Chapter 24: Kiss
Two Months Later…
“We should really get going if we’re gonna get there on time,” I told Noah two months later, not making any move to get out of his warm embrace.
Right now we were laying in the treehouse, warm sun glittering through the wooden window and bathing out skin in its warm glow. Noah’s arms were wrapped around me, and I felt so safe and secure that I could’ve stayed in his embrace forever.
“Do we have to?” Noah asked. “I just wanna lie here.”
“Me, too,” I agreed. “But our friends are waiting for us…”
He placed a soft kiss on the top of my head, and my eyes fluttered shut at the feel of his soft lips. “Can you believe we made it here?” I asked him, my voice coming out more of a murmur than a normal speaking voice.
“What do you mean?” Noah asked, leaning back to look into my eyes. His were soft and brown and enticing, and they made my mind swim.
“You know, here,” I replied. “Actually loving each other. We’ve hated each other since fourteen, and now we’re here, lying in your treehouse, talking about the future and what it has in store for us.”
“I never hated you,” Noah pointed out. “Remember? I was still in love with you.”
His words sent tingles down my spine, and with the cool air around us, the warm sun gleaming down on us and his arms around me, the moment was bittersweet. This was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. In love with Noah. It would be a dream come true to share my life with him for the rest of eternity.
God, love had made me such a sap.
I sat up and stared into his eyes, slowly putting my arms around his neck and leaning closer, until we were flush against each other. His body radiated heat, and his hazel eyes flashed at the close proximity. His lips parted as I leant closer, and my head swum at how close we were to each other. I doubted I’d ever get used to the idea of being able to call Noah mine. I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to stand being close to him without feeling like I was going to have a heart attack at any given moment. It was impossible not to get dizzy at how unbelievably handsome he was, and how close his lips were to mine.
He shifted me so that we were facing each other, and he stared tenderly into my eyes. Inside his hazel eyes were flecks of green and gold, and his lips were soft and kissable as he whispered, “I love you, Marley. Always have, always will.” He said it so casually, as if he wasn’t aware of the fact that it drove me crazy.
“I love you, too, Noah,” I replied back breathlessly, feeling as if the world were tilting at different angles. Every place where we touched was like a live wire, burning and electrifying.
Finally, he brought his lips down on mine, and his were soft and feather-light. His lips were gentle, but soon turned more crushing and passionate. Our lips moved in perfect synchronization, and I almost passed out at how amazing it felt. Butterflies swarmed in my stomach, and I pulled him closer, tugging gently at the back of his neck.
He pulled back and stared into my eyes, tucking one of my loose brown curls behind my ears with fingers that were as soft as a whisper.
“Do we still need to go?” Noah asked with the slightest smirk.
I brought my lips back to his as I whispered, “Nah. I think we still have a little time.”
“Are you sure about this?” Noah asked as he pulled up outside of Betsy’s Diner, the grumbling of his pick-up truck slicing through the warm night. “I mean, this could get chaotic.”
“Don’t be such a Debbie downer,” I chastised, laughing and ruffling his hair. I savored the feel of his warm, silky locks between my fingers. “This’ll be fun.”
“It’ll be pretty crowded,” Noah reminded me.
I shrugged. “Who cares? The more, the merrier.”
He leant forward and kissed my temple, shaking his head ruefully as his face split into a boyish grin. “You’re lucky I love you so much, Marley Adams.”
I grinned and opened the door of the truck, avoiding his hands. “I know.”
We piled out and made our way hand-in-hand towards the familiar diner.
Once inside, we looked around the diner and searched for our friends in the sea of familiar teenagers all around us.
The four sat at a red booth: Kale and Chaska were sitting together, laughing over a joke that either Ciara or Jake had made.
We both traded grins and stepped forward to join the foursome. They all looked up, and there was a chorus of ‘Hi’s‘ as they spotted us, accompanied by fist-bumps by the boys and hugs by the girls.
I grinned at them and pulled up two seats for Noah and I. Today we were planning on trying a triple-date. I didn’t know if it had ever been done in history before, but we were willing to give it a go.
Because double-dates were just too mainstream.
I guess you could say that life was going really well at the moment. My parents and Noah’s parents were beyond ecstatic that Noah and I were together. Already our mothers were planning our weddings and trying to figure out what our kid’s names were going to be. I wish I was joking. So far the running names for the girls are Indiana (Indie) and Lucinda, and the running names for the boys were James and Cody. That’s how serious we were getting here. It was pretty funny to see their enthusiasm towards our relationship.
Kale and Chaska were also going amazing. They hit it off straight away, and after two months they were still happy and dating. I was so happy that they were together. You could see the love in each of their eyes. It was funny how Kale had gone from being Biology Boy to Chaska’s first (and hopefully only) boyfriend. He treated her like a queen and she adored them. They were a killer couple together.
And Ciara and Jake were having their happily-ever-after, as well. I had never seen my brother so happy, and there was a light in Ciara’s eyes that had been missing until she met Jake. I made sure he treated her right, but they seemed to be a knock-out couple. They were always laughing, and I had never met a happier relationship. They were amazing together, not gonna lie.
Somehow Daisy and Logan had gotten back together, but in my opinion, they deserved each other. Logan had barely even looked my way since that afternoon, which was amazing. Any love I had felt towards him was long, long gone. And Daisy had been a perfect saint around me as well. Who knows? Maybe Angry Marley had a good effect on them.
I think all-in-all life was perfect.
“Anyway, I was telling Coach, I am not wearing that,” Noah told the group, and everyone burst out into laughter.
As we discussed things, I couldn’t help but look around at all of my friend’s smiling faces. Somehow we had all found love.
Sure, Ciara and Chaska found it easier than I did.
I had a lot of obstacles to overcome to get to where I was now. But it had been worth it.
I guess if it’s worth fighting for, then it doesn’t matter the things you have to overcome.
Because love will be worth it in the end, anyway.
As we ate, a silence lapsed around us, and I already knew what was gonna happen before it did. I didn’t even have enough time to warn anybody before Noah’s habit kicked in.
My mouth opened to scream, ‘No!’ but it was too late. Noah had already started.
“Hey, if you’re in a car travelling at the speed of light, and you turn on the headlights, what do you think would happen?”
“Marley, it’s time to go.”
I looked over my shoulder to see Chaska and Ciara standing there grinning at me, their hair perfectly curled and their dresses a soft lilac color.
I sighed and turned back to look at myself in the full-length mirror that stood in the attic of the church. At my dress that was long and ivory silk, pooling around my feet into a six-foot train. The dress was tight and corseted, with one thick strap and a soft neckline.
I smoothed the corset and turned around, grabbing the bouquet of lilies Chaska proffered. I smiled at her.
“You ready?” Ciara asked, twirling lightly in her knee-length bridesmaid gown.
I quickly looked back in the mirror to make sure I looked OK, and nodded. “Yeah, I’m ready.”
They led me down the stairs and towards the corridor, where the music began to play. Ciara hugged me and let out a tiny squeal, before the doors opened and she took the arm that Jake offered her. Not only was Jake the brother of the bride, he was also one of the groomsmen, and fiancé of one of the bridesmaids.
Slowly they walked down the aisle, and I kept out of sight so that Noah wouldn’t see me before I took my first steps down the aisle.
Chaska stepped forward and gave me a grin. “Well, it’s my turn. See you down the aisle, girl.”
She hugged me as well, before clearing her throat and taking her place in line. The doors opened and she began walking forward and through them, where Kale offered his arm.
She looped hers through effortlessly, and they glided down the red carpet. Though they weren’t engaged or married yet, I knew it was only a matter of time. I took a few calming breaths and stepped into place.
I was about to get married.
I was about to become Marley Jayne Fordman.
Mrs. Noah Fordman.
I stepped up to my spot, and soon the doors opened and I was walking through them.
My dad, Cole, stepped up to take my arm, and together we started down the aisle.
The crowd all stood and turned towards me, and I spotted so many familiar faces amongst them. I smiled a little as I continued forward, spotting Maggie Collins—Ciara’s mom—and Amber Constantine—Chaska’s mother.
Then my eyes fell on my soon-to-be husband.
No words could describe the amount of love written plainly in those hazel orbs as he watched me, the corner of his mouth lifting up into a genuine, breathtaking smile that made my knees wobble.
I made my way to him, and he took my hand. “You look beautiful,” he whispered to me, and there was a collective’ aw’ from the crowd.
I smiled and looked around the crowds. My dad took his seat next to my mom, Annie Adams, and she was clutching a wrinkly tissue, her eyes red and puffy, and my father smiled encouragingly up at us.
Then there was Noah’s parents, Grace and Matt. Matt was grinning up at us, watching us both, and Grace was clutching onto my mother, sobbing. I let out a small laugh at the sight.
The priest began the service, and I barely even heard what he was saying.
“Noah, please repeat after me,” the priest instructed.
“I, Noah Matthew Fordman,” the priest began.
“I, Noah Matthew Fordman,” Noah repeated, staring down at me so much that I completely forgot the priest was telling him what to say. His voice was drowned out, and all I could hear was Noah. “Take thee, Marley Jayne Adams, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and health, for as long as we both shall live.”
I grinned at him, and swallowed thickly, as the priest said, “Marley Jayne Adams, please repeat after me.”
“I, Marley Jayne Adams, take thee, Noah Matthew Fordman, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and health, for as long as we both shall live.”
“Noah Matthew Fordman, do you take Marley Jayne Adams, to be yours from this day forward?” the priest asked.
“I do,” Noah replied.
“And do you, Marley Jayne Adams, take Noah Matthew Fordman, to be yours from this day forward?”
I bit my lip and nodded. “Hell, yeah.”
Noah laughed as the priest said, “Then, by the power invested in me by the state of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Noah, you may now kiss your bride.”
“With pleasure,” Noah replied easily, before stepping forward and supplying me with out first kiss as a married couple.
We pulled apart after a few seconds, and I turned to the crowd.
There was Chaska and Ciara, whooping and cheering wildly as if we weren’t in a church—a sacred place. Standing next to them was Kale and Jake, who were doing much the same thing as the girls.
Then there was my family. Phoenix sat in the front row next to Ella, both fifteen, and I grinned at them. I know that I used to hate it when my mother and Noah’s mother used to believe that Noah and I would get married one day, but now I was kind of rooting for Ella and Phoenix to get together, as well.
They were both cheering and clapping, but since they were both enemies—that really seemed to run in both of our families—they were trying to keep as far away from each other as possible. I laughed at the sight.
Then my mom and dad sat there, cheering us on and even dad had a tear in his eye as he watched his little girl get married. Mom was sobbing like a baby, and it brought a smile to my face.
Then Aunt Gracie and Uncle Matt sat there, cheering us on as well, and I finally felt like everyone else was finally here with us.
Grace turned to my mom and winked, and my mother winked back. Ah, so they were winking at the fact that their plan for us to get married had worked.
Then Aunt Grace turned to Matt and whispered something to him that I could barely catch, “Pay up.” Oh, yeah, they had made a bet we would get married.
I turned to the crowd and took Noah’s hand, before yelling out, “Let’s get this party started!”
~ * ~
And, we’re done :)
Hope you guys enjoyed this book. I know we went through our ups and downs, but I hope in the end this book turned out the way you guys wanted it to.
Remember that the third and final book in the series, All Bets Are Off, is now up on Wattpad, so go check it out for more dramas. I think you guys will like this one a lot.
Vote, comment, fan, and thank you for reading, my lovelies.
All Bets Are Off
Here’s just a little more information on my new book (And also the third and final book in the Pranking the Bad Boy series), All Bets Are Off.
It focuses on Ella and Phoenix, Marley and Noah’s little brother and sister. There will be appearances by everybody you met in the earlier books. I think you will like it better than the previous two, and i really hope you could take the time to check it out for me.
Here is the synopsis for a taste at what you’re in for:
Ella Fordman vowed never to fall in love with Phoenix Adams.
Until that one fateful Friday night, when they make a bet that could potentially change everything: They have to make as many people as they can fall in love with them in one month.
Suddenly Ella is thrust into a world of lies, dates, magic, love and confusion.
But, in the end, who will win?
Or, more importantly, will it matter? Will there be a winner…
Or will all bets be off?
So please check the book out on my profile, and I hope you guys like it.
Thank you once again for sticking with me.
And now we have reached the end of yet another book.
I would just like to thank you for sticking with me and supporting this book and really brightening up my days with your enthusiasm and humor. You guys have made writing so enjoyable, and it’s been an honor writing for you all. I know I put you through a lot this book, and I’d just like to thank you for sticking with me this past six months as we traveled the Marley and Noah rollercoaster. It means a lot that you would spend all of that time reading some silly old book written by me. But you guys did, and that’s something that I have to thank you for.
So, this book is dedicated to all of my readers. Whether you’ve been a silent reader, someone who just discovered the book, a dedicated fan, or someone who’s been here from the very beginning, you all played an important role in getting The Jealousy Game up to the places it has reached. I broke personal records on the charts because of you, and I will never forget you amazing fans. Thank you to those who made banners, voted, commented, fanned, added and talked to me. You were the the people that inspired me to write, and I love each and every one of you more than you could ever know.
Thank you for sharing this incredible journey with me.
Christmas 2015 Special
“Marley, you’ve been in the bathroom for a while. Are you okay?”
Noah’s voice came echoing through the wooden door of the bathroom, but I couldn’t raise my voice to answer. One hand was clamped over my mouth, and the other was shaking like a leaf in the breeze as it held the tell-tale stick. I leaned against the basin and let out a heavy hiccup, feeling my heart twist and my stomach churn. Disbelief and fear coursed through me.
“Marley, is this about your parent’s Christmas party?” he continued. “I thought you’d be happy to go back there. We haven’t seen them in a while. What’s going on?”
He knocked on the door again, and my eyes darted to the bathroom door, where I knew behind it a startled Noah Fordman would stand. My eyes flicked down to the wedding ring on my hand and back up. He was my husband, and I loved him with every fiber of my being. But it was like my vocal cords had stopped working. I couldn’t even open my mouth to reply.
“Marley?” he called again, knocking more persistently on the door. “Marley, talk to me!”
I opened my mouth and snapped it closed again. My whole world was spinning around me, and I had no idea what to do.
“Marley?” he called again. “Are you okay? Can you hear me? Marley!”
“I…” I whispered, shutting my eyes. “I…”
His voice hitched in worry as he started banging against the door in an attempt to get it open. “Marley, if you can hear me, say something. I’m breaking the door down.”
I heard a loud thump as he tried desperately to get through the door. I snapped out of my daze and ran to the bathroom, opening the door just before he could shoulder it open. He stood there bright-eyed and red-faced. “Marley?” he whispered, throwing me into a hug. “Oh, my God, I thought something had happened to you!”
“I’m okay,” I whispered. “I’m fine.”
He pulled back and placed his hands on my shoulders, staring into my eyes. “Why didn’t you answer me? What’s going on?”
“I…” I whispered.
“Marley?” he questioned. “Talk to me, babe. What’s going on?”
I couldn’t respond. All I could do was hold up the stick in my hand for him to see. He seemed not to comprehend it for a moment, and his eyes darted between my trembling fingers and my pale face.
“Mar…?” he whispered.
I nodded. “I checked three times. They all came back positive. Noah, I’m…”
“Pregnant?” he whispered.
I nodded. “Yeah. I’m pregnant.”
“You’re pregnant,” he whispered, turning around. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph. You’re really pregnant, Mar? Like, for sure?”
I nodded. “Yeah. For sure.”
He turned around, and his face broke into one of awe as he looked at my stomach. His fingers traced the cotton of my shirt. “Oh, my God. You’re pregnant.”
He reached up and pulled me into him, squeezing so tightly I could hardly breathe. He buried his face in my neck, breathing deeply. And there was something so comforting about having him so excited and supportive.
I’d never really had a desire to be a mother; I’d always thought some people had the maternal gene and others hadn’t. And realizing I was carrying a child had raised an onslaught of worries; like if I could do it and how I was going to do it. I was only twenty-two, after all. Noah and I had great jobs and a fantastic life and a happy marriage, but we hadn’t really planned for children. We were still stuck in our honeymoon phase.
But now here I was, faced with the terrifying situation of being a mother. Of being responsible for a tiny little baby inside of me. I didn’t feel prepared or ready for it.
Noah pulled back and looked at me, eyebrows creasing. “You don’t look excited.”
I shook my head and swallowed. “I’m not ready for a baby, Noah. I’m twenty-two. I don’t know the first thing about babies or parenting.”
“Hey, I’m here,” he reminded me, cupping my face with warm and reassuring palms. “We can do this together. I know we can. We can do anything.”
He pulled me into a hug, and I could feel his body shaking with excitement. It was so surreal to think there was something growing inside my stomach even as we spoke right now. The culmination of the love between Noah and I. And that was perhaps the most special thing ever.
“Thank you, Marley,” he whispered.
I leaned back. “For what?”
“This is the best Christmas gift you could have ever given me,” he replied. “You have just made me the happiest guy in the world. Thank you so much.”
I smiled at him. “Hey, it wasn’t all me. You had some part in it.”
He kissed me on the lips lovingly, and I savoured the feeling. “I love you, Marley.”
I smiled up at him, feeling my hand come to rest on my stomach. “Love you more.”
“Impossible,” he told me.
“Merry Christmas, Noah,” I whispered.
“And you, too, Marley,” he told me. Then he leaned down to my stomach. “And you, too, baby.”
I laughed and took his hand as we started for the door. It was true that I didn’t know the first thing about diapers or pacifiers or birth, but I had a mother who worked in maternity and a mother-in-law with the sweetest soul I’d ever seen.
And somehow I knew that despite everything, it was going to be okay.
~ * ~
And here lies the beginning of Sage!
I wanted to give you guys just a little one-shot as a Christmas present, so I hope you all enjoyed and are having a Merry Christmas!
Please remember to vote, comment, follow me, and share with friends. Spread the joy and share the love!
Forever Love xx