The beat of the music pulsed through the crowded night club so thickly that Serena swore it was beating her heart for her.

Serena looked around the packed night club with a miserable expression on her face as her lonesome eyes scanned the faces of the moving and swaying dancers and party-goers. She was with her friends at one of the most popular night clubs where the band Rei usually wrote songs for was playing for the night. Although the bands lead female vocalist was unable to bring to the songs what Rei's radiant voice did, but the crowd seemed to like them regardless.

At the small circle table they were seated at, she looked around at the faces of her friends. The four girls were there, Rei, Amy, Nina and Lita, but each had their boyfriend or husband with them. Rei sat next to Chad, her husband of eight months, who was holding her hand affectionately in his own. Nina sat on her Andrew's lap and was looking into his eyes with the lovey-dovey expression on her face that she had worn since they had married a month ago and they were currently involved in the world's longest lip-locked kiss. Amy sat next to Greg, her boyfriend since high school and they were holding hands affectionately, but the kind of affection that spoke innocently of true love. Although Amy didn't know it yet, Greg was planning to propose to her within the next few days. Finally, Lita sat with her solid boyfriend of two years Ken, who at the present time had no plans to propose.

And Serena sat there alone.

Her eyes rested on Nina and Andrew with both sadness and happiness in her eyes. Andrew had recovered slowly from his bullet wound and had come to visit her the moment he had gotten out of hospital, even though she had visited him regularly and that was how he had met Nina. It had almost been love at first sight. They had been together since Andrew had asked her out only a week after meeting her and they had been together since in every respect since, and they had married only a matter of weeks ago, replying to any who said it was too soon for them to marry that they had known from the beginning that they were soul mates. They were deeply in love and they were happy, and Serena was glad for them, but seeing Andrew almost constantly reminded her of Darien and what had happened a year ago that now left her without the man of her heart . . .

Rei looked up Serena and her faced softened with sadness. "Serena." She waited for Serena to turn to her before she went on. "I know you miss him girl, but you can't keep moping around like this. It isn't good for you, Sere."

At her words, the others turned their attention to her as well.

"She's right." Nina said softly, her voice gentle and caring. "Why don't you go onto the dance floor and dance with some guy instead of moping around? I'm sure Darien wouldn't mind."

Serena's eyes filled with sadness at the sound of his name and she bowed her head sadly. "I'm alright." She assured her friends whom she knew loved her very much and were only concerned for her.

"She's right Serena." Lita said firmly. "Darien wouldn't want you moping around like you've been."

"Go for it." Andrew said in agreement. "He wouldn't want anything but a smile on your beautiful face, Serena."

In need of a change of subject, she turned to Rei. "How is that new song you've been writing, coming along?"

They all exchanged looks, and Rei sighed in defeat. "I've finished, I've had the band practising it for the past two days. I was going to sing it tonight, but I would love for you to. You know it just as well as me, after all you helped me write it and we wrote it for Darien."

Serena shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly, trying to hide her sadness from her friends. "Maybe." She struggled to keep her sadness from her eyes.

But her friends weren't fooled, they saw the flash of sadness in her eyes. She really did miss him so much and she would have given anything to have him there with her, but it wasn't to be.

"He may not be here with you now." Lita told her, tenderness in her voice. "But he will always be with you, true love can never be broken. Not by anything."

Serena gave her a half hearted appreciative smile and silence fell over the table.

Andrew sighed deeply, he could feel Serena's sadness affecting them all and it did not seem right that she was so sad. It was hard to be happy around Serena when she was not, the same with any of the girls, they all shared each other's pain and sorrows, but they also shared each other's happiness and laughter, it was the gift of the five girls that were so close, closer than any sisters could ever be.

Turning his attention to the golden haired goddess who by some miracle had agreed to become his wife and who he would always be crazy about, he gently enclosed his hand around hers. "Come, dance with me, my sweet wife."

"How you flatter me, husband!" Nina laughed happily, sliding from her stool but she froze when her feet hit the floor. She turned to Serena uncertainly, the hesitation clear on beautiful face and Serena did not fail to notice it.

Serena forced a smile. "Go, please. I'll be fine. Go, dance with your husband."

"Are you sure?" Nina asked.

Serena's smiled widened ever so slightly. "Yes! All of you, go and dance! Please, I promise I'll be fine."

"Only if you're sure." Rei said as she slid off of the stool and onto the floor.

"I am. Go." She waved them away from the table and watched as they manoeuvred around the people of the club and onto the dance floor, leaving her alone at the table. Her eyes watched as Andrew pulled Nina into his arms and wrapped his arms around her as they began to move on the dance floor as a slower song sounded through the club. He held her protectively and possessively against him as they swayed to the music, looking into each other's eyes and clearly trapped in their own world. They had looked exactly the same when they had danced at their wedding.

Serena could remember what that had been like with Darien, when he had held her like that, they had been the only two people on Earth and she could still remember the look in his eyes that said she was the only woman for him, the only woman he would ever see.

A sad sigh escaped from her lips. Oh, how she missed him. She wished with all her heart that he could have been there with her tonight. She could be out there on the dance floor, wrapped in his arms and feeling safe, warm and loved. Feel the way only he could make her feel.

Serena was suddenly snapped from her thoughts when she sensed someone move to stand directly behind her, almost touching her, mere millimetres were separating them and she tensed, ready to tell another guy that she wasn't interested. Guys were always hitting on her these days because she was always without a guy and in situations such as the one she now found herself in, sitting alone at a table, watching her friends dance.

But before she could open her mouth, the tall figure behind her leaned forward and placed the side of his face against the side of her head and whispered into her ear. "May I have this dance?"

Serena froze, she knew that voice! Now that she was focused she could sense his presence, as she had always been able to, she would have noticed it immediately had she not been so deep in thought. A gasp of disbelief and anticipation escaped her lips as she grasped hold of the table and used it as leverage to swing herself around to face him.

And she came face to face with the man who owned her heart and ruled her dreams.

"Darien?" Surely she was imaging things! He couldn't possibly be standing there looking down at her with those deep, intense and hungry eyes as if he wanted nothing more in the world than to devour her right there. She blinked, holding her breath as if at any moment he would disappear and be gone as quickly as he had appeared.

But there he was, standing there smiling down at her with the charming and loving smile that he held only for her, his eyes sparkled with love and laughter. His generously built, tall frame was dressed in black jeans and a black long sleeved silk dress shirt that shone with the colourful bright lights of the club. His hair was a little tussled and a strand of the raven black hair hung over one eye making him look so drop dead gorgeous and sexy that he couldn't possible be human. No human was or could ever be that perfect, yet the evidence stood before her in the form of her love. Serena knew if she were to touch him, all she would feel would be the rock hard muscles that his clothing concealed, but could not fully hide.

"Serena." The silky smooth word circled around her and consumed her, making her shiver with the intensity of emotions it held. How could one man say so much with only her name?

Serena's eyes grow wide as she realised she wasn't dreaming, and before she could stop herself, she leapt from the stool and into his arms, wrapping her arms around his broad shoulders, or as well as she could manage with his towering frame, and hugged him tightly. "Darien!" Oh, how she had missed him.

Darien's laughter filled her ears as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tightly against him, holding her close in his strong, but gentle arms.

For the past six weeks Darien had been in Australia on an exchange training and teaching assignment. Since Darien had been the one to officially bring down the Red Rose Killer he had become a golden boy for the LA Police Force and he had always been sent to conferences and important meetings and such. Darien had finally had enough and had told his boss he wanted an end put to it and his superiors had eventually agreed on the condition Darien went to Australia for four weeks as part of a talent exchange program, where he both taught the Aussies American police tactics and learnt theirs. He had left the day after Nina and Andrew's wedding.

He had been so busy moving around the country for the four weeks and because of the time difference, they had barely been able to talk or communicate through anything other than emails.

Serena pulled away from him and looked up into his warm and loving eyes. She watched as a loving smile spread across his lips and she could not help but to close her eyes as she felt his hand cup the side of his face and his thumb gently stroke her cheek. His touch was magic, when he held her she felt so safe, calm and at peace, without a care in the world and after so long without his touch she swore that nothing had ever felt so good.

Well, almost nothing . . .

The next thing she knew, she felt his sweet, hot lips close over her own in a hungry and passionate kiss. His kiss was fierce and intense, yet gentle and spoke all the words he wanted to say to her. His kiss spoke of how greatly he had missed her and how much he loved her, it promised her he would never leave her for so long again and it spoke of what was to come once they were alone.

For weeks Serena had feared they would grow apart and he would find someone else in Australia, but now all of her fears were laid to rest. How did one man make her feel so special? So cherished and loved?

A year ago he had saved her life, he had saved her from the Red Rose Killer, but he had been shot and had been in hospital for weeks, constantly complaining that he could not touch her as he wanted too and that they were keeping him there unnecessarily. She had had to insist that he remain, and he had done so to prevent her from worrying and feeling guiltier than she had to, after all he had been shot saving her life. Once he had been well enough to be discharged, he had taken her home and they had locked themselves in his apartment for nearly a week, never leaving the room, ordering what they needed and had near no contact with the outside world.

Serena still did not know how she had managed to survive the week, but once it had passed they had been forced to return to their work, but they had spent every possible moment together, going on amazing and romantic dates and outings, from weekends away at some secluded, romantic location to a quick five minute kiss during their short lunch break before guzzling down their lunches and returning to work, both with a smile on their lips and love twinkling in their eyes.

Serena sensed Darien pull away and her eyes slowly slid open as she fought the urge to purr and she found herself looking up into his love filled eyes. Regaining what was left of her senses, she struggled to regain her voice which his kisses always seemed to steal from her. "When did you get in?" She near croaked.

Darien laughed affectionately. "Just now." He gently swept back a lock of golden hair that had fallen across her face and tucked it gently behind her ear. "Lizzie told me where to find you and I came straight here."

Serena smiled lovingly, her heart warmed from the knowledge that he had not wasted one moment to find her. "I have a surprise for you."

Darien's eyebrows rose and a devil's grin spread across his features. "Really? Do we need to go somewhere private for this surprise?"

Serena laughed happily, half wishing it did. Maybe she could organise something later that night, but for now she needed to do the surprise that up until a few minutes ago, she hadn't been interested in doing. "Wait here."

Serena reluctantly stepped back out of his embrace and Darien reluctantly released her. With a smile on her lips that now reached her eyes, Serena turned and disappeared into the crowd of the crowed nightclub.

Darien looked around, for any sign of her beautiful figure or silk locks of golden hair, but he did not spot her, which was not surprising, the club had to be pushing its limit with the number of customers packed into its four walls.

"Hey, partner!" Andrew greeted cheerfully as he slapped him in greeting on the back.

Darien blinked and turned to his partner and the three other guys with him he recognised as the girl's boyfriend or husband. They had gotten to know each other over the past year and had gone out on a guy's night once a month, on the same night the girls went out on their girl's night, but the funny thing was, after a few hours the boy's night and the girl's night always seemed to end up in the same place. Which may have something to do with the fact Darien always made sure to know where Serena was going in case he needed to find her and oddly enough he needed to find her a lot. The girls always pretended to be mad at them for crashing their girl's night, but that never seemed to last for more than a few minutes. After all it was hard for them to be made at the men they loved were sweeping them off their feet.

"When did you get in?" Andrew asked Darien, bringing him out of his thoughts.

"An hour ago." He answered before scanning the crowd once more. "Where did the girls get too?"

Andrew gave him a secretive smile. "No way am I going to spoil the surprise. They'll kill me."

Darien turned back to him, his curiosity getting the better of him. "You'll be dead if you don't."

Andrew laughed. "Sorry, man. But I'm more afraid of them than you."

Darien gave him a sweet smile, he understood exactly what he was saying, but still . . . "They don't carry a gun."

Andrew laughed hilariously. "And still I'm more afraid of them."

"Smart man." Greg commented.

"Yeah!" Chad agreed. "I would rather face a gun wheeling maniac than piss off Rei, she's downright terrifying when she's angry. She has the temper of a spitfire."

"Especially when you call her a spitfire." Ken pointed out as he laughed along with them.

Darien opened his mouth to reply when the music ended, but another song did not start up. He closed his mouth and turned around to face the stage, his breath caught when he realised that it was Serena standing in the middle of the stage with a microphone in her hand, holding it to her mouth.

All noise died down as the attention of the entire nightclub turned to her, the lights dimmed and the single beam of light focused on her.

Darien's breath caught in his throat, she looked so beautiful it stole his breath away. She was dressed in a pure white dress with thin straps than ran over her shoulders and crossed at her back. The bodice of the dress hugged her upper body showing a hint of cleavage and the skirt flowed off her hips, and ran to her ankles. The yellow light captured her hair, and gave it the appearance of glowing, as if it were made of sunlight and her eyes sparkled with the golden light of happiness and love.

How could one woman be so beautiful? And what had he ever done that had been so great for him to deserve such a perfect and loving woman?

The band started up, it's music slow, smooth and calm and before he could pay it any more attention, Serena opened her mouth and her radiant voice sounded throughout the nightclub.

"Once upon a broken heart
I was walking alone in the dark
Looking for a way to start again
What I wouldn't give for a friend
There was no love in my life
There was no light in my eyes
All the tears that I had cried and cried
Seemed like they'd never end."

As she sung, Serena's eyes scanned the crowd until she found him and caught his intense, loving gaze and she held it as she sung. It was clear even though the club was filled to capacity, she sung only for him. Her voice was so beautiful and held such emotion that he was completely hung on every word from her sweet lips and he felt tears come to his eyes, tears of happiness and love.

As the music picked up its pace, a blissfully happy and loving smile spread across Serena's lips and she began to move with the music, never once breaking eye contact with him.

"And I never believed fairytales came true
But now I know that they really do
Now that I found you, now that I'm here with you
Just look at the sunshine, and you
Showed me a world
That I'd never seen
I woke up and fell into this dream
Happily ever after just took time
Once upon this broken heart of mine."

Serena pulled the microphone from her lips, raised her hand to her lips and she blew him a kiss.

The curious eyes of everyone in the night club seemed to follow the kiss right to Darien, many of the eyes becoming envious, either at the kiss that had been only for him, or the handsome man the woman on stage held completely spell bound. But Darien didn't even notice. He couldn't take his eyes off of the radiant angel, his radiant angel up on the stage, surrounded by the colourful dancing lights.

All eyes turned back to the gorgeous, beaming angel on the stage.

"Long ago and far away
I could never dream of the day
That your love would come my way and stay
And sweep me away and I-."

Serena twirled around, the skirt of her dress whirling around her, her hips moving to the beat causing her hair to move around her like liquid golden sunlight and her eyes found his once more.

"-Never believed fairytales came true
But now I know that they really do
Now that I found you, now that I'm here with you
Just look at the sunshine, and you
Showed me a world
That I'd never seen
I woke up and fell into this dream
Happily ever after just took time
Once upon this broken heart of mine."

Suddenly Rei was standing beside Serena and she reached for the microphone, an overwhelmingly happy smile on her lips and she gently pushed Serena on the shoulder towards the half stair case leading from the stage to the dance floor.

"Go kiss him girl!" Her words could be heard across the dance floor due to the fact she now held the microphone to her own lips and without missing a beat, continued with the song.

Serena laughed. The sound of the radiant noise lost to the music. She turned and walked down the stairs off the stage and onto the dance floor.

Darien's feet moved forward of their own accord and just as Moses parted the Red Sea, the crowd parted for them, giving him a clear path to Serena. She was slowly walking towards him, walking to the pace of the music and a smile of pure love and happiness spread across him lips, whatever he had done to deserve her no longer mattered, all that mattered was that he kept her, for always.

In the background he could hear Rei singing with happiness in her voice as they moved closer and closer to each other.

"This is the way a fairytale feels
This is the way I know it's real
'Cause this is the way a broken heart heals."

Finally they met in the middle of the dance floor, all eyes on them but they did not notice. There was nothing but them and the song and music in the background.

Serena stood before him, looking up into his eyes with nothing but love and happiness blazing like the sun in her own eyes. "I love you, Darien." She whispered as she raised her hand to his face and cupped his cheek in the most gentle of touches.

"And I never believed fairytales came true
But now I know that they really do
Now that I found you, now that I'm here with you
Just look at the sunshine."

Darien smiled lovingly down at her, his eyes twinkling with love and happiness. He raised his hand to hers and cupped her hand holding his cheek. "I love you, Serena." And his other arm wrapped around her waist and he pulled her against him and lowered his lips to her own, claiming her lips in a kiss that spoke of love, a love that was true and a once in a life time.

The entire room broke out into applause and wolf whistles, but they did not even notice.

"And you showed me a world that I'd never seen
I woke up and fell into this dream."

Serena moaned into the kiss, true happiness and love in her heart. Suddenly she knew their future was looking brighter than ever. It was funny how it took a psycho killer and bloody roses to help her find true love.

"Happily ever after just took time."

She smiled blissfully into the kiss.

So this was how the road of love and bloody roses ended.

With a happy ending and a new beginning that left broken pasts behind and a bright future on the horizon, one they would share.

"Once upon this broken heart of mine."

The End

Song is 'Once Upon a Broken Heart' by the Beu Sisters

Well, that's it for Love and Bloody Roses, I hope you have enjoyed my Fanfic as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

I would like to thank everyone for thier kind and generous reviews! They have inspired me to write a sequel, each and every one! So thankyou!

The sequel has been posted, named Love and Bloody Roses: Bloodlust.