Author's Note: The end of this story...sigh...I'm going to miss it. But don't worry, it's not actually over, the middle section is really a set up of the next story. I like the ending, since the Riley three ended up being the heart of this story, I decided to end it with the three of them. I hope you guys like it. Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed and enjoyed, it really did mean a lot to me.

Disclaimer: I own nothing

Chapter 56: Graduation

Julie sighed as she headed to the bathroom, packing the last of her things in the dorm room.

"Gaffney," She turned and saw Rick standing there.

"What do you need?" She said.

"You're coming down to graduation right?" He shrugged.

"Am I wanted?" She crossed her arms.

"Look, I know we haven't always seen eye to eye," He sighed, she nodded. "I need you to take care of him. He means well, but he's just such an idiot." She smiled.

"I will," She said, "Congratulations Rick." She turned around and went to get dressed.

"God help me," Rick sighed as he walked down. Scooter and Cole were standing outside. "So here we are."

"Yeah," Scooter said, "It's been a crazy year."

"Yup," Rick smiled, "You're sleeping with my sister, Cole didn't get laid once."

"I got laid once," Cole piped up. They looked at him and started laughing. "Can't believe we're splitting up for college."

"Let's just get the hell out of here," Scooter smiled, "We'll deal with the collegiate split in August."

"She's going back to Maine," Elena argued as she and Jimmy stood slightly aside from the rows of chairs set up for the graduation ceremony. "You don't know what's going to happen in three months, I'm just saying that with me, you know what you're getting."

"Julie and I aren't breaking up Elena!" He sighed.

"I never said anything about you two breaking up," She laughed.

"Ellie," He groaned.

"Jimmy," Julie bounced over and kissed him.

"Jules," He smiled, "You remember Elena."

"Yeah," Julie said, "It's good to see you." Jimmy swallowed. "Your dress is amazing."

"It better be it cost a fortune," She rolled her eyes. "Yours is nice too, its Chanel right?"

"Probably," Julie shrugged, "My mom picked it out, I'm kind of hopeless with fashion."

"Well, I should go find my parents," Elena smiled, "It was nice to see you again. I'll see you around Jimmy."

"She's really pretty," Julie said quietly.

"Not as pretty as you," He smiled and kissed her. "I'm glad you changed your mind."

"Me too," She smiled. "I really don't want to leave you."

"I don't want you to leave," He said, "But you'll have fun in Italy, and, you'll write, right?"

"Every day," She whispered and kissed him. "I love you."

"I love you too," He said softly, Ellie's offer ringing in his ears.

"Ellie!" Kelly stopped the young girl who was walking swiftly and gracefully past her.

"Hi," Elena smiled.

"There's someone I want you to meet," Kelly said, "Brad Vanderbilt, this is Elena Cole, you two are going to be at Eden Hall together next year."

"Great," Elena said.

"Yeah," Brad nodded.

"OK, well," Kelly said, "I should find the big brothers, I'll let you two get better acquainted." Elena rolled her eyes and leaned back against a tree and pulled her cigarettes out of her purse.

"So, you're Cole's sister," Brad smiled.

"Yup," She said, sparking the lighter.

"You're friends with the Rileys?" He continued to try conversation. He was a little taken aback by how beautiful she was. He loved his Kyla and everything but Elena was gorgeous.

"Sort of," She nodded.

"Do you know any non mono syllabic words?" He tried. She looked at him.

"How well do you know Kelly?" She said. He shrugged. "Well, I know her really well. I've known her my whole life. And she did not introduce me to you so that I could have a friend going into Eden Hall. I have plenty of friends. She thinks that you will make me an excellent boyfriend."

"Oh," He said. "I have a girlfriend."

"Hm, good for you," She nodded, "And even if you didn't, I have other plans."

"Fine," He said, "Can I bum one of those?" He pointed. She nodded and held the pack out. He took one. "Thanks."

"No problem." She said quietly. "So, what was it like growing up with Scooter?"

"I can't believe you're leaving me here," Kelly said. Scooter laughed.

"You won't even notice I'm gone," He said, "You're going to be so busy. Student body president, gala chair, prom chair,"

"Actually, I gave gala chair to Linda," She said, "I mean, I have to get into Yale too." He laughed and kissed her.

"You'll be great." He said, "I have to go graduate."

"Have fun," She laughed and turned around, jumping when she saw Portman. "Don't do that."

"So, he's leaving," He raised his eyebrows.

"Yeah, absence makes the heart grow fonder," She said, "Have a good summer Dean." She walked away

"You too Kel," He called after her. He smiled and walked, on his way to the dorms he locked eyes with a pretty young girl with blonde curls quickly putting out a cigarette with her foot. She smiled at him and he nodded. She was unbelievably beautiful, and wearing a simple pink dress with a ballerina skirt. He'd never seen her before, so he couldn't place her. He considered walking over to introduce himself, but after a year of Janet, he'd had his fill of mysterious blondes. Besides, Kelly's boyfriend was going to be gone next year, and that was where he wanted to focus.

After the ceremony the Riley's wandered into their living room. They had to change and head back out for grad night, or at least Kelly and Rick did. Jimmy had every intention of beginning his new summer routine, swim laps, shower off, get very close to his Playstation. That is until soccer camp started, when it would be soccer, swimming Playstation.

"Summer's here," Kelly laughed. The guys nodded. "Think it'll top last year?"

"You're the only one who had a perfect summer last year Kelly," Jimmy laughed. So did she. "I'm just hoping to make it to September without strangling Ellie."

"Good luck with that," Rick snickered. "You're going to have to see her every day. You have to learn ex avoidance."

"You're both so immature," Kelly shook her head.

"Really," Rick looked at her, "So how's Tyler doing?" She whacked him in the chest. "Oh no, you are not getting away with that." He picked up a pillow and whacked her in the head. She squealed and picked one up and hit him back.

"I'm so getting in on this," Jimmy laughed and picked up one and they were in the middle of the living room floor hitting each other with couch cushions and shrieking with laughter. It went on for about ten minutes when they heard their father clear his throat above them.

"Hi Daddy," Kelly said standing up. The guys followed her example.

"Don't stop on my account," He said with a smile, "It's been a while since I've walked in and found the three of you laughing, I miss it." The looked back and forth at each other. "Rick, this is for you, congratulations." He handed Rick an envelope.

"Thanks Dad," Rick said. He nodded and walked upstairs.

"What is it?" Jimmy asked.

"Check probably," Rick shrugged and looked at his name written on the envelope. "It's Mom's handwriting." He sat down. Kelly and Jimmy sat down with him. He swallowed. He tore open the envelope, "I can't," He put it down, "Kelly?"

"Sure," She said quietly and picked it up, "Dear Ricky," She read softly, "And, because I know my children, Kelly and Jimmy too," They laughed. "Congratulations, I'm so proud of you. If you're reading this, it means I'm not there, which I apologize for."

"God like it was her fault?" Jimmy mumbled and tried to hold back tears.

"Sh," Rick said, "Keep going Kel."

"So this is the first letter that any of the three of you will be getting, I wrote you each four, for various occasions in your lives, with specific instructions to your father for when to give them to you," Kelly continued. "Anyway, you've graduated high school, and I'm sure you're going on to your shining bright future. I'm sure that you've had an amazing few years. I love you, and I want you to know that I'm sure you're becoming the kind of person I can be proud of. There's very little to say beyond that, except that I'm reminding you of what you promised me. Take care of your brother and sister, don't deceive yourselves, what the three of you share is very special. Keep that, love each other, take care of each other. Know that I love you, and I'm watching you very closely. Best of luck. Love always, Mom." She sighed and dropped it down and wiped her eyes. "Um wow."

"That is so not what I expected," Rick said, "I think I'd have rather just gotten the check."

"So," Jimmy said, "I'm going to make coffee."

"Good, yeah," Rick said, "Kel, we should change."

"Right, grad night." She swallowed and then hugged him. "I love you."

"I love you too," He said. "Love you too little bro."

"Love you guys," Jimmy joined in the group hug. There was a lot to love, and a lot to look forward to.

To Be Continued...

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