I am so so so so so so so so so sorry for the wait, especially since I promised I would update soon. I'd understand if you were all mad at me haha. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the reviews though, 315 is crazy!

Hope you enjoy this :)

Ezra stared up at the ceiling of Aria's bedroom, his eyes following the long panels of wood that lined it. He had spent the majority of the night contemplating whether or not he should tell Aria about the conversation he and Matt had and as a result had gotten almost no sleep. He looked down at Aria who was cuddled into his chest, her soft breaths the only sound audible so early in the morning. He took some comfort in the fact that it was him in Aria's bed and him with his arms wrapped around instead of Matt who wasn't even here. He sighed and sat up slightly trying not to jostle the bed too much so he wouldn't be staring at the same view he had been for the past hour.

The corners of his mouth rose up the slightest as his gaze panned across Aria's room. His eyes landed on a small pig puppet that Ezra remembered Aria telling him she was attached to as a child. His heart also swelled at the multitude of sketches that lined her walls, amazed at her artistic ability. Aria was right last night, her room looked like it hadn't been touched in 3 years and was exactly how it would have been if she had continued living there. Ezra liked seeing this part of her life when she was a carefree teenager and didn't have to deal with all the obstacles she later would have to.

"Why are you up?" Aria's voice was soft and still thick with sleep as she squinted her eyes and moved her head to look at Ezra.

"I didn't mean to wake you," Ezra murmured as he brushed a lock of hair away from Aria's face.

"You didn't," she shook her head. "I've been kind of restless all night," she admitted.

Ezra nodded his head and pressed a kiss to her forehead as he pulled Aria's small body closer to his chest. The one thing he liked about Aria's bed was that it was much smaller, therefore forcing them to be tighter against one another.

"You didn't answer my question," Aria mumbled against Ezra's chest, her lips tickling his bare skin.

Ezra opened his mouth and closed hoping Aria would have forgotten and he could have avoided telling her what was on his mind.

"I can tell something is bothering you," Aria said. She lifted her head and rested her chin on Ezra's pectoral muscle so he would have to look into her eyes.

"It's nothing," Ezra shook his head, dismissing her concern.

"If you don't tell me I'll only assume the worst," Aria explained. She gave Ezra an encouraging smile, urging him to continue with whatever it was that had kept him up.

Ezra ran a hand through his jet black hair before sighing and resting it on Aria's back. He figured he could tell her part of the story without divulging everything.

"I was thinking about you and Matt, nothing more," Ezra shrugged his shoulders as if to say it was no big deal.

"Ezra," Aria worried her lips in between her teeth as she sat up on her bed. "Now I know what you felt like when I wouldn't believe you loved me," Aria shook her head lightly laughing.

Aria moved on her knees until she was right next to Ezra cradling his face in between her two hands. "I love you and Matt is not going to come between us," Aria stressed. She moved her thumb across Ezra's cheek before pressing a soft kiss to his lips. "Please believe me," she whispered against his mouth, "Please."

Ezra's heart ached at Aria's words especially when she didn't know that Matt could actually come between them since that was what he was set on doing. He decided he would agree with her now though so as not to raise too much suspicion until he could figure out what to do about her ex.

"Ok," he murmured back. He brought his hands up to rest on top of hers leaning into her palms still resting on his face.

Aria gave him a soft smile before lightly kissing his forehead and lying back down. "I don't know about you but I'm going back to sleep," she laughed quietly.

"Sleep sounds good," Ezra agreed. He pushed himself farther down the bed, pulling the covers closer to him and Aria. After being up for most of the night going back to sleep for a few hours sounded like heaven to him. He turned to face Aria once they were situated, resting his hand on the top of her hip bone. Aria scooted herself closer to his chest inhaling his intoxicating scent. Her face was buried in his abdomen with one of her arms wrapped around him as well. Ezra heard her sigh in contentment as she closed her eyes, eventually falling asleep.

Ezra on the other hand was not so lucky and as many times as he shut his eyes and tried to sleep, he couldn't. His mind was still racing from his discussion with Matt and now to add to that he had in a way lied to Aria. He knew that if he told her it would only cause problems but he still felt terrible about having to do it.

Ezra soon decided there was no hope of him getting anymore sleep and cautiously slipped out of Aria's bed attempting not to wake her. Since it was so early he assumed no one would be downstairs yet and it would be a safe place for him to just think. He quietly opened Aria's door and padded across the hallway to the top of the stairs.

He cringed internally at every squeak that was made as he walked down the stairs, thankful when he finally reached the bottom floor. He felt a little weird walking around especially since he hadn't ever been to Aria's house before, but thankfully, as he predicted he was alone.

Ezra ran a hand through his hair like he so often did and went to look out the window in the kitchen. He watched as cars drove by probably on their way to work as well as the occasional early morning jogger.


Ezra quickly spun around to see Ella at the foot of the stairs eyeing him curiously.

"I-I'm sorry," Ezra stuttered. "I couldn't sleep," he explained. He made a move to leave the kitchen and walk back up the stairs but Ella held her hand up.

"It's ok," she said giving him a weak smile. "I couldn't sleep either," Ella lightly shook her head as she walked to her pantry pulling some coffee grinds. She held up the bag to Ezra offering him some to which he shook his head and politely declined.

"Something on your mind," Ella asked as she bent down, rummaging through a cabinet for the coffee maker.

"Um not really," Ezra shrugged not wanting to go into detail with his girlfriend's mother.

Ella finally pulled out the white machine and placed it on the counter before turning to face Ezra. "I know Aria has probably told you a lot of things about me and I understand if you hate me," Ella said. "I know I wasn't the best parent and I can see that now."

Ezra looked down at the floor before looking back up at Ella not exactly sure how he should respond to that.

"You don't need to say anything," Ella assured him, "I just want you to know."

Ezra shook his head, "It's not that," he said, "I'm just trying to find the right words." Ezra cleared his throat and ran his hand through his hair once more before continuing. "I'll admit in the beginning I didn't have the fondest opinion about you or Byron, but Aria's able to move past that and so am I. In fact, me and her probably never would have met if not for you…," Ezra trailed off as he looked at a spot on the counter. He'd never thought about it like that, but if Aria hadn't been kicked out and hadn't become a prostitute there was a high chance none of this would have happened.

"Thank you," Ella murmured.

"For what?" Ezra cocked his head to the side not sure what she was referring to.

"You saved my daughter," Ella said. Her eyes became slightly glassy as she played with a piece of string from the dishtowel she was picked up. "I don't know where she would be right now if it wasn't for you and I honestly don't even know if she would have been alive."

Ezra could feel his heart aching watching Ella so vulnerable in front of him especially with the thought of what could have happened to Aria if he hadn't taken her in.

"I'd do it over again in an instant," he gave Ella a comforting smile to which she returned a teary one.

"Aria's really lucky to have you," Ella said.

"I'm really lucky to have her too," Ezra confessed.

Ella gave him another smile before wiping her eyes with her sleeves and turning towards her cabinet to grab a mug. She quickly composed herself and Ezra figured she probably wasn't used to opening herself up to people like that.

"And just so you know, I invited Matt over for breakfast, I'm not sure if you want to wake Aria up," Ella informed him.

Ezra instantly felt his stomach drop at Ella's words, suddenly dreading the day ahead. "He's coming over here?" Ezra clarified.

Ella nodded her head, "Before Aria left, me and his parents were really close and I still feel bad for breaking the two of them up all those years ago. That's not a problem is it?"

"Or course not," Ezra said feigning a smile.

"What's not a problem?" Aria asked. Ezra and Ella looked to the bottom of the stairs where Aria was descending.

"Matt is going to be joining us for breakfast. I talked to him about it last night," Ella told her. "I just remember how good of friends you two were and I thought it might be nice."

Aria looked to Ezra and gave him a look that said she knew he was freaking out but had absolutely nothing to worry about. She walked over to him and slid her arm around his torso, leaning her head against him. "What time is gonna get here?" she asked.

"About an hour," Ella said.

Aria nodded before grasping Ezra's hand and motioning her head to the stairs.

Ezra agreed and let Aria lead him to the second floor and then to her room.

"Are you going to be ok?" Aria asked as she sat down on her bed.

"As ok as I can be," Ezra replied. Aria playfully rolled her eyes at Ezra before falling back onto her mattress.

"I am so tired," she laughed.

Ezra felt a smile creeping across his face at her light hearted behavior, glad the mood was lifted.

"You should have slept longer," Ezra told her as he went to lie on her bed too.

"The bed was cold because you weren't here," Aria reasoned. Ezra pulled Aria close to him eliciting a giggle out of her. He buried his face in her hair basking in her scent for as long as he could until he would have to share her with Matt.

"So what were you and my mom talking about?" Aria asked.

Ezra looked down at Aria and brushed his thumb across her face remembering the conversation him and Ella had.

"She thanked me for taking you in and basically just apologized for everything I might have heard about her," Ezra said.

"And she was crying because of that?" Aria chuckled.

"I was almost in tears too!" Ezra laughed, "She mentioned how if we hadn't found each other there was a chance something really bad could've happened to you," he explained on a more serious note.

"You really did save me Ezra," Aria whispered.

"In a way you saved me too," he smiled. He lightly traced her lip with the pad of his thumb before brushing his lips against hers.

For Aria and Ezra the next hour was spent getting ready while Ella cooked the meal in preparation for Matt's arrival.

Soon Ezra heard the much anticipated doorbell and walked down the stairs with Aria as she went to get it.

"Matt, hi!" Aria greeted him as she opened up the front door. She heard Mike coming down from upstairs at that moment too as he gave Matt a quick wave.

Matt smiled at Aria and stepped into the Montgomery household before giving her a friendly hug. Ezra could have sworn it was longer than what was appropriate for an embrace between friends, but he had to remind himself not to get too crazy.

"Ezra," Matt stuck out his hand for Ezra to shake, giving him one of his sickly sweet smiles.

"Matt, glad you could make it," Ella called from the kitchen.

Aria gave Matt another smile as she led both him and Ezra to their kitchen table in the other room.

"Thank you for inviting me Mrs. Montgomery," Matt acknowledged her.

"Of course!" Ella waved her hand as if it was no big deal.

The next ten minutes were filled with small talk about the weather or what all of their plans for the summer were as they waited for Ella to finish the cooking. Soon the meal was done and served as the 5 of them sat together at kitchen table.

Nobody sat in Byron's seats and while there was still a sad air to the gathering, they were all able to focus on other things.

"So Ezra what do you do for a living?" Matt asked.

Aria could see Ezra's jaw tense even though Matt hadn't technically done anything yet. She placed her hand on his knee in an attempt to relax him and slowly moved her thumb across his leg.

"He's an author," Aria smiled as she looked up at him, proudness reflecting on her face.

"A published author," Ezra added. Aria bit her lip to keep from laughing at how ridiculous Ezra was being around Matt as she looked between the two males.

Unfortunately the rest of breakfast didn't go much better as Matt and Ezra continued to try and show the other one up with Aria attempting to play the mediator. The awkwardness was almost tangible every time one of them made a comment and it was a relief for everyone once the meal was finally over.

Aria Matt and Ezra all ended up moving to the living room while Mike went up to this room and Ella cleaned up from breakfast. Matt and Aria ended up striking a conversation about some girl they had both knew in high school that Matt had just recently visited. Ezra could tell Matt was bringing this up just to push his buttons as "history" was the one thing Ezra couldn't beat him at. Feeling like a third wheel Ezra walked into the kitchen and offered to help Ella with the dishes.

"Wait she's pregnant?" Aria asked incredulously.

Matt nodded, "And get this she's married to Jake," he laughed.

"No way," Aria widened her eyes before shaking her head in amazement.

Matt bit his lip and moved the slightest bit closer to Aria but since she was focused on something else she didn't seem to notice.

"I miss this," Matt suddenly blurted out.

Aria gave him a confused look urging him to elaborate.

"Us," he stated.

"Matt," Aria furrowed her eyebrows together giving him a look that said she couldn't.

"Look how much fun we were just having," he reasoned.

"I'm with Ezra now," Aria firmly said, "I love him."

"If I remember correctly you loved me too at one point."

"Loved," Aria stressed, "As in past tense."

"We were supposed to be together, it was supposed to be us," Matt swallowed and moved even closer to Aria on the couch they were sitting on.

"I've moved on Matt, you should too."

"I can't," he shook his head. He placed his hand on Aria's knee lightly squeezing it.

"Matt," Aria bit her lip as she warned him to move his hand.

Matt slid it the tiniest bit higher tightening his grip on her as Aria tried to move away.

"My mom and Ezra are in the next room over," Aria said her voice cracking slightly.

"Aria," he pleaded. "Give us a chance."

Aria could feel her breath speeding up and even though she knew she wasn't in any immediate danger with Ezra and Ella so close it brought back memories of her life living on the streets. She hadn't felt that sense of entrapment since she had met Ezra but this situation was starting to feel very much like that now.

Aria could feel tears starting to pool in her eyes as she thought back to all the times guys had been rough with her, some even throwing her to the ground once they had finished and paid her. Sometimes they didn't even pay her and threatened to do worse if she made a big deal out of it. She'd never told anyone, not even Ezra this but those nights still haunted her every day and she always had a fear of going back to that.

Suddenly though she felt Matt's hand leave her leg and looked up to see Ezra grabbing him by the collar. She hadn't even seen him come into the room and figured she must have to been too focused on her thoughts.

"Dude what the hell?" Matt tried to maneuver his way out of Ezra's grasp but was only met with a blow to the jaw. Matt fell to the floor in pain as he clutched his mouth groaning softly.

"I think you should go," Ezra stated. Ella and Mike who had heard the commotion stepped into the room as well gasps escaping their mouths as they saw Matt on the floor.

"You're going to regret this," Matt muttered at Aria as he slowly stood up. Still holding his face he grabbed his coat off the rack and slammed the door as he left.

Aria was still sitting on the couch as Ezra went to sit next to her instantly pulling her to his chest.

"It's ok," he whispered into her hair.

Aria breathed a sigh of relief being in Ezra's arms and had to keep reminding herself she was safe. She'd never really thought about it before but now she realized she probably had some sort of PTSD from all of her experiences in the past 3 years. She figured she had tried to bury them, this incident only bringing them to the surface. She grasped the back of Ezra's shirt, clinging to him as she buried her face in his neck.

She felt bad for not believing Ezra when he told her Matt was a threat but at least not he was gone and it was just the two of them.

"Thank you," she whispered.

Ezra nodded his head, squeezing her ever so more tightly.

Hope you guys liked this! You all wanted Ezra to beat Matt up so he did haha. This was supposed to be longer but something came up so I'm going to update again either Wednesday or Thursday! Please please review or tweet me (proudofhale) I love hearing your feedback. Also if any of you want to see something specific happen tell me and I will try to include it :)