... ... ...
Each time we meet love
I find complete love
Without your sweet love what would life be?
... ... ...
To say she is surprised when he asks her to dance could be considered an understatement. 'Shocked' fits more aptly; with some confusion, some wonder, some absolute delight thrown into the mix. That's a lot for one mind to process in the space of a split second and so here they are in an almost embarrassing freeze frame. His arm is outstretched, his hand offered to her, while she is staring at it like she has never seen a hand before, or even heard of the concept of one.
They have about two seconds before the delay could be classed as humiliating.
It's not so much the gesture that has her motionless and speechless. Eighteen months ago, yes, she would have keeled over from the force of her shock if this had happened. But now, it's not so out of place. It's not the intimacy of what he is offering; it's not where they are or who is around them; it's not even the fact that he thought of this himself without any prompting. It is the song. Or, in this case, the music. Tonight it is simply a piano, in the past it has been Elvis; Willie Nelson, and, once, Nina Simone.
It is the song.
It is their song.
So it's not simply that he is asking. It's that he is asking now. He hasn't asked her to dance to any of the previous fourteen pieces the pianist has expertly delivered during the evening.
Eventually her eyes flick up to meet his, terrified, yet excited, to see what they'll find there. His eyebrows rise, as if to say that this was her idea so why is it now taking her so long to get out of the chair? She quickly thinks back and she's pretty certain this was not her suggestion. There had been a surge of hope the instant she recognised the tune, but she has learned to trample down surges of hope when it comes to Will.
He's still waiting and, by now, it must look odd to anyone who has noticed. Surely he should have given up by now; he has clearly been rejected. She quickly places her hand in his, realising she was foolish to give him time to change his mind; but relishing the fact that he didn't.
He smiles and, before he turns to lead her to the dance floor, she thinks she sees a flash of relief.
Amongst the other couples they fall naturally together, his hand on her waist; hers on his shoulder, while the other is enclosed securely in his and rested just above his heart. His eyes capture hers once more and they sway and they smile and she knows they are both singing the lyrics in their head.
It feels like mere days since they last did this. There hardly seems room for the years in between and the tears she has cried whenever she has heard this song. She has cursed herself so many times for failing to do what the song so beautifully asks; for taking away what they had; for leaving him lonely. This really is complete love and it always has been, and if this is the beginning of a second chance at that, then she isn't going to fail this time.
A small frown develops on Will's brow and she realises her thoughts have removed her smile. He pulls her closer and places a tender kiss to her forehead. Her eyes slip closed. He knows exactly what she is thinking. She rests her head against his chest and his hand softly strokes her back, reassuring her; soothing her.
"I won't let you," he whispers, gently.
She pulls back so she can see his face, not sure she fully understands why he said that. It sounds like confirmation that this is a new beginning but that surge of hope is treated the same way as previous ones.
"Neither of us will let this fail this time," he clarifies and she has to admit that she cannot keep the hope at bay now.
She feels it curving her lips into a smile and watches as his mirror hers.
"It's always been you, Mac. Let it be me."
"Now and forever," she whispers in return.
They both know how soppy that exchange was and their widening smiles acknowledge as much. Will pulls her back into his embrace and she wraps her arms around him. They hold each other close as they resume swaying to the new song that is now being played.
To say she is surprised that the evening turned out like this would be an understatement...
Will softly hums along to the music as they turn about the floor.
... To say she is absolutely ecstatic would as well.
... ... ...
Don't take this Heaven from one
If you must cling to someone
Now and forever, let it be me.
... ... ...