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Six Degrees of Separation

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True to her word to Nick, Ellie made her way up to Jack's office the next morning, knocking gently.

"Come in." Looking up from her computer, she was surprised to see the young agent at her door. 

"Um… hey Jack." She could tell Ellie was nervous so she stood up, wrapping an arm around her and leading her to the couch, closing the door behind them. Once Ellie was seated she asked the question she was sure she knew the answer to. 

"Another nightmare?" Looking down at her hands Ellie nodded, looking back up at Jack with tears in her eyes. 

"It was so real this time Jack." Her tears started falling faster so Jack left her perch on the table across from her and sat next to Ellie on the couch, wrapping a comforting arm around her shoulder. 

"I'm sorry sweetie. Wanna tell me what happened?" 

"It was the usual start, I was standing there and he was asking me to trust him but instead of seeing Jake this time it was Nick. I was standing in front of Nick crying, asking him how I could trust him because it was Nick that had cheated. Who had broken my trust. I was asking Nick if I had been a bad wife but it was also him that comforted me, who I said I love you too. But then it was Jake’s face who appeared at the end before I woke up.” Wiping away her tears, she nervously looked at Jack. “What am I supposed to do Jack?”

“You need to tell Nick about the change in your dream Ellie.” 

“No.” She shook her head. “No. Absolutely not. I don’t want Nick thinking I don’t trust him or that I think he’s anything like Jake because I don’t. I-”

“Hey, hey, hey, listen.” Jack placed a hand over Ellie’s flailing one, trying to calm her down. “I know it sounds scary, but it’s important you let him know, especially as newlyweds.” She nodded, listening intently to Jack. “I also think you should talk to Jake.” Ellie jerked back then like she’d been burned. 

“What?!” 

“Hear me out okay. Your divorce was two years ago, you and Nick got together not long after. I know you love him but do you think maybe part of you still hasn’t forgiven Jake for what he did?”

“Of course I-” Stopping mid-sentence, Ellie really thought about Jack’s question. Even though she had moved on and was in love with Nick, she realized she had never forgiven Jake for what he did. She had just put everything behind her and now she, and Nick, were dealing with the consequences. “I haven’t. I love Nick, I do, but I guess I’ve never actually moved past what Jake did and I think a part of me is just waiting for it to happen with Nick too, even though I know he never would.”

“Then you know what you need to do.” Taking a deep breath Ellie nodded.

“I have to see Jake again.” Patting her hand, Jack pulled her into a hug, instructing her to take the rest of the day off. 



"Ellie? What uh, what are you doing here?" Taking a deep breath for strength Ellie remembered Jack's words and knew she needed to just get this over with. 

"I need closure, Jake. I need you to give me that ." Confused, Jake opened the door more and motioned for her to come in. With her head held high she walked into his office, going straight to the chair on the other side of his desk, watching as he sat across from her. 

“It’s good to see you again Ellie. It’s been a while.” She scoffed.

“Well gee I wonder why.” Cringing, she counted to three in her head before talking. “I’m sorry that was uh, not why I’m here. Well technically it’s part of why I’m here.” Trailing off, she took a moment to gather her thoughts. “I uh, I’ve been having a hard time sleeping lately and I uh, I realized something… I may have moved past you Jake, but I never forgave you for cheating on me. I didn’t think I could before because it destroyed our marriage. I mean, who could forgive their spouse for something like that?!” Jake started to say something but she held up her hand, stopping him. “But I need to forgive you Jake. Because as painful as that time was for me, it led me to where I am today. Which is in a great job I love and a wonderful man I love even more. We’ve been married for two months and I’ve never been happier… but now, since seeing you again, I've been having these nightmares and well, after talking with someone, realized it was because I was still holding onto resentment towards you. For what you did. So I'm here to say: Jake Malloy, I forgive you. For cheating on me. For lying. For accusing me and everything else that happened before our divorce. I forgive you. And I'm putting it all behind me for once and for all." Standing up she pushed in her chair and walked to the door. Pausing in the doorway she turned back around. "Goodbye Jake." Closing the door to his office behind her she took a deep breath for what felt like the hundredth time that day. She finally did it. She felt free.