Stella told Ted about how difficult her life was, and how she needed to find herself, and he told her how supportive he was of her intentions. He made sure she understood that everything with him was not about him, but rather each other. He wanted to focus on her, because she needed more strength and support than he did. They fell asleep for awhile, and upon awakening became passionate again, each time resulting in her reaching climax multiple times. After each time, she reached up, looked into Ted's eyes, and kissed him ever so deeply.
When it was time to return Stella home, Ted gave her some jewelry he thought she'd like and heated up some quick supper so that she would have strength for work. They frequently kissed as though they could not handle not touching each other, and she told him that she knew for a fact they would be together eventually, if not right away, and that he was the only guy in her life. She told him she trusted him, and that he made her feel good...that he was just too good, and a great guy.
They did not speak for a couple of days, as she had important things to deal with the following day, and Ted knew when to leave her to her business. He figured Stella would reach him when she needed to, and eventually they resumed contact on Tuesday. She informed him that some things had changed and decisions been made in her life that may complicate things between them, and that she may become a bit distant. She insisted that everything was the same between them, including her emotions, and not to worry... they would still be together one day, but that it was a matter of time.
Later that night, Marshall got hold of her phone and started sending messages to Ted, pretending to be Stella, about their encounter. After a couple of hours of this, he finally called Ted informing him of their relationship, and letting him know that "he could have her. He didn't want that cheater anymore." Then he threatened Ted's life.
Ted was obviously shaken, as he had believed his relationship with Stella to be solid, and forming a great foundation. He wasn't sure what to think, but figured it was just a gimmick one of her friends was pulling over on him, until the next morning when he received texts from Stella telling him not to contact her anymore, that she was sorry she led him on, and that she was staying with her previous man.
Stella realized she was in a bind. She really, really liked Ted. He was everything she would want, and everything her life had lacked in companionship. However, she was already committed to somebody, and did not want to hurt either one of them. Barring her decision, she decided to tell Ted that it was just a jealous friend, and that everything was the same, but she'd understand if he didn't want to talk to her anymore. Ted told her that if she truly wanted to be with him, and could give up her other flings and beneficial friendships, he would stay for her. She promised him that she would.
She finally realized that she would have to make a choice. She really liked both of them, but she couldn't keep juggling both and keeping the lies alive. On the one hand, Marshall had been there for her the longest. They sometimes fought and argued, but she really liked him, and he was pretty much part of her circle of friends. Cutting him out would really be difficult, and they'd already been through things together. On the other hand, Ted was a really great guy, and he had so much promise to give her what she never had. However, Ted was on his own, and did things his own way. He had no contact with any of her friends, nor any interests in the places she hung out. Eliminating Ted would be as simple as cutting contact, whereas Marshall would still frequent Stella's hangouts, and still talk to her friends.
Stella decided to eliminate Ted, but because she hated conflict, she could not tell him that she couldn't talk to him. She knew he was willing to wait, so she figured that if she went long enough without the two of them talking, he would just give up. Deep down, she knew that if he talked to her, she couldn't ignore him, because she really did enjoy being with him. So, she started small by setting her online messaging service to an invisible mode so that she could be online without him knowing. She followed this action up by deleting her account on the dating site where they met, so that he couldn't contact her using that method. Finally, she arranged to have her phone number changed, hoping that Ted would believe that she was having issues and needed to start fresh. However, she had a tight circle of friends and family, and the only person a number change would really affect was Ted, which he realized.
Ted knew what was going on, and it hurt him deeply. He would have stopped talking to her if she had asked him to, even though he knew that wasn't what she really wanted, but she wouldn't even do that. She found it much easier to completely alter many things about her life so that he couldn't contact her, but what she was really doing was eliminating her own temptations. Ted was hurt by this, but not just by the fact that things fell apart between them. Ted was hurt more so because she couldn't be honest with him or herself, and she couldn't just tell him straight up that things weren't going to work out.
It was the most amazing thought for both of them, but unfortunately it crashed and burned only shortly after takeoff. She tried telling him that they could be friends, but he knew that was never going to happen. When it finally came down to it, Ted had flirted with the greatest feeling he had ever opened himself up to, but it backfired, and now his emotions were to be encased in the wall of ice he had brought down for Stella.