He stood in the shadows of the dark, previously smokey smelling room, twirling thoughts around in his head. His left hand, which was quivering ever so slightly from a mix of fear and sheer excitement was gently clutching onto the letter that he had received this morning. She had given it to him, a reason for him to leave her and never look back, but he wasn't going to do so. We all have our secrets, but one day the truth has to come out, and so he's making sure that she hears it from him first. He could never leave her, not now. A few weeks ago, he had told her that he was in a very big danger of falling in love with her. And now he had fallen for her, irreversibly and beautifully in love with her. She was so fantastic, and yet so different to anyone or anything he had ever encountered before. She had integrity, and intelligence, and she was sometimes so severely kind that people had the nerve to try and take advantage of her, which never ever worked anyway. But she was brutally honest about anything and everything except her emotions. She shied away from any kind of romantic involvement or relationship, in fear that she might get hurt. Last night had changed all of that, most likely forever. She wasn't afraid of being vulnerable with someone anymore.

He was shaken from his enthralling trails of thought when the woman in his current consideration waltzed concernedly into the room and picked up her black coat, that black coat that she had been sporting so deliciously last night, from a randomly placed chair. Her hair, those gorgeous strands of velvetine honeysuckle, shone even in the dimly lit room and when he caught a glimpse of her sharp eyes, a part of him metaphorically melted within. They were like azure diamonds, twinkling and glimmering like a disco ball at prom night. Her lips are twisted into a thin line of mediocre expression and he suddenly had the maddening urge to kiss him, just like she had done to him last night, the one action that had initiated…everything. It was like he was under a spell, some kind of enchantment, and everytime he looked at her, he fell in love all over again.

She glanced fleetingly towards the staff all crowded around the stage, singing Hi Ho Silver Lining, and a little part of her died. If she lost her job, there was still the danger of her losing her job even though the school had been barely salvaged, if she couldn't spend everyday with these crazy but lovely people, it would probably kill her. This was her life, this school and all the kids, and if she wasn't allowed to be headmistress anymore then everything in her world and life would collapse. She breathed out heavily, and he watched her as her eyelids fluttered, sniffing back a few stray tears from the corners of her eyes, and began to walk towards the front door exit of the pub.

'You leaving already?' Rob asked suddenly, pulling himself together and finding the courage to pipe up and talk to her. She swivelled around in shock and smiled at him, her lips ripping into a broad grin, 'I mean this is just the warm up, it get's worse,' he added, referring obviously to Janeece's vaguely out of tune rendition. She sniggered and she suddenly felt comforted and happy when he strolled near to her, still twiddling the red snooker ball around in his fingers. He shot her an enquiring look and she desperately tried to think of an excuse which she would be able to escape from this place with. When no reason came to her avail, she truthfully replied with,

'I thought I'd just leave whilst everyone's having a good time.'

'Yeah, because we passed the inspection…' he explained slowly, evidently believing that she had forgotten all the horrific events of earlier today. He then realized that that wouldn't be the case, it's entirely impossible for her, she had basically lost her job and her school, it's the kind of thing you don't forget lightly. She smiled sadly and took a few steps towards him, meeting him in the middle of the room, 'And no one's happier about that than me…' she said, not trailing off, but leaving the end of her statement hooked. She really could not be happier, but everything would and could go wrong with a seemingly unimportant decision made by some random panel of governers and representatives.

'But…?' he asked, pressing her for more information. He knew there was a more suitable reason for her leaving. She was upset about something, and now, as designated "boyfriend", it was his job to find out what. Her smile disappeared a bit and she tried not to let all her fear invade her voice, 'It just makes the possibility of not being part of it that much harder.'

Suicide had crossed her mind twice that day. She had never experienced a situation so bad that it had actually been considered as a viable option, but today had really destroyed a part of her belief system that she never expected to lose. She felt weak thinking like this, it felt wrong and ridiculous, but it was the first time she hadn't been able to find something to live for. Even he had deserted her. She had said some stupid stuff, and he hadn't got angry as such, just frustrated that she wouldn't even try to listen to him. In all honesty, she had never been more frightened than she had been, walking down empty and abandoned corridors, a box of her desk stuff in her arms, strolling towards the front door of her school. Her school. But for how much longer, she had thought, the tears hardly restrained. And then, once she had passed his office, she had completely lost it. She had promised herself she wouldn't cry. But then again, Charlie had promised to love her forever, to never cheat. No one sticks to their promises anymore; they're just meaningless, made up words that are said at the moment to reassure. And although she had tried so hard to keep them at bay, the tears had come, gentle and slight, slowly and silently trawling down her cheeks, smudging her make up. At one point, she had dropped the flimsy box, and it had fallen, almost in slow motion, to her feet, everything flying out and crashing against the floor, and she fell down to the ground, wrapped herself into a little ball and sobbed. Dramatic, yeah, but when you lose the thing that you love most in the world, what the hell are you supposed to do? She had hoped that he would come and find her, that he would understand what they had done to her was shattering her into billions of fragments of Karen. She loved him, so much. But this hurt even more. Every glance at this school, the plain white-washed walls, the red and brown bricks, the moulding window frames, just made her want to die.

He shook his head in disbelief at her. Did she really think that she was going to lose her job? How utterly ridiculous; she was a fantastic headteacher, they wouldn't even dream of it, or have the guts to do it, 'That's not going to happen Karen.' He was trying to reassure her, but she could see concern, concern for her and her wellbeing, spreading across his face, and suddenly she was the one who had to be strong for him, 'It's the not knowing that's all,' she began quickly, in a reasonable tone, 'Waiting for them to decide.'

'Well then, you just give them hell.' His smile was irresistible; she needed and felt like begging to kiss him. She needed to trace her fingers across his lips, to look in his eyes and somehow tell him how much she loved him. She began to approach once more, her footsteps irreversible; no, she thought, she can't back out now.

'The one thing that I am sure of, no matter what happens to me, where I end up or what I do, I want to keep hold of you,' she murmured, placing a hand on his chest, needing his touch. She expected him to look pleased, or at least a little bit proud and a tiny bit conceited, but what she did not expect was the look of solidarity and depression and utter sadness upon his face. His eyes emptied of all emotion, except anything negative. His lips turned downwards into a thin line, and his expression hardened, his body quivering, 'Right. Well, you might just have to let me go.'

Every time. Every bloody time. Every bloody time she fell for someone, it always ended up with them leaving her. But this shocked her most of all. She had trusted him, with absolutely everything she had, she trusted him more than she believed possible after what Charlie had done. And now all he had done was make her fall so hard for him for him but to leave her.

'What?' her voice was barely more than a whisper, the word escaping like a little breath from her lips. If she wasn't very careful with what she said right now, she was going to end up sobbing again, 'Why?'

She wanted to kiss him. She wanted to slap him. She wanted to caress him. She wanted to kick him. She wanted to love him. She wanted to hate him. How could he do this to her? Her head was screaming for her to run; he was like fire and she had gotten too close and now she was burning in punishment for it.

'I will help you interview for a new site manager, but, well, just read it,' he mumbled, ungraciously shoving the letter to her chest. He tried to make it look like something bad was too be read, but he knew that this would change everything in the greatest way possible. As she scanned the text, looking for the reason, his excuse for leaving her, she caught sight of the words PGCE, teacher and pass. Oh, he was a good actor. She was going to get him back for that. A huge grin became apparent on her angelic face and, despite her annoyance for leading her on, she could not be happier and prouder of him, 'Oh my God,' she chuckled, hardly able to contain her joy, 'you passed your PGCE, you're a teacher!' she cried in shock, laughing all the while, 'That's fantastic!' He grinned back fleetingly, but quickly replied concernedly with, 'I might have to invest in a suit.' She winked at him, took a step closer, and fiddled sweetly with the collar of his shirt, 'Steady on,' she murmured in a deep, sexy voice, 'I prefer you in overalls.'

He nodded appreciatively before he shook his head and offered up, 'Do you want to stay, or would you like me to take you home?' She could've yelled her answer, screamed YES for all the world to see and hear, but she didn't want to be selfish – although if it meant she could spend another night with him, then maybe she would like to be just a little but selfish. But she was a good person, and she shook her head and asked, kind of rhetorically, 'Are you sure you don't want to stay and help them celebrate?' He shook his head almost immediately and leaned his face in towards her, planting a small, chaste kiss to her lips. She was slightly taken aback, but still smiled sweetly afterwards, turning her lips into that gorgeous grin of hers. He recognized this and whispered, 'You have got a nice smile,' and kissed her quickly again. When they broke apart this time, she took his hand within her grip and squeezed it gently, 'I would love for you to take me home.'

X – X – X

He slipped on his coat and, hands entwined together, Rob and Karen began to quickly walk towards the front door of the pub, trying not to be noticed by any of the staff, who would surely gossip to anyone imaginable about the idea of the headmistress and the caretaker. But as he silently pushed the door open, the cold breeze hitting both of them squarely in the face, like a boxing glove, and motioned for her to slip under his arm, Tom came running up. He slurred out, 'Mate, you going already? Your song's up next.' He beamed widely and glanced towards Karen, who looked bemusedly towards Rob. She raised an eyebrow and Rob looked ever so slightly amused before replying with, 'Oh yes, I almost forgot about that,' he turned to Karen and bowed lowly and offered her his hand, 'Mrs Fisher would you grant me the request of this cheap karaoke song?' She flushed at Tom's suspicious reaction to this, but she then remembered that Janeece had probably taken extreme pleasure in telling all the staff about what she had witnessed earlier. Groaning aloud, trying to convince herself that she wasn't going to enjoy this, she nodded her head and allowed Rob to lead her over to the miniature stage, where everyone had just finished their God-awful version of Hi Ho Silver Lining.

She nervously took the microphone and blew into it, testing the sound, causing a large swooshing sound to echo through the bar. The staff laughed comically and then looked expectantly towards Rob as he took up position only an inch or so away from Karen, and the music began, blasting typically from the numerous amounts of speakers. Karen recognized the song straight away, and before the singing part began, she hissed in Rob's ear, 'I am going to make you pay for this later.' She smiled awkwardly so no one else would notice that she was reprimanding him, but blushed insanely when Rob murmured softly into her ear, 'I daresay you will Karen. Oh, your bit's up next.' Karen quickly glanced at the lyrics and before she knew it, she opened her mouth and kind of half in tune warbled out, 'I wasn't jealous before we met. Now every woman I see is a potential threat.' The crowd smirked, remembering how Karen had been acting when Naomi had come back. They all cheered and whistled encouragingly, cheering her on, and she shook her head as Rob sang out the rest of the verse. They joined together, and as a duet, they sang loudly, 'But now it isn't true, now everything is new. And all I've learned has overturned, I beg of you.' The rest of the song passed in a flash, and at the end, Rob took Karen's hand and pulled her into a large bow. They brought their heads back up simultaneously, and before she realized what was happening, he placed a kiss to her lips, ignoring the rest of the staff who had only heard rumours and what they believed to be made-up stories about the pair "snogging in 'er office". A silence fell over the section of the pub they were in and Karen looked around nervously before Janeece suddenly yelled, 'Mister Clarkson, you owe me another tenner! I told you they were kissing earlier!'

X – X – X

They left the pub soon after and walked down the hushed streets towards Rob's house, which she was pretty sure she would soon be calling "home". The dark and night had fallen, but their figures were still illuminated by low lighted street lamps as they strolled, arm in arm down the street; locked together, every fibre of their living being connected purely by their love for one another.

'I'm not sure I'm going to be able to keep my hands off you until we reach my house Mrs Fisher,' he muttered suggestively into her ear, slinking his arm all too inappropriately around her waist. She silently tugged herself free of his grip, turned, placed a hand on his cheek and breathed out, 'Try.' She began running, skipping, hopping, a variety of movements really, up the street, owed to the tequila shot she had necked earlier, until she reached the point where he caught up with her. Spotting an alleyway near to their current standing position, Rob roughly grabbed Karen, pulled her into the alleyway and pushed her up against the wall. His lips were on her skin, moving up and down her neck, gliding insanely close to her lips and then back down again. She could not help but love him even more, and she sucumbed totally to him and his charm, and was thoroughly disappointed when he drew away,

'I would try, but you're too damn irresistible,' he murmured in her ear, before he collided his lips against hers, and his hands started roaming unashamedly around her body. She did not protest against him, attacking his mouth back in retaliation, biting down on his bottom lip, losing herself in the charm of this wild man. He slowly began tracing his hand up her leg, starting at above her knee and crawling agonizingly slowly up to her waist, 'Maybe we should get home before we continue this,' he whispered, aware of the fact that any old person could walk in on them at any given moment. She nodded her head frantically and cried out in mirth when he picked her up into his arms and literally ran for a solid eight minutes back to his house, leaving a confused Janeece and Chris standing outside the pub, staring after them…

Rob was out of breath by the time he reached the front door, but they both threw their coats across the hallway, kicked their shoes off amd she launched herself onto him, kissing him feverously, her tongue entwining and crashing with his. He wrapped his arms passionately around her body and together, they stumbled into the living room, an empowering and loving fight taking place, each fighting and pleading for dominance. She clutched the back of his head as he pressed her against the wall, his body burrowing deep into hers, so close that a mental kind of link passed between them. They drew apart quickly, breathign heavily, and he began to undo the buttons on the front of her shirt before a large coughing echoed from behind them,

'Jeez, you two are at it like a pair of rabbits,' Aiden said through a solid smirk, although the same look of disgut he had used this morning was still imprinted upon his expression.

'Bloody hell,' Rob whispered into Karen's ear, and she, glowing red, began to quickly do her buttons up again.

'Well, erm, we were…'

'You can't dig yourself out of this one dad. I'll just leave you two to it, shall I?' He exited the room rather quickly, and Rob turned to apologize to Karen before she yanked him into another ravenous kiss. It said 'I-don't-care' and he loved her evermore because of it. Again, his hands found her shirt and they ran quickly up the stairs to his bedroom, just in case.