Author's Note: Later chapter(s?) will be rated M... for now they are rated T, though! Hope you all enjoy this new fic! Feedback will let me know if I should continue!

He stared down at the card gripped between his hands, his dark eyes unblinking. His dad and Nora (well, mainly Nora) sent a card every once in awhile, just to update him on the lives of his family. Edwin was a junior in high school now, and Lizzie a sophomore. Both were on the honour roll and Edwin was already looking into universities. Little Marti was almost finished with junior high school, and was president of her class and in both the French and art club. His dad and Nora were still working hard, as always.

He got used to the fact that he was never updated on Casey.

Casey left for Vancouver right after high school. It had been three years without a word from her. Apparently she phoned her mother from time to time, just to say hello, but never said much about her new life. One that she obviously didn't want her family a part of.

Derek had been accepted to McGill University in Montreal with a hockey scholarship. To everyone's surprise (especially his!) he actually had gotten serious after graduating high school. He plugged away in university, making much better grades than he had gotten in high school and rarely ever partying. He even had a steady girlfriend, much to his best-friend Sam's shock (who said he couldn't settle down?).

But practically every day, Derek would think about Casey. Or, more specifically, the night before they left for university. The last time he had seen her.

There was a soft knock on his door late the night before he was supposed to leave for McGill, and Casey for the University of Vancouver. He hadn't been able to sleep, excited and rather apprehensive about opening the next chapter of his life. At eighteen, he knew that he had his whole life to look forward to, and tomorrow would be the beginning of it.

"Yeah?" he asked, sitting up in bed, curious as to who would still be up at this hour.

To say he was surprised to see Casey awkwardly creep into his bedroom would be an understatement.

"Case?" he asked, turning on the lamp next to his bed. She looked like a bag of nerves. "You okay?" he couldn't help but frown at his sister's concerned look.

"I'm, uh, just kind of nervous," she said, looking down at her hands. "I thought maybe…you know… since we're kinda going through the same thing and you're so much more… not a nervous wreck, unlike me, maybe we could…" she trailed off, instantly regretting her idea to come into his room and make a fool out of herself, desperate for someone to talk to at this late hour.

"Come here," Derek said softly, patting his mattress.

Casey didn't say anything as she crossed his bedroom and sat her trembling body next to him.

"Why are you so nervous?" Derek couldn't believe how fragile his usually strong stepsister looked, and how meek she seemed sitting next to him in her dorky duck pajamas.

"I, uh, don't know," she gnawed on her lower lip, still not meeting his eyes, shamed that she was even there needing his comfort. "It's just… Vancouver is so far, you know? And everyone… everything I've ever known is here. I just… think maybe it was a mistake to pick a university so far away from home."

Derek sighed, knowing she needed some of his exuberant amount of confidence. "Case… Vancouver has just the right program you're looking for… you know that it was the right choice. Plus, you got that great academic scholarship." He reached over to pat her hand. "You're above this place, Case. You always were."

Casey finally looked up, touched by his un-Derek-like words. Her frightened blue eyes met his calming brown ones and he saw her visibly relax, for some reason actually comforted by his words and his demeanour.

"You're going to have a great life out there," Derek spoke the next words softly, staring deeply into her eyes. "And you know the rest of the family will still be here. And you… you can call me anytime you want to talk, you know that, right?"

Casey didn't know that. She never thought she would be comforted by her obnoxious stepbrother who had tortured her all through their high school years.

He wasn't quite sure how things progressed, but the next thing he remembered was capturing Casey's lips with his own, something he had secretly longed to do for the three years of high school he had spent with her. He didn't expect Casey to respond, but, to his excitement, she did. And as their lips moved together, Derek couldn't remember when he had ever kissed a girl and had a feeling like this before. A feeling of… absolute perfection. Like everything at that one moment was right in the world. Like the planets had all aligned and everything around them had stopped. And it was just the two of them.

As his tongue snuck out and tasted its first taste of Casey's warm skin, he moaned out her name, knowing that if she didn't stop him soon, he would be in too deep. They would be in too deep.

"It's okay, Derek…" she whispered, running her fingers through his hair so gently he could almost cry.

"Are you sure?" his lips reluctantly left the juncture of her neck and he looked deep into her hazy eyes. Eyes that were full of trust and purity.

She answered by gathering up her new-found courage and pulling her pajama top over her head, leaving herself exposed to Derek, whose eyes glazed over at the tantalizing sight.

"I want this," Casey nodded, reaching out and stroking the nape of his neck, where his hair was standing on end from the amazing electricity crackling between them.

"I've always wanted this," he admitted to her before capturing her lips again. This time they didn't stop.

And, in a beautiful moment he would replay in his mind for years to come, his stepsister gave her virginity to him.

The next morning, when he woke up, she had already left for the airport. Without a note. Without a call. Without a trace of what had transpired between the two of them aside from the state of his bed sheets and the lingering scent of her vanilla shampoo on the pillow next to him.

He knew it hadn't been a dream.

And, three years later, Derek still hadn't talked to her since that night. She hadn't called him once, or returned any of the phone calls he had made to her and always got her generic voicemail message. She didn't come home during the summer. Not even to visit.

He didn't even see her on the holidays.

It was almost like she had never existed. He had known that that night would only be that night… but he didn't think he would never even speak to her again.

And still be somewhat hung up on her three years later.

"Derek, honey?" he heard a voice bring him out of his reverie. He glanced towards the front door to see his girlfriend Amy walking into the apartment they shared, carrying several bags in her hands.

Derek walked over to her and when she put her bags down, he gave her a long, lingering kiss. A kiss that was great… but not magical. Not like the kiss he and Casey had shared.

He felt guilty when he thought about his stepsister, especially when he and Amy were making love. The way she didn't feel quite right. The way she wasn't Casey.

But he did love Amy in a way. They had been going steady for two years. But the thing that did make Derek a little uneasy was the way that Amy already made flippant comments about "when they are married" and "when they have kids." He was only 21 years old and wasn't really comfortable about thinking about marriage and children just yet.

"What's that?" Amy asked, cocking her head to the side as she stared at Derek's hand. He looked down and saw the card from Nora which he had forgotten about.

"Oh… my family's invited us to their stupid Halloween party next week," Derek shrugged. "I wasn't really planning on going…"

"Aw," Amy gave a bit of a pout. "Why not?"

"You actually want to go?" Derek raised an eyebrow at his girlfriend.

"Yeah," she smiled. "I always have fun over there."

Derek looked back down at the card and sighed. "I guess we're going to the Halloween party."