Pacey leaned against the side of her car, watching her make her way across the parking lot towards him. He grinned a little to himself, entertained as he saw the heads of passerby’s turn to follow her. Her hair was pulled into a ponytail on top of her head, her sweatshirt unzipped low enough to display the cleavage enhanced by her sports bra and her legs were long and lean and tanned under her little black spandex biking shorts. She slowed her walk as she got closer, a small smile playing around the corners of her perfect lips.
“Do you know what you’ve always reminded me of, Pacey Witter?” She tilted her head a little, appraising him as she twirled her car keys around her finger. He just smiled at her and shook his head. “One of those stray cats I used to find when I was a little girl and try to drag home with me.”
Pacey responded with a gruff chuckle. “Really? Now I always considered myself to be more of a dog.”
She raised an eyebrow and smirked, shaking her head at him as if she were trying to not be amused as she went to unlock her door. Pacey pushed himself off her car and stood there with his hands stuffed in the pockets of his jeans.
“You know what?” She turned quickly to face him, cutting him off in mid-sentence as she opened her car door. “Let’s just not have this conversation, Pacey.” He opened his mouth to say something else, but upon seeing her face he just dropped his head. She smiled sadly at him. “Let’s just agree for the record to call the other night at the beach house our little good-bye scene, okay?”
Pacey raised his head again, meeting her gaze with his clear blue eyes. They just looked at each other for a moment until Pacey smiled. “Okay.” He nodded, his voice catching a little in his throat.
She smiled at him again, reaching out to just tug gently at the zipper of his fleece pullover. “Good-bye, Pacey.” She took a deep breath as she climbed into her car, shutting the door and starting it up to back out of her parking spot. Pacey stood there a moment watching as she pulled up next to him, rolling down her window.
“You know that she is probably just going to break your heart again.” She said matter-of-factly. Pacey smiled and shrugged and just looked at the ground. Sarah shook her head, her expression softening a bit. “But…” She sighed before driving off. “I guess it was always hers to break, wasn’t it?”
Pacey pulled into the driveway of the B&B right at the same time that Bodie was getting home from work. Bodie stood next to his truck, waiting for Pacey with an amused look on his face.
“Hey there, Pacey.” He grinned. “I feel like we haven’t see you around these parts in a while.” Bodie chuckled a little to himself. “You’re here to see me, right?”
Pacey laughed as well. “Well, I was going to go in and say hi to Joey, but if you want to – hey, we can hop in my Jeep right now and go grab a beer somewhere.” Pacey motioned over his shoulder, starting to back up.
Bodie shook his head, wrapping his arm around Pacey’s shoulder and guiding him forward. “Nah. Why don’t we go on in.”
Pacey smiled a little, walking besides Bodie with his head bowed. Bodie glanced over at him as they approached the front door and noticed the cut and bruised knuckles on Pacey’s left hand. He raised an eyebrow, motioning towards the injuries as he opened the door. Pacey glanced down, flexing his fingers and nodding. “Oh, yeah, that….” He shrugged.
Bodie leaned into Pacey as they entered the house, raising his eyebrows comically and lowering his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “I once put my hand through a double-paneled sliding glass door after a fight with Bessie.”
Joey was sitting on her bed with her sketchpad propped up on her knees when there was a soft knock and Bessie popped her head in the door.
“Joey?” She smiled. “There’s somebody here to see you.”
Joey just looked up with her mouth slightly open, as Bessie opened the door a little wider to reveal Pacey. He gave her a small smile, hesitating before Bessie gave him a little shove into the room.
“I’ll just leave you two alone now.” Bessie said in a hushed tone, shutting the door behind her.
Joey rolled her eyes, shaking her head and laughing a little in embarrassment. “She’s real subtle, huh?”
“Yeah.” Pacey chuckled a little, rubbing his hand over his hair. He smiled at Joey, his blue eyes warm and gentle. “So, how have you been?” He shrugged.
“Okay.” She nodded, sitting up straighter and putting her sketchpad down to her side on the bed. She adjusted her position, trying to look everywhere but at his face. Pacey let out a deep breath and sat down on the edge of the bed.
“I’m sorry I haven’t come by sooner, but I kind of figured we could use a little time to regroup a bit after the other night.” Pacey said carefully, watching her. Joey just nodded and worried her lower lip, still not meeting his eyes. Pacey smiled a little to himself, tilting his head and narrowing his eyes playfully, “After all, you were hitting the sauce pretty hard there and…”
Joey’s head shot up, her eyes blazing at him indignantly. “I was not drunk!” She exclaimed. Seeing the mischievous glint in his eye, her expression softened and she smiled and shook her head at him. “You are such an idiot.” She laughed.
“Yeah. I know.” He smiled again, looking at her with affection for a long moment.
“What are you looking at?” She furrowed her brow.
“I just sometimes forget how incredibly beautiful you are when you laugh.” He said with so much sincerity that Joey immediately felt the blush rising up in her cheeks. He looked down, continuing, “I used to spend whole weekends thinking up different ways to make you laugh just to get to see it.”
Joey blinked quickly, feeling a little lump start to rise in her throat.
Pacey looked her, sighing, “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about Sarah, but we really…”
“You know what, Pacey,” Joey shook her head. “Like I said before, you really don’t owe me an explanation about that. I know how we left things off that night and I can understand why…” Joey just shrugged, her voice trailing off. “Relationships are complicated things.” She said finally.
Pacey looked up now, facing forward where he sat on the bed, away from Joey. “I once had this conversation with my sister Gretchen about relationships. And – since I really don’t pay too much attention to anyone in my family when they are talking to me,” Joey smiled as he said this, rolling her eyes, “I can’t remember her exact words. But the gist of it had something to do with not making the same mistakes over again.” He sighed and looked at Joey now, his blue eyes serious. “I’m afraid of making the same mistakes again, Jo…with you.”
Joey looked at him and nodded, trying to fight back the tears that were stinging now in the corners of her eyes. “I…I understand.” She said quietly, clearing her throat.
Pacey was quiet a moment, biting his lower lip. “So, I was kind of thinking…” He began slowly, “That maybe we shouldn’t necessarily talk about second chances.” Joey just looked at him, the tears welling in her wide eyes. “But, instead - maybe we should try to start over. You know – start from scratch here.” He shrugged uncertainly, smiling at her a little.
Joey just shook her head slowly in confusion. “I don’t…what do you mean?”
“I’m here to ask you if you would like to go on a date with me, Joey Potter.” Pacey said, exhaling loudly and giving her a hopeful look. “A first date.”
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