Chapter Twenty-Nine

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Harry kissed Meredith on the cheek, wrapping his arms around her center. They stood in the kitchen of the house by the ocean. It was another beautiful day. Holding her close, Harry rested his head on her shoulder, breathing on her cheek. Automatically, she was given chills.

"What do you want?" Meredith asked.

"Well," he smiled, "I was thinking that since today is New Year's Eve, we could have fun."

"We've been having fun every day since we got together," she said.

"Not what I meant." Harry kissed her again and went to the other side of the island. "We could stay here for tonight, or we could drive down to Vancouver. We could spend New Year's Eve with everyone else."

Meredith looked up at her boyfriend. "What?" Harry opened his mouth to repeat, but she held up a hand to quiet him. "You want to go into public?"

"Yes."

She narrowed her eyes on him. "But doesn't that mean you'll be noticed?"

"I might be," he admitted.

"Then why?"

Harry swallowed. "I love you, Mere--"

"But," she prompted.

"But, I want to spend my first new year with you. And I don't mind being here, if that's what you want. But, if you rather spend it with people, something I know you like to do but you can't do often, we can go to Vancouver. We can welcome the new year in with everyone else. We'll party." Harry smiled. "If that's what you want?"

Meredith considered his words. If they went into Vancouver for New Year's Eve, a lot of people would be there, and there would be a big chance that someone might notice him. Someone might notice her.  "Do you mean it?"

Harry paused. "What?"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

A smile broke across her face. "Yes, let's go." Meredith kissed him deeply, incredibly excited. Jumping back, she clapped her hands. "I've got to get ready." She bounded up the stairs and went into the bathroom, getting into the shower.

Harry leaned against the counter, taking a deep breath. He wasn't telling Bodyguard Bill, a terrible idea he already knew, but that didn't mean he would suddenly say it. He certainly couldn't with how happy she looked. Meredith was definitely a people person, and sometimes she needed more than just Harry. Hopefully this would hold her over the next few days.

Going upstairs, Meredith hadn't wasted time in the shower and now stood wet in the bedroom. She winked at him, naked, as he came in. Harry averted his gaze, but he couldn't hold his eyes away for long. By that time, she had dried herself off and had her bra and underwear on.

"I'm going to take a shower," he said.

"Take your time," Meredith responded, running a brush through her hair.

He needed a good soak, so he did. Meredith enjoyed having a little alone time, as she changed and did her makeup. Over the last few days, she hadn't worn makeup. At the end of the day, all of it was worn off. Harry loved her either way. But for tonight, she wanted her hair and makeup done right. Straightening her hair, Meredith continued on with her makeup, caking her face. She hoped it didn't snow tonight.

When Harry stepped out of the bathroom, soaking wet, he stopped. His eyes wandered up and down Meredith. She hadn't even looked back at him, applying lipstick. Taking a deep breath, he averted his gaze to the ground and went to the dresser. Meredith noticed him then.

Leaning against the stand, she smirked at him. "Hello."

Harry pursed his lips. "You're going to get cold."

Meredith wore a low cut shirt, showing off her assets. "I'm wearing a coat tonight."

"And?"

"Oh, this." She touched her breasts. "These are for later." Smiling, Meredith turned back to the mirror and checked her hair. "You should get ready. It's a drive into Vancouver."

Harry couldn't keep his eyes off of her, so Meredith left, going downstairs to make some sandwiches for the trip. He got dressed and went downstairs, but Meredith was already ready. Grabbing their coats and warm clothes, Harry wanted to warn Meredith that she might be cold tonight, but then again, she came from frozen Minnesota, so he doubted it.

With the drive to Vancouver, Meredith leaned back in the seat. Her hand rested on his, as he drove. Perhaps Meredith should drive, when she was so used to driving on this side of the road and in snowy weather. Though it had snowed only a few days ago and the warm weather came in, snow froze and covered the road again. She wasn't nervous, though. Excitement filled the air. Meredith couldn't stay still in the seat.

It was a walk into Vancouver, where the fireworks would take place over the harbor. Many people crowded together as they headed toward the frozen earth at the top of a hill. Harry was bundled up, but Meredith didn't even need a coat. She kept it on for his sack. More and more people crowded around them, which made Harry grow cautious. Meredith did not.

"Look at me," she said, bringing his face. Their eyes met. "It's only us. These people, they don't care and they don't know. It's only us-- and the fireworks." Meredith kissed him on the lips, pressing her forehead to his. "It's only us."

"Mere--"

"It's only us." Meredith kissed him again. Time ticked down. "It's only us. Say it."

He swallowed.

"Harry," she warned.

"It's only us," he murmured.

"Louder."

"It's only us."

"It's only us." Meredith smiled. "I love you, Harry."

"I love you, Mere."

Turning around, Meredith looked out toward the harbor. Harry curled his arms around her, keeping her warm, or she kept him warm. Meredith kept him safe. Her hand reached up, patting his face. Meredith's fingers weren't even cold. His chin rested on her shoulder, breathing softly in her ear. He murmured a song in her ear, the song he had on a repeat on the way up here. She hadn't switched it off, only listened him in amusement.

Harry kissed on the cheek again, which made her skin burn. Meredith was going to turn around and scold him for public displays of affection, which she didn't like, but people started to chant the time. She much rather wanted to see the fireworks at midnight for twenty-seventeen, to see the end of twenty-sixteen for once and for all, so Meredith ignored him and turned back to the harbor.

People shouted, "Five! Four! Three! Two!"

She never heard one or anything else as blood rushed past her ears. Harry whipped her around, planting hiss lips on hers, ringing in the new year. Around them, people screamed and hollered. Booms and pops echoed throughout the harbor and up the hill, reaching their ears. Bright lights flashed in the sky, blanketing out the darkness by colorful shimmers. Harry continued to kiss her, holding her at an angle, which she didn't resist.

Harry pulled back, allowing Meredith to watch the fireworks. She did not. Fingers curling into his shirt, Meredith pulled him down, kissing him again. Fireworks bloomed behind them, but Meredith couldn't take her eyes off of Harry.

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