Chapter 25 - Bloody Feelings.

"Wake up!" Luna hollered as she came barging into the wee hours of the still morning. She knew Serena was still fast asleep underneath the plush covers. Knowing Serena, she would just brush off last night's events as a no big deal. However, it was a big deal to Luna. Did Serena truly know the severity of the situation that she had gotten herself? Serena was her responsibility and her behaving like a reckless teenager was not acceptable. She knew Serena did not have a normal adolescence due to the accident and Luna did not want Darien to take advantage of Serena, of her vulnerability. What would happen when the year was over? After all, it was just a business deal.

Luna shook her head, erased the image of Darien and Serena's lip-lock session out of her head. She felt her breakfast rising at the back of her throat. She will knock some sense into the derange girl. Luna hit the covers but to her surprise, there was no movement. It only raised her blood pressure higher. Luna was not going to let Serena win this easy. She yanked the covers off of Serena only to find an empty bed. Luna looked at the bed dumbfounded; it was definitely not like Serena to get up before noon.

'Maybe she's in the bathroom,' Luna thought to herself. She checked the bathroom but it was empty. 'Where could she be?'

'Is she with Darien? Oh God! Did they spend the night together?' her body was shaking just at the thought and her eyes were ready to pop out of their sockets. She shuddered at the pure horror of the situation. Only the worst came to her mind and her heart did not help by palpitating continuously like a raging drum. 'Have to find Serena!' her mind yelled repeatedly.

She ran towards Darien's bedroom door with all her might. She knocked on his door like a mad woman, not giving attention to her hurting knuckles. A very dishevelled Darien opened the door with a jolt. His expression was clearly murderous but Luna paid no heed to his mood. She barged into his room without a word.

"Can I ask you why you are barging into my room like a crazy lunatic in the early hours," he growled.

"Is Serena here?" she asked without making any eye contact. She looked underneath his covers only to find a bed empty again.

"Why the hell would she be here, in this room?" he asked confused. It almost gave him the appearance of a human, Luna thought.

"Well your actions from last night led me to believe that she might be here," she said. She looked underneath his bed just to be sure but nada, no Serena. She was not going to let Darien win this one. She checked the closets but the walk-ins were completely empty.

"Are you suggesting that Serena and I might have done something?" Darien smirked at the thought. For some reason, the thought did not irk him as much as he thought it would.

"Serena's missing. She's nowhere to be found." Luna said. That, however did catch his attention.

"What? She must be here somewhere. She cannot just up and leave that's just preposterous," he said as he scratched his 5 o'clock shadow in frustration. He was far more awake than he was five minutes ago.

"I don't know. Nobody knows the working of Serena's mind," Luna said defeated.

"I'll send Jeffery with you to look for her," Darien said as he started dialling Jeffrey's number.

"Thank you." She said and left the room without another word.

'Where could she be?' he thought to himself. Even if he called out her name, there would be no answer since she was a mute. Oh, the irony! It only made him want to yank out his hair one by one.

"Hello Jeffrey. It's Darien," he said. The clock read 7.15 am.

"Yes speaking," Jeffrey said on the other line, perfectly ready to take orders.

"Serena is missing." Darien let out a big sigh.

"Oh dear," Jeffrey was not expecting this call in the morning.

"I want you to locate her whereabouts with Luna. I am sure she has not gone very far if she has treaded on foot. Give me updates if anything changes," Darien said taking full charge of the situation.

"Yes, will do! Do you think it is because-"Jeffrey was about to say something regarding last night's events but Darien cut him off.

"I don't know but whatever it is I want her found. Got it? If her sister finds out that Serena is missing than shit will hit the fan," Darien said irritated. Rei was not the easiest person to deal with and when she was angry it was best to stay out of her way.

"Yes, I will phone you as soon as I hear about Serena. Good day" Jeffrey said and hung up the other end of the line.

"Just one day." He whispered. He wanted just one to go by with no interruptions. It was hard to go back to normalcy ever since Serena had entered into his life.

Serena giggled to herself just thinking of Luna. She knew Luna was probably turning the mansion upside down trying to find her. Serena knew that Luna was an early bird and knew her routine by heart. Living with her for so many years had made her intuitive of Luna's habits. As Serena, predicted Luna had barged into her room like a barracuda to demand to know what had happened last night. Truthfully, even Serena was not sure as to what had happened. One minute she hated Darien and the next she kissed him.

The embarrassing thing was that she was the one who initiated the kiss. If she had not kissed him randomly, this would have never happened. She did not think an innocent thank you kiss would lead to the involvement of the tongue. The kiss reeked of something sexual. She slapped her forehead for replaying the moment of his lips on hers in her head. If Luna only knew, she had not slept a wink last night. All she could do was replay the kiss in her mind repeatedly. She did not want to obsess about that minor detail of them being together in each other's arms but it was hard. During all this nonsense, her thoughts had become very muddled. She did not know what the next step would be when she saw him. Would they ignore what had happened between them or they? She left the question mid-sentence. She knew she was treading on dangerous grounds.

For now, she will hide in the enormous library where she knew for a fact that Luna would never dare to look for her there. She sat on the ground underneath the big oak desk, hidden from anybody's view. She knew she could not stay underneath the desk for very long but for now, it would be her escape. She looked at her watch and it was only half past seven. She let out a big yawn. If only Luna was not such a big worrywart, she would have enjoyed her slumber now. She nestled herself in a foetus position on the plush carpet trying to make herself as much comfortable as she could with the injured hand. Before she knew it, she was out cold and dreaming of a certain dark haired man.

"Did you find her?" Darien asked Jeffery. He was trying to keep his voice even as much as possible as he took a sip of his morning coffee. He was dressed in one of his Armani suits, all clean-shaven ready to take the world by storm.

"No sir. We're doing the best we can to find Ms Serena but it seems like she has evaporated in thin air," Jeffrey said.

"Where the hell could she be?" Darien thought aloud to himself. He was ready to slam his fist on the dining table but there were people around. Losing composure would only mean it to be a serious problem.

"Do you think she went home to her sister? Do you think we should give Ms. Rei a call?" Jeffrey asked.

"No! As I have said before, I do not want anybody to inform Ms. Rei of Serena's disappearance. It will only cause unnecessary drama. She already thinks that I am going to eat her sister alive. Somehow she would find fault in me of her sister's disappearance," Darien sighed. He looked at his watch. It was already quarter past nice and there was still no signs of Serena.

'Was it the kiss? Had he gone too far? Did she really go to her sister's house,' this time questions swarmed in Darien's head. However no one popped to answer them back. He let out another frustrated sigh as he ran his fingers through his neatly combed hair. He had a very important meeting in three hours with Denver Industries about the new project that he was working on.

"Before you go, grab my files on the Denver project. They are in the library on the desk. I need to go over them before the meeting," Darien said. He was not going to waste his time just because Serena decided to go to wherever the hell she decided to go. "On second thought, don't worry about it. I will get it myself. You just concentrate looking for Serena. Let me know if there's any progress." Jeffrey nodded and went to search for Luna.

Darien entered the quiet library. His morning did not quite start as he had planned to and felt a headache brewing at the back of his head. He knew all of his troubles started and ended at one person and that was Serena. He went over to his desk. On the wooden desk, his files were laid out all neat and tidy just the way he liked it. He looked down at his watch yet again; there was still quite some time before the meeting. He decided just review his notes here and by that time, they will bring some news of Serena. He was just about to sit down on his chair that he saw something cream under the desk. He crouched down to see what it was only shocked to find Serena sleeping peacefully, unaware of her surroundings.

Her long blond tresses were out of their usual hairstyle and now flowing in every direction that gave her an angelic look. To say the least, her beauty entranced him. He did not know when his heart started thumping like a wild African drum. He gulped nervously but his eyes never left her body. Her silk nightgown hugged her every curve. Only giving a few glimpses of her toned legs. Her chest rose and fell from every breath she took. Lips that were captured by his just the night before were barely parted. He had the urge to touch them but he refrained himself from doing so. He noticed her petite body shivering against the uncomfortable floor. He enveloped her in his arms and brought her over to the chaise lounge that was far more comfortable choice than the floor. Daniel covered her body with a blanket that he used on late nights. 'Serena was definitely a deep sleeper,' Darien thought. He dialled Jeffrey's number.

"Hello, ya I found her," Darien whispered in his mobile device.

"Where was she sir?" Jeffrey asked bewildered at the thought of Darien finding Serena's whereabouts.

"She was in the library, sleeping. Tell Luna that she has been found and not to worry. I will be in the library for a couple of hours before my meeting. Let her rest here until she wakes up," Darien said.

"Yes sir," Jeffrey said and swiftly hung up.

'Was it such a good idea to see her right away after last night, because I had the perfect opportunity to avoid her,' he thought to himself. He had to face her sometime; he couldn't possibly avoid her for the rest of his life. His eyes settled on her injured hand and for some reason he felt a pang of pain that he had never experienced before. In the end, Darien did whatever was best for the company and that was looking over the Denver project. Not before taking one last look at the ethereal beauty, that was residing a few steps from him.

'I cannot believe this carpet is so comfortable,' Serena thought. Her eyes were closed and still unaware of her surroundings. She sunk herself deeper into the chaise. 'And cosily warm...huh warm,' she quickly opened her eyes only to be slapped by the bright light that was filled throughout the library. As fast as she had opened them, she closed them right back up. As a defence mechanism, she covered her face with both of her hands but the light was still dancing before her eyes. She squirmed in the chaise. Eyes still closed, she sat upright from her position. She rubbed her eyes, trying to adjust herself to the light. After few seconds, her blur vision became much clearer. She was sitting on the long mahogany chaise that was in the library. She was confused as to how she had gotten there. She ran her fingers through her tangled hair as best she could, still pondering the thought who had moved her.

'I must have unknowingly moved,' she thought and wiped the drool that seemed to be plastered on the side of her face. She stretched her arms high up n the air as she let out a big yawn, still completely unaware of the other occupant in the room. Somehow, she felt refreshed even though she only had a few hours of sleep.

"I see you're awake," Darien said nonchalantly which startled the mademoiselle, Serena let out a tiny scream but quickly muffled it down by her hand. Her eyes met his and for a moment, they just stared at each other. Just the sight of him made her heart pound relentlessly against her chest. She bit the inside of her cheek or in any stressful situation.

"Can I ask you what you were doing here? Luna and Jeffrey have looked all over for you like mad idiots. Can there be one day where you haven't turned this household upside down? " he asked sternly clearly breaking the spell.

'Think Serena! Think! It's no point telling him that the reason you've been tossing and turning was because of him,' Serena thought to herself. She just stared at him with mouth agape trying to think of answer.

"I'm waiting for an answer!" he said completely forgetting the part where she was the mute. Even if she tried to tell him, he would not understand her reason of being there.

Serena tried to do simple hand gestures but it only confused Darien even more. She pointed to herself and waved her arms like a zombie. She rolled back her eyes at the back of her head as the best as she could to give herself an appearance of a dead mutant but Darien's face seem clueless. She eventually gave up because clearly he wasn't getting it and it only made her look like a deranged maniac. So she grabbed the closest pen and paper, wrote and handed it to him. He squinted at her drawled out writing.

"You're a sleepwalker?" Darien asked warily. She nodded profusely until it was clear to her that he understood her reason for being there. "How long have you been sleepwalking," he asked her still suspicious of her. She gave a sleepy gesture and her typical innocent 'I don't know' look. Darien sighed; well there wasn't much that he could do. It was clear that she had come without any intent to harm, so all he could do was accept her answer.

Serena's attention settled on her reflection. Her hair was everywhere, sticking in every way imaginable. If she didn't know any better it looked like a bird's nest, all heavily tangled. A thin strip of dry drool stuck at the side of her bottom lip. She even had eye crust clinging at the corner of her eyes. She was more than horrified. Serena reminded herself like a homeless person compared to Darien's clean-cut appearance.

"You like a mess. Go shower!" Darien said in his usual commanding voice. He sensed her being uncomfortable but not as much as him, seeing her in just her sheer gown. He breasts outlined beautifully underneath the fabric and from his experience, he knew she wasn't wearing a bra. His gut wrenched up thinking of touching them, swirling his fingers around her nipples watching her writhing with pleasure.

'Wow Darien! Stop whatever the hell you're thinking,' his smarter side of him yelled in his head. He needed to get her out of his sight as quickly as possible. His insides were doing strange things, things he was not used to. It was more than lust, but quite frankly he could not put his finger on the emotion that he was feeling. She looked at him with her mouth agape. Her cerulean eyes were wide as they could be. He heard her muffle a sound but wasn't sure as to what it was. She looked around, spotted the door, and made a run for it.

'Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!' Serena chanted in her head as she ran towards her bedroom. How could she let Daniel see her like that! She looked like a complete mess. She halted in her tracks as soon as that very thought entered in her brain. 'Why the hell would I care what Darien thinks of me." She thought to herself and rolled her eyes, scoffing at herself for even thinking of that idea. 'Maybe because you sucked the daylights out of him with that kiss," her conscious retorted back. Serena blushed bright red thinking about that kiss. She never really liked her conscious, however she had to admit it was a good kiss. It definitely left her wanting for more.

'Ugh, how did my life get so complicated?' Serena groaned to herself. She could not scream even if she wanted to, fear that it would only cause unnecessary attention, which she was avoiding like a plague. However, first thing she needed to tackle was personal hygiene. She looked like a bloody mess and worst of all Darien saw it all, so much for mystery. 'SHUT UP! SHUT UP! You silly cow! Darien is the enemy here. One year that is all you have with him. After that, Rei and you can save your father's company. There should be no romantic connection, none whatsoever.'

Serena wiped the fog that had accumulated on the mirror during her hot shower. She looked at her reflection in the mirror. Big blue eyes stared back at her. She had things to say but the words just wouldn't come out. She even tried to form words but nothing came out that was coherent for the human ear. Ten minutes went by with her struggle that she gave up. Tears cascaded down her eyes but she just pushed them away angrily. She wrapped herself in a towel and headed out the bathroom somewhat defeated. She saw Luna waiting outside for her, fuming like a bull ready to knock someone down.

"Serena! Where have you been! Everybody has been looking for you like idiots. You think it's funny to disappear like that. I am absolutely livid. You hear me LIVID! If something happened to you do you know how I would feel. You are so irresponsible and always act so childish. The way you acted last night, I'm surprised I didn't tell your sister. Do you know the consequences for doing something like that? You just don't, if you did you wouldn't have acted like that. That man is not right for you, you hear me. I don't want you to get hurt. Do you understand? ," Luna snapped at Serena. However, her anger faltered when she saw Serena's crying eyes. She knew in her gut, something far deeper had happened.

"Serena, what's wrong?" Luna's tone changed immediately from angry to very motherly. All Serena could do was wipe away the tears that had formed in her eyes again, brushing them before they could slide down her cheek. "Tell me dammit! What's wrong? Did Darien hurt you again? I swear, if he touched you again, I'm going to stick it to him where the sun don't shine." Luna said angrily, losing her cool again. She sat Serena down on the bed waiting for her to reply. However, this waiting around game was clearly not working for her.

'I want to speak again Luna. I want to hear my voice. I want to be normal like everybody else. I don't want to live in this bubble. I am mad at myself for letting myself become this person.' Serena signed to Luna but the more she tried to explain herself the more she felt like bawling. Soon her body racked in silent sobs. Luna wrapped her arms around the poor girl. It came as a surprise that Serena wanted to change this part of her. As god as her witness, if that was what Serena wanted Luna would help in any way to get Serena the help that she needed. Serena cried in Luna's arms until there were no more tears to shed. Luna always had the effect of calming her down.

"I will have a chat with your sister and we will come up with a solution. Now get yourself ready and I will have breakfast waiting for you downstairs. I'm sure you're hungry." Luna said to Serena and right on cue Serena's stomach let out a grumble. Luna smiled and left in a hurry to fix Serena's breakfast. Serena on the other hand was feeling very tired from her crying session but she knew her stomach was hungry. Therefore, she trudged her body towards her closet and found the quickest thing she could find, a v-neck pink summer dress that reached just above the knees. She blow dried her hair and pinned one side up with a bobby pin leaving her face makeup free. She still had a bandage hand to take care of. She will get Luna to change the bandages. Satisfied with her appearance she left to go get something for her belly.

Darien was almost finished with his paperwork when Jeffry walked into the room.

"Mr. Shields, Mr. Cummings and Mr. Riley are here to see you and Madame Serena," said Jeffry with his usual monotone voice.

"What are they doing here? I have a meeting in half an hour. Tell them to reschedule," Darien said brushing away the idea of meeting with the lawyers. The last time they met, they brought very bad news with them. Lord only knows what they would bring now.

"They say it's urgent. They will only be here for a few moments," Jeffry said.

"Fine! Bring them in. I guess I have to meet up with them eventually. Call Serena and Luna too," Darien said, deeply annoyed.

"Yes Sir," Jeffrey said and left the room to fetch the other parties.

"Hello Darien. How were your nuptials? I heard they were quite eventful. Sorry I couldn't be there. I had to go out-of-town for urgent business," Mr. Cummings said showering Darien with a big smile. All men shared civil handshakes.

"You can say that again. Please have a seat," Darien said softly growling under his breath. They all sat down on cue.

"We are here for some urgent matters but first we would like to meet with the bride, Serena" Mr. Riley said. This time around, he had more confidence talking to the man but still had a meek presence.

"Ah and here she is," he said as Serena came waltzing in the room with Luna. She looked sensational in the flowery summer dress she had that exposed her arms and her injury. Her hair gleamed as sunlight caught her through the windows. The darn heart started palpitating at the wrong time again. Both the men stood up for her and gave their greetings.

"Serena! It's so good to see you again, you too Luna. Oh Serena! What happened to your hand?" Mr. Riley said, finally feeling comfortable in the room. Serena flashed him one of her infamous grins and signed the man something before taking a seat close to Darien. Mr. Riley's face relaxes immediately. Was he the only one that didn't understand sign language around here? She barely glanced at him, nobody would have guessed that only just last night they were locked in a heated lip lock session. For some reason, Darien was irked at her reaction towards Mr. Riley. Darien shook his head shooing away any schoolgirl thoughts that were raging in his mind.

"Hello, Mr. Riley. What do we owe the pleasure of your presence," Luna said filling in for Serena.

"Well you see, it has something to do with the contract that was signed between Mr. Crescent and Mr. Shields," Mr. Riley said as he readjusted his black rimmed glasses.

"What about the contract?" Darien interrupted, now on the edge of his seat, very curious.

"Well you see Darien, the contract states that you have to be married for a year. In that year, you have some responsibilities to keep," Mr. Cummings said nonchalantly.

"What kind of responsibilities?" Darien asked hesitantly. This sounded like trouble.

"Both of your fathers wanted this marriage to work. They initially picked Serena as your bride of choice. They thought it would be a great partnership since you both are quite different from one another." Mr. Cummings continued.

"Yes, yes I understand but what responsibilities are you talking about?" Darien asked, a deep growl was forming within him.

"They wanted you two to actually make an effort making this marriage work. So they made a list for you to do together which shall be completed. After the year is over and you still think you are incompatible with each other you are free to leave as however you please with your assets still in tacked," Mr. Cummings finished his sentence, not sure how Darien was going to feel about this.

"You mean there is some sort of dumb list that we have to complete before we can finally call it quits. This is ridiculous," Darien said, gravely annoyed with the situation. Even Serena looked bewildered by the news of this list.

"So what's on this list?" Darien said.

"First thing on the list is the honeymoon," Mr. Riley said smiling, oh so sweetly. Serena and Darien both mirrored each other's horrified faces with Luna fainting in the background.

Hey guys! Thanks for waiting for one of my long-awaited procrastinated chapters. I deeply thank some of you to push me to get this chapter out. One girl even found me on twitter, and I deeply thank you for that. Also the ones that reviewed and sent me pms, thank you. And to whoever that has read my story I deeply love y'all for taking the time and trying to get a glimpse of this all over the place story 3 I love my readers, you are my true inspiration :) Please review and hopefully I would not be wasting so much time to update again but can't keep any promises. Thanks love y'all. xox twinkle-eyes

P.S. If there is a Beta Reader that is willing to help me with my editing that would be greatly appreciated too. Hit me up through my inbox. Thanks 3