If it had been a year earlier, Theodore and Sundress would have been among them, walking down the warm summer road. As it were though, both were enrolled in a cooking class at the local skills center, in which they would get out of school an hour early in exchange for the later lessons. So the walk home had henceforth become reserved exclusively for Alvin, Brittany, Blue Clad and Jeanette.

On rainy days they would often take the bus, but when it was nice out, like it was today, they could just take the shortcut through the woods. It only took about fifteen minutes to get from place to place, in comparison to a half an hour bus ride. These walks, which had begun a chore, had actually evolved into something to look forward to. For Alvin, it was a time to unwind after long, harsh days of schooling, and a way to get his football coach to quit complaining about his lack of exercise. For Brittany, it was a time to flirt with Alvin, without the uncomfortable feeling of someone perpetually eavesdropping. And as for Blue Clad and Jeanette, it was a scheduled time to hold hands and spend together. On this particular day however, an earsplitting silence pounded between Alvin and Brittany. Deafened by their infatuation of one another, Blue Clad and Jeanette strolled at a steady pace, unphased, while Brittany and Alvin trailed behind awkwardly. Brittany had been acting strange all day, going suspiciously far out of her way to, what she would later be quoted as "coincidently running into" Alvin, and then garble her words until she choked on them. At first it had left Alvin reason to worry, but quickly turned irritating and then eventually to just being enough. "Brittany?" he finally asked.

"Huh?" She looked up from the dust she was kicking to lock eyes with her now glaring friend.

"Can we have a conversation today where you aren't being difficult?"

"Uhh…" Forcing her attention away from the boy she had been needing to talk with, Brittany checked to make sure Blue Clad and Jeanette were still shrinking in the distance. She wasn't quite sure how this was going to play out, and the last thing she needed was an audience.

"Something's up."

"N-no…"

"C'mon. Out with it," Alvin insisted.

"Umm…"

"Brittany!" He was practically scolding her now.

"Uh, Alvin… I think you're…" she started, rocking back and forth on her feet.

"Stupid? Annoying? Whiney?" he guessed.

"N-no. You're really…" Clutching her textbook tighter in her arms, Brittany braced herself for the worst. "You're kind'a cool."

Any frustrations Alvin may have had melted upon contact. "What? Really?"

"Yeah… All those things I always call you? That's not you. Sure you can be annoying, and you are pretty stupid most the time, but-"

"Britt?" Irritation began to creep back into his voice. "Just get to the point."

"Alvin?" Her whole body shook as she spoke. "I love you."

"What?"

"I love you."

"You do?"

She sighed. "Yes."

"Well," Alvin stuttered, "o-okay."

"Okay?"

"It's just… Well, what am I supposed to do?"

Notice anything different? I've started putting my Author's Notes at the end of my stories! Apparently many unofficial studies conducted by various Fanfiction writers' state that you're more likely to get readers and reviews if you put author's notes towards the end. Go figure.

If you're still reading this, thanks for reading! I've put a lot of time and energy into this story and would love to hear from you. So if you have time and have an opinion or a suggestion, please review or private message me. I'll be more than happy to listen to anything you have to say (relevant to Wounded Hearts).

Oh, and I almost forgot, yes, I am aware that I refer to the trail in the woods as "the warm summer road" when I clearly state in the first chapter that "it is mid-autumn". I don't literally mean "summer" when I say "summer"- I use the term loosely as a symbolic representation of the weather, not to be taken too far beyond face value or out of context.