A/N: Hi! I am so sorry for making all of my readers wait so long for this chapter. But the new chapter is here! I have to admit though, I am focused on writing as many chapters as I can for my other P&P fic, Blessing in Disguise. I won't be neglecting this fiction, but the chapters will, unfortunately, be coming out at a slower pace. This is only until I reach the point I want to reach in Blessing in Disguise.

So, please enjoy the new chapter!


Glass Roses


Chapter Four

Fragile


She rushed down the stairs, panting slightly. Few strands of her blonde hair fell out of her bun and continued to bother her eyes. Finally stopping at a step, she brushed the blonde hair strands from her eyes and tucked it behind her ear. Quickly checking the time on her iPhone, her eyes widened and she picked up her pace down the stairs.

For the fifth time that month, the elevators at her work were down and broken. This limited her time immensely, for she had to use the stairs to reach her seventh floor office. Sighing, she found that she was almost at the main floor. With only fifteen minutes to get to her night class at the university, she pushed the doors open and was about to run out the door when something blocked her way. She rammed herself into a hard pillar, and all of her belongings went flying onto the flight.

She stood there in disbelief, before crouching down to reach her purse, phone and scattered books. Almost a second later, the "pillar" crouched down as well as it whispered with a deep voice, "I am so sorry!"

She looked up, her blue eyes searching him. She flustered as soon as she saw him. His blue eyes looked concerned, and he had contrasting red hair. She felt her heart stop, as she suddenly felt her mouth go dry.

She nodded, unable to get angry as she let the few strands cover her eyes. And hopefully hide the blush on her cheeks. She quickly gathered her things and excused herself as she stood up. The man beside her also stood up and grabbed her arm as she turned around.

She turned around in surprise and looked up at him.

His smile reached his eyes, as a dimple on his left cheek appeared. "Hi."

She whispered, "Hello."

"I'm Charlie, you?"

"Jane."


The silence in the room was filled with so much tension that a knife could almost slice through it. I looked at Jane as I saw her face blanch with anxiousness. She looked so pale that I was afraid that she was going to faint.

Then, I looked at Charlie, who didn't look so good himself. I saw that their gazes locked and were unwavering. I immediately sunk down into my bed as I let my gaze wander to meet Darcy's. He looked pensive, as though he was contemplating the situation. He looked up and he looked surprised. His eyes didn't give much away of what he was thinking, as he suddenly masked his expression with a veil of indifference.

I rolled my eyes and looked back at Jane, knowing that Darcy was probably thinking that his scheme was not the best planned out one ever.

Finally, Charlie spoke, his voice slightly wavering, "Hi."

Jane whispered, "Hello."

The conversation stopped there, and Jane's eyes flashed as though they were remembering something. Charlie had a similar expression on his face.

Before I knew it, Jane excused herself and took my duffel bag, brushed past Charlie and closed the door behind her.

The three of us stood in her wake, shocked by her abrupt departure. I stuttered, trying to give an excuse for her behaviour, "She needs to bring the car out front. We've got to head home soon." What the hell was that about, Jane?

Charlie nodded as he smiled, though it didn't reach his eyes. I instantly felt for more, but he was the one who left her first. Without much as to a word of why.

But I realized afterwards though that it was Darcy and Caroline's doing, but still. A guy had to be responsible for his own actions, no matter how nice he was.

He began, as he struggled to find his voice. However, by the end, he was able to converse perfectly. "So, Lizzie, how are you? Darcy's told me you've had quite the accident. How long do you need to be with these crutches?"

I shrugged, "Not entirely sure. Perhaps a few months. I did break my femur, so it's hard to guess. I have an appointment with my physical therapist soon."

He smiled. "I bet you'll be up and running in a couple of months, at most. Darcy here is an amazing doctor, as I think you know. He will do whatever it takes to help you, as well."

I looked at Darcy, who actually blushed from the compliment and looked down to his clipboard with sudden interest. I smiled at how childlike he looked at that moment, and felt a sudden pang in my heart. Why did he have to be so cute?

Charlie asked, "So how's your family? Still living in Santa Barbara? And all your sisters?"

I nodded, laughing slightly. "Yup, everyone but Jane and I still live in Santa Barbara. Nothing will ever take my mom out of Santa Barbara."

He laughed, understanding my mom completely. "And your sisters? What are they doing?"

My eyes widened slightly, as I paused, unsure of how to continue. I took a deep breath, my heart beating, "Um, Mary is now doing her BA at UCSB."

For the first time, Darcy piped in. "Mary? What is she doing there? She didn't want to come here with you and Jane?"

I looked at Darcy, whose face looked genuinely curious for my answer. I shrugged, "She liked the program there, and its close to home. She doesn't like LA that much."

Darcy nodded slowly, as though he was unsure of what to say next. He finally spoke, "What is her major?"

"Philosophy with a core Philosophy Concentration and minor in Anthropology."

Charlie replied, "Wow, that sounds complicated."

I shrugged, smiling, "It's what she likes to do."

Charlie nodded, before asking, "What about you? What are you doing now? Are you now on your way to becoming a world-famous biotechnologist?"

I laughed as I shook my head. "No, unfortunately that plan was kicked off my route shortly after you left."

Charlie's face reddened after I mentioned his departure, so I quickly continued, "I am now working on my plan to be a world-famous physical therapist."

He nodded, his lips tight in a line. I asked him, "What about you? Are you now heading your father's company?"

"I'm just working there as a manager of a department here in LA. I'm actually working towards my MBA, before I take control of Bingley Softwares."

I chuckled softly before replying, "I think you will be an amazing businessman, Charlie."

"Thanks, Lizzie."

It was quiet once again before he asked me softly. So quietly that I would have missed it if I wasn't anticipating his answers so carefully. "And Jane?"

My gaze softened at the man in front of me. It was so obvious he still had feelings for my sister. No wonder Darcy brought him here. I looked at Darcy who was still standing there quietly behind Charlie, listening to the conversation. His presence was rather daunting, but comfortable at the same time. It was definitely an odd pair, but I welcomed his presence either way.

I looked back at Charlie, who eagerly awaited my response. "She's a speech pathologist now. She just graduated last year."

His eyes lit up as he muttered, "Wow."

I nodded, grateful that Jane had such a man longing for her affection once more. That one word showed the amount of affection and respect he had for her as a human as well as a woman.

Charlie finally asked, "Um, what about Kitty?" he hesitated before asking, his eyes staring at me, "Lydia?"

My eyes widened as I looked at Darcy, my heart beating rather quickly now. I hoped he didn't see the alarmed look on my face when Charlie mentioned Lydia's name.

"Kitty's now in her freshman year at UCSB. She's just taking general courses in Arts. She's not sure what she wants to do."

"And Lydia?"

I stared at him hard and saw that he genuinely sounded interested and concerned about my youngest sister. I inhaled deeply, trying to force out the images that were threatening to come to my memories. I whispered, "She's fine. She's coping as best as she can, given the circumstance."

Charlie's eyes immediately softened as he stepped forwards towards me. He leaned down at placed his arms around me in hopes that it would comfort me. I welcomed his arms readily and as I looked past him, I saw Darcy in the corner, his eyes widened in surprise. However, it looked like something flashed in his eyes before it went away as soon as it came.

I immediately pulled away and whispered to Charlie, "I think Jane's going to be here soon. Unless you want to talk to her..."

Charlie looked down at me and then at the door. He sighed as he shook his head. "It might be too soon."

I nodded, as I gave him my cell phone and Jane's numbers. "Just in case you need anything."

Charlie looked up from his cell phone after he put in our numbers. "Thanks, Lizzie."

"Thanks Charlie. For visiting me and everything." I looked up at his eyes, smiling as I saw his eyes light up with recognition. He knows what I am talking about.

Charlie muttered a farewell before he slapped Darcy on his back. As soon as I saw his retreating figure take a turn at a hall, she looked back at Darcy.

He looked surprised and almost hurt. He finally whispered, "What was that about?"

I stuttered, unsure of what to say, "What—what do you mean?"

He stepped forward towards me as he crouched down so he was eye level with me, as I sat on my bedside. He muttered, as he brushed his fingers against my cheek. I froze at the sudden intensity of his touch before sinking into them. He looked into my eyes and whispered, "What happened with Lydia, Lizzie? Why did Charlie feel like he had to comfort you?"

My eyes widened, as I suddenly felt tears fall down my cheeks. He looked alarmed at the sight of them, before brushing them away with his fingers. He looked as though he was going to lean in and...

"Lizzie!"

Darcy and I jumped from each other, as I felt a sharp stab in my abdomen area. "Ow!"

Darcy immediately looked at me, whispering, "What's wrong? Did I hurt you?"

I shook my head as I looked past him at Jane, who was now rushing towards me. She asked me if I was alright.

I nodded, brushing their hands away, assuring them that I was alright. Reluctantly, Darcy nodded and excused himself, mentioning that he had to complete his rounds for the day. He helped me into my wheelchair, and I couldn't help but feel warm by the intensity of his hands on my body and how close our bodies were. As he stood up he whispered into my ear, "Don't feel pressured. You can answer me when you are ready to tell me, Elizabeth."

He left the room, without as much as a backward glance. I sat there, my eyes wide at his behaviour. My heart beat as I looked away from the door to Jane.

Jane, on the other hand, looked so pale as she whispered, "Why was he here?"

My eyes softened as I sat up in my wheelchair, motioning for her to come to me. Her eyes looked misty and watery, as I felt my heart break for her. She walked towards me and crouched to my level. I threw arms around my big sister, and held her as she sobbed silently for the first time in a long time. Despite the fact that Charlie was perfect for her and looked as though he was ready to make amends, he did break my sister's heart. I was there to see how she fell apart those days. She miraculously snapped out of her heartbreak and continued on her life. Though, I have yet to see a true happiness in her eyes.

Oh Jane.


Always exploring and unleashing,

ღ 'rEd RoSe-StArFiRe-RoSeFiRe'