So, yeah, here it is... the sequel to 'Old Flame'. I'd recommend reading that first as you may get a little lost.
You're going to have to bare with me for a moment as I give you a relatively lengthy A/N. You can skip it, but don't go complaining to me if you're waiting for an update!
Basically, like I have mentioned numerous times on other stories, I am SO busy this year it's unreal. I'm literally going to be doing five hours of study a day on top of school so I'll only be writing when I have time. I won't leave the story unfinished but you're just going to have to be patient because my exams in June decide whether or not I get into college. So, you know, they're kinda important.
In relation to this story, it's not going to be like 'Old Flame' in the sense that it's a storyline. 'Rekindled' is more like a collection of one-shots over the course of Aria's last few months in High School and then a few more once she's graduated. I think you'll really like it. I love it so far and I'm only on chapter five!
This chapter is from Ezra's POV. It picks up right where 'Old Flame' left off.
Lastly, I don't own PLL. Although, in my mind, Ezra is miney mine mine.
"I'm never gonna say goodbye
'cause I never want to see you cry.
I swore to you my love would remain
And I swear it all over again."
When Aria and I finally pulled apart, the fireworks were long over - the ones in the sky at least; the ghost of her lips on mine was still sending sparks through my body, like my own personal type of pyrotechnics, better than any Catherine Wheel or Roman Candle.
We pressed our foreheads together as we tried to catch our breaths. Even though it was freezing and I'd lost my breath from our extensive kiss, I couldn't keep the smile off my face, reveling in the feeling of being with her once more.
"I missed you," she whispered to me eventually, her breath making clouds in the cold winter air.
"Ditto," I replied with a chuckle.
"Ditto?" She repeated, pulling away and eying my skeptically, "What are you, five?"
"Says you, shortie!" I tickled her waist as she laughed uncontrollably. It felt so good to hear her laugh once more.
I decided then that I would never give up on her again. This was the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with and I'll be damned if I ever let anybody or anything come between us once more.
"Ezra, stop!" Aria cried, trying and failing to fight me off, "You're killing me!"
I stopped tickling her but kept my hands on her slender waist. I noticed for the first time how beautiful she looked in her dress. It hugged her petite frame perfectly and she looked like a model – height issues aside.
"You look beautiful," I told her, moving one hand so that it was framing her cheek.
She shifted closer to me and brushed her lips against mine. We lost ourselves once more in the synchronized movements of our mouths and the gentle dance of our tongues.
Suddenly, I realized. Where were her parents?
I pulled back and looked around.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
"We can't do this here," I said, removing myself from her embrace and standing up. She remained sitting and watched me as I turned to face her.
I noticed that she was shivering and shrugged off my jacket, draping it around her shoulders. Then I began pacing, very aware of her gaze following my every move.
"Ezra, why are you freaking out all of a sudden?"
I slowed my pace and turned to look at her. She was so very beautiful.
"I'm freaking out because your parents are in there." I pointed to the door behind me. It was quiet for a moment as we listened to the lively music and people laughing as they celebrated 2012.
"I'm not ready to say goodbye, yet," Aria admitted quietly. Without a word, I knelt down in front of her, taking her hands in mine. I placed them on my heart and held them there.
"Do you feel that?" I whispered to her, referring to the fast beat of my heart. She nodded, never taking her eyes off mine, "That's you, Aria. It beats for you and I think it would stop should we ever stay apart again."
Tears filled her eyes as she took in my Edward Cullen-like confession. "I love you, doesn't cut it, Ezra," she chuckled through her tears.
I smiled softly at her, and stood up, pulling her up to stand flush against me. My hands settled on her waist whilst she kept hers on my heart.
"How long do you think we've got?" I asked her softly; I presumed she'd be heading back to Rosewood soon, and back to Augusta not soon after that. The thought made my heart clench. Our situation seems to go from worse to worse.
Aria sighed and closed her eyes, leaning her head on my shoulder. I pressed a kiss to the side of it, inhaling the smell of her shampoo.
"Not long enough."
It never is.
"Ezra?" A woman's voice broke us out of our serene bubble.
We stepped apart, linking our fingers automatically, to see my mother standing with a soft smile on her face.
"Diana…" Aria breathed, "I can't even… I don't know how to thank you."
"Oh, please, dear," she laughed with a wave of her hand, "I remember what it's like to be young and in love! When I first met Ezra's father, we couldn't keep our hands off each other, we were like rabbits! I remember we-"
"OKAY!" I cut in, feeling my ears burn, "I think that ends that conversation."
My mom laughed and came closer, wrapping her shawl farther around her body to protect against the biting cold which was already numbing my hands.
"I just came out because you're parents are back downstairs, Aria." Aria and I both stiffened and I increased the strength of my grip on her small hand. "I said you were in the restroom but you're going to have to go back in soon."
"Thanks, Mom," I said with a slightly forced smile. I didn't want to let Aria go.
"No problem, Hun-Bun." My mom had the weirdest pet names. "I'll leave you two to it, just figure something out soon, okay?" We nodded and she retreated back into the hall.
"Are you going back to Rosewood straight away?" I asked.
"We're staying the night," Aria replied with a smile, "Think you could sneak up to my room?"
Alone in a hotel with Aria… I think I could handle that.
"Is it too soon to go up now?" I questioned eagerly.
Aria laughed her sweet, angelic laughed and, for a moment, I was confused, until the realization that she thought I was joking hit me. I chuckled lightly, pretending that I had been joking when, in reality, I was still wondering if it was too early to join her.
"You should probably wait until they've gone to sleep," she said, "But I doubt it will be long. Mike probably stressed them out."
"What did Mike do?" I asked. Mike had seemed like such a good kid before I left Rosewood.
"He pretended to be drunk so that my parents would be distracted and I could go see you. We owe him big time."
"Nice," I laughed and she laughed, too.
"I better go in," Aria said sadly, "But I'll text you once the coast is clear. Are you going to head home first?"
"Yeah, there's something I want to pick up and I better explain things to my brother."
"Okay." Aria smiled and stood up on her tippy-toes to kiss me lightly. She pulled away and I noticed that she seemed as reluctant as I was to part. I cupped her cheek gently and kissed her once more. She slipped off my jacket and handed it to me, smiling sadly.
"I'm coming back, Aria," I reassured, "There's nothing in the world that could keep me away from you again." She smiled toothily at me, and my mind was once again blown at how something so radiant could exist in reality.
I looked over her head and spotted Byron in the hall, looking like he was searching for somebody.
"Crap, there's your dad," I panicked, "I should leave. Text me." I gave her a swift kiss on the lips and hurried out the back exit, glancing back as I turned the corner to see her skip back inside.
I was going to marry this girl.
"Hey, bro," Noah greeted as I stepped through the door of our home, brushing the beginnings of snow off my shoulders. "So did the surprise arrive?" He had to shout over the noise of partiers coming from the back room.
"Oh, yeah," I said, "It arrived." I remembered the feeling of exultation at seeing Aria again and a smile erupted onto my face.
Noah raised an eyebrow, "What's that smile? Who was it, Jackie?"
I frowned, "God, no."
I opened my mouth to reply when laughter erupted from the back room. I tilted my head towards the door and motioned for him to follow me.
Once we were settled on the porch swing, I began my story; one that I had been desperate to tell Noah since the moment it began. We had always been close, with only two years separating us in age, so it had killed me not to be able to talk to him about Aria and all the trouble that came with being in a relationship with her.
"Okay," I said, "I'm going to start at the beginning and, if you can, try not to judge until I'm done." Noah nodded, a confused frown on his face. "The day before I started teaching in Rosewood, I was in a bar and I was feeling pretty down, you know, with the whole Jackie thing." Noah nodded, but kept his silence. "Well, this girl walked in and man, I swear, I've never seen somebody more beautiful in my life. Her name was Aria, and she was just… I don't even know, she was so elegant and… she just screamed difference. I've never felt such an instantaneous attraction to somebody! I just…I had to talk to her. So, we got talking, anyway, and she was as smart as she was beautiful. And, well, one thing led to another and we kind of… hooked up in the bathroom."
Noah snorted and muttered, "Classy." I punched him in the arm and he scowled.
"Anyway, the next day I walked into my first period English class and guess who was sitting in front of me? And a junior, no less."
"Fuck," was all Noah said.
"Yeah, tell me about it."
"So what did you do?" He asked.
"If it was anybody else, Noah, I would have stayed well away. But I couldn't, I was already in love with her. So, we snuck around. Hid in my apartment until one day she left. Her parents found out about us and sent her away.
"For a the best part of a year, I was miserable. It was worse than when Jackie ended it, I couldn't find reason in anything. It was like… like having half of me ripped away. I had no idea where she was, she just…disappeared, like she had never been there."
"I couldn't imagine losing Candice like that," Noah said, looking back towards the house where his fiancée dwelled, "So, was she there tonight?"
"Hold on, we're not quite there yet. When I went to teach in Augusta in September, Aria was sitting in my classroom again."
"Dude, that's like… destiny." I laughed at my little brother's response and continued. He was right, though, it was destiny.
"We got back together after that and we were happy up until Thanksgiving when she found out about Jackie. Long story short, she dumped me and I moved here." I took a deep breath, remembering the painful few weeks I had just lived through.
"This is like a soap opera."
I chuckled and nodded, "But, like you guessed, she was there tonight. And we made up and now we're together again." I smiled, feeling relieved to have all of this off of my chest.
"I'm happy for you, Z," Noah said, smacking me on the back with a grin.
"You're not freaked out about Aria only being seventeen?"
"If you're not bothered by it, neither am I."
I was about to reply when my phone beeped, declaring the arrival of a text. I flipped it open to reveal a text from the woman of the hour, Aria.
Hey :) My parents are gone to bed and I'm all by myself… in a big bed… in a hotel room…and I have no jammies…If only I had some company. *Sigh* Room 420 ;) xoxo
My mouth went dry as I pictured the scene Aria had set up. Noah, who had read the text over my shoulder, let out a long whistle.
"She's a keeper, Z," he laughed. He laughed harder as I stood up and rushed inside. I raced to my room and grabbed a bag, stuffing it with a few things like a change of clothes, something for Aria to wear, toiletries (my hand hesitated for a second over a box of condoms before I grabbed them just in case) and finally the necklace I had bought for her, I was beyond ecstatic that I was actually going to get to give it to her.
Noah was still outside when I practically sprinted out the door.
"Bye, Noah!" I called over my shoulder as I made my way to my car.
"Have fun, bro!" He yelled, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do!" I flipped him the finger before I stepping on the pedal and speeding away to Aria, alone in a bed in a hotel room in NYC. Life, for the first time in weeks, was good.
I hope you liked it, anyway! The next chapter is slightly towards the M side of things but I really don't think it's detailed enough for it to be. This story is going to remain T like the rest!
Now review before I get A to steal your laptop. And you know what that means... no fan fiction! OH THE HUMANITY!