Note From Author: A big thank-you to all those who reviewed, your comments are always appreciated. I might mention that I hadn't originally planned for a sequel, but I just have too much fun writing the characters and I myself wanted something dreadful to happen to David Van Wyck. Well, I'll halt in babbling so please read review and enjoy-

CHAPTER TWO

Darby Rockwell awoke the next morning to find sleep still lingered heavily upon her, as though it still covered her in an enormous shroud. She released a minute groan and allowed her eyes open, immediately bringing a palm in front of her vision to block the blinding early morning sun that filtered in through the dust-laced window, throwing golden bars of sunlight across the splintered floor. She tilted her neck to the side and was surprised to find that it released an audible cracking sound.

Bringing her palm to her neck and lolling her head about aimlessly, reality suddenly dawned upon her. She opened her eyes to their normal stance, not taking heed of the sun, to view the surroundings.

A sudden flash of joy overcame her. Of course, her joints and limbs ached; she was not in her goose-down bed of the Rockwell estate, yet the humble lower bunk belonging to Spot Conlon.

Spot Conlon.

A frown soon touched her lips, turning the corners down. With a twinge of pain, she realized that she was the only inhabitant in the quarters, save the brittle, unwelcome cold of the morning. She elicited a sigh and slowly brought her aching legs over the side of the bunk, the worn wooden side digging into the bottom of her thighs, as she absentmindedly pulled her slip down. She exhaled, twining her fingers through her unbrushed hair and her elbows on her upper legs. "Where is Mrs. Marks with her exquisitely delicious sausage and eggs Benedict when you need her?"

Alas, there was no Mrs. Marks and her fabulous breakfast dishes or even her own maids courting a lovely dress that would only be worn once. With a reluctant groan, Darby pushed herself off from the worn, incredibly lumpy mattress as she shuffled over to the warped vanity. She rode a rickety chair about-face as she regarded her reflection distantly in the cracked mirror, sporadically running her claws through her hair to comb it out in a makeshift style.

She narrowed her eyes and tilted her head, viewing her doppelganger in the looking glass as it too combed out is hair with its fingers and pondered if some miraculous change had occurred during the course of the night. Yet, nothing had changed, save she looked somewhat disheveled with her hair falling about her shoulders and the thin, delicate straps of her slip sliding off her shoulders and resting loosely on her arms.

She sighed and brought her hands to her lap, folding them neatly, bringing to mind the times at her mother's numerous dinner parties that she would be instructed to sit as still and erect as a board of timber in her most ostentatious dresses.

With a disgusted noise Darby pulled her hands fingers apart and rounded her shoulders, arising abruptly from the chair and returning to the bunk, falling once more onto the lumpy mattress. "Darby, Darby, Darby, what the hell is going on?" she murmured, raking her brain for an answer, if indeed there was an answer.

Had anything changed, if indeed it had changed at all? Even that shard of subtle coldness, if one could even call it coldness, that she and Spot had experienced last night was foreign and new to her, perhaps that's why it troubled her so. Their affair over even little more than a week had been as though for that span of days an enormous match had been struck that had fueled Darby with the utmost fire and passion. The tryst had all been so quick, so hot and steamy that it had been as though it had been one enormous whirlwind. She had known nothing of Spot Conlon, only that he was a newsboy from Brooklyn and that she had never felt such stronger feelings for anyone else in her entire lifetime, feelings that were staggeringly overwhelming even to recall.

She lay on the mattress, one leg bent and staring at the underside of the bunk above that might have been called heaven for all she cared. She couldn't figure out for the life of her, why, it seemed as though she and Spot were behaving as though they were an old married couple?

Darby switched to her side and propped her head up with her elbow, her bright tresses trickling down her shoulders. Yet, why did she feel as though they were behaving like an old married couple? Perhaps it had been that she had been on a childish sort of high whenever she was with him, and hadn't properly thought things through clearly. Ironically, the notions sure as hell seemed to be finding her quite well as she lay there in his bed in the early winter morning.

"I wasn't thinking," she murmured to herself. "I just fancied the whole affair as that of an elaborate fairy tale. I was the princess waiting on pins and knees to be rescued and I was being oppressed by the behemoth and my evil-step parents, David Van Wyck and John and Ava Rockwell, respectively. And Spot Conlon just happened to appear when I was in my weakest state and silly me falls madly for him."

Though, if she could brush it off as a silly occurrence, why did her heart begin to race like it is want to do when one lies to their mortal self?

Darby fell against the mattress with a grand sigh. "Oh, that damned Spot Conlon. No matter what he does, he still has me. He's always had me. Oh, why does my head pound so? If only I could converse with Katrina. She would give me one of her verbose lectures and clear the whole mess up. Alas, I cannot with out fear John and Ava finding me and once again--" The fate was too distasteful to disclose.

Her head throbbing as it had the night she experienced her first "hangover," as Spot Conlon had so fondly coined it, she quickly arose and dressed herself in her deep red satin dress, threw her hair up in a twist her foot-maid Pitty-Pat had shown her as a child, and slid into her grand overcoat.

Though ruffled at the fact that she had lost her bonnet the previous day, Darby fell to her haunches, and retrieved a few bills from the bloated purse, reckoning she could purchase a new one. After tucking the coins safely in a pocket, she straightened and padded across the room, poised to exit the threshold, as a sudden notion struck her.

She was without any footwear.

Darby released a groan, bringing a palm to her forehead, as she realized that in her stupid bliss her heel had broken and Spot had tossed her shoes somewhere or other when they had made a mad dash for the lodging house.

"God damn it all!" she exclaimed, connecting a foot with the ground, a very childlike motion to attend to.

She fell against the door, her crown leaning upon it, wondering how in the hell she was going to go waltzing about Brooklyn in late December without any proper shoes when a delirious picture blazed through her mind. She and Spot walking to the Rockwell estate on their maiden encounter, she wearing his moth-eaten jacket and-shoes.

Darby's gaze immediately fell to a dusty, antediluvian truck nestled in a corner across the room. A trunk that on the night she had given herself to him she noticed that he kept what humble articles of clothing he owned in there.

"No, Darby, no. Walking at night in only his company-it was proper then, but not walking in broad daylight with people about!" Yet, she found herself willingly crossing the room and crouching in front of the trunk, wiping the soot off the top and eliciting a sneeze. She regained herself and pried it open, revealing miscellaneous articles of rumpled clothing tossed carelessly about. She was almost in the right mind to fold them, yet she drove her hands into the garments and tossing them out of her course. At the bottom lay a pair of shoes, more atrocious that the pair Spot wore at the moment.

She picked them up and held them above the open trunk, her nose pinched in disgust. They were dark brown and extremely beaten-as though they had trekked numerous miles while their master shouted headlines or had been thrown off countless times in fits of lustful passion. With a great sigh, Darby fell from her knees and reluctantly applied them to her feet. The insides were grimy and grotesque against her delicate feet only accustomed to the most fantastic heels.

Yet, she rose and shuffled out the door, best she could in the shoes a trite too large and desperately pulling her skirt lower, intent on masking them.

As Darby made her way down the creaking hallway and matching stares to boot, she realized that she was the only occupant of the quarters. She briskly concluded that they all must be out selling their newspapers-a feat that she could not comprehend for she had never been induced to a labor of any sorts. Her gaze flitted about, taking in the structure, a structure though worn and weary, seemed to possess numerous memories.

As she descended the steps to the parlor, she recalled to mind the time that Katrina and she had attended the party courtesy of Whitie Wilson, though a better name would have been inebriated poker game.

Katrina Van Witt. Darby's mind lingered to times when all she and Kat would do all day was battle each other in great, grand speeches about how the woman of today were so oppressed. She concluded, as she was exiting through the door, that she would have to visit with Katrina or else she would go absolutely insane, even if it meant being discovered by her parents.

As Darby somewhat stumbled to the cobblestone walkway, futilely trying to hide Spot's damnable shoes with her wonderful skirt, a crisp, clean blast of air broken upon her like waves upon rock. This caused loose strands of hair to blow about and she to feel a surge of irritation as she smoothed the strands, making her fell well aware of her naked crown sans bonnet. And so like this she continued, one hand atop her head catching the unruly hair and the other pulling down her skirt, trying to curtain the hideous shoes that adorned her feet.

The fresh drifts of snow upon the walk even hindered her more and the gusts of wind made her so furious yet polished that she simply undid the clasp that held the twist and allowed her hair to fall behind her back. Suddenly not the least self-conscious of her appearance, she finally looked around at her surroundings. This area of Brooklyn was particularly crawling with hurried pedestrians most likely getting a head start on Christmas shopping, which would be dawning upon them quite soon.

Darby released a sigh and lazily cocked her head to one side, wondering why she was even strolling about. And then she remembered that her plight with Spot Conlon had caused her a massive headache, combining most unpleasantly with her growling stomach. Though, now the throbbing in her cranial had vanished and it seemed as though her stomach was increasing its music tenfold.

She halted, a pained look crossing her face and dug into her overcoat pocket, pulling out a crumpled set of bills. Peering at the rows of buildings before her, she found one that was aptly named Diner.

Darby snorted to herself as she approached the building. "Someone must have been experiencing a creative spurt."

Darby lightly pressed against the glass door, and it willingly opened, a bell tinkling overhead. She entered, to have her senses invaded. Dull resonation of early-morning murmurs seeped into her ears as the scents of breakfast foods lingered under her nose. A smile crossed her lips as she strode in, savoring the delicious smells (though none to rival Mrs. Marks's cooking) her growling stomach reaching a fever pitch.

She decided on a seat at the counter, hoisting herself on the broken stool. Behind, to the right of the diner, were the booths, and before her was a long counter extending down for more stools, behind that was the kitchen where the food was prepared. The seats around Darby were mostly unoccupied, save a few stools down where a girl in a dull orange-red smock sat, sipping an unknown beverage in a mug glumly.

Darby somehow found the beside-her self girl intriguing, and would have regarded her longer if she hadn't been pulled out of her thoughts by a course New York accent asking, "Whaddyawa?"

She pulled her eyes away from the girl and to the counter, where a wretched looking woman in her middle years stood, fancying herself becoming yet tragically lacking any physical beauty whatsoever.

"Pardon?" Darby implored, perplexed at the woman's utterance and yet curious at her appearance.

The woman released a long sigh from her blood-red lips. "I ax whaddyawa?"

Darby narrowed her eyes in befuddlement as she tried to decipher the statement. "Waddywa?"

The woman exhaled again, and regarded Darby as though she was alien. "What- do-ya-want?"

Darby sat, staring at the woman in sheer bewilderment for a moment, before it hit her and she released a great "Oh!" She felt a red wash creep up on her. "Oh, well, I would desire two slices of praline apple French toast with crisped apple slices numbering thrice upon them, covered in golden honey, two servings of German sausage, a slice of zucchini bread, eggs Benedict and sausage gravy a la carte."

The woman observed her with a blistering stare, as though Darby was a mad hatter.

Darby released a sheepish titter as she hunched in the stole. "Toast and sausage?"

The woman presented her with one more distrustful glare before turning over her shoulder and shouting Darby's order into the kitchen.

When the vile woman had finally disappeared, Darby released the breath that had bated itself in her throat, her hands mechanically going to her free hair and twisting it about. She absent-mindedly allowed her gaze to wander about the diner, first out the glass door where she saw the backside of a newsie waving newspapers above his head; no doubt one of Spot's from the slingshot he wore in his back pocket. Then, to the booths, where the patrons sat, either reading a newspaper or partaking in the rank looking edibles or talking hushed to each other. Then, her eyes drifted to the line of stools down from her, and fell upon the girl once more.

The girl was bent over the counter, a palm to her forehead, as she stared downtrodden into her mug. And suddenly, she burst out into gut wrenching sobs.

Darby was taken aback. She looked about the diner to see if anyone had taken heed, yet it was as though the girl was invisible. She tried to turn and concentrate on the rusted napkin dispenser in front of her, yet the girl bewailing her heart out touched a nerve, and she slowly dismounted the stool. She approached the girl, who had her arms thrown down on the counter and her head nestled in them and her shoulder blades heaving.

Darby quietly took the seat next to her, sitting so she faced the booths. The girl was still oblivious to Darby's appearance, so she cleared her throat.

Darby heard the girl suddenly inhale in a large breath and her sobs stop, as she slowly lifted her head. Her face was a shade of ghostly white, comically stark against the red that rimmed her eyes and showed the tear trails down her cheeks.

She regarded Darby for a moment, before she sat straight. A deep blush crossed over her as she brought the hem of her subdued orange-red smock to her eyes, dabbing away the tears. "Oh, I must look a mess," she said, somewhat apologetically, to Darby.

"Oh, of course you don't!" Darby happily fibbed, turning around on the stool so she faced inward.

The girl smiled through the ruffles of her smock. "Oh, thanks, I needed that." She looked poised to blow her nose on the garment, when Darby quickly pulled a napkin out of a dispenser.

"Here, have this."

The girl thankfully took it and blew her nose in an uncivilized way, Darby watching, cringing. She finally brought the napkin down and set it upon the counter, before bringing her hands to her eyes to wipe away the tears.

"May I, may I ask what is wrong?" Darby inquired gently.

The girl glanced at Darby before lowering her gaze to her lap, setting her lower arms upon the counter top and clutching the soiled napkin in her grasp. "I, I jist find out that I with child."

Darby allowed her eyes to open wide in shock before they quickly returned to her normal state. The distressed girl reminded her so of Olga when she received the news that she had been impregnated. "Oh, that's terrible!"

The girl nodded mournfully. "Yes, I jist find out yesterday." Darby shook her head in sympathy, not knowing how else to console the girl.

"Yes," the girl continued. "I find out yesterday that I three months along."

"And the father?" Darby implored.

The girl released a harsh laugh, which soon escalated into a sob that she stifled with the napkin. "Thee father? I haven't seen 'im in two weeks. Had a nasty split, we did. Oh, I'm not ready for a child--"

The girl broke off into a teary fit as Darby was poised to comfort her when her plate of food was harshly dropped in front of her. Darby raised her gaze to find the woman glaring at her, the clattering plate still settling ringing in her ears. She watched as the woman turned away.

Darby then concentrated on the exquisite breakfast she beheld in front of her-a slice of burnt toast and a bloody piece of sausage.

With her face twisted into revulsion, Darby pushed the plate away from her.

"-I mean, I'm only sixteen! Only sixteen. I'm not ready to have young'uns and start a brood--"

Darby had toned the girl out, as she still had been parleying. Though her stomach growled sorrowfully at the plate in front of her, Darby turned her attention to the former.

"I called him here this mornin' to tell 'im the news. But I'll wager he won't take it very well--"

At the girl's narration, Darby's thoughts wandered to what kind of man would have done such a thing so her. Such a man that resembled Saul Marthiar?

Yet, her thoughts were dashed as the girl bitterly murmured, "There's the scoundrel, right there."

The bell tinkling faintly in her ears, Darby averted her eyes to the door, half-expecting Saul Marthiar to be tromping through the doorway, yet what she saw caused her breath to bate painfully in her throat and as though ice water had been injected into her veins, hardening to glass, allowing her no movement or thought whatsoever.

Spot Conlon stood in the doorway, his gaze averted towards the booths, his cheeks flushed from the cold, and brushing his shoes against the hemp mat, trying to rid of the stubborn snow that clung to his shoes.

"Yup, that's him, that scoundrel," the girl hissed, Darby only able to produce a slight noise.

Spot was approaching them now, his jammed in his pockets, and his gaze still wandering about.

"Spot, over here!" the girl cried, the sound seeming to be tenfold to Darby's eardrums.

Spot turned his eyes, finally noticing Darby, and as he did he halted abruptly in his tracks, his features twisting into that of utter disbelief.

"Spot, come over her!" the girl exclaimed again, though it was soundless to Darby for she seemed to be in her own parallel universe; as though she and Spot were the only two in the room as they shared in an incredulous gaze.

He stumbled over to them, his disbelieving gaze never leaving Darby.

"Spot," the girl said, snapping her fingers sharply and gaining his attention.

"Why didja call me here, Adelle?" he asked, swiping his derby cap off his head to reveal his askew dirty blonde hair, and passing it back and forth between either hand, if indeed he even knew he was doing the motion.

Adelle? Darby felt as though the dirt that had been kicked in her face from his sudden appearance was nothing compared to the effect of her heart being mutilated in two produced. She physically doubled over on the stool, Spot's eyes being ripped from Adelle to Darby.

"Spot Conlon? Are you listenin' to me?" Adelle hissed.

"Yeah," Spot responded distantly, his eyes still upon Darby.

"Well, then, I jist wanted to say--"

"Yeah, Adelle, and how da hell d'ya even know its mine?"

Adelle sat back in the stool aghast, placing a hand to her heart. "Spot Conlon? Are you making me out to be a tramp? You know better that--"

"Oh, Adelle, ya know you'se fucked half da population of New York let alone Brooklyn." His words were bitter, and full of rage.

Darby, still leaning over the stool with her hands pressed to her face and her eyes shut impossibly tight, trying to rid herself of the conversation she was hearing, failed to notice that the bickering duo were attracting quite a few stares.

Adelle had leapt off the stool and rounded Spot in contempt, her eyes narrowed and flooded with tears. "Now you listen and you listen good, Spot Conlon! That may have been my past, but when I with you it was you and only you! Don't you never, ever come near me again! Never!" She then spat in his face with malevolence and flung herself out of the Diner in tearful sobs, Spot's hateful eyes following her.

Darby heard the bell tinkle once more; announcing that Adelle had left. With a choke, she pulled herself up and straightened. Spot stood before her, looking a jumble of emotions. His eyes fell to her, reading both bewildered and mournful and hateful. His breathing had gone labored and his face had taken on a shade of crimson, a natural reaction that occurred whenever he felt cornered.

His green eyes finally banished all other emotions save pleading and he reached for Darby. "Dahby, lemme explain."

"No," hissed, breaking out of his grasp and sliding off the stool. No matter how many feelings were surging throughout her, causing her to feel lightheaded and passionate, she could not comprehend anymore to say to him. She simply slid off the stool and stumbled to the door in his oversized shoes, brushing the hair aimlessly out of her face, the clear tears creating erratic trails down her face.

Darby pulled the door open, that infernal bell ringing once more, and stepped out, the cold air hitting her refreshingly, yet not enough to aid with her throbbing head and heart.

Her gait was faltered, her being so overcome by emotions, that she simply stumbled in place and Spot easily pressed her against the fa├žade of the Diner.

"Dahby, listen to me--" he started gently, yet firmly.

"NO! GET OFF ME!" she cried with a weak hate, futilely trying to escape his hold.

Yet, he had bound her wrists to her sides with his firm grasp, and she soon fell lax, overcome with convulsions.

"Dahby, ya don't know the whole story--"

"Oh, sure I do!" she screamed, her eyes burning into his. "You just so happened to get Adelle pregnant! ADELLE of all the people in the world!"

"Dahby," he began, moving closer to her and lowering his voice, trying to shake of the stares she had attracted. "Dahby, yeah its true dat I was with her, and hell, you knew what kind of past I had when ya got involved wit me. 'Coise dere's always dat chance with every goil ya sleep with. But ya gotta undahstand, dat night I met you, Adelle had came out and told me that she had been havin' an affair with some high 'n mighty richie."

Darby's sobs decreased and she regarded his with tear-stained vision.

"So, ya see, it could be mine, sure it could. But ya gotta realize dat Adelle O'Conners is one of da easiest goils in Brooklyn. On part dat's why I was with her."

Darby caught her breath and she looked at Spot, his glittering eyes looking pleading. She released a great sigh and allowed her forehead to fall against his chest, his grip on her wrists immediately falling lax.

"I'm trying, Spot, I'm trying. I know I may have said I was ready to leave my old life, to shed that skin. I realize that I am past that existence. I know that I may have foolishly said at the time that I was ready for the 'real world,' and perhaps I fancied I though I could handle it all so well but I am not accustomed to the real world yet, though I am trying. I'm trying with my utmost soul."

There was a silence between them for a moment, a moment where Darby could only hear her heart beating audibly in her ears. Spot suddenly ruptured it by saying, "Sure don't know what da hell ya said. But it sure was poitty."

She raised her head to view that smirk on her face and standing there in the early December morning in front of the Diner, she questioned how she could ever doubt for one moment of her love for him. And there lips met and Darby's head immediately cleared and all she could feel was that wonderfully hot temptation just utterly dripping with passion as she flung her arms about his neck and grew weak in the knees, silently vowing to be his forever.

Alas, the kiss was interrupted by a "Heya, Boss."

Spot broke away and Darby regarded over his shoulder what was undoubtedly one of his newsies.

"Heya, Tricks," Spot replied, before the newsie allowed his gaze to fall to Darby, sending a cold shutter from his unwelcome glare. He soon turned and was once again yelling fictitious headlines.

Spot then turned and allowed his left arm to fall to his side while the other loosely draped about Darby's torso. "C'mon, Dahby, let's go."

And with that they had picked up their feet and were slowly ambling away from the Diner, away from all worries in the world, when Darby allowed her arm to fall about his torso. Her fingers lightly brushed against his slingshot in his rear pocket, and she cast her gaze over his shoulder to view it. She then averted her eyes to the scene behind them to see the faintest image of Tricks the newsie selling his newspapers.

Troubled, she released the slingshot and turned her leaned her head once again on his lithe shoulder.

There, of course, was her Spot Conlon and their Boss. Her Spot Conlon who professed his undying adoration to her and made her feel glorious ardor and their was their Boss who had a notorious past of bedding women and drinking till intoxicated.

Darby preferred her Spot Conlon masses more over their Boss. Their Boss was foreign to her, a dimension she never wanted to view. Yet, she wondered, as she walked in stride with him, how long it would be she could keep that side isolated from her.