Ch. 1: Painful Memories
Title: Heart's Pain
A/N: Yes yes its a new story, right now this story is my top priority. The italics section is Serena's dream by the way. I DO NOT OWN sailor moon or any of the characters, so there.
Serena Stanton was a strong, independent woman, who successfully put up a happy façade in front of her friends. Behind closed doors it was an entirely different story. She was lonely, perhaps even a bit depressed with the way her life was going. She lived alone, her apartment was bare and she hardly let anyone over if she could help it. Claiming she was too busy with work or too tired to try to make it homier. Truth was nothing felt like home anymore.
She wasn't always this way mind you, a few years back she was the happiest she had ever been. Her apartment was filled with love and warmth, every surface covered with photographs. She spent more time with her friends and family, always wanting to be surrounded by the people she loved. That was when He was in her life. The man she wanted to live the rest of her life with wanted to marry and have children with, the man who had been her whole world.
And then her world was destroyed, when this man she loved more than anything told her he was in love with her best friend.
After the emotional breakdown, she decided it wasn't worth it anymore. Always trying so hard to make others happy, being there for her friends, the same friends who knew and chose not to tell her. She distanced herself from her friends deciding they weren't worth her friendship. She dived head first into her work hoping it would take away the pain and keep her mind off reality. It wasn't long before her work became her life, five years later at the age of 27 she was able to take over her father's company, a very well known architect firm.
"Ms. Stanton, the contract for the Harrison account is on your desk and I scheduled you to have a lunch meeting with Mr. Mason. Oh and your mail is also on your desk. Is there anything else you need for me to do?"
Serena walked into her office followed by her secretary Paul. He had a pen and pad on hand ready to jot down anything she said. He was very much devoted to his job and did his absolute best to make his boss happy. He had heard when he started that she only hired male secretaries; afraid to ask he figured she didn't get along with well with other females. She never had any visitors like friends, and to be honest she could be very cold at times.
"Yes, I need you to type up the contract for the Marcus account; it needs to be done by tomorrow afternoon. Confirm my meeting with Mrs. Carson, and I will need the new fabric samples on my desk by the end of the day." With that Serena sat down and started to look through her mail. A sign she was finished with the assigned duties for now.
"Yes ma'am." Paul left the office, shutting the door behind him, leaving Serena alone to work.
She dove into her work, glancing over the finish contracts on her desk first and then going through the final touches for the design on the Harrison account. Leaving her mail to be forgotten to the side, she busied herself with her work until hours later when Paul returned.
"Ms. Stanton you have a phone call." He looked a bit nervous when she looked at him. He knew she didn't like to be bothered unless it was important.
"Well who is it? I'm busy."
"Um he wouldn't say, just that he was an old friend and that it was important. I told him you were busy and unless he gave more information I would have to take a message. But….He was very adamant that he speak to you right now." Serena narrowed her eyes; she didn't want to speak to any "old" friends. Who could it possibly be? Letting her curiosity get the better of her she accepted the call.
"Stanton speaking." She liked to be firm and straight to the point when answering the phone, not caring much if she offended anyone. They were calling her for a reason, she was one of the best architect designers in the world, and her time was precious.
"Hello Serena, it's been a long time." Serena frowned when she heard the voice, so informal with her and it sounded somewhat familiar. But she wasn't able to place it, she had practically erased everyone from her life, she could barely remember her own mother's voice they spoke so little to each other
"Who is this?" Keeping her voice tight and devoid of emotion, Serena leaned her elbows against her desk. She had a feeling she was not going to like whoever it was on the other end, but she was going to be professional and not let her emotions get to her. She knew emotions were pointless.
"I'm surprised you don't recognize my voice, I suppose it has been a long time since we last spoke. It's me Andrew." Her eyes widened, her mouth fell slack opening slightly. Andrew was Darien's best friend, her ex's best friend was calling her five years later. He was always a friendly man, he had become a great friend to her in the three years she had dated Darien. But after they broke up she never saw or heard from him again; guess he was only her friend for Darien's sake.
"Yes I remember now, what can I do for you Mr. Ferguson?" She hoped by remaining distant and cold he would get the picture she did not wish to speak with him.
"Oh you don't have to be so informal, please Andrew is just fine. We used to be good friends once remember, I was calling because I heard from your parents you took over the company and I was in town. Was just wondering if we could meet up for lunch or if I could stop by and say Hi." She heard him laugh and talk without missing a beat, as if the past they shared matter not. It almost angered her that he would dare speak to her so nonchalantly.
"Well Andrew, I'm afraid I have a lunch meeting schedule both today and tomorrow already. So I don't think…" Serena wasn't even able to finish her sentence when her door was thrown open. Paul was standing there looking at her with wild eyes, but it was the man in front of him that shocked her the most.
"I assumed you would blow me off considering, so I decided to just show up anyways. It's good to see you Serena." Andrew Ferguson was standing in front of her desk with a big goofy grin on his face; she quickly controlled her emotions, hoping the shock on her face didn't show.
"I am a very busy woman, what is it that you want exactly. Because I don't think charging into my office without permission to chum it up with an old friend is enough of a reason for me to believe." Serena sat her phone back in the hook seeing as the man she was previously speaking to was now in front of her. She sat back in her chair, and folded her legs, looking the complete definition of a professional business woman in her white knee length skirt and black silk blouse.
"Your right, I'm sorry. May I have a seat before I explain my sudden appearance?" She merely nodded before looking back at the shocked Paul.
"Paul, it seems I won't be making the lunch meeting with Mr. Mason, please reschedule it to a dinner meeting if he is available." Paul nodded and shut the door behind him.
"Working around the clock I see. Your mom said you've become quite the workaholic." Andrew sat in one of the chairs in front of Serena's desk. He gave her a glance over, noticing how different she looked. She no longer looked like the young, sweet girl he knew. She was sophisticated looking, strong and more beautiful. She had even cut her long hair leaving it barely touching her shoulders, the front part was longer than the back and her bangs swept to the side. She truly grew up into a sexy woman that was for sure.
"I didn't know you were so close to them. But yes, I work a lot. What do you want Andrew?" Serena looked closely at the man in front of her; he pretty much looked the same as he did five years ago. Still the handsome man she remembered, with messy blonde hair and twinkling green eyes.
"Well I needed a favor really; I contacted all the girls to get your number but they didn't know it. I was shocked to hear that they hadn't spoken or seen you in over four years. So that's why I called your mother, you really shut everyone out didn't you?" At the mention of "the girls" Serena broke eye contact, she hadn't really thought about her old friends in a long time. Too many emotions were involved when she thought about them; she hated not having control over her feelings.
"That is none of your business. Now what is this favor you need, I won't promise I can help, but what is it?"
"Well I co-own a restaurant and my partner and I are planning on expanding here in LA. I was hoping to have you do the design for the new restaurant." She didn't want to do it but business was business and when it came down to it, her work was more important than her past troubles.
"Alright, but let it be known I'm not doing this as a favor to you, its business." The two agreed to meet up the next day and discuss the details over dinner. Andrew left still with a big smile on his face, but after he left Serena could barely get any work done.
After her dinner meeting with Mr. Marcus and a long day at work Serena finally made it home. Letting herself into her empty apartment she didn't even bother turning on the lights, she was used to coming home to the darkness every night so she knew her way around perfectly. She made her way to her bedroom, where she changed and settled into bed. Usually she fell asleep looking over papers, waking up to them scattered all over the bed. But tonight she wouldn't be able to think properly.
"Why is everything coming back now to haunt me? I thought I got rid of all of them and those thoughts, those memories. I don't want to remember what happened." She curled up on her side hoping that sleep would just take over before anymore bad thoughts came to mind.
Perhaps she wouldn't have wanted to sleep so much had she known that her memories would leak into her dreams.
"Darien? Raye? What are you two doing here?" Serena walked into the apartment she shared with her long time boyfriend Darien Shields. He and her best friend Raye were sitting on the couch side by side. Had Serena not be so trusting she probably would have found the closeness a bit disturbing, but she was and so she looked passed it.
"Serena we have something to tell you. I think you should sit down." The way Ray wouldn't look at her and the way Darien could barely keep eye contact longer than five seconds started to scare her. The only thing that kept popping to mind was that someone was hurt or died. Nothing could be worse than that.
"What's going on? Darien you're scaring me."Serena sat down in the chair across from the couch the two were sitting on. Darien shook his head and dropped it to his hands. Whatever it was they were trying to say, it was definitely hard for them. She could tell whatever it would be it would cause her heartache in some way.
"First I want you to know I love you very much. We both do, you mean so much to us. You're an amazing person Serena, never forget that. We know that what were about to tell you will change everything but we can't hide it from you any longer." Darien shifted in his spot, he glanced over at Raye who was clearly crying. Her head was bent down so her hair was hiding it but from the way her shoulder shook he knew this was hurting her, and it broke his heart. But he knew whatever pain she was feeling was nothing compared to the amount of pain they were about to put Serena through. If anyone didn't deserve this it was her. But it couldn't be helped.
Serena stared at the floor, it was like she knew what they were about to say before they said it. She wanted to believe it was something else but she could feel it, she wouldn't know how she would handle it until he said it.
"Serena…you see the truth is…yes I love you, but I'm in love with Raye. We have been seeing each other behind your back for months now. We didn't mean to I swear, we even tried to stop it. But we can't help it, I know it will take awhile for you to understand and see that this is best. But I hope you can at least forgive Raye, she's beating herself up about it. I'm sorry Sere." It all came out too fast, except for the last part.
She knew she should be crying or yelling at them, but she felt numb like nothing existed except the pain in her chest. Maybe she knew it all along and just played dumb so she could pretend things were perfect between her and Darien. There was really only one thing she could do right now and so she stood up, smiled a tight and obviously fake smile towards the two and then walked towards "their" bedroom.
Darien and Raye stared in shock after her that was the last thing they expected when they decided to tell her. They were expecting her to break down crying and yell at them to get out, or throw something at Darien's head, call Raye names. They sat there a few minutes thinking she needed some time to herself. Darien stood up to go after her, to check up on her and make sure she was alright. He still cared deeply for her after all.
"Serena?" Darien slowly opened the door to the bedroom, again he was shocked to see the opposite of what he was expecting. She wasn't curled up on the bed crying or broken down on the floor. She was completely quiet, her face void of any emotion, and she was packing her suitcases.
"I'll be back in a few days for the rest." She zipped up her two suitcases and started to haul them to the door when Darien stepped in front of her, he laid his hands on her shoulders.
"Serena please you don't have to leave, I should leave. This is your home to; everything you love is put into this place. This girls and Andrew offered to help me move out by the end of the weekend so you don't have to worry about seeing my stuff." At the mention of her other friends already knowing beforehand the betrayal of her boyfriend and best friend Serena snapped. She finally let out an emotion other than numbness.
She slowly slid her hands up Darien's shirt, hearing him gasp in surprise; he wasn't expecting her to touch him. She then shoved him hard into the wall and leaned into his face, her eyes glaring fire into his surprise wide eyes.
"I love nothing in this place; I want nothing to do with any of you. You can tell the girls and Andrew what I said. Don't ever show your faces to me again. Goodbye." And then she was gone.
It was that exact dream Serena had been thinking about when Andrew finally showed up for their dinner meeting. He was nicely dressed, looking the part of a business man. This surprised her because he always seemed like the casual type.
"Sorry I'm late, my partner called to make sure I told you the right things. He can be a bit of a perfectionist." His deep laugh did nothing to make her feel better about the situation. The dream reminded her all too well just who this man was and what he had been a part of. She hoped this project would be over soon, or perhaps she could have another designer assigned to the project.
"Well that's fine; the more details given the easier the procedure will go. Now I have an excellent selection of designers, I can assign the project to one of them and hopefully everything will go smoothly. Of course I will look over each draft myself to make sure everything is perfect." Andrew stopped her by placing his hand on the one she had covering the folder on the table. He flinched when she snatched it away just as quickly as the contact was made. He knew how badly she had been hurt but he didn't think it was this bad.
"I really would prefer it if you would do the designs Serena. My partner was very specific in everything, He would be here himself but he won't be in town for another couple of days. Please, I know we have a bad past and you blame me for part of your pain but it's been five years I really want us to be able to get along again." Serena stared into his green eyes and saw how sincere he was. Everything in her body told her to say no and just do the project and let him leave her life but she was tired of being alone. At least for a bit she could pretend they were friends.
"Fine I'll do the project myself, and….I suppose I can let the past be in the past while were working together." Andrew smiled his trademark goofy grin at her and she couldn't help but letting a small smile crack also. She definitely felt something in motion already. She only prayed Andrew was the only one from her past making an appearance.