6 years later:

Mary-Lynnette couldn't help it.

She certainly didn't want the butterflies in her stomach, she didn't want the big smile that spread across her face, she didn't want the shock that went through her when Ash Redfern touched her.

But she got all those things anyway.

She studied his face as he walked into her bedroom. It wasn't uncommon for Ash to visit her, though him being up this early in the morning was cause for concern. She tried to gauge what kind of a mood he was in, what kind of Ash she would be speaking with today.

That much hadn't changed. He was still the unpredictable sometimes-chauvinistic, sometimes-sweet jerk wad he'd been six years ago, the day she met him.

"Hey, Mare," He said, hesitating then sitting next to her on the bed.

Sweet Ash it is, then.

"What's going on?" Mare asked. "It's six in the morning, and you're awake. Something is seriously amiss."

Ash smiled. "I couldn't sleep, I was up all night thinking… I just need to tell you something. I…" He trailed off, then started again. "I need you to promise, though, not to repeat to anyone what I'm about to tell you."

Mare frowned. "What did you do." That was the only explanation. He did something criminal and needs someone to confide in. Did he kill someone? Rob a store? But she couldn't picture Ash doing either of those things.

"I didn't do anything," he huffed. "It's… it's just that I'm not allowed to tell you. It's sort of like a Redfern family secret."

"Oh," Mare perked up. "So…."

"Mary-Lynnette," Ash said. "This is serious. If you let it slip that I told you, we'll both be put to death."

"Put to death?" Mare let out a short laugh. Short because, while it was ridiculous, Ash was being disturbingly somber. Like he actually believed he would die if he was caught. "Don't you think you're exaggerating?"

Ash shook his head.

Mare frowned. "What kind of secret could warrant that kind of punishment?"

"You have to promise."

"Fine, I won't tell." Mare promised. "Now, what is it?"

"There are two rules that every Night World citizen must follow."…

And we're done!

This is officially the first fanfiction story I've ever finished! Thank you so much for all your support and lovely reviews, it means so much to me. :D