"So my mom says I should take them again," Sarah was telling her.
"Hmm?" Morgan shaded her eyes from the sun, watching a group of boys who kept glancing at her and the younger girl. She couldn't tell if they were planning something or just checking Sarah out.
"My SATs," Sarah said. "Mom's not pleased with an 1150 -- I think it's pretty good!"
"It's not bad," Morgan said, "But you could do better. I know you can -- you told me you didn't study for them at all."
"I don't get why they're so important."
"Don't you want to go to a good school?"
Sarah shrugged, going quiet as they ushered a group of guests into line. Once the guests had passed them, Sarah said, "Not everybody's cut out for college."
Morgan glanced over at her. "No..." she said slowly. "That's true. But you should at least try it. You have the grades for it -- so much potential. It'd be a shame if you didn't even try. Take them again, it's only one Saturday you have to get up early, and I know that's why you don't want to retake them."
Sarah scowled, and then she lowered her sunglasses slightly, peering over them. "Whoa. Hot guy at twelve o'clock."
Morgan felt a sense of déjà vu as she realized the date, and she laughed as she looked up. The sight of Dean smiling crookedly at her still took her breath away. He was striding purposefully towards her, and she felt a silly rush of pride that he was hers.
"Hey, stranger," she said, beaming at him.
"Hi," he said, his smile widening. "Missed you."
Morgan laughed. "You saw me this morning."
"I know. Still missed you."
"So is this a new tradition?" she asked teasingly.
"Hmm," he said, and she watched his hands twitch, as if he were fighting to keep from reaching for her. He shoved them in his pockets instead. "Well, that's what I was thinking. And then I realized you have to do it for at least two years in a row to make it a tradition, so here I am."
Morgan laughed, and Sarah inched closer.
"Well, hello," the younger girl said, smiling flirtatiously at Dean. "Aren't you going to introduce us, Morgan?"
Dean shot Morgan a quick look that said, Is this kid for real? Morgan had to fight to stifle her laugh.
"This is Dean," she said. "He's -- "
"A complete stranger who just couldn't keep away from this beautiful girl, here. I had to come and see who she is."
Morgan rolled her eyes, and Sarah laughed, holding out her hand. "It's nice to meet you. I've heard a lot about you."
Dean raised an eyebrow as he shook her hand. "Oh, really?"
"Hey, buddy, you're holding up the line!"
Dean stepped aside, pressing very close to Morgan as he did so. "So sorry, sir. Go on ahead."
"Has it really been a year since that day?" she murmured, and he smiled at her. As close as he was, she could see his eyes through the dark lenses of his sunglasses, and they were fixed predatorily on her. She felt her breath catch in her throat.
"Yes, it has. It was a good day. Especially our trip through the Haunted Mansion."
Morgan laughed. "One track mind." She smiled fondly at him, thinking of the news she had to share with him once they had a chance to sit down and talk. The investigator they'd hired had called to say he had a good lead on Amy, and hopefully that meant he'd have information about Dean's son. She hadn't had a chance to talk to the man yet, but he'd left a message on her cell phone.
Dean was peering at her nametag, and it pulled her out of her reverie. "What's that?" he asked, gesturing at her nametag with his chin.
She glanced at him in confusion. "My nametag," she said slowly.
"On your nametag, brain trust," he said, rolling his eyes.
Morgan looked down. "Oh, my year pin. I got it a few weeks ago. Remember, I was telling you about it? I keep meaning to show it to you, but I always leave my work stuff in the car, and I'm too lazy to go get it once I'm home."
"Or too busy," he whispered, laughing as she blushed. "So the dress code allows it?" he asked.
She nodded. "Yep. Special rules, just for year pins and spirit pins."
"Oh. I thought the dress code was really strict on jewelry. No rings or bracelets or anything like that."
"One small ring on each hand," she told him, staring curiously at him. This was a strange conversation, and one she had to end quickly, unfortunately, before a lead came and discovered her fraternizing with a guest.
He shifted beside her, and suddenly there was a small, velvet jewelry box in his hand. She stared uncomprehendingly as he opened it, showing the gorgeous diamond ring nestled within.
"Think they'd allow this?" he asked, a nervous smile on his face.
Morgan was speechless. Breathless.
"Morgan?" Dean was looking extremely anxious now.
"Dean..." she breathed. "It's beautiful."
They were definitely attracting attention now, and she didn't care. Didn't care if Eisner himself walked up to her and told her to get back to work. Dean gracefully dropped to one knee in front of her, and she couldn't help it; tears began to fall.
"I love you, and I want to spend my life making you happy. Marry me, Morgan."
"Dean!" she exclaimed. She wanted to say, Yes!, wanted to say, Of course!, or, Absolutely!, but all that came out was, "Get up!"
His face fell as he slowly got to his feet. "Okay, not the answer I was hoping for -- mmph!"
Morgan threw herself at him, wrapping her arms around him. "Yes!" she exclaimed, peppering his face with kisses. "Yes, yes, yes, I love you, yes!"
He laughed, spinning around with her in his arms as the people surrounding them cheered and clapped. "Thought you said I'd get you in trouble if I kissed you," he murmured against her lips, smiling.
"Don't care!" she laughed. "Oh, God, it's gorgeous!" she whispered as he slipped the ring on her finger. "It fits, and it's exactly what I wanted. How did you know?"
He shrugged, smiling slyly. "Stole your class ring for the size, and Cassidy told me what you wanted."
Dean laughed. "Everyone knows. I was so nervous."
"I'm gonna kill her!"
"Morgan!" Sarah suddenly hissed. "Lead!"
Morgan couldn't care less, but Dean grew somber, wiping her cheeks and taking a -- small -- step away from her. "You love this job," he told her, "And I don't want you to lose it."
"God, Dean... I love you. So much."
He grinned, his gaze softening. "Love you too."
"I'm off in half an hour," she said, the words suddenly floating up through her memory. "Are you planning on leaving soon?"
"Why? Know any good places to make out?" He was leering at her -- or trying to -- his eyes were so full of love and joy that he couldn't quite pull it off.
She laughed. "I know all of them." So does he, by now, she thought.
"In front of the castle in an hour."
"An hour and a half," she told him, keeping to the script, though she could probably manage it in an hour now.
"Can't wait," he murmured, reaching up to gently stroke her cheek, and she knew he wasn't talking just about their meeting in front of the castle. He strode past her through the ride's entrance, but he kept glancing back at her, and he looked like the proudest man ever to walk the face of the Earth.
"Me either," Morgan said with a smile as the sunlight danced off the ring on her finger. "Me either."