“So…you can tell me the truth.” Joey looked over at him from the passenger seat, smirking a little. “Bessie told you to come get me out of the house, didn’t she?”
“What? No. What are you talking about?” Pacey made a face and shrugged.
“Hmmpf. You’re a bad liar, Pacey.” Joey narrowed her eyes, shaking her head. “Yes, she did. She put you up to this.”
“Rarely do I need to be persuaded to spend my Saturday afternoon with a companion as lovely and as enchanting as yourself, Josephine.”
Joey went to roll her eyes and make a sarcastic retort, but instead she just turned to look out the window at the passing scenery and smile. Pacey watched her out of the corner of his eye and smiled as well. They stayed that way for a moment until she turned back to face him.
“I just hate it when I make her worry about me.” She said in a small voice.
Pacey looked over at her. “She just worries because she cares about you so much. She just wants to see you happy.”
Joey went to respond and seemed to change her mind, choosing again to look out the window. Pacey bit his lip, stealing glances at her as he drove.
“So, what are you going to do…I mean, have you started looking for jobs or anything like that?” He asked in a soft voice.
Joey seemed to consider the question before turning to face him again. “I’m not really sure what I want to do. I, um…I actually started painting a little bit again. I’ve been doing it about a year now, so I have a small portfolio started.” She shrugged and continued in a small voice. “I know it’s kind of silly to think I could make a living at something like that, but…”
Pacey raised his eyebrows. “What do you mean? To be able to do something you love to do? What’s silly about that?”
Joey shrugged again. “I don’t know. I actually have a card that a woman out in LA gave me. A friend of hers runs a big New York gallery and I guess they are opening up a smaller one in Edgartown, so…she thought my work was the kind of thing they might like.”
“Right over on the Vineyard?” Pacey asked.
“Yeah, so…it could be really great.” Joey worried her lower lip, lost in thought for a minute. “But I’m not going to get my hopes up or anything. I don’t know if it’s the kind of thing I could do anyway…if I have the kind of talent to do something like that.” She shook her head, her voice drifting off.
“I think that you can do anything that you set your mind to do, Jo.” He replied softly. Glancing over at her with a chuckle, he added, “Of course, as the ex-boyfriend, I reserve the right to maintain any and all biases where you are concerned.”
Joey grinned at him, rolling her eyes, and then grew serious. “So – as the ex-boyfriend…” She began slowly, watching him carefully. “Why is it that you are the only person who seems to be avoiding the most obvious topic of discussion with me these days?” She asked quietly.
Pacey raised his eyebrows, scratching his chin. “Uh…I guess I just figured that you would tell me about it when you were ready.”
Joey nodded, looking out the window. “I think I surprised a few people, huh?”
Pacey considered this, raising his eyebrows and nodding his head, but she continued on before he could answer. “I guess everyone just assumed for so long that Dawson and I would end up together, that I just went along with it. Without really thinking about whether or not that was what I really wanted to happen.” She sighed, almost cringing. “I really hurt him this time.”
Pacey just bit his bottom lip and looked over at her, the words “this time” replaying over in his head.
“You have to do what’s right for you, Jo.” He looked back at the road, his voice lowering. “And, who knows…maybe you two will work this all out.” He said dully, staring straight ahead.
Joey quickly looked over at him, surprised, but he kept his eyes on the road. She frowned and turned to look back out the window.
“This is great,” Joey said as she put her menu down and looked around the restaurant, “But do I even want to ask how you know about such a cozy and out-of-the-way place?” She smirked at him.
“Potter, you wound me.” Pacey replied, as he placed his hand over his heart. “Did you ever stop to think that perhaps I still maintain an interest in the culinary arts and keep up with the latest local restaurant reviews? Or did you just assume that I would only have an ulterior motive in choosing my dining locations?”
Joey smiled sweetly, picking her menu back up to look at it again. “That was a good answer. Quick thinking there, Pace.”
“Thanks.” He laughed as he took a sip of his water. Glancing over his menu at her, he asked, “So…do you know what you want?”
Joey shook her head slowly, still reading. “Not really. Any suggestions?”
“Hmm.” Pacey sighed thoughtfully. “I think I can still remember what you like…”
Joey raised her head and, catching the way he was looking at her, began to blush profusely on the spot, her cheeks turning a deep shade of pink. Pacey immediately felt bad for embarrassing her, but before he could say anything, she spoke up, playing right along.
“You think so, huh?” She raised her eyebrow and her voice lowered to a place that almost made Pacey blush himself as he felt his body respond accordingly.
“Oh, I know so, Potter.” He replied with quiet confidence.
The moment was ended when a tentative waitress finally approached their table, clearing her throat loudly and asking if they needed more time. Smiling at each other again, they turned to order.
It was getting dark when they finally pulled back into the driveway at the B&B. Pacey got out of the Jeep first and came over to open her door and help her out. He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans, slowly trailing behind her as they walked towards the front door.
“Well...thanks for today, Pace.” She turned to walk backwards for a few steps so that she was facing him. “I appreciate all your efforts on my behalf.” She stopped short and gave him a little smile.
Pacey carefully took another couple of steps until he was standing right in front of her, just inches away. “I guess I have a confession to make, then.” He smiled down at her, the timbre of his voice sending a little shiver down her spine. “Because asking you to spend the day with me was done with completely selfish reasons in mind.”
Joey slowly raised an eyebrow, giving him a skeptical look with her trademark smirk, and he had to laugh. He took a step back, raising his hand to gently tuck a stray piece of hair behind her ear. “I’ll just see you around then, Potter?” He said, more of a question than a statement.
“Yeah. I guess you will.” She smiled and nodded. They held each other’s gaze for a moment until Pacey ducked his head with a small smile and turned to go.
Joey walked into the B&B, closing the door behind her and leaning back against it with a heavy sigh. Bessie was sitting at the kitchen table cutting up vegetables for dinner and looked over at her.
“What’s that for?” Bessie smirked, raising an eyebrow. Joey sighed again, coming over to sit down across from her sister. She laid her head down in her arms on the table. Bessie just watched her with a look of amusement.
“Are you ever going to tell him?” She finally asked.
Joey raised her head a bit, looking at Bessie with one eye. “Tell him what?” She mumbled through her arms, confused.
Bessie looked back down at the vegetables she was chopping. “That you are still in love with him.” She said simply.
Joey sat up straight now, staring at Bessie in horror, and then just covered her face with her hands. “I’m such an idiot…” She moaned.
Bessie laughed. “No, you’re not. You’re just human.”
“How did you know…?” Joey still had her hands covering her face and looked at Bessie through two fingers.
“Um, let’s see…I guess it was the look of sheer adoration on your face when you saw him walk in this morning.” Bessie smiled.
Joey dropped her hands to the table, shaking her head sadly. “I don’t deserve to still love him.” She said softly. “Not after everything…”
Bessie rolled her eyes, shaking her head as well. “Don’t deserve to?” She scoffed, “Now that sounds like something Dawson would say.” She grimaced, putting the knife down on the table. “Besides…it’s obvious Pacey still loves you, too, Joey.”
Joey looked over at her dubiously. “What makes you say that?”
Bessie smirked again, standing up to carry the bowl of vegetables over to the stove. “The look of sheer adoration that he gave you right back.”
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