I let go of Thayer and looked up at him.

"Everything will turn out all right. I promise," I said confidently. But I couldn't promise that. All I knew was that he had done the right thing. He smiled and pulled me back in, leaning down slightly to bring his lips to mine. The world seemed to melt away, leaving only the two of us. His lips were soft, unlike Ethan's, which were always chapped. I wrapped my arms around his neck and twisted my fingers in his dark hair.

"Emma! Em-aah," Mads called out. I figured somewhere in between the second 'Emma' she had found Thayer and I. We gave her sheepish looks. "What's going on here?" Thayer and I shared a look.

"I'm not really sure," I told her, moving my gaze between the two.

"How long has this been going on?"

"Five minutes? Maybe?" She smiled at us and shook her head.

"Whatever. I'm happy for you two, you're really adorable! As I can see I interrupted something, I'll just be leaving, then." She gave a little wave and stalked off towards Ryan. I just hoped that he could provide her some comfort. Even though her father killed an innocent kid, it's perfectly acceptable for her to feel hurt. I knew I should comfort her myself, but Thayer was providing an excellent distraction.

"So…" he said awkwardly.

"So…" I mimicked him. He smiled at me.

"That was, uh."


"Yeah." And before my mind even registered it, we were kissing again, our lips moving perfectly together. He was being sweet, which was definitely unlike Ethan, but for some reason I didn't care about getting my feelings hurt, or going too far, I tipped my head back slightly and parted my lips, deepening our kiss. After a few minutes, however, he broke it off.

"You know we'll have to talk about this eventually, Em," he said reluctantly, his breath heavy.

"I know. So let's talk, then," I replied, and he led me to a bench underneath a pretty, flowering tree.

"I just want you to know that I didn't kiss you because you look like Sutton, or because of my father, or Derek's murder." I looked up at him, a smile playing on my lips. "I really like you Emma, you're sweet, kind, caring, beautiful, funny and the most amazing girl I've ever met."

"Do you really mean that?" He nodded, looking down. With a giggle, I leaned over to him and pressed our lips together again.

"So, will you be my girlfriend?" he asked me, breaking off our kiss.

"Of course!"