A/N: Thanks again for those who kept up with this story! :) Your reviews/alerts always make me happy!Sorry I haven't updated this fanfiction in so long. You won't believe how much I had to do over the past months. However, due to some issues I now have loads of time for the next four months and finishing this story is on the top of my list! I hope you enjoy!

chapter eighteen:

Springtime Sorrow

Chad Dylan Cooper grinned as he walked over to So Random with the latest issue of Tween Weekly in his hands. He stepped into to the Prop House to see the "Randoms" engaged in a heated argument about avocadoes: was it a fruit or a vegetable?

"Guess who's on the cover of Tween Weekly!" Chad stated excitedly.

"An avocado is a fruit!" Grady exclaimed displaying an avocado in his hand.

"If it's a fruit, then why do they serve it like it's a vegetable?" Nico yelled.

"For the last time; if it has a seed then it's a fruit!" Zora yelled.

"Geez Z, calm down." Nico said cowering a little.

"Nico, avocadoes are fruit." Sonny stated before smiling, "Trust me, we had this debate all the time back in Wisconsin."

"Nobody cares about Wisconsin, Sonny: you're in California now." Tawni said while looking at her reflection. "You shouldn't be eating avocadoes anyway: they'll just make you fat."

"Hey, they are highly nutritious – wait I didn't come here to join one of your pointless arguments." Chad said ending the avocado dispute.

"Chad, when did you get here?" Sonny said excitedly as she bounced to his side.

"Long enough to see how unproductive you guys are." Chad smirked as Sonny hit his arm.

"Just tell us why you're here so you could leave already." Tawni stated rudely (she was already irritated from the previous avocado argument).

"I'm here to visit my little Sonshine of course!" Chad declared.

The rest of So Random gagged as Sonny blushed, "Aww Chad you're so sweet!"

"Bleh" Tawni, Nico, Grady & Zora said all together along with a gagging motion.

"Come on, Chad." Sonny laughed grabbing Chad's hand, "Let's go somewhere more private."

"Ooh!" Chad beamed as Sonny hit his arm.

"Don't get any ideas!" Sonny glared while she dragged him out of the Prop Room.

Sonny's cheek flushed as a couple of staff members said embarrassing comments about her and Chad as they walked to her dressing room: seriously, didn't they have anything else to talk about? Chad and Sonny have been "official" for almost two months already and they were still the center of gossip. The gossip always made her uncomfortable, but Sonny reassured herself that it was a small sacrifice for a greater prize. With the new season of Mackenzie Falls about to release and their approaching new season of So Random how could the gossip be avoided? Sonny couldn't believe how fast time flew by; being with Chad had been some of the best moments of her life despite the frequent paparazzi bombardment.

"Oh is that the newest Tween Weekly?" Sonny asked as they sat down in her dressing room.

"Yes it is! Guess who's on the cover?" Chad smiled displaying the magazine's back page in his hand.

"Let me guess: you?" Sonny laughed; she knew Chad was still an ego-maniac despite being with her.

"You're only half right!" Chad said flipping the magazine, "We both are!"

Sonny smiled, "Really?"

"Yes, Sonny: really. It's about time too!" Chad laughed, "I'm surprised they didn't have us on there months ago!"

"Well, I'm thankful that it took this long: the less articles the more privacy." Sonny replied opening the magazine to the cover story, "I wonder what they wrote–how did they get this picture?"

"You know, despite being on the front of this magazine several times I have to say that this is my favorite cover!" Chad said oblivious to Sonny's horrified expression.

"Chad!" Sonny yelled.

"Sonny, what's wrong? What happened?" Chad said turning his full attention to Sonny.

"How did the magazine reporters get this picture?" Sonny asked pointing to a picture in the magazine.

"Let me see that." Chad said as Sonny handed him the magazine.

Chad's eyes widened as he recognized the picture in the magazine. A photo of him and Sonny from Wisconsin stared back at him bringing back memories to his mind: private memories. How did Tween Weekly get those pictures? The only ones who should've seen those pictures were Sonny's family and friends. Chad glanced back at Sonny who had a worried/angered look on her face: Sonny was always sensitive about having her personal life exposed.

"This-this was from Wisconsin, right?" Chad asked.

"Yes." Sonny confirmed standing up to start pacing. "How did they obtain this? That was a private photo taken during break!"

"Yes, Sonny, I know: I was there too." Chad reminded. "Do you think your family leaked the photo?"

"No!" Sonny said immediately. "You met my family! They don't seem like the type that'd do that right? Why would they? They know how much I want to keep my privacy: I've been complaining about it for the past few months!"

"More like whining." Chad added absentmindedly.

Sonny's eyes sent daggers at Chad before replying, "Point is: my family knows how much it'd hurt me to have things done like this without my permission. They couldn't have done it."

"True." Chad agreed. "But, I just don't see any other logical explanations."

Sonny bit her lip, "We all agreed to keep my life private: it can't be. I won't believe it."

Sonny began to tear as she realized her last lock of privacy had been broken into.

Chad immediately pulled her into a comforting hug, "Shhh. Sonny its okay. It was just one leaked photo. Maybe someone posted it on their private facebook or something and one of their friends leaked it or something."

"Maybe…" Sonny agreed.

"Look," Chad said lifting Sonny's face so that they were staring eye to eye, "I know it's really bothering you, but I'm sure it's nothing. Just call your family later and I'm sure it'll be nothing, okay?"

Sonny nodded, "Okay. Calling would be a great idea."

"Don't stress out over something like this okay, Sonny?" Chad said kissing Sonny's forehead, "Just enjoy the fact that you're featured in an article with Hollywood's Chad Dylan Cooper!"

Sonny hit Chad's arm, "Oh my gosh, Chad: really?"

"I'm just sayin'." Chad teased trying to lighten Sonny's mood, "Aww come on Sonny: you know you love me!"

"You wish!" Sonny replied with a small smirk.

"I don't have to wish because I know! Come on, just admit it!"

"No!"

"Aww, Sonny: just admit it's true. You don't have to be shy."

"Chad!" Sonny laughed.

"Well, even if you deny it;" Chad said pulling her into a hug again, "I love you, Sonny."

Sonny smiled in Chad's arms: her world felt at peace again if only for that moment, "I love you too, Chad."

"Ew get a room!" Tawni complained as she walked in, "Come on, Sonny: it's bad enough I have to share a room with you!"

Chad and Sonny turned red and quickly excused themselves from the dressing room. They did not want to intrude Tawni's personal space, especially since she helped the couple through a lot of bumps over the past months. Tawni occasionally covered for Sonny when the paparazzi got bad and Sonny was truly grateful: she loved the new Tawni – the one who seemed to do a lot of caring lately.

"Let's go to my dressing room, Sonny: we need to finish shooting a scene anyway." Chad said walking Sonny towards Stage 2.

"What scene is it again?" Sonny asked as they walked through the doors.

"The one where we get in an argument and you leave me." Chad said grabbing logan berry smoothies.

"Oh, that." Sonny replied grabbing her smoothie, "I come back later right?"

"That," Chad started as he opened the door to his dressing room, "that is still not written."

"Not written?" Sonny asked as they sat down.

"The writers haven't finished the last scripts yet; the producers want to see how the audience likes our relationship first."

"I hope they like us. I'd hate to have our last scenes about us hating each other." Sonny stated as she gazed at her script, "Even just a scene like this: I don't want to break up with you."

Chad grabbed Sonny's script and looked her straight in the eyes, "You wouldn't do that to me, Sonny: right?"

"Chad–"

"Sonny! They said we'd find you here!" a voice interrupted.

Sonny turned away from Chad to see her younger brother Austin standing right in front of her. She immediately got up to hug her little brother and told him how excited she was that he was there.

"What are you doing here? I thought you guys weren't coming until Friday." Sonny asked letting go of her monster hug.

"We just wanted to get away from everything." Austin replied.

"Away from what?" Sonny asked.

Austin glanced at Chad then back at Sonny, "Dad will tell you when we get home."

"Austin, what's going on?" Sonny asked seriously.

"Sonny, Chad: you're on set!" the stage manager called out.

Sonny subconsciously bit her lip as Austin stared at her determined to not say a word. She sighed and walked towards the stage knowing that whatever issue was at hand had to wait until later. Chad glanced at Austin skeptically before following Sonny on change; he had a feeling something bad was about to happen.

After shooting Chad drove Sonny home to meet her family (Austin left the studio during Sonny's taping). Sonny was extremely nervous about the earlier confrontation with Austin. What was he going to tell her? Why did he glance at Chad? Was this the answer to the Wisconsin paparazzi photo? A million thoughts rushed through her mind until she felt a hand pat her head easing her nervousness.

"Don't worry Sonny. Whatever it is I know you can get through it." Chad smiled smiled.

"Thank you, Chad." Sonny blushed, "That means a lot to me."

"I hope this means even more." Chad said before lightly kissing Sonny's lips.

Sonny smiled, "I'll call you later."

"Later, Sonny!" Chad called out as Sonny left his car and walked towards her apartment complex.

Sonny waved as Chad drove away and took a deep breath to prepare for the incoming bad news. She proceeded up the stairs to her apartment, opened the door and saw her entire family in deep conversation on the sofa. There was tension as everyone stared at each other until Sonny broke the silence with an excited, "I'm home, everyone!" She hugged each of her parents and her brothers before taking a seat on the sofa. After all the happy greetings the serious tension rose to the surface.

"So –" Sonny said.

"So." Connie replied.

"So." Sonny's Dad added

"So." Trevor, Sonny's older brother, coughed.

"So?" Austin asked, wondering why everyone was saying 'so'.

"So, can someone tell me what's going on?" Sonny finally asked, "Why are you guys here early? Not that I'm not happy you're all here – it's just really sudden and Austin didn't really make it sound like a surprise."

"Did you tell her anything?" Sonny's Dad said as he gave Austin a stern look.

"No –no, I said nothing, Dad: I swear!" Austin said cowering, "I said we'd explain it once she gets home!"

Trevor pulled up the issue of Tween Weekly Chad had and turned it to the cover story Sonny was looking at earlier, "Did you see this?"

"Yeah… Do you guys know how they got that picture?" Sonny asked.

"We gave the paparazzi the photo." Trevor stated.

"You what!" Sonny yelled, "How can you guys do that? You know how much I wanted to keep my privacy!"

"Well, not us: but a family member – I won't say who though." Trevor said coolly, "Look, Sonny: as much as you want to keep your privacy so do we…"

"What are you trying to tell me?" Sonny said slowly trying to calm her rising anger.

"The paparazzi, they've been all around us in Wisconsin." Sonny's Dad answered, "And let's just say, some family members aren't as willing to put up with it as others are."

"Actually, some love it." Austin blurted as everyone glared.

"What?" Sonny said still trying to put the pieces together.

Connie Munroe put her arm around Sonny as she replied, "Here's the deal, sweetie. The paparazzi managed to get a hold of one of our family members, we won't say who though. This person tried to resist the paparazzi but the paparazzi bribed them. They gave in and have been sending some of your photos to them. I'm sorry, honey: we know how much you were trying to stray away from all this."

"How much did they leak?" Sonny said as she pressed her temples trying to stop a headache from happening.

"They're still leaking…" Austin replied, "They both are."

"Austin!" Trevor said as he covered Austin's mouth.

"Both?" Sonny asked, "They both are."

"She deserves to know," Austin glared, "It was Shelly and Shelby."

"The twins?" Sonny said in disbelief as she realized her younger twin cousins were leaking information about her and Chad.

"Yeah" Trevor sighed, "The paparazzi bribed them and well – they like the attention they're getting."

Sonny's Dad put his hand over Sonny's head and ruffled her hair, "Don't worry, kiddo: I've talked to their parents. I can't guarantee a good punishment will stop them from leaking more info but it's all we could do."

Sonny sighed, "And why did you guys want to get away so badly?"

All her family members looked at each other hesitantly until Trevor replied, "Ever since the twins leaked the information… The paparazzi have been hounding us back home. Like I said earlier; we need our privacy too."

Tears began to flow down Sonny's cheeks, "I'm so sorry everyone!"

"Shh, it's okay, sweetie. It's not your fault." Connie soothed as Sonny cried in her arms.

"Yes it is! If I didn't go to Hollywood, if I didn't start dating Chad none of this would've happened!" Sonny cried.

"No, Sonny: you're just living your life." Connie reassured.

"No, mom! All this time I've been complaining about how the paparazzi keep harassing me. All I've been thinking about me. Not once did I ever think about everyone else and how it might affect them. I only thought of myself and all this time I shouldn't have complained once – it's what I asked for. Paparazzi are part of Hollywood: that's what I walked into when I became a star, when I became Chad's girlfriend." Sonny cried harder.

"Honey, you're living your dream: one that many people don't get a chance to live. It's hard dream, honey, I've seen; but don't let that make you give up." Connie encouraged.

"I don't know, mom. I can handle it when I feel like it's just me, but when it affects those I love who shouldn't even be involved at all – I don't know." Sonny sobbed quietly, "I need to go to my room."

"Sonny…" Austin called out as Sonny ran to her bedroom.

"She needs time." Trevor said putting a hand on Austin's shoulder restraining him from running after their sister.

It was four in the morning and Sonny was still awake. Her eyes were puffy from crying and her head hurt from all the thinking she did. After hours of weighing out her options and thinking through the situation she knew what she had to do. She grabbed her cell and gazed at the missed calls and messages she received over the past hour: all from a worried Chad. Even though she had cried all night, tears started falling again as she answered her incoming call.

Chad's voice yelled through the cell, "Sonny! Are you there? Are you hurt? What happened? I've been worried, sick because you haven't answered me once! Hello? Hello?"

"Chad…" Sonny replied softly as she began to choke on her tears.

"Sonny?" Chad's voice softened, "What's wrong?"

"I love you." Sonny whispered.

"Sonny?" Chad said with concern.

"Do you love me?" Sonny choked.

"Of course I do, Sonny! I love you more than anything in this world! I'd do anything for you." Chad answered.

Sonny sniffed, "Then please do me this favor."

"Anything, babe." Chad stated determined to do whatever it took to make

Sonny happy again.

Sonny took a deep breath and whispered, "Let me go."

A/N: Finally! I've been writing this chapter over a series of months… More like a sentence every month! I'm sooo sorry! Hey, but only two more chapters to go! :) Sorry, if you hate me after this chapter I understand xD And yeah, it wasn't the greatest chapter but hey it's done! Woohoo! But thank you for reading and all of your support! I love you all!

As usual remember to REVIEW please! (constructive criticism welcomed: flames aren't... Actually if you have nothing nice to say I'd love it if you just didn't tell me anything. Hard words are very discouraging: a reason why my break was a little long!) ;]

UPDATE (02/11): I'm so sorry for everyone waiting on this story. A lot of stuff happened last year & a lot of writer's block so this story is on hiatus. I'm trying to focus on graduating, but after I graduate I intend on continuing this story (it's also a little hard because I lost some interest in SWAC over time, but I still want to finish this story sometime). But to all my readers, thank you so much for reading & your continued support: it means the world! This story is NOT over.

Another note: I'd appreciate not reading reviews that contain negative comments with intention of being helpful. So please don't review if you have mean things to say because they tend to make me upset & not want to write at all. Sorry for sounding like a sissy but I do have feelings like any other human being out there.

Things to keep in mind: I'm not trying to portray a real SWAC, this is MY storyline outside the Disney bubble. I just want to remind you that as my story develops, so do the characters: they change as my story changes. So, of course they're a bit out of character since I'm taking the story outside the status quo of what you see on Disney. However, I do try my best to keep them mostly in character: stay true to a few of the character's original traits & valus. Also, please remember that this story is primarily under "drama"; so yes, many things are over-exaggerated.

Once again THANK YOU to my reviewers! I 3 you & will hopefully have an update this summer :)