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"Repeating history and you're getting sick of it."
Marley?" A deep voice sounded in her ear. She brushed it off as a dream and snuggled farther into her pillow, knowing she still had hours until her alarm went off.

"Marley?" Again, and this time more prominent. Her heart thudded in her chest and she felt her breathing quicken. "Marley?" Again. She peeled her eyes open, propping herself up on her elbows and glancing around the room. Where was he?

"Joe?" Her voice came out more hoarse than she expected and her forehead furrowed in confusion. Was she going crazy?

"Marley." He tried again, hoping to catch her attention.

Her gaze fell to the cell phone lying on her pillow. Her spirits fell when she realized the source of his voice, feeling foolish for thinking he'd actually be there.

"Joe?" She asked into the phone.

"Hey." He breathed, his morning voice awakening the butterflies in her stomach. "Sorry I woke you up." He apologized quickly.

"No...um...it's okay...I just...I thought you were here." She whispered.

His eyes slid shut at her wishful thinking and he sighed, "I'm sorry-I just woke up, and I never hung up last night, and I could hear you breathing, and I just wanted to wake up with you." He admitted quietly.

Once her thoughts were together and the quiet moments passed, she remembered her breakdown last night and how upset she was and how he had managed to calm her down so quickly and how within the first verse of the song he was able to put her to sleep.

"I love you, Joe." She finally broke the silence, letting him hear exactly what he needed.

His ears perked up and a small smile graced his lips while he pictured her face so vividly in his mind, trying to remember the feeling of her body curled next to his while he watched her sleep...

"I love you, Marley." He reminded her, knowing she could never hear it enough. Reassuring her of his feelings were all too important these days when it was getting harder and harder to maintain their relationship.


After a quick shower and changing into a simple pair pf skinny jeans and a long sleeved thermal, topping it off with her peacoat and scarf, Marley was bouncing down the steps of the apartment bulding at 9:00 on the dot. Glancing down the street, she saw a young blonde, no more than 3 years older than her, pregnant belly showing through her grey coat. A smile graced her lips as she watched her prance down the street without a care in the world.

Once Lindsey spotted Marley a grin lifted onto her face. "Marley?" She asked once she was close enough, just to make sure she had the right girl.

"That's me." Marley smiled.

"Great!" Lindsey pulled her into a hug before looping her arm through Marley's, "Let's go, I'm freezing."

They made small talk on the way down the block, commenting on the restaraunts and cafe's and apartment buildings. Marley let her thoughts slip away and laughed with Lindsey at hot dog vendor attempting to chase a dollar bill that had flew from his hand in the harsh wind. She relished in the way her laugh warmed her soul and made her feel so much better.

Her phone buzzed in her pocket and she pulled it out to see Joe calling. Her heart dropped and she thought seriously about ignoring the call before she slid her finger across the screen.


"Hey babe, what're you doing?"

Marley took a nervous glance at Lindsey before letting out a nervous chuckle, "Oh just running a few errands."

Lindsey narrowed her eyes in curiousity at Marley's clear avoidance of where they were headed but Marley widened her eyes, shaking her head from side to side, silently telling her not to say anything.

"Oh, um--what's our address, again?"

She laughed at his forgetfulness and shoved her free hand back in her pocket at the bitter cold. "I'll text it to you in a second...you'll never remember it."

"I could!" She remained silent on the line, waiting for him to give in, "Okay--okay probably not...you're right." She closed her eyes for a second, picturing his goofy frin in her mind.

"Well, why do you need it?" She asked.

"To send your Christmas presents." His voice was softer now in an effort not to upset her, and all playfulness was gone from their conversation. Her smile faded and her heart squeezed a little too much for her to remain comfortable.

"Oh." She breathed out, the painful memories from her breakdown two days before plagued her mind.

"What is it?" He asked quietly.

"I don't want to open presents without you." She almost whispered.

"Marley, stop this." His voice turned hard and she flinched.

"I wasn't trying to make you feel bad." She fought back, "I was just going to say let's wait until you get back to exchange presents, but never mind...I have to go, talk to you later."

She hung up the phone, not giving him a chance to say something back to her and upset her...she switched her phone off, not having the strength to deal with their problems right now, after she felt like they were making progress one simple request set them off again.

"You okay?" Marley jumped at the sound of Lindsey's voice, her conversation with Joe making her loose her train of thought.

"Yeah--yeah. I'm good." Marley forced a smile.

Lindsey nodded, and turned a corner, quickly pulling Marley through two glass doors. "Good, because we're here!"

Marley took in the large, open space and smiled at the home-y feel and the quiet and calmness of it all.

"So basically, you'll just sit here." Lindsey gestured to a large desk. "And, when people come in, show them around, if they're interested in buying, make a sale..." Marley's forehead crinkled, worried about her lack of experience. "It's okay." Lindsey assured her. "I'll teach you everything. I'm just giving you the rundown."

Sitting behind the desk, Marley listened intently to the instructions Lindsey gave her over the next couple of hours, where to find things, where certain paintings and sculptures were located. She was excited about this. Something she was interested in, an opportunity that fell in her lap so easily.

This was all too exciting for her and Lindsey was just as excited as she was, insisting that they head to lunch after Marley's tutorial session on how to run the gallery was over.
Her mind wondered to Joe and how he would take the news. He'd always said he wanted to see her happy and this made her happy. She found herself wanting to tell him all about it. How warm she felt here and how she couldn't wait for her first customer.

A bell tinkled and Lindsey and Marley both cut their conversation short, turning to look at the door, both preparing to tell the intruder that they were closed when Lindsey smiled and waved him over.

As he got closer, Marley observed his tall frame and hair that was shaggy and slightly wavy hanging around his face, his light eyes looking over her in a curious way. Thinking he was a friend or possibly Lindsey's all-to-gorgeous husband, Marley smiled and stood to introduce herself.

Lindsey spoke before she could, "This is Marley, she'll be helping out a lot while I'm with the baby."

He smiled, taking Marley's hand and giving it a shake, showing her his perfect smile, "Hey I'm Kyler, I work in the back."

She smiled back and was glad when Lindsey began blabbing to him about a new shipment that was supposed to come in so she could pull herself together. This was nothing, he was just someone she works with now. Even if he's gorgeous, he's trouble, she had Joe. Joe. Joe. Joe.

Marley's eyes scanned the open space. This was relaxing. This was comforting. There was nothing wrong with her being there. She had nothing to worry about. Joe would get over it and she would work here.

She'd tell Joe everything about this place.

Her eyes locked with Kyler's across the room and she blushed when she realized he was staring at her, he smiled, the action lighting up his whole face. She quickly looked away and busied herself with the stack of paper on the desk.

Everything except that.
Chapter End Notes:
Ooh, new character. What are we thinking about him? How's Joe going to react when he finds out she took the job and didn't talk to him about it?
Okay, so this is the last chapter I had typed up, I'm about halfway done with 11, so it should be up in the next couple of days.
And you're all AMAZING :)
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