Chapter 21:

Alison sat in the principal's office, inspecting her freshly manicured nails. Her mother sat across the room, wondering what was going on. Alison wondered the same thing. No one had told her why she was pulled out of class, asking to be spoken to immediately.

She huffed and looked over to her mother, "Mom, why am I here? Like, seriously, I didn't do anything wrong."

Mrs. DiLaurentis looked at her daughter, "I am wondering the same thing, Alison. All they told me was that I needed to get down here as soon as possible."

She groaned and rolled her eyes, "Mr. Wilson is taking forever." The door opened, revealing Mr. Wilson, the principal, along with Ella Montgomery and Rachel Fitz. "Finally," the petite blonde murmured under her breath.

"Ella, Rachel, could you please tell me what is going on here," Jessica DiLaurentis asked softly.

"Well," Ella began, eyeing Alison carefully, "It appears your daughter has been harassing mine ever since school began this year."

"What," Jessica looked from Ella to Alison, "Is this true, Ali? What have you been saying or doing to her?"

The blonde looked at Ella, "Ms. Montgomery, I don't know what you are talking about. I am Aria's friend. Why would I do anything like that to her?" Rachel looked at the teenager and couldn't believe how easily the lie slipped from her lips.

Ella sighed angrily, "Jessica, why don't you look at what Alison sent Aria right after her father died," she showed Jessica the text, causing her to look shocked. Alison gulped and averted her eyes away from the adults.

"Do you have any idea what she was going through and already went through," Jessica yelled at her daughter, taking Ella and Rachel by surprise, "What did she do to deserve this kind of treatment from you?"

Alison stood up and paced around the room, "What did she do? She has everything! A perfect life, a perfect boyfriend, perfect grades, and perfect everything! I used to be perfect! She needed to realize everything doesn't revolve around her, okay? She deserved everything I did to her!"

"Perfect," they all turned toward the door as they heard a small, hurt voice breathe. Aria stood there, Ezra breathing heavily right behind her.

"Aria, what are you doing here," Ella asked, looking over her shoulder at Ezra, "And you were supposed to be watching her."

Ezra shrugged his shoulders, "She ran over here when I went to the bathroom." Aria put her hand out to stop him from speaking any further. She walked into the room, getting face to face with Alison.

"Perfect," she repeated, "Are you kidding me? My life has never been perfect. Perfection isn't even in my vocabulary. A perfect life to you is getting beat every day by your drunken father because your brother committed suicide and mother left? A perfect life is getting slammed by one of your best friends, making you believe you forced your brother to kill himself? If that is the case, then yeah, maybe I do have the perfect life. I had to fight every single day to put a smile on my face and pretend I was happy until I got home. You were right about one thing, though. I do have a perfect boyfriend. That was my light. He kept me sane, and you tried to take even that away from me. So, apparently this is about jealousy, which I don't even understand. Are you still jealous, Ali? Huh," Aria was in tears, as well as Alison, as she came to an end.

Alison shook her head, "No."

Aria sniffed and looked into her blue eyes, "Exactly. I don't know what I did to deserve anything like that from someone who was supposedly my best friend. However, I know that you are probably going to be expelled from school, and that you deserve it so entirely much, but I don't want that to happen."

"What," everyone in the room gasped simultaneously.

"Aria, that is extremely kind of you, but we have to enforce some kind of discipline. The punishment for this should be suspension or expulsion," Mr. Wilson said to the brunette.

"Then suspend her," she said, never taking her eyes away from Ali's, "Suspend her for as long as you have to, but don't expel her." She looked into Alison's teary eyes once more before turning on her heel.

"Wait," Aria turned back around at the sound of Ali's voice, "Why are you doing this for me? You almost killed yourself because of me. Why are you letting me off the hook?"

Aria walked back up to her, "Because I actually have a heart and a soul. And no matter how much you try and make me believe I am a murderer, you and I both know who the real killer is. Do I really even have to say it out loud," Aria scoffed and watched as more tears fell from her eyes. She looked around at the shocked faces before swiftly walking out of the room. Everyone stayed silent for a few minutes; all that was heard was Alison's soft weeps.

Ezra cleared his throat and pointed towards the door, "I have to make sure she gets home safely, so yeah." He awkwardly walked out and closed the door behind him. He dashed toward the entrance of the school, looking for a certain crying girl. He went out onto the road and looked up and down, figuring she couldn't get very far in that little of time. Sure enough, he saw her walking down the street toward his house, bringing her hand to her eyes occasionally.

"Aria," he called out to her as he took off after her. She stopped walking and leaned against a light pole, putting her head in her hands. Ezra reached her in no time and didn't hesitate to engulf her in his arms. She cried into him as he stroked her long brown curls lovingly.

She fisted his tee shirt in her small hands, "All of the crap she put me through was all because she was jealous? How could she be jealous of me? There is nothing special about me."

He put his hands on each side of her face and made her look up at him, "You really don't see how amazing you are, huh? It kills me that you don't see how beautiful, smart, funny, amazing, awesome, honest, sweet-," Aria smiled and kissed his lips softly to shut him up from his rambling. "You are," he concluded.

She modestly looked away and pulled him back into their embrace, "Can we go home? I need to just be with you. Do you ever get that feeling when you just want to zone out the world and just be with the one person you love most?"

He looked down at her and smiled, "Every hour of every day." He entwined his fingers with hers and kissed her before walking back to his house. Once they were there, Aria tugged on his hand and pointed toward the backyard, "Can we go to our place?" He nodded his head softly and followed her.

The large oak tree held a little place that had belonged to them since they were kids. Every summer they would spend the day up there, talking and listening to music. It was a place to call their own. Where no one could reach them, and they could just be together. Ezra helped Aria up into the little tree house, latching the door shut behind them.

"God," she breathed as she looked around, "It has been ages since we were up here, hasn't it?"

"A very long time," he confirmed, scooting over to where she sat, "Brings back some good memories."

Aria grabbed his hand again and squeezed it softly. A glint of something behind Ezra caught her eyes. She crawled over to it and lifted it off the floor board, "You really did make one." She held up a CD, labeled "Ezria's Mixtape".

"I told you I would, didn't I," he took it from her hands and dug for something on the other side of the area. Aria watched as he pulled out a small safe and opened it, pulling out a small battery powered CD player from when they were in middle school. Aria smiled as he put their mix tape in and pressed play. "My Best Friend" by Tim McGraw began to play, causing them to grin widely together.

Ezra jumped on top of her, causing her to lie down on her back, giggling at his sudden attack. She looked into his blue depths of eyes, pouring out love and compassion. She swiped her hand across his forehead, swooping his brown curls back into place. "I love you so much, Ezra Fitz. Thank you so much for being in my life."

"The pleasure is all mine," he replied, smiling down at her as he lifted his full weight off of her with his elbows, "I love you, too, Aria." They stared at each other a moment more before Aria lifted her head up to attach her lips to his. He rolled over so that she was on top. His hands travelled up and down her sides as her palms rested on his cheeks. Things were getting really heated, really fast, but they didn't care. They were with each other without any interruptions and any worries. All that was on their minds were each other.

A while later they lay on the floor, tangled up in each other. Aria's head rested on Ezra's chest as he played in her hair, both listening to "You and Me" by Lifehouse. They stayed their together until the sky darkened into blackness and their mix tape came to an end.

Note: I loved this chapter to death. One of my favorites that I have ever written. Sorry it was kinda short. It took me forever to squeeze it out of my brain, though, which is why the update took so long. I really hoped you enjoyed it. Please review and tell me how you liked it(:

~Laura