"When the only voice she hears is telling her she can't."
Marley pulled her phone off the charger, and the charger out the wall, wrapping the cord around itself and shoving it in the top of her bag, turning in circles and checking the floor for anything she might have missed.
Glancing at her phone again, she noticed the date and smiled.
"Hey Joe?" She called, while she shoved her feet into her boots.
"Hmm?" She heard him hum from the bathroom, and let her eyes scan his body as he emerged from the bathroom, a white towel riding low on his hips.
She shrugged, "In five days we'll have been together for four years." She laughed slightly, not being able to believe it's been that long.
"I know." He smiled, "December 14." A thoughtful look crossed his face, "Which reminds me..." He mumbled and he held up a finger, shuffling back into the bathroom, returning seconds later wearing only a pair of navy sweatpants and hurrying to his bag.
"Since we're not going to be together for it, I got you your present." He turned back around, a teal blue Tiffany & Co. box sitting in his palm as he beamed at her.
"Joe." She sighed, "I though we discussed that I don't like when you buy me things like that." She hated that just because he had money now he wanted to blow it all on senseless things like too-big jewelry and watched, she just found it unnecessary.
"But this is special." He pouted, and she gave in, returning his smile and sauntering up to him, until their chests were pressed together.
"I haven't gotten you anything." She whispered.
He shrugged holding out his hand, "S'okay, I didn't want to wait."
She locked her eyes on his and reached up, planting her lips on his quickly before he nodded towards the box in his hand, "Open it."
She pulled the white bow, letting it fall over his outstretched fingers and carefully slipped the white ring box from it's teal holder. She glanced up at his anxious eyes and he nodded again, signaling her to continue. She popped open the lid and let out a silent gasp, covering her hand over her mouth.
"Joseph?" He eyes furrowed as she questioned him.
He smiled, plucking the simple platinum band from the box and slipping it on her left ring finger and pressing his mouth to hers.
"Relax." He referred to her tensed body as his hands started a comforting pattern down her sides. "It's a promise ring...I guess."
"You guess?" She smiled up at him, comforted by the reassurance they weren't taking the leap yet...an engagement isn't something she was prepared for at the moment.
"Yeah." He chuckled. "I mean, four years. I just want you to know that you've made me so happy and that I love you, and I just don't want you to forget that, because I know I'm not around and stuff and you still put up with me and you're just so amazing and gorgeous and I just love you..." He scratched the back of his neck, his cheeks tingeing pink with a blush.
She smiled as tears pooled in her eyes, this wasn't famous Joe, or Joe with a million fans, or rich, snobby, cocky Joe that everyone thought he was, this was her Joe. The Joe she fell in love with well over five years ago. This was the Joe that held her heart.
She reached up and held his face between her hands and he nestled the side of his face into the new coldness that surrounded her finger. "Do I deserve you?" She asked softly, a soft laugh pushing through her lips, trying to pull herself out of sappy-mode.
He pulled her closer, placing his lips on her forehead, "I ask myself the same thing everyday."
She placed her hands on his chest, pushing away from him to admire the new addition to her finger. "So I'm-a-taken now?"
He grinned, "Yup, you're taken. Now everyone that tries to hit on you can see this and know that your pretty face loves someone else's pretty face." He batted his eyelashes, a smug smile pulling on his lips.
"You're somethin' else, Joe." She laughed bouncing onto her tip toes and sliding her arms around his neck, blanketing his lips with her own. She pulled back slightly, their lips still brushing, "And I love you." She whispered.
After telling everyone goodbye, with promises to see them soon, Joe and Marley slipped into the back of the black Escalade being driven by Big Rob that would bring her to the airport.
Her hand rested on his thigh as she answered his simple questions about their loft, and Cody, and the neighbors, things that they hadn't had a chance to talk about.
"Oh!" She smiled, "You know how Mr. Baker's daughter owns that art gallery down the street?" She asked.
Joe was lost in thought for a few minutes, trying to remember, his face lighting up when it finally clicked, "Yeah, yeah." He reassured her, "I remember."
"Ok, well he said she was pregnant and she's looking for someone to help her out, you know, so she doesn't have to work all the time-"
"When'd he ask you?" He wondered, reaching for her hand and absentmindedly playing with her fingers.
"Couple weeks ago, I told him I'd think about it but I think I'm gunna do it, you know, since I don't really do a lot anyway...Mr. Baker said he'd keep Cody while I was gone, and it just seems like a better way to occupy my time than just sitting around." She shrugged.
"Well babe, it's not like we need the money."
She felt her face furrow, "I didn't say anything about needing the money. I said it was a way to occupy my time."
"So you want to work?" He looked down at her, confusion pulling at his features.
"I want to do something other than waste my time away sitting in the apartment." She felt like he was getting mad and it was making her mad, what was she supposed to do? Sit around and be cooped up while he toured the country practically doing what he pleased.
"Well, I just don't see the point." What was there to get?
"Joe." She sighed, "I don't want to argue."
"I'm not arguing." He held his hands up, "I just don't understand why you want to do this." His voice rose and she felt him tense up in defense.
"Will you work there when I'm home?" Joe asked, raising his eyebrows in question.
"I don't know, maybe Joe."
"Oh, okay. Whatever." He turned to the window, but this wasn't going to work for her.
"No. No. Do not whatever me." Her anger was rising by the second, "Why are you mad?"
"You just said you were going to be working while I was home, what the point of going home if you won't be there?"
"You're blowing this out of proportion." Marley's arms crossed over her chest.
"Me? Forgive me for wanting to spend time with you."
"Are you serious?" She almost shrieked. She took a few deep breaths, to calm herself down and the whole conversation crumbled around her.
"Don't you dare." Her voice wasn't strong anymore, "Do you know how many nights I can't sleep because all I can do is think about you? Or how many days I cry because I just miss you and want you to hold me, but all I get is a five minute phone call. Or all the times I've needed you when I was sick or hurting or just having a shitty day and you don't have time for me...so don't talk to me about wanting to spend time with someone because I damn well know what it feels like...so forgive me for wanting to take an opportunity to occupy my time away from those longing feelings that are slowly breaking my heart." She was in full fledged crying mode now, sobs forcing themselves out from deep within her chest and tears flowing down her cheeks.
Big Rob's concerned eyes switched between their surroundings and the couple in the rear view mirror, not wanting to speak up in fear he'd get yelled at or something thrown at him.
Joe shook his head, running a hand through his hair and trying to scoot towards here, his arms outstretched.
"No. No. No!" She said loudly, scooting away from him, and huddling against the opposite window of the back seat. "Don't." She sobbed, attempting to wipe her face.
"Baby, I freaked out for a second, I'm sorry...I just want to-"
"No," She swallowed hard trying to compose herself. "You've done enough."
She finally looked around, noticing they were at the airport and wondered how long they'd been there.
"Rob." She hiccupped and waited for him to acknowledge her. "Will you help me get my bags?" She asked weakly.
He nodded and opened his door, shuffling out and started moving towards the trunk. When Marley attempted to open her door to follow him and get her bags when Joe's fingers clasped around her wrist.
"Marley, you are not leaving here like this."
"Like what, Joe?" She was tired of fighting and she just wanted to go home, this was draining her...he was draining her.
"All angry." He almost yelled.
She shook her head softly and the tears came more rapidly, "Maybe you're angry, but I'm just a girl who realized her boyfriend is an egotistical, selfish asshole that I can't help but be irrevocably in love with no matter how much he hurts me."
And with that off her chest, she slammed the door, going around to the back, cursing herself when she realized the open trunk was right behind the back seat.
She observed his solemn face, half shocked, half pained as he still stared at the door she slammed. He instantly turned around once he snapped out of it, realizing where she was. Her bags were out and Rob was in the process of closing the doors when his voice blurted out.
"Marley! I meant everything I said this morning."
She knew that. She knew he meant it, but what she didn't know is if he could prove that to her. Rob paused, with the back hatch almost half closed, unsure of what to do. Marley's eyes locked onto Joe's and she swiped at the trail of never ending tears.
"See you at Christmas, Joe." She placed her hand next to Rob's and finished shutting the trunk herself.
Rob carefully watched the huddle of paparazzi surrounding the entrance to LAX, not wanting them to catch sight of him and start harassing Marley because she was with the Jonas' bodyguard.
He smiled sadly down at her, "I can't defend him this time."
"I know." She nodded, "I can't figure out what's gotten into him."
He shrugged, "Take it easy, kid."
She nodded, making sure she had everything before wrapping her fingers around the handle of her suitcase and starting for the doors.
She settled herself on a bench, right before the "You Must Have A Ticket To Pass This Point" sign and waited, watching the large SUV out the far right window of the busy airport.
There was no way he'd let Rob drive away with them fighting like this. There was no way he'd let her go home after they'd just spoke that way to each other. There was no way after what she'd said, that he wouldn't rush after her and kiss her until he could make it right. But, as the minutes passed by and the announcements for her flight came more frequent she was forced to go through security. She took once last glance back, hoping to see him rushing towards her, but in the crowd she saw not one familiar face.
And when she looked back out the far right window, the SUV was gone.