2006 in another world

"Tell me to wait for you. Say those words, and I will."

John's heart was beating so hard against his ribcage that he thought it was going to escape. Just standing here with Jessica was plain torture. He hadn't seen her in three years, and he had fooled himself into thinking he was over her. But the truth was, he wasn't. His love for her was just as strong as it had always been, and will always be. But it was precisely because he loved her so much that he couldn't ask her to wait for him. Especially now that she was engaged. She was moving on. And it was his fault.

Not to mention that he had been specifically instructed to cut all ties from his previous life. He couldn't ask her to wait for him. But what if she would?

"You would?" he asked tentatively. "You'd wait for me?"

Her gaze sparkled with hope a brief moment. She would, he knew she would. Which was just making it harder.

He shouldn't ask her to wait. It wouldn't be fair to her. And he would be disobeying a direct order…

"Wait for me," he breathed despite himself.

A beautiful smile illuminated her face. She let go of her suitcase and taking his head in her hands, she kissed him passionately.

"I love you," she whispered.

"I love you too."

John was torn apart by contradictory feelings. The relief that he hadn't lost the love of his life and the guilt that he was starting his new job on a very wrong foot.

"They won't let us stay in touch," he said quickly. "And we shouldn't. It wouldn't be safe for any of us. We'll have to both pretend we've cut ties. Keep up appearances."

He could see the tears rising in her eyes as she nodded her understanding.

"I'll wait for you," she said in a shaky voice.

"I'll come back, I promise." He bent over and kissed her. "I love you, Sweetheart. Always will."