Jay stood on the balcony of the cabin the team had rented for their New Year's vacation. It was just a few minutes before midnight and he couldn't help but think of all the crazy things that had happened to them that year. He also couldn't help but wonder. Was this going to be the year that he finally spoke up? The year that he finally said what was in his heart? The year that he finally told Hailey just how much she really meant to him and that he wanted more?
He'd known it for a while. Felt it in every bone in his body. But it wasn't until Hailey was sent to New York that he finally admitted to himself that he was in love. He thought he had felt it before, with Erin, but he came to realize that he was never in love with her like he was with Hailey. Now he was wondering if it was worth risking their incredible partnership and amazing friendship to tell her how he really felt. They had both done the whole workplace romance thing before and while it crashed and burned for both of them, he wondered if this time might be different.
He heard the door open behind him and turned to see the person on his mind coming out. "Hey, you okay? You seemed kind of quiet earlier and then you disappeared."
"Yeah, I'm good," he said looking back at her. "Just had a few things on my mind. Thought I would come out here to try and clear my head."
"Did it work?" asked Hailey as she came to stand next to him at the railing, shoulders touching.
"I don't know," Jay replied looking down at her as she looked out at the lake and the stars. He loved looking at her when she didn't realize he was. Her blue eyes were shining from the light of the stars and her hair moved softly in the light breeze. In that moment he realized just how beautiful she really was and he wondered what would happen if he just told her.
They could hear the countdown of their friends inside. In just 10 seconds it would be 2021. A new year. A new start. A new relationship? He looked down at her as she looked up at him. Just as the countdown reached 0, they both leaned in and hesitantly touched their lips to the other. It was a kiss filled with questions and uncertainty. They pulled back slightly and gazed into each others' eyes, small smiles on both of their lips as they realized they had finally crossed that line. They had gone from partners and friends to more than that. While they would have to talk about this at some point, Jay knew that he could finally stop wondering what they meant to each other. Instead he began to wonder what their future would look like, together.
But for tonight, he was content to stop wondering and just be. Be with the woman he had long ago realized was his life, his future, and his everything.