Last chapter. Please review :)
"Let her go, Justin. She needs some time," Theresa advised.
"I can't. I can't lose her," Justin responded, pushing past her and through the crowd. Knowing Alex she could have been halfway to China before he even got out the door.
To his surprise, however, she'd ended up only as far as the front steps of the Emrys mansion. She was sitting at the top of them, her arms encircling one of the stone balusters. Her hair was falling out of its fancy bun, playing across her face whenever a breeze trickled by. She looked vulnerable, something Justin had only seen on very rare occasions.
"I thought you were going to make a break for it," Justin said, sitting down beside her.
"Me too. But for some reason I couldn't," Alex admitted. She toyed with one of the plastic bracelets on her wrist.
"Alex, what's going on?" Justin asked, covering her hand with his. It made him feel better to be able to touch her again.
"I wasn't expecting this, Justin. Every relationship I've had before you was never serious; they barely lasted a month most of the time. I'm so used to just being a kid and not having to worry about the long-term. I don't think I'm ready for it."
"Well you're not a kid anymore." He rubbed circles into her palm with his thumb, calming her nerves somewhat. "Neither of us are. We're becoming adults, and adults have to think about the long-term. I mean, look at me. I have the entire wizard world to oversee now, and that's quite a responsibility."
"I know. But really, the Premier's wife? Does that sound like me?"
"Depends on who you are now, who you will be in a few years, and if you think of me as a short-term or a long-term." Justin stopped massaging and reached up to pull a renegade strand of hair away from her forehead. "You want to know a secret?"
Alex looked up into Justin's honest blue eyes. They reminded her of a peaceful lake, unruffled by even the smallest of winds. It was easy to feel safe and protected with those eyes. "What?"
"You have to promise you won't run again. I know you probably will, but you have to know."
"Alright, I promise."
Justin leaned over so that his lips brushed against her ear. She shivered slightly. "You know why things didn't work out with Tutor and Juliet and the other girls I've dated? Because I was looking for something, or rather someone, they could never be. I just didn't know I already had it all along. I'm in love with you, Alex Russo."
Alex's eyes widened. She'd been told before by a few boys that they loved her, but apparently they hadn't meant it. And none of them had ever said that they were in love with her. For some reason that two-letter preposition made all the difference. "I'm in love with you too," she confessed. "I just need…time."
"Alex, no one's expecting you to get married right now, when you haven't even reached eighteen yet. And they're not expecting me to either. But one day we won't be teenagers anymore."
Alex smiled. "What, like when we're thirty?"
Justin laughed. "I was thinking more like somewhere in the twenties."
"How about twenty eight?"
"Or twenty one."
"Fine. Twenty three. Just don't run off with someone else in between now and then."
"Well I don't know. There's this new guard who's been hovering around me a lot lately. He's kinda short but I was thinking about giving him a chance…"
"You do that and I might have to pull a Brenin and kill off a couple guards."
"How's that going to work if you don't know which one it is?"
"Easy. I'll just get rid of all the short ones."
Alex laughed. "Remember back at the mummy's fortress, when I asked you to promise me we'd find normal people?"
"How could I forget?"
"Well, you were right; you most definitely are not normal. You're actually a little crazy if you ask me."
"As long as you're in the same boat I don't mind too much."
"Good, because I have this bad feeling we're going to be stuck together for a while." Grinning, Alex reached for his blue silk tie and tugged it towards her so that his face was only an inch away from hers. She kissed him, enjoying the fire that pulsed through her and burned away all her worries and doubts.
"We should probably get back to the ballroom, you know," Justin said in between the kisses.
"Why? And have a million people staring at us? Nah, I'm good right here."
"Okay, but they should be laying out the banquet now. I think Bassett mentioned something about a leaning tower of cheesecake, six feet tall and every kind you can imagine. But hey, no big deal."
Justin pulled away in surprise. "Am I going deaf, or did I just hear you turn down food for the first time in your life?"
"Whoa, hold on there. I didn't turn it down. I'm pretty sure it will be there later."
"Except for the fact that Max is in there with it."
Alex considered this. "Good point." She stood up, Justin following suit, and together they walked back into the mansion. Justin hooked his arm through hers, and she rested her head on his shoulder. "Hey, is being the Premier's wife anything like being the First Lady?" She asked at random before they reached the door.
"I suppose it is. Why?"
"I guess my world domination plan is sort of working out after all."
Justin chuckled. "As long as you don't bump me off, I guess I can be okay with that."
"Not making any promises, but I think I'll keep you around. Now come on. That cheesecake tower's calling me."