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Is It Love?

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She goes first to get her diploma, simply because of the order of the alphabet.

 

But Douglas Witter can feel something else deep in the pit of his heart. Fear. He fears she'll never come back to him at all.

 

He knows she'll wait, at least to say one final goodbye before heading off to her cousin's place in Cambridge, "It's the least I could do for my best friend, for a guy who was truly the brother I always wanted but never got the chance to have."

And he knows she's dedicating her entire postsecondary life to her late sibling, he knew that as much as he adored her, he'd have been raising hell with the Potter Twins.

But Jay never made it through the first day, and surprisingly, although it very well should have, it didn't tear Mike and Lillian Potter apart. Losing their son only served to make them stronger.

 

And in a moment that moved them all to tears, the sudden, unexpected, yet blessing of a surprise, that they'd go on to name Josephine Lynn.

 

He was as protective of Joey as he was of Bessie.

But as he walked across the stage, this bittersweet emotion settled momentarily, as he shook hands with the Principal and turned around so the photographer could snap a photo.

 

"Move those tassels!"

 

And the customary tossing of caps, and the recessional.

 

She found him first, "I have a favor, come with me, and hurry before they find us!"

 

Doug leapt into a dead sprint toward Bessie's car, "Hey, Potter! Wait!"

 

"Keep up WItter!" she called back.

He dove headfirst into the truck, a 1991 Ford Explorer XLT, laughing as Bessie sped right past her mother.

 

"Damn!" Lillian Potter scowled, "Michael!"

Mike laughed, "You just missed them, didn't you?"

"So close!" Lillian sighed.

"Let them have their moment honey, She'll be moving in with Jess soon enough, and none of us will see her. You know the graduation party isn't ending any time soon," Mike points out.

 

"Fair enough," Lillian sighs, "I just wanted pictures."

 

"I know," Mike nuzzles her cheek softly with his stubble, causing her to grin and offer up a playful smack to his shoulder, "And you wonder where Bess gets it from. You behave yourself!"

Harrison Ryan laughed, "Is it safe to look yet Mr. Ryan?"

Mike looks over at his youngest, his arms around his wife's waist, "Joey?"

Joey took a peek through her fingers, "Oh. Hi Daddy."

"Hi angel," Lillian laughed, "Come here. Thank you Harrison, I appreciate your willingness to help us out, she gets a bit spooked in crowds."

 

"I'm claustrophobic mother, I can't help it," Joey shakes her head, "I have a feeling I'll get over it soon enough."

 

Lillian shook her head, "How old are you again?"

"Eight," Joey beamed proudly.

Lillian planted a loving kiss on her youngest daughter's cheek, "Try to remember that. Daddy and I don't want you growing up any faster than you have to. Deal?"

 

"Deal," Joey said, bursting into laughter as Mike reached over and tickled her.

 

Meanwhile, Bessie and Doug found themselves having their final moment together until Christmas.

 

"Oh god," Doug groaned, "Babe. Not here, please."

 

"I've got a pretty roomy backseat, and I took the backseat out," she whispered in his ear, sliding her tongue over his earlobe.

 

"Jesus," Doug whimpered, "Yes, god yes!"

 

"Go," she laughs.

 

25 minutes later, they're changing into the casual clothes after their final moment.

 

"This doesn't have to be our final moment, you can visit in Cambridge, Jess adores you."

 

Doug smirks, "We all know your cousins like to flirt with me, they have no shame at all!"

"They never touch though, because they know I'd kill them, I love you Witter."

Doug captured her lips with his own, "Maybe I'll be calling you that someday."

"We have to go," Bessie whispers.

 

"Just kiss me you fool," Doug laughs.

"I love you," she whispers against his lips, acquiescing his request.