Chapter 1

Authors Note: I've taken the time to revise this first chapter. It was brought to my attention that there were a lot of grammatical errors. I hope now it is to everyone's liking and that the flow is more fluid. Enjoy!

The black Silverado finally sped past her after riding her bumper for the past two miles. With no regard for the 'One Way' sign, the Chevy zoomed alongside the Blacked out Cadillac SUV that was currently driving directly in front of her. Rolling their equally dark windows down a gun angled out of the truck and took three shots into the open window of the Escalade. Extremely frightened, Serena took her foot off of the gas petal and let her White Nissan Altima come to a slow roll. With her heart racing she then slammed her foot on the break.

Looking into the rearview mirror she saw that luckily there were no cars driving behind her. All that could be seen was an empty road with tall forest trees alongside it as far as the eye could see. She looked ahead and watched as the Escalade careened off the road bouncing into and out of a ditch hastily before crashing into a tree with a loud smash. This signaled the truck that had caused the whole calamity to speed off down the road.

'The Escalade!' she thought, 'oh my gosh! They must've been shot what if they're already dead?'

Collecting her emotions Serena pushed away her fear and quickly pulled her car over to the side of the road. She unbuckled herself and cautiously ran towards the SUV. As Serena got closer to the scene she could see dark smoke clouds beginning to billow up the tall trunk of the tree that the automobile was now connected to. Then a split second later a flame flickered just under the hood. Seeing this, Serena ran considerably faster, when she got to the driver's side door of the vehicle she pulled on the handle but it snapped back on her, appearing to be locked.

Suddenly Serena heard a well pronounced click and looked up into the open window to view its source. She was blatantly encountered with a lean but well-built man donning a head full of thickly combed back, dark hair and cobalt blue eyes. He was looking down at her, benevolently displaying the most evil expression she had ever seen. He sat tall with his back flat alongside the seat and head pushed hard up against the headrest. His moist lips allowed for a set of brilliantly white teeth to be shown. They were shut tight by a clenched jaw.

He held his left arm firmly to his body, whilst his right angled out the window holding a heavy metal gun and pointed it directly at her. Blood trailed down his arm, soaking the sleeve of his shirt. Serena body became frozen and rooted to its spot. Her eyes began darting back and forth from the gun to his suspicious pools of blue. With her breath hitched in her throat she didn't even attempt to speak.

He was looking deep into her eyes for a good straight minute when suddenly the little flame under the hood burst into a big flame causing Serena to be the first to avert her gaze. She moved her arms up to shield her face from the mini blast.

'She doesn't seem to pose any immediate threat', he thought.

The dangerous man let out a deep breath and gruffly lowered his gun. When Serena looked back at him and saw that he had lowered the weapon she seized the opportunity with an attempt to aid him.

"You have to get out of your car, it's not safe. Let me help you. Please!... Unlock the door," she pleaded.

The man looked at her through hazy eyes and held her gaze once again. He hesitated for a minute but then obliged her. Using the barrel tip of the gun he pushed down on the unlock button located on the armrest and it elicited a sound of release that echoed throughout the vehicle. Serena opened the door and realized it wasn't just the height of the car that had made this man appear tall. Inwardly sighing she gave him a once over and realized not only was he shot in the shoulder twice but he had taken a hit to his side as well, just under the ribs.

"Can you move?" she asked absentmindedly and stepped up onto the floor of the car.

Hovering just over him she reached between the seats in an effort to unbuckle him. That's when the sound of an engine was heard roaring in their direction. Before she had the chance to look up, turn and see what was going on, she was grabbed and pushed by the man down onto the floor of the vehicle subsequently falling hard onto her side. Serena attempted to sit up when shots suddenly began to fly through the air. The man responded immediately by slamming the driver's door shut and returning fire.

She didn't even try to count the shots. It was rapid gun fire for probably only a good two minutes but to her it felt like it had gone on forever. She looked up at the stranger and saw bullets splay sporadically around his head, putting holes all over the interior. The man continued to shoot his gun back in the direction that the bullets were coming from.

"Stay down!" He barked at her.

'He doesn't have to tell me twice', she thought putting her head back down and covering it with her arms.

Finally one last shot rang out before it got quiet and all she could hear was the man's deep breaths and the slow cracking of the still standing windshield. Looking up at him she could see he had been shot two more times, once in his right forearm and another in the left shoulder close to the two prior bullet wounds. The smoke from the engine had already began to fill the car; causing Serena to cough. As she got up off the floor she heard a set of footsteps coming towards the vehicle from outside of the car. She gasped.

'It could be anyone, maybe even help', she thought feeling hopeful.

Then the sound of an empty magazine hit the ground and a full one was heard being loaded.

'Oh my gosh...this is not good!' She thought feeling panicked.

She looked to Mr. Tall dark and handsome as he began to refill his own gun.

It wouldn't help him in the end though; he was having difficulty aiming it with the bullets that were currently lodged in his arm. She heard the steps approaching more briskly now. The smoke filled the vehicle at a much rapidly pace and suddenly she could see the shoes of the shooter, at this point she didn't falter.

"Hesitation can get you killed", her brother in the military, Sammy had once told her.

Serena swiftly got up and wrapped her dainty hand around the strange man's larger one and slipped her petite finger over his on the trigger. She angled the gun and shot it in the direction of the assassin. The guy she now sat in the car with grimaced in pain at the jolting movement she just made with his arm but there was no time to worry about his pain when worse things that could happen to the both of them. They then heard the enemy thump to the ground loudly like a heavy sack of potatoes. She let go of the gun, subsequently letting go of his hand.

His vision was now starting to get hazy. He looked to her gradually and let out a deep breath.

She began to shake as she recalled what had just taken place, 'I just killed someone, a human being, I just killed a human being. A living, breathing, person!' she thought panicked.

She felt the tears well up in her eyes but she couldn't allow herself to think about that right now because a fire was starting to come through the floor and she had to get them both out of there immediately! She reached next to him again and successfully clicked the buckle loose this time. Serena hunched over him and slowly brought the belt over his body as carefully as she could. He hissed as she swung it around his injured arm.

"I'm sorry," she said remorsefully, lightly touching his arm as if that would somehow soothe him.

"Grab the bag", he scolded nodding towards the back seat.

She looked over the seat and on the floor was a brown leather book bag. She leaned down and grabbed it; bringing it back over the seat she wrapped it around herself. Serena slid by him, back to the edge of the car and jumped down. The now dead man was lying behind her in the dirt.

'Don't look down,' she told herself, 'he was going to kill you, you did the right thing'.

"Can you move? I'll help you down", She said shakily aloud to him.

Nodding 'yes' he careened to the edge of the seat. She didn't know where she could support him without affecting his wounds so she stood in front of him with one arm on the seat and the other holding tight to the car as he moved to step down. With his gun still in hand he put his weight on her shoulder. He was heavy but she held in her strain. She then directed and helped guide him towards her vehicle.

Even if his legs hadn't been hit, the shot below his ribs made the task of walking awfully difficult. Looking over to the opposite side of the road she saw the black Chevy from before, smashed into a tree also. The head and arms of a dead man were dangling out the driver's seat window. She physically shivered and averted her gaze.

'They must have wanted to make sure they did off with him properly so they came back to finish the job. Why were they after this guy?'

'If people were after him he must have known and that's why he carries a gun.'

'What if this man was dangerous?'

'What if they were the good guys and he was the bad guy? Did I just help a criminal and kill an innocent man?' The questions kept circulating in her mind, making her feel more on edge.

When the pair reached her car they heard a loud boom and suddenly felt a wave of force enter through the air, pushing them forward. He used all his strength to utilize the arm he had resting on her shoulder and twisted her so that she stood in front of him. Curving his back he held her lithe body closely to his own. Serena accepted the shield he offered her without dispute and gripped the material of his shirt, balling it in her fists. They were far enough away to evade themselves of the full blast but it still gave them a slight shove.

Holding themselves up they leaned against the white car and turned to see that the entire SUV was consumed in flames now.

'What a mess, that could have been me and him in there. What I was I thinking? This whole situation felt surreal and bizarre. It played out as if it had come straight out of an action film. This guy could definitely have died in there," she thought.

He pulled her from her thoughts as he ushered them both towards the passenger door and went back to using her as a crutch.

With urgency in his voice he lectured her, "Common we need to get out of here, let's get in the car."

She looked up at him and begrudgingly opened the door and helped him down into the passenger's seat. She pulled the seat belt over him and clicking it into place. Before she could render out of the vehicle the man forcibly grabbed her wrist and pulled her towards himself slightly.

Looking her deep in the eyes he gave her a heated warning, "Those men back there were REALLY bad people. There are going to be more, A LOT more, we need to go, NOW!"

His glare caused her to pause and look on at him for some sort of explanation.

"NOW!" He yelled angrily snapping her out of her trance.

The answers apparently weren't going to come out of him any time soon she concluded. He released her and she moved away from him swiftly and shut his door. Rushing to the driver's side she took the book bag off of her shoulder and put it carelessly on the passenger's seat floor next to his legs. She shut her own door and buckled herself. Then they were off, passing both wreckages along the way. Serena went to reach for her phone on the center console but the man grabbed it and pulled it out before she could grasp it.

"What do you think you're doing?!" He yelled at her.

He leaned back in the seat as a spurt of pain spread throughout his entire body.

"You've been shot I'm calling 911, an ambulance, maybe even a hospital! Can't you see that you're bleeding?" She said exasperated.

"I hadn't noticed," he stated sarcastically while wincing in pain.

"They can't help me" He then stated all too calmly.

Her eyes darted from him to the road several times. He leaned over to grab something out of book bag and made vocal noises of pain. Pulling out a business card from the front pocket he held it with the phone out to her, she took them both.

"Go to this address..." he began as his breathing became labored.

After a long pause he continued, "Call this number".

She started dialing the number on the card trying to keep her focus on the road and his voice.

"Darien Shields is coming. Say it, and hang up" He informed her.

She noticed at this time that he was starting to lose consciousness. Seeing that his shirt was drenched in blood she floored it while the phone processed the call.

A deep raspy voice finally answered after the second ring, "This is Nephritis, how can I help you?"

"Darien Shields" she said aloud in a panicked and uncertain tone.

The line remained silent for a moment, 'What did all this mean?' she thought.

Deeper than before, almost angry the voice responded, "Who is this?"

"Darien Shields is coming," she repeated.

She didn't know what to do. He had indeed heard her so she did what this guy next to her had told her to do and ended the call. She looked over at him and noticed that he was beginning to take on a light pale tone. She didn't know someone with such a dark completion had the ability to become that light so fast.

"What do I do?" She whispered with desperation.

His face was turned towards her with his head propped up against the headrest. The gun remained in his right hand inactive on his lap. Bent at the elbow his left arm also heavily rested on his lap. She looked down and glanced at the address on the card. It would only be desolate woods for another five miles and then she'd be in the city.

This address was definitely in the city on the expensive Upper East Side. She had just started working out there a moth prior so she knew her way around enough to be able to find the place. She looked over at him, his eyelids were heavy and his forehead was drenched in sweat. She gently reached over and pushed back the bangs that hung over his eyes.

'Keep him awake', she thought, "What's your name?" She stuttered shyly.

He opened his eyes just enough to look at her earnestly; he stayed silent looking flat and stern.

"Are you thirsty? You should drink some water," She urged.

She pulled open her purse that was sitting between them on top of the center console. Whilst maintain the vehicle, she pulled out a water bottle, undid the lid and held it up to his mouth. Tilting it, he obliged her and leaned his head back. He opened his mouth just enough to let the cool water flow freely. It dribbled down his chin a bit but he was quenched and accepted it to the very last drop.

She put the now empty bottle in the cup holder. He watched her every move with mistrust. Pulling off her oversized white sweater she bunched it in her lap. Trying to maintain the car at a high speed she skillfully placed the sweater in his lap.

"Push this into your side it looks like you're losing a lot of blood there," she suggested.

He eyed her steady for a hard minute before doing as she said. Gun still in hand; he pressed the bunched material against himself with certain resistance. Gritting his teeth he compressed it with his left arm to hold it better.

"Do you really need to still be carrying that thing?" She said eyeing the gun disdainfully.

"It stays!" He barked sternly.

She looked over to him angrily with knit brows.

'The man has five bullet holes in his body, his clothes are covered in blood, he's losing consciousness and he's still got the energy to have an attitude. Someone get this guy a metal, what a horribly stubborn grouch', Serena thought perturbed.

"What did those people want? Why did they do this to you? "She asked curiously without looking at him.

Serena kept her eyes facing forward directed only on the road.

After a long pause he answered her previous question, "Darien is my name, Darien Shields."

He said this in a non-sealant way as if reading off a cue card.

'Okay so he has a name and I'm not allowed to know why people are after him, but now I do know he's Shields and that guy I just called probably knows he's coming. This Nephritis guy didn't seem too happy about it either', she thought.

"What is your name!?" he said quietly more demanding than questioningly.

His struggle with consciousness became more evident by his leaning posture.

"I'm Serenity Tuskino, but my most people just call me Serena", she told him.

"Serena...Tus..." He repeated back whispering as he began to drift off.

"No!" she gasped, the car swerved at her distraction, but she gained control back instantly.

Reaching out her hand she ruffled his bangs for a second time. She looked over to him and gently held his chin up. At her touch Darien sensed a jolt of energy and he slowly began to open his lids, they felt heavier than ever.

"What can I do to help you?" she pleaded trying to maintain her composure.

The weight of his head steadily began to increase; she reacted by gripping his chin and tilting it upward.

"You need to stay awake, please try to stay awake." She said pleaded with worry in her voice, eying the road and him, back and forth. "We are almost there, just hang on."

He opened his eyes leisurely and looked down at her; they held each other's gaze for a long moment before she was back looking at the road ahead.

'Poor guy, why would someone do something like this?' she thought achingly as she softly lowered his chin and let him go.

Serena reached across and pushed the blood soaked sweater harder into his side, eliciting a loud groan of pain from Darien. He quickly composed himself and aimed the gun at her.

"I'm sorry, I was trying to help", she said wearily pulling her hand away.

They finally arrived, it wasn't hard to find. The street name that was on the card was a side alley just off of a main drag. She traveled down the empty wide road that could have held one lane of traffic in both directions. It was desolate except for a set of old oak doors that lay against one of the tall buildings. There was no time to worry about parking violations.

The numbers '5689' displayed over the doors matched the card and she turned off the engine.

"We're here! Just hold on," she said to him indirectly while hopping out of the car.

Coming around to his side she opened the door and unbuckled him hurriedly. She allowed Darien to put all his weight on her as he draped his gun arm over her shoulder. Limping but strong, she led him to the doors. She went to turn the knob on the old doors in haste with a total disregard for manners.

They were both locked, "the bell, ring the bell", he groaned angrily.

She did a scan of the door frame. After finding the button Serena pressed it vigorously. Immediately after the doors were opened she was again face to face with the barrel of a gun. The guy at the receiving end looked aware and alarmed. Serena shut her eyes bracing herself for some sort of painful impact.

"Enough!" She heard Darien yell out next to her, "Help me the fuck out!" He scolded.

Opening her eyes Serena saw that the man had relented. Lowering his gun slowly he gave her a nasty look but it didn't even compare to the look the man she was holding up had given her earlier. Two men joined them at the entry and quickly moved to help Darien off of her shoulders. Once Darien was completely out of her arms and pulled away out of sight the man she assumed was Nephrite turned to her.

"Get out of here" he said shoving her away from the entryway causing her to fall to the ground.

"Ummmppff... "She yelped ungracefully.

"Make sure you're not followed" he warned grimly before slamming the doors shut and locking them.

'Yupp! That must have been Nephrite' she thought. 'Well, He was Rude! He definitely looked like someone Shields would be seen with. Both of them were tall, dark and mysteriously untrusting.'

She got up a little bruised and dusted herself off. Heading back into her car she saw the well-used book bag on the floor and grabbed it and got out again. As she went to ring the bell, she stopped herself. Thinking better of it she turned around bag in hand and got back in her car.

'I'll contact them later,' she thought seeing the business card on the dash.

Serena grabbed it and put it in the pocket of the bag where Darien had originally fished it out. She'd been through enough for one day with these people and it was still hard to believe everything that had taken place. Serena needed to go home and recuperate with a good night's rest. She said a silent prayer for Darien Shields' recovery and started the vehicle. She made sure to constantly check the rear view the whole way home. No matter how much she tried to relax Serena still remained shaken by everything that had occurred.

Darien sat on the reclining operating table and took deep swigs from a big bottle of Everclear. Kunzite hovered over him holding a surgical utensil with latex gloved hands. The sound of metal hitting metal echoed in the room as the last bullet was dropped into the tray by the table. Darien yelled out as each bullet had been slowly pulled out of his rock hard body. Taking another large gulp of liquid courage he felt more confident in his recovery.

"You're going to need to give yourself at least two weeks to be up and around before your back to normal this time," Kunzite informed him.

Darien went to lay down now as Doctor Kunzite Crystal started to dress the wounds properly.

"We can take care of this little problem from today, tomorrow. After this go home and get some sleep, you look like shit," Kunzite noted with a smirk.

Darien just laid there looking up at the white corkboard ceiling expressionless.

"You should get some detail too," Kunzite urged with concern.

"I don't need a whole bunch of rookies falling over each other guarding me like I'm some dame," Darien said.

Darien's unenthused angry tone caused Kunzite to regress. Kunzite held up his arms in defeat, then crossed them and started pacing. He shook his head in disapproval.

"Nephrite said a woman was with you." He stated while intently looking at Darien, searching for some sign of acknowledgement.

He was only met with silence. Darien wasn't biting and Kunzite decided it was best to change the subject once again.

"These guys were good, they had the aim. Diamond is getting better at training his lackeys," Kunzite said.

"Well, apparently not good enough", Darien retorted, "I'm still here aren't I?" He smirked.

Getting down off the examination table he checked himself out in the full length mirror against the wall. He was standing in his dark denim jeans looking over his body. Darien had an amazing physic with a full pack of abs and strong muscular arms; he was the epitome of male. He couldn't walk by a female without them literally drooling over him. He saw such responses as an enormous turn off.

Darien had always had his fill of woman and never once had he ever been in or wanted anything serious in regards to a relationship. He went straight for cold hearted women. He loved the freedom of it, the reprieve, no emotions, just cold hard sex. Darien went to touch one of the bandaged areas on his shoulder and flinched from the sudden jolt of pain. Upon shutting his eyes a surprising face appeared briefly to him.

It was the woman from earlier. 'She was beautiful', he thought, 'more than that even, she was ethereal.'

"Serena," He found himself absentmindedly whispering her name.

Kunzite who was cleaning up the bloody waste stopped what he was doing and smirked towards Darien's reflection in the mirror, "So that was her name."

With knitted eyebrows Darien looked back at him through the mirror. Kunzite just quietly gave a short chuckle and went back to what he was doing. Darien headed over to the pile of clean clothes that were left for him. One of the many men in suits working in the building had brought them. Darien was their leader, all of these men worked for him even Kunzite. While some would call him their boss others would call him "The DON".

He was an extremely powerful mafia leader and Business man. He dealt mostly in the sales of weapons and owned one of the largest armories in the world. He wasn't what you would consider an ordinary human either. He had a huge advantage over other bosses, which just so happened to be a rare immunity that kept him at number one. Darien could not be killed, only harmed temporarily.

Nothing could destroy him or anyone else in his family. They were all born into a union of sorts. A community where they aged extremely slowly, all of them considered centenarian. He also was fortunate to have the ability to heal extremely faster than the others. This fact wasn't much of a secret either.

It was well known in the world of organized crime. This didn't matter much to him because it kept the physical aspect of his job at an all-time low. Everyone knew not to mess with "THE DON". Well, that was the case up until this afternoon with Diamonds goons.

'Dead goons', Darien tried to remind himself with a smirk.

He slowly pulled a crisp white V-neck over his head and threw a nice expensive, deep brown leather jacket over it. After walking over to the examining table, Darien picked up his silver chained cross necklace. Even if he didn't always honor the written word, he believed a man should have morals and needed something to believe in. He circled it around his neck and briefly looked down. There in the toxic waste bucket lay the blood soaked sweater that had belonged to the blond goddess.

She had openly given it up to him. He recalled that it was large and hung low on her small frame, all whilst concealing her exceptional attributes. He reveled in the soft material of the sweater as it had pressed up against his body with her scent radiating off of it. The smell was florescent and fresh with a hint of vanilla. Now it lay in this disgusting pile covered in blood and rubbish.

'This was a metaphor for my life', he presumed.

Darien slipped back on his expensive watch and a silver band he always wore on his ring finger. It kept most women away. The good ones anyway, but also helped him round up all the rotten weeds. The weeds referring to woman lower than dirt, these women were experienced filthy little whores. You can never feel bad about taking advantage of a woman with no conscious.

'`These types of women are gifts from the devil and who am I to refuse such a plentiful offering.' He thought grinning wickedly.

He's never tainted the good and he never will. This was a motto he lived by. Meeting the Serena Tuskino woman was unexpected. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her generosity and kindness apparently knew no bounds and this was a character flaw for someone in his line of business.

The girl was off limits, plain and simple. That was that, and this is now. He did his best to push her from his thoughts and then began looking around the room for something specific but came up empty. Bewildered he quickly turned to Kunzite who was just about to leave the room.

"Where did Neph leave my bag?" he asked with anxiousness in his voice.

Kunzite looked confused, "he didn't leave anything behind for you except what you have on".

Darien pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed in Nephrites number. The guy always picked up on the second ring.

"Do you have my stuff?" Darien questioned bluntly.

Nephrite paused.

'Silence is golden, it always told more than people realized,' Darien thought between the gap in the conversation.

"Idiot", Darien said angrily before hanging up on him.

"What is it?" Kunzite said worriedly.

"My bag, it held the package Diamonds people were after when they shot at me, that package holds the chip that can unlock top government security codes," Darien told him.

'In the wrong hands this information could be detrimental to a whole nation'. Darien thought.

Darien wanted it solely for personal gain, nothing too drastic. It would just give him more control over his opponents, but Diamond was a loose cannon and Darien knew he would end up causing nothing but destruction.

Darien closed his eyes and let out a frustrated breath, "Serena Tuskino", he withdrew the name from his memory again.

"The girl, she has it?" Kunzite said dryly.

Darien nodded, all of these men were his blood, and all of them would forever be trusted. Darien did not blame Nephrite for his own carelessness. However, sloppiness amongst them would be a problem for the future so he knew he'd need to have a talk with everyone eventually, but for right now he had to go retrieve this bag of his. It might be safer with an unknown he thought briefly but not with this woman, she has no idea what type of trouble it could bring her. A sudden memory of her body pressed up against his while his car went up in flames rushed through to him.

She had helped him; any other woman in that situation would have driven away and not given it a second thought to stop. In the SUV he recalled her hands small and delicate covering his large calloused ones; it was the only time he had ever lost focus. She had swiftly slipped her finger over his, and then pressed trigger down to make the shot. Killing had never felt so sexy in his life. He had felt her shiver after that and then separated from him.

Her presence brought him warmth whereas her absence made him chill. The memory created a chain reaction amid his whole body causing his muscles to flex. He must be experiencing sexual withdrawals he thought. Darien searched his memory and recalled that it had been a whole week since his last lay. He'd never spaced them out that much before, but he'd been so preoccupied with the receiving this package it had been an oversight.

All he had to do was just retrieve his bag and he'd be fine, back to banging bitches and on schedule.

"I got this." He said to the concerned looking Kunzite who was still staring at him.

Darien grabbed the new set of keys waiting for him by the door and dialed a number as he walked out, "Zoisite get me an address..."

Kunzite heard Darien's his voice trail off as he left the building. The Boss was going to need all four brothers full time now. Making sure they were backing him. That included Himself, Zoisite, Jadeite, and Nephrite. Security was about to beef up in this business.

As if being part of the mob wasn't dark enough he felt like Diamond was about to make things a lot darker.

As soon as Serena had gotten home she put the worn book bag in her closet and closed the door. She lived just out of the city in a small but nice little apartment complex. It was in a safe area where the community was small. She liked it there because of all the nice people that surrounded her. Crime was low and it was as close to her new job as she would be able to afford for a while.

It had been a long weekend and now an even longer day. Knowing that she had work in the morning, Serena just wanted to clean up everything and go to bed. Grabbing a jug of cleaner fluid and some rags she headed for her car and got to work on removing the blood stains from the leather seat where Darien had been sitting. She had just started working for this big business as a secretary and had yet to meet the big boss. She was hired by his partner, whom also she was told, happened to be his younger brother.

She would be meeting the big boss tomorrow and the thought was making her extremely nervous. She had worked for this company a month now but the owner had been constantly out of state so she hadn't had the opportunity to meet with him yet. The things that had happened earlier felt unreal but she was back to her ordinary life now and she needed to forget about all the craziness and focus on the meeting of the main second in command. They had only ever hired men in their secretary position so bringing in a female was a new venture for the business, that alone made her feel the pressure of attempting to perform well.

The job was supposed to be a precursor for one of the CEO assistant positions, so making an immaculate impression on this new boss of hers was very crucial. Giving the interior of the car one last swipe it looked as good as new. She went inside took a long hot shower and thought about the man from earlier still holding onto the hope that he was all right. It was supposed to be a nice cool night and even after all the danger she faced today she felt safe in her third story apartment. She opened up a couple of windows and the terrace doors.

It was a quaint little Tuscan looking apartment. The terrace is what sold her on the place. She had even gotten a little round iron table set to put out there. She liked the idea of drinking her coffee and read her newspaper in the mornings as she saw the sun rise over the big maple trees across the property lot. After doing some prep work for the next morning she turned out the lights and climbed into bed.

The last thought to leave her before she entered dreamland was of Mr. Shield's handsome face. She'd have to remember to call him tomorrow about his bag, that is, if he pulled through all right.

It was three in the morning when Darien finally started to make his way to her apartment. He wanted to keep himself off any radar he might be under during the lighter hours of the day. This would also eliminate anyone trying to make a connection from him to her. He wouldn't want to incriminate her in any way or land her at the bottom of a deep murky river. Zoisite was automatically able to get an instant profile on her.

Darien didn't need or want any specifics about her, just an address and this is where it landed him. The bag was going to be easier to retrieve than he originally thought. Third floor of this dinky little place was all hers and easily accessible. Especially with the balcony doors hanging wide open. She was basically handing robbers a key.

He climbed up the fire escape to her floor and slowly entered the premises. Darien took a moment to look around and configure the layout. For the most part it was an open floor plan with arched entries into every space. The only doors in the unit were located at the entrance, bathroom, closet and balcony. He turned to his right and there she was on a queen size bed covered by a thin white sheet and an assortment of pillows. The light of the moon shone in from the wide window above her bed and blanketed her lithe form.

Serena was lying curled up to one side facing away from him. She wore a linen nighty that buttoned up in the front, had no sleeves and stopped at her lower thigh. She had left a few buttons undone at the top of the garment to allow for optimal airflow during hot nights. Her hair which had been up in a high pony tail earlier now laid spread across her pillow in a set of loose curls. It was something you would imagine a little old granny would wear, but on Serena it looked comfortable and surprisingly sexy.

'I never thought the words 'sexy' and 'granny' would ever end up in the same sentence together.' He thought.

Shaking his head side to side he cringed at the thought of some old hag lying in the bed instead Serena.

'I definitely need to get some tonight,' he chided silently to himself.

He shook off the distracting thoughts and walked across the wood floor. Darien began his search by looking under the bed. He thought he spotted it on the other side so he went around the bed and inspected it closer. He was wrong; it was just a bag that looked similar to his. Creeping up from the side of the bed he heard her stir.

"Mmnnnnn...", she groaned softly.

'She's probably having a bad dream.' He thought.

This was understandable considering the day she had just been through. Getting up slowly he came face to face with her. There she was, her soft porcelain skin, illuminated even more so by the moonlight. Her thick eyelashes were resting atop of her cheeks while a pair of luscious lips parted and puckered every so often. She stirred again knitting her brows.

"Uhhhhnnn..." as her dream became more violent her body began to writhe in the bed.

The nightgown slowly slid up as she moved herself down and back into a curled position. One of her thighs was fully exposed now along with her hip bone. The only thing keeping her privates private was the little strip of lace along her hip that also straddled her lower region. He felt himself grow hard. No matter how much he tried to avoid woman of her caliber with these precious souls, his carnal instinct was always to devour them.

A small gust of wind blew in through the open door and caused her to shiver.

'It turned out not to be the warm night she must have expected it would be', he mused inwardly.

Darien grabbed the lightweight blanket at the end of the bed and shook out the folds. As he gently rested it over her body the nightmare she had been experiencing seemed to subside and the warmth appeared to leave her at ease. He became rooted to his spot, just admiring her for a long drawn out moment. Upon Inhaling he got the sudden urge to close his eyes. The scent from earlier made a lovely appearance and overtook his senses all at once.

Without warning, the bush that rested alongside the building shook and then light footsteps could be heard coming up the fire escape. Darien shot a concerned look to Serena's peacefully sleeping form and pulled out his weapon. Quickly glancing around the room he spotted the closet and hid himself amongst the hung wardrobe. He then noticed that the double closet doors were composed of old style shutters and thought it would allow him a better opportunity to see what he would soon be up against so he switched positions. He moved out of the confined space where he had been hiding and relocated swiftly to shut the closet doors.

Upon doing so Darien accidently knocked something over on the floor next to him. When he reached over to move it he realized that it was none other than his satchel bag. Picking it up he draped it securely across his chest and then slowly raised a flap on the shutters. This allowed the dark moon filtered room to come perfectly into view. He could still see her silent on the bed unmoving when the two men dressed in all black entered the open space.

One of them tapped the other on the shoulder and pointed to Serena's sleeping form; they both nodded in some sort of silent understanding and went around the room scanning the walls. At one point they both turned and headed towards the main room. The closet Darien hid in was adjacent to the living space, so this allowed him an extended view of what was occurring. After a few more moments of random loitering one of them quietly motioned to the other and they both came together in a huddle near a few barstools that sat under a raised granite countertop. The man had found a cell phone and was pointing to it.

Considering the fact that the phone was connected to the wall Darien automatically assumed that it must belong to Serena. He continued to watch enamored as they flipped it over and took off the back. After pulling the battery out the man proceeded to grab something out of his pocket and carefully stick it to the manufacture label in the phone. Darien had done this on previous occasions so he knew exactly what was taking place. They were bugging her phone.

A tracker could allow them to locate her anywhere, view messages, record voice conversations, and even trace private numbers. The cell phone was always the best way to keep tabs on people because no one usually left home without it. After putting the phone back together they set it down on the counter where they had originally retrieved it and headed back towards the open door. That's when a huge gust of wind suddenly slammed both doors shut. The loud bang woke Serena with a start.

Serena sat up with a start and gasped. She looked in the direction of the shut off balcony and then observed her surroundings. The moon had been blocked by a thick grouping of clouds leaving the room so dark that she couldn't see the two concealed figures standing very still nearby. Darien on the other hand had no trouble; his well-adjusted eyes saw the taller man pull out a huge syringe narrow his eyes.

'Fuck!' Darien thought as he saw her uncover herself, 'stay down, go back to sleep'.

Sleepily she stood up and walked to the balcony doors to lock them.

'Some good that will do you now', Darien thought cynically as he rolled his eyes.

Darien wasn't too concerned for her safety at this point because he knew that if these men had wanted her dead, than she'd already be lying in a puddle of her own blood right now. They needed something from her and that is why they were going through all the trouble of bugging her phone. No, they didn't want to kill her but he'd hate to think that this could turn into a job gone wrong. He held his gun poised and ready to take a shot when needed. Without much time to react one of the men ran up behind Serena and held her arms behind her back.

He covered her mouth with one of his hands while she fought to break herself free of his hold. That's when the other guy came in and half hazardly injected the full syringe of liquid into her neck. She whimpered for a moment before finally going limp in the man's arms.

"Don't worry sweetheart you won't remember any of this in the morning," one of them said jokingly in his deep smoker's voice causing them both to laugh in unison.

The man holding her picked her up and dumped her body on the bed.

"Not bad looking, ehh" he said to his partner with a hint of interest.

The other guy only gave a clipped chuckle.

The tall one unlocked the door and motioned for the short one to follow, "Let's get out of here", he said quietly motioning with his arm as he opened the door and stepped through it.

The shorter one gave Serena a quick once over before following his partner out and within minutes they were both gone. Once Darien felt the coast was clear he hurried out of the closet and rushed to Serena's side on the bed.

'Those idiots' he reprimanded inwardly, recalling the amount of serum they had injected her with, 'must've been amateurs. Anyone well acclimated with neutralization would know what a difference a couple ounces could make. Those morons should have known a woman this small couldn't handle such a large dosage.'

He grabbed her wrist and took her pulse in alignment with his watch. She was reading steady but when he put his ear to her chest her heart beat was slowing.

He picked up his phone and dialed Kunzite, who immediately answered groggily, "Some of us sleep you know."

"I need a transfusion release serum immediately. Bring it to me at this address," Darien said naming the street off from the top of his head. "Keep a low profile; I'll be on the third floor. Make sure you use the fire escape in the back and be quick about it", without another word said, Darien hung up the phone.

Darien's mind suddenly began to race. 'Had he led these men to her? Impossible. Then they would have known he was still here. Why did they want to track her? Was there something here that he was missing?'

He walked over to Serena's cell phone and inspected it. Looking down Darien saw a folder that caught his attention. It was bright yellow and titled, 'New Hire'. Upon opening it he saw the business header and with shocking recognition continued to read the letter. He scrolled down to the conclusion and saw that is was signed by none other than the CEO himself.

Also inside was a summary of her duties and what would be expected of the position. He dropped it into the folder and threw it all back down on the table. Darien then headed back into the bedroom to check on her again. He looked at her and felt torn between anger and anxiousness. This feeling of concern was foreign to him.

He couldn't stop thinking about the fact that she had stopped to help him. The only other four people who would have selflessly stopped for him would have been his generals or his sister and this woman did it for him, someone she didn't even know. He opened the book bag and saw that everything was still there nothing had been touched. After discovering who her boss was he still didn't trust her or understand what her motive was for helping him was but tonight he would do his best to repay her for what she had done for him. Closing the bag he placed it under the bed next to the look alike.

Darien then took off his leather jacket, and let out a deep breath, it was going to be a long night.

Thirty minutes later Kunzite was letting himself cautiously into the dark room. It was well into four and Darien had sat himself on a chair next to the bed. After seeing his comrade enter the premises he got up and rushed over to Kunzite.

"You got it?!" he asked straightaway.

Kunzite held it up for him to see ", Of course", he responded.

"It's for her," Darien said motioning towards the girl passed out under the sheet in the bed.

Kunzite rushed over and uncovered her. He grabbed her wrist and took her pulse as Darien had done earlier. He noted how extremely unsteady it was. He thought it was smart of Shields to call him when he did.

"What was she given?" Kunzite asked as he slipped on the latex gloves he had pulled out of his pocket.

"Some sort of liquid sedative by syringe," Darien responded seriously.

"Where's the insertion site?" Kunzite asked looking up at him.

"The left side of the neck, here, "Darien said tilting her head and pointing to the slight abrasion.

Kunzite moved her hair out of the way and swiped his tongue swiftly along her jaw.

He paused trying his best to suppress the scrunched face he had to make. Due to the bitterness, he swallowed a mouthful of his own saliva.

"This is extremely strong matter, the only way I can describe its purity is by asking you if you've ever had a 100% proof alcohol," Kunzite informed him.

Darien was extremely alarmed, "Are you fucking kidding me, those clowns pushed a whole syringe of that shit into her."

Kunzite filled his own syringe to the top with a medicine from a small bottle.

'Thank goodness I brought a full bottle of antibiotic with me.' Kunzite thought to himself.

"Sit her up; you're going to have to keep her upright for this stuff to take immediate effect. She can't lie down for the next two hours, do you understand?" Kunzite said.

"Pick her up and hold her for a second will ya?", Darien ordered.

Kunzite did as he was told. He lifted her lithe body into his arms and waited for Darien's cue. Darien began propped up the pillows on the bed so that they lay flat against the wall.

"What are you doing?" Kunzite questioned impatiently.

"If I'm going to be stuck sitting here for two hours I want to be comfortable!" Darien spat back, "I was shot yesterday remember?!" He stated with an obnoxious glare.

"Okay hand her over," Darien finally ordered after climbing into the bed first.

Kunzite pleasantly obliged and began gradually lowering her into a seated position atop Darien's lap. He turned Serena sideways against his boss's chest and let her head crook just under his chin. Serena's limp arms hung in her lap while her legs bent and rested smoothly across Darien's muscular ones. Kunzite helped him readjust the pillows to help make the pair more comfortable.

"Okay, hold up her head, I need to get as close to the insertion site as I can," Kunzite informed him.

Darien followed his instructions and with one of his arms wrapped around her body, used the other to grab her by the chin and tilt it up. This position had him looking directly into her tantalizing little face. Her lips were so close they could almost touch his.

"Okay that shots done, I need to do one more," Kunzite said filling up another clean syringe and telling Darien to continue to hold her still.

Darien did as was told and Kunzite administered the last shot.

"Done!" Kunzite stated with finality.

Darien slowly lowered her head back to the crook in his neck and leaned back a little allowing her body to lean against his own. With all modesty forgotten, the top of her gown hung open to reveal a great deal of cleavage due to a button or two coming undone. Her gown bunched at her waist while her lace hidden fanny rested atop his denim covered lap. Kunzite covered them both the best to his ability and then went to sit in the chair Darien was sitting in when he had first arrived. Both men rested their eyes as they spoke back and forth to one another.

"Find what you were looking for?" Kunzite asked.

"At your feet", Shields responded.

"So this must be the famous Miss Serena," Kunzite said grinning, "What a beautiful little thing, it's a shame she's having to go through all of this trouble today."

Kunzite looked over at her now with apprehension in his eyes, "is she going to become one of your many Sexual conquests?" he asked curiously.

Darien opened his eyes now and looked over to his long time Conrad and brother. "I have no interest in pursuing anything of that nature with this woman."

He then looked down at her and covered her bare shoulder where the blanket had suddenly slipped to reveal smooth silky skin.

"You've never been one to do charity work, what is your purpose for helping her might I ask?" Kunzite asked incredulously.

Darien looked down at her again and reveled for a moment in the way her body molded flawlessly into his own. He saw her chest rise and fall under the blanket with each breath she took. The warmth that radiated off of her body in combination with her sweet smell consumed him and in that moment he felt greedily protective over her.

"She was driving behind me when those goons attacked. She tried to help me get out of my now totaled Escalade." Darien said rolling his eyes as he recalled the exciting feeling he had gotten from driving it off the lot.

"The newest one in the series, it's either permanently smashed into a tree or was probably ushered on the back of a tow truck en route to a junkyard. I'm going to have to customize another one and have it sent to me. That in itself would undoubtedly take another few months of waiting. I barely had this one for a week, damn bastards!" Darien scoffed angrily as he rambled on while Kunzite suppressed a laugh.

"Anyway, even with my gun pointed at her she still endeavored to help me. She also took out one of the idiots herself. My arm didn't seem to want to cooperate for me", Darien said holding out his arm.

He made a fist, flexed and un-flexed it inwardly a couple of times before finally resting it atop Serena's legs. He unconsciously pulled the shapely pair in closer to himself. Kunzite looked from Serena to Darien once again. Darien caught a glance of Kunzites expression and quickly attempted to thwart his brother's suspicions and presumptions.

"She dropped me off and that was it, but seeing that guy thrust that needle full of junk into her neck I figured I owed it to her to do something." Darien said finished off his story by tilting her head back and to the side, making sure to inspect all three of the insertion sites to make sure they weren't infected.

It was too dark to see them clearly but he knew one of them was going to leave a bruise. With his free hand he slid his fingers along her jaw and did a double rub over the insertion spot hopping to help the blood flow more efficiently to the skin. In doing this it caused her silky smooth cheek to rub up against his own scruffy one. Someone like him didn't deserve to be around someone like her. She deserved more than a man like him. Someone who killed and recognized having wealth as having power.

He had never been this close to a real, honest, true to God woman before and it felt sinful but in a strange way it also felt just. As if it was somehow a reward for his good behavior. Darien lowered her head once again so that it rested slightly under his chin. Kunzite watched closely as his brother held her delicately and at moments touched Serena in an intimate manner to inspect her injuries or any that she might have sustained in the tussle.

Kunzite finally spoke, "why can't you accept that you may one day want to feel closer to someone?"

Darien looked over to him angrily, "Have you forgotten yourself Kunzite? Your place? What it is we do for a living. Anyone to stand by me would be crushed. I don't have weaknesses; but the enemy could manipulate me by using any mate I catch against me. No female should ever be punished on my behalf."

Darien looked down at the woman in his arms and grew cold despite the warmth.

"Weaknesses are for the fallen, I am a champion. You and the others have your companions and among our business that is for the most part respected but not for me. My choices will be targeted and hunted like free advantage. I don't have the time to be wasting trying to protect a selfish decision."

Neither one of them spoke after that. They spent the rest of the time quiet and eventually tried catching up on their sleep by taking naps.

A beep went off on Kunzites watch, waking them both from their brief slumber.

"Okay you can lay her down now." Kunzite said leaning down and perching next to them on the bed,

"which bag is it?" he asked Darien attempting to reach for the book bag under the bed and realizing that there were two of them.

"The one on the right" Darien responded.

Kunzite grabbed it and got up. Darien shifted and began to release her from his hold. He laid her down on her side and rapidly pulled his body from underneath hers. As Darien went to cover her she began to stir. Both men stopped what they were doing and didn't move. Groggily Serena attempted to lift herself up onto her elbows and look to each side of the bed. That's when she saw the two men.

She was startled at first but after a second glance scrunched up her face in recognition and said his name, "Mr. Shields? Is that you?"

"In the flesh", he said cockily with a big salacious grin on his face.

Kunzite rolled his eyes. Serena slumped to the edge of the bed ready to get up but as she bid to stand her knees gave way and she began to fall. Darien caught her instantly by encircling his arms around her waist and enfolded her body to his own.

"You're okay!" she exclaimed sleepily, smiling wide.

Darien steadily lowered her back down onto the bed.

"I'm so glad you're all right," Serena told him sweetly.

Just as Darien pulled himself away, Serena swiftly sat upright. She reached her arms out and wrapped them securely around his neck.

"I was so worried about you." She blubbered while attempting to do her best to hide the sudden flood of emotion.

He felt uncomfortable at first but still continued to allow her to embrace him.

"What are you doing here?" she asked removing him from her hold.

He used this opportunity to step away from her and then pointed to the book bag in Kunzite hands. Kunzite nodded in her direction.

"I came to retrieve what's mine," Darien told her in a stern voice.

She unexpectedly felt a bout of fatigue hit her and laid back down.

"I was going to call you after work tomorrow to get it back to you," she informed him, letting out a long and contagious yawn.

At the mention of her job Darien fumed inwardly.

"Let's go Kunzite", he barked.

He turned around in completely disregarded to her presence and started heading through the double doors

"Mr. Shields. . ." she said softly while closing her eyes.

He stopped without looking at her.

"Thank you."

He paused for a moment before finally turning around. She had fallen asleep. He looked out the door as Kunzite headed down the fire escape stairs and then looked back to Serena.

He walked over and pulled the sheet over her heavenly form.

"Were square now," he told her walking back to the exit and giving her one last glance, "Bye Serenity."

With that said, he left making sure to close and lock the door behind him.