Here's the last part.

Put a Ring on It
3/3

"How did you find me?" She asks as with a sigh as she senses his presence. She doesn't even have to look up and actually see him to feel him.

He sits down beside her at the bar. "Well, I literally looked everywhere else for you in town. Rodi's was the last place on the list."

She remembers a time they would have found each other right away with no problem. A time when they were of one heart and one mind. It breaks her knowing that they aren't connected that way anymore. At least, that's how it feels to her – like there's a huge divide between them.

She says nothing as he watches her. "So what's your plan, Kel?" he asks. "To sit here all night and get sauced?"

"Basically. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm only half 'sauced'. Gotta aways to go yet…"

"Kelly, I am not going to sit here and watch you drink yourself into a coma."

"You have the option to leave," Kelly returns as she puts the glass to her lips. "Isn't Aubrey waiting anyway?"

She sounds so bitter even to her own ears, and he immediately calls her on it the way only he can. "Stop that, Kelly. You're not yourself right now. This isn't you."

"Well, excuse me if I am a tad bit embarrassed by the whole situation that went down in your room. I mean, I actually assumed you wanted me after all this time and –" She breaks off as he gives her a soft look.

"Kel, that's the problem – I do want you," Joey says and she nearly drops her drink in surprise; her hand is shaking so badly.

She finds her voice and her words are still bitter. "You mean you want me against your own will – is that what you're trying to say? That's so nice to know, Joey. What a burden on your impossibly broad shoulders…"

"Kelly, come on. It's not like that and you know it. The problem is I was dating another woman; I was about to propose to her –"

"Was?" She asks, arching an eyebrow. "You're not …"

"No. I broke off things. The second you walked out of the room, I realized I absolutely could not marry Aubrey. That I didn't want to. If anyone ever gets a ring from me, it's going to be you, Kelly. You're the one I want, Kelly, the only one I have ever wanted and I was a fool to let you walk out thinking I didn't care."

She can't find her voice so she reaches for her drink again, but he takes her hand before she can. "Say something, Kelly, please."

"I'm shocked," she answers. "You wanted to marry Aubrey and –"

"I did, but not because I was madly in love with her, Kelly. I wasn't even infatuated, to be honest. It was a knee-jerk reaction; born of complete insanity. I wanted to forget you. I wanted to put you in the past before I returned to Llanview, but I can't. I never could because you have my heart. I just thought my brother would always be it for you."

"God, Joey," she murmurs. "I adore Kevin, but I'm not in love with him, and I guess I never really have been. It was always you for me. I ran from you because I believed eventually you would leave me, and I wanted to cut the apron strings before it could hurt any worse. I fell in love with you more and more each second…"

"I did leave you," Joey said. "All your fears came true, and I promised I was the one person who would never hurt you. And I did. I'm so sorry, Kel."

"I hurt you too, Joey. In unforgivable ways …"

Joey shakes his head. "I was angry for a really long time; I admit that, but that's over. I am ready to move forward and embrace whatever comes our way … Assuming you want that too…"

Kelly's eyes moisten with fresh tears. "Do you even have to ask? Of course I want that."

Joey smiles then. "Me too. I want you, Kelly. You've always been the one. The only one." He leans over and kisses her tentatively on the lips. Soon the kiss is growing in passion and urgency.

Kelly pulls away first, panting almost, her breath coming in short puffs. "Wow… Did that really just happen?"

"Yeah, I think so." He kisses her again with all the passion and longing inside of him.

When they pull apart, Kelly thumbs his cheek. "There are a helluva lot of promises in that kiss, Joe."

"And I promise I will live up to every one of them," Joey said, threading their fingers. "Say you believe that."

"I do, Joey, I do."

FINIS