Chapter Fifteen, the Finale
A/N: Thanks everybody for all the positive feedback on the last chapter! Oh, and shout-out to Sprinkles664 who was my 400th reviewer! :D Oh boy! Well, after all this time, A Twinkling has finally come to a close. ): Thanks to all of you for sticking with it and reading!
ATTENTION: everyone should go on and check out the promo for 2010's SWAC. Chad asks Sonny out! One of my friends has the script and told me about the episode…you should Google it, "Falling For The Falls", its gonna be great. ….anyways, you should check it out. Oh, and I just realized I randomly switched from calling Cate, to Grandma Cooper. I prefer Grandma Cooper. So ha. :I
Creds to Demi Lovato for the song, and I guess to me for writing the poem. HOPE YOU LOVE THIS LONG CHAPTER(: Was gonna have it up on Dec. 31 but it kinda took me till the 10th to finish…
"Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."
December Thirty First, Two Thousand Nine
As Chance pushed the large, brass doors open, bright light flooded into the room, causing the entire atmosphere to sparkle. The light bounced off crystal glasses, chandeliers, and statues, hundreds of tiny rainbows breaking off and glistening. The entire ballroom was sparkling, to be honest. Everything was gold, white, and silver. Wide tables with alternating gold and silver table cloths, crystal vases full of freesia, roses, tulips, anemone, and iris added a glorious splash of spring to this winter event. I peeked at the place settings- there were so many different forks and knives and spoons it made my head spin. Adults, teenagers, and children milled around in their fanciest garb: women in glamorous stilettos, short, shiny dresses, and gold jewelry; men in formal tuxedos and dress shoes, some sporting holiday ties, some with classic bow ties; children in their adorable dresses and suits, running around, squealing, having the time of their lives.
It was like a movie. The glistening atmosphere, the scents of flowers and delicious food swirling around my nose, and great music floating in the air. Even I could have been a character in this movie- I was wearing platinum black high heels and was only slightly teetering, and I was finally wearing a brand new dress- not one dug out from Caila's dusty closet. The bodice was frilled with silver, shimmery material, clinched at the waist, and then black fabric shot out down to my knees, so that when I whirled around, the dress fanned out. Glorious.
"Sonny, are you going to stand here gawking all day, or are you gonna scooty your booty to the dance floor?" Tawni exclaimed, eyes wild with excitement.
Nico and Grady simultaneously inhaled. "Mmm," Nico breathed in deeply.
"Do you smell what I smell?" Grady sang out loudly.
"Crème brûlée!" They roared, tearing off to the long buffet table.
Tawni patted down her violet colored dress and wrinkled her nose. "You just had to bring them," She said in disgust.
Chad groaned from behind me. I glanced over at him, and he looked like he was ready to kill himself. Grady and Nico let loose a loud hoot from the food table. Tawni started twirling around, humming. Zora wasn't saying anything, but her whole outfit was a bit quirky, as was the expression on her face. We were getting quite a bit of unwanted attention, and the Coopers all looked faint.
Maybe I should back up a smidge. Way back. To this morning.
I woke up in a bad mood. I'd been freezing last night, so I'd fallen asleep in my thick robe, sweat pants, and a long sleeved shirt. The first thing I thought as my eyes adjusted themselves to the pale morning light, was somewhere along the lines 'Why is it so freaking hot in here!?" I was actually sweating. It was horrible. My back and neck were aching from my horrid bed, and honestly, I thought my day could only get worse.
"ALLISON! YOU HAVE…GUESTS!" Mrs. Cooper roared from downstairs. I frowned, and changed into a blue skirt, white tank top, and my brown fringed boots before parading downstairs.
"This place is like a castle!" A very familiar voice squeaked as I approached the main foyer. Zora?
"Is there someone who can escort my luggage to my suite?" Tawni!?
My eyes widened as I saw my So Random! cast mates cluttering the doorway, all with overnight bags and excited expressions. Mrs. Cooper, enraged, was trying to figure out who they were and why they were here.
"What are you guys doing here?" I asked in amazed wonder as I gazed at my friends incredulously.
"Sonny!" They all yelled concurrently, and a huge group hug ensured.
"Are these the…'Randoms' that Chad speaks of?" Mrs. Cooper asked, nose high. We ignored her.
"What are you guys doing here?" I cried happily.
Tawni turned serious. "We figured you might need some friends…after everything that's happened. So I left Paris early, and they left Aspen early, we met up at the airport at like four this morning, then finally got here!" She explained.
Tears brimmed my eyes. "You guys are the best," I said, my voice thick with emotion.
"We know," Zora shrugged modestly.
"We don't have enough rooms to accommodate you!" Mrs. Cooper yelled over our conversation.
"Then they can sleep in my room! On the floor! Like a slumber party!" I exclaimed defiantly, throwing my arms over Tawni and Grady's shoulders. "In fact, the floor might be more comfortable then my bed."
Mrs. Cooper pursed her lips. "I'll kick you all out…I'm calling Charles…telling Chad…watch out," She mumbled, stalking down a hallway.
"She's a delight," Tawni quipped, flipping her hair over her shoulder. "So. Were you serious about the floor?"
Laughing, I replied, "Yep. But no worries, we can find a room for you all…there's like five floors here."
"What are you doing in my house?" A snide and startled voice interrupted our chatter.
Tawni turned slowly to face Chad, her eyes as hard as steel. She glanced at Nico, Grady, and Zora and nodded sharply.
"We're not talking to you!" They all yelled, synchronized .
"Then get out of my house," Chad said flatly, unfazed.
"We're here for Sonny!" Nico thrust his fist in the air before linking arms with me. The rest of my friends quickly followed his lead.
Chad rolled his eyes then looked at me. I shrugged slightly, and mouthed "Sorry!"
"Fine. Whatever." Chad sighed and walked away.
"I need all the deets," Tawni whispered as we all walked up the staircase.
When everyone was comfortable in my room, I stood front and center. "So, guys. Welcome to the Cooper Estate." I said in a voice full of authority. "I'm so thrilled that you guys are here, but we have a lot to do. In just a few hours, we'll be attending a New Years Ball. I will be performing at the show there. We all need fancy outfits! You guys need to unpack! Guys, you can go find a room. There's gotta be a million around here. Tawni and Zora, you can stay here, or find a new room. Now everybody, move, move, move!"
"Aye aye, Captain!" Nico and Grady saluted me before grabbing their stuff and sauntering down the hall.
"A ball?" Tawni clasped her hands together, a dreamy expression dancing across her face. "I can just see it- Me, in a beautiful gown, twirling across the floor, dancing with a handsome gentleman, rich of course…" She sighed rapturously.
"Keep dreamin', sunshine," Zora squeaked. Tawni frowned at her, probably wondering how she had gone wrong as an inspiration.
"So," Tawni ignored Zora. "I suppose we can stay in here. But first, let's go shopping!"
"Usually I just take a dress from Chad's sister's closet," I explained.
Tawni snorted. "Fabulous. Now, come on, we're going shopping."
"'Glitter'. Are you serious." I stared at the glitzy boutique Tawni had dragged me and Zora to. The entire building was pink and silver, with glittery curtains in the windows. It looked like a store Barbie would shop at.
"Don't judge a book by its cover," Zora piped up.
I rose my eyebrows at her. "You seriously want a dress from Barbie's Closet?"
"Don't be hatin'!" Tawni did the little hip-swinging thing she always does when she attempts to sound gangster.
"Fine, let's go," I grabbed Tawni and Zora's arms and we walked inside.
Immediately I was hit with the strong scent of perfume.
"Welcome to Glitter!" A young red-haired woman charged over to us, carrying a tray with three glasses, a bottle of what looked like champagne, and a bowl of chocolates.
"Would you ladies like a little bubbly?" the perky woman asked, and a second woman ran over, poured some pale gold liquid into the glasses, then ran off.
"Sure!" Zora exclaimed. "Um, we're not old enough," I elbowed Zora.
Perky giggled. "No, it's sparkling cider. Ms. Hart, your usual dressing lounge?"
"That'd be divine, Adele," Tawni smiled angelically, accepting her glass like it was no big deal, as Zora and I stared at ours with wide eyes.
"Come along, ladies," Adele led us down a bright pink hallway to what appeared to be a waiting room. There was a clear table, on which Adele set down the drinks and chocolate, some silver and pink couches, and four white stalls.
"If you need anything, just ring," Adele grinned widely, fluffed her apple-red hair, then briskly walked off.
"Um, wow," I glanced around and sipped my cider.
"You get used to it," Tawni dismissed me with a wave of her hand. "Now, let's go find some beautiful, sparkly, ball gowns!"
Tawni, humming under her breath, walked down the hall, Zora and I trailing behind.
"I could get used to this!" Zora whispered. I chuckled, seeing Zora in a fluffy pink dress was quite a mental image.
So, after walking around a wide, circular pink room full of racks and racks and racks of assorted dresses, we all finally found a dress.
"Alright!" Tawni squealed as we had all dressed in our separate stalls. "Let's all exit at once and get the full effect," she sighed dreamily.
We burst out of the stalls, and I immediately looked at Tawni.
"Well?" Tawni smugly twirled around. She was wearing a gorgeous violet gown. The bodice had sequins on the neck, then sequins made a belt around her waist, then sparkly layers of purple completed the ball gown's bottom.
"You look like a princess!" I appraised.
"Yeah, Princess of the Grapes," Zora cracked.
Tawni gasped. "Well, you look like Princess of the Blueberries!" She cried.
I looked at Zora's dress, now. It was royal blue, short, had pockets, and was pretty casual. The bright hue totally fit Zora's personality.
"Sonny, you look really pretty," Zora ignored Tawni. I was wearing the black dress I described earlier.
"Yeah, you do," Tawni said nonchalantly. "Now, let's pay for these, find some shoes, and finish this chocolate!"
"Do you come here a lot?" I asked, after we had changed back and purchased our dresses.
"Every time I need a dress!" Tawni scoffed.
"Alright guys, I have a rehearsal, so I'll see you at the house later?" I popped a chocolate in my mouth before standing up.
"Sure. Rehearsal for what?" Tawni asked.
I grinned craftily. "You'll see."
After a long rehearsal, it was wonderful to walk into the Cooper's house and find it peaceful and quiet. I breathed in, shut the door, and smiled.
"Get back here!" Mrs. Cooper roared, skidding around a corner, chasing Zora.
"I swear, I didn't take it! I was just looking!" Zora squealed, waving at me quickly before dashing up the stairs.
As they disappeared, I shook my head. I wasn't even gonna ask.
After a quick peek upstairs, I realized Tawni had completely taken over my room (including the bed, not that I minded,) and had indeed put photos of herself on my dresser. Great. She had changed into a bright magenta sweat suit, and was perched on my bed, painting her toenails. Best not to disturb her…
I was strolling into the den, when Mrs. Cooper turned down the hall and glared me down.
"Hello there, Mrs. Cooper," I greeted her pleasantly.
"Greetings, Allison," She replied through thin lips. "Would you mind herding up your comrades and keeping them in one room? They are disrupting the Tau."
What the heck was a Tau?! "Certainly," I smiled serenely before walking past her and rolling my eyes.
Ruth had cleaned the kitchen earlier, so it was clean, spotless to be exact, when I entered. Zora had not crossed this room, apparently. It was still, quiet. Only Chad was sitting on the counter, texting away on his complicated, sleek black cell phone.
He didn't notice me, as I awkwardly hesitated in the doorway. Things were strange between him and I. Ever since our little showdown, there was a palpable awkwardness, like you could feel the tension in the air, making your heart race, your palms tingle. Our feelings were open and clear between us- I liked him. He liked me. That had been out in the open, for a while now, I suppose. But now, everything was up to him. He could either say nothing to the media- protect his reputation- resulting in me never talking to him again, and everything we'd gone through would be for nothing. Or, he could confront the media- tell them that, yeah, Chad Dylan Cooper can and has settled down with one girl, a girl he likes a lot, although the girl doesn't really get why, and he doesn't care about his ego, not nearly as much as he cares about this girl.
So, in all, I wasn't really sure if I should say something to Chad or not. I haven't really spoken to him since The Showdown. As far as I knew, he hadn't contacted the media in any way.
As I was contemplating conversation starters, Chad finished whatever he was texting, slapped his phone shut, and looked up, his eyes landing directly on mine. We kind of awkwardly stared at each other for a few seconds. I wondered if I was blushing, because oddly enough, a rosy color spread across Chad's cheeks.
He shook his head slightly and immediately started texting again. "Hey," he said to his phone.
"Hi," I said in a high voice, taking a small step towards the counter. I wasn't really sure how to stand there. I settled for shifting my weight to my left foot, slightly crossing my right leg behind my left foot, and crossing my arms. There. That looked casual.
"What's up?" Chad replied, continuing to rapidly press keys. I rolled my eyes. He had always been a talker.
"Are you excited to see me sing tonight?" I asked brightly, walking closer to the counter. Chad glanced up for a second, then stared back at his phone. I wondered if he was even texting or just pretending to.
"Are you singing…the song?" Chad asked in a barely audible voice.
Yes, I was totally going to sing his love song in front of everyone.
I pursed my lips. "No," I said in a cold, sure voice.
Chad didn't look up, he just lowered his head even more, like I'd just kicked him in the face.
"Um, I'm singing a new song. One I just wrote. Chance's band worked with it, you know, gave it some really great new music. It's gonna be a whole lot better than me singing by myself with that old guitar," I ended teasingly.
Chad was silent for a moment. Then he looked up, and gazed at me straight in the eye. "It would've been perfect if it was just you. You have the best voice out of anyone I know. You're so talented. You don't need some punk rock groupies throwing their electric guitars on the floor and dying in their black leather. You don't have to try to be someone you're not." He jumped off the counter and landed directly in front of me. I looked up, and he was right there, his beautiful blue eyes piercing my heart, and I wanted nothing more than for him to give me a hug right there. But all he did was look at me expectantly.
"Someone I'm not?" I repeated. I crossed my arms even tighter over my chest. "You don't know everything about me, Chad," I continued. "I don't think you know that much. I'm not just some funny girl from Wisconsin." My temper began to flare. "I can be a rocker too! I died my hair black for crying out loud!"
Chad rolled his eyes. "Relax," he said, and the moment was broken. He was back to being a jerk. My blood was boiling behind my fair skin, and I thought the song I'd be singing tonight would be absolutely perfect.
"Chad, you might wanna go look in the mirror, your bad attitude is showing," I smiled brightly before walking away. I had friends to attend to.
And in a few hours, we pulled up in front of Howard's mansion. It had taken awhile to get there- Mrs. Cooper had thrown a huffy fit over me bringing "the Randoms". Grandma Cooper had saved the day, saying they'd be a "refreshing change from the deadbeats who usually attend the event." As it was, Mrs. Cooper insisted they all ride in a separate limo. Chad argued that I should ride with him and his family (after our squabble, so I was touched.) but I wasn't leaving my friends. Everyone was in a bad mood when we entered the gorgeous house, and Chance pushed the large brass doors open.
I think we're all caught up to speed now.
My cast mates had scattered in random directions, whether it be food or attractive rich guys, they were happy. I took a deep breath, patted down my hair, and followed the Coopers as they approached their dictated table.
Mrs. Cooper, in her gauzy pearl white tulle gown, sat down with flourish before smiling widely at me. "Not enough seats for your friends. That's to be expected of course, they showed up without warning," Her smirk disappeared as I spoke.
"Look, Mrs. Cooper. You don't like me. I get that. You think Chad could do a lot better. And I know it's even more awkward for you because Chad and I aren't together anymore," The lie came out smoothly, it was almost like Chad and I had honestly been together and broken up. It sure had felt that way. "But the thing is, my friends came to support me. They left from Aspen and Paris, just to console me. Did you comfort me? Did you comfort your son? I don't think so. So, go ahead, be rude to me. Because in the long run, I'm a much better person than you," I had my hands firm on my hips as I laid down the law.
Chance whistled as Mrs. Cooper's face crumbled. Immediately I felt horrible. But just as quickly as she had lost her equanimity, she regained it, looking as icy and composed. She didn't answer me, just stood up and left to chat with Howard. I sunk into my seat besides Chad.
"That wasn't smart," I threw my head down, dramatically, onto the table.
"But you never are," Chad quipped under his breath. I didn't lift my head up, just punched him with my left arm. He grunted in pain.
"Hey, Sonny!" Chance exclaimed. He was all dolled up in a black tuxedo. The first time I've ever seen him looking…like an adult. "Felix and the guys are here!"
I looked up towards the door and saw Felix, Taya, Mona, and Drew. The girls were in short, tight, shiny black dresses with red high heels. The guys wore dark, stonewashed jeans with maroon tees and black leather jackets. They looked eons cooler than the rest of us.
Howard was ogling them incredulously. He probably thought they were party crashers.
"So, Sonny, I was thinking maybe tonight-" Chad started, looking everywhere but me. My heart started thudding crazily.
"Sonny!" Mona saw me and her face lit up in a crooked grin. She gestured for me to come over.
Chad paused and saw my new friends looking at me expectantly.
I was torn.
"Um, go on, I'll talk to them later," I said, a bit desperately. But I could see the change in Chad's composure- he had stiffened. "Nah, it's cool. Later," Chad stood up, half-smiled at me, then wandered away.
Chance stood up with me and patted me on the back in a brotherly way. "Don't worry, Sonny. It'll work out," He smiled, his grin so much like a child's. I smiled half heartedly and joined Burn. They were super excited for our performance, all their equipment was already set up on the dance floor "stage". My heart started thudding again, because now, I was totally, irrevocably, nervous.
"Son-NAY!" Tawni sidled up to me, slid her arm through mine, and led me away. "This party is fabulous, but I realized you never dished anything to me."
I sighed. Great. Dishing.
But, I took Tawni aside and told her about what I now affectionately called The Showdown.
"Has he done anything…?" Tawni's soprano trailed off when she saw me shake my head. Out of habit, my hand reached my neck to twirl the glimmering garnet, but it wasn't there. I sighed and looked around, and Chad was staring at me. No doubt he had witnessed me missing my necklace. I actually really wanted it back. I felt naked without it on.
Dinner proceeded smoothly. Chad and I didn't speak, but the food was delicious. It was some sort of Asian chicken, with avocado and strawberry salad, completed with Death by Chocolate. And then there was that long buffet table for those who were still hungry.
At last, Howard stood on the stage and cleared his throat heartily. Everyone glanced up at him.
"Hello everyone!" He beamed. "The party has been great, and is about to get better. We're going to have the Annual Cooper Family Talent Show!" Everyone cheered. Howard consulted a clipboard. "First up, is Elizabeth Rhodes, reading a poem,"
I rose my eyebrows in surprise as the pale haired Elizabeth, in a pretty green dress, took the stage. She eyed everyone fretfully before looking down at her paper.
"My poem is called "Wash Me Away," She said in a timid voice. I strained to hear.
"Show me of kind, supportive friends, that I have yet to meet, for my closest companions are being stretched far away. Sing me a song of health and happiness, for everyone I touch is frail and sick. Pick me up with words of comfort and hope, for all I hear are livid snarls of disappointment.
"Let the rain pour down on me and wash me away, to new horizons, new friends, new adventures, for the ones I've had are gray and bleak. Enlighten me with tales of beautiful fairies and majestic Unicorns, for the Unicorns I know are too perfect on the cover, too forceful as they spear me with their horns, too frighteningly real.
"Guide my hands so they hover over the warmth of the fire, crackling bright and spitting my worries into the night. Hold my hand and show me how magnificent new horizons can be. Wash me away; let the water crash over my tired feet. Breathe in the salty air, and sing to me of better days." Elizabeth looked timorously at the audience when she was done.
Tears filled my eyes and I blinked rapidly to keep from crying. Everyone burst into applauds.
Hopefully I didn't have to top that.
But my luck actually worked. Six acts followed Elizabeth, from two six year old tap dancers to an impressive show choir singing "Last Christmas" in four harmonies.
"Last but certainly not least, we have Chance Coopers' band, Burn, featuring Sonny Munroe!" Howard said excitedly. I felt pleased when people glanced at me, star struck.
I swallowed a mountain sized lump in my throat before joining the band onstage. I stood behind the microphone and glanced at Felix, who nodded at me before breaking into his killer electric guitar intro.
"I threw all of your stuff away, then I clear you out of my head, I tear you out of my heart, and ignore all your messages," I started singing, my voice loud and confident.
The band was really rocking, we sounded really good, and the crowd was getting into it. Everyone except Chad, who was watching me seriously, because he knew every line in this song would be about him. And he was right.
"I tell everyone we got through, cause I'm so much better without you, but it's just another pretty lie, cause I break down, every time you come around! Oh, oh, oh!" I was even getting into it now, taking the mic out of its holder and moving around.
Chad was looking kind of stricken as I sang the refrain. "So how did you get here under my skin? I swore that I'd never let you back in, I shoulda known better, then trying to let you go, cause here we go, go, go again!"
[ Chad's POV ]
I felt sort of sick as I watched Sonny singing Here We Go Again. It was a great song, I give her that- she has a great voice. And she looked really hot in that dress. It was just troubling, hearing her sing all that crap about me.
"You never know what you want, and you never say what you mean, but I start to go insane, every time that you look at me."
So what exactly was she trying to say to me, anyways? That she hates me but can't quite stay away? That she hates herself for liking me? I didn't get it.
"Hard as I try, I know I can't quit, something about you is so addictive, we're falling together, you'd think that by now I'd know, so here we go, go, go again!"
The song ended with some intense drumming and electric guitar and Sonny doing some move where she threw her head down then whipped it back up. Sick.
Needless to say, the applauds and cheers and whistles practically vibrated through the room, pulsing, everybody on their feet, roaring. I stood up and padded through the back of the room, unnoticed, so I could steal away through the back doors, to the quiet yard with the limpid lake.
A feeling of calm settled over me as I leaned against a tree and gazed off at the lake, the breeze cool.
When I had said Sonny wasn't my type, I hadn't been lying. My type is skinny, tan, blonde, and rich. Sonny was none of these things. But now, I thought this was a good thing. Sonny iss a lot more than just beautiful- she was funny, and charming, and a genuinely good person. When I met her, she was wearing a fat suit and an ugly wig, but I'd still felt drawn to her. She had this personality that makes everyone else feel happy. And truthfully, that was what I wanted in a girlfriend.
My mind was made up. I patted my pocket, felt what was inside, and felt nervous. How exactly was I going to pull this off? My time was running out. We'd be leaving tomorrow morning to get back to work. If I didn't do this tonight- right now- then I'd lose Sonny Munroe forever.
But the clouds parted and God smiled down at me, because I heard some rustling, turned around, and saw a pissed off Sonny walking towards me.
"How amiable of you to run off during my performance," She said hotly, nonetheless sitting next to me, relishing the moonlight, the clear water, and the fresh grass. In a way, it was our spot.
"Sorry," I shrugged. "You…were great,"
Sonny frowned, looking really troubled. "You're mad, aren't you."
I positioned myself so I was looking down at her. "Mad? About what?"
"The song," Sonny groaned. "I swear Chad, it wasn't a hate song. I seriously don't hate you, it was just a way to vent…" She glanced at me nervously. My heart skipped a beat.
"Yeah…it just made me think." I smiled slightly at Sonny, and she smiled back, and leaned onto my arm. It was really nice and comfortable.
But obviously, with the luck that me and Sonny had, the moment shattered like a crystal glass being dropped.
"Sonny Munroe and Chad Dylan Cooper snuggle on New Year's Eve- innocent comrades or were the romantic rumors true? I'm Santiago Heraldo, and we'll be right back!"
Sonny and I immediately stood up and whirled around. Sure enough, there was Santiago, smirking into a camera, with like ten guys with equipment shuffling down towards us.
"This can't be happening," Sonny murmured.
"But it is," Santiago sashayed over to us and sneered. "You kids almost cost me my job. Luckily, my reliable source informed me of this party, and sure enough, here you two are," His hostile expression twisted into an evil smile.
"Who is this source?" I demanded.
"Ms. Murray?" Santiago turned, and there was Portlyn, looking guilty.
"Portlyn!?" I cried. I thought we were friends! We'd gone back to the pilot episode for Mac Falls. But there she was, in a slinky silver dress and heels, as familiar as ever, but now a traitor.
"I'm sorry Chad!" She wept. "I had to! She was ruining everything for us!" She shot daggers at Sonny, who inched closer to me.
"You ruined my life," I shook my head incredulously. Portlyn ducked her head.
"So, what's it gonna be, Mr. Cooper?" Santiago grinned eerily. "Are you going to deny or what?" He gestured to the camera man, and the red light switched on. We were live.
My heart was racing.
Chad looked like he was under an enormous amount of pressure- from the camera, from me, from Santiago, from his family, whatever. It probably didn't help that at that moment, all my cast mates and Chad's family ran over. There were like twenty people, boring their eyes at us.
"I'm Santiago Heraldo for Tween Weekly TV, here with heartthrob Chad Dylan Cooper, and his rumored girlfriend, Sonny Munroe. Now Chad, everyone's been on their toes…tell us, are you and Sonny together?" Santiago rose his eyebrows at Chad.
He said nothing.
Please, Chad. Please. Say something. Anything. Just don't deny It. Not again.
"No, we're not together," Chad said finally, and my hope sank. But he continued. "But I wish we were." He took a deep breath and faced me. "I really screwed up before, Sonny, but I was wrong. The truth is, I love you. And a life without you wouldn't be a life worth living, rep or not."
Tears filled my eyes. "I love you too," I flashed my toothy grin and gave Chad a big hug. His arms wrapped around my back, and I've never felt so warm and secure.
"Woohoo!" Tawni squealed, and my friends and Chad's family burst into cheers. Even Mrs. Cooper.
"So, Sonny, will you be my girlfriend?" Chad looked at me, worried. I nodded, smiling so hard, I couldn't even talk. He smiled, his self assured boldness back.
Then, Chad reached into his pocket and withdrew something. He confidently walked behind me and tied something around my neck- the garnet necklace! I beamed, turned to look at him, pressed my palms to his cheeks, and pulled his face down to mine.
"Yeah Sonny, get some!" Nico hooted. Everyone ignored him as Chad and I continued kissing.
"I'm Santiago Heraldo, and you heard it here first," Santiago sounded sort of grumpy. "Allison Munroe and Chad Dylan Cooper are officially a couple!"
Aftter getting pats on the back and congratulations, everyone went back in to the party, anxious, because it was almost midnight. Chad held my hand and led me back down to our comfortable area by the lake.
"Thanks for the necklace," I smiled and twirled the garnet.
Chad shrugged. "I was stupid for taking it back. I was stupid all along."
"That was really brave though, Chad. Everything was worth it," I said honestly.
And as Chad leaned down to kiss me again, I noticed his eyes, as always. How beautiful they were. The moonlight sparkled on them, and there was A Twinkling in them. A stunning glow.
And for once, everything turned out perfect.