Hey, everybody! Okay… here’s the thing… Serendipity Book Two is here! We are going to be honest, though. Do not expect a chapter every third day. It’s going to be a tough five months ahead for Princess and I. I am currently on the last leg of my studies and Princess has a job and life outside writing fanfiction. Thank you, though, for following us, for continuing to read our stories and for waiting. We hope you enjoy this next phase in Serendipity.
Jeremy looked over his shoulder and threw a grin her way. Jess smiled; the only thing that made him let go of her hand or leave her side today was the fishing rod.
Jessica remembered the craziness of their visits to Taiwan, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzho and lately, Hong Kong – the reception at the airports, the media attention, the huge crowds at the malls and the TV shows.
How Jeremy managed to keep his feet on the ground still amazed her, but looking at the group of people gathered on the deck, Jess knew. It was Jeremy’s family that kept him grounded – their love and total support for him and his passion.
“Just make sure you don’t get your line tangled in mine,” Joshua was telling Joseph.
“Concentrate on your own rod,” Joe shot back.
“Ladies, you’re disturbing the fish,” Jeremy’s best friend and trainer Josh Fan teased.
Jeremy and Gie-Ming stood quietly by the railings the deck of the yacht that was currently sailing towards the east side of New Territories – towards Sai Kung. Shirley went to talk to the cook on-board while Jess and Joshua’s wife, Patricia lounged on deck.
“They will never admit that they miss each other,” Patricia whispered with a smile on her face.
Jess grinned, “You should have heard them when we were younger – this is nothing.”
“Maybe there is a bit of Tiger Mom in her anyway,” Jess shared with a laugh, but both women knew no one did “caring-yet-strict mom” like Shirley.
“This was an awesome idea, Jessica,” Shirley said as soon as she joined them on deck. She was impressed at how Jess had arranged for everything – booked the boat, planned the dining. All they needed to do was arrive.
The boys stopped bickering as soon as their mom showed up which made Jess and Patricia look at each other and grin.
Jess liked Patricia. It was unfortunate that she couldn’t have more time with her and Joshua now that he had joined the family for the second leg of Jeremy’s Asia trip. Jessica and Joseph would both be leaving for New York within the next days; Joseph had to go back to college and Jess’ work was waiting.
A shout from Jeremy took all their attention – the huge smile on his face was mirrored on his Dad’s face. The others were cheering him on. Jess locked gazes with him and in that second their eyes met, her heart skipped a beat.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Jeremy whispered against her ear as they walked along the surf. The familiar line Jeremy uttered made Jess smile.
Jeremy’s parents relaxed in the shade on deck while the rest of the group explored a small island near where the yacht was anchored. After trying out jetskis and fooling around in the water, Jess and Jeremy decided to take a walk.
Jessica looked at his face and his eyes; times flies so fast, she thought. He’d gotten a bit of color because of the sun; Jeremy looked healthy and strong – finally healed.
“I was just thinking,” Jess told him.
“You’re not supposed to be thinking. You should be enjoying me – I mean enjoying with me,” he grinned, as he pulled her against his side, his arm looped around her waist.
She laughed and leaned against his body – the body and presence she knew she’d soon be missing once she travelled to New York.
“I missed having you sleep next to me,” Jeremy said, nuzzling her ear.
“Oh, really?” Jess grinned.
Jeremy and she were together during the day, but she had been staying at her grandparents’ apartment at the Mid-levels while they were in Hong Kong. Jeremy wanted to stay with her there, too, but it was close to impossible for him to freely move around these days. Ma ma and Yea yea had been able to join Jeremy’s family and friends when they celebrated his birthday with Japanese Tapanyaki.
“I said my goodbyes to Ma ma and Yea yea this morning,” Jess assured him. She wanted to spend the last days she had of vacation with him.
From a distance they saw Joshua and Josh wrestle Joseph and throw him into the water. Patricia was shaking her head. Joseph came up sputtering and eager to give payback.
“I wish you and Joseph could stay for the rest of the trip,” Jeremy sighed.
Jess could only give him a hug – she wished the same, but it was impossible.
“I’ll visit you the first weekend of November,” Jess stated.
“When we play for the first time in Houston,” Jeremy affirmed.
“You nervous?” she asked.
“I just want the training to start soon,” he answered calmly, “To start working with the other guys in the team.”
“It’s not like you’ve been lazy,” Jess pointed out.
“It’s still not the same, Jess,” he explained.
She knew that it wasn’t the same, of course. Jess knew enough about basketball to know that with all the training Jeremy went through during the off-season, he would still be rusty when the team would meet to train together.
“The apartment is ready. The first few days I’ll be there, I’ll use to figure out what I need – furnishings, a bed,” Jeremy mentioned.
“Just make sure you do have a bed delivered on time – it would be hilarious if you had to crash a teammate’s couch again.”
“I hope not,” Jeremy grinned. “Josh will join me later to help with my individual training.”
“Good. He can help keep women off the apartment,” Jess said.
“We’ll be holding parties left and right,” he teased back and laughed when Jess pushed at him.
“I love you,” she said against his chest as he drew her in an embrace.
“And I love only you,” he whispered against her forehead.
“Come on, let’s rescue Baby Lin,” he said after a while.
“When are you gonna stop calling him that? He’s 20,” Jess shook her head.
“Never,” Jeremy grinned.
“I wish we’d brought Jonnie,” Joe grumbled. “Lovebirds all around…”
“What about me?” Josh Fan asked.
“You’re cool,” Joe said, “until you help them gang up on me.”
“We’ll find you a girl, Joe,” Josh joked.
“I don’t need one,” Joe retorted, but his mind drifted to a face and a smile – a woman, not a girl, but his brothers and Josh did not need to know about that.
Dinner was served on the trip back to Hong Kong. With the disappearing sunset in the horizon, they enjoyed the fish the men caught.
Jeremy sat beside Jess, who was currently huddled with Josh Fan and Patricia. They were looking through the pictures from their visit to an urban children’s center outside Beijing.
“Look at that cutie,” Pat crooned, “her with the pigtails.”
Jeremy was great with the kids – that was never a question. It made her happy to think that he wanted that for their future, even if they both knew that they were far from settling down.
“Shirley and Gie-Ming would love grandkids,” Patricia continued, with a certain gleam in her eyes. She was looking at Jess and Jeremy.
“Well, you and Josh better start working on that then,” Jess remarked, which made Patricia laugh and her husband Joshua cough.
Gie-ming and Shirley had been listening to the exchange. Jeremy’s dad took Shirley’s hand in his and said, “In due time.” They smiled at each other – a simple exchange that spoke volumes.
Jeremy looked at his family and close friends. The day was almost over.
One day together away from all the frenzy was far from enough, but this one day had been just what they needed to take a breather, to take a step back.
A new team, a new city, a new phase in his life were waiting – a lot of things were changing, but this – they – were the one constant in his life.
Don’t ever stop counting the blessings, Jeremy told himself.