Ethan sat on the couch waiting for everyone to get back from their own conversations. Every once in a while he had heard Mads' or Sutton's voice carry into the living room, but not enough to know where it was going. It had been silent for a while and he expected them to get back soon. Emma sat next to him, but she hadn't said a word in several minutes.
"Yeah," she said quietly, "Why?"
"You've been really quiet."
"I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and this will all be gone. I mean I go from having no family, not even a place to stay to having my dad, my sister, and so many other people who care about me. It's just so hard to believe all of this is actually happening.
"Isn't that what you wanted?"
"It is, more than anything in the world," Emma admitted, "It just always seemed so far away. I guess I never really thought I could have it."
"But you do," Ethan assured, "You have everything you could ever want. Why are you so afraid to lose it?"
"Nothing good has ever lasted very long for me. I'm afraid that's the case now. I'm afraid I'm going to lose this just like everything else."
"Emma," Ethan said taking her hand on his knee, "It's time to stop living your life in fear. You have enough people in your life to keep you up that you don't have to be afraid of falling."
"I know," Emma admitted, "It's just, after 14 years of that being untrue, it's really hard to believe now."
Ethan pressed his lips to hers and let her melt into him. When he released her he brushed a strand of hair from her face and smiled, "It's true, Emma. No one's going to let you fall. Not anymore."
Sutton stepped into the living room and grimaced. Ethan and Emma were sitting on the couch with their foreheads pressed together. It wasn't that she wasn't happy for them. She was glad Ethan and Emma had gotten back together, but did they have to be so damn happy about it. They were one of those couples: the ones that can't stop looking at each other and are always smiling. It was nauseating, especially when she knew there was no chance she would have that after everything she'd done.
She shook the nausea away and smiled, "Oh how cute," she cooed, "I knew the two of you would figure it out."
"Seriously?" Ethan questioned.
"Actually Ethan," Emma sighed, "Sutton is the reason I gave you a second chance. You should be thanking her."
Ethan looked shocked, "You? What did you do?"
"I am capable of letting go of something that is never going to happen."
"Is there someone else?" Emma questioned.
Sutton glanced toward the porch where Thayer and Laurel were standing. They had spotted them and were starting to reenter the room. She glanced back at Emma, "Of course not."
"Alright guys," Kristin ordered, "It's time to say goodbye to Emma and Sutton for a long time. They're officially on house arrest."
Mads hugged Sutton and Emma before turning away. Ethan pulled Emma into one last kiss and then followed Mads to the hallway. Thayer pushed past both of the twins to stand beside Mads and Ethan. Sutton smiled at them and waved before they disappeared down the hallway. The one person she had really wanted to talk to was the one person who she hadn't had a chance with. How was she supposed to apologize when she couldn't see him for three months? How was she supposed to make things right? She heard the front door slam and felt instantly disappointed. Thayer was gone for now and there was no telling if she would ever get him back.
Emma saw Sutton's shoulders drop. Though she hadn't acted like it, she knew whom her new crush was. She'd seen her glance toward the porch. She'd seen the way she looked at him as he walked by. She saw how disappointed Sutton was that he was leaving. She loved Thayer. She wanted him. She needed him, but she would never admit that after everything she'd done.
"Okay you two," Kristin said, interrupting her thoughts, "Phones, now."
Sutton pulled hers out of her pocket and handed it to Kristin. Emma walked over to her bag, which was leaning against the island in the kitchen and pulled out the burner phone she'd been using and her actual cell phone. She handed them to Kristin.
"Rooms," she ordered.
Both her and Sutton turned on their heels and headed toward their rooms. At the hallway they turned away from each other and headed to opposite sides. Emma was about to enter her room when she heard Sutton call, "Hey Emma!"
Emma smiled, "No Sutton, thank you."
A/N: So this is the end of this story, but I'm planning on doing a follow-up as the epilogue. It will be a completely separate story so keep your eyes open for it. Thanks for all of the great comments. I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully my next story will be up very shortly.
A/N: The epilogue will be up soon. It's called "Shattered" and I hope all of you enjoy it.