Old Flame

Chapter 21



Two months later, and Alvin was still stuck, bored, in the hospital. He thought he was going to go crazy from having absolutely nothing to do except stare at the boring programs on the small television and doing homework to catch up while he was out of school.

It wasn't so bad, he figured. His family and friends visited him nearly every day. Ryan and Trent had made time to see him as soon as they heard the news. It made Alvin happy that his friends, no matter how frustrating they may be, truly did care for him. Stephanie and Kayla, who he had known were close friends with Brittany, came to visit him and dropped off well-wishes and get-well gifts. To his surprise, Ray came with a bouquet of flowers. She said that she was very sorry for what happened to him, and was even more shocked that she didn't see anything dangerous in Charlene. He held no grudges. How could he fault her when he himself was fooled?

However, Brittany was the one who made sure to visit him every single day. Alvin thought that she was spoiling him, what with her bringing in plenty of flowers and treats to cheer him up. But Alvin didn't stop her. He always did love to getting spoiled and pampered!

"Knock knock," came a familiar voice from the doorway. He smiled brightly as he saw Brittany walk in with a small basket of goodies. "Hey, Alvin! Feeling better today?"

"I am," Alvin said, leaning up so she could give him a kiss. She teased him by kissing him on the forehead instead, making him give her a look. "Hey! Don't I get more than that?"

"We can't go around making out every time I see you!" Brittany laughed, carefully setting the basket in front of him. Alvin grumbled under his breath. What's so bad about that? "So, are you feeling good today? The doctors said that you should be able to get out of here by next week!"

"Next week?" Alvin said, rolling his eyes. "I want to get out of here now! It's dead boring in here!"

Brittany smiled and tilted Alvin's chin up slightly, touching noses with him. "Soon, babe."

"Not soon enough!" Alvin laughed. "You know how impatient I can get."

"Don't I know it," Brittany said, rolling her eyes. She unwrapped the chocolate candy bar and handed it to him. "I got you the ones with walnuts in it! Just as you asked," she said smugly.

"Thanks!" Alvin said, brightening up at the sight and scent of the chocolate candy. He took a big bite, savoring the milky flavor. "Mm, this is delicious. I wish they'd serve this instead."

Alvin and Brittany laughed as he snacked on the treats she brought for him. Brittany's smile slowly faded as her thoughts began to wander.

There was still no sign of Charlene. Ian, however, was found injured inside his car. He was now spending time in jail for attempted kidnapping. He wouldn't be in their lives for a very long time. But she wasn't worried about him. Where was Charlene? Was she hurt, or worse? Brittany, even if she despised her, didn't wish that kind of fate on anyone. Deep down, Brittany felt Charlene's good intentions had become corrupted, somehow. That didn't stop Brittany from never wanting to see her again. She prayed that she would never set foot back in any of their lives again. Lives were nearly lost all because of her selfish desires. Brittany wouldn't allow her to hurt any more of her loved ones. Not anymore.

She glanced over at Alvin as he began to dig into his second candy bar. Did Alvin wonder the same? She was sure he did. But it didn't seem to bother him much. Or, maybe, he was really good at hiding it. Alvin was always the type to keep his suffering hidden.

"You okay?" Brittany asked. Alvin looked at her. He knew what she meant. "You want to talk about it?"

Alvin smiled. Truth was, he did wonder. Even if he didn't want to have anything to do with Charlene, a part of him wondered where she was or what she was doing. How was she? Was she safe and sound somewhere? And if so, why hadn't she come to see him? Did she even know he was alive after she ran off? Or did she know, and just didn't know what to say to him? He had a funny feeling that she was okay, somewhere. That was all he wished for her. He resigned himself to never see her again. After all she had done to him and his family, he refused to ever let her get close to him again. Who knew what she was capable of?

"I'm fine," Alvin said confidently. "All that's in the past now. She's in the past. I wish her the best, but I've got my own life to live. She's got no part of that now."

Brittany smiled, nodding. "I'm glad."

A lot had happened in just two months. Alvin realized, with a smile, that not only was he blessed, but his family was quickly moving forward with their lives. He was happy to know that what happened to them hadn't caused any permanent damage. To his relief, Brittany and her sisters had repaired their bond. Jeanette had apologized, but there was no need. It made him smile to know that Brittany was just as close to her sisters as he was with his little brothers.

Fortunately, Simon and Jeanette's relationship couldn't be better. Not only had Simon willingly forgave Jeanette and accepted her back, but they were actually engaged. Alvin and Brittany couldn't be happier for them. They always knew they would be good for each other, and now they were planning to spend their lives with each other. Alvin was no romantic, but he couldn't help but smile at the thought of attending their wedding. You know what they say. First comes love, then comes marriage...

Alvin couldn't help but feel a bit cheated. He was the oldest! He was supposed to experience things like marriage first! Well, he figured he still had time to pop the question later down the road. After all, Simon and Jeanette weren't planning to actually marry until after high school.

He laughed, making Brittany look at him oddly. I shouldn't be making this into a competition.

"What's so funny?" Brittany asked curiously.

"Nothing," Alvin grinned, kissing her cheek. "Oh! How is Theo and Ellie doing? I haven't seen them around lately."

"They're in their little love bubble," Brittany said, giggling. She thought it was utterly adorable. Eleanor and Theodore had been in a serious relationship for a long, long time now. Almost everywhere they went, they were together. She was happy for the two of them. They were so perfect for each other, everyone figured it was only a matter of time until they realized it themselves. "They said they'll promise to visit you later this evening!"

"Good. Just because they're madly in love, it doesn't give them the right to forget about me! I'm in the hospital!" Alvin laughed, clearly joking around. He rubbed the back of his neck, his smile disappearing as he stared at Brittany. It eventually started to make her uncomfortable, and she asked what was wrong. "Oh! Nothing's wrong... it's just..."

"Just...?" Brittany echoed, leaning in. "What?"

"Well, you tell me. We've known each other for a while, but I don't want to rush things," Alvin said nervously. "Well, it's probably just me, but... I don't want to waste another second in doubt," Alvin forced, blushing red. Brittany looked at him, intrigued. Why did he have to look into those blue eyes of hers? Now he was even more nervous for what he was about to ask! "I-I... well..."

"Alvin?" Brittany said, tilting her head to the side curiously. "What's wrong?"

"Will you marry me?"

Brittany's eyes widened and she sat up straight. Surely, he was joking... right? The serious, slightly nervous, look Alvin was giving her told him that this was no joke. Her cheeks reddened and her heart pace quickened as she realized just what Alvin was asking her.

Alvin fidgeted at her silence. Oh god, what if she said no? He didn't think he could handle that rejection. But, then again, it was so sudden! Even if she declined, he didn't think he'd be too upset. Maybe it was his nerves that made him want to jump into marriage. Now that he thought about it, it was crazy coming from him! Maybe he should think it over more.

"O-Or, rather, my fiance," Alvin said quickly, looking down at his writhing hands. "Sorry. Maybe I'm being too forward with this. It's just... I know what my heart wants, Brittany. And you know me, I never was one to listen much to what my brain says," he joked. Brittany smiled. "But I think our little siblings have the right idea. I love you, Brittany. Truly. I don't want to waste another moment of you not being mine, completely. S-So..." he took a deep breath and took both of her paws in his, forcing himself to look her in the eyes. "Will you make me the luckiest guy alive, and marry me, Brittany?"

Brittany began to cry, making Alvin look at her in confusion. Oh, what did he do now? He made his own girlfriend cry! Oh god, did I say something wrong! I knew I should have rehearsed!

To his surprise, Brittany jumped into his arms. He caught her, holding her gently as she hugged him tightly. He looked down at her as she looked up at him with joyful tears.

"You idiot," she said. "I'm already yours. It just took you so long to realize that."

Alvin smiled brightly. "Does that mean...?"

"Of course!" Brittany said, laughing happily. She never expected him to ask, or at least not so quickly. But she was happy. There was nothing that would make her happier than to know that she would soon be his wife, his mate. "I love you too, and I'd love to be your wife."

Alvin smiled and kissed her, leaning back to let them rest against his pillow. Brittany nuzzled into him, content.

From now on, they would take on the world together.


Author's Note: THE END.