This chapter was able to be posted today thanks to a miserable cold that kept me home from school. As much as I don't like being sick, I'm glad that it had enabled me to finish this chapter and get it out to you all. I hope you like it! Read on!
Make it A Double
Chapter 3: The Night After
" Hey Serene,"
" Hey Dare,"
" Did you have a good time last night?" Darien asked as he seated himself on a barstool.
Serena had been busy washing and drying glasses when he came in. She set aside the damp towel and moved to make him his usual scotch and soda.
" I guess," she sighed in reply. She set his drink in front of him.
" What's with the sigh?" he asked with a curious smile.
Serena stood with her weight on one foot, her right hip cocked, biting her lip between her teeth thoughtfully. " Were you there?" she asked. There was a little uncertainty in her tone.
" Um hmm…" Darien confirmed as he took a sip of his drink and nodded his head slightly.
Serena gazed at him for a few seconds. She opened her mouth to speak but closed it again. Darien looked at her in question. She took a quick breath and opened her mouth again.
" What did you come as?" she asked hesitantly.
Darien's eyebrows shot up. He set his drink down. " Serena, you wound me!" He clutched at his heart with both hands. Serena held her breath, her eyes filled with something akin to hope. " I was the damn dirty ape!" he declared with a proud grin. Her face sank. " Why?"
" I thought it was you but I wasn't sure," she lied quickly. " It must have been hot in that thing." she commented lamely.
" It was," he agreed vehemently. He picked up his drink again. " So, who was that dashing man who stole you from my clutches?"
" I don't know," she sighed, her face adopting a dreamy expression. " I wish I did." She leaned her hip against the bar.
" Ohhhhh…" Darien smiled eagerly. " Was he romantic?" he asked.
" Very," she breathed.
Serena nodded, staring off into space as she replayed last night's scene in her mind.
" Good kisser?"
" Extremely," she replied dreamily.
The question brought Serena back to reality. " What?"
" I asked if he was handsome," Darien supplied.
" I don't know," she said. Her forehead wrinkled in thought. " His face was half-covered."
Darien thought for a moment. " He was wearing a mask, wasn't he?" Serena nodded. " Gosh Serena, it sounds like you're in love." he teased.
" Maybe," Serena shrugged. " You aren't the only one anymore. Speaking of which, how did it go? Did you follow my advice." She looked at him, her eyebrows raised in question.
" Well, not precisely," Darien admitted. " But I tried."
" And?" Serena demanded. " Did she have feelings for you too?"
" I don't know yet," he shrugged.
" What do you mean you don't know?" Serena exclaimed with disbelief. " What did she say?"
" She didn't say anything," Darien replied with a helpless shrug.
Serena fell silent. Poor Darien. She felt terrible about giving his advice that didn't work. She reached across the counter and patted his shoulder sympathetically.
" Well," Darien sighed and rose from the stool. " I'd better go and find out."
" Find out what?" Serena asked.
" What she thinks about what I did," Darien replied. He laid his money on the countertop. " I'll see you later," he said in farewell.
" Good night," Serena said. She watched him walk out of the pub. She shook her head from side to side. She hoped it would work out for Darien. Despite the fact that she'd had a crush on him for the entire three years that she'd known him, she just wanted him to be happy. If the girl that he was after made him happy, Serena sincerely wished that Darien would receive a positive answer, even if it meant loosing him.
About an hour later the bar was almost completely empty. Serena picked up the phone and dialed the upstairs number.
" Andy's," came the answer. " This is Andrew speaking."
" Drew, can you come down and take over?" she asked.
" Sure can," Andrew replied cheerfully. " Hey, thanks for working really late last night and tonight too. You must feel like hell."
" Yeah," Serena agreed. " But its nothing that a little sleep won't cure."
" Good thing too. You're the best bartender I have." he declared.
" I'm the only bartender you have," Serena groaned, rolling her eyes.
" That may be, but you are still the best!" Andrew replied. Serena was forced to smile. "I'll be down in a sec," he promised.
" Thanks Drew," Serena hung up the phone.
She retrieved her leather jacket from its place underneath the bar and pulled it on. Andrew entered and relieved her of her bartending duties. She trudged out to the parking lot. Serena stopped short when she saw a rose tucked under the windshield wiper of her car. Glancing around the parking lot, she pulled the long-stemmed, red rose from its place. There was a card tied to the stem with red ribbon. She unfolded the little note. It read:
Our love is like a rose, beautiful when in bloom, but can it last forever? I think this one can."
Serena studied the rose. It was a perfect half-bloomed rosebud. She squinted when something caught her eye as she was studying the soft petals. She felt the bud with her fingers. Her face was filled with puzzlement as she felt something solid inside the incipient flower. She spread the red petals from the center of the blossom. Her breath caught in her throat.
Inside the rose was a ring. Serena extracted the diamond solitaire and held it close to her eyes. There was an engraving on the inside of the band. In the dim light, she could just make out the word. The inscription read:
Serena gasped. She looked up to she Darien leaning against the driver side door of her car. With tears streaming down her cheeks she laughed and threw her arms around his neck. He held her tightly against him, as though he didn't believe that it was really happening. She felt him relax with relief and tenderness, as his embrace became tender.
" I take it that is a yes?" he chuckled softly.
Serena pulled back enough so that she could gaze into his brilliant blue eyes. " To which question?" she beamed, her voice filled with joy, her eyes with joy.
Darien threw back his head and laughed when a realized that he'd asked her two different questions. As his laughter subsided he bent his head towards her, smiling.
" Will you marry me?" he asked, looking deep into her eyes.
Serena giggled and pulled him to her for a lingering kiss.
" I take it that is a yes," Darien ventured hopefully when the kiss ended.
Serena hooked her arms around his neck and grinned. " Make it a double."
Awwww…wasn't that sweet? I hope you liked it! I told you it was going to be short. Three chapters is very short for me. It's the shortest story I've ever written. I hoped you found it enjoyable. Please review. I'd like to hear what you think. Should I attempt another Sailor Moon fanfic or am I better off sticking with A Knight's Tale? Thanks so much for reading!!!