A/N - i do not own LWD.

Here's the second chapter of the two-shot (yes, even I thought this story needed a conclusion) I just hope this doesn't disappoint. Please review, and tell me what you think. And all those who did review, thanks for the encouragement :)

Chapter 2

"...so then he looks at me, and he tells me, 'I'm not sure George, I never really brushed up on my work before." George let out a loud bark of laughter. "Get it? Brushed?" He looked excitedly at the rest of his family. "Brushed? The whole thing with the brush?"

They laughed nervously.

"Good one, Dad." Edwin muttered unenthusiastically.

"Yeah, George. Good one." Lizzie threw Casey a meaningful look.

"Um.. yeah George. That was really funny." Casey muttered quickly before pulling out glasses from the cupboard. She had been distracted, which was why Lizzie looked at her expecting her to say something.. encouraging. But then, really, who could blame her? Especially when all her attention was centered around...

"Derek! Good! You're just in time to hear this joke that happened at work." Casey stiffened, her back towards him as he entered.

"You mean the 'brush' joke? Yeah, heard it from upstairs. Real funny, Dad. You could give Jeff Dunham a run for his money." He took a seat at the island, joining the rest of the family, and ignored the glares they sent his way. It appeared that his father was the only one who didn't notice his sarcasm, for he puffed out his chest and grinned proudly.

She didn't know why, but Casey could feel Derek's eyes on her, and it made her feel very self conscious. Which is probably why the plastic salad bowl in her hands might have slipped through her fingers and fallen to the floor with a thud, making her look like a complete doofus in front of him... and everyone else. Not that she forgot that there were other people in the kitchen. She was vaguely aware of their presence. She immediately got down on her knees to clear the area, while the rest of her family, save for Derek, ran around getting the rest of the dishes away from her and onto the dining room table for dinner. Why wasn't he looking away from her? She couldn't be that interesting.

"Casey, Derek, bring the plates please." Nora ordered. Something that wasn't unusual. The McDonald-Venturi household always worked in twos. But expected or not, staying alone with Derek, for any given amount of time wasn't desired.

Casey hurriedly went to work, determined not to embrace this opportunity her mother so unwittingly placed on her shoulders. Grabbing the plates, she turned swiftly to exit the kitchen as quickly as possible, but bumped right into him, who happened to be right behind her. She stumbled. And he steadied her by grabbing her arms. Casey felt her breath catch in her throat. Breathing was difficult. Very, very difficult.

"You're unusually klutzy today." He said at a failed attempt at sarcasm. Instead, his words sounded more affectionate than a barely concealed insult.

She should say something. Anything. Especially since he still hadn't let go of her arms, and even with a stack of plates between them, he was too close. Casey stared at the base of his neck, which was ironically at her eye level.

He waited for her to say something. Finally, he let her go, allowing her to breath again. Grabbing the plates from her suddenly limp arms, he smirked. "I better take this before you end up breaking all of Nora's precious plates."

Was her eyesight getting blurry? She wasn't getting enough oxygen.

"So then, I'll take these?" He asked uncertainly. He probably expected her to object. Instead, she nodded slowly, unaware of how robotic her movements were. "Alright." He mumbled more to himself before heading towards the dining room. After taking a deep, shaky breath, she followed him.

Dinner was.. well.. dinner. It had the usual, eating, joking, serving and burping, always followed by an 'ew' and a reluctant apology. Nothing was different. That is, nothing except that Casey found it difficult to lift her head high enough to see what was going on around her, since her main objective was to avoid the very person sitting opposite her at all cost. Her mind went back to the pro-con list she had made regarding this unforeseeable, and very disagreeable matter. The con against Derek were many, everything from his hygiene and eating habits, to his deep emotional issues that Casey was positive he wasn't addressing. The pro on the other hand, was empty. And it wasn't like that on purpose. Sure, he was sweet and caring, but only when he had an agenda, or if he felt guilty, so naturally, that was a con. She wasn't happy with the lack of effectiveness the list held when changing her mind from actually feeling something for him, to feeling nothing. Surely, they haven't changed so much in the past three years that they are actually compatible, right? That very thought was ridiculous on so many levels. And yet, when she did look up, and her eyes fell on his, his gaze would hold hers, and something unspoken would pass between them. Two seconds later, it would be gone, and her eyes would once again focus on her plate.

"Casey, Derek, dishes." George mumbled through his food filled mouth, and Casey couldn't help but scrunch up her face in disgust. Like father, like son. Then she panicked.

"Cant Liz and Ed do it today? I have a lot of work to get done." She avoided the look Derek threw her.

"But we did it yesterday." Edwin whined.

"Yeah, and I have an exam tomorrow." Lizzie piped in as she stood up from the table.

"It is your turn." Nora smiled as she picked up her own plate and walked into the kitchen with the rest of the family.

Casey's eyes locked on Derek's, and after a moment, they silently went to work, avoiding bumping into each other at all cost.

Working together wasn't as bad as she thought it would be, especially since she made a conscious effort not to be too close to him. And after a while, she realized the same can be said for him. This realization didn't make a feel content, instead, it annoyed her.

"What are you doing?"

He was startled. Then he looked at his hands. "Wiping the dishes." He always did have an annoyingly smart-ass answer.

"I mean.." She took a step towards him, and didn't miss him taking a step away from her. "There! See! You just took a step back."

He quirked his brow at her. "You're paranoid."

"Really?" She took another step. And so did he. "You just did it again."

"Did you fall on your head? Again?"

She took another step. "Derek!" It was frustrating, how he kept moving away from her. "If you weren't moving, how did you manage to go from the sink, to the fridge?" He couldn't come up with a good answer for that one.

He shrugged. "I wanted some orange juice. Are you telling me that now I cant move without you documenting my steps?"

She took another step. "Then why are you moving away from the fridge?"

He took an extra step back for good measure, and shrugged. "Not in the mood to drink anything anymore."

He was avoiding her. The nerve! "Derek!" She threatened as she took a few steps towards him, and wasn't disappointed when he quickly moved to the other side of the island. "What are you doing?" She made a move to her right.

"Why do you keep coming towards me?" He retaliated, moving to his right.

She moved to her left. "Because I want to know what's up with you." Surely, that was a good reason.

Derek, moved to the opposite side again. "Well, why can't you ask me whatever you want to ask me from the other side of the room?"

She stopped moving. "I..."

"Exactly! Now could you be a good little girl and move so that I could leave?"

Her eyes narrowed at him. "You don't make any sense. This is ridiculous."

"No. It's necessary." He said seriously. "Now, move."

She stood her ground. "Make me."

Derek leaned over the counter, a scowl in his face. "Casey. For the love of all things pink in your case, move."

"You know what? Fine." She turned on her heel and strutted out of the kitchen, at the last moment, pretending to climb up the stairs, she quickly made a U-turn and hid in the corner. She was going to confront him no matter what.

"Hey." She grinned as he walked out of the kitchen. He gasped, startled.

"Jesus!" Closing his eyes, he placed a hand over his heart. "Scary much?"

He made a move to walk around her, but expecting it, Casey blocked his path and grabbed his arm to stop him from getting away. He stared at her hand circled around his arm, which unnerved her, but she stood her ground.

"Let go." He avoided her eyes.

The fact that he wasn't sure of himself, made her confident. They always did work in opposites. "I know it's weird, but, maybe if we talk about it, we would realize that what happened was a completely unexpected thing, that would probably never happen again because we didn't mean it." She sounded hopeful, even to her own ears.

His back straightened. "Yeah, you're right. We don't even like each other."

"And we have nothing in common."

"Well, yeah, because you're an uptight princess who over thinks everything."

Her eyes narrowed. "And you're a lazy bum who doesn't think at all."

He finally looked at her. "Yeah, I am. Which is why it was a mistake."

She nodded, not really noticing how close he was getting. "Yeah, a mistake that will never happen again."

"Yeah.." His voice trailed off, and his gaze fell on her parted lips.

"Yeah.." She barely whispered before his lips covered hers. It was slow, soft, and she felt him lean against her. She stayed rigidly stubborn, willing her body to push him away from her. He opened his lips over hers, willing her to do the same, and she submitted, taking great pleasure in the way his tongue played with hers. He tasted sweet and familiar, proving the fact that he did know about her secret stash of dark chocolates. It took a second to forgive him as his arms circled around her and pulled her closer to his hard form. The kiss became more rushed as if the need to touch and taste were unbearably expected. Her own hands tangled in his hair, holding him close, while his hands sent bouts of pleasure along her body with every caress of her curves. No one had ever made her feel so light, yet heavy. Finally, he pulled away, causing Casey to send up a silent prayer of thanks for enabling some thinking time. But the prayer was soon forgotten as he kissed her jaw, then the base of her neck instead. She bit back a moan and her eyes closed in elation, as he nipped the tender skin beneath her ear.

"Of all the things to get me to come to UoT, this is the most effective." He whispered huskily against her ear.

Casey's eyes snapped open, as a thought struck her. "I don't want you to come." She blurted out.

He pulled away from her, his expression confused. "What?"

"Go for the trip."

"I thought you wanted me to come to UoT."

"I did. I do. It's just that, we cant live together. Not after this. And Europe is so beautiful, you should go and check it out." She let go of him and started walking backwards, her demeanour one of nervousness. "You know how it is, you go to Uni, you get a job, you settle down, it's really depressing, for you. You should go."

He walked steadily towards her, causing her to trip as she moved away from him. "You're trying to get rid of me?" He sounded insulted.

Casey rushed up the stairs. "No. No. I don't think so. No. Never. Not really. At least I don't think so."

He followed her to the landing just in front of their bedrooms, his eyes narrowed. "I'm coming."

"What?" Her voice screeched in panic.

"I'm coming.." He took three steps towards her and grabbed her shoulders. "And there's nothing you can do to stop me." He held her head steady as he bent down to kiss her. She responded, her resolve to stay detached crumbling after the first contact. He pulled back, a smirk playing on his lips. "Get ready to move in with me, Princess." He winked.

"We'll see about that." She raised her chin in defiance. Pulling away from him, she opened her bedroom door. Just as she was about to close it behind her, he called her name.

"I always get what I want."

Glaring at him, she closed the door, leaning against it for support. Did he mean that he wanted her? That couldn't be right. Seeing her mirror, Casey grinned at her reflection. Boys were so easy to manipulate. Derek's weakness was always either wanting something she wanted, or wanting something she didn't want. Which was why pretending not to want him at UoT was so crucial. She had him right where she wanted him, and the poor guy actually thought he was doing something that she didn't want.

She sighed. There was only one tiny little problem with her receiving her ultimate goal. She touched her lips gingerly, feeling the aftermath of a simple kiss that should not have made her senses explode in pleasure. She had to live with Derek Venturi. Alone. Her glance shifted heavenward. Someone really hated her up there.