DISCLAIMER: None of the characters from the movie Newsies belong to me. Sorry to have surprised you so. They actually belong to Disney. . However, the very distinguishable and agreeable Lucas 'Runner' Conlon belongs to me. *grins*


To everyone who's been sticking to this story for such a long time, and for all the nice reviews, and for everyone who's prompted me to update, and for all the newcomers who might stumble upon this story one day. THANK YOU so much for reading this story and for supporting it with your reviews. It's been an honor to be your author, and I hope you will go on to read my other works. Thank you again! God Bless!

~*Just a Little Bet*~

            For two weeks had Spot and Snap been in an absurd state of what one might've called togetherness. Uncertain, of course, because though they'd embarked on a relationship, or more so a mockery of one, they didn't quite act in the manner of a couple. Spot would spend more time with the girl who'd proven to possess an air as prideful and aggressive as his own, but at the same time he flirted with other dolls, and rarely defended her when the Brooky's had their verbal ways with her. It was as if, though he'd found a worthy match for his conceit, he refused to be tied down to a single person. Most importantly, he wouldn't give his heart to anyone.

            Snap put up with this nonsense for a little while, for she believed it would be nothing more than a fleeting attitude defect. She knew of his reputation and his notorious ways with women, and so eventually surmised that he simply needed time to adjust to the new arrangements in his life. But as the days rolled on by and no drastic changes were becoming evident, she knew a resolution had to be reached. She wouldn't continue showing affection to one of indifference, and she wouldn't associate herself with someone who constantly denied that association.   

            And so it happened that on the 17th day of her stay in Brooklyn, she strutted through the lodging house in the manner of a goddess, fending off the insults she knew would come with her invisible honor of self-esteem. They called her every imaginable word in their vocabulary, the boys who hated her, that is. Everything from slut, whore, wench, guttersnipe, sewer rat…to even the more profane of derogatory statements. She decided she didn't need this anymore. With her two younger sisters safely finding shelter in the monastery located in upper Manhattan, she could very well flee from this hellhole and have nothing to do with it for the rest of her days.

            Up the stairs she went, utterly ignoring the hatred the others so blatantly conveyed, storming into Spot's room and slamming the door shut behind her. She crossed her arms, then, as she merely stood there, her grey eyes ominous like the rain clouds before a massive storm. Spot had been sitting on the sill of his room's only window, peacefully gazing out toward the docks, but the girl's violent intrusion had caused him to jump to his feet startled, his heart hammering madly within him.

            "Christ!" he nearly yelled at her, relieving a heavy sigh from his lips. "Ya scared me half ta death, ya know that?" Then, replacing his fright with a nonchalant smirk, he strode over to her, blue eyes dancing with mischief and was about to rest his hands upon her waist when she suddenly stepped back from him and continued glaring. "What'sa mattah?" he asked, more so out of having been offended than out of concern.

            "Are you ever gunna get 'em ta stop?" She was incensed, the weight she placed on each syllable told him so.

            "What the hell are ya talkin' bout now?"

            She combed her fingers through her hair in aggravation and then threw her hands up in the air, pacing the room's width in quick steps as she reiterated to Spot what it was that bothered her. "Ya damned newsies is gettin' high off makin' me life miserable! Every day I walk in heah mindin' me own business and I aint gotta wait too long until some joik walks up ta me and asks me if I'd like ta give 'im a lap dance!"

            "Well, whaddya want me ta do 'bout it, Snap. Ya the one who made the whorish reputation for yaself. What am I s'pose ta do? Stand in front of all fifty-two of 'em and tell 'em it was only an act?" They were screaming at each other now, their unrestrained anger no doubt penetrating through the walls of the room to the eager listeners below who wanted nothing more than for the couple to end their relationship. Spot was fuming; his eyes flashing from shades of grey to cyan blue, his figure rigid as he attempted to abate his rage with clenched fists.

            She gaped at him. "I can't believe ya just called me that! Youse of all people should know why I did what I did…"

            "And ya sacrificed ya self-image in the process. So why are ya bitchin' about it?" 

            "You bastard." She could only look at him in incredulity. How could he speak such scathing words? How could someone who had a day earlier whispered sweet-nothings into her ear now be ridiculing her with scorn? "I don't even know why I bother stayin' heah. I thought ya were different, ya know. For the slightest moment, ya had me fooled. But ya just like all the rest, Conlon. Ya just like all the rest."

            Only then did Spot realize the graveness of their altercation. She was…leaving him. He started to say something, parting his lips to let the apologetic words that would beg of her forgiveness spew from his heart, but he found he could not, for he'd never asked forgiveness of someone who he was on the verge of loving. And then he thought to simply tell her that she was right, and that he was perfectly portraying the attributes of a jackass, but that too seemed far-fetched for the leader of Brooklyn, and he inwardly bewailed his fate. She couldn't leave him!

            "Bye," she said simply. It was too much for her. She wasn't going to be a spaniel to someone who'd only abuse her, who'd only profess his love in secret for fear that a relationship would make him weak in the eyes of his followers, and yes, his peers-for those with whom he daily congregated yet held grand influence over Spot, though he'd never admit to this. Even her father was a better man than that! At least his betrayal was to a private audience, and not to dozens of newsies before whom Snap was day by day humiliated by the one who claimed he liked her as he had liked no other girl.

            Spot stepped forward, holding out a hand as if to beg her pardon, but her back was turned to him and so she didn't see this minor action. "Snap…w-wait…" This had bought him some time at least. For a brief moment, their eyes met and he held his breath as his mind considered the things he wanted to tell her. "Snap, I…I, uh…" Say it, ya idiot! He inwardly screamed to himself. It's just three stupid little words…say it! "I, uh…" He let his head hang in defeat. He simply couldn't. He'd waited too long. It was over. "Goodbye."

            "Goodbye, Spot," was all she said in return, too hurt by seeing firsthand just how enslaved to his pride this 'fearless' leader of Brooklyn was. She walked out the room, gently closed the door behind him, and left Brooklyn. She would never again return to the borough.

            When she was gone, Spot threw his slingshot across the room, yelling at the disgust of his inadequacies. She was right; she had been right all along. Ever would he be alone, just because he couldn't put three words across himself. Three words! So powerful…so simple…three words. He thought he would almost weep, but no, his pride wouldn't even let him do that.


            Race held Jumper's reins tightly, excitement surging through him as he stood proudly before Becca, grinning devilishly at her confused expression. He was decked out in his finest attire, which for a newsie of course was nothing short of last week's ensemble, but the expression he conveyed in those precious moments, an expression of worthwhile pride, made up for whatever financial endeavors he otherwise lacked. He nervously combed his fingers through Jumper's silken mane, exhaling a sigh he'd been holding and switching his weight from one foot to the next. The horse beside him stamped one hoof onto the dirt grounds of the stable impatiently, as if Race's hesitation blazed through him as well.

            Becca crossed her arms and arched her eyebrows in amusement as she mused over what her boyfriend could possibly be trying to pull off now. Charles had even left the stables to give the couple their privacy, and this was something he rarely did. More often than not, he was right there lounging about on his three-legged stool with a horse pick in one hand and a playful look of ridicule on his face while watching Race and the girl exchange their romantic dialogue. But today…well, why would he have left? Had Race paid him to do so? That most certainly was probable. After all, the Italian newsie had just shared with her that his frequent absences in Manhattan were due to gambling sprees across the state.

            This, of course, upset her, for she didn't quite know why he would forsake time with her to go gallivanting with the card players of Queens and Brooklyn. For more than one reason it quite frankly made her jealous, and slightly resentful as well. It was beginning to appear to her as if Race didn't want as much from the relationship as did she. Sighing because he, for the fourth time, had refused to answer her questions over what he was hiding from her, she at last sat onto a stack of hay and frowned deeply. Her flaming orange hair was braided back into pig tails under the bowler hat she wore, her overalls soiled and torn here and there. But still, that radiance across her face which Race had saw in her when first they met. He saw it today as well, but something seemed to mar the beauty.

            "What'sa matter, Becca?" he asked softly, matching her frown with one of his own.

            Remaining atop the haystack, she only shrugged. Her eyes were brown orbs of deep sadness. "I don't understand you, Anthony," said she softly, implementing his real name now that they were alone. "You act like nothing's happened these past few days…which it hasn't I guess. You've been to see everyone but me, and then here you are smiling like a lovesick fool without even apologizing."

            He was taken aback by this, for it was his belief that his failure to meet with her every single day of the last week wouldn't have had so drastic an effect on their relationship. But apparently, Becca was still insecure about certain things, and he was terribly sorry for assuming she'd become strong in so little time. For the moment abandoning Jumper, he closed the distance between himself and the girl and sat on the haystack beside her. "Becca, I never meant to hoit ya. I didn't think ya'd mind. I just had ta take care of a few things before the next time we'se met."

            "What things, though?" She looked at him and winced as if it had been painful to do so. Had he been off with another girl? No, he'd never do such a thing! She trusted him; every time she imagined what life would be without him, she knew she had made the right choice in trusting him. But oh, how she was scared. What if he only proved to leave her like all the rest? What if he…?

            "Becca, it's not like I'm keepin' some big secret from ya…well, in a way I am, but it's…it's not what ya think…"

            Her heart sank. He was keeping a secret from her? Was this the end of it all then? Was it over? Would she be forced to retreat back into her hard shell of suspicions and doubts? Her eyes welled up with tears at the notion. She couldn't believe this was happening! Race had said that he loved her…that he loved her! Why would he hurt her like this? She didn't want to know, now that she thought about it. She rose to her feet instantly, shaking her head vehemently, and started for the stables' outlet into the Sheepshead crowds. "Please, Race, don't do this to me…I don't think I'd be able to handle it…"

            His look was one of confusion. "Becca, I thought…" He stopped for a moment; it was as if his heart had been beating madly only to suddenly be ripped from his chest and clutched to suffocation. He nearly choked on his words but managed to continue the sentence. "I thought ya felt the same way."

            The same way! Who was he kidding? She had loved him feverishly! She many times convinced herself that she would even die for him had the circumstances presented themselves. Never in a million years would she feel the desire he now adamantly expressed, that of wanting to disengage from the relationship. What had she done wrong to drive him away? Had she unintentionally spoken unkind words to him…had she failed to please him as a girlfriend? A lone tear cascaded down her pale face as she looked back at him. "Race, I thought you loved me."

            "I do love ya! That's why I'm doin' this in the foist place!"

            "You're breaking up with me because you love me?"

            "Breaking…breaking up with youse?!" He was so astounded by the words he almost laughed. "Becca, what did I ever say 'bout breakin' up with ya?" He did, laugh then, and slapped a hand to his forehead at the grand misunderstanding. Now excited to all extremes, he hurried to her, gently took her hands, and led her back to sit down upon the bundle of hay she'd earlier occupied. Then he looked once over his shoulder and whistled to Jumper, the grey horse obediently sauntering up to the couple in a lazy stroll. When it was right before them, the horse then knelt down on its forelegs and carefully continued to lower itself until it was peacefully lying down upon the ground.

            Becca smiled at Jumper, reaching out to stroke his shiny coat, but then something else caught her eye, and her intake of breath was indeed a sharp one as she gasped in realization. Onto Jumper's saddle was tied a small satin heart-shaped pillow lined with the finest lace and velvety fabric. And upon this pillow was a silver wedding band, a single circular diamond embedded onto its surface. Race took the ring delicately between his index finger and thumb, and much like Jumper, he knelt before Becca and beamed with anticipation.

            "Becca, I know ya've been through a lot. I know it's probably hard fa youse ta trust anyone after havin' been with so many people who only proved ta let ya down. But, I love ya…and this feelin' inside me won't let me pass up the chance to ask ya ta spend our lives together. I aint got no more than two bits in me pocket, and the only clothes I own are the ones on me back or in the trunk under me bed, but what can I offer ya, Becca, is real love that I promise ya will last forever." He held the ring out to her and smiled with such warmth. "Will ya give me the privilege of bein' married ta one of the few angels that walk the earth?"

            She was so overwhelmed that if she didn't laugh, she would definitely cry in its stead. She threw her arms around his neck, nearly tackling him down. "Of course I'll marry you, Anthony Higgins. I couldn't imagine myself with any other man." And then she kissed him, a kiss so innocent yet filled with depth, that they both were lost in the ecstasy of the moment.


            Runner Conlon waited patiently at the café across from the prep school for classes to be dismissed for the day. He paced before the edifice while nonchalantly pressing out the wrinkles in his suit, a lazy grin across his face as he thought upon the reasons why he wasn't in school, his heart light with better times as he thought upon the one for whom he waited. "Wait 'til Spot hears about this one," he laughed to himself, throwing a stone into the air and then catching it with both hands. He repeated this process six or seven times over until at last he saw the majority of the student body flooding through the richly-decorated doors of the school, some heading for the dormitories, others for the recreation grounds, and even a lesser few pass the gates of their wonderfully secured little world.

            Among those lesser few walked Mallory, her soft ringlets bouncing with each step that took her closer to Runner. When they were only a foot or so apart, he took her into his arms wholeheartedly and kissed her longingly right there, oblivious to the gossipers and business-minders who no doubt were spectating the moment between the valedictorian of next year's graduating class, and the newest member to the prep school community.

            Mallory pulled away moments later, her face flushed with the passionate 'hello' as her cheeks turned to a deep shade of red. "Lucas," she said softly, smacking his arm playfully, "you'll make the others talk…" She glanced back at these 'others' nervously and bit her bottom lip upon seeing two dozen students watch on from behind the tall gates of the school's border, some gasping, others pointing and shaking their heads in scorn, others-for the most part, the boys-laughing and giving thumbs-up signs to their friend.

            Runner rolled his eyes and laughed at this. He took the girl's hand in his own and tugged on her arm, wanting to go away from the place as to not exacerbate matters. "Let them talk," he whispered into her ear as they began to walk through upper Manhattan. "So long as I have you with me now, I couldn't care less."

            "You should care, Lucas," she replied. "You have an image to uphold. You wouldn't want to tarnish it."

            "An image!" He downright laughed at this, emerald eyes sparkling with merriment. "If I worried about my image as zealously as do some people, I'd turn into my cousin. And we both know for a fact there isn't room enough in New York for two egocentric brats." The words weren't meant to belittle Spot, for those within both the newsie and private school community knew how much Runner loved his cousin. As was usual, he was merely teasing.

            Mallory laughed at this as well, holding Runner's hand more tightly within her own. "I wonder how you can manage to be so carefree. You know, there's been talk about you among the different grade levels. Rumor has it that next year you might not be enrolled in honor classes because of your…lethargic attitude…"

            He only smirked back. "I'm afraid it might be even worse than that." He offered no further explanation, choosing rather to change the topic of conversation to other things. It'd been months since the horrific events following Valentine's Day, in which Brooklyn's conflict with the enemy borough had resulted in Spot's brawl with Flame, and Runner's being hospitalized by cause of a coma. Though the emotional wounds would revisit both Conlon's in rare occasions, those lacerations of the flesh had finally healed, bruises and cuts no more, lest a minor scar graced them.

            As they traversed the length of the Brooklyn Bridge together nearly an hour later still hand in hand, Runner stole a kiss from Mallory while she had been in the middle of telling him something and grinned at her surprised look. He loved her so much it shocked him. He'd been so sure that she would choose Spot, Jack, or Race…or none of them at all! He'd been so sure that he would never end up with her, but apparently this chapter in his story had turned out right for once. Perhaps the all-out war with the enemy borough had been a blessing in disguise, for it had caused Spot and Runner to become closer as cousins, and had let the young Conlon and Mallory mature in their relationship together.

            "So what exactly are we doing here anyway?"

            He snapped out of his thoughts and looked at Mallory, not even aware that they were in Brooklyn now, traversing the docks as Brooky's all about them dived into the cool waters or lounged about on crates offering greetings to their leader's relative. Runner nodded at them in return and continued onward, squeezing the girl's hand in assurance, should the borough bring unto her bad memories. "Just need to tell Spot something," he said simply.

            Spot was suavely reclined onto a pier, a blade of grass between his lips as he surveyed his newsies, every now and again yelling at the little ones to stay away from the edges of the docks lest they fall into the water or interceding a fight between the older troublemakers. He leaned some of his weight onto that gold-tipped black cane he was always carrying around, looking the part of a lord overseeing his manor. When he saw his cousin and Mallory, a smirk adorned his lips and he called out to them while they were yet nearing him. "Heya mistah and miss Lucas," he said with a light laugh, spitting into his palm and then holding it out to shake hands with Runner.

            Runner shook his head good-naturedly at the greeting and spit into his own palm as well before shaking with Spot. "So Spotty, how's Brooklyn treatin' ya these days?" he asked in the typical accent.

            "Like a king of coise, how else would it treat me?" His grin was lazy as he shifted his weight against the pier. He took an envelope that his younger cousin handed to him, then, and began to open it, wondering what words the letter inside could possibly contain. Had dear Lucas passed another confounded examination? Or were these the rankings for this year's junior class? Spot rolled his eyes as he unfolded the letter, but in reality, he was glad he was the one Runner shared all this with.

            "Where's Snap?"

            Spot's eyes darkened for a moment. "Oh, things didn't woik out, so she left."

            "Oh." The younger waited for more explanation, but when he saw Spot start to read the letter then, he knew it'd been a lost cause. And to think, he honestly had believed Spot and Snap to be a perfect couple. He wondered upon what exactly had gone wrong, but knew Spot would tell him when he was ready. As for now, he kept his mouth shut and let his cousin read on, waiting eagerly for the elder's reaction. He didn't have to wait too long.

            Spot's jaw dropped open as his eyes skimmed over the sentences, his disbelief most obvious. "Ya own father is expellin' ya from the school?"

            "What!" This definitely was news to Mallory. She let go of Runner's hand and joined Spot's side, to see the evidence of this nonsense for herself. She, too, expressed her incredulity…though it more so bordered fear and sadness. What about his future? What about college and…? She looked up at him, treating the news as if he'd been drafted for a war. "I don't understand, Lucas…" Spot followed suit, expecting the boy to have a damn good reason for having received a letter of such dire consequences.

            Runner took a deep sigh and then spilled out his response, switching out of the Brooklyn dialect to better voice his feelings. "It's because I stood up to him. It's because I wouldn't allow him to continue dictating my life as if I was his little puppet, to do his bidding as he pleased. I love my father dearly, and I don't deny all the things he's done for me, but I won't live a life that's been pre-planned by him, and I won't withstand his heartbreaks when I've gone against what he wished. I wish I could've pleased him, I wish I could've honored him in every imaginable way…but it grew increasingly hard.

            "And what's worst, I never even felt the love of a father! He would extend aid to everyone in the church, would be there whenever they needed him. But when his own son wanted to have a relationship, whether it was simply going out to fish or taking a stroll through Central Park…he denied me those simple pleasures." His eyes became distant as he looked out toward the horizon and sighed yet again. "I've said it many times, and I even told him myself…you, Andrew, were the closest thing to a father I ever felt. You disciplined me when I got out of line, you gave me advice when I was lost, you taught me and guided me and took me in…"

            Rather bashfully, he looked down to his feet then and grinned. He wasn't quite sure whether he'd ever openly shared these things with Spot, but it was great to finally shove the burden off him. He wished he could've felt the same way whenever speaking with his very father, but no, his father only served to place all the more burdens upon him! "In any case, I stood up to him like you told me to and…as you can see, he didn't care too much for it. I got this letter through the board of advisors…he, of course, blandished them with lies as headmaster to get them to dismiss me from the school. I'm sure they couldn't understand why a father would do this to his own son; it obviously took a lot of convincing on his behalf. Aside from that, I also received a personal note from him in which he claimed he was officially disowning me. He couldn't even tell me that face to face."

            Spot was terribly struck by the news. For someone like Runner to know the hurts of disownment…he shook his head angrily and tore the letter to shreds, casting the fragments of paper into the water below with a rigid throw. He was disappointed, and ashamed for Runner. With a yell, he slammed a fist into the wooden structure of the pier, and then rested his forehead onto its top, closing his eyes tight in hopes that perhaps when he reopened them, this would prove to be no more than a dream. "I'm sorry, Lucas," he said, so softly that it seemed to be born of the wind.

            "Don't be sorry. Don't you get it, Spot? I wanted this…for the longest time. Ever since you ran away from us and became this legend of a newsie, I wanted to follow in your footsteps and do the same!"

            "Ya an idiot for wanting a life like this!" Spot exclaimed, narrowing his eyes as he spun around and faced the younger again. "D'ya think this a life ta enjoy, Runnah? D'ya think it's fun ta live in a shack with a bunch of other penniless street rats who'll probably all die before they even reach thirty-five years? D'ya think I wake up every day and put a smile on me face 'cause I'm the prince of orphans, criminals, and the unwanted?"

            Runner's eyes grew sad. "You're the only family I have, Spot…"

            He sighed heavily at this, combing his fingers through his hair to relieve tension he felt like releasing onto one of his newsies. He would've rather Runner suffer under his father for just one more year until college than to have the boy subject himself to the life of a tumbleweed! In a few minutes, he gathered his bearings and controlled himself. "What about ya career, Lucas? What about ya wantin' ta be a doctor?"

            "I still have a friend in Father Romanik. I'm sure he wouldn't mind funding my tuition for college. As for graduating, I can always enroll in a public school. He would help me with the paper work and all. Spot, all I'm asking for is a place to stay…and a family I can call my own. I'm not throwing away my future, don't worry about it."

            "Foist of all, let's get one thing straight," the elder replied, stepping up to his cousin and glaring down at him. "Now that ya officially don't have no father, I'm gunna be more harder on youse than I've ever been. Secondly, since ya permanently livin' under me roof, I expect ya ta obey all me rules. None a' this carefree stuff just cause youse a Conlon. And lastly, ya bettah wipe that damn grin off ya face cause ya gunna wish ya'd stayed with ya father aftah ya realize just how tough a dad I can be." He wore his trademark smirk, his eyes glinting with playfulness.

            "Great!" exclaimed the younger, wrapping his arms around Mallory and pulling her to him in an accomplished hug. "I can't wait to be a Brooky again!" Mallory couldn't quite see the jollity in it yet, but so long as Lucas was happy, so was she. She kissed him softly on the lips and laughed with delight when Spot dragged him away for a hug of his own.



            Life continued on in Brooklyn with a steady normalcy. Of course, there were the occasional bouts of mischief on Runner's behalf, but these were dealt with accordingly. As Runner had suspected, Father Romanik hadn't a single problem with funding the boy's university studies. With the man's help, Runner had been admitted into one of the finest universities in the state, and quite a surprise it had been when a copy of this prized acceptance letter had been mailed to the boys' parents. He wished fervently that he could've seen the looks on their faces, especially on that of his father, but he would leave his mind to wishful thinking.

            Mallory remained living with her father-who never again suffered from his severe bronchitis attacks-and went on to graduate from the prep school at St. John the Divine's. After graduation, she immediately pursued her studies in the field of nursing, attending a small college just minutes away from home. A young adult's life became quite hectic at times, but she and Lucas would yet make time to see each other. On the day that would mark their fourth year together in a relationship, Runner proposed to her in Central Park under the veiling of the star-dotted heavens. She happily accepted the proposal.

            Spot Conlon would serve as Brooklyn's respected and notorious leader until the age of twenty, when he would retire from the childish life of a newsie and go on to find more mature work in the city. He didn't have several steady relationships with women, and there came a point in his life when he was so filled with angst and a foreboding possibility of being alone for all time that he thought he was better off simply killing himself in the dark apartment wherein he resided. But by God's providence, he happened to cross paths with a young woman named Dewey one afternoon on his way home from work, and when the two accidentally stumbled into each other and later on continued their apologies-turned-conversation in a nearby restaurant, sparks instantly flew between them. Spot had finally found the person for whom he could renounce his pride.

            Snap, on the other hand, reunited with her younger sisters at the monastery to which she'd recommended them. She lived with them until reaching her twenty-first year, when she had made an executive decision to press charges against her father for his sexual abuse and domestic violence. When the authorities visited the dilapidated apartment that had once been Snap's home to seize the man, all were shocked to see only a corpse lying on the carpet of the living room; this deranged would-be father had downed every last drop of alcohol until death had taken him. The sisters, of course, were grief-stricken, but they went on to build a new future and in time, put the past behind them.

            Race and Becca were married months after the Italian's proposal to the simple stable girl. It wouldn't be an elaborate matrimony with catered dinners, luxurious receptions, or high-class attire. Quite frankly, the wedding was evidence for their low status on their social scale, but one thing with which it was rich was the attendance of dozens of friends who wished them well as they embarked on a new life. It was a magical day, and the happiest moment in the couple's life up to date.

            In Manhattan, it would be six months after Vixen's initial arrival in Manhattan before she and Jack would resolve their differences and begin starting the relationship they had wanted all along. Neither was quite sure what had prompted them to argue in the first place, nor were they sure what it had been that prompted them to discontinue their bickering. But once the pretenses had ended and the love had begun, the newsies in Manhattan were most unfortunate in having to constantly deal with the schmaltzy behaviour of their love-struck leader. They had to admit, though, it did make for happier days in their borough.

            As Blink had promised, he became a more devoted and reliable boyfriend to Angel. As is natural in any relationship, they had their quirks every now and again, but their relationship only grew stronger as a result. Angel continued her nursing internship at the hospital, meeting Mallory at one point during the career-as they both shared a desire to be licensed as nurses, and Blink went on to find work at a successful factory. The couple was engaged a year and a half following Race's wedding to Becca.

            Through losses and gains, through heartbreaks and reconciliation's, through deep-seated hate and love, the young adults of this tale learned much about the realities and drudgeries of life. They learned of deception and the sting of lies, about the evils of bloated pride and the cold slap of insecurity, about the need for friends and family, and the common search for acceptance. But above all things, they learned of love…of it's attacks, but also its joys…so long as this love was allowed to flourish into something magical.

@--} ---- the end ---- {--@

"Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

1 Corinthians 13:4-7