Interlude: Proud

Zayne nearly jumped at the sound of a gasp from the living room. He’d been so lost in his thoughts that he’d nearly forgotten he was not alone.

“Oh my God!” Hope cried. It was impossible to tell whether it was from alarm or excitement.

He abandoned his knife and cutting board, approaching his girlfriend uncertainly. “Is everything okay?”

“Yes!” She replied, beaming. “Sorry… I may have gotten a little over-excited. Peter just sent me the proofs from that shoot in Paris a few weeks ago. Remember that one?”

Zayne nodded, smiling. It was the shoot that had fallen on the weekend of Dahlia’s birthday. He didn’t know all the details, but he knew a shoot like that was huge for Hope. That Elle cover had changed everything, it seemed. He’d never seen her get as many high-profile job offers as she’d been getting lately… And he’d also never seen her happier. He loved it.

“You have to see these. I told you this guy’s a genius…” She continued, jumping up from the couch and closing the distance between them. Zayne leaned close to her as she held out her phone, and looked down at the images on the screen. They were breathtaking. “Beautiful, right?” Hope grinned.

“He did an amazing job. You look stunning.” Zayne replied seriously. “Of course, you’d look that way no matter what.” He added, smiling.

Hope laughed. “Trying to butter me up or something?” She teased.

“Just telling the truth.” He gave her a small smile. “But yes, those pictures are incredible.”

She leaned forward to plant a soft kiss on his cheek. “Thank you for indulging me. And sorry for interrupting the master at work.” Hope laughed.

Zayne glanced over his shoulder at the abandoned beginnings of their dinner. “It can wait.” He shrugged. “I, um… I actually had something I wanted to talk to you about anyway…” A sudden twisting sensation crept up in his stomach. You’re gonna have to tell her eventually. Guess I should get it over with…

“Oh?” Hope sat back onto the couch, looking up at him expectantly.

“Yeah, I was gonna wait til after dinner, but I guess now’s as good a time as any…” Zayne let out a small, nervous laugh as he took a seat beside her.

The smile slowly faded from Hope’s face. “Zayne, is everything okay? You’re making me kind of nervous.”

“It’s nothing bad!” He assured her quickly, forcing a small smile to alleviate her fears. “Well… I hope it’s not bad, at least… I mean, it could be. We’ll see.” Zayne muttered.

His girlfriend shook her head, chuckling slightly. “Just tell me!”

Zayne took a deep breath. “I gave my notice at work today.”


“I quit.” He explained. “I just… can’t work there anymore.”

To his surprise, a bright smile spread across Hope’s face at his words. She reached forward, pulling him close for a moment and pressing her lips to his. “This is amazing. I’m so proud of you!” She said as they broke apart.

“You… You are?”

“Of course! Why wouldn’t I be?” She asked. “You were miserable, and you finally did something about it. That’s awesome!”

For a moment, Zayne almost laughed. He really should have known better than to be so nervous. Of course Hope would support him – she always did. “Thanks.” He replied at last, relieved. “I just hope this doesn’t turn out to be a mistake or something… I kinda have no idea how I’m gonna do it, but…” Zayne took a deep breath, his smile widening. “I think I wanna open my own restaurant.”

Hope’s entire face lit up. “I was hoping you’d say that. This is perfect!”

“You really think I can do it?”

“Of course!” She smiled. “I know much you’ve wanted this.”

“And…” Zayne hesitated for a moment. “You’re not mad? About money, I mean…” He muttered uncomfortably. “I know we split everything now… And I can probably still help out…” He thought of all the money his parents had left for him, still untouched after all these years. It sounded like so much on paper, but Zayne knew how deceptive that could be, once expenses started piling up. Still, he was sure he could spare some to help shoulder the burden of their living expenses.

“Are you talking about your inheritance?” Hope shook her head. “Save it for the restaurant. I can take care of things for a while.”

“You’re sure?”

She nodded. “Just pay me back in lobster tortellini and grilled salmon and we’ll call it even.”

“Deal.” He beamed at her. “Though tonight you’ll have to settle for stir fry. Sorry.”

“I think I’ll manage.” Hope laughed. “God, I’m just so happy you’re doing this, Zayne.” She continued seriously. “This is going to be the best decision you’ve ever made. I know it.”

“Well thank you for helping me make it.” He replied. “I don’t think I ever could have worked up the courage to do this on my own. Not without you helping me.”

Hope just shrugged. “I may have done a little poking and prodding… But you’re the one who was brave enough to actually take the plunge.”

“I’m definitely glad I took it.” Zayne laughed. “This sure as hell won’t be easy though…” He sighed. “I’ve already done a little research, and it all sounds so complicated. I know it’ll be worth it, but I’m definitely gonna have to work my ass off for this.”

“Like you said though, it’ll be worth it. You’ll see.” She assured him. “Just promise me one thing?”

“Sure. What is it?”

“Don’t get too carried away while you’re busy working your ass off.” She teased. “Make sure there’s a little left for me.”

53 thoughts on “Interlude: Proud

  1. So sweet. I hope everything goes well. I just can’t shake the feeling that something is going to blow up. And maybe it isn’t about the restaurant but….more about their jobs. I guess I will enjoy these two while I can and ‘hope’ for the best and beautiful nooboos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (Hope’s name is so perfect for those lame puns, OMG XD) This is definitely a big first step and there’s a lot of ways things can go from here… Hopefully no blowing up involved!


  2. Shipper grinning wildly at Anti-Shipper.

    Anti Shipper WitcHazard: What?!

    Shipper WitcHazard: I told you they were going to work it out! She’s even willing to be the breadwinner for a little while so he can pursue his dream! I here wedding bells. A proposal on the night of his restaurant’s opening would be perfect!

    Anti Shipper WitcHazard: Now hold your horses. This is going to be quite the dynamic change in their relationship until Zayne gets on his feet. Also you heard Hope call her photographer a genius sounds like she had a lot of admiration for him and admiration can leead to other things. (wiggles his eyebrows)

    Shipper WitcHazard: Oh come on if he doesn’t have a name or make a actual debut his basically nonexistent!

    Anti Shipper WitcHazard: Alright i’d still be cautious if I were you! Not to mention Hope is wearing the pants in the realationshio now you thinks Zayne’s fragile ego can handle that?

    Shipper WitcHazard: Zayne isn’t that shallow!

    Anti Shipper WitcHazard: I’m just saying a man even temporarily living in the shadow of a gorgeous successful woman is a dangerous thing!

    Shipper WitcHazard: Like you and me?

    Anti Shipper WitcHazard: Of course honey! (kisses her forehead) I’m going to make breakfast.

    Shipper glares as he gets out of bed and walks away.

    Shipper WitcHazard: I don’t like how sarcastic that sounded!

    Anti Shipper turns around at the door, smiles forms a heart with his hands, and holds it over his chest.

    Anti Shipper WitcHazard: Love you!

    Shipper throws a pillow at him!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Anti-Shipper WitcHazard is a dude? And he’s with Shipper WitcHazard? PLOT TWIST! 😛 (They both make good points… Things could go a multitde of ways right now! Very observant, Mr. and Mrs. WitcHazard 😛 )

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Once I post my comments on a story update, I usually read through the other comments. I get so happy when you’ve commented before I have. The WitcHazard family (family??) are everything, so hilarious, and I usually agree with at least one of them, even Dark on occasion, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you read this story’s update on the forums I gave a little backstory to each of them. Some are related by blood, others just for convience! But what they all mostly have in common is Earning their New names and the Title of WitcHazard bestowed on them by their all powerful goddess!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t know why my previous comment posted before I finished it, LOL. I had to walk away from my desk at work before I could read the whole comment on the Forum. I’m reading this on my phone as I walk. Once I get back to my desk, I’ll finish reading about the whole household.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope’s all about following your dreams, that’s for sure! So this is great news, in her eyes. 🙂 Zayne’s lucky his girlfriend is so supportive! Hopefully this all turns out well for him 🙂


            1. This is how she always gets us. We’re wincing, bracing, and she lulls us into happy euphoria, then WHAMMMO! I got sucked in, I really did, this chapter is just so sweet. Let’s all pretend it’ll stay that way and Amanda will only go all KERPLOOOIE on the next generation…

              Liked by 2 people

              1. *snort* you do that if you want to. The basement of my beach condo doubles as a bomb shelter. I pretty much live down there now lol. It’s quite homey now after the reno. You should see it!

                Liked by 2 people

  3. yay! I’m so excited for Zayne, he’s gonna be so much happier 🙂 I just really hope (haha) his restaurant takes off 🙂 Maybe Tobi’s fame can help him out? 😀 and his awesome cooking of course.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. These photos in this post have so many little details. Like the oversized chopping block wall decoration behind the stereo, that’s so Zayne! And the pictures of Hope’s family on the wall!

    Hope & Zayne may just have become my favorite couple with this one. It’s because they kinda remind me of me and my husband. My career isn’t going as fantastically as Hope’s, but that teamwork and support is very recognizable.

    She’s gonna cover the bills while he’s working on his restaurant, that’s fantastic. I know if the situation were reversed, he’d do the same for her! I can’t wait to see what kind of restaurant he comes out with.

    Her career must be going really well if they can still eat lobster tortellini on the regular, haha. This is so exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you loved this one! They are a wonderful couple and definitely supportive! Like you said, Zayne would also do the same for her! Glad you and your hubby are so supportive of one another as well 🙂

      And yes, Hope is doing VERY well. She’s definitely the breadwinner right now hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Poor stick-figure Hope 😂 She’s got a little bit if booty though! Enough for Zayne, at least 😛 (his own shapely ass helps make up for it anyway 😂)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooh, I’m not surprised he quit or that Hope was supportive, but I hope he’s prepared. Restaurants are really really hard. Most don’t last three years before they fold. And the stress of running them us horrid.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Make sure there’s a little left for me.” HAH! Up top, girl! 😉

    Hell yes to the new restaurant! This should be interesting. Luckily I won’t have to wait long to see how it goes. 😀


  8. YASSSS!!! Now let’s just hope everything is super successful!! The whole theme of this chapter is hope which is perfectly appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehehe yeah, the word “Hope” is never the same again thanks to her 😛 I love how excited you are! This has the potential to be huge for Zayne! ^_^


  9. YAAAAAY this is what I was hoping he’d do with his life and inheritance! I know these chapters are still old but maybe he even opens the restaurant to honor his parents. I dunno.

    Liked by 1 person

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