Here is the final chapter. Will Catherine and Steve reconcile?
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He raced through the streets of Oahu. His destination was clear as his thoughts where now filled with guilt and remorse. "How could I have been so stupid?" He asked himself. "I should have known that neither of them would ever do that to me. I hope it's not too late"
She sat on the rocks and looked out onto the water. This was the second time she found herself in the same location. She pondered the same thoughts. "I should have told him." as the guilt encompassed her mind. She felt bad for not telling him about the project with Danny and Grace." I should have never agreed to do it. Even if he believes that nothing happened with Danny, he's going to be upset about his career being put on display; His life being put on display. He will never forgive me for lying to him, again. I am so stupid; I should have listened to my gut and not Danny. I just can't believe that he could even suspect that I would cheat on him. The fact that he thought I would, how could he?"
He parked the truck next to her car and sat in observation for a few minutes. "She's so beautiful" was all he could think as he observed her.
She wore her favorite denim shorts and a plaid shirt as her knees where clenched in her arms. Her long black hair frolicked in the breeze. She was rocking back and forth and he could see the glimmer of the tears on her face.
He approached with caution, trying desperately not to startle her. She acknowledged his presence only after he took a seat next to her.
"I'm sorry" He said as he looked directly into her eyes
"You should be" She responded curtly
"That's not fair. What was I supposed to think?" He raised his voice slightly and defensively
"Don't…" she paused trying to maintain her composure "I mean… I don't know, but you weren't supposed to think that we were…." She stopped herself.
"I'm sorry, I should have trusted you" He continued to glare into her eyes
She looked away "the thought should have never crossed your mind" she stood up to leave
"I'm sorry" He stood up and grabbed her arm stopping her from taking another step.
She looked at his hand on her arm "Let go. You don't trust me"
"You were lying to me" He insisted
"I did it for Grace!" She shouted
"You should have said no. You know how I feel about my time in the Navy!" he shouted back at her
"Yeh, I do, but we are all proud of you. That little girl admires you and she wanted to honor you. I kept the information as general as possible. I did my best to respect your wishes, but you deserve this" she was choking on her words.
"Cath" he approached her as he saw the despair on her face
"No, Steve, I have always had your back. I have continually gone out of my way for you. I have risked my career and my life for you. Damn it Steve, I snuck into North Korea for you. I almost got killed for you. Yet, you don't trust me. What do I have to do for you to trust me?" She was upset and disappointed
"Cath" Steve reached for her hand
She pulled away "If you don't trust me with Danny, how can you trust me with the three thousand sailors that I work with each day? I need you to trust me" she insisted
"Everyone I trust, betrays me eventually. I have trust issues, you know that." He composed himself "You point that out to me often enough" He smirked trying to win her back with his charm
"This is not funny, I know all about your trust issues, but with Danny? Can't you give me more credit than that?" she responded
"I'm sorry. I guess I haven't completely gotten over what happened with Doris" he said again
"Steve, I told you, I made a promise. Yes, I should have told you. I regret the whole thing, but in all fairness to me, I thought I was protecting you." Catherine became defensive
"I don't need your protection, I need you to be honest and straight with me" he protested
"I witnessed her torture a man! I was scared, ok!" the words poured out of her mouth, she did not want to reveal her true motive, she was simply scared.
Steve was startled by her revelation. Catherine was not one to admit her vulnerabilities. He had seen a glimpse of this when she apologized for keeping Doris' secret, but today's revelation seemed epiphanal.
"I understand" he lowered his tone and moved closer to her "I said I forgive you, I'm sorry I didn't give you the benefit of the doubt. I do trust you, Cath, I was stupid, and I overreacted"
"Steve, I am so sorry that I lied to you, but I need to know that you trust me all the time. Not just when you need to trust me. I can't have you assaulting every guy I talk to or doubting where I am when I am not with you. I can't have you doubting everything I say to you. It doesn't work that way" she pleaded
"In all fairness, you were half naked" he couldn't help but defend his actions
"Half naked? I was wearing a shirt that was longer than most of my dresses" she defended herself
"But it was Danny's shirt" he responded back
"Because that klutz spilled juice all over my dress" she retorted
"I'm sorry" he said again
"You don't get it. You keep saying that you are sorry, but that is not what I need to hear" she didn't want to be so needy. Forcing a proclamation out of him was not her intention, but she needed to know if he was capable of it.
He turned his back to her, looking out at the horizon; he whispered "I love you"
"What? I can't hear you" she heard him perfectly fine, but needed him to say it directly to her
"I said, I love you, Ok? Are you happy now?" he shouted as he turned to face her
"Wow! That was just … wow. You know, forget about it. I am the one who is sorry. I am sorry for ever believing that you had it in you to allow anyone to get close to you. Good bye Steven" she stormed off to where her car was parked
Steve stood for a second until what he said and how he said it had registered "I am such an idiot" he thought to himself
"Cath! Wait!" he ran after her
Grabbing her arm and pinning her to her car, he leaned into her and with a sudden movement kissed her. "I love you"
He glared into her eyes. "You know…, someone once told me that you and I were the real deal and that I better not mess it up. I was reminded again today, well, I did mess it up, and I am trying to fix it. I am truly sorry. I love you. I really do love you. I have for a very long time; it's just difficult for me to admit it. I'm scared that I am going to mess things up, but I will keep saying it until you believe me."
Catherine tried to back away, but his grip was too tight "Steve, you don't have to" as the tears began to flood her eyes
" I love you. I was jealous and stupid and I love you. I need you in my life, because I love you. Please forgive me… because I love you" he continued, not allowing her to get a word in, until she placed her finger on his lips.
She couldn't help but smile at his relentless proclamations, "I love you too and I am sorry for going behind your back, I will never do that again" she reached her hand and grabbing the nape of his neck leaned in and kissed him passionately.
Steve never questioned his trust when it came to Danny and Catherine again. At that moment he knew that these were the two most important people in his life and they always will be. Danny's reaffirmation of his deceased friend's words brought it closer to reality. Once his thoughts cleared and after careful deliberation, he realized how foolish his accusations were. He trusted Danny with his life and Catherine has proven herself time after time, without ever expecting anything in return. Sure they played this little game of "you will owe me", but he knew deep down in his heart that they loved him and he loved them in return; in reality, he trusted them with all his heart.
So, what do you all think? Did Steve and Cath handle things properly. Did either of them give in too easily? Or does true love always win?