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"These things that you are telling me can't really show me how you feel, I'm breaking down."
Marley dropped the last suitcase near the front door, letting out a shaky sigh and attempting to keep her tears at bay as she turned on her heel, shuffling back up the stairs to grab her purse. Fiddling with the buttons of her coat on the way back down the stairs, she didn't notice the figure standing at the front door, surrounded by his own bags.

When her eyes met his, she sucked in a breath and stopped dead in her tracks, feeling her heart start to beat irregularly. He looked around at her bags before his eyes landed on hers again.

"Wh-what are you doing here?" She stammered, tripping over her words.

He shrugged, "Mom talked to everyone and let me come out a couple days before they did." He noticed her bags on the floor and the missing presence of their dog, putting the pieces together in his head. "I thought you weren't going to come see me?" He asked, his curious eyes looking over her.

"I-I wasn't." She stuttered out.

His eyebrows furrowed and he studied her for a few seconds, "So you're going to Europe?"

"Europe?" She echoed, her mind unable to process what he was asking due to the pure shock of him actually being there.

"Yeah." He chuckled, "You know, to be with your family."

"Oh." she shook her head, feeling stupid for not being able to follow the conversation. Her head was swimming and she wasn't sure she could go through with this now that he was here, standing in front of her. "Um--no, I'm not going to Europe."

He took a few steps towards her and she stumbled up a couple of the stairs. His face contorted in thought and he glanced around the apartment, getting a sense that something was the matter.

He gulped, before rubbing the back of his neck, "Thena33;”uha33;”where are you going?"

The question she dreaded. The question she didn't want to answer because even she didn't want to hear it. She looked away from him in order to hide the new tears streaking down her face. His chest tightened at the sight and he became increasingly worried.

"Marley...What's going on?" His breathing was getting shallow at the new fear settling in his stomach, "Where are you going?" He questioned her again.

She composed herself the best she could and closed her eyes. "I can’t do this anymore." She coughed on a dry sob and watched his face drop.

She'd made the decision yesterday after Joe pulled that stunt while she was at the gallery. After crying all the way home, she started packing her things, putting all of her stuff into boxes to get later when she found a more permanent spot other than Cassie's apartment. She'd called Mr. Baker and brought Cody over this morning until she had a more stable place for him to stay with her.

"What?" He breathed out in disbelief.

"I’m leaving, Joe." She whispered and he barely heard her across the space between them. She ripped her eyes away from the view of his whole body slumping and winced when he choked out a cry of protest.

With a faked confidence, Marley stepped down the remaining stairs and towards her bags. Joe stayed frozen in his spot, trying to calm the burning in his chest at the new pressure that had just been laid on him. His eyes were strained, trying to keep back tears. She began gathering her bags and he shook his head, he wouldn't let her go this easily. Not without a fight.

"No!" He yelled from his spot, still at the front door, finally taking a deep breath. His unwanted tears fell from his eyes and he angrily swiped them away.

"Joe..." She spoke softly, begging him not to make this hard on her. Their eyes met for a brief moment but she looked away, not being able to bear the sadness that his carried.

All was quiet for a few moments while she got her things together and Joe tried to process the entirety of the situation in his mind and figure out what he could do. Marley sniffled back tears as she pulled out the handle of her rolling suitcase as slow as possible, not ready to be parted from his presence yet.

"You can't do this Marley, you can't go!" His voice startled her as he stormed to where she was, pressing his forehead against hers. All the breath left her lungs at the closeness of their bodies. This is what she needed. She needed him close to her.

"You promised you'd never leave me." He spoke so softly now, moving his hands up to cup her neck, softly stroking his fingers across the surface. Vulnerability filled his voice and she felt her heart faltering at the sound.

She stepped back, her heart aching more and more, with each inch that separated them. She watched his eyes stay the same, heartbroken and glossed over, but his face changed to anger when he realized he couldn't talk her out of this.

"You can't!" His voice rose. "You promised me forever!" He grabbed her hands.

"And you promised you'd always be here." Her voice rose in anger at his stubbornness, and she snatched her hands away. "I can'ta33;”" Her voice broke as a breathy sob pushed from her throat, cascading tears down her cheeks, "I can't sit here and wait for you anymore." She cried. "It hurts every second I'm not with you and waiting for you to come back to me. I'm dying inside and I have to get out before I have nothing left."

His head dropped and he stopped making advances towards her. "You're giving up on us?" He asked, his eyes focused on his shoes. "After everything?"

"That's why it's so hard." She whispered. "This will never go away. I need to do this for myself. I feel like I'm putting my life on hold, waiting for you...waiting until you get done living your dream and actually have time for me. Waiting until they don't want you and your brothers anymore and you can finally settle down. Then what? I wait 'til then, when you can finally admit we're together, and we get married, have a few kids and live happily ever after?"

"Is that so bad?" He looked up at her, his brown eyes begging her to give in.

"Listen to yourself!" She threw her hands up in frustration. "What about me, Joe?" She cried out, "What about what I want? My dreams. Huh?"

"What about you? You're all I think about! Every single second I'm not with you, you're on my mind!"

"It's not enough!" She yelled. "I can't even be with you." Her voice cracked. "Damnit!" She clenched her fist, hating that she was breaking down like this.

"You can't blame that on me--"

"I'm not blaming anyone Joe. It's just how it is. The only time we can be together is cooped up in this apartment." She gestured to the walls around her.

"I like it here."

"You like that you can't hold my hand when we're walking our dog? You like that we can't leave here at the same time because God forbid someone takes a picture of us together?" She heaved out a sigh, already exhausted from fighting with him, "We can't be together, Joe. Not while you're under Hollywood's thumb." She spoke sadly.

He cringed at the sound of her voice that dripped with sadness. It was all coming down on her. It'd finally hit her and she couldn't take it anymore.

"I'll quit." he stepped towards her. "I'll quit everything and we can be together."

"Joe." She shook her head and allowed his advances as he stepped cautiously towards her, finally taking her tiny hands in his. The tears still poured from her eyes and he brushed his thumbs across her cheeks, trying to stop them.

"I'll do it, Marley." He said softly.

"I know you would, but I can't let you do that." She whispered. "I won't be responsible for cutting your dream short or ruining it for your brothers."

She flinched back when he let out a roar of frustration and jumped away from her, pushing his hands into his hair. "What the fuck do you want, Marley?!"

A loud sob escaped her lips as she watched him break down and she covered her hands over her face in a lame attempt to muffle her sobs.

"Don't you get it?" His voice was louder now, "I'd do anything for you!"

She let her hands drop from her face to hang limply by her sides. "I know." She choked when her eyes met his again. And that's what scared her most. She knew if she asked, it'd all be over with. He'd quit the band and they'd shack up together like they've always wanted. But what about Nick? What about Kevin? What about Joe? If Joe was done, they were all done. This was the peak of their career and she refused to be the one to bring them down.

A silence fell over them and everything was still, just his brown eyes locked onto her blue ones, tears flowing from both.

She finally blinked when she saw him move. He marched up to her and in his last ditch effort, pressed his lips against hers. She whimpered and didn't respond for a few seconds, trying to fight him off, knowing this would only make it harder.

When he didn't give up, she gave in, pressing her body closer to his and returning his hungry kisses. Her arms twined around him as she pulled herself closer to him. When she couldn't breathe anymore, she broke the kiss and he wasted no time, moving to her neck and up to her ear.

"Tell me you don't love me." He whispered.

She hugged him tighter, pushing her face into his neck to muffle the sob that escaped, worsening the tears that had never stopped. She couldn’t admit to falling out of love with him… She loved him more than anything, and he knew that just as well as she did. The quiet moments passed of him holding her as tight as he could in the middle of the living room, both of their suitcases littering the floor, he was silently hoping and planning, thinking of ways to make her stay.

More than anything he wanted to show her how much he loved her, how much he needed her. In one swift movement, she was lifted in his arms, she didn't resist, just leaned into him and threw all her inhibitions aside, after imagining having him here for the past couple of weeks, he was actually here, within her reach, and she couldn't let go...not yet.

Carefully, he climbed the staircase leading to their bedroom. Once there, he laid her down on the plush comforter, loosing contact with her for mere seconds, before he was laying his body over hers, holding back a sigh of relief when she willingly let her knees fall apart and arms open for him to be closer to her.

Nothing was said, all the communication they needed was passed through their eyes. He leaned down, softly brushing his lips against hers, and going in again when she didn't object, pressing his lips fully against hers.

She sighed into his mouth, moving her hand to the back of his neck and parting her lips, asking him to deepen the kiss. His tongue found hers without a second thought and he pushed all his feelings into making her see, and more importantly making her feel how much he loved her.

Her hands fell to the hem of his shirt and she let her fingers toy with the fabric before sliding her hands underneath and gliding up his back, feeling his muscles tense and relax under her fingers, breaking the kiss to pull it over his head. She didn't get to enjoy the view, as his lips descended back onto hers before she could even think of taking a peek at him.

She let her fingers wander, lightly scratching his chest ever so slowly, all the way down to the too-low waistband of his jeans and back up to his shoulders. He pulled back and sucked a breath in through his teeth, watching a teasing glint sparkle in her still teary eyes.

Heartbreak was still written all over her face and across her eyes but he didn't stop. He wanted to make this better. Her eyes were bluer than he's ever seen them and he hated they were that way because of her tears, her hair was untamed and halfway curly, spread around her flushed face. He'd never seen her look so gorgeous to him as she did at that moment.

As her fingers continued their pattern she felt him hardening in between her legs and in one quick movement, she lifted her hips from the bed, rocking them against his before she plopped the short distance back on the bed.

He groaned in her neck, reconnecting their lips and blindly reaching for the bottom of her shirt, pulling it over her head and reaching for the clasp of her bra.

"Don't leave me." He whispered in her ear, kissing a trail down her neck.

She squeezed her eyes shut at his words, focusing instead on the way his lips were moving across her chest, making her head fog over with lust as she moaned softly at the feeling.

He slid down, unsnapping the button of her jeans, reaching back and pulling off her boots before shimmying the tight fabric down her thighs. He stood from his place on the bed, pulling her jeans the rest of the way off her legs and unbuckling his thin belt, letting his own jeans pool around his ankles on the floor.

In seconds, he was pressed against her again, only 2 layers of their thin underwear separating them from the deepest expression of love that they'd only shared with each other. When she gave herself to him for the first time, the night of her 19th birthday, she never had plans to make love to another man ever again and he’d made it special for her each time since then.

His lips pressed softly against hers and she worked her small hands down his chest, reaching his boxer briefs, and watching his eyes as she planted a kiss on his chin, delving further and slipping her hand past the waistband. When she could no longer take the waiting, she slipped them down his legs, letting him kick them off.

He slid her small underwear off and she watched him gulp as he took in the sight of her bare body. She couldn't miss the love or adoration shining in his eyes or the passion of the moment she knew burned deep within him. Tears returned to her eyes and there was no stopping them.

Ever so slowly, with his eyes locked on hers, he made them one, his lips brushed over her face, in a feeble attempt to kiss away her tears that proved to be useless at the rate they were falling. She pulled him closer to her, slipping her hands across his shoulders to rest on his back, feeling his muscles tense as he braced his arms on either side of her.

"Make love to me Joseph." The words escaped her lips before she could stop them and she found herself not regretting them one bit.

He did just that. And he didn't stop until they saw the day had turned to night, and the stars had started to twinkle in the dark sky. As he pushed her over the edge one last time that night, she shamelessly declared her love for him while her body basked in the waves of pleasure taking over her before they were both wiped out from pure exhaustion, falling into a deep slumber, their bodies and hearts still intertwined.
And now we're too far gone
Hope is such a waste
Every breath you take
You give me the burden's bitter taste
You promised that you'd stay
You say you want to go
Your lips provide a shelter to the
Things that I don't know

Please speak slowly
My heart is learning
Teach me heartache
Stop this burning now

Wishful thinking
Patience shrinking
Bliss is far away
North is callin'
Now I'm fallin'
At your feet
Please stay
Chapter End Notes:
Song: I Think About You Everyday - A Rocket To The Moon.
Weren't expecting that?
I was...it's been planned from the beginning...this chapter was written before Chapter 1 was.

Now the question is, were Joe's efforts enough? Will she stay or will she go?
Stay tuned...
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