Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Not the books the series or the characters. They all belong to Kelley Armstrong. That goes for this whole fanfiction, so don't say I didn't tell you just becausse not every chapter has a disclaimer... ENJOY :)

(Derek's point-of-view)

Why was I awake? Simon's snores echoed through our room, but that had never kept me awake before. The clock on our dresser said 2:24 AM.

I squeezed my eyes shut in hopes that the darkness would pull me under. "No use." I muttered to myself.

Climbing out of bed I pulled on a pair of pants and a shirt that hung over the back of an old rocking chair.

The upper hallway was long with doors leading to multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and a living room. I headed down the hall opposite the living room and down the staircase. The floor boards creaked as I walked down the steps. I wasn't used to making much noise just walking around.

In the kitchen I found a box of chocolate chip cookies. It was half full. That would make a good snack.

Pulling out the plastic holder I threw out the box and started toward the downstairs TV room. The only light was the glow of an old lamp down the hall but with my night vision that was plenty to find the room. The door was ajar and I could hear the voice of an anchor man on the old TV.

I swung the door open. Chloe was lying asleep on the couch, curled up in a little fidgeting ball. She must have been having a nightmare.

I put the cookies down on the computer desk, next to an outdated Mac.

"Chloe, wake up." I said shaking her shoulder gently. She just moaned restlessly and curled up tighter in her little ball. "Chloe, come on. Wake up." I said shaking her a little more roughly.

Her head shot up and she let out a high pitched scream.

I clamped my hand over her mouth quickly, quieting the scream. "Shhh, it's okay." I said removing my hand.

Almost automatically tears welled up in her eyes and she began sobbing. "It was so real." She cried.

A couple weeks ago if I'd seen Chloe crying like this I wouldn't have known what to do. I would have said something wrong like "Shut up it was just a stupid dream." or "Well it obviously wasn't real so why are you crying about it?" Now I sat down on the couch beside her and wrapped my arm around her shoulders.

"It was just a dream; only a dream." I repeated again and again; rubbing her shoulders as if she were crying because of the cold and not a nightmare.

I wanted so badly to pull her onto my lap and cradle her there. I wanted to whisper in her ear. And most of all I wanted her to want that too. Instead I just pulled her close and let her cry, whispering words of comfort to her.

I had never cared about anyone the way I cared about Chloe. I thought I had everything that I wanted, and it was everything I wanted. I had Simon and my dad. When she first came along, Chloe was a tool to me; a way to get my brother to leave the Lyle house. Sure we became a little closer than that to the point where we were friends, but we weren't close, and I wouldn't grieve much if something were to happen to her. Then she stayed with me. I was turning into a hideous monster right in front of her eyes, and she stayed and tried to comfort me. All this time I hadn't recognized it, but I was falling in love with her.

She knelt on the couch pulling her arms around my neck and burying her face in my chest. I felt her tears soaking through my shirt, but I didn't care. I just sat there and wrapped her in my arms.

I knew she would have probably preferred that Simon was the one here, holding her close, but I couldn't bring myself to dwell on that.

"Thank-you." She whimpered curling up into my side.

"Just relax." I said rubbing her back. I had to be so gentle with Chloe; she seemed so breakable.

I don't know how long we sat there in silence curled up on that couch, but it seemed to end too fast.

"I should probably go back to my room." She said. Her voice was hoarse and her face was sickly and pale.

"Why were you down here in the first place." The question had been bothering me for awhile.

"I just couldn't sleep. I thought watching TV might help." She yawned at the last words.

I nodded and reluctantly let go of her. She stood but stumbled, threatening to fall over. I grabbed her elbow, helping her stand until she regained her balance.

"Thanks." She said, her face turning crimson.

"Sure," I said walking toward the door.

"Wait," She said. I turned to look at her. She was still bright red.

"What is it?" I asked walking back over. She was silent looking at the floor as if it interested her. I put my fingers under her chin and lifted her face to look at mine.

I should have seen it coming; but being so inexperienced with girls I didn't notice the look in her eyes.

She reached up on her tip-toes and had to reach up around my neck for the extra height. Her lips were soft and warm on mine. As I pulled her tighter to me I felt her heart, beating fast in her chest.

She let go too soon, dropping back onto the heels of her feet and unfastening her arms from around my neck.

She turned even redder and before I could say anything she was dashing out the door and up the stairs. Was that a bad thing? I didn't care. I just grinned and snatched the cookies off the computer desk before heading back to my room.