No Place I'd Rather Be

Chapter Ten


Jo spent the last 365 days working together with her best friend, Edith. She spent endless hours and days putting together a collection that would appeal to both men and women in the busy city of Los Angeles. Though she was aware that Edith was good at what she does, Jo was astounded to see how unbelievably well she handles business. Edith guided Jo on who to hire and where to be located. In the end, all their hard work paid off.

Within a year, Jo was able to successfully launch her clothing store in the heart of Los Angeles' downtown with the help of Edith. Under Jo's name, she was able to make waaay more than she expected within the first three months after their opening day.

James supported Jo the whole way. After Jo's visit in Whitby, he spent the rest of the summer working out and getting ready to move to his new home. He played his first game with the Predators in Tampa Bay and was greeted with a warm welcome as he took his first step out on the ice at the Bridgestone Arena. While he was getting accustomed to his new team, he called and Skyped with Jo and asked her about the new business. Each and everyday, before they had to say their goodbyes to each other, James asked her to move in with him. She turned him down each down with a smile that he knew reached her ears on the other line.

It took exactly one year before she finally said yes.

Jo had worked everything out with Edith and they had an agreement that they'll handle the store even with Jo in Tennessee. Edith even suggested that maybe in a year or two, Jo should think about expanding their store out in Nashville. Jo thought it was a brilliant idea.

In the summer, Jo would find herself in her new home with the love of her life.


James spent the whole day cleaning the apartment he was still renting. He told Jo that he'd wait for her before he bought a house. Although he was still hesitant to do so since his last property purchase, he knew that Nashville was going to be his home for the next couple of years and then some.

Even though there wasn't much to clean since there was hardly anything in his kitchen and the lack of furniture in the living room, he still wanted to make sure everything was spotless when Jo arrived to her new home as well.

It was noon when she finally arrived. She had tears in her eyes before leaping into his arms as soon as he opened the door. A year was way too long for both of them.

After their brief reunion in his hallway, James gave her a tour of his apartment.

"It's home for now," he said as he and Jo laid down on his bed.

Looking up at the ceiling, still trying to grasp the fact that she was actually there with him, Jo wondered what he meant by for now.

"You know I've been looking at houses," James saw the look she had. It was the light bulb going off in her head, indicating that she knew he wasn't telling her something.

Jo laid her head into her hand with her elbow digging into the mattress to face him, "Uh huh...and?"

James smiled, "I wanted you to see some of my choices."

"James..." She started.

"We've talked about this, Jo. I said that once you get here, we were going to move into a house and you agreed."

"I know what I said, baby, but..."

"Oh no buts!" James groaned.

"Buuuuut," she drawled out. "I've been doing a lot of thinking..."


"And I think we should go to Chicago for Lollapalooza," Jo suggested, hoping that James would agree.

James shot up and excitedly said, "Hell yes! I was going to ask you about that first! No fair!"

Jo laughed. "Wait! I wasn't finished talking!"

James stopped jumping up and down the bed and let her finish speaking.

"After Lolla, I think we should definitely check out those houses you've been looking at."

James couldn't be more happier to hear that she was on board with finding a new house for them. He couldn't hide his excitement and flung himself at Jo. She giggled as he pressed kisses all over her face like an eager pup...which reminds him...

"I also think we should get a dog." He blurted out.

"Are you getting sick of me already?" She joked.

He hugged her, "Never. Even if I tried."

"Then I think we should also get a dog." She happily agreed.

It was a perfect start to their first official summer together. Even though the Predators didn't make it far into the playoffs, James had something to look forward to. That something was Jo's arrival and now she was there with him. Going to Lollapalooza, house hunting, and adding a dog as part of their family was just the icing on the cake.


James and Jo walked hand in hand on the grassy field of Grant Park, Chicago. People were scattered everywhere, bodies moving to the beat of the music, drinks spilling everywhere, and laughter all around.

Lollapalooza was up and running and James felt the familiar feeling he had when he attended Coachella. The gathering of the people just to have fun and listen to good music. That feeling was pretty much the same, only now he had the girl of his dreams right by his side.

James had finally met Edith as she flew in from Los Angeles last night. They got along well which pleased Jo very much. James had also met up with Bryan Bickell and his wife. The group walked and talked around the park, sharing stories about what they had planned for the summer, James' trade, and Edith and Jo's new business.

When the sun went down and the night arrived, the group settled for a spot near the side of the stage where the next artist was going to perform. Within a few minutes, the crowd roared, chanting the name "Clean Bandit" over and over again as the electronic group stepped out on stage.

The female lead singer greeted the crowd which caused them to go wild once more. The group played their entire setlist and ended the show with their most popular hit.

The well known intro to the song made the crowd cheer and had them jumping up and down before the lead started to sing.

"We're a thousand miles from comfort, we have traveled land and sea
But as long as you are with me, there's no place I'd rather be
I would wait forever, exalted in the scene
As long as I am with you, my heart continues to beat"

Jo, who was in front of James, looked up him with the same twinkle in her eyes she had when she first laid eyes on him. He looked down at her with the same adoration he felt all the time whenever she was around. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly, and swayed them to the beat of the song.

"With every step we take, Kyoto to The Bay
Strolling so casually
We're different and the same, get you another name
Switch up the batteries"

Jo and Edith sang along to the song they knew all too well--one they've heard at the store each and everyday on the radio. James smiled down at her, happy that she was having a great time as much as he was. He was overjoyed with the fact that for once, everything was going right for him. Traded or not, he felt that with Jo around, life would always be better.

"When I am with you, there's no place I'd rather be."

By the end of the song, James leaned down and said closely to her ear, "I love you."

She turned around and kiss him right on the lips.

Edith whistled right beside them.

Jo broke away from James for a second to tell him, "I love you too."

Their journey started at a music festival in which they didn't expect to cross paths. But sometimes, fate has a strange way of bringing two people together. James and Jo never expected to fall in love and be where they're at today. Although they knew there would bumps along the way in the relationship, for as long as they've got each other, they knew everything would be alright in the end.
♠ ♠ ♠
And that's a wrap!

I can now proudly say that I have finally completed a story. I initially started this story in hopes to challenge myself to actually finish a story since my other stories are incomplete. I didn't expect to get such great feedback and actually enjoy writing this.

Now, I'd like to ask if any of you guys are interested in seeing a possible sequel to this story. Let me know! I have a few ideas in mind :)

Thank you to everyone who read, subscribed, recommended, and commented on this story! It really means a lot to me.