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  • Writer's pictureSam

ST:END213 | "New Me, New You Part 9"

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

*3 hours after Gabriella returns from leave*

Gabriella's hand hovered over the keypad. It was shaking very slightly. She looked at the smooth metal door. Room 59. She took a deep breath and pushed the bell, knocking on the door for added measure.

"Diego? Soy yo, Gabriella," she said lightly.

The door opened and Brie looked up at Diego. Her mouth twitched unbidden, her stomach knotted up, and her heart flexed. "Gabriella!" Diego said, surprised. "You're... back! When?" he asked, his brows tilting in confusion. His hair was damp, possibly from a shower, and his T-Shirt's neck was cut low, revealing the top of his chest. His arms were bare, revealing his slightly toned masculine muscles which were a result of basic academy training and a slim diet. His jaws were covered in light stubble; a result of a few days of not shaving.

Gabriella felt her cheeks flush a little, and suddenly she couldn't bear to look at him. She dropped her eyes down to her shoes, her hands retreating to a safe spot behind her back. "I just returned a few hours ago,"

Diego reached forward and grabbed Gabriella's shoulders gently. "It's good to see you again," he said, smiling lightly. "I was worried. We all were worried. And we missed you. How was home?"

Brie looked up at him. "It was good," she said. Her chest felt heavy, and where his hands touched her body, all she could feel were electric sparks shooting through her. Diego could feel it too, and he gently let go, stepping back.

"Would you like to... come in?" he asked.

Brie closed her eyes briefly, before opening them again. "Diego... I... let's..." she struggled to find the words. Inside her, the gatekeeper that always stood vigil by the gates of her heart and her emotions was ready to close the gate. "Estoy lista, Diego. No more games. I promise,"

Diego frowned again, tilting his head, trying to read her. "What do you mean?"

"I mean... us," she said, her voice almost a whisper. "I'm ready to take 'us' serious. If..." she blinked, suddenly in freefall. Did she make a mistake? Was he ready for this? Did he still want this? She had subjected him to months of 'are we, aren't we', months of confusing limbo as she struggled to decide that what she did on Valentine's Day was another kiss and run or if it was something more. The gatekeeper began to push the gate shuts on their well-oiled hinges.

Diego reached out to her again and took her hands in his. His touch seemed to freeze the gatekeeper in its tracks. "Are you sure? You don't have to do this. Not for my sake,"

Brie looked at Diego carefully. This was her last chance to back out. The gatekeeper was close to sealing the gates forever. "I... want this, Diego. I want us," she said finally.

Diego nodded simply. "Okay,"

And just like that, the weight on her chest melted away. As she looked at Diego, and smiled, the gatekeeper inside her disappeared. The gate had been left ajar.

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