Three Years Later:

"I know you're already there, Mom, but the weather cancelled our flight," I explained, looking up at the airport screens. I hated hearing her voice this disappointed, but it wasn't exactly my fault that the flight was cancelled the day before Christmas Eve.

Tristan tightened his arm around my shoulders reassuringly. I flashed him a small smile before sighing into the phone at my mother's complaints. "I know…I miss you too. We'll get on an early flight tomorrow in time to make it for dinner, alright?"

This seemed to calm her a bit, thank goodness. We said goodbye before I hung up, turning toward Tristan. "Ready to head back?" He nodded, leading me back to his car.

Ever since Tristan and I have been away at a college a few states over, we've never missed Christmas at Aunt Julie's. This year my mom and Hank were there too, along with Tia and Dean. Surprisingly, I even missed them, though I still wasn't exactly comfortable with the flirty jokes Tia directed toward Tristan every now and then.

"Don't worry, babe, we'll still see everyone by tomorrow evening," Tristan said as we drove back to the campus. Luckily they didn't lock students out of the campus during the holiday. My dorm roommate, Jen, had already left for her home state of Tennessee, while Tristan's roommate, Ben, left for Florida.

"I know, I was just excited to see them today," I replied, looking out the window. I'll admit, even though the snow was pissing me off for cancelling the flight, it was quite beautiful.

It had been a while since we last saw everyone all together. After graduating high school, we all went our separate ways, staying in contact as much as possible. Andie and Zack didn't stay together since they were separated by several states when Zack went to school in Texas.

Logan's school wasn't too far from home, separated by a few hours. I think he did that because he's a momma's boy, though I'm glad Aunt Julie was pleased he didn't leave the state. Tom also went to the same school for business, and was still with Morgan even though her school was close to two hours away. I was happy that they've still made their relationship work. I had a feeling they'd get married sooner rather than later. Tristan actually agreed with me when I voiced this thought, though I didn't mention it to anyone else.

Tristan stayed in my dorm for the night. It wasn't allowed normally, but nobody was around to say anything, and it was easier to get up together for the airport rather than have him pick me up.

The next morning, I glanced at the alarm clock. It was almost eight in the morning, so I figured she should leave soon. I rolled over to face Tristan, letting my eyes roam over his long-lashed eyes, full light pink lips, blonde hair that was growing longer by the minute. I smiled, feeling like I was the luckiest girl in the world to end up with him.

I kissed him lightly on the lips in an effort to wake him up. Usually I hated waking up early, but he made early mornings infinitely better just with his presence.

"Good morning," I said once he smiled and opened his eyes.

"It is a good morning to wake up to that," he stated.

I grinned and gave him a quick kiss before sitting up. "We should get ready."

Tristan wrapped his arm around my stomach, pulling me back down and pinning me against him. "Not so fast, we can wait a little while."

I tried squirming out of his hold, with no luck. I laughed. "Tristan, come on. I'm excited to see everyone, aren't you?" He loosened his grip slightly, enough for me to turn and face him.

"Of course, I just want to spend more time with you first," he replied. "Your family is probably going to keep you all to themselves."

"I see you almost every day. I only get to see them a few times a year until summertime. I think you're just being greedy," I joked.

"I don't get to see you every day," he said, pouting slightly.

I rolled my eyes at him, still smiling. "Tristan, we have a lot of classes together. What are you talking about?"

I thought he mumbled something about separate dorms, but I ignored him as I got out of bed. We quickly got ready and headed to the airport, hoping there would be an early flight we could take to go home. When we got there, our silent hopes paid off. Soon we were heading through security and boarding the plane, ready to see our family and friends.

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"LEXY! HOLY CRAP YOU'RE FINALLY HERE!" Morgan shouted as soon as I walked through the front door. She tackled me with a tight hug, practically cutting off my air circulation.

"Hey, don't kill my girlfriend," Tristan joked, walking through the door behind me. Morgan let go of me abruptly and gave him a giant hug next. I laughed at my crazy cousin, wondering where the other crazy one was.

"You're here!" Logan exclaimed, though not as loud as his sister. He hugged me tightly before giving Tristan their normal manly hug.

"I missed you so much!" I told them. "Where's—" Before I could even finish my question, the rest of my family made their way to the foyer, tackling Tristan and me with hugs as well.

"I missed you, honey," my mom said, a few happy tears building up behind her eyes.

"Aw Mom, don't cry. I missed you too, of course." I gave her another hug as she sniffed a couple times, sobering up.

"My goodness you've gotten even more gorgeous! You're a lucky man, Tristan," Mrs. Parker said. I felt a slight blush make its way onto my cheeks.

"I think that every day, Mom," Tristan grinned, putting his arm around my waist.

"Alright, well dinner is almost ready. Why don't we all head to the dining room," Aunt Julie suggested.

The remainder of the night consisted of us eating, talking, and laughing. I think I underestimated how much I really missed all of them. After only a few hours of being with them again, I felt even happier than I already was, which was saying a lot since I was completely blissful with Tristan.

After dinner, the adults gradually separated from us as we made our way to the living room. Tom stopped by after dinner and we caught up until I let him spend some alone time with Morgan. He was staying with his own family until after Christmas. Andie was with her family too, though she promised to stop by the day after Christmas.

"So how's modeling going for you?" I asked my step-brother.

"It's great, actually. I have more photo shoots after the holidays," Dean answered.

"How about you, Tia? Where are you going to school?" I asked her.

"I'm heading to California," she said. "Sorry I won't be closer to you," she added, turning toward Tristan.

He smiled, knowing she was just joking…hopefully. "The only person I need near me is Lex," he said, pulling me against his chest. I grinned and kissed his jaw, while Tia made a disgusted noise and started a conversation with her brother.

"I don't think she'll ever get over you," I said to him quietly.

He shrugged as a smirk slowly formed at his lips. "Well can you blame her? Look at me."

I rolled my eyes at him, letting out a short laugh. Just as I was about to give him a witty reply, the adults walked in and suggested we should head to bed. It was as if we were kids again, telling us to follow our bedtime so Santa would come.

"We're not kids anymore," I muttered.

"I know, hun, but I'm sure you've had a long day with your flight," my mom replied. I sighed and nodded, not wanting to argue with her. Tristan stood up, offering a hand to pull me up as well.

"Are you coming, Tristan?" his mom asked, smiling as always.

"I was going to stay here tonight," he said. His mom looked disappointed, but her smile didn't leave her face.

I lightly grabbed Tristan's shirt and turned him toward me. "It's okay, you need to spend time with your family alone." He sighed, seeming like he was about to object. "I'll see you tomorrow anyway. You're family is coming over again."

He eventually nodded and bent down to kiss me. "I love you," he said against me lips.

"And I love you," I said, giving him another quick kiss. "Now go," I added, pushing him toward his mom. She smiled at me as if she were thanking me, so I smiled back and waved goodbye.

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"Wake up, Lexy! It's Christmas!" Logan yelled, jumping on my bed like a four year old. I swear there was something wrong with him.

"No, I'm still tired," I mumbled into my pillow, turning away from him.

He stopped jumped, sitting on my bed instead. "But it's Christmas," he whined.

"Go away."

"But there's coffee waiting for you."

"Don't care."

"But…Tristan's waiting for you downstairs."

My eyes shot open as I rolled over to face my cousin. "He's already here? It's only—" I checked the clock next to my bed "—seven in the morning?"

Logan shrugged, grinning like a little boy. "It's Christmas, what did you expect?"

I sighed and dragged myself out of bed. "Fine, I'll be down there in twenty minutes," I told him, getting ready to take a quick shower. Logan nodded and practically hopped out of my room happily. I quietly laughed at him as I stepped into my bathroom.

While I was in the shower, I thought about how Tristan would react to the gift I got him. For the past few months, he's been saying how he wanted this awesome laptop, so I bought it for him. Although we lived in separate dorms, I knew he didn't get it for himself yet. It was hard hiding it in my carry-on bag through the airport, but the extra trouble I went through to keep it from him would be worth it when I'd see his reaction.

When I finished my shower and wrapped a towel around me, I stepped out of the bathroom only to find Tristan lounging on my bed.

"Can I help you?" I asked him with a raised eyebrow.

His eyes roamed my body as if he was a predator and I was his prey. He got up and walked toward me, smirking. "Sure, you can start by taking that towel off."

I rolled my eyes and pushed him back. "Down, boy. I'm not anything while everyone is already waiting for me downstairs."

Instead of giving me a verbal response, he closed the space between us by putting his hand on the back of my neck and giving me a passionate kiss. I kept a hold of my towel in one hand, but my other hand ran over his chest, until he abruptly pulled away.

"They're waiting for us," he said, smirking.

I narrowed my eyes at him. "You're evil, you know that?"

He laughed and shrugged as he walked out of my room. "But you still love me!" he called back.

I quickly got dressed and went downstairs, greeting everyone. Aunt Julie, Mrs. Parker, and my mom all served an enormous breakfast. Logan practically inhaled it due to his excitement to open gifts. It wasn't even like we got that many gifts now that we were older, yet he still loved opening the few with his name on it.

About an hour later, Logan was testing out his new video game, shouting with excitement every time something 'cool' happened. Yeah, there was definitely a kid inside that 21-year old body.

"Merry Christmas," Tristan said to me. I smiled brightly at him and opened it immediately. Inside the box was a pretty, silver charm bracelet. I took it out, admiring each charm that was on it.

"I picked out the charms myself, so if you don't like it—"

"I love it," I interjected, throwing my arms around his neck to hug him.

Tristan sighed in relief. "I'm glad."

"Here, help me put it on." As he did so, I said, "let me guess, the dog is for becoming a veterinarian?" He nodded. "And the graduation cap is for graduating high school?" He nodded again. I went on guessing about a few other charms, until I came to a heart. "And most importantly, the heart represents us?" He smiled and gave me a kiss in reply.

"That is so cute!" my mother gushed. I rolled my eyes at her, grabbing Tristan's gift.

"I got this for you," I told him.

He looked surprised. "How did you get this through security?"

I grinned. "I have my ways. Now open it!" He started ripping the paper off the laptop box until he recognized exactly what he was holding. The moment he saw what I got him, he immediately thanked me over and over, giving me a hug and kiss.

"You two are so great together," Mrs. Parker observed. We smiled at the adults until they went off to gossip somewhere, not including Uncle Phil and Hank.

Morgan was talking with Kaylin and Tia by now, while Dean joined Logan on his new video game. I was a little surprised Tristan didn't join them yet.

"Hey, come outside with me," Tristan suggested, pulling me up from the couch.

"It's cold outside," I complained. He ignored my protest, putting my jacket on me instead. I sighed, giving in, and put on my boots that were near the door.

"Why exactly did you want to go outside?" I asked. I felt my cheeks start to turn pink from the chilly temperature as we walked down the sidewalk from my driveway.

"To get some fresh air," he replied. I raised my eyebrows at him, knowing damn well that he didn't just want to get some 'fresh air'. Tristan was never one to take in the nature around him.

I stopped walking, stepping in front of him instead. "Fresh air? Alright, what's the real reason you wanted to come out here? Is it my mom? Is Logan bothering you or something?"

"No, no they're all fine, Lex." He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck nervously.

"What are you nervous about?"

His eyes widened. "I-I'm not nervous."

"You're rubbing that back of your neck, which you only do when you're nervous."

He stopped, bringing his hand down to his side immediately. "Okay, I'll just ask you now."

"Ask me what?" I replied, scanning his face for an answer.

Tristan didn't answer me right away, until he pulled out a small blue box from his pocket. Wait, a small box? Did that mean…

"Before you think I'm asking you to marry me, I'm not," he explained quickly. A confused feeling soared through my body, wondering why the hell he had a small box then.

"You're not?" I asked, glancing at the box he held in his hand.

He took a step toward me, standing close enough for me to feel the heat radiate from his body. "No, not yet. I thought we could start with living together. So, Alexis Daniels, will you move in with me?" He opened the small box, revealed a silver key.

"H-how did you…you have an apartment?"

He frowned slightly at my question. "Yes, I recently found one that's on campus. I thought I'd wait until now to ask you if you wanted to share it with me, but if you don't want to…" he said, trailing off toward the end.

I put each of my hands on his cheeks, gazing directly into his eyes. "No, I definitely want to live with you," I said, smiling. He flashed one of the widest grins ever before kissing me. I wrapped my arms around his neck as he picked me off the ground while we kissed.

"I love you, Tristan," I said as he set me back on the ground.

"I love you too, Lex."

I leaned into his body with an arm around his waist as we walked back to Aunt Julie's. We stayed quiet for a while until I stood straight to face him. "So when do I get to decorate our apartment?" I asked him.

He shrugged, still smiling. "When we get back, I guess."

I nodded. "Good, I've always wanted to design an apartment. It's going to be so much fun!"

Tristan let out a loud laugh. "Just don't go completely crazy with different colors, okay?"

"Of course not! I'm only going to paint the living room purple, the bathroom vomit green, the bedroom bright orange—" I joked, until he cut me off.

"Oh no you won't! You know I hate orange. I might be able to live with the rest," Tristan interrupted, though he was still grinning.

"Oh yes I will!" I argued playfully. Before he could protest anymore, I started running up the driveway of Aunt Julie's house. Tristan caught up to me, as usual, and wrapped his arm around my waist.

"Fine, I'll live with whatever colors you put on the walls, as long as you're there with me," he said.

I turned around in his arms, wrapping my own around his waist as I rested my head against his chest. "I suppose we can come to some sort of agreement first before painting the walls." I felt Tristan laugh against me, which made my smile grow wider. I was definitely happy to be moving in with him, and I was even happier that he mentioned he might want to marry me some day.

But I wasn't going to think about that just yet. Right now, I was thinking about memories I would make with my high school sweetheart in our new apartment.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Well, it's officially over! Thanks for being so patient with the epilogue to be updated! I wanted to make it just right, so I hope I didn't disappoint! Again (for the last time) I want to thank every single one of you who's reviews or messaged me with your encouraging feedback. This is the last story I'm writing for FP, unless somewhere down the road I decide to come back to the site and start a new one. Anyway, I hope you liked this story as much as I liked writing it!