Colliding Hearts

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Chapter 28 | New York To Los Angeles


Thump. Thump. Thump.

Peering an eye open, I see Luna jumping up and down on my bed, trying to wake me up. Which was nothing out of the ordinary, as she has done this every single year. Going from room to room, waking everyone up so she can open her presents. Honestly, it’s adorable. Closing my eyes again before she can see I’m awake, she continues jumping on my bed. Reaching out and grabbing her, I pull her down onto the bed and tickle her.

“Noah!” Luna giggles, trying to squirm away from me, before she hugs me like a koala bear. “Merry Christmas Noah-Bear”

“Merry Christmas Luna-Bell. Why don’t you go wake everyone else up? I’ll get ready and come down,” I offer, and she nods excitedly before running out screaming her head off about it being Christmas. Shaking my head, I reluctantly climb out of bed before getting changed and heading downstairs to greet my parents and grandparents. Not two seconds later Luna bounds down the stairs with my siblings behind her.

After everyone exchanges greetings, we all head into the living area and the twins brighten immediately from their sleep driven state as they see the presents under the tree and run to them. They and Luna tear the presents open, while the rest of us sit on the couch opening the ones we got at a more normal place.

“Mommy, look what Ava got me!” Luna shouts, holding up the doll Ava got her.

“That’s great, why don’t you make her a thank you card and you can give it to her on New Year,” Mom suggests and Luna nods before carrying on opening her presents. “That was sweet of her. Tell her thank you for those cookies she made too.” Mom leans over to me and I nod my head. “Well, the one I had since your father stole them all.”

“It’s not my fault,” Dad grumbles, making us all laugh. “You do realize we’ll be here all day considering how many presents the twins and Luna still have to go through,”

“Excuse me, but I like to spoil my children. Luna is the only daughter I have, as well as the youngest...I have no grandchildren to spoil yet. You can’t argue. You’re a sucker when she gives you the pouty face.”

“Like at her fourth birthday party when she wanted a pony and gave you the face so you caved.” Liam drinks the coffee in his hands making us all laugh.

“I can’t help it, we’ve had five kids. I’ve been worn down,” Dad admits, before my phone buzzes in my pocket and I take it out, ignoring the rest of his rant.

Ava: Merry Christmas Noah! Tell your family Merry Christmas too. Did Luna like her present?

Me: Merry Christmas Ava. Will do, and yeah, she loves it. Pretty sure you’re her favorite person in the world.

Ava: I’m glad she liked spoiled is she this year?

Me: Let’s put it this way, we’ll be here till next Christmas at this rate.

“Tell Ava I say Merry Christmas,” Emery smirks. I raise my eyebrow at her as she raises the cup to her lips, wondering how she knew I was texting Ava. “What? You don’t have that smile on your face for Dylan, Aiden or Nick.”

“She says Merry Christmas, by the way,” I tell my family and they all smile. It’s nice to know how big of an impact she’s had on my family. They all love her and honestly, that just makes me like her more. I can’t stop thinking about the kiss. It was amazing and I just want her back in LA to kiss her again. “Ava said you helped her get my present.” I look at Liam, who nods.

“Yeah, I didn’t mind. It was a great idea.”

“What did she get you?” Mom asks and I tell her. I had left it back in my apartment, not wanting the twins to smash it, considering how reckless they can be.

“She knows I have a jersey signed by my favorite player, so she figured she’d get me a signed football by the chargers.”

“That girl is a keeper. Any girl that goes out of her way to get you a present that special is the one,” Grandma comments.

“Uh oh, grandma is playing matchmaker again,” Liam says.

“Nice to know you approve,” I tell grandma. Watching as the twins play with all their opened presents and Luna is still opening hers, but thankfully she is near the end. “For a six-year-old she’s extremely good at unwrapping presents.”

Everyone laughs. “Ok everybody. Let’s get the wrapping paper in the bin and start decorating our gingerbread houses,” Grandma claps her hands together. Ever since we were little my parents made it a contest that whoever wins gets a prize at the end. It’s not as interesting for us older ones, but it still is for the twins and Luna.

“NOAH IS ON MY TEAM!” Luna shouts, jumping onto me as I pick her up. “Let’s go win!” She high fives me as I carry her to the kitchen. What a Christmas this will be.

𝐀 𝐕 𝐀 𝐋 𝐎 𝐍 ′ 𝐒 𝐏 𝐎 𝐕

Christmas day had been amazing. Dad and I exchanged presents as well as opening Blue’s for him. We watched Christmas movies and drank hot chocolate before visiting mom’s grave together. Something we always do on Christmas day. The next few days passed extremely quickly. Dad and I spent as much time together as we could, knowing I wouldn’t be back for a couple more months. We even spent some time with Catherine and Reece.

While Catherine and I went shopping in the city centre, Reece and dad stayed home and did whatever guys do when we’re not around. Days later, we are now all stood outside of JFK. My flight back to LA is today and I’m sad to be leaving, but knowing dad has Catherine and Reece makes me feel a little better.

“Have a safe flight. It was nice meeting you,” Catherine hugs me. She and Reece came to see me off.

“Bye Ava,” Reece hugs me. Reece and I have gotten closer over the past few days, kind of like having a little brother. “Don’t forget I want to Facetime so I can see LA,” He says and I laugh, agreeing before ruffling his hair.

“Ok come on Reece, let’s leave these two to say goodbye,” Catherine says. I give her a grateful smile before her and Reece head back to the car.

“Well, I’m glad you have somewhere here while I’m in LA. You know I worry about you being alone here.”

“You’re my daughter. I’m supposed to be the one worrying about you. Have a safe flight and let me know when you land,” Dad insists, and I nod my head. “Better not keep you or those girls will be waiting forever,” Dad mentions, as the girls have offered to pick me up at the airport. All having arrived back before me.

“Yeah, yeah. Anyway, I’ll be back home in a few months for mom’s anniversary,” I explain, as I always travel back to New York for the anniversary of her passing and stay a few days. “Is Catherine ok with me talking about mom? I know we talked about her at dinner but I don’t want to make her uncomfortable.”

My eyes flicker over to the car where they are before dad speaks up. “She’s fine with it, honey. She would never expect us to forget or not talk about her.”

Smiling, I crouch down and wrap my arms around Blue, who we have brought to the airport. Which is why we’re saying goodbye outside. “Bye Blue. I’ll miss you. Be a good boy, ok?”

Standing up Dad wraps his arms around me. “I’ll miss you, sweetheart. Love you.”

“Bye dad, I love you.”

He squeezes me harder before we pull apart. Saying one last goodbye, I head into the airport. Managing to get through check in and security quickly, I don’t have a long wait until the flight. After grabbing a couple of things for the plane, I make my way onto it and settle in for the long flight.

One of the worst things to happen on an airplane is to get stuck next to either a screaming kid or a crying baby.

Lucky me, I got that pleasure on the flight back home.

Don’t get me wrong, I like kids. Just not at 35,000 ft in the air when you can’t get off the plane. Plus, it didn’t help that the mother wasn’t doing anything to calm them down and instead was asleep for most of it, so everyone on the plane was annoyed. Five hours after take-off at JFK the plane lands at LAX. I couldn’t be more thankful to be on the ground. I pretty much bolt off the plane as soon as they let people off. Heading to baggage claim, I grab my case before making my way outside to the pickup area.


Turning, I see the girls heading towards me, tackling me into a hug as I laugh. The people passing by look annoyed, considering we’re blocking the door, while others look amused. Pulling back, we move away from the door so we don’t block people’s path.

“It’s only been a week. How do we usually survive the summer?” I ask, considering we all head home for the summer period. Honestly, it was pretty hard to be away from them last summer.

Hannah sighs. “I have no idea.”

“How was the flight?” Liv questions as we make our way to the car.

“Awful. I got stuck next to a screaming kid for five hours. Even my music couldn’t block them out,” I explain as I put my case into the trunk of the car.

“If it makes you feel any better, I got stuck next to a hot guy on my flight,” Hannah states and I look at her. “Totally not the same thing. Anyway, let’s head back to the apartment and have our girls’ night. I’m driving.”

“Is there an option to walk back to the apartment?” I question.

“I’ll join you. Somehow she managed to hit a bird with her car on the way here and it wasn’t one of those problems where the bird flies into the car. She drove into the bird,” Sierra explains, making me laugh.

“How the hell did you do that?” I laugh.

“Shut up and get in the car,” Hannah grumbles, roughly pulling open the car door and getting inside. Climbing in, we all head back to the apartment. After making it back in one piece, barely. Considering the way Hannah drove. I put my case in my room and unpacked quickly while the girls’ order takeaway. Hearing the doorbell, I finish unpacking and head back out, getting my food before we all move over the couch with our wine and food.

“So, let me get this straight. You and Noah made out the night before your flight. You kissed when he dropped you off at the airport the next morning. You’ve been extremely flirty with one another and yet you still need to talk about it?” Hannah asks, after I catch them up with everything. I nod my head. “Finally!”

“Tell me about it. This has to be the most slow burn thing I have ever seen in my life. Everyone can see you two have a thing for each other. The sexual tension and the looks you gave each other was crazy,” Sierra says, making me choke on my food. “What? I’m not wrong.”

“I think it’s great you’ve both finally gotten somewhere. You just need to woman up and talk to him about it,” Liv advises.

“I know and I will. We have the New Year party at his parent’s place tomorrow so we can talk then. Speaking of, what time are we supposed to be there?”

“The party starts at eight, so any time after that,” Sierra states, checking her phone for the text Aiden sent her about it. “So, Hannah. Maybe you should invite this mystery guy you’ve been seeing.”

Hannah has been going on dates with the same guy for weeks now and we haven’t met him or know anything about him. We know she’ll tell us at some point, likely just making sure there is something between them. Especially with everything that happened with Sebastian.

“Yeah, maybe. I don’t know if it’s the right time. Let’s talk about something else,” Hannah changes the subject, and we all agree, knowing she isn’t someone who can be pushed. “So what’s Noah’s family like?”

“They’re really nice. You’ll love his little sister, she’s the cutest little girl ever,” I explain and they smile. “The twins can be sneaky and pull pranks. They did on Noah when I was there. Then there’s his older brother Liam, who is engaged to Emery. His parents are nice and I am in love with Grandma Rose.”

“Aww, you’re already part of the family,” Liv coos and I stick my tongue out at her.

“Next thing you know, you’ll be walking down the aisle,” Hannah smirks as she hums wedding music.

“Shut up,” I laugh throwing a cushion at her, making everyone burst out laughing. “I need new friends!”

They all laugh, and I smile looking around at them all.

Welcome home.

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