Six months later…
"I'm sorry I couldn't come home as early as I thought," I said through the phone to my brother.
"It's okay little sis," he replied, not sounding too happy.
"I promise I'll make it up to you as soon as I get there."
"Okay, I'll talk to you later. I gotta go let the guys know you're not coming today."
"Sorry, Adam. I'll talk to you later. Love you!"
"Love you too, bye."
I barely could hold my laughter before hanging up the phone. He had absolutely no idea I was lying! Like I would actually postpone my visit back to California a week! No, there was no way I'd be able to do that. I missed my brother and the band way too much to do that. And I missed Sandra and Carter, and even Carter's mom. I only saw Adam a few months ago when he visited me in New York, but other than that I only talked to everyone over the phone several times a week. I missed my old house too, because living on my own was boring.
Well, I lived with my mom for the summer after I graduated high school. After the summer was over, I moved into an apartment on the NYU campus. I really liked NYU at first, but honestly, if you asked me if I was happy, I'd say no.
I wasn't happy that I was so far from everyone. Granted, I made some new friends in New York, but it's such a big city that you feel unimportant sometimes. My classes were hard, though I kept my grades at an average B so far. My mother drove me insane during the summer, and she still does since we live so close to each other.
But the biggest reason why I wasn't happy in New York is because I'm not with Scott anymore. I thought the distance would help dissolve my feelings for him so that we could be friends, but I still wasn't sure that I was completely over him. We haven't really spoken to each other since Unknown Jealousy left for their tour. I only talked to him over the phone maybe a few times. Usually I talked to the other guys and my brother instead. That didn't mean we weren't friends though. I mean, I guess we'd be considered as friends, or maybe distant friends.
I shook those thoughts out of my head as I parked my rental car on the street in front of my old house. The driveway spaces were occupied with the guys' cars since they were originally there to wait for me to come home, until Adam just informed them I wasn't coming until a week later. I smiled brightly, skipping up the walkway to the front door, and gently pushed the door open. I closed it quietly before walking towards the living room, where I heard the guys talking.
"I can't believe she's not coming for another week!" Blake exclaimed. I bit my lip to keep from laughing.
"I know, it's been forever since I saw my best friend!" That was Sandra's voice, which surprised me since I didn't see her car in the driveway. She probably got a ride with Scott and Carter though.
"Yeah, I miss her just as much as you guys do, but she'll be here in a week. Even if that means I have to drag her by her blonde hair myself," Adam said. I could hear the smile in his voice.
"Geez Adam, no need to get so violent. If you really wanted me to visit, you wouldn't have to drag me by my hair," I said, walking into the living room. He stood up immediately and gave me a huge hug.
"Ellie, what the hell are you doing here? I thought you weren't coming until next week!" I laughed, releasing myself from his hug.
"Yeah, I lied. I wanted to surprise you all!"
"I knew you wouldn't wait a week to see me!" Blake grinned, giving me a hug.
"Oh course not!" I chuckled, hugging him back. Tanner came up to me next, hugging me while he smiled brightly. After he released me from his hug, Sandra ran over to me and gave me a tight hug, one that was unavoidable from her girly grip.
"I missed you best friend! It sucks not having you around! How's New York? Any city boys catch your interest? Did you see the Naked Cowboy?! Have you seen any Broadway plays yet? You better have not found a new best friend by the way!"
I laughed, taking a step back from her happy self. "Whoa, take it easy, Sandra! You asked me like a hundred questions in thirty seconds!"
She laughed too. "Sorry about that, I'm just so excited to see you!"
I shook my head, "I'm excited to see you too, all of you." Sandra moved to my side, giving me a view of everyone staring at me in the living room. I took that moment to see Carter standing near Sandra, wearing his familiar bright smile. I smiled back at him, slowly moving my gaze to his right, where his brother was standing.
As soon as my eyes landed on Scott, I immediately knew I still felt something for him. No, it wasn't just something, it was love. I missed Scott so much, and I knew I still loved him, even though we were apart for months. He stood there with a small smile on his face and had his hands in his jean pockets, showing he was uncomfortable. I was a little uncomfortable too since it's felt like forever since we saw each other, or even talked to each other. And it really hurt that I couldn't just run up to him and kiss him, like I've wanted to do for a while.
"So you have to tell us all about New York!" Sandra said, interrupting my drifting thoughts by pulling me towards the couch. I plopped down next to her, while Blake sat on my other side. Everyone else just filled in surrounding seats.
"Okay, what do you want to know?"
"Everything I asked you before!"
I thought back to the questions she just asked me at a super fast speed. "Uh, well yes I did see the Naked Cowboy, no I haven't seen a Broadway play yet, though my mom tried to make me go with her neighbor."
"Why'd she do that?" Adam asked.
I rolled my eyes at the memory of my mom asking me to attend the play with her neighbor's son. "Because her neighbor is wealthy and has a son my age. Mom tried to set up a date for me to see The Phantom of the Opera with him," I chuckled.
"She really did that?" Tanner asked, amused at my mother's weird action. I nodded.
"Did you go?" Sandra asked.
"Yeah, I had to. I tried telling my mother I didn't feel well, but she made me go anyway, using the 'I'm paying for your tuition' line. I went, saw the play, had a horrible time, and came home, forcing my mother to never make me do that again."
"Why'd you have a horrible time?" Carter asked.
I shrugged. "Basically the guy was a boring snob. And I really didn't want to go on any dates in the first place," I answered, not meaning for that last part to slip out. I cautiously glanced at Scott to see if he caught that, but he was staring down at his shoes. I looked back at Sandra right away.
"And no, I did not find a new best friend, you silly girl."
"Yeah Sandy, you're irreplaceable," Adam joked. She shot him a glare at the nickname, but ended up smiling anyway.
"So how do you like NYU?" Tanner asked me.
"It's okay," I shrugged, partially lying.
"How do you really feel about it?" he continued.
I sighed, "It's nice, most of the time. The classes are hard as hell, but I've been doing alright."
He nodded at my answer, sensing I didn't have much more to say about it. I wasn't ready to tell everyone that I was thinking about transferring to the college near here either. I only recently thought about moving back here, not even thinking out what my entire plan would be. Actually, what I really wanted to do was to finish college online so I could travel and take photographs across the country, but I didn't think out how exactly I'd do that.
"Well, we'll definitely have to talk much more, but I'm sure you're tired from your flight," Sandra commented.
I nodded, "Yeah, I am pretty tired. Anyone want to help me carry in my bags?"
The guys all nodded and got up to carry in my bags. I had more luggage than I'd usually bring since I was hopefully planning on transferring college during this winter break, though I' d have to talk to Adam about his thoughts on that.
I went out to get my last few bags with them, and it was only Scott and me reaching for my last bag. Of course, what are the odds he'd be the one helping me with my last bags?
"I got it," I said.
"No, it's fine, I'll get it," he said in his smooth voice that I missed like crazy.
I smiled, "Thanks." He nodded and started to walk away, until he stopped himself and turned back around.
"Hey, I never got to say this, but I'm glad you're visiting. I missed you," he said, rubbing the back of his neck with his free hand.
"I missed you too," I said, watching him smile in return and walk back in the house.
One thing that sucks about visiting California after living in New York for months is that when I woke up the next morning, it was five in the morning. I was used to waking up at the same time, only in New York it'd be eight in the morning. Therefore, when I woke up early the next morning, I took a shower and got dressed, hoping to kill some time. It was only half an hour later by the time I finished, so I decided to go for a walk while I waited for Adam to wake up. It was cool outside, much better weather than the snow I had to tolerate for weeks in New York.
I decided to walk the long way around the block, taking me the opposite way of Sandra's house. I walked at a slow pace, enjoying the rising sun in the quiet neighborhood. It was weird to hear such silence; no impatient beeping cars, loud crowds of people, or whistles of people calling taxis.
By the time I reached the corner of the long street, I could smell the cafés bakery goods. I smiled at the great memories I had there; working there part-time, eating there with everyone at least once a week, spilling my drink on Carter there when I wasn't so fond of Scott. That made me laugh out loud, thinking of embarrassing Carter like that unintentionally.
"Did I miss a good joke?" someone said. I looked to my left and saw Scott walking towards me, in the direction of the café.
"I was just thinking of the time I spilled my drink on Carter when the three of us hung out for the first time," I explained, smiling.
He nodded with a smile as well. "Yeah, and then Carter told you why I named my dog Ace."
I laughed, "That's right! I almost forgot about that! How is Ace?"
"Still living," he grinned.
"So why are you up so early?" I asked.
"I could ask you the same thing."
"Well it'd be about eight thirty in New York right now, which is when I'm usually up. What's your excuse?"
He shrugged, "I go to the café most mornings to get some coffee. My mom knows how to cook, but she doesn't make the best coffee. Don't tell her I said that though."
"Oh I am so telling her now," I chuckled.
"No you won't, I'll stop you from seeing her then. I don't want her feelings to be hurt when she finds out I think her coffee sucks."
"Fine, I won't tell her, but only because I don't want to hurt her feelings."
"Sure, that's why," he joked. Walking past me to the café.
I followed him, "Hey, that is why! I happen to love your mother. In fact, I think I'll visit her today because I miss her."
"Be my guest, I know she misses you too."
"Why, did she say that?" I asked, following him in the café and into the waiting line.
"Yeah, when she asked me about you a couple of months ago."
"Asked about me? What did she ask?"
He shrugged, "I don't know, how you were doing, if you liked New York."
"And what did you tell her?" I asked curiously. A couple of months ago we were barely talking, so he couldn't have had any idea how I was doing.
"I told her I wasn't sure because we weren't really talking. I'm sorry about that by the way," he said. He turned away from me to order two coffees while I processed what he said. He handed me a coffee a minute later and sat down at a nearby table.
"Thanks for the coffee I didn't ask for," I smiled. He nodded and took a sip of his. After a few minutes of silence, I finally asked why he apologized.
"Why are you apologizing?"
He stared at his drink for a minute before looking into my eyes. "I wanted to talk to you so badly sometimes, but I figured you didn't want to talk to me. So I didn't make an effort to talk to you at all."
I felt my eyebrows furrow in confusion. "Why'd you think I didn't want to talk to you?"
He shrugged, "We broke up, so I thought that was it for you."
"But I didn't want to, it was just the distance thing that bothered me. I said I really wanted to be friends."
"I thought that was just your way of being nice after breaking up. And what do you mean the 'distance thing'?"
"I didn't want to be in a relationship when we were so far from each other. Things happen when distance separated a couple."
I raised my eyebrows and tilted my head slightly. "Oh, so you didn't spend time with any other girls while I was across the country?"
"No, I didn't," he said seriously. If it wasn't for the serious look in his eyes, I probably would've thought he was lying straight to my face.
"Why not?" I asked softly, afraid of the answer he was going to give.
"I think you know exactly why not, Elliana," he said gently. My heart immediately melted at his words, knowing exactly what he meant. Or at least hoping he meant that he still loved me just as much as I loved him.
"I do?" I replied, basically because it was all I could manage to say at the moment.
He continued to gaze into my eyes, not looking away for a second. "Yes, and you know we'd still be together if it wasn't for the damn distance separating us."
"Well, what if I stayed?" I asked without thinking first, something I was known to do.
He looked at me with a confused expression. "What do you mean?"
I cleared my throat. "What if I stayed here in California for longer than just a visit?"
After a minute, he slowly smiled, catching on to what I meant. "Then that'd probably be the best Christmas present ever." I laughed, sitting up to lean on the table.
"Are you really going to stay, permanently?" he asked.
"I really want to. I want to transfer to the local college here. Either that or go to college online so I could travel to take photographs across the country, but that's more of a dream than my first option," I chuckled.
He grinned, "And what makes you want to stay here instead of going back to New York?"
"You," I replied, blushing once I realized how corny that sounded. He laughed at my lovely reaction.
I nodded, "Among other things, so don't feel so special."
"Oh, I see how it is. What other things?"
I shrugged, "Nobody in New York gets my Disney obsession. The only place I can embrace that is around everyone here."
"That's a good reason to stay here instead of the Big Apple," he joked, standing up to throw out our empty cups. I stood up too, following him outside.
"Hey, it is a good reason to stay here! I'll miss the Naked Cowboy though. He was very entertaining, even though he wasn't fully naked."
Scott rolled his eyes. "Oh please, anyone can sing in their underwear on the street and play guitar."
"You wouldn't do it."
"Sure I would, and I'm probably a better singer and guitarist than him too."
"Ah, you have quite the confidence, don't you?" I chuckled. I stopped walking when we reached his house, standing in front of him.
"I'll prove that I can do it one day."
"Okay, I'll hold you to that."
"I know you will," he grinned. I noticed how his smile brightened his entire face. His hair was still messy, his eyes were still my favorite shade of blue, and he was still taller than me by a lot, not that I was expecting him to shrink. I just liked that he didn't change, since I loved him how he was.
"Are you really going to stay?" he asked, looking more serious than just before.
"Yeah, I think so. I'm going to talk it over with Adam if he's awake when I get back. I wanted to figure everything out before Christmas though, so I know early if everything works out."
"Okay," he said, nodding. He looked like he wanted to say more, but after I waited another minute, I gave him a hug before I started walking back home.
"Elliana, wait," he said. He sounded frustrated, but more with himself than me. I turned around and looked at him, concerned.
He ran his fingers through his hair, messing it up more than before. I smiled at his action, waiting for him to speak.
"I just…I didn't really say it back at the café, but I wanted to tell you that I really do still love you, and I have the entire time you were gone. I know if you do end up going back to New York then you probably won't want to get back together, but I do."
I slowly walked towards him, standing just inches in front of him. He stared down at me, waiting for my reply. "Even if we're thousands of miles away? You'd still want to be with me then? Haven't you changed your mind during the time I was gone?"
"No, I didn't change my mind. I wanted to be with you that entire time you were gone, and I definitely still do. If I could move to New York with you, I would, but it wouldn't be fair to the band to have to find another guitarist."
I shook my head. "I wouldn't want you to give up on your dream anyway. Besides, they were barely able to find a new guitarist until you showed up, so they'd be shit out of luck finding another new guitarist," I chuckled.
He chuckled, "Yeah, I remember some of the auditions. There were definitely some horrible guitarists."
I nodded, watching him chuckle at the memory. Without thinking, I stood on my toes and kissed him. I hoped he wouldn't reject the kiss, which he didn't. He did the complete opposite by grabbing my waist to pull me against his body and deepen the kiss. I wrapped my arms around his neck, my hands slowly finding their way to his soft dark hair. I've wanted to kiss him for so long, and my spur of the moment action was worth it. When we needed a little air to breathe, my lips left his, though I continued to gaze into his eyes, still standing on my tippy toes.
"I still love you too, Scott," I said. He grinned and kissed me again, until I had to break the kiss to breathe.
"Sorry, it's been a while since we did that, and I really missed you," he said, chuckling. I
"I missed you too," I replied, hugging him tightly. He wrapped his arms around me, holding me against him for a few minutes until I heard someone call my name.
"Elliana Patterson! It's been too long since I saw you, dear!" I backed away from Scott to see who was calling my name behind me, though Scott still kept one of his arms around my waist.
"Hey Denise," I smiled, walking over to hug Scott's mom.
"Why did you tell me she was here?" she asked her son.
"She was too busy kissing me," Scott said, smirking. I narrowed my eyes at him, a little surprised he said that to his mother.
"I only did it to shut him up about mocking your coffee, Denise," I lied, winking at Scott. He narrowed his eyes at me, while his mom spoke.
"You don't like my coffee?"
"Never mind, how are you, dear? How do you like New York?" she asked me.
"It was fun while it lasted, but I think I'm ready to move back home."
"Oh? Why is that?"
I shrugged, "A few reasons."
She smiled sweetly. "And would one of those reasons be because of a certain someone?" she asked, nodding her head towards Scott.
I grinned, "That could be one reason. Actually, I have to get back to figure out my transferring plans, but I promise to stop by tomorrow if that's okay?"
"Of course that's okay! I'll see you then," she said, hugging me goodbye and walking back into her house.
"So are you really leaving now, or was that just to get rid of my mom so we could make out?" Scott teased.
I slapped his arm playfully and rolled my eyes. "Yes, I'm really going. You want me to stay, don't you?"
"Without a doubt," he replied, putting his hands on my waist again.
"Then I have to go tell Adam the news, get everything set to transfer schools, and break the news to my mom. That should be fun," I joked, already dreading the conversation I'd have with her.
"Alright, I'll drop by later then, okay?"
"Sure." I gave him a quick kiss before walking away.
"That's the goodbye kiss I get?" he yelled after me.
"Yup!" I laughed.
Scott's Point of View:
I couldn't even begin to describe how happy I was now that Elliana's moving back to California. The first moment I saw her after half a year, I thought she looked just as beautiful as she did before, if not more. Her personality was still the same, her laugh still brightened my day, and her smile was still contagious.
Since I'm spending Christmas with my family, everyone went over to her house for Christmas Eve to exchange gifts. Mostly everyone got each other random gifts due to inside jokes or just something that represented the person, but I was really hoping Elliana would like my gift. I gave her a portfolio book that she could keep her amazing photos in and Adam got her a new camera that she was ecstatic about. But, my real gift to her wasn't something I could technically give her, though I worked everything out so we'd definitely be able to spend more time with each other.
When we were sitting near the fire pit in her back yard, everyone still enjoying the mini party in the house, I decided to tell her about her second present.
"I have another gift for you, Elliana." She tilted her head back to look at me.
"What? But you already gave me something."
I smiled, "Yeah, but this is the gift that really counts."
"Scott, I don't want anything else. I'm just happy to be spending time with you."
"So you wouldn't want to spend even more time with me?"
She looked confused. "Of course I would."
"Great, then you'll love this option."
She sighed, "Okay, what is it."
"The band is leaving for another tour soon," I started.
"Oh yeah?" she asked, sounding disappointed.
"Yeah, but I want you to come with us."
She leaned farther away from me, turning her body to get a better look at my facial expression. "Scott, I can't with school, you know that."
"Which is exactly why I enrolled you in online classes."
"Listen, Adam and I just picked basic classes that you could easily do online, and you can change any of them since they're not final yet. That way you could travel with us on our bus and take your photographs on our way. You'll get to spend time with me and the guys, and see our shows."
She didn't say anything after a minute, most likely processing everything. "Are you serious? I could really do that?"
"Yes, I am absolutely serious," I grinned.
She threw her arms around my neck, and kissed my cheek multiple times. "Scott, that's a brilliant plan! It's going to be so much fun!"
I laughed and kissed her lips. "I'm glad you like it. You can change any classes you need to by the end of this week."
"Thank you, Scott," she said with a huge smile.
"Anything for you."
"Oh great, we came at the corniest time possible," Blake teased.
"Shut up," I chuckled. Elliana got off my lap and stood in front of her brother.
"I can't believe you and Scott arranged everything!" she exclaimed, hugging her brother.
Adam laughed. "Eh, it was pretty easy. But just so you know, I won't be informing Mom about your new college plans. I already did enough for you," he joked.
"That's okay, she likes me better anyway," Elliana laughed.
"I'm going to miss you best friend!" Sandra said, hugging Elliana.
"I'll miss you too, but at least you have Carter with you. And you better take care of her, just like you've done for the past year," she said, pointing at my brother.
"I plan to," he said, smiling back at her.
"Now that we've established our kick ass future plans, who's ready to celebrate?!" Blake shouted, raising his beer. Everyone laughed as I got up and wrapped my arms around Elliana. We've been through too much, and I definitely wouldn't let anything get in the way for the rest of the time we'd be together.
"I love you, Elliana."
"I love you too, Scott."
And that's good enough for me.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: It's finally over! :'( But I really like how it ended since I love happy endings. I don't know if it was that predictable, but I hope you enjoyed my story! Thanks for all of the reviews again, and I can't wait to read what you all have to say about the ending! Everyone has been amazing throughout the entire story with your positive feedback, so again, thanks for that. I posted the beginning of my new story by the way! It's called I Dare You. There are also character pictures up on my website, so feel free to check them out. It's not a sequel to Unknown Jealousy, and it's really not anything like it either, but it's a drama/romance story, so check it out if you want to. THANKS!