The smile on her face slowly slipped. "What is it? What's wrong?" she asked.
She paused, trying to let Johnny's news sink in.
"I thought you were just going there to retire and close up your apartment!"
All the dreams she had of rocking with him on her porch when they were old and gray were slowly disappearing. If she wanted to stay with him, she would need to leave the only home she'd ever known and follow him to Bridgeport.
She held her breath, waiting for his answer.
Johnny's heart twisted. He jumped up to follow her, reaching out to grab her. "Haley..." he said, hoping to somehow smooth this over and make it work. "Wait... come on, let's talk about this..."
Johnny rubbed the back of his neck. "Christ, forget about Bridgeport!" he said. "I don't have to go back!"
"You can't just wave a wand and pretend you don't want it." she snapped, turning from him. "And I can't think about it with you here!"
"Fine," he said angrily, wiping the dirt from his hands on his jeans, he stalked away from the garden. "Come find me when you're ready to talk."
What was she going to do?
Jason immediately grinned. "What do you want to see?" Really, he could care less. He'd watch anything for a chance to sit in the back of the movie theater with her in his arms. "Hey, Rio, you coming?" he asked.
Jason glanced over his shoulder. "Hey, wait, I need to get the tickets first," he told her, pointing towards the distracted movie attendant.
Vita grinned wickedly. "Nah, he knows me. He lets me in for free," she bragged. "Come on!" she said, slipping through the ropes. "Let's go!"
Jason hurried after her. Hot damn, that was his girlfriend! he thought, impressed by how she could make things happen.
Best. Movie. Ever!
"Nope. Life's not fair," he agreed, thinking of his stupid fight with Haley. "But, sometimes you have to take your life into your own hands. If you and Nadine love each other, then what her dad says shouldn't matter. Sometimes you have to fight for your love." He raked his hand across his face. Christ. He had to talk to Haley. "You okay?"
"Yeah," Rio nodded absently. A plan was already starting to take shape.
Johnny stood and quickly headed up the stairs.
"I can't believe you did that! In the movie theater!" she hissed angrily, slapping his hand when he moved to cuddle with her again. She was Vita Alto! Nobody groped her without her permission!
"Nobody can see anything back here!" he told her, itching to take her back in his arms.
Some lady in front of them turned around and shushed them loudly.
Johnny closed his eyes, overwhelmed by how much he loved this woman. "We'll talk about it and make it all work," he promised.
"I know, we'll make it work together," she agreed.
"Nadine!" he whispered loudly, motioning for her to open the window.
Nadine looked up and smiled radiantly when she saw him. Smoothing her shirt, she hurried to the window. "Rio! I'm so glad you're here! I've been trying to get Vita to send you a message!"
Rio climbed through the open window and started to pull her into his arms. She smiled again and took a step back.