"I've wanted to do that for so long," Derek whispers against my lips.

I smile against his lips, "Really?"

"Yeah," Derek kisses my cheek before pulling back.

He grabs my hand and stares at me.

It's starting to make me uncomfortable. "What?" I move my left hand that's not holding Derek's and try to smooth out my hair.

Derek shakes his head, "I'm waiting for the Casey freak out of the century." I glare at him. "Come on, Case, you know you as well as I know you. Have I scrambled your brain for the moment?" Derek smirks.

I roll my eyes. "I'll freak out later. I've wanted to kiss you… well, since forever. But I didn't realize I wanted to kiss you until we moved in together and started hanging out."

Derek looks down at his shoes. "Case, I've wanted to kiss you since we first met."

I can feel my heart just stop.

"But, all the things we went through in high school… All the names, the pranks, your dates, my dates!" I pull my hand back from his.

Derek looks at me with pitiful eyes. "I did all those things because I knew you were perfect for me. You challenged me; you never did what I expected you to do. And yet, I knew I couldn't have you. Even my dad was real hesitant on me meeting you. He thought about sending me to live with my mom!" Derek lets out a frustrated sigh. "I promised him, I promised him I wouldn't pursue you under his roof."

I wait for him to finish before I get up and grab the keys. I look back at him, "I'll be right back."

Derek nods and looks hopeful.


"Casey, where are you going?" My mom is standing folding laundry at the kitchen table.

I debate whether or not tell her a lie. I've hardly ever lied to my mom, better not start now. "Will you take a ride with me? I need to ask you a few questions and possibly tell you something big."

Her eyes widen, "You're not pregnant are you?"

I snort, if only it was that simple. "No," I state.

She sighs with relief. "Okay, anywhere particular you want to go to?"

I shrug, "Let's just go to the café down the block. There's no one in around this time right?"

She nods and walks with me out the door.

We get out of the van and make our way into the café. I order a caramel latte while mom orders some tea. I move us over to the far side of the café and take a seat on one of the sofas.

"So," mom starts. "You were very quiet in the car. What's going on?"

I sigh and place my latte on the table in front of us. I turn to her. "Mom, did you ever think Derek and I might get together."

"Yes," she says simply.

I stare at her in shock. "Really?"

Mom shrugs. "Of course, George and I talked about it a lot. We even thought about sending one of you to a different parent. You were both two teenage kids! George was really worried about Derek, but then you two started fighting… Then you didn't stop fighting, so we decided not to do anything."

I rub my temples. "I almost wish you had sent me or Derek away," I groan.

Mom frowns in confusion. "What do you mean?"

"Mom," I'm not sure how to continue. "Derek and I kissed."

Mom laughs. "Well, it's about time."

Now I'm confused. "Huh?"

"Oh, Casey. After watching you two over the years … George and I started to see that you two would be perfect together. We were just waiting for you two to figure it out. I even thought you two might when you decided to move in together."

I can't help but to tear up. "I really like him, mom."

"Oh, Casey, I wish the circumstances were different." I nod and cry a little harder. "Casey, George and I, are behind you one hundred percent. I think even Lizzie and Edwin have a hunch to what's going on."

I reach over and hug her tight. "You really support us? It's not weird to you?"

Mom hugs me back, "I will always be behind you. You just happen to meet your match under the same roof. If anyone has a problem with it, well, then so what."

"Thanks, mom," I pull back and wipe my eyes with a napkin she hands me.

"Now, you guys are going to face tuff times. There are going to be some people who just can't handle the whole step-sibling thing. You guys are going to have to really communicate and I know that's not Derek's strong suit. But I really believe if you guys talk, you'll make it."

I nod while still wiping my eyes.

"Thanks, mom, I hadn't started panicking but I know if I didn't talk to you I would've done something horrible."

We pick up our empty cups and place them on the counter. As we walk back to the van I see mom smile at me.

I can't help but smile back. It's time to go get Derek.


I run into the house and run down the basement stairs. I see Derek still sitting on my bed; just where I left him.

He hears me running down the stairs and waits.

I take a good look at him. He catches me looking and smirks.

Good ol' Derek.

I grin back and run at him.

Derek's eyes widen in surprise but catches me in the nick of time. I hug him tight and plant a kiss on his neck.

"Sorry I took so long," I whisper. Not only meaning the time with my mom but since the day we met.

"You might be book smart but you're kind of dumb in common sense," Derek laughs.

I punch him in the arm.

And after that, I kiss him again.

"Case, I can't breathe," he groans.