Hey guys! I'm so sorry for the long update! I've been so busy, apparently all my teachers simultaneously decided to assign loads of homework at the same time ._. I want to dedicate this chapter to Artemis the Moon Maiden, your reviews are joy to read! I in fact love all of your reviews! You guys are just awesome! Now please enjoy this chapter:)

When I finally awoke, I felt groggy. All the crying I did throughout the night took its toll on me. I couldn't bring myself to go to school, the pain inside me was a raging fire. I could feel every lick of heat scorching my soul. I felt the tears flow freely down my face again, I shoved my face into my pillow and screamed. I kept screaming, hoping it would help with the pain. But all I did was make my throat sore.

After I made my throat raw I fell back asleep, wanting to forget the events of last night. But even as I slept everything came rushing back, Raye's tears, my pain, but what memory hurt the most was the pain I heard in Darien's voice when I told him I couldn't see him anymore. Oh how I wanted to see him. The thought of Darien brought me out of my slumber, gasping for breath. The thought of not being able to see him brought the air out of my chest.

I glanced up at the clock, it was already mid-afternoon. I felt a brush of silky fur against my neck, I turned over to see my Luna look at me with her eyes that gleamed with wisdom. It was as if she knew what I was going through. She wedged herself between my chest and arms. I snuggled my face into her. Though she was comforting, even her company couldn't quench my pain. As I lay there, listening to Luna's soothing purring, the doorbell rang throughout the house.

Hoping that whoever was at the door would just think no one was home and would leave, I continued to lay there. A few minutes later, the bell rang again. I ignored it again, but whoever was at the door seemed to know I was home. I roused myself out of bed and headed towards the door. On my way out I noticed my appearance in the mirror. I looked terrible, my eyes were a bright red, puffy and bloodshot. My golden hair seemed to have lost its golden luster, and instead it was dull, tangled and stuck to my tear-streaked face. I ran my fingers through my hair, in an attempt to fix it, but it was no use.

I sulked down the steps, feeling as if I was in a trance. I padded slowly towards the door, before I opened it I took a deep breath and opened it. Standing on the other side were my best friends, they all had huge smiles on their faces. Even their smiles couldn't bring one to my face.

"Serena! Darling!" Mina gushed. "You weren't at school today! How did your date go?" She breezed pass me and into the house, with Amy and Lita in tow. I could feel the tears behind my eyes, threatening to pour out at a moment's notice.

"Mina I don't think it went well." Amy stated.

"Why do you think that? It must have been good if she didn't go to school!"

"You might want to really look at Serena." Lita motioned towards me.

When Mina turned around and really looked at me, her bright blue eyes widened and her mouth formed a small "o". "Oh Serena! I'm so sorry I didn't notice, what happened?"

With that look, I couldn't hold the tears back. They began to spill freely down my cheeks, I began to sob. Mina led me over to the couch, she patted and rubbed my back as I cried into her shoulder. I cried for what seemed like a long while. When I was done, I lifted my head up and saw Lita and Amy sitting on the loveseat looking at me with concern lacing their eyes.

I noticed that I soaked the shoulder of Mina's shirt. "I'm sorry about your shirt Mina." I sniffled.

"Oh dear you're fine, its just a shirt!" Mina gave me a small smile.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Amy asked.

"It might make you feel better if you do." Lita commented.

I looked them all in the eyes, their eyes all expressed genuine concern. These girls were my best friends, I've know them since we were in middle school, and I couldn't ask for anything better. They have always been here for me when I needed them, like they are now.

I took a deep shaky breath. "Last night…" I sniffled as I looked down at my lap, twisting my fingers together. "I went to the park… but Darien wasn't there. Raye was." I looked up to see shock lining their eyes.

"Oh Serena!" Mina's hand flew to her mouth.

After that I couldn't keep the words back, I let everything out, tears and all. I told them of how Raye was hurt that Darien left her for me, and even how she threatened me to leave Darien alone. I expressed my sorrow of how I told Darien I couldn't see him anymore because I didn't want him to get hurt and how I also didn't want to end up being hurt if he found out he didn't actually love me. By the end I had tears streaming down my face and I was in the middle of a tight group hug.

"I'm so sorry Serena." Amy said sadly.

"I can't imagine the pain you're in." Lita said.

"Okay! You know what we need? Ice cream and chick flicks!" Mina stated.

"Oh no you guys don't need to that." I argued.

Mina put a hand up, "No no, there is no debate. Amy and Lita can you go get the ice cream and rent the movies? I'm going to stay here with Serena."

Lita and Amy both nodded and rose up to leave. Before they left they both gave me a reassuring smile and a squeeze on the shoulder. One of the things I loved about Mina is that with her there is no need to talk, we could just sit in silence. I lay my head on her lap as she stroked my hair, I couldn't cry anymore, I had no more tears to shed.

We sat there until Amy and Lita came back an hour later. "Okay we got Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Shortcake ice cream!" Amy said when they walked into the room.

"And the chick flicks!" Lita said while following Amy in.

"Oh my favorite!" Mina gushed.

The way the girls got excited over this brought a small smile to my face. We all snuggled into the couch with ice cream and spoons in hand. We sat there for what felt like hours, just giggling and pointing out the cheesiest things. It felt good to do this with them again, but even through all the laughter I still couldn't forget the pain. It took all that I had not to break down again.

In the middle of our 4th movie, the door bell rang.

"Were you expecting someone Serena?" Mina asked curiously.

"No… not unless you guys decided to invite someone over." I said as I got up and walked to the door. As I was walking I heard the others follow in my footsteps. When I opened the door my heart stopped and my breath hitched in my throat. The person on the other side of the door was the last person I would expect.


I had an overwhelming feeling to throw myself in to his arms and inhale his rosy scent. But I held myself back. I couldn't form any words, instead I just looked at him. Darien was still as beautiful as ever. His raven black hair fell into soft curls against his eyes. But his eyes were the most painful to look at. Usually they looked alive and carefree, but this time they were dull and lined with sadness.

We stood there staring at each other for who knows how long. But neither of us were the one to break the silence. Instead it was Mina.

"Hey Serena who's this?" Mina had a cautious gaze as she looked at Darien.

I tried to muster up something to say, but the words were stuck in my throat. I couldn't tear my eyes away from Darien. He broke our eye contact and turned to Mina and the girls.

"Hello, I'm Darien." He stuck his hand out towards Mina.

"So you're the one who Serena is messed up over." She said starting to become angry. "You have a shitty girlfriend you know that. That girl is crazy and tried to hurt Serena, and here you are on her doorstep after she told you she didn't want to see you anymore. Can't you get the hint?" Mina was getting really fired up, by the end of her rant she pushed past me and was up in Darien's face.

I finally found my voice. "Mina please stop, its okay." I pulled her back.

"Are you sure Serena?" Mina looked at me concern in her eyes.

"Yeah, I'm sure."

"Okay." Mina turned back towards Darien. "I'm sorry for my outburst, its just that Serena is one of my best friends and I don't like to see her hurt."

"I understand completely, I don't like to see her hurt either." Darien said with genuine concern. He turned back to me. "I need to talk to you Serena, is there a place where we can talk alone?"

I gave him a small shaky nod, I turned towards my friends. From the looks on their faces they understood that I needed to do this.

"Well it looks like this is our cue to leave girls." Mina said with a small smile.

Amy and Lita were the first to walk out the door, before Mina walked out she gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear. "Hear him out Serena. Don't keep that emotional wall of yours up." She pulled back and gave me a small smile and followed the others out.

After they were gone, we stood there for a few awkward moments. Both not knowing what we should do. I mustered up the courage to say something.

"Um… would you like to come in? You probably wouldn't want to catch a cold." I motioned for him to come in.

"Thanks." He gave me a brief nod and walked inside. I closed he door behind him and leaned against it. I wasn't surprised at what he said next.

"Why don't you want to see me anymore?" He asked. I looked up and saw him looking at me with his hands shoved deep into his pocket, as if he was nervous.

"I told you why." I said quietly. "I don't want to be in pain anymore, and if that means I can't see you then that's what I need to do." I looked down at the floor, I couldn't bear to see the look on his face.

"Serena you're only thinking this because of what Raye said. You don't mean it."

"I do mean it. The way I feel has nothing to do with what Raye said last night." I said with force.

"You know you don't." I looked up at him, I could see the pain in his eyes. I didn't want to hurt him, I just wanted to protect myself. "I never wanted to cause you pain Serena. I care too much about you."

"That's where you're wrong." With that last comment, I felt anger coursing through my veins. I launched myself off the door and stomped towards Darien. I stabbed my finger to his chest. "You never cared about my pain!" Tears began to flow freely down my cheeks. "I've been in pain ever since we met that day! Remember? We spent the whole day at the park and when it was time to leave you promised me we would see each other each Friday. But you never showed up, not for any Friday for that matter!"

I saw his eyes widen in shock. I couldn't stand to look at him anymore, so I turned around and place my hands over my face. It was quiet, the only sound was my shaky breath as the tears fell down my face.

"Serena, I'm so sorry." Darien whispered, pain filled his voice. "I never forgot that promise, a few days after that day my family moved. I wanted to find you and tell you, but you never told me where you lived." I could hear the sorrow leaking out of his voice, and it made me cry even more. "I kept that day close to my heart. After I turned eighteen I came back, I came to the park the day I got here. I came for days after, looking for you, beautiful."

I let his words sink in. I finally found out why he never came back. The question that has haunted me since for so long, and I finally had the answer.

"Will you look at me Serena? Please?" I felt Darien's hands softly grab my shoulder and he turned me around to face him. I couldn't look at him, not with these tears, I kept my eyes on the floor. "Please look at me Serena." I felt his fingers tilt my chin up. When I looked at him I knew he was telling the truth.

"What about Raye don't you love her?" I asked quietly.

Darien cupped my face in his hands, and wiped the tears away from my face. "No Serena, I love you. I've loved you since I first called you meatball-head. I've loved you since I saw it was you on that park bench. I love you and only you. Nothing can change that."

And with that he planted a kiss on my lips, and I knew he was telling the truth. The emptiness that I felt inside disappeared and began to fill with an amazing feeling. A feeling of being loved and knowing that I would never be alone ever again.

I pulled away with a smile on my face. I looked into his eyes, their usual warmth and light filled them once again. I put my hand against his cheek, relishing in the feel of his skin against mine. "I love you too." I said softly, and when I said that Darien rewarded me with a huge smile and pulled me into his embrace once more.

That's it for now :) I hope you all enjoyed it. I plan on writing another chapter by the end of the week. For updates on my situation check my profile, I post when I plan on posting my story and if I'm having problems. Thanks so much for reading! R & R ~ Nerine 3