I slowly regained consciousness and found myself in someone's arms. Their hold on me was warm and loving. I felt a soft cushioning underneath me and couldn't hear the hussle and bussle of people around me so I assumed I was in a private room of some sort on a couch. I could hear a man saying to me "Quinn? Quinn, are you alright?" Their hand lightly brushed my forehead and kept whispering to me with soothing words.
As much as I tried to make this figure out, it was as if the light was too much for me and it was almost blinding; I could only make out the outline of the body.
'Are you alright?' he asked me.
I tried to mumble a reply but couldn't make out any English words. I heard him chuckle and put a finger to my lips.
'As long as you're alright now,' he said.
The touch of his finger felt very familiar yet I couldn't figure out who it was. I shut my eyes and groaned, my head still hurting from the embarassing collapse in the middle of the walkway. The mysterious man cuddled me to his chest and then gently placed me down on the couch so he could get up. He disappeared through a doorway and I groaned even more as I tried to get my eyesight once again.
I tried looking around the room and found it to be unfamiliar. I saw lockers, a big whiteboard and several other curious things you wouldn't find in a place of residence. I knew I wasn't at someone's home and from what I noticed, I assumed I was in a backroom of a workplace.
Where was I? Who was my saviour?
I forced myself to sit up and I threw my head down into my knees with my eyes shut tightly. My head was still in pain and my eyes were still readjusting to sight but I was feeling better.
'You probably shouldn't sit up,' that soothing voice reappeared.
I felt his weight come down next to me and he pressed a cold glass of water next to my hand. I brought my head up and took the glass off him with my eyes shut; I took a long sip of water and gave it back to him. I felt his arm wrap around my body and I soon felt that familiar warmth.
The smell was very familiar and was very intriguing; it was sweetly masculine and I found it to be very attractive.
The feel of him around me was also very familiar in that I was in this position several times before.
This was the one, I finally realised. This was the man I truly loved.
Slowly, my eyes fluttered open and the blinding light had disappeared and my eyes were readjusting to the normal colours of the room. I looked over to my rescuer and sighed with relief when I saw who it was.
'Oh Duke,' I whispered softly, 'please don't let me go.'
'I wouldn't dare,' he mumbled in reply.
The feeling of love washed over me like a wave crashing onto shore and I finally put myself into perspective. Yaz, as much as I adored him, was a fuckbuddy that I grew to like but nothing more. What I thought was love that I had for him was just an adoration. Roman, as much as I admired him and was infatuated with him, was a wedge between the real love of my life and myself and was the one I shamelessly used to get back at him.
But Duke was the real thing. Never before had I felt so many emotions about someone else. Never before had I felt such love and amazement with one single person. Duke was the one.
'I love you, Duke Erving,' I whispered.
'And I love you, Quinn Halliwell' he replied simply.
After I had gathered my senses, Duke helped me up and walked me out to his car. This was the time of repair. I had to apologise to both Roman and Yaz and attempt to repair my relationship with them. Duke had also made a decision on telling Maria about us.
First, I managed to find Yaz in his apartment and invited myself in, knowing that he rarely ever locked the door. He saw me walk in and stared at me with curiosity.
'Listen, Yaz, I'll make this short and sweet - I humbly apologise for using you for sex and for getting back at Duke and I'm sorry I made you feel things for me I never intended to happen.'
Yaz nodded his head, stood up and approached me slowly. I watched as he finally stretched out his arms and offered me a hug which I gladly accepted.
'Thank you for that,' he said softly, 'not many people would have the balls to do that.'
After clearing everything out with Yaz and telling him that I was certain Duke was the one, he wished me well and insisted that we remain friends with which I was happy with. Duke made his way back to his apartment to speak to Maria while I went back to my house to speak with Roman.
I ventured into my house cautiously and nearly fainted again when I saw Roman looking very handsome speaking with Sophia in the lounge room.
'Hi, Sophia, could I please speak with Roman privately for a moment?'
Sophia ducked out of the room and I sat down next to Roman, close but not close enough that he would take it the wrong way.
'I have something to tell you,' he said before I could.
'Oh, really, what?'
'Well, my contract over here's nearly finished which means I have to go back to America,' he began, 'but I want to know if you'd like to come back with me and live with me?'
I was glad I was sitting down because I probably would have fainted if I was standing up. The glimmer of hope in Roman's eye was heartbreaking and I knew this apology would be a thousand times harder than the one I used on Yaz.
'Listen, Roman, you're an amazing guy and anyone would be lucky to have you but I'm afraid I'm going to have to turn that down. I'm really sorry, Roman, my place at this time is here... with Duke.'
Roman shook his head almost as if he was in angry disbelief and he stood up with his arms crossed over his chest.
'He doesn't love you like I do Quinn!' he exclaimed.
'You don't know that,' I replied, somewhat shocked at Roman's response.
'He left you to be with another woman that he's going to marry next week! He obviously didn't care when he ignored you for that whole time! Who was here for you, picking up the pieces? I was! Quinn, you can't do this!'
I would be lying if I said what Roman just told me didn't get me thinking. But I shook my disbelief out of my system and continued to argue his point.
'We've made up over that and we've realised how much we love each other,' I replied calmly, 'please don't be this way, Roman. I really like you and I want to stay friends but-'
'I love you, Quinn. I can't be just friends with you,' he said significantly softer. I could see the emotion in his face and it nearly tore me in half seeing his reaction to this.
'I'm sorry Roman,' I whispered.
I extended my hand out for Roman to take but he brushed it away and disappeared from the room. I sat in silence looking down at the carpet as my mind tried to figure out what had just happened. I didn't have enough time before Roman appeared with what was soon revealed to be a plane ticket.
'He can't love you like I do,' he mumbled.
He placed it in my hands before strutting out of the house, slamming the door shut behind him. I looked down at it and saw that it was a one-way ticket back to Hawaii. I shed a tear as I thought about Roman's feelings for me and how I toyed with them for my sick pleasure. I would never forgive myself if Roman done something because of this.
My mind wasn't fixated on him long because I soon received a call from Duke, telling me to make an appearance to his apartment immediately.
When I arrived, I walked in awkwardly as I saw Duke and Maria with their body language suggesting that they weren't very happy with each other.
'Duke's leaving me for you,' Maria snapped as soon as she saw me, 'I hope you're happy'.
'Maria, please calm down,' Duke said softly.
Maria took Duke's advice and attempted to calm herself down by dramatically inhaling and exhaling and dropped her head onto her hands as she stared a hole through the floor. Duke looked at me with a forced half-smile on his face as we both looked at Maria with sorrowful expressions.
'I knew this was going to happen,' we heard Maria say, 'I could see it in your eyes, Duke. The way you look at him. I never saw you look at me that way and I just knew this was going to happen so I can't say I blame you.'
I dared to walk over to Maria and after a brief hesitation, I placed my hand on her shoulder which she neither brushed off nor accepted so I took it off and went to stand next to Duke.
'What about our wedding?' Maria said, lifting her head revealing the tears that had just come out, 'everything's been paid for and I don't think you can get a refund this late in the game.'
'Well,' Duke said as if he had previously thought this out, 'I have an idea for that.'
I was too busy looking at Maria when Duke got in front of me and pulled out a ring box from his pocket. my mouth fell open and I leaned back on the kitchen counter behind me and stared at Duke in shock as he got down on one knee and flipped the ring box open revealing the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.
This was not happening. This was not fucking happening.
'Quinn Halliwell, I love you and I'm not afraid to let anyone know. I know that now. I know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I know that I want to wake up every morning with you next to me in our bed. I know that I want to grow old with you and father children with you. Quinn Halliwell, will you do me the major honour of being my life partner but most importantly, will you marry me?'
[AUTHOR'S NOTE: gay marriage is still regrettably not legal in Australia but just go along with it ;)]