What could I do? What should I do? Do I tell him I want him too? God, this was so confusing. I want him, I really do, but I can't help but think about how he just left me hanging like that. And now there's Andrew who seems like a really nice guy and I like him. I'm seriously considering becoming gay myself.

"I'm sorry Darien, you had your chance. I won't let you hurt me again." I finally answered in a half whisper half sob.

That was probably the hardest thing I had ever said or done. It felt like my heart was going to be ripped into a million pieces.

"Please don't leave me Serena." He finally whispered.

"I'm sorry. I can't." I cried as I opened the door and stepped in.

I waited impatiently for the elevator, as the doors opened and I stepped in, Darien stood looking at me through the glass with a forlorn look on his face. The last image I saw before the large steel doors shut was Darien slam his hand in the bricks and walk away.

'This isn't your fault, Serena. He had his chance. You did the right thing.' I kept thinking.

-----------

The ringing phone woke me up at some ungodly hour of the night. I reached my hand over to the nightstand and let it feel around for the stupid thing.

"Hello?" I groaned as I opened my eye (yes, singular) and looked at the clock.

"Serena? It's Raye."

"Raye it's 3:40 in the morning."

"I know but you need to come over to Darien's apartment like right now."

Suddenly both eyes flew open and I jerked up, my body sitting on the edge of the bed. If you want to get my attention, this was the way to do it.

"Why? What happened? Is he ok?"

"It's a long story. Can you come over now?"

"I don't know where he lives." I said as I balanced myself on one leg trying to put my jeans on.

"He's not even ten minutes away. Broadway and fifth, the apartments on the left side. Apartment 906 B."

"I'm on my way."

I threw the phone on my bed, reached into my closet for a hoodie and flip flops and rushed out of the apartment praying that everything was alright.

-------

"Sorry to call you over here this late…or early." Raye said as she hugged me.

"What happened?" I asked hurriedly looking around the large living room for Darien.

"He had a little too much to drink is what happened. Mina is in there trying to calm him down but he wouldn't stop throwing things and yelling your name. I'm hoping you can help."

I looked a little more closely at the room; the wooden floors were covered in broken glass from liquor bottles, the plants turned over with the dirt spilled from the pots.

"Where is he?"

Raye walked down a short narrow hallway, I followed her closely.

"What are you doing out here?" Raye asked Mina who was standing outside the door.

"He kicked me out and locked the door." Mina yawned. "Hi Serena."

"Hi Mina. Maybe I should try to talk to him."

Gently I knocked on the door only to back away abruptly when I heard something being thrown and crashing against the back of the door.

"Darien it's Serena. Can I come in?"

The door opened quickly, Darien's strong arm reaching around the door and grabbing me pulling me inside his room. The room was dark as Hell. Blood red walls, black furniture and bedding.

He had one little lamp on which cast eerie shadows across the four walls and even Darien. He leaned into the doors of the closet, his bare back to me., the muscles tensing with every breath.

"Darien, you want to talk to me?" I asked gently as I sat down in one of the chairs by the bed.

"You're not leaving, Serena. You're going to stay here forever." He finally spoke in a harsh voice.

"Darien, sit down on the bed and let's talk."

"No!" He yelled as he threw a bottle of whiskey against the back of the door, the glass shards flying everywhere.

"Ok, you don't have to sit down, but you do have to talk to me. I can't help you unless I know what's wrong."

I worked up the nerve to walk over to him, gently placing my hand on his back.

"Please? Don't shut me out." I spoke softly.

I watched as the tension from his muscles slowly relaxed.

He turned around to face me, the dim light creating dancing shadows across his half naked body. His arms reached around to grab to me, holding me close to him. He nuzzled his head into the crook of my neck and softly whispered into my ear.

"I love you Serena."

I closed my eyes as I felt tears start to form. I let out a huge sigh and let myself relax and fall into his grasp.

"What?" I managed to choke out.

"I love you. I realized it when I saw you with Andrew. I realized it when I saw you in that wedding gown. No one has ever made me fell this way. I know we've only known each other for just a few months, but Serena, I have never felt like this before. When I'm not with you and I'm dying and when I am with you, it's like my whole world becomes a little brighter."

"Darien, I don't think you know what you're saying. You've had a little too much to drink that's all. Come tomorrow when you're sober and hung-over, you'll regret ever saying it. You need sleep."

"Serena, don't you get it?! I want you, I need you!" He cried as he grabbed my arms harshly.

He leaned his head into mine and his lips embraced my lips in a kiss of pure passion, lust, and love. I sighed deeply as he pulled me close to him, my lungs burning for air. At the moment, breathing was optional. He pinned me against the wall, my hands above my hand. He unzipped my hoodie leaving me exposed to the cool air.

He lowered his head to my breast, taking it in his mouth. I moaned at how wonderful his hot mouth felt. My hands broke free from his and entwined in his ebony locks.

His hands played with the zipper of my jeans trying to unfasten them as quick as he could. Before I could even digest what was going on, his hand slipped inside my pants gently stimulating my most sensitive spots.

"Tell me you love me Serena." He growled in my ear.

"I…I…" I managed to stutter out.

"Tell me!"

He slammed his fingers inside me, a deep throaty moan escaping through my lips. He brought his mouth to mine again, his tongue forcing its way in, assaulting my senses.

"Let me make love to you Serena. Let me show you how much I love you." He whispered in my ear.

As much I could feel myself falling further away from reality, at the same time I could feel myself pulling back.

"Darien, please. I can't do this." I cried as I broke away from him, gasping for air.

I reached for my discarded hoodie and quickly covered up. I walked past him and towards the door. I tried to hold back the tears that so desperately wanted to spill. How could he do this to me? How could he let me go so easy and then try to work his way back into my life?

"I'm sorry Darien." I whispered as I opened the door and walked out.

"Is he ok?" Mina asked as she woke up from a light sleep on the couch. Raye's lithe body softly snored as she turned over next to Mina.

"He'll be fine." I gave my best fake smile as I left the apartment.

--------

It had been about a week and a half since I left Darien's apartment. He didn't stop by my apartment anymore, his calls stopped; he didn't even show up for our jogs. I suppose this was for the best. I weighed myself this morning and I'm down to 178 woohoo! Only two and a half months to go.

"Tanelian, my office, now."

"Yes sir." I said with bitter disdain.

With great annoyance, I pushed my chair away from my desk, straightened out my skirt and walked into the Hell hole.

"You wanted to see me, sir?"

"Yeah, take these files to Andrew."

"Yes sir."

I took the heaping pile of papers off his desk and started towards the door.

"Serena, have you lost weight?"

"Yes I have, thank you."

"You look good."

I inwardly smiled as I opened the door and walked to the other side of the office towards Andrew's little dungeon.

"Hi Serena!" Mina chirped as she passed me.

"Hi Mina." I said rather bitterly without meaning to.

"What happened to Darien?" She asked quietly.

"What do you mean?"

"Well he hasn't answered Raye's phone calls, he won't answer his door. We were getting worried but I figured I'd ask you before we jumped to any conclusions."

"No, I don't know what happened. Last time I saw him was the night we all went to dinner."

"You know he has deep feelings for you, right?"

"He has a funny way of showing it. Shame on me, Mina, for falling for him and shame on him for breaking my heart. He had his chance."

I walked past her and towards Andrew's office, completely ignoring the hurt look upon her face.

"Good morning Serena." Andrew smiled as put down what he was doing and stood to his feet.

"Good morning. Mr. Shields wanted me to bring these to you." I smiled sweetly.

"Thank you."

"Looks like you're going to have a late night tonight?" I asked pointing at all the files.

"Well, if I have to spend long, grueling hours at work I'm glad I get to spend most of it with you."

He stepped away from his desk and stopped right in front of me, his face only inches away from mine. He smiled as he took the files out of my hands and placed them on his desk. I walked towards the door and opened it getting ready to walk out when he closed it, his body leaning in to me.

"Would you like to do dinner tonight? Just you and me?" He whispered into my ear.

"Yeah…" I managed to find my voice.

"Pick you up at 6:30?"

"I thought you had to work late."

"I can start tomorrow."

"Alright…" I whispered as I reached for the door handle behind me.

------------

"Serena you look stunning." Andrew said as I opened the door to my apartment.

"Thank you." I smiled sweetly.

I pushed my curled hair over my shoulder, grabbed my purse and Andrew and I walked out the door.

"Do you like Italian?" He asked as we stepped on the elevator.

"Yes, I love it."

"Good, we're going to a great little Italian restaurant I know."

"Andrew, this is completely off topic but have you heard from Darien since dinner the other night?"

He shifted uncomfortably and dryly replied, "No."

"I was worried about him; no one has heard from or seen him in a few days."

"I'm sure he's fine. He's probably with one of his 'clients'."

As soon as Andrew said that it felt like a pierce through my heart. Even if I couldn't be with Darien (well, right now anyway), I hoped he wasn't with anyone else. God, please let him be alright.

-------

"How is your dinner, Serena?"

"It's very good."

"Are you sure? You've been playing with it most of the night."

"I'm sorry Andrew; I don't mean to be such terrible company."

"You're not terrible company Serena. Want to tell me what's on your mind?"

"Nothing, it's just I'm worried about Darien."

"Serena, like I said, I'm sure he's fine. Don't worry, ok? I've known Darien a long time, and when he doesn't want to be found, no one can track him down. He'll call or stop by in a few days I'm sure."

"I hope you're right."

"Would some chocolate cake take your mind off of him?"

"No, thank you."

"A woman who doesn't want chocolate, how intriguing. Do you not like it?"

"No I love it but I'm on a diet. I'm trying to stay away from sweets and unnecessary fats."

"Serena, I think you're gorgeous. You don't need to go on a diet."

"Well, thank you Andrew. I've been dieting since June. I'm going to try to lose all my weight in six months. Around Christmas I'll meet my goal."

"That's awesome. I love a woman with determination."

I smiled and turned away. I loved how sweet and charming Andrew was but he was nothing like Darien. Darien was so…different. He made me feel beautiful without even telling me.

"Are you ready to go?"

"Yeah, I think we should just call it a night." I smiled.

--------

"I had a good time Serena, despite what you think."

"Thank you for understanding Andrew. I had a good time too. I'm sorry if I wasn't very good company."

"We'll do it again some time. You were pleasant company."

Slowly his lips leaned into mine. It was a soft gentle kiss. I backed away abruptly catching him completely off guard.

"I'm sorry Andrew, I just can't."

"I understand. Have a good night Serena."

He placed a soft kiss on my cheek and walked down the street. I walked into the building and pressed the button for the elevator. As I stepped on I looked at the glass doors remember how I left Darien there. It was my fault he was missing! I was lying when I said I didn't want to be with him. Damn it Serena, you could've been happy.

After settling in, I grabbed a blanket and a hot cup of tea and sat out on the balcony. The cool September air swept all around me causing me shiver slightly. If Darien had been here, he would've held me close keeping me warm. He would've protected me, made me feel safe.

'Darien's not here Serena; you need to come to terms with that.' I kept telling myself.

I sniffled as I felt the tears building up in my eyes. How could I have been so stupid! He was right there, the man of my dreams, telling me he loved me, he wanted me. But I turned him down because I was afraid of getting hurt! I couldn't help but sob as I pictured my wedding, my house, and my children all with Darien by my side.

--------

I had been at work since 8 this morning and it was going on 6. I tried to keep myself busy with work so I wouldn't think about Darien or Andrew. Andrew and I had a few more dates since the last one a few weeks ago. The weather was getting colder and the leaves were changing colors.

I kept thinking about Halloween coming up in a few weeks which was really the only thing that made me happy. That and the fact I was down to 162 and a size 14! Could you believe it?! I wish Darien could be here to help me celebrate. I only have two months to go.

"Good night, Serena." Mina said as she walked by my desk.

"Mina, have you heard from Darien?"

"No, Raye is getting really worried. He still won't answer his phone or door. It's not like him to just disappear like that without telling Raye."

"I'll try calling him, who knows maybe he'll answer."

"If you hear from him, please let us know."

"Mina I'm so stupid." I started to cry.

"It's ok Serena." She soothed as she hugged me.

"He was right there telling me he loved me and I just walked out on him. How could I be so dumb?"

"Serena, Darien doesn't make things easy. He's not one to show his feelings or emotions so when he told you he loved you and you rejected him, it probably felt like a knife through his heart. I'm not saying this to upset you or make you feel guilty, I'm saying this because I know you love him too. You need to tell him, show him how you feel. Right now, he's probably in hiding trying to cope with a broken heart. You can fix it, Serena."

"How?"

"Well for starters, you need to stay away from Andrew. If you love Darien Serena, then you need to break it to Andrew before things get serious with you two."

"Oh Mina, what have I done?!" I sobbed as I held my head in my hands.

"Find Darien and make things right and ditch Andrew. He still loves you Serena. Despite what you think or feel, Darien loves you with all his heart."

Mina consoled me and gave me excellent advice on how to find Darien. She offered me half of a Hershey's bar and told me chocolate was the cure for bad sex and broken hearts.

After Mina left it was just me in the office. The lights were half on-half off which made the creepy old building even creepier. I started my media player on my computer and played a little classical music to help ease my tension.

"Hello Serena." Andrew said as he walked towards my desk.

"Hey, why are you still here?"

"Oh, I had some work I had to catch up on. Late night for you too?"

"Yeah, I couldn't concentrate earlier so I decided to stay late and finish."

"Still thinking about Darien?"

"Yeah. I'm really worried."

"Serena, I told you I'm sure he's fine. It kills me to see you so sad." He said as he kissed my hand.

"Andrew we need to talk."

"You love him don't you." He said more as a statement then a question.

"Yeah. I'm sorry; I didn't realize it until recently. I never meant to get you involved."

"It's ok Serena, I understand. Go after him."

He gave me a light peck on my cheek and I grabbed my stuff and raced out of the office. My heart was going a million miles a minute as I pressed the button for the elevator.

Inwardly I felt relieved. I was finally going after something worth fighting for; Darien. Quickly I pulled out my cell phone and dialed his number. It must've rang a million times before I finally got his voice mail.

"Darien, its Serena. I'm on my way to your apartment right now. Please be there! We need to talk." I rushed through the message as I walked into the garage towards my Jeep.

-----------

I knocked rapidly on the door.

Nothing.

I knocked again a little louder.

Nothing.

I was getting ready to walk away when I heard the door open. A huge smile appeared on my face as I turned around. As soon as it was there, it disappeared as I saw a beautiful woman in a short little dress answer the door.

"Can I help you?" She asked nicely with a strong Brooklyn accent. Her brown eyes looked like bronzed honey as they shone in the dim hallway light. She tossed her long auburn hair across her shoulders and smiled as she looked at me.

"Is this the apartment of Darien Shields?" I asked quickly praying I had picked the wrong apartment.

"Yes, he's in the showa'. Would you like to come in and wait for him?"

"No, thank you." I said as I tried to hold back the lump in my throat.

Before she closed the door I heard Darien's voice from the distance, "Who is it?"

"I don't know, why don't you come here?"

Darien walked to the front door in his towel, his face hardening as he looked me in the eyes.

"Serena. What are you doing here?"

"Can we talk?" I asked in a small voice.

"Molly, you want to wait for my inside?" He asked to the young woman.

She waved good-bye and closed the door, leaving me and Darien in the hallway alone.

"What did you want to talk about?" He asked as he crossed his arms across his chest.

"You haven't answered anyone's calls. We were worried."

"I've been busy." He replied coldly.

"You haven't been showing up for our jogs in the morning."

"I figured you knew the routine. You didn't need me there. I can see you've been doing well. You look great."

"I'm down in the 160's and a size 14. I'm happy. I love myself which was something I never thought I could do."

"You're a very beautiful woman Serena. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

"I love you." I blurted out.

"What?" Darien asked a bit bewildered.

"I…love you." I repeated.

"Is that what you came over here to tell me?"

"Yes, and to make sure you were ok."

"I see. I'm sorry Serena, but that ship has sailed."

"What? You told me you loved me! How can you just fall in and out of love so easy!? You never really loved me Darien but I was stupid enough to believe all the stupid lies that ever came out of your mouth! You seduced me and took advantage of me." I cried.

"If you were so stupid Serena, then why do you love yourself all of a sudden? Why are you fifty pounds thinner? I felt something for you Serena, I loved you in fact. I showed you how beautiful you really are. How is that taking advantage of you?"

How could I answer that? He was right. Not everything out of his mouth was a lie. I gained my self confidence back, I had a new perception of my body and I had self love.

"Good-bye Darien. I wish you the best."

I turned around and walked away. I tried to hold the tears in as best as I could. I waited until I got out into my car until I let the damn break and the water-works begin. I must've sat outside his building for an hour before I could finally drive away.

--------

The days turned into weeks, the weeks for months. I hadn't seen from or heard Darien in about two months now. It was hard to find the will to get up and jog and stay on my diet but I did it. I finally came to terms that he wasn't coming over anymore and I probably wouldn't see him until the girls wedding; assuming he showed up.

I watched as the weather got even colder and the snow started to fall covering the city in a blanket of white. I spent Thanksgiving with Raye, Mina, Lita and Ami. It was the first time I had spent a holiday with anyone in a long time and it felt good.

Darien didn't come which I guess was for the best. I had a few dates on and off but nothing serious. I am now a size 10 and weigh in at 145 pounds. My countdown is complete; I've met my goal of six months.

Raye and Mina's wedding was coming up the week before Christmas so we were all busy bustling around trying to get all the last minute wedding 'stuff' together. Both of them were getting very nervous considering they only had a few days left.

I finished the semester at school with a 3.6 GPA and graduated with honors. I'm going to be taking the bar exam after New Year's. I've been studying my ass off but I have a feeling I'll do well.

Mr. Shield's offered me a very nice position working for him. I'll bring home close to six digits a year and have the title as 'Counselor Serena Tanelian, Attorney at Law'. How awesome is that!

So that pretty much is my life as of now. Andrew and I have remained good friends, which means a lot. We're better off as friends then lovers. Perhaps I'm just bias that no one will ever be good enough for me except for Darien.

-------

"Can you zip me up please?" I asked Ami.

She finished applying her red lipstick and walked to where I was standing. I looked in the mirror still not believing that the woman in the reflection was me. My hair was curled and up except for a few tendrils that swept across my face.

My red dress showed off my new body with the tight bodice and knee length skirt. I don't think in all my years of being alive I had ever felt so beautiful and confident.

"Thank you." I said as Ami finished.

"You look beautiful Serena."

"Thanks, you do too. I suppose we should go check on the brides."

"Don't worry; you know you'll knock him off his feet."

"Who?"

"Darien silly. It's so obvious that you still want him."

"I haven't seen him since October Ami. I doubt he even remembers who I am."

"Serena, please forgive me for saying this, but…you can be so fucking naïve."

I turned away from the mirror to look at her completely taken back by what she just said.

"Let's go check on Mina and Raye." She smiled as she took my hand lead me out of the changing room.

"Mina you look so gorgeous!" I said as I hugged her.

Her white dress had a sheer collar that shimmered softly giving her milky skin a beautiful shimmery hue. Her hair fell in long golden waves across her back. I reached down and straightened out the long train.

"I'm so nervous Serena." She started to cry.

"Oh don't cry hun. You're going to ruin your make-up." I laughed as I hugged her.

"I just want to get this done."

"Mina, this is your wedding day. You're supposed to be nervous and scared. It'll be ok."

She took a few deep breaths and wiped the black streaks away from her eyes. She grabbed her lipstick from the counter and applied it with a shaky hand.

"Just breathe…" She kept whispering to herself.

"Oh Serena, you look fabulous!" Lita said as she walked in.

Her long brown hair was pulled into a loose ponytail, big curls falling across her shoulder. Her red dress fit her like a glove and she radiated with happiness.

"You do too." I smiled as I hugged her.

"I'm going to go check on Raye, I'll be back." I shouted.

I walked down the corridor to the other fitting room where Raye was busy getting ready.

"Do you need any help?" I asked as Beryl helped Raye put her veil on.

"Oh my God Serena I've never been so nervous." Raye giggled anxiously.

"It'll be ok. Between you and Mina, I swear one of you is going to have a heart attack. You need to calm down. Everything will be perfect."

Beryl finished pinning in the veil and scoffed at me as she walked out of the room. Her velvet aubergine gown clung to her body as she swung her ships with every step.

"God, I thought the bitch would never leave." Raye finally sighed as soon as Beryl was out of sight.

"Raye that's not very nice." I laughed.

"Well most trophy wives don't try to seduce their step-sons on their step-daughters wedding day."

"She after Darien again?"

"You bet your sweet ass she is. She's pissing me off. I swear, I'm gonna get you drunk and have you punch her fucking lights out again."

"Raye, this is your wedding day!" I scolded as I helped her put on her necklace.

"I know, I'm sorry. I'm tense."

"Are you ready, pumpkin?" Mr. Shields popped his head in.

"Is it time?"

"Yeah, all the guests are finished getting seated." He walked to her and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

"Serena, you look lovely this evening." He complimented as he gave me a light peck on the cheek.

"Thank you sir."

"Serena please call me Harold."

"Let's go!" Raye squeaked as she looked at herself in the mirror one last time.

All of us met out in the hallway except for Darien. Lita and Ami linked arms as they comfortably held their bouquets of white and red roses. Mina had to have been waiting with the judge who was going to marry them.

"Where's Darien?" Raye asked suddenly.

"He has to be around here somewhere, don't worry." Lita reassured.

Soon the music started. Lita and Ami began their journey step-by-step down the aisle, cameras flashing as they gave their most beautiful smiles. I stepped up to the doorway, ready to walk alone behind them when a strong arm wrapped around my waist.

"You weren't going to leave without me, were you?" Darien asked.

"I didn't think you were coming."

"I wouldn't miss it for the world. You look gorgeous by the way."

"You don't look too bad either." I smiled as we linked arms and walked down the white runner.

Darien and I separated on our respected sides. I stood next to Ami who had tears in her eyes as she watched Raye follow our footsteps with her father walking beside her.

The candles and dim Christmas lights in the hall cast lovely shadows in the room, their twinkling lights dancing in happiness as Raye finally stood next to Mina ready to promise a lifetime of love and happiness to each other and the rest of the crowd.

I didn't even hear the judge speak; I was too enthralled with Darien who only stared at me in return. I couldn't help but sniffle a little as Mina and Raye finally kissed as wife and…wife.

---------

"I can't believe how gorgeous you look." He commented as we danced.

"Why? Was I that ugly before?" I giggled.

"No, it's just…I haven't seen you in awhile. I had almost forgotten how stunning you are."

I didn't say anything. What does someone say to that? It was Darien's choice to end it. Why should I feel bad?!

"You ok, Serena?"

"Yeah, fine." I smiled my best fake smile. "I think I need to go home now."

I let go of him and made my way through the crowd towards the coat check. I grabbed my things and stepped into the cold winter air and hailed for a cab.

---------

I couldn't stop crying. I just lay on my couch still in my bridesmaid dress and bawled my heart out hoping that some sort of absolution would come from all the shed tears.

"Damn it." I cursed under my breath as I wiped the tears away from my eyes and regained my composure. I took a deep breath before I opened the door.

"What are you doing here?" I asked in a half whisper.

"I had to make sure you were alright. You just left earlier."

"I wasn't feeling well."

"Can we talk?" Darien asked as he walked in to my apartment and closed the door.

"Yeah, I guess." I walked to the couch and plopped down, not really caring that he saw me looking like a raccoon.

"Serena, I don't know how or where to start so I'm just going to be straight and to the point."

"I know Darien, you're sorry for what happened and you want to stay good friends. Its fine, you didn't have to leave your sister's wedding to tell me that."

"That's not what I was going to say." He replied as he kneeled in front of me.

His fingers reached up to my face and turned my head to face him. My eyes clashed with his and our gazes met. He swallowed hard as he shifted onto his knees.

"I love you Serena."

That was all he needed to say, all I needed to hear. I wrapped my arms around him and sobbed uncontrollably. How I missed being in his arms! His scent intoxicated all of my senses.

"Don't cry…" He soothed as he gently touched my face and wiped away my tears.

Without saying a word he leaned in and grabbed my lips with his. It gentle but hungry. How I longed for his kiss, his touch. He pulled me to my feet as he brought my body closer to his. In one swift move he picked me up, gathering me in his arms like a fair maiden after being rescued by her prince just like in the fairy tales I've read.

He carried me into the bedroom his lips not once leaving mine. Gently he laid me down on the bed, his body lying next to mine. He kissed my ear, my neck, my collarbone.

"We're going to have sex now, Serena." He whispered in my ear.

I couldn't say a single word as my breath caught in my throat. He pulled my dress down and gently massaged the sensitive skin of my breast. His other hand reached behind my back and slowly unzipped the dress. In one swift move it was laying on the floor, leaving me bare except for a black bra and lace underwear. Darien shifted so he was on all fours, hovering over me. My hands reached up and pulled the tuxedo jacket from his broad shoulders.

"I love you…" I whispered as his hands unhooked my bra.

As soon as he pulled it off, his blue eyes looked directly into mine. I could finally see the sparkle of love that shone in them. His lips enraptured mine again as his tongue created an assault on mine. He sat up and ripped the shirt from his back. Buttons went skipping across the floor as bare skin touched bare skin. His arms wrapped around my body bringing me closer to him. I wrapped my arms around his neck as he gently pulled my underwear down my legs.

Before I knew it we were both naked. Darien looked deep in my eyes as he kissed me passionately.

"I love you Serena." He whispered as he wrapped my legs around his waist.

I arched my back as the sensations became too much for me to handle. The ball in the pit of my stomach grew bigger and bigger with every thrust. Darien spoke soft words of love in my ear as I neared the release I so desperately yearned for.

I managed to finally say "I love you" before my orgasm swept through my body like a tidal wave on a rampage.

Darien pumped harder and soon we were both climaxing, the colors of the rainbow flashing before my eyes. Darien collapsed on top of me in a sweaty heap. I couldn't move, it was like my limbs were made of Jell-O. Darien wrapped the blankets around us, pulling me close to him. He wrapped his arms around me, snuggling up behind me.

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"Merry Christmas Ami." Lita said as she handed Ami a small box from under the Christmas tree.

Ami smiled as she ripped through the snowman wrapping paper.

"They're beautiful!" Ami gushed as she gave a Lita a kiss.

"Let me see!" I squeaked. "Oh they are beautiful! What are they, about a caret?"

"Yeah! Ami lost her last pair of sapphire studs so I decided to get her a new pair."

"This is for Mina." Raye said as she handed Mina a gift.

"Ooo, I wonder what it is?" Mina smiled as Raye handed her an envelope.

Mina's fingers tore the envelope to shreds as she pulled out a piece of paper. Her eyes got as big as baseballs and she gasped in surprise.

"Are you serious?!" She shrieked.

Raye nodded rapidly as a smile spread across her lips. "I'm serious." She replied.

"What? What's going on?" Darien asked.

"You're going to be an uncle!" Mina jumped up and down.

"What?!" Darien asked enthusiastically.

"Raye and I had in-vitro done around Halloween. This is the letter from the clinic." Mina tossed the piece of paper to Darien and I.

"I'm so happy for you!" I said as I looked at the letter.

"This is for you Serena." Darien handed me a large box.

I smiled as I took the box, which was surprisingly light, and ripped through the wrapping paper. I opened the box only to find a smaller box. I kept ripping through more and more wrapping paper, the boxes getting smaller and smaller. Finally I came to a small ring box. Quickly I opened it and furrowed my brow when I realized it was empty. I looked to Darien who kneeled before, his hands holding mine.

"Serena, I don't want to spend the rest of my life without you. I have never been in love before but I know this is the real thing. You are everything to me. So I'm on my knees before my family and you, offering you a world of heated fights and morning jogs, but above all, I'm offering of a world of love. I love you Serena Tanelian with all my heart and soul and I will love you far after the last breath has escaped my lungs. Marry me." He showed me an antique diamond ring pinched beneath his white finger tips.

My eyes welled up with tears. I couldn't find my voice. I nodded 'yes' a million times as I wrapped my arms around his neck. Darien took the ring and placed it on my shaking finger.

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Andrew linked his arm in mine and we walked down the aisle. He smiled reassuringly as we waited for the music to start.

"Thanks for walking me down the aisle." I whispered.

"Serena, I wouldn't have missed this for the world. Are you ready?"

"As ready as I'll ever be."

I couldn't take my eyes off of Darien waiting for me at the end of aisle. I handed my bouquet to Mina and turned to face the man of my dreams, the man who helped me change my life around, who helped me learn to love myself…Darien Shields…my husband and lover.

"Dearly beloved…"

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Fin! I had like a bazillion different ways to go with this story. I decided this was the best way. Hope you liked it as much as I did writing it. Your reviews have been inspiring and wonderful, thank you! Until the next story, happy reading!