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To clear up the confusion I have edited the last chapter. When it said "stop here tonight" or whatever I actually meant "stay here tonight". Stop is just the way we say it where I live. Sorry about the confusion everybody.

Breaking Down the Barriers

Chapter 20 – Bliss

One month later…

"Come on, you're doing fine." Kenneth smiled, turning the volume up a little more. The beats of the tune echoed around the school hall a little. Jessica stood next to him, watching Alex with warm eyes as the blonde girl practiced her dancing on the stage. Alex spun around in a circle and then stretched her right hand out to the side, laughing happily. It was lunchtime, and Jessica and Kenneth had asked the head teacher if they could use the hall to play some music and let Alex practice her dancing. He had smiled and nodded so that led them to his moment. Michael was off doing something nobody knew and Alex felt a little empty without him around. But she tried to ignore the feeling and continued dancing.

As if right on queue, Michael appeared next to Jessica and Kenneth, smiling up at his girlfriend. Kenneth looked at him, looked back at Alex and then looked back at Michael quickly as if just realizing he was there. "Hi. Where were you all this time?"

Michael just continued to smile and watch his girlfriend. "Oh just around. You know?"

"Yeah." Jessica said slowly, obviously amused.

Alex stopped dancing as the tune finished and then just noticed that Michael had arrived. He smiled warmly at her, making her blush noticeably. Jessica smiled at her and rolled her eyes. Alex gave her a weird look and then looked back at Michael. "Hi."

"Hey." He reached his arms up and helped her off the high stage, his arms on her waist as her hands went on his shoulders. She blushed even deeper and lowered her face to hide it, making him chuckle. He put his hand under her chin and forced her to look up. "I have something for you."

Curiosity immediately filled her emerald eyes as she tilted her head to the side a little. "Oh?"

"Yeah." He reached to the table that the stereo was on and grabbed the bouquet of flowers that he had bought her. He handed them to her and smiled when her eyes lit up brightly. He did this every so often. He'd just buy her some flowers for no reason whatsoever or…if he had done something wrong…

"What have you done?" she smiled up at him, making him chuckle again. He kissed her forehead softly and pulled her closer to him.

"Nothing." He replied. "I just felt like getting you some flowers."

"They're lovely." She told him, leaning her head against his shoulder as she let out a sigh. Jessica and Kenneth grinned at them and continued to mess around as they listened to music.

"Michael." Alex started slowly.

"Hmm?" he buried his cheek in her air, closing his eyes.

"I'm going to…go somewhere tonight. I'm dragging Jessie and Kenny along with me. Do you want to come too?"

"Sure." He nodded. "Where are we going?"

She smiled again. "It's a secret."

Now it was his turn to be curious. He pulled back slightly to look at her, his brown eyes looking into hers as if to find the answer. Unfortunately, he wasn't blessed with the gift to read her like she could read him. Her smile widened and she kissed him briefly on the lips. "Be patient. You'll see tonight."

"So glad you could finally join us." Mrs Thomas commented, smiling in amusement as Michael, Alex, Jessica and Kenneth tried to get their breath back. Jessica leaned against the door, her eyes facing the ceiling as she gulped in the air, Kenneth had fallen onto the floor, Michael was bent over, his hands on his knees, and Alex was leaning against the wall. It was a rather…comical sight.

"Sorry…we're…late." Michael said. "We lost track of time."

"It's OK." Mrs Thomas chuckled as the other students laughed.

Alex got her breath back and made her way over to her desk, looking tired. Jessica stumbled drunkenly to her desk, making everyone chuckle and giggle, Michael jogged over to his and Kenneth literally crawled to his.

"Get up you bum!" Jessica laughed at him, nudging him with her foot. He chuckled and climbed into his seat, still breathing heavily.

It was the only class they all shared together, Geography, and it was one of the most boring classes they had. Well…they thought so anyway. They got out their workbooks and started the lesson. Michael muttered something about Geography being one of the worst subjects ever and it should be shot, making Alex chuckle and roll her eyes in amusement. She found it a little funny that Jessica and Kenneth had asked if they could switch seats with the two people in front of Alex and Michael a few weeks ago. So now they sat at the back of the class, Jessica in front of Alex and Kenneth in front of Michael. She shook her head to clear her thoughts and went back to her work. But then she started thinking about how much her life had changed this past month. Her mother and Karl had moved into the house and they had given it a complete makeover, Jessica, Kenneth and Michael always came over and her father and Marie were going to get their sentence today. On the day after when they had gotten arrested, her mother had told them all about his life.

"He was very depressed when he was a child." Samantha said softly as she glanced at them all. "His parents never gave him any love that a child needs. Instead they used to abuse him day in and day out. He had left home when he was nineteen and had gotten a job and his life seemed to be getting back on track."

"But?" Michael prompted, stroking Alex's cheek with his thumb. She glanced down at him from where she sat on his lap, and leaned her head on his shoulder as she listened to her mother.

"But then his father managed to find his phone number about two years later – when he was twenty one." Samantha sighed. "He told John that his mother had died from alcohol poisoning and that it was all his fault. Then he found where John lived and arrived on his doorstep a day after the phone call. He had beaten him up terribly and accused him of killing his own mother by leading her into depression. Then he had told John's employers and friends that he was a drug addict even though he wasn't. Everyone immediately started to ignore him. He lost his job; he lost his home and all of his friends. So…he moved to this town and met me."

"Did he love you?" Paula asked gently.

"Yes. He did." Samantha nodded at her. "And I loved him. He had told me everything that happened and I somehow managed to make it a bit better for him. Then we had Alex—"

"Who is a marvellous person!" Jessica exclaimed, cutting Samantha off and making them all laugh.

"—And things seemed to be, well, perfect." Samantha chuckled, rolling her eyes.

"Then what happened?" Kenneth queried.

"John loved Alex. He always used to play with her and made sure she had nice things. Then…when she was ten years old, he started to turn to drink. He had heard that his father had committed suicide and thought that it was his entire fault. Depression sunk in and he used alcohol as an escape."

"How many times did he abuse you?" Michael asked, frowning.

Samantha bit her lip and thought about it. "I think only four or five times." She sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "He kept drinking, and forgot everything that had happened in his past."

"Why did he throw you out and start to abuse Alex?" Nathan questioned carefully.

Samantha nodded at Karl, indicating for him to explain. He nodded and turned to Nathan. "We think that something that Samantha said triggered something in his memory. He went out drinking and remembered everything. So we think that he felt that they shouldn't have a happy life just because he didn't."

"You mean…" Jessica's mouth dropped open. "He did that because he didn't want them to have a peaceful life?"

"Yeah." Karl nodded.

"It all makes sense now." Kenneth murmured, looking at Jessica. "It makes sense why he made us three drift apart. His father had driven his friends away from him and he did the same with us. Like father like son they say."

Michael looked down at Alex with concern in his eyes. She hadn't spoken for at least two hours now and he was getting a little worried. "You OK?"

"Mmm." She nodded, closing her eyes. "I'm just trying to take it all in."

"So…why did he abuse Alex three years?" Jenny asked, obviously confused.

"Because he was abused." Samantha explained. "So I guess he just did the same as his father. And I think, deep down, he wanted to take it all out on her."

Jenny nodded. "What about Marie? Did you know about her?"

She shook her head. "The first time I heard about Marie was when Michael and Kenny came to our place."

Jenny nodded once more, feeling angry with John and Marie. "Bastards."

"Jenny!" Paula exclaimed as Jessica burst into laughter.

"I love this kid!" She patted Jenny on the head and hugged her. "She knows it all!"

Kenneth rolled his eyes and smiled.

"So…" Alex started, raising her eyes to her mother. "It wasn't anything to do with me? I didn't do anything wrong?"

"No Alex honey." Samantha shook her head, smiling. "You didn't do anything wrong at all."

Alex nodded and buried her head in Michael's neck. Michael felt his heart lurch and immediately wrapped his arms around her fully, holding her close while stroking his hand up and down her back comfortingly. "Hey Alex, are you sure you're OK?"

"Yeah. I'm OK." She murmured in a shaky voice, holding onto him tightly. Michael immediately knew that it was upsetting for her and kissed her hair affectionately. He looked over at Kenneth and Jessica and saw that they were watching Alex with sympathetic eyes.

"I'm sorry that this is so upsetting for you, Alex." Samantha sighed sadly.

"It's okay." Alex replied, still keeping her face in the crook of Michael's neck.

Jenny looked a little worried as she gazed at Alex for a moment but then she forced herself to turn back to Samantha. "Didn't you ever try to contact her after her dad threw you out?"

"She did." Alex replied, lifting her head from Michael's neck to look at Jenny. Michael sighed when he saw the pink marks under her eyes and kissed her head briefly. "She had stayed at a friend's house after my dad threw her out. She banged on the door every day and argued with my dad quite a lot. When she wasn't banging on the door she was phoning us. Then…when she came round on a Saturday I think it was…he said that if she ever called the police, called us or banged on the door again…he'd kill me. He said 'since everyone thinks I'm a murderer then no one will be surprised anyway'. Mom apologised to me and then ran out of the house. I never saw her again until yesterday."

"That must have been awful for you." Nathan commented.

Alex nodded. "I think it would have been worse for mom." She glanced up at her mother. "I heard from her friend that she skipped town."

"I tried to start a new life." Samantha told them, although she was gazing at her daughter. "I got a new job, a new place to live, new friends. But I couldn't forget. My friends helped me through it, lent me a shoulder to cry on and comforted me when I needed it. Then…two years later…I met Karl. I told him why I was so apprehensive to start dating and he understood straight away. So he took it slow. He took me to nice places, gave me nice gifts and, eventually, we went into a serious relationship. I told him all about you, Alex, and he helped me when it became stressful."

"Just one question about your relationship." Alex said suddenly, looking serious. Then she grinned mischievously. "Are you two planning on getting married?"

Karl's mouth dropped open slightly and Samantha blushed, looking away. Alex chuckled evilly and leaned her head against Michael's. "You're evil." He grinned.

"I know." Alex nodded, smiling back. "It's good to know that I can still make my mom blush." She turned to the two adults and her smile widened. "I just wanted to know."

"It all depends on you." Karl smiled back. "I won't do anything that you wouldn't be happy with."

Alex looked shocked for a moment before smiling again. "Thanks Karl."

"Now." Samantha said, trying to hide her blush. "Anything else that needs explaining?"

"Yeah." Jessica nodded. "When can we get something to eat?"

"Alex? You OK?" a voice asked from beside her. She turned to look at Michael, a little shocked, but then smiled and nodded.

"Yeah. I'm fine." She replied.

He sighed out of relief. "Good. I thought there was something wrong. You weren't writing anything and you looked a little…out of it."

She shook her head. "Don't worry. I'm fine."

"OK." He grinned and turned back to his work.

"I'm home!" Alex called as she and Michael walked into the house, slamming the door behind them. "Michael's here as well!"

"Again?" Samantha laughed, her voice coming from the kitchen. Alex and Michael dropped their bags by the stairs and made their way to the kitchen.

"Welcome home." Karl smiled from where he stood at the bench, preparing the dinner.

"Thanks." Alex smiled, sitting down at the table with Michael.

"Have a good day at school?" Samantha asked as she rooted through the fridge.

"Yeah. It was funny as usual." She then showed the bouquet of flowers Michael bought her. "And Michael bought me these."

"Aw they're lovely." Samantha commented, smiling. She got a vase out of the cupboard and filled it up with water, placing the flowers in them. "They could go in your room."

"You bet." Alex smiled at Michael.

"What?" he smiled back. "Why are you smiling at me?"

"I just am." She replied. Then she reached her hand out and brushed her fingers over his cheek softly. He sighed and closed his eyes, shivering ever so slightly at her touch. He opened his mouth to say something but then felt her lips touch his own softly.

Samantha and Karl smiled at each other knowingly and then continued to prepare the dinner, not bothering to disturb the two teenagers. Then Karl grinned mischievously and went to the living room, grabbing the brown envelope off the table that was addressed to Alex. He walked back in and winked at Samantha, who was trying to hold her giggle in. He grinned again and slammed the envelope down on the table with a surprisingly loud bang, causing the two teenagers to jump apart while a blush formed on their cheeks.

"Rule number 25: No making out in the kitchen." He scolded them mockingly, laughing at their reaction.

Alex chuckled. "Oh come on. You two have made out in here tons of times. We always break the rules. It's fun."

"Yeah." He nodded, agreeing. "But I just had to do that to see your reactions."

Michael grinned and tried to hide his blush, lowering his head to look at his hands.

"What's this?" Alex looked at the envelope.

"A letter. For you." Samantha answered. "It came today while you were at school."

Michael looked up and watched as Alex looked at the brown A4 envelope, turning it over to see the sender address. Her eyes widened immediately. "It's from the records company."

"It is?" Michael leaned closer to look, since he was sitting beside her, and saw that it was from the records company they had sent a Demo CD off to a month ago. "Wow. Are you going to open it?"

"I'm not sure." She replied, frowning. "Should I wait for Jessie and Kenny to come over?"

"It's up to you." Michael kissed her left temple affectionately and draped his arm round her shoulders. "What do you want to do?"

She bit her lip. "I don't know." She looked up at Michael and blushed when she saw that their faces were close. Samantha and Karl rolled their eyes at each other and grinned, going back to preparing the dinner once more. Michael smiled at his girlfriend, knowing exactly why she was blushing. Then he was suddenly thinking back into a memory.

Michael looked around, feeling a little worried since he hadn't seen Alex all day and it was night time now. He knew it had something to do with the huge explanation Samantha had given them today. She had been upset finding out what had happened to her father and he knew that she was probably still feeling a little sad. She had told them that she was going for a walk and hadn't come back since. Michael was currently walking towards her house when he noticed a figure in the tree in the back garden. He ran towards it and climbed up, immediately knowing that it was Alex. He sighed in relief when he sat down beside her, feeling glad that she was okay. She smiled weakly at him and then leaned back against the trunk of the tree again. "I'm sorry that I just disappeared like that. But I needed time to think."

"It's OK." He shook his head. "It's understandable. You just had me worried for a little while that's all."

She smiled again. "I always thought that I was the reason, you know?"

Michael knew what she was talking about. She thought that she had done something wrong to make her father start abusing her. "But you weren't. It was his past."

"Yeah." She swallowed, nodding. She closed her eyes and fell silent for a moment. "I'm just glad that everything's all right now."

"Yeah." He nodded. Even at night he could still see her bruises. It made her look like she was part of the shadows, and he rolled his eyes at himself for being silly.

"What are you smiling at?" she asked curiously, turning to look at him.

"Just at my own stupid thoughts." He replied.

"Your thoughts aren't stupid. What were you thinking about?"

"I was thinking that with the bruises you look like your part of the shadows." He chuckled at himself.

She giggled and smiled at him, nudging him affectionately with her foot. "It sounds mystical."

"Yeah." He chuckled again, moving closer to her. She leaned her head on his shoulder and sighed. Slowly, they went serious and both thought about the same thing.

"What if he comes back?" she voiced her thoughts. "Like how his father came back for him?"

"I'll make sure the bastard can't try anything." Michael replied seriously, slipping his arm around her waist and kissing her forehead.

She had to smile. He was so protective and sweet. "Thanks Michael."

He kissed her forehead again, smiling. "No problem."

"Okay now you look out of it." Alex grinned, waving a hand in front of his eyes. He immediately snapped back to reality with a 'huh?' making Alex laugh at him. "Oh Michael you're weird sometimes."

"Thanks." He chuckled at her.

"Your welcome." She turned back to the envelope and opened it slowly, biting her lip. Samantha and Karl immediately turned around and waited patiently as Alex read over the letter.

Michael made sure that he didn't read it over her shoulder. That would be rude. He gazed at Alex's face for a while and felt worried when her eyes misted over. Oh they didn't reject her did they?

"They liked it." She whispered, placing the letter down on the table as a crystal tear fell down her cheek.

"What?" Michael frowned.

She smiled at him. "They loved it!"

"They did?" Samantha looked thrilled as she took Karl's hand in her own.

"Yes!" Alex nodded, jumping into Michael's lap and wrapping her arms around his neck. "They liked it a lot and think that I have great talent! They want to meet me this Saturday and discuss the CD and my singing!"

"That's great!" Michael laughed, hugging her tightly.

Karl smiled. "That's fantastic."

"I'm gonna call Jessie." She stated and dashed for the phone, knowing that Kenneth was probably there too and they were having another make out session. Michael stood behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, burying his face in her neck as he smiled happily for her.

"Hello?" Jessica answered.

"Jessie! It's me!" Alex cried, wiping at her cheeks.

"Hi Allie. What's wrong? Are you crying?"

"Um…yeah I guess. A little. You'll never guess what?"

"Is it so important to interrupt us?" Kenneth chuckled, obviously standing next to Jessica.

"Yes it is." Michael said into the phone.

"I got a letter from the records company today and they loved the demo CD! They want to meet me on Saturday!"

"YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Jessica screamed happily, making Alex, Michael and Kenneth cover their ears in pain while groaning. "ALEX THAT'S FANTASTIC!!! HOLD ON WE'LL BE RIGHT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Ok." Alex laughed and hung up. She turned around in Michael's loose embrace and kissed him suddenly, wrapping her arms around his neck. He was startled for a minute but then immediately returned it, pulling her closer.

"Rule number 26: No making out in the living room." Karl laughed from the doorway.

Alex smiled and continued kissing Michael, waving Karl away with her hand. He rolled his eyes and went back to help Samantha in preparing the meal, smiling to himself.

"So you're going to be a pop star????" Jessica clapped her hands excitedly. Kenneth had tried calming her down but it just wouldn't work. Currently, he and Michael were standing by the door and discussing how to calm her down.

"We coulduse a tranquillizer gun." Michael nodded, stroking his chin thoughtfully.

"Yeah." Kenneth grinned. "Shoot her in the ass. She'll be out like a light for a few hours."

"Shut up you guys." Alex laughed at them and then turned back to Jessica. "I'm not sure just yet. They liked the demo CD a lot and said that they'd love to meet me on Saturday to hear me sing in person."

"Oh my god!" Jessica jumped around happily. "My best friend is gonna be famous!"

Karl and Samantha laughed at her and shook their heads in amusement. It had been, at least, seven hours since Jessica and Kenneth had come round and she still couldn't calm down. She jumped around happily and clapped her hands like a child on Christmas Day who had been given one of the best presents ever.

"Hey Alex." Michael appeared behind her and slipped his arms around her waist, pulling her against him. "Didn't you want to drag us all to somewhere?"

"Yeah." She nodded, craning her neck to look at him. "Are you ready to go?"

"Where are we going?" Kenneth queried curiously.

"Secret." Alex winked at him, then turned to Samantha and Karl. "You two are coming as well."

"We are?" Karl asked.

"Yep. Come on." Alex led the way to the front door and, together, they all walked out into the street. Alex called back into the house for Shadow to follow and the Border Collie happily came out of the house to tag along. Michael glanced down at his watch. 23:02. He took Alex's hand in his own, glancing around protectively. Kenneth was still trying to calm Jessica down, Shadow was walking alongside Alex and Michael and Karl and Samantha were discussing a book with each other.

"What about when Darlene finds out that Jack was the murderer?" Samantha smiled. "I thought that bit was really scary."

"I thought it was funny." Karl returned the smile.

"Come on Jessie calm down." Kenneth grinned at the brunette. He held onto her arms firmly and laughed while she was jumping up and down.

"My best friend's gonna be a pop star!" She smiled happily.

"I think it's made her mad." Michael joked, making Alex laugh and Shadow bark.

"It looks like it." Alex nodded and then led them onto a pathway after they snuck through someone's back garden. Michael frowned and realized he had been here before.

"Hey I know where we're going. We're going to—" Alex suddenly stopped walking and kissed him, stopping him from finishing his sentence. She pulled away after a moment and smiled.

"No telling them." She instructed and continued walking. He put his fingers to his lips and smiled, jogging after her and glancing around cautiously, making sure that nothing was there that would be dangerous. Samantha frowned and looked around. She knew this place too. She shrugged the feeling off and they all followed Michael and Alex to wherever they were going. Shadow brushed himself against his mistress affectionately and then continued to walk normally.

"Here we are." Alex smiled as they came to the clearing. Jessica immediately calmed down and gasped at the sight, Kenneth's mouth twitched into a small smile, Karl had his mouth dropped open in awe and Samantha was nodding.

"I remember this place." She said to her daughter, smiling. "You still know the way."

"Yep." Alex nodded and led the way to sit by the lake. They copied her as they continued to look around at the beautiful scenery. Shadow laid down next to the lake, letting out a sigh of contentment as he closed his eyes.

"This place is so beautiful." Jessica whispered, looking at Alex. "Why did you bring us all here?"

"I thought it'd be nice to be here for tonight since it's a clear sky and we can see the stars." Alex smiled and then lay down on her back, gazing up at the twinkling stars. Michael smiled and lay down next to her. They were all silent for a long time before Alex raised her hand and joined the stars together with the tip of her finger. Michael's smile widened and he watched as her finger trailed invisible lines in the air. He then grabbed her hand gently and pointed it to a different direction.

"Orion." She smiled, turning her gaze to him.

Samantha smiled at her daughter and Michael and then laid down on her back with Karl. "I'm glad you brought us here."

"Yeah." Kenneth agreed.

The full moon was shining down brightly on them, casting a lovely light on the small lake. The water rippled softly in the slight breeze, causing the reflection of the stars to appear as if they were dancing.

"Hey." Michael said suddenly, pointing at something in the sky. "A shooting star. Make a wish."

Alex watched the star for a moment and then said softly, "I don't need to." She turned to him.

He smiled at her and brushed his fingers over her cheek, causing her to shiver and close her eyes. His smile widened and he continued with his actions, tracing his fingers over her face softly and making her giggle. The bruises and cuts that her father had caused were gone now, and so was every other bruise that she had. He brushed his fingers of the skin where the bruise had been on her face on that night that Shadow had been sold to Big Al and sighed. She opened her eyes to look at him and smiled softly.

"Sleep sound, sleep tight
Little baby, goodnight
Close your eyes, rest your head
It's time to go to bed

When the sun's in the sky
You can open your eyes
While the sky has the moon,
Sleep, for dawn will come soon."

Alex looked over at her mother and smiled. "I haven't heard you sing that lullaby for years."

Samantha smiled back at her and then turned to Karl. "You OK?"

"Uh-huh." He smiled at her, brown eyes sparkling in the light. He was remembering the reaction that the teenagers had had when they had heard the news.

"Good news." Samantha said as she came out of the kitchen. "I am now officially divorced."

"That's wonderful!" Alex immediately hugged her.

"YAY!" Jessica smiled. Kenneth rolled his eyes and continued with trying to calm her down.

"And…" Karl said. "I found out how long John and Marie will get."

"Oh?" Michael perked up.

"They've been given eight years." He told them all.

Alex nodded, still smiling brightly, and hugged Michael tightly.

Kenneth and Jessica cheered, shouting something like 'good guys always win' and Samantha smiled happily.

"Say…why don't you sing something Alex?" Kenneth suggested.

"Yeah." Jessica nodded in agreement.

"OK." Alex nodded and lay back down to look at the stars. Samantha and Karl looked over at her curiously as she started to sing. Shadow's ears perked up and he laid down closer to his mistress.

"Woman in blue
That's what I am
I'm jus' waitin' for you to tell me where I stand

Woman in blue
I don't wanna be
I'm jus' waitin' for you to come runnin' to me

I know I said I'd leave you never
But I can't be waitin' around forever
Why am I such a fool?
Always waitin' here for you?
La da da da…la da da

Michael sighed and leaned his head against her shoulder. She reached her hand up and caressed his face gently with her fingers, kissing his head briefly. Kenneth and Jessica smiled at each other and then turned their gaze back to Alex and Michael, Samantha smiled proudly at her daughter and held Karl's hand, their fingers intertwining.

Woman in blue
Here in the rain
I said I wouldn't wait but here I am again

Woman in blue
Under the moon
I think I'm gonna have to get along home real soon

Michael looked up and their eyes met. He smiled at her and took her hand in his. She smiled back and traced a finger down his cheek.

And then you suddenly appear
Sayin' the words I wanna hear
That you really love me too
An' I don't gotta be so blue

La da da da…la da da

She leaned closer to him and brushed her lips against his in a soft kiss, closing her eyes. Michael rested his hands on her waist and responded happily, smiling into the kiss. Alex laid her hand on his cheek and pulled away slightly. "Thank you Michael."

He frowned, obviously confused. "For what?"

"Well…before you came…I was still cold and distant to everybody. Jessie and I were still arguing with each other, Marie and dad were still abusing me and I thought that I'd never see mom again. But…you kept insisting to be my friend and then…when I told you everything…you changed things. If it wasn't for you then Marie and my dad would probably still have control over me. So…thanks."

He smiled again and kissed her forehead. "No problem. Anytime." Then he thought about something. "When you're a famous singer will you still be my girlfriend?"

Alex faked offence. "Of course. When you're a famous cop will you still be my boyfriend?"

"Of course." He laughed.

Alex then remembered something. "When you invited me over to your house for dinner ages and ages ago you said you wanted to become an actor."

"God you have an excellent memory." He laughed. "I suppose I did. But I change my mind quickly. But now…I'm positive that I want to become a police officer. I want to make sure that no other parent abuses their child like your dad did to you."

"Aww he's so SWEET!!!" Jessica squealed.

"Hey!" Kenneth cried, laughing. "What about me?"

"Aw you're sweet too Kenny!" She laughed with him. Samantha and Karl burst into laughter, shaking their heads in amusement.

Michael smiled, trying to ignore them. "So…yeah. I'm hoping to become a police officer."

Alex smiled back. "That's lovely."

Michael chuckled at her and kissed her forehead softly. "You know…maybe we should get married when we're older."

"You never know." She smiled, looking up at the stars. "We might one day."

"Yeah." He nodded.

"Michael." Alex started slowly, making him look at her.


Alex bit her lip. How should she tell him? Just tell him the truth like she wanted to? "I…I love you."

Michael smiled and his eyes lit up brightly. He kissed her on the lips briefly. "I love you too Alex."

"AAAAWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!" Jessica squealed even louder, making them all laugh.

Alex looked at Michael and smiled. They had been through a lot together. He had become her friend, then, slowly, they had gotten closer as they hung out more and more. Then she had begun to be confused about her own feelings, then he had nearly run her over on the night that Shadow had been taken away from her, they had developed their friendship into something more, he had gotten Shadow back for her, he had helped Jessica and Kenneth become friends with her again and then he had reunited her with her mother. The scariest part for them was when her father had held a knife to her throat. He had thought that he was going to lose her and his heart had felt like it had been torn in two when he had thought that. He brushed his fingers over her cheek and smiled. He didn't want to lose her; she was too important to him. He loved her more than anything in the entire world and couldn't even imagine what life would be like without her. She returned the smile, thinking the exact same thing. Maybe, when they were older, they would get married. Maybe they'd spend the rest of their lives together. Whatever happened, Alex knew that Michael would be by her side all the way. They were in love, and nothing was going to change that.

"What are you doing?"

"Walking with you."

"Why do you smile so much?"

"Because I'm happy?"

"So…does this mean we're friends?"

"Yeah, I guess it does."

"Why do you want me to go with you anyway? Why don't you want to go with one of the other girls?"

"Because they're all annoying and bitchy. I want to go with you."

"Sorry. I'm not good at this type of dancing."

"Here I'll help you."

"Does this mean that we're girlfriend and boyfriend?"

"Do you want it to mean that?"

"I wouldn't mind."

"OK then. You're my girlfriend. And I'm your boyfriend."

"Oh Michael." Alex murmured. "I love you so much."

He smiled at her happily. "And I love you. Probably even more than you love me."

She giggled. "I doubt it."

"I don't." he chuckled.

"AWW—" Jessica started but Kenneth's hand clapped over her mouth quickly. He grinned at Alex and Michael.

"Come here Shadow." Samantha said and hugged Shadow affectionately when he obeyed. He barked happily and licked Karl, making the man laugh.

Alex laid her hand on Michael's cheek and smiled. Everything was perfect. He smiled back at her and leaned into her touch, closing his eyes. Alex leaned closer to him and sighed happily. He had made sure that everything was perfect for her. He had done so much for her and she felt that she had to do something for him in return. He opened his eyes and smiled again, causing her heart to beat faster than usual.

"HOW CUUUUUUUUTE!!" Jessica squealed as Michael and Alex kissed again, laughing as she managed to get Kenneth's hand away from her mouth.

Yes. Life couldn't get any more perfect than this.

Thursday 14 July 20:24

I am happy, proud and sad to announce that this was the last chapter in this story. And damn I hope it was good enough. If you want me to rewrite it then say so and I'll try. Well…you don't have to worry I won't make a massive speech about wanting to thank my family and things like that lol. But I would like to thank my sister deeply since she wrote all of the songs for me since I'm no good at song writing. Thanks a lot sis, you don't know how much it meant to me. Thank you so so much. Well…I guess that's this story over then lol. This is actually the first romance story I have ever written and I never expected to get so many reviews. So…I'd like to thank everyone who's ever reviewed and everyone who's ever read this story – even if you haven't reviewed.

Final Thanks To:

Martini Kisses
Kat Sway
nhatters (anon)
hi (anon)
the tale of a broken heart
Winged Shadow
Kira (anon)
gonnabefamous (anon)
One Dead Raven
Yuki of the Snow
codyismypup (anon)
Angela (anon)
Go Ask Alice
Wynter Frost
Black Gumdrop
D. K. Raven
Fire's guardien
Riley (anon)
Candace (anon)
Mara (anon)
klorfrosken (anon)
Fantasy Freakazoid
Misundastood - AKA Lou x x x

Yup…I think that's everyone. If I've missed anyone out then I am truly sorry and you have my biggest thanks.And if I've said anyone more than twice thenI'msorry again.So…yeah…I hope that this chapter was OK and I hope that you enjoyed the story. Hopefully you'll be seeing more of me in the future. You'll probably see a new story of mine later on tonight or tomorrow lol. Mwahahahahahahahaha. Until then!