"Seraphina! Wait!" I shouted after her. She whirled around, and I saw that I'd made her cry again.

Sera never cried. She just wasn't the type.

I was a monster.

After an agonizing second, she spun away from me again and ran faster than before. I sprinted harder than I'd ever gone in my life. But she was fast.

We ended up on the other side of the campus before she finally slowed. Her chest was heaving, and she leaned against a tree. Collapsed against it, more like. "I do love you." Her breath caught, then stopped completely. There was a look of such twisted pain and hope that I felt even more like the bad guy.

How? How did she manage to do that when she'd been the one lying to me?

"You don't," she said quietly once she started breathing again.

"What do you mean? Do you need me to show you again?" I took a step toward her, but she flinched away and held up her hands to block me out.

"No! No, don't. You'll only make it worse."

"What? How?" I was lost. No wonder my friends had always talked about how girls always flipped situations around, mixed them up until you were in a completely different place than you began.

"When you leave again, I don't know how I'll bear it. I hurt you. I did you wrong. You couldn't forgive me for that. If you loved me, you would have. You would have taken a day or two and been mad, but you would have come back and tried to work things out. You didn't."

"Of course I didn't. You walked all over me. Stop making me look like the villain. And I'm here, aren't I? I chased after you. And I came to America. I moved here. I was willing to… I was willing to be shunned by society, to stay by you. To go against convention."

"When you put it that way…" She shut her eyes for a second, and when she opened them, they were clear. She took two deliberate steps toward me, closing the distance between us. Watching my eyes, she wound her arms around my neck and kissed me.

This was sweeter than our others. Like we had all the time in the world. But it was somehow more private, too. I almost couldn't bear it.

"I'm sorry," I whispered.

"Not as sorry as I am. What do you say we put this behind us?"

"I think I can manage that. But there's one more thing that should be cleared up."

She looked confused for a moment, so I prompted, "I love you," and waited expectantly, trying and failing to ignore the nerves fluttering in my stomach.

"Oh, that. Yes, I love you too. Happy now?"

"Yes, actually. Very."


And that, my lovelies, is the end.

I completely uploaded the whole story before posting a single chapter, so I'm afraid I won't be able to thank everyone individually, but know that every comment, subscription, and favorite is treasured.

Until next time,