Author's note: I really enjoyed reading all your reviews! They were SO very entertaining and encouraging. Hope the wait wasn't too long this time around... I know I left you guys on a HUGE cliffhanger (sorry!) so let's move on to the chapter shall we? Enjoy!
Serena's eyes widened in incomprehension. She didn't understand what was happening. She turned to look at Mina. Her expression mimicked hers. "You didn't tell me you were in a student film," Mina said, confused.
"I'm not! I-I-" Serena stuttered, but her eyes shifted rapidly back onto the screen as Darien came into the shot, half-naked. Was this...? Was this...? It couldn't be!
She turned towards Darien. He was in as much shock as she was. But this was clearly his bedroom! What was the meaning of this?
Serena couldn't think straight. She watched as the scenes unfolded. Her top was taken off, then her skirt, then everything else she was wearing that night. THAT night!
This couldn't be happening. This wasn't real. Somebody was going to wake her up from this terrible nightmare.
But no one was coming to her rescue.
Her breathing sped up. She couldn't stay here. She needed to get away. Fast. How could Darien do this? Why would he do this?
She got up from her seat.
She suddenly heard gasps coming from the row behind hers. "It's her! The girl on the screen!" one of them said.
Whispers slowly broke out into the sitting crowd. A few guys started whistling at her. She was almost out of the row.
"Hey! Nice rack!" some guy shouted. "And ass!" someone else said as tears began forming.
Serena ran. She ran as fast as she could back into the dark, far away into the trees. She vaguely heard Mina call out to her. Moans could be heard. "Oh God, oh God, oh God..." she muttered. She wished she could disappear.
Footsteps were closing in on her.
It was Darien.
'Darien...' she thought with venom. He filmed it. He filmed their first night together and exposed it to the whole school.
"How could you?!" she said, tears tumbling over her cheeks.
"What?" Darien said, confused.
"Don't act innocent, Darien!" she spat. "How else could there be a video of us?"
"You think I did this?" he asked, incredulous.
Serena didn't say a word. She couldn't believe that he was denying it.
"You're serious. You think I did this. You think I taped us so I could expose not only you, but ME to the world. You think that as a med student I'd want this kind of shit to happen to me?!"
Serena looked to the floor. He did have a point, but the recording was from his apartment. What other explanation could there be? "Well, how would you explain the video?!"
"I don't know! But I didn't do this. I love you! How can you think I was even capable of doing this?!" he said, now offended.
"Once upon a time, you were cruel to me, Darien! Or did you forget how much you loved making me look like a complete idiot in front of my friends..."
"But that was ages ago!"
"Yes and clearly you haven't changed! This was the perfect opportunity to humiliate meatball headed Serena!"
Darien looked at her in shock. She didn't seriously believe that he would choose to publicly humiliate her and himself this way. "Serena, I'll tell you again. I didn't do it."
She so badly wanted to believe him, but she just couldn't see what else could've happened. Tears fell over her cheeks. She was so embarrassed. Everyone in the park saw her. They saw every bit of her body...
"Then who did?!" she shouted, rage and humiliation consuming her. "Who else could have possibly gone into the apartment?! I didn't see anybody when we arrived, did you?!" she screamed.
"But what Darien?! The answer is pretty clear to me! I trusted you, Darien! I told you I loved you! God, I'm so stupid..."
Just then, another pair of footsteps approached them.
"You..." Darien spat.
Diamond ignored him. "Serena, are you alright? I saw what he did back there..."
It suddenly dawned on Darien who did this. "You!" he shouted, running towards Diamond. "YOU DID THIS!"
Serena placed herself between them. "Darien, stop it!!!" she shouted, pushing him back by the shoulders.
Unbeknownst her, Diamond was smirking at Darien behind her.
Darien growled. "Let me kill this asshole, Serena!"
"Why? He didn't do anything!"
"Yes, he did! I don't know how, but he's the one who put the video up there. Him and his crazy cousin!"
"What?" Diamond said, acting innocent. "How could I? Serena, you shouldn't be around this guy. Not after what he just did."
"Don't you make me look like the bad guy, you bastard!" Darien said, restraining himself.
"I just don't understand why you would humiliate Serena like that!" Diamond retorted.
"I asked you to help me!" Darien shouted.
"And I did as you said! I gave the tape to Andrea, just like you asked me to! But I had no idea that it was going to hurt Serena!"
Darien was baffled. He couldn't speak. Diamond had been twisting his arm all along. He should've known better than to trust him.
Serena looked at Darien with shock. "Is that true?" she asked, tears streaming down her face.
His gaze fell on Serena. The look on her face broke his heart. "Yes! No! Not entirely..." Darien said, trying to get to Serena, but she moved away.
Serena looked to the floor. So it was true then... Darien gave the tape to Andrea. Her mouth quivered as she felt a new batch of tears coming on.
Darien wanted to wipe those tears away, but her eyes were full of anger and disappointment. If only she would let him explain why he asked Diamond for help...
"So, you and Andrea worked together to humiliate me..." she said, furious.
"Don't tell me you believe him over me!" Darien shouted.
"I don't know what to believe anymore, Darien!" she screamed. "If there's one thing I believe, it's that anything's possible! I believed that I could never ever fall in love with you! I believed that you would never hurt me... I believed that you... loved me! But clearly I was wrong to do so on all three accounts..." she finished, walking away, wiping fresh tears from her cheeks.
She wasn't stopping.
"Serena, could you please wait?!"
She still wasn't stopping.
"I love you, Meatball Head!"
She swiftly turned around, a waterfall of tears coming down her face. "Don't EVER call me that! EVER!" she said, breathing heavily. "You've humiliated me enough, don't you think?!"
With that, she walked away.
Tears started rolling down his face. He lost her. He lost her. The words repeated themselves over and over in his head. He had to get her back. But it seemed so hopeless. What could he do? It seemed like nothing was ever going to prove that he was right.
Darien racked his fingers through his hair and turned around.
Diamond was still standing there, a proud smirk upon his face.
That day Darien had asked for his help, he had held himself back. He wasn't about to let that mistake reproduce itself.
He rushed over to where he was standing and threw the hardest punch he could muster.
He heard a chuckle. Diamond was laughing and grinning like a drunken fool, a hand upon his jaw.
"What's so funny?" Darien spat.
"The fact that you punching me isn't going to change anything. She believes that you're a crook and all the punches you could ever throw at me will only prove me right. Face it, Darien. You lost this time. You lost her and there's nothing you can do about it," he said proudly, walking away to find Andrea. Serena would come to him in due time...
Darien felt his knees weaken and he was suddenly on the ground. Diamond was right. He lost her.
"Is that all you have to say for yourself, Mr. Shields?" a man with thick glasses asked him at the other end of a long mahogany table.
"Other than the fact that I'm deeply sorry for the shame I've caused the school, yes, Sir," Darien replied.
It was Monday morning and he was in a meeting with the most important people from the faculty and the school. The dean, the head of the department... they were sitting in front of him, judging him because of that damn video.
He hadn't talked to Serena during the whole weekend. He left her messages, but she never called back. He didn't really expect her to. The look on her face that night was self-explanatory. She wouldn't believe him until he found concrete proof. Guilty until proven innocent... He just couldn't figure out how Andrea and Diamond did it without Serena or him noticing.
"This comes as quite a shock to me, you know. You being an excellent student, excelling in all that you do... It pains me to have to suspend you," the man said.
Darien lifted his head and frowned. "What?"
"You heard me. You will not be able to begin rounds with everyone else, not until this whole issue has been resolved. You have to understand that we can't let this spread out further than it already has. What would we look like if we sent you to the hospital?"
"Me? What do you mean by that? I'm good at what I do! You've said it yourself!"
"Yes, but that is not the issue at hand. We would be sending off a sex addict to patients."
"But, Sir! You know perfectly well that I'm-"
"I know, Mr. Shields, but what would the rest of the world see?" He sighed. "I hate to be this harsh with such a bright student, but very important people saw the video. It's all over the news. What hospital would take you under their wing? I'm sorry. We're going to have to revoke your student privileges for the time being."
Darien looked at the man pleadingly, begging for another solution with his eyes. "What... What am I supposed to do?" he said softly.
"I don't know, son. Wait until everything dies down, I suppose..."
"Right..." Darien sighed. He felt like he was being expelled, even though he wasn't. He might as well have been.
"We will keep you updated. Part of your tuition will be reimbursed and you will not return to either of your classes until further notice," the man finalized. "Good day, Mr. Shields."
Darien couldn't believe it. He felt like his dreams were being pushed further away. He had worked so hard...
He stood up from his chair and walked out the door, shutting it gently behind him. His life was turning into hell. First he lost Serena, now he's losing his future...
He walked down the hall and down the stairs, like a zombie. Nothing was going through his head anymore. He didn't know what to think, he didn't know what to do. He felt lost.
"How'd it go?" a woman asked him.
Why was she always there when he least expected her? "Andrea. What the hell are you doing here?" Darien snarled.
"Is that how you greet your ex-girlfriends?" she asked playfully.
"No, just the psychotic ones."
"Hm. You don't look too good..." she said, ignoring what he just said and taking in his appearance. He hadn't shaved, his hair was messy, his eyes were red from lack of sleep... Broken heart didn't suit Darien very well. Andrea gave a small smile. She was going to change that soon enough. "I've got a proposition for you..." she said, touching his arm.
He pulled away as if her touch was acid. "Not. Interested," he said harshly.
"Oh? 'Cause I think you are..."
"I don't want to hear it, Andrea..." he said, walking towards his motorbike. "The only thing I want to know is why and how?"
Andrea frowned. "I'm not sure I follow..."
"Don't act dumb. I know you and Diamond filmed the first night Serena and I were together and showed it to the whole school!"
"I knew D had something planned, but I didn't know it was that!"
"Bullshit! You were there the night of the showcase! Of course you were in on it!"
"I was invited as a special guest because of my donations to the student film association!" she shouted. Darien looked at her sceptically. "Listen, I was sitting in the front row the whole time, even before the show began. You can ask the association, they were with me. I was saving a seat for Diamond, but I never saw him that night. Did you?"
Darien frowned. His memory was a blur. It was hard to tell where Diamond would be sitting given the amount of people present, but he did remember seeing him swiftly walk away before the show started and he did suddenly appear behind Serena after she ran, therefore he wasn't in the audience to begin with. He knew he shouldn't believe her but her story made sense.
"I know you think I had something to do with it and nothing I say is going to change that, but I didn't do it," Andrea said convincingly. "That would be a little strong. Even for me."
Darien ran his fingers through his hair and shook his head. This was unbelievable. He felt a headache coming along.
"Just hear me out. I can help you," she started, determined. "You know my father is great friends with the dean. I'm pretty sure he can convince him to reinstate you into the school..."
"I haven't been expelled. I'm just on hold," he replied through clenched teeth. Hearing his sentence from her mouth made his situation seem so much worse.
"Yes, I know. But how long would that take? A month? The rest of the semester? Will you have to wait until next year? Or maybe you'd never be able to go back. Maybe they'll just expel you because you're too much to handle. And then what? No school would want you. No school would want someone who was expelled from med school. Even if you don't tell them the real reason you got expelled, they'd find out... The only solution to your crisis is me," she finished with a smile.
Darien was frustrated. He didn't want to play her stupid little games. Even if she wasn't involved with the tape, she had known about Diamond. She could've stopped him. And he couldn't excuse the fact that she did try to kill Serena once and had threatened her life another time. He had been played a fool once. He wasn't going to be played again. All these emotions mixed with the fact that his life was going down the drain, wasn't helping her case.
He grabbed Andrea by the shoulders and pushed her up against the wall, hard, harder than he meant to. "Listen here, you crazy bitch. I don't want your help. I didn't ask for it so why don't you go bother somebody else with your psychotic ramblings?!" he hissed to her face.
Her look of pain and struggle, turned into a maniacal laugh. Darien's hard stare loosened. The girl was deranged. "Oh, Darien... You know I'm right. You know my father can persuade the dean into giving you a second chance. You know he has powerful connections. He has the money and the power to do so. He can donate a large sum to the school. He can donate to the hospital of your choosing... It could be as if nothing happened, Darien. You'll get your life back."
Darien released his grip. Everything would be back to normal. It did sound appealing... but he would die a thousand deaths before he gave in to Andrea. All he needed was money and lots of it.
"What do you say, Darien?" she asked, thinking she finally got him.
"You must think I'm stupid, huh?"
"No. Just... vulnerable."
"Right. What's the price?"
"I can't tell you that," she said frowning. "Not unless you accept my offer."
"You must be crazy..."
"No... I just think you're desperate to do what you love and would do anything to get it."
Maybe she wasn't so crazy after all...
Darien put on his helmet. "Like I said... I don't need your help. You're not the only one with a persuasive father..." he said before sliding the visor over his face and taking off.
'That's what you say now...' she thought to herself. 'Let's see if daddy dearest really helps you out...'
Serena was lying curled up in her bed. The tears had stopped flowing. Every now and then, that would happen. Whenever she would have a moment of lucidness.
Everything had happened so fast. She kept reviewing all the scenes in her head. How could this have happened to her?
Everyone saw it. People knew her face. They knew what she looked like with and without clothes on. She shuddered at the thought. How could Darien do this to her?
Somewhere deep down inside her, she didn't believe that he could do this. Sure, he used to be the biggest asshole she knew, but it was never anything remotely as huge and humiliating as this. But the facts were right in front of her.
The camera was definitely there in his room, hidden from her view. And if it wasn't Darien, who would want to do something like this to her? Andrea. Her mind told her. But that would mean that she broke into Darien's house and there were definitely no signs of breaking and entering when they had arrived at his apartment. And, she would have had to go back to his apartment once again to fetch the video. It didn't make sense. How did she even know that it was that specific night? How would she know when to get the video? And in time for the showcase?! It was way too farfetched.
The only simple reasoning she could come up with was that it was all Darien's doing.
Serena had not gone to class today. She couldn't bear the thought of everyone giving her weird looks, recognizing her from the video, looking at her while visualizing what was underneath her clothes... She couldn't go to class. She didn't want to anymore. She didn't care if she failed the rest of the semester. Hell, it still wasn't too late to drop out.
Serena sighed as she heard her phone buzz for the billionth time. It was either Darien or Mina trying to talk to her, but she didn't want to talk to anyone. She had been hiding all weekend and she was planning to do so for as long as it took. She didn't care if she was going to go into a deep depression. She didn't want to deal with the world. She didn't want to deal with Darien.
Darien whom she thought had loved her. He betrayed her. She had been falling apart all weekend because of him.
Tears threatened to start spilling all over again when the sound of the doorbell rang through her apartment.
'Who could possibly be at the door?' she thought to herself. She determined that she was going to stay in bed until the person went away. Hopefully, they had the wrong apartment or they'd think she wasn't home.
Serena hugged her pillow closer to her body, wishing the person to leave in the next ten seconds.
Whoever it was, they were being persistent.
RING! RING! RING!
Serena sat up on the side of her bed. She was aggravated now. She was going to kill whoever was at the door. She wanted to be alone.
Serena walked swiftly to the apartment buzzer and pressed on the intercom button. "Hello?!" she said a little harshly.
"Hi, Serena... It's Diamond."
Serena gasped. She hadn't expected to hear his voice. "Uh... Hi, Diamond. I don't mean to be rude but... it's not really a good time right-"
"I know, Serena. I know you're completely mortified about what happened Friday, but from my experience, its times like these where you need your friends the most. You can't shut us out forever. I don't care about what I saw Serena. Mina doesn't care about that either. She's really worried about you. We know the real you and we care about you. I care about you..."
Serena hesitated. Should he really believe him?
She then realized that she didn't really want to be alone, that she didn't have to be alone. There were still people out there who didn't judge her. Those were the people who cared about her. They were there to help her through everything. Serena's mind flashed to her old high school friends: Amy, Lita, Raye... Molly. They were all so far away and she knew that she should turn to them first and foremost, but they weren't here with her at that moment. Diamond was.
"Listen, Serena," Diamond said through the intercom. "If you don't want me to be here-"
"No!!!" she said a little loud. "No... It's fine. You can come up. It's been a long and lonely weekend..." she said, pressing the buzzer to let him up.
Serena waited a few minutes before looking through the peephole for Diamond to appear. As soon as she saw him come up those last few stairs, her eyes welled up with tears. She suddenly felt overwhelmed with emotion.
Just as Diamond was about to knock, Serena threw her door open and jumped into his arms. She didn't care that she looked like hell, she felt relieved that there was still someone in the world that cared about her.
Diamond's eyes widened in surprise. He hadn't expected such a greeting. He wrapped her frail body in his arms. He noticed that she was sobbing. His hand moved up to her hair so he could caress the back of her head. "Shhh... It's okay. Let everything out. Just let everything out..." he whispered beside her ear.
Serena cried onto his shoulder. They were tears of pain, humiliation, but mostly joy... Ever since she set foot in the city, she had felt alone, until she found Darien. But he let her down and she had never felt more alone.
But she knew she wasn't anymore.
"Thank you..." she whispered to Diamond.
Diamond smiled. Everything was going to be okay.
Author's note: Well? Well? Was it all you expected? Less? Better? Stupid? I'm sure part of it was predictable. The cries, the sadness... the big breakup. Although, I wouldn't technically say that they've really truly broken up. They're just separated at the moment... (Just to reassure all you hopefuls!) So tell me what you think! Reviews of all kinds are always welcome!!!