A/N: Long time no see. Well it's been a while and I am very sorry about that, but if you're willing to stick around, I promise I will finish this story. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has continued to read this story, whether you have reviewed or not it still means a lot. Also, I want you to know that this is kind of a filler chapter but there is a little bit of a twist at the end that I think you guys will like. Anyways, let's move on to chapter seven. Enjoy!
Although Justin and Alex had forgiven each other, their relationship had in some ways been permanently affected by their fight. They weren't mad at each other anymore, but for some reason it was hard for them to be around each other. It was awkward and that was one emotion that they never felt towards one another. Granted, they hardly ever saw each other considering they weren't in school anymore and they didn't work in the same place, but on the rare occasion they would see each other at the Substation or in the hallway of their building, a simple greeting was as far as any conversation went. Unfortunately that was how it stayed throughout the summer. Meanwhile, Justin worked full time and in his free time he would plan to go back to school, and Alex, well she didn't do much.
The Moriarty's also had surprise up their sleeves, they were moving. Due to some work related issues, Noah Moriarty had to move his business to New Jersey. He owned a restoration shop for cars, and was in the process of expanding, the only problem was finding space in New York was next to impossible. He had found a great spot, it was the perfect size and it met all of his criteria, but was over an hour away from their home in Waverly Place, so after a long debate, Noah and Ava had decided it would be best to move the family. Justin didn't really mind that much; he described it as more of a 'bitter sweet' type of situation. Waverly Place had been his home since he was a baby; he knew it like the back of his hand, but on the other hand moving to Long Island would mean new and different opportunities, so he was looking forward to that. Fortunately Justin would have the best of both worlds, he was planning on going to Colombia on a full ride scholarship, and because of the move he was going to live on campus, meaning he wouldn't be too far from his old Waverly Place home. Although, not everyone in the Moriarty family was thrilled about the move, Justin's brother, Dean, wasn't so willing to go, he would be staring his senior year of high school, and wasn't up for the task of meeting new people and making new friends at a new school. Unfortunately for Dean, his parents mind was already made up.
The news of the Moriarty's move came to Alex only hours before they would head off to their new home. She was upset to say the least, she was not only bothered by them moving, but she was bothered by the fact that no one had thought to even tell her about it. Her mom and dad knew, heck, even Harper and Max knew. She may not have been close to Justin anymore but that didn't mean she didn't care.
Luckily, she did get to say a quick goodbye to the family of four as they headed out of the building. Staying at the entrance, Alex watched as they all got into their respective cars. Justin was the last to leave and the only one who looked back at Alex as she stood in front of the building. Giving him a small smile, she lifted her hand up to wave. Smiling back at her, Justin watched her for a moment before waving back. They both knew this would probably be the last time they would see each other, and an unsettling since of sadness washed over the both of them as they looked at one another, this was it. Getting in his car, he looked at her one last time before driving away. Justin couldn't help but think this was more of the bitter side of leaving.
Six Years Later
It was a normal day for the residents of New York City. It was the beginning of November and winter was coming full force, people were bundled up in their warm coats as they walked the streets of New York. The sky was dark, looking as gloomy as ever, but every once in a while the setting sun would peek through the breaks in the ashy clouds. It had been raining on and off for the last week, but for the most part everyone welcomed the rain. It was refreshing.
It was around six o'clock on a Thursday, and rush hour was in full swing, car horns were blaring and people were yelling, just like any other day. Justin Moriarty was listening to his headphones as he walked down the street, heading home after a long day at work. For him it was just another day, nothing really exciting to report. Keeping him warm as he walked the streets he wore a short black overcoat with a large black beanie and a light blue ¾ sweater, his jeans were dark blue and his shoes were an old pair of dark brown, toe capped Morrison raw boots, which were almost necessary for his job.
He worked as an apprentice/assistant at a large construction company called Warner's Construction, and had been there for a little over two years. He had majored in Business and Civil Engineering when he had gone to college, which had shocked his parents. His mother had always thought he would have done something that involved medicine considering Justin had always talked about going to medical school, his father on the other hand had hoped Justin would want to work at the family business, and one day own it, but unfortunately for Noah, Justin had other plans, which had undoubtedly created a rift in Justin and Noah's already difficult relationship. Although his academic choices were surprising, for him it was a natural decision, he had always had a passion for building that no one really knew about, and Justin enjoyed his job for the most part. The only hard part of his job was his boss, who was also the owner of the company. His name was Warner Greco, a older, balding Greek man who had a very intimidating personality. He was a ruff looking man, who had broad shoulders, and stood over six feet tall, needless to say he wasn't the type of man you would ever want to anger. Another daunting quality of his strong-armed boss was the fact that he loved to work people, both physically and mentally. This wasn't necessarily foreign territory for Justin, considering he had grown up with Alex, but the people that Warner hired never really worked there long, Justin was so far the only employee that had worked there for over a year.
And although you wouldn't think that a man like Mr. Greco had a soft bone in his body, when it came to his wife or his daughter, he would turn into a completely different person, which was kind of a relief for Justin. It was nice to know that his boss had other emotions other than anger and frustration. Although his boss would, at times, drive him crazy, there was one thing that Justin really admired about Warner Greco, and that was his work ethic. Mr. Greco wasn't the type of man who would cut corners, or take the easy way out, he did things from start to finish and he did them the right way, and that was something Justin really respected. He had learned a lot from Mr. Greco.
Making his way into his apartment building, Justin made his way up to the third floor. He lived alone in a two bedroom apartment in Little Italy. It was a nice area, the apartment was pretty good sized, and it was close to his work. Although, living alone did bring him one problem; his mother was constantly worrying about him. She would call and check up on him about four times a week, although he appreciated the concern, having to reassure her that he was fine did get a little repetitive.
Grabbing his keys from his jacket pocket, he unlocked his door, and made his way inside. He was greeted with a high pitched bark, as his legs were being attacked by two small paws. Shutting the door completely and flipping on the light, Justin quickly took off his jacket and hung it up on the coat rack that sat next to the door. Bending down slightly, Justin acknowledged the little black and brown puppy at his feet.
"How have you been buddy?!" he asked, as he pet the dog with both hands. Walking further into his apartment, Justin walked into the kitchen, opened one of the wooden cabinets, and got out the bag of dog food; which quickly caught the attention of the puppy. Whining and barking, the dog was jumping up and down as he saw his food being poured into a little black bowl. Grabbing the food and moving away from the counter, Justin held the bowl over the dogs head as he continued to jump.
"Come on Gepp, you have to sit." Justin said assertively. The dog, Geppetto, or Gepp for short, immediately took the hint and quickly sat down. Putting the bowl of food on the ground, Justin pet the dogs head one last before making his way into the living room to turn on the lamp that what next to his couch.
Throwing himself on the brown leather couch, Justin yawned before looking around his pretty much empty apartment. These were the times he hated living alone the most, it was always quiet; too quiet, and he never knew what to do with himself. Most days after work he would come home, sit alone on his couch and watch TV until he fell asleep. In fact, sleeping was all he ever wanted to do anymore, he loved his job but working from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. wasn't ideal. It was sad to think that at twenty-four years old, he already had a routine lifestyle.
His ringing cell phone interrupted his thoughts. Reaching into his jean pocket, he grabbed his cell phone and answered the call.
"Hello?" He said in a monotone voice.
"Justin! I didn't think you would pick, but where are you?"
"I'm home. What's up Tom?"
Tom was Justin's old friend from college; they had shared a dorm room and quite a few classes throughout their four years at Columbia, and since then they had become good friends. Tom was also interested the construction business, and shared a goal with Justin of creating their own construction company.
"Well, I've got pizza, beer, and the Rangers game is on, Elizabeth is hanging out with her friends, and I thought you would like to come and watch the game."
"Yeah, sure. I'll be there in a few minutes." Hanging up the phone and getting off the couch, Justin walked to the door and grabbed his keys. Peering back into the kitchen, he looked at his dog.
"Well, are you coming?"
Sitting at her desk, Alex Russo was currently trying to finish up on some paper work for her job, and as shocking as that may sound, she did have an actual profession, that required her to be a willing participant in society. Alex had come a long way in the past six years of her life, and you could say she had become a slightly different person.
After Justin left, Alex, well she had definitely changed. Don't get me wrong she was still her outspoken and lazy self, but after he left she became more of a respectable person. She realized she was going to be solely responsible for her own actions and problems from that point on and that scared her, because let's face it, growing up; she always had Justin, the crutch, to fall back on when she messed up. Now that he wasn't here, reality set in and she was being forced to stand on her own two feet, it was hard for her at first but in many ways it was also good for her. Throughout the years she was able to go to and graduate from an art college, and get a real job to support herself. Many people were shocked to see how much she had grown up, especially her parents. Theresa and Jerry never really understood her sudden change in demeanor, and they definitely knew better than to question it, but they were none the less proud that their daughter was taking control of her life. They were just glad they didn't have to worry as much about her, now on the other hand their son, Max, was a completely different story.
"Alex, are you almost done? We're really late, and Lizzie is going to kill us." Harper asked in a worried tone. Alex had been avoiding this part of her job for the last two weeks, the only problem was, she and Harper were suppose to be heading out to go meet their friend at one of the nicer restaurants in New York.
"Yeah I know, I'm finishing up right now."
Alex, Harper, and their friend, Lizzie, all worked for Harding Magazine, one of the country's most respected fashion magazines.
Getting up from her chair, she gathered the papers that were spread across her semi-organized desk, throwing them into a random drawer. Turning off her lamp and grabbing her purse, "Come on Harper." She said as she began walking to the exit of the building.
After knocking on the door, Justin stood and waited with is dog for a few moments before the door swung open, revealing his shaggy haired friend.
"Hey man, come on in… And I see you brought trouble with you." He said, looking down at the rambunctious, German shepherd puppy.
"He isn't going to chew up my shoes again is he?"
Justin laughed, "Yeah, I'm really sorry about that, but no he isn't. He learned from the last time." He said as he walk into the apartment.
"Well good, I wouldn't want to have to replace my brand new running shoes. Anyways, the pizzas on the counter, beers are in the refrigerator, and the game is already on."
"Thank God, there you two are! I've been sitting here for almost an hour, they almost kicked me out, where were you guys?" the petite, blonde, named Lizzie said, looking at her two friends as they stood in front of the table.
Sitting down, Harper apologized, "Sorry, but Alex was procrastinating at work and was trying to finish her paperwork."
"Alex didn't do her work on time, what else is new?" Lizzie said in a sarcastic tone of voice.
Alex was still standing in front of the table, but now she had her arms crossed as she looked at her friends, "I'm sorry I was late, but are you two done yet?"
"Yes, we're done, now sit, I want to ask you guys something."
After sitting down and giving their orders to a very impatient waiter, both Alex and Harper looked toward Lizzie waiting for her to speak.
"Okay, tomorrow we are having a early birthday for my boyfriend, Tom, at one of the bars near our apartment, and I was wondering if you two would like to come."
After taking a few moments to think about it, Alex had agreed to go but Harper had declined.
"Come on Harper, you have to come."
"Yeah, it'll be fun."
"I'm sorry but I really can't go. I already promised Zeke we would go to a clogging festival in Newark this weekend, we leave tomorrow. Plus, the last time I was in a bar with you two, I had to drag you both out before you got into a fight with the bartender."
"First of all, that was one time and the bartender was being a jerk, and second of all, this is different. It's my boyfriend's birthday party, but if you can't go I understand. But really, clogging?"
Sighing, Harper rolled her eyes, "Yeah, I know it sounds ridiculous, but he likes it and I'm not going to tell him we can't go."
Completely changing the conversation, Alex looked towards Lizzie, "So, since this is your boyfriend's party, I've been thinking, does he have any single friends, and are they going to be there?"
Laughing slightly, Lizzie glanced at Alex, "Well, I'm not really sure who's going, Tom invited most of them, but there is one guy and he's really cute but I don't think he's your type."
"What, cute isn't my type?"
"No Alex, that's not what I meant. He's a really good guy, but he's kind of a workaholic and he doesn't get out much. He just isn't the type of guy I could ever see you with."
Sitting in front of a flat screen TV, both Justin and tom ate and drank as they watched their favorite hockey team, the New York Rangers, lose to the Chicago Blackhawks.
"Come on, just get the damn puck! Man, our defense sucks this season." Justin said taking another sip of his beer.
"I know, they are literally giving away every point!" Tom said as the TV went to a commercial.
"So Justin, how have you been? I feel like I haven't seen you in a while." Tom asked, pushing his dark blonde hair out of his eyes, so he could look at his friend.
Justin sighed, "Okay I guess, I haven't really been doing much, except for work. What about you, how are you and Lizzie doing?"
Smiling as he thought about his girlfriend, Tom answered, "We're doing great actually, we've been busy the last couple weeks, but overall we're good. Actually you just reminded me about something I've been meaning to ask you; tomorrow night we are going to celebrate my birthday at one of the local bars, and I really want you to come. We've invited a bunch of people and it should be a lot of fun."
"I don't know man, I have work tomorrow."
"Come on Justin, you get off work at like six, we're not even going to the bar until nine o'clock."
Getting up off the couch, Justin walked into the kitchen to grab another slice of pizza, "Fine, I'll go." he paused for a moment before continuing, "But I thought I was going to the party your dad was throwing for you? Isn't it next Saturday?" Justin said in a confused tone.
"No, that's for my dad's work. Remember how I told you my dad created Harding Magazine; well that party is for the thirtieth anniversary of the magazine."
Still confused, Justin looked at his friend, "Then why am I going?"
"Because, first of all, you need to get out more and meet new people, maybe even find a girlfriend."
Justin shook his head, "Ha ha, you're so funny."
"And secondly, I need someone to keep me sane, I would like to have at least one conversation that doesn't involve someone's clothes or shoes."
The next day was not by any means a good day for Justin at all. He had had a horrible day at work and now was unwillingly getting ready to go to his friend's party. The last thing he wanted to do was go into a loud bar, filled with a bunch of annoying people, but he had promised his friend and he definitely didn't want to let Tom down. It was around eight o'clock by the time he had finished and he wasn't really in the mood to sit around his apartment for an hour waiting for the party to start. Deciding to get there early, Justin quickly feed his dog and was out the door with the directions to the specific bar his friend had chosen. He figured if he was going to survive the next few hours of his life without being a complete kill joy, he was going to need to be a little bit buzzed to do so. He was never one to condone the use of alcohol to forget about his problems, but even with Justin there is always that one exception to the rule.
Alex, on the other hand, was actually really looking forward to this party. She went out to bars all the time, hoping she could maybe find an eligible bachelor, but in the end it would never really work out in her favor; she was surprisingly picky. At least with this party she knew there were bound to be some men her age who were single and if not, she would drink. Not having much of a dating life the past six years was really starting to get to her, and it was actually starting to become quite depressing. She wasn't the type of person who could spend the rest of her life alone. She wouldn't admit this fact to most people, mainly because she didn't want people's pity, but Alex had always dreamt of having a family of her own one day. She crossed her fingers and hoped that maybe tonight would be different, maybe she would finally meet the man she was meant to be with.
Hours had pasted and the party was in full swing. It was around two in the morning and people were still drinking, in fact, most of them were drunk, but none the less everybody was having a great time, even Justin. When the party had actually started was only slightly tipsy, but by this time he was full on intoxicated. This was mainly due to the fact he had met a girl earlier who had become his drinking buddy and encouraged him to continue to take shot after shot. He couldn't make out her face, but he thought he saw blonde hair, although he didn't dwell on her appearance for too long, because he was trying to keep his attention focused on the drinking game the two had started.
After losing for the fifth time, Justin was forced to call it quits, mainly because the bartender had cut him and his new friend off. The girl had tried to protest, but she could only manage to get out a few very slurred, incomprehensible words.
That's when things got crazy. After the girl had admitted defeat, she sat back down on the bar stool and looked at Justin for only a second before pulling him forward and kissing him. Justin was surprised at first but couldn't help but kiss back. There was something about this girl that was just so inviting, but after a while, making out wasn't enough for Justin, so he took it to the next level.
The next morning, light poured in through the windows of the small apartment, it was around ten in the morning, and Justin was still asleep. Although that didn't last very long, because shortly after he was jolted awake by one of his more frightening dreams. Opening his eyes quickly, Justin's vision was blurred and he couldn't make out his surrounding but that didn't really matter because he immediately closed his eyes. The sunlight was almost blinding and it was making his already painful headache worse. After lying back down, Justin began rubbing his temples as he tried to recall the night before. And that's when it hit him.
He remembered the girl from last night, and that's when he started to panic. He could now vaguely remember drinking with her, kissing her, and doing other things with her that he would rather not admit to. Opening his eyes with a sense of urgency, Justin looked to his left; through squinted eyes his worst fears were confirmed. Lying next to him was a girl, who was wrapped up in the plain white sheets, with her hair sprawled across her face, as she faced him. She was still asleep, but that didn't stop Justin from freaking out. Getting out of the bed as quickly and as quietly as he could, Justin did his best to try not to wake the girl. Grabbing his clothes, he put them on as fast as possible, before glancing around the room. He was relieved to find out that this wasn't his apartment, but horrified by the fact that he didn't even know this person. After putting on the last of his clothes, Justin began to walking to the exit of the room, but immediately stopped before heading out of the bedroom. Turning back around, Justin looked at the girl; there was something different about this girl. It took him a few seconds to figure it out, but the girl he was with last night he could have sworn had blonde hair, but the girl in the bed had dark brown. Walking back over to the bed, curiosity consumed Justin as he took a closer look at the girl. Bending down slightly, he slowly reached out and gently removed the hair out of her face. She was beautiful to say the least, but that's not what caught Justin's attention. Backing away from her as quickly as possible, Justin nearly flipped out; it was Alex.