Thank you guys for the reviews! Here is the next chapter as I promised!
"What happened?" Ella breathed. She had her hand on her chest and kept looking between Aria and Ezra who were on the couch and the door Matt had just stormed out of. She looked to Mike for some sort of explanation but he just held his hands up to say he had no idea what was going on either.
Ezra looked over at Ella and then back to Aria who was staring at the floor. He wasn't sure if Aria wanted him to explain what had happened or if she would do it herself. Aria looked up momentarily at Ezra and lightly shook her head signaling she didn't want to go into details with her mother.
"Nothing," she murmured to Ella. She bit her lip and wiped away the few tears that had fallen from her eyes before standing up.
"It sure didn't look like nothing," Ella said. Her face expressed the concern she felt for Aria as well as the confusion she held for the situation.
"I don't want to talk about it," Aria mumbled.
Ella sighed before crossing her arms and nodding her head figuring Aria would be too stubborn to budge on this. She gave Aria soft smile before walking back into the kitchen leaving Mike, Ezra, and Aria in the living room.
"Are you ok?" Mike quietly asked. He stepped closer to his sister the worriedness he felt etched across his features.
"Yeah," Aria slowly nodded her head before thickly swallowing.
"I'm here to talk if you want," Mike reminded her. Aria gave Mike an appreciative smile before he disappeared up the stairs and into his room.
"Can we go for drive?" Aria quickly asked as she turned around to face Ezra. "I just want to get away from here for a little bit," she explained.
"Of course," Ezra replied. He stared at Aria for a moment before pressing a kiss to her forehead and calling out to Ella to let her know where they were going.
Aria instinctively slipped her hand into Ezra's as they made their way out of the Montgomery household and to Ezra's car he had parked on the street last night.
Ezra didn't have any idea where he was going and Aria wasn't telling him anything so he figured he would just drive around aimlesly until Aria wanted to go home. He wanted to talk about what just happened to make sure she was ok but he also didn't want to pressure her if she wanted to keep to herself. Every couple of miles he would try to inconspicuously glance over at her, however her head never left the window it was resting on.
"You don't have to keep checking on me," Aria lifted her head up and looked at Ezra giving him a weary smile.
"I didn't think you could see me," he admitted.
"I could just tell," she shrugged.
Ezra swallowed and turned a corner before saying, "I'm worried about you." He sighed before glimpsing over at her before diverting his eyes back to the road.
"I'm fine really," Aria assured him. She smiled widely, but Ezra could see the grin wasn't sincere.
"No you're not," Ezra stated. He looked behind him before slowing down the car and pulling over on the side of the road. Luckily Ella's house wasn't right in the city so they were able to park without a problem.
Aria bit her lip, a telltale sign she was nervous, and curled a piece of her hair behind her ear, looking down at the floor of the car. Ezra took his hand off the steering wheel and lightly trailed his fingertips along the side of her jaw, gently lifting her face up.
"Talk to me," he whispered.
Aria sighed heavily as her eyes began to become slightly glassy. "I just felt so trapped," she explained. "It's stupid because obviously he wouldn't do anything with you and my mom in the next room over," Aria lightly shook her head.
"It's not stupid," Ezra responded. "You've been through a lot and I wouldn't blame you for reacting like that."
Aria let out a relived breath before moving closer to Ezra and wrapping her arms around his neck. Ezra smiled into her hair as she relaxed into his embrace her head finding its usual spot at the top of his shoulder.
"Can we just be here…for a minute?" Aria murmured her voice shaking slightly.
Ezra tightened his hold on her slightly, bringing his hand to rest on the back of her head. He slowly moved it up and down through her long tresses, the silky locks moving between his fingers.
"I love you Aria."
He felt Aria cuddle herself closer to him, if that were even possible, and took that as her response. It pained him to see Aria always being so distressed and only hoped that soon things would start to look up for her. Matt was one thing, but that on top of her father's death, he didn't know how she could still manage to not completely fall apart. He assumed the life she had lived for 3 years had toughened her up somewhat, but still he was always impressed with how strong she really was.
"Can we go home soon?" Aria spoke up moments later.
"Sure," Ezra replied, "Were only about ten minutes away," he told her.
Aria lifted her head up from the crook of Ezra's neck and shook her head. "I meant our home," she explained.
Ezra's heart swelled as the words "our home" fell from her lips as he instantly nodded his head. "We can go later on today," he suggested.
Aria gave him a small smile before reclining back into her seat. Ezra looked over at her in adoration before turning back to the steering wheel and pushing the keys into the ignition.
The drive back to Ella's house was silent for the most part but it was a comfortable one unlike the drive there that had been worrisome and awkward. He kept his hand on Aria's thigh, something they did quite often, every once in a while lightly squeezing it or running his thumb across the denim fabric of her jeans. Aria kept her hand pressed against his as she continued to stare off into the side of the window through the chilled glass of the car. It was a way they could feel connected when they weren't talking and it was comforting to always feel the other one's presence.
Even after spending so much time with each other, Ezra still felt that spark whenever their skin touched and he didn't think he would ever get tired of it. Turning back onto Ella's road he turned his hand upwards so his palm was touching Aria's before interlocking their fingers together.
"Will you call?" Ella wondered. She was slightly apprehensive asking Aria this especially since this was really the first time her and her daughter had gotten along in almost three years.
"I will," Aria smiled. She took a step towards her mother embracing her in a hug to Ella's surprise. Ella immediately hugged her back reveling in feeling of being so close to her daughter again.
Eventually Aria pulled back and went to give Mike a hug as well, as Ezra and Ella exchanged their goodbyes.
"Thank you again for everything Ezra," Ella stressed. "I really don't know where this family would be without you." She gave Ezra an appreciative smile before sticking out her hand for him to shake. Ezra almost laughed at her formal gesture and instead held out his arms offering a hug as if to say he could see her as part of his own family one day. Ella lightly chuckled before wrapping her arms around Ezra.
"Byron didn't get to see who you really are," Ella softly said in Ezra's ear. "He would have liked you."
"Please promise me you'll come visit?" Mike asked.
"Of course," Aria smiled. She pulled her younger brother into a hug squeezing him tightly. "I'm definitely not going to go three years without seeing you again."
"Good," Mike laughed.
Aria lightly ruffled Mike's hair before stepping back and looking to Ezra. "You ready?" she asked.
Ezra nodded and gave Mike a quick wave and smile before grabbing the coat Aria handed to him. Aria pulled her hair out from underneath her jacket before giving Ella and Mike one last smile and leaving out the door. Ezra followed directly after her as the two of them walked over to his car.
The drive back into the city and Ezra's apartment was longer than they expected as they encountered a lot of traffic. Soon Ezra could hear Aria's soft snores and looked over to see she had fallen asleep. Ezra smiled at how adorable she looked before turning back to the road and moving up a couple of feet. Watching Aria sleep had to be one of his favorite things especially with the way her nose scrunched up or how her soft breaths were almost rhythmic.
A loud horn blared behind him causing Ezra to flinch. He realized he'd zoned out thinking about Aria and the car in front of him had moved forward. If there was one thing about drivers in New York City it was that they were impatient and looking away from the road, for even a second, would not be smart.
He heard Aria groan softly next to him and figured the load sound had woken her up.
He saw her rub her eyes slightly and stretch out her arm before looking out the window.
"Sorry about that," Ezra apologized.
"It's ok," she smiled. "What even happened?" she asked.
Ezra ran one of his hands along the back of his neck chuckling slightly. "I was thinking about something and got distracted and didn't realize the car in front of me had moved up."
"What were you thinking about?" Aria wondered. She tilted her head to the side as she brought her head to rest in her hand that was leaning on the windowsill of the door.
"You," Ezra confessed as he glanced over at Aria for a moment.
Aria blushed and giggled as she looked at her hands. "You're crazy," she laughed.
"Crazy about you," he corrected. Aria bit her lip and rolled her eyes at his comment trying to contain her laughter.
Ezra gave her one of his boyish smiles before offering her the option to turn on the radio as they would probably be stuck here for a little while.
Aria sat up in her seat and turned it on before flipping to a random station. A soft guitar began to play followed by the melodic sound of a man's vice.
Aria turned to Ezra to find him already looking at her a grin spread across his face.
"Joe's Pizzeria," Aria murmured.
"Song B-26," he replied.
"B-26," she repeated.
Aria looked at Ezra in amazement before leaning herself up against his arm as they sat in the traffic, just listening to the song. Aria remembered back when they had met and Ezra insisted on buying her a meal. She never would have thought that it could have led to this and truthfully she hadn't been sure she would ever get out of her life on the streets. She couldn't believe Ezra had remembered that moment at the pizza place when they had listened to this song but smiled as she recalled the memory.
She looked up at Ezra for a moment her heart practically aching with how much love she felt for him.
Happiness is just outside my window
It was in that moment that Aria really realized that she couldn't honestly think of any other place that she would rather be. Even though she hadn't known Ezra for that long, she was sure that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. He was her boyfriend, her best friend, and most importantly her happiness.
Hope you guys liked this! Sorry it was short, I literally couldn't think at all because I'm so tired. Please please please leave a review though and I will update soon!