Because of it's prime location, Heather's house in Topanga Canyon sold for much more than the structure itself was worth, and with Ulises' savings added in, the couple were able to buy a new home in Mar Vista.
"It's perfect," Heather sighs, finally satisfied with the arrangement of chairs and couches.
"I'm glad you're happy," Ulises answers, taking her in his arms. "We've made a pretty big commitment here, sharing a house. I was thinking we should start talking about marriage..."
"It's just a piece of paper," Heather answers, "If the relationship is real, it doesn't need to be validated by the state."
"It's more than just paper, Heather," Ulises, "It comes with rights only the state can grant. If I ever got injured at work..."
"I don't want to think about that."
"But it could happen, and if we aren't married..."
"Are you asking me to marry you?" Heather asks.
"Well, I was getting there," Ulises smiles, "You aren't making it any easier."
"Just go for it," she answers, giving him an encouraging smile, "I won't say no."
"But you don't believe in marriage," he says.
"I believe in you."
"Will you marry me, Heather?" Ulises proposes, dropping to his knee and presenting the ring he'd spent an afternoon choosing.
Her surprise is feigned, but the love is real. "Of course I'll marry you," she says.
Ulises knew that Esparza wouldn't drop things so easily. So he wasn't completely surprised to come home to find the criminal waiting for him in his own driveway.
"I could take you in for trespassing," Ulises warns softly, knowing it's a bluff.
"Easy, cabron, I'm just here to welcome you to the neighborhood. Congratulations, you got a nice house here. Much easier to get to than that place in Topanga."
Esparza leaves quickly, having made his point; they know where he lives.
"I'd feel much better if we got you a gun," Ulises says. Heather had been out at the market with Laurel when Ulises encountered Esparza in their driveway. But if he had had to work late, it could just have easily been her, alone with the criminal.
"You know how I feel about guns. I just don't see the need for violence."
"You were attacked in your own home by a violent criminal," he reminds her, "How can you not want to defend yourself."
"But I'm not growing anymore," Heather says, "What could they want from me now?"
"You defied them," Ulises says. Trying to avoid telling her about about Esparza being on their property; he doesn't want to scare her, "And I beat Aaron Esparza up in a fist fight. They don't forget that kind of slight to their 'honor'."
Her face twists into a grimace, "It's my fault, I've put us all in danger," she cries.
Ulises lays back with her on the bed, holding her, "You didn't know what you were getting into," he soothes, "I want to protect you, but I can't be here all the time. I'd feel better, and you'd be safer, if you learned to shoot a gun.
"I'm here to see Dag," Coby says, coming into the Reaper Tech offics, the game company that Coby is going to license himself to.
"I'll tell Mr. Rosdahl you're here," the receptionist answers.
Moments later, Dag comes out to greet Coby, sitting with him in the reception lounge.
"We're very excited to have your name on this project," Dag says, "My associate will be out in a minute, and we can get the legal stuff out of the way."
"You," Coby exclaims, not at all pleased when Dag's associate joins them.
"Do you have a problem with me, Sheffield?" Rainier asks.
Coby gets up from his chair, ready to call this whole deal off, "Fuck yes, I have a problem with you. You screwed my girlfriend."
"Rainier, back down, now," Dag says, calling his associate to heel, "When are you going to learn to keep it in your pants?"
"If I had known we were going to be working with you, I would not have screwed your girlfriend," Rainier gives the best apology he can muster.
"You're still a dick," Coby says.
"Think what you want about me," Rainier says, "But don't let that ruin our deal. This game will be huge, not just for us, but for you. Your name is already well known in the surfing community; extend that out to gamers at large, and you'll be getting more sponsorships than ever before."
Coby is well aware of the opportunity before him. And he could get by just fine without it. But he made this deal with Dag, and he doesn't want to back out on him, even though the French asshole is part of the package.
"Great," Dag sighs in relief when Coby announces his intention to go forward, "I'll get Nina to print out the contract for you."
Dag goes over to Nina's desk, leaving Coby alone with his arch-nemesis.
"I have to ask, how do you get her to shut up?" Rainier asks, "She talks all the time. It drives me crazy."
"Dude, I have no advice for you. Except this: hurt her and I will make sure you feel it." Coby isn't one to make threats, he's never been much of a fighter. But for Ti's sake, he would totally take this guy down.
"I have the paperwork ready for you Mr. Sheffield," Nina says.
"Just call me Coby," he says, going to her desk to sign where she tells him.
"So, listen," he says, "You want to get drinks sometime?" He's going to need more than Hayley to get over Ti, and he needs to get back into his game.
"That would be great," Nina says, smiling flirtatiously, "Call me."
"Why don't we go out somewhere?" Hayley complains as soon as he gets into her apartment.
"I've had a hard day," Coby says, "I really just want to chill for awhile, if that's okay."
Hayley gives in easily enough, and Coby tries to let her distract him.
But he's got so much on his mind, with Heather's upcoming wedding to a cop, Ti and the French guy, the game he's going to be working on, and this Nina chick, he just kind of forgets where he is what he's doing.
"Earth to Coby," Hayley repeats, rolling off him, "Are you even in there?"
"What?" he says, "Oh, sorry, Hayley, I've just got a lot on my mind."
"You know there are guys out there that would kill to be with a girl like me," she points out, bitterly.
"Yeah, I'm sure," Coby says, "I'm not one of them."
"You know what? Fuck you, that's what!" Hayley shouts, "Get out!"
Coby gets his clothes on as fast as he can and heads up to his own apartment. He could, with some effort, patch things up with Hayley. Take her out, compliment her, make promises he knows he won't keep. But when it comes down to it, having Hayley isn't even worth that minimal effort.