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The Darkness

Summary: Casey hasn't dated anyone since Max had broken up with her three months ago...or has she? When Lizzie and Edwin find out her secret, they need Derek to bring her back form the darkness that she has let overtake her. Will he be able to save her from herself, and in the process, realize that maybe she can save him too?

Chapter One (Casey's POV)

It was the end of May, and school was coming to an end in a few weeks. Casey McDonald had been throwing herself into her schoolwork for the past few months. It was her way of coping with Maz dumping her at the end of April for some floozy cheerleader. That's not to say that she wouldn't have worked hard anyways, it was the end of her junior year, and she knew high marks were important. And from her they had also come to be expected. She worked hard for her grades, but she was currently using them as a distraction to keep herself from thinking. And feeling. That was probably where the problem started. In her head that is. She had tried simply wishing her responsibilities away, but she

couldn't. She still felt like she had to live up to everyone's expectations: perfect daughter, perfect sister, perfect student, perfect dancer. She wanted very much to escape from it all. It was during one of these self-reflective times, that she had taken a walk that would irreversibly change her life forever. This was not a metaphorical walk by any means, but an actual walk. A walk that led her to HIM. Jake Daniels.

He was harsh, rugged, very sexy, tan, short, straight black hair, prominent jaw, dangerous green eyes. Everything a "bad boy" should be. He wasn't a boy though. He was 22 years old. She, at age 17, new that he could provide the distraction that she so desperately needed in her ordered life. She had been immediately drawn to him that afternoon. She had been walking for about an hour, wandering far past her usual scene in town. This street that she had been walking down, held a few pubs, diners, and clubs admitting ages 17 and up. She saw him come out of the pub named THE LUCKY CHARM. She watched him as she leaned against a building that was now an empty warehouse. She saw him looking at her, she smiled flirtatiously back. She was thrilled when he parted from his buddies and walked towards her.

He came and leaned on the building next to her. "Hi. I'm Jake Daniels. Your name?" He motioned to take her hand.

"Casey McDonald. Nice to meet you." She shook his hand and smiled. "Do you live around here? Because I've never seen you before. And trust me, I would remember someone as pretty as you." He winked.

She blushed. "No, I live in the suburbs right before town. I was taking a walk, and I ended up all the way over here. Not that I mind though." She looked at him pointedly.

"Well I certainly don't mind either. How old are you anyways?"

"I'll be eighteen in two months... What about you?"

"I just turned twenty-two. My uncle owns the pub over there. That's where I work. Ya know, if you're looking for a job, we're hiring right now." He looked at her expectantly.

"I'm not eighteen yet. Would I be allowed to work in a bar? And besides, I couldn't work until the second week of June. I have finals the next two weeks."

"Sounds great. My uncle Dave would waive the age limit for you I think since it would only be for a month. Wanna come in?" He motioned across the street.

She shrugged. "Sure that would be great."

Casey followed Jake into THE LUCKY CHARM. He took her into the back office. His uncle could only be described as someone who was in the mafia. However, when he saw Jake, he smiled. Casey was able to stop panicking and was thrilled when Jake introduced them.

"Uncle Johnny, this is Casey McDonald. Your new bar girl." He turned to her. "Casey, this is Johnny Daniels. He's my dad's brother."

Casey looked at the man who was probably a foot and a half taller than her. "It's nice to meet you. Jake told me that you were hiring and might give me a job. I wouldn't be able to start until the second week of June because of finals, and I turn eighteen in

July. He said you might waive the age limit seeing as it would only be a month. That is, of course if you're willing to hire me. I worked as a waitress at Smelly Nelly's for a month, but I wasn't trained extensively."

Johnny looked at her. "Sure. Ya know what? I like you. You can start June 12th. Come in next Saturday, I'll have the papers drawn up by then. We can figure out your hours."

"Thank you so much!"

No problem. Now both of you scram. I have work to do."

They left the pub, Casey with a new job intact. She turned to Jake. "Thank you." She looked at her watch. It was 5:00pm. "I have to go. Sorry but I have a long walk home." She turned to go.

"Hey." He reached for her arm. "Let me give you a ride. At least to the edge of town."

"Are you sure?" He nodded. "Okay." She followed him until he stopped in front of a Kawasaki motorcycle. He grinned at the look on her face. He handed her the extra helmet an hopped on. "C'mon. You'll be fine. I promise."

She looked skeptical, but got on anyways, noticing the street sign. 51rst Street. "If you could just give me a ride to 10th Street, I'd appreciate it." He nodded. The engine roared to life. Casey held tightly to his waist as they peeled off. Twenty minutes later he pulled over at the corner of 9th and 10th Street. She took off her helmet and slid off, finally releasing her tight grip on him. He looked at her. "I can't believe you walked this far."

She laughed. "Yeah, I was distracted. I didn't realize how far I was until I saw you. You were hard to miss."

"So were you." He winked at her again. She could get used to this. "Can I have your number? Ya know, in case my uncle needs to get ahold of you before Saturday... or if I want to talk to you again?"

"Only if I can have yours too." She grinned. They swapped numbers, and Jake said,"See ya around, Casey."

"Bye." He pulled out, and she turned to walk the rest of the way home. at 5:45pm, she walked into her house. It was Saturday night, everyone was home by now and her mom was making dinner while talking to her step-father George. Casey walked into the kitchen.

"I'm home." They replied, and she said, I'm going to my room. Call me when dinner's ready, please."

She walked up the stairs, towards her room. She was playing with her phone, when she ran into something...well, someone.

"Derek, watch out!" She quickly walked around him straight into her room. She tried to shut her door, but it bounced off of his outstretched hand, and he walked into her room and leaned against the wall by her door. "What do you want, Derek? Because if you're just here to annoy me, you can get out now." She went to grab a cd, and she put it in the cd/radio, turning it up loud enough to hopefully get her step-brother to get out. He didn't. She turned around to see him standing there smirking at her.