a/n: Well, my darlings, how many of you thought you'd never see an update out of me again? To be completely honest, I didn't see it coming either. But apparently random inspiration summer False Advertisement's help unlikely update. I don't expect very much feedback, as it has been nearly a year since my last update (I'm horrible, I know, but promptness has never been my style), and if everyone has lost interest, I completely understand—and don't blame anyone at all. If anyone's to blame, it's all me. Oh well. What's a girl to do…? Heh. Summer seems to help. I only really churn out updates during summer (inconvenient as it is…oh well. There's no getting around it.) But I'm finished with rambling (and high school, too. Yay for graduating). So if you're reading this, thanks, but I think you're crazy. But I love you.

Due to the fact that it seriously has been something like 9 or 10 months since I last updated, a summary seems necessary… Madison and family have moved into a house/cabin ("cabouse") for the summer, with the Gabriel family. However, currently, both families (save Madison and Kory—the Gabriel's oldest boy) are on a horse-back-riding-trip. Zack Collins, the neighbor boy, invited Madison to his party last night, made her upset, she left, only to get a call late at night from Zack at a local bar/restaurant. Madison was forced into taking a very drunk Zack home—but before they departed he kissed her (oh, drama…), and Madison was left to go home and sleep the confusion off… And that, kids, bringing us to…

Chapter Ten

The repetition of an overwhelmingly unpleasant noise stirred me from my sleep and led me to one thought…Must turn off the alarm clock. Reaching over and attacking the snooze button, I became confused when that didn't make it go away. That only leaves one other option. Reaching even further, I grabbed my cordless phone and placed it to my ear. "Hullo?" I asked, the sound of my voice shocking me. I sound dead.

"Hi, is Madison there…?" An unfamiliarly familiar voice asked. Does that make sense? Is there such a thing as an unfamiliarly familiar voice…? Because it's as if I recognize the voice, but maybe I just think I recognize the voice, when really it's a complete stranger… But that makes no sense, the caller obviously knows my name. "Hello…?" The voice asked, snapping me out of my ramblings. Jeeze, it's much too early in the morning for such incoherent inner monologues. I'm giving myself a headache.

"Sorry," I replied, suddenly feeling surprisingly awake. I've always been a morning person, as you already know. "This is her."

"Hi Madison, it's Linda Collins, your neighbor…" It took a minute for that to settle in. It's Zack's mom. "I'm sorry, did I wake you…?"

"Nah," I lied, not wanting her to feel bad or anything.

"Well," the tone of her voice led me to believe that she didn't believe me. Oh well. "I was wondering, if maybe, you could, well, it's kind of a big favor," she stuttered.

"Sure," I replied easily.

"I'm sure it isn't a big deal or anything, but I've been calling all morning, and I'm getting worried, and I just--" Linda rambled worriedly.

I laughed somewhat sheepishly and interrupted her, "What can I do?"

"Could you run over and check on Zack for me?" Linda asked with a trace of desperation.

Suddenly, I was forced to reckon with the myriad of awful memories from last night. The entire scene began playing itself in my head and I tried to remain calm.

"It's just that," Linda continued, "I've tried calling several times, and he's not picking up, and I'm sure I'm just being a paranoid mother." She paused to exhale dramatically, seemingly stressed. "But I need to let him know that we'll be home in about an hour, maybe less than."

It was my turn to heave a rather large sigh. I covered my face with my free hand and slumped over.

"So if it isn't too big of a deal…" Linda trailed off.

I shook my head. I do not want to do this. However, the extreme anxiety in her voice convinced me that maybe this had more to do than paranoid, maternal instincts. "No, it's fine, I'll head over right now."

"Thank you so much, Madison… It's really important that he knows that his father is coming home, too."

"I'll be sure to let him know."

"Thanks, Madison," Linda replied with a certain amount of relief. "I'll see you later."

"Sure thing," I replied automatically. "Bye." My mind went through the general 'should I…?' or 'shouldn't I…?' internal struggle and a lot of the irrational part of me wanted nothing more than to close my eyes and fall back asleep. After what Zack Collins did to me last night, I should be completely unable to sympathize with him. Every piece of me should want his mom to come home to find out that he had some massive party last night and yell at him for centuries. However, there were these extremely different feelings at the pit of my stomach (or the heart of my conscience…or…wherever else those feelings of surprising compassion stow away) that told me to spring out of bed and help him clean up what's inevitably a mess of a house.

Plus, Linda did sound monstrously worried.

But I'm the least confrontational person I know. Last night, I told myself that I'd avoid Zack Collins for the rest of my life. I am making things mighty-tricky for myself. If the circumstances were any different, I'd definitely make sure I'd never have to look at Zack ever again—just out of sheer embarrassment. But what am I about to do…? Go over to his house and save him. The complete opposite of avoiding. My ego isn't going to like this.

Ok, enough of this rambling, it's time to sort this out Madison Green style. Let's make a list of reasons why I should go over and warn him, and why I shouldn't. Pulling out a pen and notebook from my nightstand, I sat up and quickly made two columns, one for pros and one for cons.

Beginning with a pro… Well, it is my civic duty, I should help out my fellow American in their time of need.

Con: He's beyond arrogant, and a little shady. I never really quite understand his motives.

Pro: Despite his shadiness, he usually is an overall nice guy…In a very suffocating sort of way.

Con: Last night Zack threw up, and minutes later, without brushing his teeth or at least chewing on some gum or anything of the likes, kissed me.

Pro: His mom really wanted me to.

Con: Things might be very awkward.

Pro: He might be so hung over he forgot.

I was relieved at that suggestion and I smiled slightly. But then my eyebrows furrowed and I slumped on my bed.

Con: He might be so hung over he forgot.

I shook my head and crossed that out. They would have cancelled, anyway.

Con: He hits on anything with a bra.

Pro: He kissed me.

Wait. What am I thinking? Immediately crossing that out, I put that under the "Con" column. That is definitely a con. Then again, my first instincts told me that it was a pro, and they always tell you to trust your instincts (even on the SATs and ACTs) so I crossed it back out and put it back under the "Pro" side. But no, I immediately crossed that back out, it definitely cannot be on my pro list… I looked at the page of crosses and mad scribbling and ripped the page out.

Falling victim to extreme frustration, I tossed the notebook to the floor and sighed. I'll go. I'm promised Linda I would, anyway.

I plodded out of my room, down the stairs and was about to walk out of the cabouse when a voice drew me back. "Madison…?"

I slowly turned around to see Kory get up from where he was just sleeping on the couch.

"What?" I asked, biting my lip somewhat nervously.

"Where are you going? It's so early…" He mumbled in a very dazed fashion, seemingly exhausted.

"I'll be back later." I didn't bother to answer the question.

"Listen, I wanted to--" He began to sit up.

"Kory," I interrupted, "I've got to go. I'll be around later."

He remained silent for several seconds. "Ok."

"Ok." I repeated, standing there awkwardly, there was a brief moment of silence that I quickly interrupted. "Well, I'll be back later." I said as I exited the cabouse.

As I walked toward the Collins' residence, I tried to force my mind to stay blank… I strived for a glorious absence of thought. But we all know that the mere idea of me not thinking even just for a second completely contradicts my entire essence. I can't be nonchalant about anything. No, instead, I have to analyze everything to the extreme and quite frankly, it's exhausting. For once in my life, I want to be able to just be completely void of any thoughts whatsoever. That's a trick that'd come in handy right now… It'd allow me to not dwell on the fact that…

Last night, Zack kissed me.

Maybe I'm blowing this so far out of proportion that it's completely blinded and halted any ability I once had to rationalize. But this is me. And I'm out of my mind. Hell, I'd never been kissed before last night, as pathetic as that may seem, it is the truth. What's a girl to do?

It's not that bad, I tried to convince myself. Zack is tall, gorgeous, with overwhelming green eyes and a smile that could melt the iciest of girls. Who am I kidding? That's nothing but a shallow excuse. Bah, just for thinking so superficially, I hate myself.

I'm going to work on that 'glorious absence of thought' thing.

Upon reaching the Collins house, I knocked on the front door and waited.

No response.

Knocked a little louder this time. Waited.

Still no response.

Rang the doorbell. Waited some more.

Again, no response.

Tried a doorbell-knock combo. Bit my lip nervously.


Maybe he isn't here. But that's ridiculous, of course he's here, I had to personally 'escort' him home last night. Trying the doorknob, it easily turned and the door fell open. My jaw immediately dropped and my eyes widened in shock.

Up until this point in my life, I was unaware as to exactly how messy a house could potentially be. Nothing was in its place—lamps were turned over, couch cushions were randomly thrown about, with red plastic cups scattered as far as the eye could see. Stepping around the mess, I walked through the kitchen (equally as disastrous as the living room) and down a hallway to his bedroom.

Slowly pushing the door open a bit, I peaked in and immediately saw him sleeping on his bed. "Zack," I spoke quietly, not really knowing how to go about the situation. He didn't even move. I took several steps into his room and called out once more, "Zack, wake up." Glancing at his figure, I slightly laughed. You know how everyone supposedly looks so peaceful, calm and serene while they're sleeping…?

Not Zack Collins. He looks, well, I don't know. Very, very goofy, and not even the least bit tranquil or angelic or whatever else sleeping people are supposed to look like. He was on his stomach, arms and legs sprawled in every which direction, with his mouth wide open.

"Zack, wake up," I repeated a bit louder. But again, this didn't seem to do much at all. Slowly walking right up next to his bed, I awkwardly poked his shoulder and waited. He didn't even budge. "Zack." I stated, this time at a fairly loud level, and poked him once more. I bit my lip nervously and summoned up the courage to shove him quite forcefully—but he didn't even flinch. Suddenly growing fairly nervous, I assumed the worst.

For all I know, Zack could be dead. Meaning that for quite a good time now, I've been furious with a dead person, which is absolutely horrible, because…well, it just is. It's even worse, considering the fact that I wished death on the boy many-a-time last night. But I didn't seriously mean it, I didn't want him to die, really, it's just in my overly dramatic nature. He may have had a lot to drink last night, but he didn't have that much… My brow furrowed, and I felt my heart begin to race.

Sitting down on the mattress, I placed both of my hands on his shoulders, turned him over, and forcefully shook his body back and forth. "Zack, wake up." I demanded, nervously.

And he did just that. Opening his eyes, he tried to focus in a seemingly confused manner. "Stop," he commanded, tiredly.

And I did just that, and quit shoving him. Curse my paranoid tendencies. The boy is obviously fine. I'll kill him.

"Mad?" He said, using a nickname he'd invented the night before. "What are you doing here…?"

I let out a semi-sheepish sigh, and stood up. "You should get up," I said, trying to sound somewhat stern, but that requires a bit of confidence, and honestly, I'm a bit lacking in that field.

"What…?" He paused, pulling himself into a sitting position. "Why?"

"Your mom has been trying to get a hold of you all morning... They're going to be here earlier than she thought."

"How was the party?" Zack asked slurring a bit, still slightly dazed. Or monstrously hung over. Maybe both.

"What?" I snapped, was this his idea of a stupid joke? A sort of, 'ha-ha, I kissed you last night, remember?' sort of torture thing?

"How was it?" He persisted, wiping the sleep from his eyes.

"I…I don't know." I replied curtly. "I didn't stick around to see."

"Why not?" Zack asked, looking up at me, genuinely confused.

Does he not remember any of last night at all…? I'll shoot myself. Hell, I'll shoot him. "Don't you remember?" I asked quickly.

Zack swung his legs over the side of his bed, rested his elbows on his knees and buried his face into his hands. "I am so hung over," he indirectly answered my question.

I just frowned. But this should be great for me, shouldn't it? Now I don't have to put in the time and effort of avoiding Zack. He doesn't remember, it's not a big deal, I don't have to freak out any more. Lucky me. "They're going to be home in an hour. Maybe less than," I informed dryly.

"What?!" He asked a bit frantically.

I turned around to walk out of the situation, but I suddenly remember something. "Oh, and your dad is coming with them."

"What…?" Zack repeated helplessly, causing me to turn around and glance somewhat sympathetically at him. His eyes glanced up to mine and locked in place, as if questioning what I had just said. Suddenly, his features were overpowered with extreme anxiety and trepidation.

"Your dad is coming home, too," I repeated, despite the fact that I knew he heard me the first time around. I just didn't know what else to say.

Suddenly Zack looked solemnly to the floor and let out this extreme string of curses under his breath.

"What…?" I pried, with surprising curiosity.

"I'm dead," he concluded at a low whisper.

Well, that appears to be a bit of a theme. I sighed somewhat sympathetically and began to walk away, "I'll see you around, then."

"Mad," Zack began, causing me to stop in my tracks. "I really need your help."

I tried to hold my ground, and glanced backwards skeptically.

"Please?" He nearly begged with extreme desperation.

So much of me wanted to say 'Sorry, I'm busy,' but I melted. What do you expect? You can't live one way for sixteen years of your life and magically grow a spine in a few seconds. "What do you need…?" I asked, trying to sound annoyed, as if he was greatly burdening me. Which I suppose he is. But anyway, instead it came out as more of an 'I'm here for you, what can I do to cater to your needs…?' sort of tone. I hate myself.

But I shouldn't be doing that. In fact, I should make sure that I avoid self-hatred. I'll put that on my list.

"I need to get this place cleaned up." He spoke slowly, his facial expressions revealing the fact that he was probably suffering from a colossal headache or something equally displeasing.

"Ok," I said and finally exited from his bedroom.

Surveying the damage, I decided to start in the kitchen. While throwing away endless amounts of plastic cups, I couldn't get over the fact that he seriously didn't remember anything. He calls me in the middle of the night, completely drunk, makes me come get him, tells me I'm beautiful, throws up—which is just…beyond disturbing. Don't even get me started on that—he then gives me a book, and kisses me. That's enough to turn my little life upside down. And he doesn't remember any of it, not a single part… So was this a con…? I couldn't decide and concentrated on the cups.

About five minutes into my cleaning, Zack trudged into the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water.

"Do you have any candy…?" I asked.

"No," he replied skeptically. "Why?"

"Sugar breaks down alcohol. Not that it'll do much good for you now, but it'll at least give you some energy." I answered calmly.

He cracked a grin. "Talking from experience?"

"Hardly," I scoffed. I, Madison Green, have never been drunk, let alone hung over.

He just nodded. "Alright." Zack began walking towards the living room area, but he turned around to face me. "Mad," he began slowly.

"Hm?" I replied, glancing over at him, but still continuing to throw away the cups.

"Thank you." Zack said with more genuineness than I thought he was capable of. He walked towards me and wrapped his two surprisingly broad arms around my neck, forming one overwhelming hug.

Caught slightly off guard, I slowly placed my arms around his abdomen. "You're welcome." I replied, weakly.

"Seriously," he paused. "You're saving me."

I smiled despite my frustration. I've never been more confused in my life. It's just that he's being so painfully great, but he doesn't remember at all, and…ugh.

Be thankful, I told myself over and over again. This is a lot better than some of the alternatives, that's for sure. Zack finally began to pull away, and I let my arms fall. He walked towards the exit of the kitchen and announced, "I'm going to attack the living room."

Sighing heavily, I worked on and continued with some intense cleaning. It only took three garbage bags, intense scrubbing and roughly twenty five minutes to get the place back to its original order. I began to lift one of the garbage bags, with full intent to carry it outside and to their trash bins, but to my horror, a moth flew up out of no where and dove straight towards my face.

Immediately dropping the bag, I flicked it away, and let out a scream—and I don't mean any little "eep" or "ick", I mean a full blown, stereotypically girly shriek. Backing away as far as I could I stood against the counter, and watched as the creature flutter in a frenzy on the floor. Zack burst through the kitchen door looking extremely nervous and immediately asked, "What? What happened?"

I suddenly felt extremely ridiculous, but I've been afraid of moths ever since I can remember. Pointing to the demonic creature, he looked at me questioningly.

"You screamed…because of that?" He asked.

I only nodded, still pointing.

"You're serious?" Zack questioned playfully, his worried features suddenly transforming into full blown amused ones.

I nodded again.

"You're afraid of that?" He asked disbelievingly. "A tiny little bug? It can't even bite you."

"They're just so creepy," I whined pathetically.

"It's a moth." He pointed out the obvious.

"It's a diabolical creature."

He let out a hearty laugh. "Don't be so dramatic."

"You don't understand." I spoke in all seriousness. There is something about moths that just make them overwhelmingly scary.

"What's it going to do? Flutter you to death?"

I rolled my eyes. "I can't explain it, but they're absolutely terrifying."

He walked over to the where the moth was still flying crazily about, leaned down and cupped his right hand over it.

"Ooh, don't touch it," I said, immediately flinching.

"Why not?" He asked, grinning, as he picked it up off of the floor, holding it buy its wings. "It's just a bug."

"You're probably hurting it."

"He's fine," Zack reassured.

"You're not going to kill it, are you?" I asked. As ridiculous as it is, I hate moths to death, but not to their death.

He laughed some more. "Well." He paused. "If you want me to?"

"No," I protested automatically.

"You're terrified of it… But you don't want me to kill it?"

I shook my head, crossing my arms over my chest defensively.

Zack laughed once again, and began taking several steps towards me.

"Stop laughing at me." I commanded in mock-anger. "What are you doing?" I asked, growing increasingly nervous.

"Nothing," he replied, raising an eyebrow mischievously.

"Zack…" I spoke his name, warningly. However, he just kept inching closer and closer… "Zack, don't."

"Don't what?" He asked with oodles of fake innocence.

"Put it down…?" I nearly begged. "Please?"

"C'mon," he spoke, his hand-and the monstrous little bug-just feet away from me now. "I'm just trying to help you get over your fear… You know… 12 step recovery plan."

"No," I spoke with fake sternness, but he didn't listen any way.

"Just touch it." He replied, shoving it very close to my face.

Ok, maybe not very close, but close enough to make me squirm in disgust or fear or a strange combination of both. "Zackary…" I admonished, assuming his full name was Zackary.

He just smiled and took another large step forward.

That was as much as I could take. Deciding to run away from the situation, I tried to break right, but he immediately hooked his left arm around my waist and stopped me from getting away. "Mad, it cannot hurt you."

"Let me go," I screamed, as he inched the little bugger towards my face. Soon enough, my back was to his chest, and he held me in place despite my squirming. With my hands shielding my face, I began begging. "Zack, don't."

By this time, he was laughing so hard that he had to mutter between laughs, "Ok, ok…" He let me go, and I went running towards the other side of the room. He walked out onto the back porch and let the moth go. Walking back into the room, I glared evilly in his general direction. "Oh, c'mon… I was just trying to help."

I rolled my eyes in an overly dramatic fashion.

He walked over to me, placed one of his hands on each of my shoulders and said, "You have a problem. I was just trying to help you master your fear." He smiled, joking.

I couldn't keep the straight face for very long, as I muttered a playful, "I hate you." I suddenly became very aware of the situation. Is this the act known to all but me as flirting? I smiled at the thought, but Zack thought I was smiling at him.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm sure." He responded arrogantly, but he didn't move his hands. I grew slightly nervous. "Listen… I owe you." I looked up at his painfully sincere expression and melted instantaneously. "Thank you, Mad."

I just nodded and glanced to the floor, blushing for reasons beyond me. Again, he pulled me into an overwhelmingly comfortable hug and I grew more and more confused. I came to this house, fuming with how upset I was over last night's…situation. I swore I'd be mad and angry and other bad emotions, but what am I doing…Hugging him? Doesn't quite add up. I frowned at my disposition, and he began to pull away.

"Do you want to stay for awhile…? Hang out…? Watch a movie or something…?"

"Um," I shifted awkwardly. "I don't think so."

He looked a little dejected.

"I just," I paused awkwardly, "I just don't think I can," I made up an excuse, "My family comes home today and I should probably get home…"

He nodded in an understanding fashion.

"Ok." I announced. "I'm going to go."

"Well, I'll see you around," he offered.

I just nodded and walked away.

"Thanks again," he called out, before I had time to exit the kitchen.

"No big deal," I lied.

And…there you have it. Maybe you're saying to yourself, "Well, it wasn't worth the ten month wait, and I just wasted a portion of my life that you can never give me back." And I apologize wholeheartedly. I'm sorry for taking my time and whatnot, but it's been a trying year (senior year…impending college doom…family issues…deaths…the whole nine yards) but it helps that school has come to a finish. And because of that, hopefully I can stick to a more manageable updating schedule, but no promises. Thanks for sticking with me this far, I appreciate it more than you'd imagine… I'm sorry if you thought it was awful. But I'm having fun again, which is a definitely step in the right direction. Such madness. Now I'm just rambling.

Thanks (sorry for any typos I went into intense dyslexic mode tonight)… Angelic Daydreamer(thank you so much), Irisae, Anatidaephobiac (love the new penname, btw…update soon, please? Heh.), SilentBlueRose, Adele Rising, Quotata, Whacked (thanks darling, you're much too nice to me), Lozzi1403, You need more flair, Shino-chan 87, Erin, Angel Street, Krissy Hughes, Eisley, Life, Love, Sanity, Kathryn, WrittenReality (Bah, you're seriously WAY too nice to me. Two reviews, one chapter, I don't deserve such niceness), Angelic One, SMUdge2FUdge, DSLovurgurl123, michelle, TheOneAndOnly (aw, sorry the review responses take so much space…trying to fix that by condensing), crazyinluv, lool, erzulie109, izy-bh, amused person (aw, thank you!!), Ailenat, forbiddenfantasy (bah, you're much too nice to me. Seriously. I don't deserve it), Kathryn, blackoleander, Nickety (bah, thank you so much), A-TRAIN, Shima and Tempis, Emenius Sleepus (yes, I love green day), sparkling-fallen-angel, audrey wannabe, sophomore0620, angrygumballxXx, Silver Ice, Phoebs, Corporate Lullabies, WiredCrazyFrances, Foolish Misery, Higher Spectrum, Another Dreamer, pneumothorax, unscrambled egg, mystical eternity, Nicola, Arayuldawen, Angellic Synner (thank you, darling!), Lazy Daze, Felvie, Authentic Zeal, Slightly Daft, murky, snave bobst, Brooke O'Riley (Thanks for the constant support, congrats on the publishing, you must tell me more about it), Dragon Ceres, Sports girl, Silver, the-signs-of-the-zodiac, wilting-tears, liv-star, Otabee Mox, Liquor Rapture, JemG, Kace08, Limejuicetub, ddz008 (aw, thank you so much), Destinyviolet, el pato de amor (love the penname), , tickle-me-pretty15, BlueAquarius, elohimdancer319, briefcase (I love coldplay!), care to dream, the jackass intellectual, depth, macandcheesefreak88, xtinydancerx, hellokittychic31, murphy1086, Martini Kisses (ahaha, I'm glad you're a Zack groupie. Thank you for the review!), that-is-so-barbie, lgisiazsi (did I ever clear up the Zack not being 21 thing…? Let me know and I'll try to explain it better, sorry ofr the confusion), Eliwood of Pharae (thanks!!), Bimbo Trouble, written reality (again!!), Kit Kit, roxy-babe912.

Harmonized: AH! I ADORE YOUR NEWEST STORY. Seriously, HUGE fan, you have no idea. I know it's been out for awhile, and you're pretty far into it, but I LOVE it. Thanks so much for the continuous support, I know I'm a pain and the updating takes years, but you have no idea what it means to me, coming from an author like you. You're incredible.

Arrian Silverarrow: Ahhh, your constant support means more than you could imagine. Honestly, I really appreciated the review, and I know it took me years to update, but I'm trying, I promise!! You told me not to rush, and I sure didn't… Excellent speculations.

Sygel: Hey, thanks so much for your insanely great comments. I know there is a lot of inner-monologues and huge ramblings from Madison, but that's just my style, I guess… It helps me get the point across, I'm sorry if you find them excessive… What can I say, I'm a rambler at heart? But thanks so much for everything you said. So much support and encouragement, I'm completely not worthy.

Snowtiger/Julia: Well, firstly, I should thank you for your extreme honesty with me and helping me out in my time of need… I don't know if it's quite up to your expectations, but I tried. Heh. Thanks for all you do, you provided a lot of direction for the chapter, even if it doesn't seem like it. Hope you get along to updating soon. I still have that old review printed out and hanging on my wall. Haha, obsessive, I know, but it's an ego boost. Thanks.

SilkenSilverBerries: Ahh, your reviews were so kind. Seriously, I appreciate them more than you'd think. Hope you aren't too disappointed in me. Heh. I tried! I promise!

Shaking Leaf: I cannot believe you actually reviewed every single chapter. Gah, I'm so unworthy of such niceness…And all the nice things you said to me!! Ahh, I still can't believe it. But I appreciate it, I really do, and apologize for taking so long…

Quotidian Queen: My that was quite the review you left me… I'm flattered, really. And yeah, I know, torture I deserve… Heh. (sheepish smile) But your comments were incredible, I can't believe you took so much time to just give me so much incredible feedback…I'm eternally grateful! Promise.

Gnat!! I miss you!! Where have you been??? Seriously, it's been forever. Hope you're finished with school by now, congrats!! But as I re-read your review you left me ages ago, I felt all happy and stuff, I can't believe how nice you are to me… Seriously, you have no idea, I don't deserve it at all. You're amazing. I hope we can talk soon.

Sen: My god, what in the world did I do to deserve such a fantastic review…? This is going to sound weird, but I printed it out ages ago and put it on my wall along with a few other reviews that made me particularly happy…You have no idea… So much ego feeding! It's unbelievable. I'm sorry for having taken so long, hope you haven't lost interest, but if you have, I don't blame you at all… Your kindness is so appreciated. Where would I be without you? Substantially less happier.

Ski1118: Ok, you have absolutely no idea how much I worship you as an author. No joke, and the fact that you took time to read my tiny, miniscule story that doesn't even compare to yours…? Well, that flat out baffles me, I'm not going to lie. You're incredible. And it still shocks me that you read and enjoyed (or at least pretended) to enjoy my little story… But thank you so much, I appreciate it more than you could imagine. Hope you can update soon!!

Final Rose: Oh darling, I cannot believe you reviewed all of the chapters—much too nice of you. And all the nice comments, blush, gah, thank you so much.

Mista Mugs: Ahh, you've been around forever! Heh, well, at least reviewing this story since it's wee beginnings…and I'm seriously very grateful for your constant support. Means more to me than you'd think. I'm awful for taking centuries in updating, but…oh well. Sorry!

False Advertisement: Ah, Katelyn, WHERE WOULD I BE WITHOUT YOU??? I hope I never have to find out! Seriously, so much of this chapter is out only because of you, you totally dragged me through my struggles and I appreciate it immensely. You have no idea. Maybe you do. But pretend like you don't, for affect. Seriously, I could not have gotten this done without you, and I don't know how I'll ever be able to repay the debt… If you ever need anything, you don't be afraid to just ask. Because you're incredible. Absolutely incredible. It baffles me. To this day, I don't know why you're so nice to me. But in puns, innuendos and sarcasm we trust!! THANK YOU.

This chapter would not and could not have come together without the help of Katelyn (false advertisement). You're incredible. I appreciate it. Like I said, more than a beta!!

Again. My apologies for not updating sooner. I'm horrible and deserve death, I know, but I'm trying ) As Katelyn said--it's judgement day, and i'm prepared for the doom you guys may want to dish out at me.