smiled and walked toward me, he put his arms on my hips and pulled me into him, our bodies melted into one another.
“I meant what I said Kyla, I want marriage and babies... the whole works. And your house,” he stopped and smiled. “Well it kinda felt like home when I came over last.”
I bit back a smile and nodded. “It did?”
“Mmmhmm.” He leaned in and nuzzled my neck. “This place is a bachelor pad and I’m no longer a bachelor. You’re my home how... whereever you are.”
“Bachelor pad vs homely....hmm, I sound positively boring.” I humphed folding my arms across my chest.
“Baby, you’re anything but boring.” He lifted my arms and pulled my shirt up and over my head and arms in one movement. “I want to be at home with you. In bed with you, making love to you.”
“Mmm, that last part sounds intriguing.”
Daniel leaned down and kissed the rise of my left breast, cupping my bra with his hands. “Let me give you an example in that case.”
I giggled and nodded.
We peeled our clothes off one another stopping in between each layer to share breathless kisses. Passion overtook our senses and suddenly making it to the bedroom was an impossibility. Daniel lifted me up, and instinctively I wrapped my legs around his hips. He used the benchtop as leverage, placing me down. The coolness of the marble did not salve any of the burning lust circulating through me, in fact it only intensified it.
“I can’t hold it.” daniel strained. “I need you.”
“I need you too.” I murmured, kissing the lobe of his ear.
“I can’t control myself with you.” he groaned.
“Then just let go.” I murmured.
Daniel listened. He slid inside me, hard and deep. I let out a moan and grabbed at his back. We moved together on the benchtop, lost in one another and the moment. There was nothing to worry about anymore, no lies to protect. It was all real, our love was real.
Daniel’s hands slid up my back, hooking behind my shoulders, allowing him deeper access, His mouth enclosed over my right nipple, flicking it with his tongue, sending electric waves of lust between my legs, I arched back, unable to handle the sensations all at once. Daniel kissed the valley between my breasts, before moving to the other nipple and repeating his assault. I bucked beneath him as it all became too much, my mind stopped function as my body took over and fell apart. Daniel quickly fell with me, shuddering as his climax took hold. He relaxed into me as it subsided and let out a deep unsteady breath.
“Definitely not boring.” he assured me.
“You better not be lying.” I teased.
“I think we’ve both lied enough for our lifetime, don’t you?”
I nodded, well aware of the meaning behind his words.
“Ain’t that the truth.” I laughed.
I looked at the freshly finished proposal and smiled. Daniel was going to love it. I twirled my wedding ring on my finger and smiled. It had been an amazing year, we had flown back to LA for the wedding, and married in the mall where we had very first met. To some it might have seemed tacky, especially considering we could have married anywhere. Warren Star had even offered us his mansion for the ceremony... but it seemed right to do it where I story truly started.
“Baby.” daniel murmured. I looked up, Daniel leaned against the doorway with a playful grin on his face. “It’s home time.”
“Alright, alright. I was just working on something. Could you cast your expert eyes over it quickly?”
Daniel sighed, although his smile was still very evident as he walked around the desk and lifted the proposal up.
“You want the contract Babyworld are looking to fill.” He murmured. “That’s news to me.”
“Well they’re the world’s leading baby specialists, and i figured we ought to expand our projects.”
“But they’ve explicitly asked for people with an understanding of parenting and babies. I’m still yet to fulfill that part of my husbandly duties.”
I smiled and shrugged. “Maybe we could tell them I’m expecting, maybe that would sway them?”
Daniel turned my chair and locked his eyes with mine, he was frowning so hard that his eyebrows were almost touching. “You’re kidding right? Kyla. After the trouble lying cause last time?”
I nodded and bit my lip. “What if it wasn’t a lie?” i murmured.
“Huh?” daniel replied, I could tell he was confused, he hadn’t digested what I was saying.
“What if telling Babyworld I’m expecting wasn’t a lie?”
Daniel looked down at my stomach and smiled. “Are you pregnant?”
Daniel threw the proposal to the side and lifted me out of the chair. “We’re going to be parents?”
“Once upon a time I thought this life was out of my reach. But now, I can see it was just another lie I told myself. I have you, we have kystar... and now a baby.”
“We’re one of the lucky ones.”
“I’m the lucky one.” He murmured kissing me. “I love you Kyla.
“I love you too daniel.”
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