Chapter 31


"Come on!" Julienne yelled at the closed bathroom door.

They were graduating high school and Nick was taking forever with his hair now that he grew his mohawk back.

"It's only been ten minutes." Michael pointed out as he stood with her in the living room. He arrived just as she was ready and Nick dived into the bathroom. Nick had spent the night before, something about his parents were out of town. Michael couldn't believe they'd miss graduation.

"If I don't start bitching now he'll be in there for an hour." Julienne said with a stern nod.

"We could use this time alone productively." He pulled her into his arms and kissed her.

"You aren't that alone." Shane said, stepping out of the kitchen holding a pop tart. "Our parents are in there." He pointed back to the kitchen.

"They know we're together." Michael countered.

"They don't know you want to hump on each other like bunnies."

Michael gasped dramatically. "I've never." As he said that he pulled Julienne against him again, she laughed. "I'm a wholesome virgin."

"Even I don't believe that." Patricia Gregory joined them next. "Don't corrupt Julienne."

Michael grinned but before he could reply Julienne elbowed him in the stomach. "Don't even think about it." she knew he wasn't above making inappropriate jokes in front of his mother.

"Still waiting on Nick?" Patricia asked. Over the last few months both families got to know Julienne's best friend and welcomed him into their little family dynamic, he was here more then he was home.

"Best friend Nick?" Shane asked, he still hadn't met the guy since he was so busy with school and work.

Julienne nodded. "He's in the bathroom." She pulled away and walked down the hall to the bathroom. "Are you done yet? I know you don't want to be late, it's the last day we have to step foot in that hell hole."

The bathroom door swung open. "You're bitching a lot, nervous?"

"No, not at all." She lied right through her teeth. "It's the last day."

"And here comes college." They were both going to stay in town and go to their local university like Shane was doing, Michael was following his steps too. Nick hooked his arm around her shoulders. "I'm nervous too. I want it to all be over with no drama."

Together they walked down the hall where everyone was waiting. "You know Michael's parents, this is Shane his older brother." She introduced. He kept his arm around her as he shook the taller boy's hand. She felt him tense and couldn't figure out why. He knew no one here was going to criticize him.

"Ready?" Ellen asked as she opened the front door. "I love the color Nick." It was a bright shade of green and purple. "It goes great with your cap and gown."

"Thanks Mrs. T, you should let me do something to your hair." Julienne laughed as he suggested this.

"Ok, stop hogging." Michael pushed Nick away and kept Julienne at his side.

Everyone left the house and started piling into the waiting cars.

Things were going good, freakishly good Julienne thought. She and Michael were inseparable, going out every weekend together and finding time during the week to sneak away and be together. Her mom was smiling and laughing more, she wasn't scared their bubble was going to shattered at any given moment.

Things were ok at school too, once everyone realized Michael wasn't going to stand to be bullied or give Julienne up they moved on to another source of entertainment.

Soon college would start and that meant a whole new chapter in all of their lives. One Julienne hoped would be much better then her last, she was relieved the hell of high school was over and that she and Michael survived it. She still couldn't get over the fact they were together considering how they started. She forgave him for it all though, she had to in order to love him. She now knew you can control what your heart wants and it wanted Michael.

He held her hand a lot; he always found some way to touch her when he could. They sat in the backseat of her mother's SUV with Nick as their mothers chattered a mile a minute in the front. Shane and Mr. Gregory where in the other car.

"You ok?" Michael whispered in her ear.

Julienne nodded and turned to him, they sat close enough that that simple action had their noses almost touch. "I'm not all that excited to go do this and face those people." She didn't want everyone to worry about her mental state but she was dreading this.

"It's the last time, you can tell them to fuck off and walk away." he closed the small space and kissed her lightly.

"Don't make me hose you down." His mother called from the front seat.

"With what?" Patricia pulled a water gun out of her purse, everyone laughed. "Seriously mom?"

"Don't make me use it." she warned before turning back in her seat. She knew her son and more then once found him and Julienne kissing, she decided to have a weapon on hand today.

Nick continued to laugh. "Your mom is awesome."

At the school everyone stuck close together while waiting for the ceremony to start. Michael noticed his once best friend Marko standing alone away from any crowds. "I'll be back." He told Julienne.

"How's he doing with them still being an ass?" Nick asked as they watched Michael's retreating form.

"I know he misses his friends, I hope they can somehow fix it. Marko never said anything like Cody did, he just stayed away from everyone." She wanted the man she loved to be happy and having at least one of his childhood friends back would mean a lot to him. "You have to have at least one person to bitch to."

"Is that what I am? You're bitching board?"

"Yes." Julienne gave him a tight hug. "I wouldn't handle it too well if something happened between us."

"You're stuck with me for life, no matter what."

Soon the ceremony began, everyone took their seats and nearly all the parents were holding cameras. Michael was one of the first on stage as they went by last names, Nick and Julienne would be toward the last to get their diplomas.

Oddly enough Michael behaved, there were no jokes, no comments, he took the paper from the principle and left the stage. Of course it was Nick who broke the mundane mold of the proceedings. He took the diploma and ran of the stage as fast as he could. "I'm free!" he ran until no one could see him anymore.

Julienne tried to keep a straight face but she was laughing as she her name was called next. She was grabbing the rolled up diploma when she noticed behind the school Nick was up to something. She took the paper and ran off stage too, it wasn't like she cared if the senior graduating class thought she was crazy. It was too late for that anyway.

"What are you doing?" she asked her best friend.

"Giving the ceremony a jump." He flipped a switch and the sprinklers started going off. "Something for them to remember me by." He laughed and ran before someone found him.

She caught up with Michael and their family as she got out of the sprinklers way, not before getting pretty wet. She was trying with all her might to keep a straight face. She found it easier to look at Shane, the drops of water in his hair wasn't funny, it was sexy.

"Stop drooling over my brother."

Julienne went red and punched him in the arm. "Shut up!" thankfully Shane nor their parents heard what Michael said.

"I know you have the hots for him." Michael's grin was cheeky and annoying.

"This is getting old." He had been teasing her about this for months now. "You still have to find some way to get under my skin."

"I can't control it sometimes." He reached for her and she stepped back.

"You're gonna have to learn because every time you start teasing me that's a week no sex." She knew her boyfriend and his weakness in their relationship was sex.

His blue eyes went wide. "That's not fair."

"That's life." Julienne took off running into the school before he could grab her and sway her mind in front of a crowd of people. She didn't trust he wouldn't try. He didn't have a shy part about him, if he thought it he said it and if he wanted it he got it. People be damned.

She was hiding in one of the classrooms when he found her. Michael glanced around and smiled. "This is the same room I first kissed you in."

"I didn't notice and I'm surprised you did."

"That's when I knew my life would never be the same one way or another. I didn't think we'd ever be here; together as a couple in love but I did know after kissing you something would change." Michael confessed.

She stared at him and no longer felt any ounce of anger. "I don't get how one minute you can piss me off and then make me love you all over again. Your way with words isn't just for hurting someone."

"You would know. I'm sorry for all that shit I put you through." He could never stop apologizing, he always found someway to say it or show her when they were together. Hurting her was his biggest regret and one he admitted to freely.

Julienne wanted to lighten the mood; she didn't want to cry in this school ever again. "I know but still no sex for a week."

Michael gasped over dramatically then dropped the act and smiled. "We'll see about that."

After graduation everyone piled back into the cars, Julienne made sure to put Nick in the middle of her and Michael, and they headed back to the Teller residence where they'd be having a big family dinner; the gathering that started this whole mess about a year and a half ago.

But unlike that first dinner there was laughter and love in the air. No one was secretly breaking from the inside, everyone wanted to be in each other's company and that was the best feeling in the world.

Julienne stood back and watched her mother laugh along with Patricia and Nick, he hadn't been kidding last year; mothers loved him.

Life was good and she prayed with all her might it stayed that way but if and when something happened to shake this foundation she built over the last year Julienne knew she could handle it.




AN: Wow it's over, there's a few things I want to say. First thank you to everyone who has read and enjoyed this. I consider this one of my most successful stories due to the fact I never got stuck, I knew what was going to happen from chapter 1 to right now. I had an idea and saw it through, that's a wonderful feeling.

I loved these characters so much, I love how Michael developed and the closeness he shares with Shane, they are my favorites to write for. I love how Nick showed up out of nowhere and made sure he stayed and we all loved him. Julienne transformed from this weak girl into this strong woman and I hope it came across realistic.

This story showed how quick life can change into something unexpected and sometimes wonderful and other times not so much.

I couldn't stop writing for them so as I mentioned before there will be a spin off where Nick's story will be told. In his story there will of course be Julienne and Michael along for the ride and some more memorable and hilarious scenes because that's how Michael is, he's in love but his crazy humor hasn't gone anywhere.

Nick's story will be called 'Secrets are my Sanity' as a spin-off I wanted the titles to match up and it fit the most.

Again thank you for sticking with me with this story, thank you for enjoying it and please check out the spin off because if you don't you'd be missing out on some great stuff, it's flowing just as good as this story did and I should have it posted some point this weekend.

Don't forget to tell me what you thought of this ending and if you have never reviewed please do and everyone please let me know what you thought of the story as a whole.

-Isabelle A.