NOTE- I apologize again and again for not updating this story in so long ... I hope that I'll be writing more lately, but I can't make any promises. I thank you so much for your wonderful comments! You readers are the main reason I'm still writing now ... so thanks again and enjoy(


Derek stormed away with Sara by his side, grasping his arm tightly. Along with Chenille and the others, they all walked home without saying a word except when Derek and Chenille left, Sara gave him a soft kiss and they went their separate ways.

Sara tried opening her door but, as usual, her father was out so she pulled out her key and entered the small home they shared. She put her books down on the counter and flopped down on the ratty old couch. She rubbed her temples with her two index fingers roughly; her headache from the fight had turned into a migraine. She pondered why the fight had even broken out for a moment. Who was that man, and what did he want with Derek? Obviously he was some sort of kin of Malakai's and wanted revenge for putting him behind bars. Had this man been talking to Kai lately? If he had, they would have been able to plan things ... Sara stopped herself from thinking about this. Malakai was behind bars, he couldn't hurt anyone anymore.

Sara flipped on the television and, as if she hadn't been thinking about him enough, she saw Malakai's face plastered on one of the local news channels. She told herself it wouldn't help to watch it, but she couldn't tear her eyes away.

"...currently up in the air. Malakai Jones is pleading not guilty against the charges pressed by Derek Reynolds after Mr. Jones shot him in his own home. Malakai says he only shot Derek in self defense, that he and Derek had been friends previous to this incident. Fortunately Derek Reynolds, soon to be Doctor Derek Reynolds (Sara felt a smile creep across her face as she heard the word doctor) was not permanently injured by the shooting. Will this case go to trial? WVS News will be here for you to find out. Alexis Martin reporting on assignment. Back to you, Nancy."

Sara, although her head was still throbbing, forced herself up off of the couch. She headed over to get an Advil which she hoped would help her pounding ache. She poured herself a tall glass of sparkling water to wash it down, and with a heavy gulp and the tilt of her head it went down. Rubbing her head again, she decided to take a nice, hot shower.

She reached for the bottle of shampoo, took a whiff of its soothing fragrance (Aloe Vera with a hint of Passion Flower) and squeezed some out onto her palm. Gently massaging it through her long blond hair, she pondered more what she had been meaning to discuss with Derek. How would they be able to get married while he would be at Georgetown and she at Julliard? Of course, she supposed Derek hadn't completely forgotten about these factors when he asked for her hand in marriage, but she still wondered. Did he have a plan, or was he as confused as she was? She began to rinse the shampoo out of her hair and reached for the conditioner when she heard a bang on the door. Irritated, she tried to ignore them; if it was important they'd come back, right? But when they persisted, she sighed heavily and turned off the water. She hopped out of the tub, reaching for the towel on the rack as she rushed to the door.

"I've been meaning to talk to ..." Derek started, before he looked up and saw Sara with her hair wet and a towel wrapped around her. "Oh," he said looking more than a little embarrassed.

"I was just ... in the shower and I heard you knocking so ..." Sara said as she felt her face turning beet-red. A smile slowly crept across his face and he let out a hearty laugh which was followed by an equally heart-felt one offered by Sara. "Come in," Derek stepped in, taking his coat off and placing it on the couch which used to be Sara's sleeping area. He looked around for a moment when his eyes rested on a box of Advil on the counter.

"Are you feelin' okay?"

"Oh, yeah I'm fine I just had a little headache. That's why I was in the shower too ... I'm feeling better now though, don't worry about me," She replied, putting the box back where it came from.

"You sure? Here ... lie down," Derek sat himself down on the couch and offered a spot next to him to Sara which she graciously accepted. She spread out her feet over his legs as Derek started massaging her feet gently. She closed her eyes for a minute as Derek began to speak,

"Have you ever seen that guy before? Like at school or ..." Sara shook her head and asked him the same, "Nah, I've never seen the guy my whole life. Man ... he was probably just some dude Kai knew, he'll get over it," Derek said, sounding more like he was assuring himself than Sara.

"You did the right thing," Sara convinced him. Derek looked down at her as her hair was being gently wrapped around his finger. He sighed for a moment but then looked into Sara's eyes and nodded.

"Yeah ... yeah, I know it was. If Kai was still hustlin' on the streets people would be dyin' all over the place. They are anyway but ..." He started, all of a sudden noticing how quiet Sara was. "How come you're not sayin' anything?"

"Nothing just ... Never mind," She replied shaking her head and putting on a little smile. She could see, however, that she couldn't fool him. He knew her too well

"Just tell me."

"It's ... It's just I've been thinking about what we're going to do once school starts in the fall. I'll be at Julliard, you'll be at Georgetown ... I just don't know how we're going to make it work. I mean I really want to marry you Derek, I can't wait! It's just ... confusing. Do you have any ideas?"

"I knew it was somethin' like that. Look, I love you and you love me, right?" Sara nodded, "So it'll work. We'll make it work, I promise."

"But how? Do you want to get married before we go away or stay engaged or what ... I mean it's December now, we don't have that long to plan before we go away ..." Derek put his index finger up to her lip which, until this was still talking. He made a "Shh" noise and Sara stopped. He gently leaned in for a kiss which lasted about five seconds until their lips softly parted. He gently stroked her blond strands of hair with his right hand, while his left was intertwined with hers. For a moment they just looked into each other's eyes and Sara knew it would work out. She was in love, and there was nothing else like that in the world. At that moment nothing mattered. Not Malakai, not Julliard, not Georgetown, not Chenille, not her Mother, nothing. It was only her and Derek living in the world for that moment and it was indescribable.

"It'll work," Derek replied softly as he bowed down once again and her lips met his.