Impulse: Book Four

MOVING ON

"Impulse: A sudden inclination or urge"

The American Heritage dictionary

By Mezzo

DISCLAIMERS: (see INSTALLMENT ONE)

Copyright: Copyright 2002 by Mezzo All Rights Reserved

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INSTALLMENT THIRTEEN

INSTALLMENT FOURTEEN

Tori grabbed her coat and found Cole waiting patiently outside. He turned just as she approached and gave her a big warm smile. Besides her immediate family, there were few people in the past few years that Tori had come to depend on. She had locked herself away from the possibility of running into Brett by moving to London. And besides her immediate family, only Cole had really kept in touch with her in the years since she had left home. Watching him look at her as she approached reminded her of the many times that he had comforted her in her loneliness, advised her in her business dealings, and encouraged her in her endeavors. This man so willingly offered her his heart, his mind, and his soul. It tore her up inside to not be able to return his love fully. It really is true that you can't choose who it is you love. Although Tori did love Cole very much, she wasn't in love with him and that made all the difference. They had shared their first experience with each other and had been there to see each other through some difficult times. Up until that moment, Tori had never needed to explain to Cole her actions or put aside their relationship because of someone else. When they were together, they were together. They knew that when they were apart they could find comfort in someone else's arms. Something told Tori that Cole wasn't as interested in this arrangement as he led her to believe. She knew that he harbored deep feelings for her and secretly hoped that they would be together again. Unfortunately, that was never going to happen and with a tinge of sadness, Tori took a deep breath and resigned herself to the difficult task at hand. It was time to let Cole Crawford go.

"Hey beautiful. I finally have you all to myself." Cole took Tori in his arms and they shared an embrace. He was startled to feel how tightly Tori was holding him and pulled away to look at her face. He was surprised to see her crying. He could count how many times he had seen her cry and didn't have a clue as to why she would feel so inclined now.

"Hey, why the water works?" He wiped away the tears and he kissed her on the forehead. "You can't possibly have missed me that much?" Cole ducked his head to get a better look at Tori's beautiful blue eyes.

Tori smiled and shook her head. She was so blessed to have so many people that loved her and hated to hurt them.

"I did miss you. You big lug. You've lost a bit of weight-." Tori patted Cole on the stomach.

"Yeah, I haven't been eating as well as I should. These past few months away in Asia were a real bear. I can't tell you how glad I am to have that over with." Cole rubbed Tori's arms to make sure she wasn't cold. "You warm enough? You want my jacket?" Cole was so sweet. He was going to make someone very happy someday.

"I'm fine, thanks. Listen Cole. There's something I have to tell you." Tori looked into Cole's gorgeous face and saw the concern immediately fill his eyes.

"Is everything okay? I keep getting the feeling that people are hiding something from me. Every time I bring up your name, they get this funny look on their face. Tori-.what's going on? You're not sick or something? Honey-.whatever it is, you can tell me. I'll do whatever I can to help." Tori felt like she was three inches tall. Why did Cole have to be so damn nice?

"Everything's fine. It's just that-How do I say this-.." Tori looked to Cole for help.

"Sweetie you just say it. There is nothing you can't tell me. We've always been honest with each other. That hasn't changed." Cole knew that Tori had led a very different life than what many had thought. He knew that she had seen other people and she had told him years ago that she had been with a few women as well. It truly did not matter to him. He loved her and just wanted to see her happy. He had his share of female companionship, but it never diminished his feelings for her. He would do anything to ensure her happiness even if it meant seeing her with someone else.

"Cole, I'm -I'm seeing someone." She saw the look of disappointment grace his face but it was too late to turn back now-. not that she wanted to. If she could, she would try to keep from hurting him but she would never deny her love for Brett-.. never in a million years. Not now.

"You are? Is it serious?" Tori nodded her head affirmatively. "Is it someone I know?" Again, Tori nodded her head.

"Okay, well are they here?" Cole looked directly into Tori's eyes and knew that they were. In his mind, there was only one person that could capture Tori's heart so completely. He shook his head and let out a breathe. "Is it Brett?" Tori's head spun up quickly and Cole had his answer. He knew that Tori was in love with someone all these years but he tried to deny it. He had seen her shut herself off from the home that they had grown up in and never ever returned, not even for a visit. He knew how close Brett and Tori were growing up and somehow he just knew it had to be Brett.

"Cole I-" Cole placed a finger over Tori's lips and took her in his arms.

"Shhh-You don't have to explain." Cole was a mixture of disappointment, understanding, and, surprisingly, relief. "If it was anybody else in the world, I'd tear out their heart. I would fight them to the finish for you. But Brett, well she's an entirely different story." Cole's eyes now started to turn red and his voice began to crack. So many of his dreams were built around Victoria and the hope that they would be together someday. Somehow, if he was completely honest with himself, he knew that it was never meant to be. "You've always belonged to her haven't you?" Cole could see the pain in Tori's eyes and knew that this was not an easy admission for her to make.

Tori thought about the question and didn't want to hurt him but he would want the truth and that is what she would give him.

"Yes-Yes, I've always belonged to her." Tori burst into tears and they both cried outside the Montgomery home on this cool March evening.

"Cole-that doesn't mean that you mean any less to me. You were my first and that will always mean so very much." Tori saw the pain in Cole's eyes and knew that his pride was hurt.

"What had -Why did-" It was no use. Cole knew the answers to all his questions. To ask now would just mean pain for the both of them. He knew Tori like the back of his hand and knew that she would never intentionally hurt him. She loved him as much as she possibly could and there was no one to blame. "Tori-Remember that night in the cabin when we made love for the first time?"

"Yes of course I remember, Cole. It will always be a special moment for me." Tori gave Cole a tearful but tender look.

"I told you no matter what happened between us I would always feel blessed because you loved me. I know we have something very special and I've learned to depend on that. To count it whenever things in the world seem less than certain. I know you love Brett and she is beautiful both inside and outside. I'll miss what we have. Especially the-. you know." Cole gave Tori a wink and a cocky grin and Tori rolled her eyes, but smiled.

"But I'm happy for you." Cole tightened his arms around Tori.

"I've been so worried about you, these past few years. You seemed so unhappy and I wished that you could find what it was you were looking for. I've been watching you turn into someone even I couldn't recognize and I can't tell you how sad it made me." He kissed her on the head again and Tori sank into his arms.

"When I saw you walk into the living room earlier. I had never seen you look so beautiful. It's as if that part of you that was missing had returned. You look happy, Tori. You look whole. A part of me wishes that I could have been the one to give you that. But it's so obvious that Brett was the answer all this time." Cole adjusted their position so he could look into Tori's eyes. "I'll always be there for you, Tori. That will never change. I should have known years ago that you were in love with Brett. It isn't that Brett is taking you away from me. It's that she's taking you back. I've been so blessed to have what little I could have of you and I guess I've always known that I was on borrowed time. I'm just so thankful for the time that we did have." Cole wiped away the tears that fell down Tori's beautiful face taking in every contour, every feature. Throughout the years, they had made love countless times and every time Cole felt blessed. The two childhood sweethearts looked tenderly at one another knowing that their time had come to pass. With a wink, Cole graciously let go.

"So now that we've gotten that out of the way, I just have one question for you Tori-."

Tori gave Cole a questioning look not having a clue what Cole might ask.

"How does Brett feel about a threesome?" Tori gave Cole a dirty look and set her jaw. Cole burst into laughter and Tori joined in.

"You are unbelievable you know that? Believe me big boy- you definitely could not handle the both of us. As a matter of fact, you couldn't handle Brett." Tori winked and Cole gave her an inquisitive look.

"Oh really? Is that so? Well it's about time you met your match, Tiger." Cole swept Tori up in an embrace and they just stood there in silence.

"Hey, do you want to go for a walk for a while? I'd like to enjoy being alone with you for a little while longer." Tori said to Cole.

"Sure sweetheart. Can't think of anything else I'd rather do." Cole took Tori's hand and they made their way to the beach.

The two friends laughed for a long time and talked about the many memories that they had shared. It felt good to know their friendship was still intact and they promised to always be friends. Although a part of Cole's heart was breaking, he also felt a weight leave him. He had wanted to be with Tori for so long that he never allowed anyone else in. Now that Tori had found love, he could finally shut the door to the possibility of them being together. He could heal and move on. In time, he would even allow love to come into his life as well.

"Umm Tori? Have you and Brett considered having a family?" Cole waited for a response from Tori and the question took her a little off guard. She thought about the question for a moment and then answered.

"You know- we haven't really discussed it. I know I want children and I know Brett would make a great mom. So I guess we will want to have one. I'm going to have to ask her about that." Tori turned to Cole and wondered why he asked. "Why do you ask?"

Cole put his hands in his pockets and thought about why he had asked the question.

"Well I know that you're very talented Tori. But I don't think you could get Brett pregnant or she you. I just thought that if you ever wanted to start a family, I would like it very much if you thought about me as being a father. I don't know how Brett would feel about it and you of course would have to talk about it. But I would definitely be proud to have either of you as mothers to my kids. Gosh, this is weird. Maybe you should forget I asked." Tori could tell that Cole was blushing even in the moonlight.

Tori laughed at Cole's discomfort but was very touched by the gesture.

"Thanks Cole. I appreciate the offer and you're right. I will have to discuss this with Brett but I think you need to think about what you're offering. If and when you find the girl of your dreams, you might not want to have children with anyone else. They might not like the idea of you having children with someone else. I know you're very generous and I can't tell you how much that means to me, but this isn't something that you just decide in a single moment." Tori turned to Cole for a response and she could see that he was thinking very hard about what she had just said.

"I know what you're saying makes sense and I will think about it carefully, but I don't see myself changing my mind. I've always thought that if you and I were to ever have children they would be fantastic kids. I know that they would definitely be very loved and they would have three sets of the best grandparents on the planet. I know that this is all just talk but I want you to know that I'm here for you. For both of you." Cole looked down at Tori's beautiful face with every ounce of sincerity. He would do anything for Tori and though he had every right to be upset, he willingly offered his love and support instead.

"I know and I promise to keep you in mind. My kids would be very lucky to have you and Brett as parents. Thank you." Tori gave Cole a kiss on the cheek and looked in the direction of the Montgomery estate. They had been outside for over an hour and Brett was probably wondering where they had gone.

"Well what do you say we go find that girl of yours? She must be wondering what the hell we're doing." Cole offered Tori his hand and she took it. Tori gave Cole another big hug and they shared one last tender kiss. She looked up at Cole with tearful eyes and they both knew that what they had shared would never be the same again. It was time that they moved on and mourned the end of an era.

TO BE CONTINUED. Installment Fifteen

Return to the Academy

Impulse: Book Four

MOVING ON