A/N: So fail on my part for not updating in over a month. This is the part where I give numerous excuses, but I won't. So, thank you for sticking with me for the final chapter! As always, thank you for reading/reviewing/favoriting and I hope you'll enjoy the finale!
"I told you so!" shrieked Tawni after I darted into the dressing room and collapsed onto my vanity. I just told her a much modified and altered story (like Chad initiated the kissing) of what happened in Stage 14 in between gasping breaths. Running and I do not get along.
"Tawni, can you please drop it? I'm kind of dying over here."
"Never doubt Tawni Hart," she continued in her self-righteous rant, "because Tawni Hart is never wrong when it comes to boys… and fashion." She glanced over at me and looked towards my feet. "Speaking of fashion, where are my heels?"
"Somewhere back in Stage 14," I said while my breathing slowly returned back to normal.
Tawni raised an eyebrow. "So he's really that great of a kisser?"
I turned around glaring at her and threw the closest thing near me, a hairbrush. My hairbrush, of course, since Chad's was still in my purse.
"What?" shrieked Tawni as she dodged the flying brush. "I'm just hoping he improved since when we were six. All he did was peck me on the cheek."
I could only glare at her; I didn't want to talk, just in case the wrong thing slipped out. Tawni walked over to my side of the room and laid an awkward hand on my shoulder. My guess was she was trying to be comforting.
"Sonny, to take the worry off your mind, you have my blessing if you want to date Chad."
Swatting her hand away, I managed to screech, "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?"
"Sonny, I know it might feel awkward for you that Chad likes you. Since I dated him when we were younger, you are feeling weird that he's my ex and he's kissing you and begging for dates. But, Sonny, you have my full permission to pursue the relationship if you so desire."
"I lied! Chad didn't kiss first! I did!" That was the wrong thing I was avoiding the entire time. Tawni's eyes got huge as I clamped my hand over my mouth.
"I was SO right!" she squealed as she rapidly clapped her hands and jumped up and down. I was slipping on some sneakers as she did her happy dance. "You two so like each other!"
"Tawni, not to interrupt your happy party or anything…" I got up with my purse and headed towards the back wall of our dressing room. "I have to leave before Chad finds me; if he does, he'll take back his brush or, worse, ask me out."
My hands were on the window opening it up. Tawni stopped in the midst of her happy dance and gave me a strange, confused look as I crawled halfway out the window.
"Going through the hallways means I have a higher chance of running into Chad," I explained, but Tawni still looked confused. "Our window faces the parking lot, so I have a very slim chance of running into him while getting in my mom's car. I'll see you tomorrow." And with that I was out the window and running through the parking lot.
I avoided Chad of Friday and survived. That night I was lying on the couch in my apartment dressed in my comfy sweats with Buster and Binky on my feet. Gnomie was sitting in the chair beside the couch angled towards me smiling; it was creepy-looking just sitting there.
Mom walked into the living room from her bedroom all dressed up. She was heading towards the door, but stopped behind the couch and looked at me.
"Don't you have any plans or somewhere to go tonight?" She looked a bit worried as she glanced between me and Gnomie.
"I promised Zora that I would babysit Gnomie tonight." I pointed to the gnome as I explained.
"It's a gnome." She stated bluntly. "Can't you leave it at home and go out with your friends?"
"I wish it was that simple, but Zora attached a GPS unit to me and Gnomie." I lifted up a leg of my sweat pants to show off a bulky anklet that was forced onto me earlier in the day. "I can't take it off or go off without Gnomie; I'll face the wrath of Zora if I do." We both shuddered at the thought of Zora's wrath. I neglected to mention about refusing earlier in the day until I saw Chad round the corner into the hallway that Zora and I were standing in. I only agreed to the anklet, since it was the fastest way I could get out of the hallway and away from Chad.
"Oh well," my mother said. "It was worth a shot." She bent over to kiss me on the cheek. "Have fun and don't wait up for me. I'll be out late."
"Don't get into too much trouble," I called out after her as she headed out the door.
"Great," I mumbled to myself as I glared at the smiling Gnomie. "What are you smiling at?" I threw a pillow at it and continued my glaring.
Not to my surprise, babysitting Gnomie was pretty boring. After I was done glaring, we had a couple of staring contests. Sadly, I lost. Never have staring contests with gnomes; they are cheaters.
After my humiliating defeats, I decided to turn on the TV. Nothing good was on, so I settled for reruns of Mackenzie Falls. Ironically, the episode playing was the one that inspired Chad earlier in the week.
I got pretty into the show. Mackenzie was at the rendezvous point when somebody knocked at my door.
Once I got up from the couch, I walked towards the door and opened it. Chad Dylan Cooper was waiting for me on the other side.
"Chad... what... how...?" I stuttered after being caught off-guard.
"Well, hello to you too, Sonny," he said with a slight grin. "Aren't you going to invite me in?"
"How did you know I would be here?" I asked after slightly composing myself.
"I remember clearly the last time we talked that you were babysitting Gnomie tonight and I thought you needed a little company." I just stared at him until he sighed. "And I also came to get my hairbrush back."
"Thought so," I said with a smile of my own. "Come on in and make yourself at home. I'll go grab it."
I lead Chad into the living room. I left him there as I went into my bedroom to rummage through my purse. When I came back into the room, Chad was sitting on the couch watching TV. Mackenzie was in the middle of the ransom trade off; I should have known that Devon was behind it!
"Mackenzie Falls, Sonny? Really?" Chad asked playfully with a smile dancing on his lips. I shrugged and returned his smile.
"It was the only thing good on TV."
I handed over the hairbrush. Relief flooded through Chad as the thing sat in his hand.
"What's so special about the hairbrush?"
"My grandma gave it to me after I got the part on Mackenzie Falls." Chad shrugged as he was toying with the hairbrush. "She knew it would be my big break."
"I'm sorry that I didn't know or I would've taken something else for leverage." I glanced back at the TV. Mackenzie and Devon were in the midst of a brawl and somehow Trevor, Chloe and Penelope appeared during the time I wasn't paying attention.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Chad shrug again. "It's alright. You wouldn't have done it if I didn't steal your slippers in the first place." He looked down at my slippers. "Sorry about that, Buster and Binky." I turned my head and smiled as he sighed. "I'm also sorry for the whole fiasco in the first place. I forget that about 90% of the drama that happens on the Falls is for the sake of having drama; not because it happens in real life. So, sorry about that."
"Apology accepted." I laughed and he cracked a smile.
"You know, Sonny, what I said back in Stage 14 is true."
I was caught me off guard again for a little bit. I opened my mouth to say something, but Chad interrupted me.
"I still like you Sonny, whether or not you like me back. However, the way you kissed me at the rendezvous tells me that you return the feelings."
Blood was rushing up to my cheeks as I tried to regain my composure and protest, but he interrupted me, again, as he leaned towards me.
"Shhhh, Sonny, the time for talking is over," he said using Mackenzie's famous line.
"Chad," I started to protest, but his lips quickly covered mine.
The kiss was soft and sweet; the complete opposite of the one that occurred in Stage 14. The hand that wasn't holding the brush cupped my cheek. A few minutes went by before we both pulled away.
Chad and I were a little breathless. His hand moved from my cheek to stroke my hair.
"You know," Chad said with a hint of a smile, "you never told me if you were available tomorrow night."
I sat there thinking as Chad continued to stroke my hair. You know what I realized? I did like Chad back. What Tawni said about me being in denial or whatnot was somewhat true, but I wasn't going to let her know. I just happened to realize it after my sock monkey slippers were stolen.
"I'm free tomorrow," I finally said.
"I'll pick you up at eight, then." His smile grew wider.
"Sounds good." I nodded with an equally wide smile as Chad leaned in and our lips touched again.