Hey guys, sorry for the super long wait! I know I haven't updated in FOREVER and I'm so sorry. I got too caught up with life and other things. But I hope you enjoy this next chapter! I put a lot of hard work and determination into it, and I think it turned out great! Please review!

I wanted that moment to last forever. I wanted to just lay there, holding Antonio and kissing him. I wanted the rest of the world to disappear around me, and I wanted Antonio to be mine more than I ever had. But of-freaking-course, that couldn't happen. I jumped when I heard the bathroom door open and my face went bright red when I heard Feliks saying my name. I leaned away from Antonio, who looked just as embarrassed and guilty as me.

"H-Hey Feliks." I mumbled and watched his face contort from surprise to rage and jealousy. I saw his fists clench at his sides and became nervous, nudging Antonio slightly as I moved to stand up. My mind was racing to come up with an excuse to calm Feliks down, but I know that there was very very little I could say.

Feliks took a deep breath and put his hands on his hips. "You were gone for a while. I came to see if you were alright." He said, shooting knives with his eyes at Antonio, who rubbed the back of his neck and stood aside awkwardly. "But it looks like someone beat me to it, hm?" he said then, looking back at me.

I saw this exploding with no way to stop it and I fought for something to say. "Look, Feliks, I'm sorry about this. I just…uh…" I tried, but trailed off, unable to think with him staring at me like that.

"Oh, no need to apologize, Lovino." He sneered, hissing my name. I cringed and folded my arms. "We're through. And if you think you can still hang out with my friends after this, you are so fucking mistaken. Have fun at the bottom of the food chain again." He said, flipping me off before walking back out of the bathroom. After he left, I gave a heavy sigh, running my hand through my hair.

"Well damn." I muttered to myself. I kicked the stool away and pulled the rope up off of the floor before stuffing it back into my bag. "That was fun." I said, more to myself than Antonio. He still looked embarrassed and uncomfortable. I stood still and stared at him for a moment, probably being a total creep. But then again, he was staring right back at me.

He shifted uncomfortably then started to speak. "Sorr-" he started, then I cut him off, smiling at him.

"Don't worry about it." I said then blushed, gnawing at my lip. "Thanks…for saving me." I said, and he smiled back at me. Knowing we would both have to face the rest of the day now, we walked out of the bathroom together. He walked off to his class with a wave to me and I waved back, watching him leave. For the first time in a god damn long time, I felt almost whole.

Throughout the rest of the day, the people I'd started to hang out with gradually started becoming more distant as Feliks spread more rumours. Some of them were really wild and practically unbelievable, but I didn't care. Ivan was the first to believe Feliks, and he continued to shoot me dirty looks for the rest of the day. Other people started asking me what was going on and why there were a ton of rumours going around. Knowing I couldn't avoid it forever, I would shrug and tell them to go ask Feliks.

After that, fewer and fewer people would talk to me. But there were still the first few people in my life that were still there. They didn't particularly care for rumours, and usually shrugged them off whenever someone would say "Hey, did you hear about Lovino?" and so on and so forth. Gilbert was still a loud, smug asshole who got in everyone's business. Francis was still that flirtatious, teasing dick who knew way too much without being told anything. Herakles and Sadiq were still weirdos who minded their own business but paid him some mind.

Initially, Lovino was back to where he started. Talking to very few people and swooning over Antonio like there was no tomorrow. Which almost happened. It really surprised me how quickly things actually changed. But I guess that's just how gossip works. I didn't mind. For the first time in a long time, things felt almost normal. Of course, there was that aching lack of my brother around. But, all things aside, it all started to calm down.

Luckily, I was left alone for today. I got home just a little after Lizzy and went up to her room, throwing my bag into my own on the way. She was sitting on her bed with her textbooks out already, finishing her homework. I came in and sat on the opposite end of her bed, crossing my legs on the mattress.

Elizabeta looked up at me and we kinda just sat there in silence for a little while. It wasn't an uncomfortable silence. It was just patient and caring. Eventually, I worked up the nerve to tell her what happened today, and I saw every emotion run over her face. Then she got the biggest grin on her face and almost squealed.

"He kissed you!" she said excitedly and I blushed, looking down at my lap. She seemed to understand that was the biggest part of my day.

Looking back up, I gnawed on my lip. "Yeah. I mean, he told me that you asked him to watch over me. I just figured that he was babysitting me 'cause you said so. But…I don't know. It's confusing and kind of exciting." I said, hoping that Antonio didn't think I was a joke. That he had at least some sort of romantic feelings towards me. It was a lot to hope for, but I still wished so.

"By the way." She said, getting a stern expression as Lizzy crossed her arms. While you were busy having sex with Feliks, I was trying to calm a hysterical Antonio. He's the one who's liked you all this time. Not Feliks." She said, raising an eyebrow at me.

My jaw dropped. "You're kidding." I said. I couldn't believe it. "Then why…"

Rolling her eyes, Lizzy moved to sit next to me and started scrolling through her phone. "When you asked me to snoop around, I found out that Feliks wasn't the one trying to make you jealous. Antonio was. That's also why Gilbert and Francis were coming onto you. Antonio had asked them to try to get the two of you alone." She said, showing me the texts from that night.

I read through them once, twice, fifteen times, I lost count. I couldn't believe what she was telling me. I felt like laughing and crying and hiding under my bed all at the same time. "But…why hasn't he said anything? Or done anything until now?" I asked, gnawing at my lip.

She rolled her eyes again and I started feeling like an idiot. "Why haven't you?" she asked back and I shrugged, understanding her point. It was wrong of me to assume he should just take the initiative. I needed to do something now.

"Alright, you need to go shopping with me after work today." I said, giving her a hug. I gave her phone back before leaving her room and moving back into mine. After I closed my door, I could hear her turn on her radio and turn up the volume. It was kinda funny that she seemed happier than me. But then again, I was happier on the inside than I showed.

At work, my business smile was a little less fake than usual. I wasn't so much excited about life as I was excited about after work. I just wanted to have some good fun for once and be happy. Really, genuinely happy. I'd told Lizzy to invite Antonio. She asked about Francis and Gilbert and I'd shrugged, saying they would probably come along regardless.

Surprisingly, work passed pretty quickly. Before I knew it, it was seven and my shift was over. I waved goodnight to my boss and clocked out before moving into the parking lot and texting Lizzy to come pick me up. Feeling good, I sat down on the curb outside the parking lot and plugged my headphones into my phone (I'd gotten a new iPhone after I had so much money to myself) and started listening to some music as I waited.

After about five minutes of waiting, I saw a car pull up, but it wasn't the one I was waiting for. Scowling, I stood up and made a move to walk elsewhere, but Ivan pulled up in front of me and blocked me from going anywhere. Having a bad feeling about this, I turned on my heel and made a move to walk in a different direction, but he got out of his car and caught up to me before I could run anywhere fast. He grabbed my arm and pulled me back harshly. I glared.

"Going somewhere, Vargas?" he asked, grabbing the front of my shirt. I could see the threatening look in his eye and I knew he'd been wanting to do this since the first time Feliks saved me. I suddenly feared for my life (which wouldn't have gone through my mind earlier that day) and leaned back as far as I could.

"Yes, actually." I answered, glaring back at Ivan. "I have plans tonight, so I would appreciate it if you didn't make me late." I said in the most bitchy tone I could manage. I knew talking back like that was what egged him on further, but I didn't care. If I acted any other way in front of him, I could kiss my reputation goodbye.

He growled and pulled me off of my feet, and I grabbed his wrists to steady myself. "Sorry Lovi, but you'll have to cancel." He said and pulled his fist back. I cringed away instinctively.

A few punches to my face were about all Ivan got before Elizabeta pulled up and stood up in her convertible with her phone raised. "I'M CALLING THE COPS!" She hollered, and Ivan dropped me to the ground before flipping Lizzy off and moving back to his car. He drove off, nearly driving over my head as he passed and disappeared down the road.

I sat up and groaned, rubbing my cheek as Lizzy ran over to check me out. She sighed as she led me back to her car and sat me in the passenger seat. "Well, you're going to have a black eye, and maybe a little bruising and swelling on your cheek, but he didn't do too much damage." She said before moving to get in the driver's seat.

She turned to me with a concerned expression. "Do you still wanna go tonight?" she asked in a tone that said she understood if I didn't. I looked back at her and sighed, thinking. I knew this sort of thing was gonna be happening a lot more now, so cancelling all my plans just because this was the beginning didn't sound right to me.

"Yeah, just tell them we'll be a little late, k?" I said and she nodded, giving me a soft smile. She pulled out of the parking lot and started driving back to her house so we could get ready. We were lucky to live near a mall that stayed open so late. Especially the surrounding restaurants.

I pulled on a t-shirt and a pair of plaid skinny jeans. They were one of my favourite pairs. I didn't want to dress too fashionably, but I still wanted to have some style. I clipped on a pair of lime green suspenders and let them hang at my legs before putting my usual pair of sunglasses on my head. It was just more comfortable to have them sitting there. When I was done, I walked over to Lizzy's room and knocked before entering. She was fixing her hair in the mirror and I smiled before whistling at her.

She turned around and grinned. "You like?" she asked and I nodded. She looked stunning in a baby blue ruffled short skirt, a black tank top, and a wide neck sweater. That cut off at her elbows. She always looked good, but her sense of fashion was always fun to stare at. She teased me about it, but I didn't care.

We moved downstairs and she called out to her dad that she and I were leaving now, before we walked out the front door and got in her car. The drive wasn't long, but it wasn't a short one either. It took maybe twenty minutes to get to the mall, and by then it wasn't hard to spot Antonio, Francis, and Gilbert. Parking beside them, Lizzy and I got out of her car and approached the trio.

Gilbert walked up to me and ruffled my hair, and I glared at him, ducking away from him. "So, did you clue in our little Italian finally?" he asked Lizzy with a grin as I fixed my hair. I raised my eyebrow at her and she shrugged, giggling.

"Yes," she answered, and Gilbert, Francis, and Lizzy looked at me and Antonio expectantly. I flushed bright red and looked away, crossing my arms.

"What are you looking at?" I grumbled, embarrassed. Lizzy giggled and Francis rolled his eyes, looking over at Antonio. I glanced up at the Spaniard who looked about just as embarrassed as me. I looked back at Francis and he waggled his eyebrows at me. Blushing, I huffed. "Jeez, quit staring, you're creeping me out." I said, being the first to move towards the mall. I could hear everyone laughing behind me, and heard Gilbert teasing Antonio. Lizzy caught up with me and locked her arm with mine, smiling happily.

"Come on, one of you has to make a move eventually. The fact that you like each other is just hanging in the air like a piñata." She said and I rolled my eyes.

Patting her hand I shook my head. "I will when you guys aren't staring at me like weirdos." I said and she giggled again, and we all walked into the mall.

At first, we just wandered around the mall, sometimes sitting down at the food courts to relax and rest our feet. Eventually, we got around to actually going into the stores. Lizzy wanted to go to JC Penny's, and I seemed to be the only one willing to go with her. I guess they just didn't know her like I did. While she was trying on her clothes and coming out to show them off, Francis decided to get a little too flirtatious.

Taking a hanger, I bopped him on the head and glared at him until he backed off. Afterwards, Lizzy told Francis to knock it off or Roderich would throw a fit. He sighed and contented himself with clinging to me just to mess with Antonio. I didn't know which part I liked better. The fact that I could actually hang out with these guys now, or the fact that Antonio was actually jealous of Francis clinging to me.

After that, Antonio and Gilbert dragged Lizzy, Francis, and me into the sports store and I rolled my eyes as Antonio got excited over every soccer artefact there was. Gilbert idly browsed the basketball equipment, but he was too distracted. I caught him staring at Lizzy a lot of times and I frowned, knowing I'd have to talk to one of them about it eventually.

After that, Francis took us all to Spencer's, and I could barely contain my embarrassment. I mean, everywhere I looked I saw something relating to sex or drinking. Francis saw my embarrassment and decided it would be a good idea to grab my ass. I freaking squeaked and spun around, ready to slap the shit out of him. But he had already gotten behind Antonio and was giggling like a school girl. I glared and walked out of the store, earning a laugh even from the clerk.

I waited for them outside the store and they came out a few moments later, dragging a blushing Antonio in tow. I could swear his face was so red, Lizzy must've flashed him or something. I raised an eyebrow at Francis and he shrugged, while Gilbert chuckled and slapped Antonio on the back. Lizzy came up to me and gave me a look that said she was just as confused.

Either way, it was my turn to pick a store and I decided to go to Hot Topic. The place had more girl items than boys, but I liked it all. Especially all the Adventure Time merch. The cartoon was somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine, but not as guilty as MLP. I just thought Rainbow Dash was bad ass.

Looking through the t-shirts on clearance, I felt someone tap my shoulder. I turned around to see Antonio looking nervous and embarrassed. I glanced behind him to see Francis and Gilbert laughing among themselves while Lizzy moved to the changing rooms again. "Come on." I said and pulled him into one of the dressing rooms, locking the door behind us. It wasn't completely private, but it was better than nothing.

Once we were both inside the small space, I shrugged a bit and hugged my arms to my chest. "So…" I started, glancing up at Antonio to see him looking over me thoughtfully. I blushed and fidgeted a little, anticipating what was going to happen. But the silence dragged on, and only became heavier as time passed.

Eventually I sighed and un-crossed my arms. "Okay, look." I started, scratching the back of my head awkwardly. "I uh…I don't know what you want to happen, but I guess it's only fair to say that I've had a huge crush on you for years." I said and watched Antonio for his reaction. He nodded at me and smiled.

"Believe it or not, I've had a crush on you for a long time as well." I could feel my heart skip a beat when he said that and I squirmed. Now that confessions were out of the way, things started to get awkward again, and that was just unnerving. I opened my mouth to speak, but before I had the chance, Antonio was kissing me.

To say I was surprised, well, that was an understatement. I was shocked, but no sooner than his lips met mine did I melt into the kiss and reciprocate, letting my eyes fall closed. He slowly pushed me back against the wall and I gave a soft moan, moving my arms up around his shoulders. I loved how he was taller than me. It made me feel just the right size for him.

I pushed my fingers into his hair and I felt him shiver and I moaned again, feeling his hand slowly moved down my back to my rear. I pulled him closer, attempting to deepen the kiss. I nearly collapsed when I heard him groan and then he pressed against me. I really didn't want this to end.

But then we heard Gilbert's obnoxious laugh almost right next to us and we both jumped, and Antonio backed up. I looked up and I saw Gilbert, Francis, and Lizzy peering over the thin wall separating the changing rooms. Lizzy was grinning like an idiot, Gilbert was laughing his ass off, and Francis looked a little hot under the collar. Which was, needless to say, a little creepy.

I blushed and threw a hanger at Glibert's head, making him fall backwards. "Idiots!" I yelled and stormed out of the changing room and out of the store. Behind me, I heard Antonio scolding the other three. I was so embarrassed. I wanted to hide or something. At least to get rid of Gilbert's beyond annoying laugh.

Lizzy caught up with me and stopped me from storming out of the mall all together. "I'm sorry Lovino, we shouldn't have peeked on you guys." She said, holding my arm like she was afraid I'd run away. I sighed and gave her a stare that said, 'this was not okay.' She nodded and blushed a bit. "We've just been waiting for this to happen all night. We couldn't help but watch." She said.

I raised an eyebrow at her. "Really? Even when things got fucking sexual?" I asked, blushing at my own words. She blushed as well and shrugged and I rolled my eyes.

The Bad Friends Trio caught up with us and I glared at Francis, poking him in the stomach. "That was so messed up, I have no words." I accused and he held his hands up in surrender. "Hmph." I muttered and turned back around. Feeling Antonio's hand slip into mine, my face turned redder than a tomato. "Bastard." I muttered, but closed my hand with Antonio's.

We wandered around for a little while longer until the mall was closing and they asked us to leave. We walked out into the parking lot and hung out by the cars, and Antonio stuck to my side. Eventually, Francis turned to us and smirked. "You two are official now, then." He said. It was more of a statement than a question. I glanced up at Antonio, waiting for his answer. I wanted it to be…but in my eyes, it was Antonio's decision.

Antonio glanced down at me like he was thinking the same thing and I blushed before he nodded. I bit my lip and ducked my face to hide in Antonio's shoulder, embarrassed as Gilbert whistled at us. Truthfully, I was the happiest I'd ever been in my life, and all of this had happened over the course of one day. Lizzy hugged me from my other side when her phone blared her favourite song from her pocket.

Moving a few feet away, Lizzy picked up the phone and started talking with, I guessed, her dad. A few minutes later she came back and sighed. "Lovino and I have to go home, or we'll get in trouble." She said, looking like she didn't want to leave. I shared that feeling. I wanted to stay here in this moment for as long as possible.

Francis pouted and hugged Lizzy. "But the night is so young!" he complained, and I glared at him until he backed off. Lizzy then moved to Gilbert and gave him an awkward half hug, that practically threw a bucket full of tension all over them. She then moved and hugged Antonio goodbye before moving to get into her car.

Gilbert grinned and ruffled my hair again. "Hey kid, have fun with Antonio. But if he ever gets too crazy, just call us, and we'll handle it." He said, which was possibly the least arrogant thing I'd ever heard out of his mouth. Francis nodded and pulled me in a too-close-for-comfort hug. "Of course mon-cher, we're always there for you, whatever you need." He said with a wink and I made a face, backing out of his embrace. Francis then gave Antonio a wink, and Gilbert patted the Spaniard on the shoulder before loading into the other car.

I blushed as Antonio turned to me and looked up at him. There were a thousand things I wanted to say, but not a single way to say it. I didn't know how. But apparently he did. Leaning down, Antonio captured my lips in another breath taking kiss, and I melted into him again, conveying all of my happiness and love as much as I possibly could. I didn't want it to stop, but eventually he pulled away and smiled down at me. "How about I call you?" he asked, and I swear I was smiling the biggest, dopiest grin ever.

"Yeah, sure." I said in response, and leaned up to kiss him again. We parted and went to our separate cars before driving off, and I relaxed into the seat of Lizzy's car with a sigh and a happy smile. I turned to her and asked, "How do you know if you're in love?" and we laughed.

Because I was in love.